LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported lots of slow-to-bite sailfish and a few marlin seen on the surface, but fewer and much smaller dorado caught last week by his boat Soledad.
"I fished 2 days last week out of Loreto and found the pelagics reduced to primarily small dorado," Erhardt said. "The big dorado that dominated the action in June and July are but a fond and distant memory.
"I saw many sailfish and a few marlin tailing and jumping, but they were biting only sporadically and halfheartedly."
Erhardt's total catch including released fish for 2 days of fishing was: 12 or 13 peanut dorado, and 1 sailfish.
Loreto fishing water in the main bite area northeast of town was clear blue, with surface water temperatures reaching the high-80s during the heat of the day. "I saw no seaweed paddies or any other structure holding schools of fish," Erhardt said.
LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto reported slower action during the week. "Dorado fishing at Loreto appears to have slowed considerably in the last couple of days," Bear said. "The massive schools that were around through Sunday have suddenly gone AWOL."
Two outings by Bear's boat with Loreto Capt. Paulino Martinez did produce release action for 21 dorado to 25 pounds plus 1 sailfish, but Bear said, "Extensive trolling was necessary to find the fish in ones and twos, and the other pangas and boats we observed were doing the same."
Loreto fishing area water temperatures were at 86 to 87 degrees at the San Bruno bajo and 88 to 89 degrees at Bajo de las Boyas.
"Although we purposely avoided them, sailfish were present in large numbers at both bajos," Bear said. "We broke off two of them in order to return to the search for dorado."
Another outing by Bear's boat, running south past Isla Catalana, produced few fish. "Kent Baker joined me and Capt. Paulino for a long trip to Isla Catalana and Bajo Seco located 8 miles to the south of the island," Bear said.
"There was no surface action. Not even dorado were sighted." During the trip, 1 sailfish was tagged and released after a blind strike, 5 barrilete were hooked on feathers, and bottom fishing produced 1 small yellow snapper and 6 cabrilla to 8 pounds.
Mackerel and jurelito baits were harder to catch. "However, sardinas are abundant just outside the Loreto marina," Bear said. "Yesterday, in two casts of the net, Paulino had hundreds of them."
LORETO, MEXICO: Patty Zapata of Loreto's Hotel Oasis reported excellent local fishing weather, water temperatures at 84 to 85 degrees, and continued dorado action as the center of the bite moved out to about 20 miles north of Isla Coronado and 20 miles northeast of Punta Mangles. "Loreto fishermen are coming back with Mexican limits," Zapata said.
During the week, 14 pangas fished out of the hotel, all with conventional tackle anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 70 dorado of 20 to 48 pounds.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said Loreto's very good 2008 dorado season brought many anglers to town this summer. "This has been our busiest summer ever," Bolles said. "I couldn't keep up with my fishing reports or email.
"It's no secret that Loreto experienced one of the best dorado seasons in more than a dozen years. As the word got out, just about everyone under the sun dropped in on us to experience the bite for themselves. They're still coming, but we are now slowing down as we normally expect in late August.
"This year Loreto's dorado season been the absolute best in terms of length, quality and quantity of fish, consistency of catches, and a reasonable distance from port.
"Since mid-July, Loreto offshore sea surface temperatures have increased significantly and I see that we're fishing dorado in the breaks of the cooler water temperature areas on the charts.
"The full moon affected the quality of the dorado bite. The fish being caught were consistently under 20 pounds and averaging 12 pounds."
Bolles noted few boats fishing inshore during this year's dorado bite. "To tell you the truth, we know very little about the current state of the inshore fishery at Loreto due to the dorado," Bolles said. "We have been passing by the shorelines and going straight for blue water offshore."
Bolles said Baja Big Fish Company will be entered in this year's first annual Loreto Dorado Tournament scheduled Sept. 19-20, 2008, with a $30,000 pay out and television coverage by Ronnie Kovach's Fishing Ventures show.
"Usually I don't care much for tournaments as I'm not a very competitive person," Bolles said. "But this year the dorado fishing has been outstanding and I've been observing my fly fishing clients versus my conventional fishing clients, so I figured we could join the tournament as fly anglers and have a damned good chance at winning! Baja Big Fish Company will participate to show the excellent potential our Loreto fishery offers to the fly angler. My husband Capt. Francisco Muñoz and myself will be competing in our 20-and-a-half-foot panga. It will be skippered by Capt. Jose "Chanto" Fernandez and will compete against the other pangas and big boats. May a panga win this thing!"
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet at Ensenada reported steady good fishing for his pangas at the tip of Punta Banda as anglers going out with Capts. Beto and Vicente caught Mexico limits or near limits of mixed bottom fish, bonita, lingcod, red rockcod, halibut to 27 pounds including a Mexican limit for halibut, and 2 yellowtail of 15 and 18 pounds. "This week was very good fishing," Villarino said. "We had a bit of everything." Top outings during the week included Simon and Art Avalos of Rosemead, Calif., fishing specifically for halibut with Capt. Beto on Wednesday for their Mexican halibut limit of fish to 27 pounds plus a 15-pound yellowtail.
Other anglers fishing during the week included Guillermo Valladolid of Los Angeles, Calif., Martin Bautista of Fontana, Calif., Carl Perry, Michael Alaniz, Jim Meier, and Graim Ray.
Ensenada fishing area weather was in the mid-70s, with morning clouds, light winds, ocean swells at 2 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 62 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Ensenada fishing boat Bad Dog out of Marina Coral reported on an overnight trip covering a 130-mile circle around local offshore banks in beautiful but slow fishing conditions, for a catch of: a lighted bait bitten off about 100 feet deep during night drifting, 2 blue shark caught overnight, 1 albacore of 12 pounds, 1 yellowfin tuna of 20 pounds, and 1 dorado too small to pull the clip on an outrigger.
Describing the Bad Dog's trip, Ross said, "We went over to Mike's for live bait, there wasn't any. We ran for the 385 fathom spot in 69-degree, very blue flat water and stopped 7 miles short for it for an hour of trolling just before sundown and then set out the sea anchor with no results.
"At 10 p.m., I had my baits from the 99 Ranch Market in San Diego set out on a balloon and a cyalume light, Juan Lu had his on a sinker under the boat about 50 feet, and I had a glow-in-the-dark lure suspended 100 feet below.
"At 10:30 my Trinidad 50 gets bit real slow and I reeled up my bait's head only. That looked like mako shark work. I quit and went to bed.
"At first light, trolling with my new secret weapon, 7 Strand 1210c's in Loco Joe and Midnight, with smaller jigs of the exact same color in front of the lure with the hook and a Moldcraft little bird in front of it all, we got a double hookup on both Loco Joes and Juan Lu gaffed my wife Gail's 12-pound albacore.
"We found a small kelp paddy and bombarded it with live mackerel, then slow-trolled it and waited. The meter was empty and we left. For the rest of the day we trolled for nothing. We traveled 130 miles in the most beautiful fishing conditions you can imagine, calm winds, flat seas, 69-degree water that once made 70, and the most beautiful blue color, right to cobalt. But I never metered any bait all day long anywhere, and we only found the one paddy."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Robert Everett of Las Vegas, Nev., reported on a panga fishing session with Capt. Vicente of Vonny's Fleet, with a 5-pound yellowtail caught on his first cast of the day, and further fishing producing calico bass, sandbass, bonita, small barracuda, 2 lingcod about 120 feet deep, red rockcod to 5 pounds on jigs tipped with sardines and squid, and halibut including a 10-pounder caught on frozen sardines near the beach on the way in.
"With only about an hour's fishing time left I asked Capt. Vicente if we could try some halibut drifting back in the bay," Everett said. "I tied on a 3-ounce sinker and a single hook. Arriving in front of the beach launch site, we found winds pushing us into the bay along the shore, which was in our favor. We made 5 passes across a quarter-mile stretch of sandy bottom, catching 1 or 2 halibut on every pass including the big fish of the day."
Local Ensenada fishing conditions were overcast, with lots of bait in the water and the surface bite active. "I found Ivan Villarino's Vonny's Fleet to be very well organized. The whole crew worked together as a team making launching and pickup work smoothly," Everett said.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort south of Ensenada reported good fishing weather all week, with some light wind in the afternoon, but calm seas and no big swell. Pangas fishing during the week came in with full Mexico fishing limits of mixed bottom fish plus surface yellowtail of 7 to 20 pounds, bonito, and barracuda. "The surface bite around Puerto Santo Tomas and the Soledad Reef continues to be excellent," Saenz said.
Anglers fishing with Capts. Marcos and Cannaro during the week included Jeff Majors and his San Diego group who caught Mexican sportfishing limits on two pangas, and Mike Concannon and his fishing partner Earl Jackson with yellowtail and a mixed bag of bottom fish.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing reported continued good white seabass action at Socorro south of San Quintin as a multi-panga group fishing with Capts. Horacio Acosta, Captain Carlos Cervantes, and Juan Cook, scored Mexican sportfishing limits on fish to 72 pounds. "It was the first time fishing in San Quintin for most of the group," Melville said. "They had a great time and have made plans to fish here with us again next year at the same time."
Another Don Eddie's boat fishing the same day with Capt. Jaime Garcia scored 3 white seabass to 70 pounds.
San Quintin fishing area weather was calm and clear, with water temperatures averaging 62 degrees. "Later in the week, the wind picked up a little at San Quintin," Melville said. "Anglers still caught their Mexican limits of bottom fish and some halibut."
Weekends were booked through October at Don Eddie's Landing, Melville said, but rooms were still available on weekdays.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Gary Chafe of Riverside, Calif., reported on an outing by his group with San Quintin's Capt. Jaime Garcia of Garcia's Pangas for a catch south of the bay at Socorro of: 15 white seabass, many more white seabass lost, 10 to 15 barracuda, 5 bonita, 8 calico bass, 5 red snapper, and 1 halibut. "We were fishing with chrome and chrome-blue Krocodiles, by themselves and with a mackerel added," Chafe said. "We fished south of San Quintin about a mile offshore from the beach in approximately 80 to 100 feet of water."
Also fishing in Chafe's group were Patrick Galvin, Ted Snellen, and Bill Johnson, all of Riverside.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Eduardo Villegas Murillo of La Bocana on the Baja Pacific coast reported on fishing aboard the panga Chamagosa for a catch of 5 dorado, with 3 released and 2 large ones of about 23 pounds kept, during fishing about 14 miles out in good conditions. "Most of the days at La Bocana have been calm, with little wind, and the water temperature at 78 to 80 degrees," Villegas said. "We had good fishing for dorado with 50-pound line and feathers in purple color. The water is clear and blue, excellent fishing conditions."
Villegas said Baja fishing at La Bocana for yellowtail was coming earlier than normal. "The fishermen are hoping that the season continues to improve," he said.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Les Heil of Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast at La Bocana reported local water temperatures to 80 degrees last week and a run to nearby Roca Ballena producing 1 dorado of about 12 pounds, yellowtail at 10 pounds, bonita, and some barracuda. A buddy boat ran out 12 miles and got 8 dorado.
On Saturday Heil's boat fished again with his son Marek on Scott Goodman's boat for 4 dorado on trolled feathers about 14 miles out. Another boat skippered by La Bocana's Dr. Romero caught 5 more dorado.
"After a while, we headed back for some small yellowtail just off La Bocana, where local pangueros are catching 80 to 100 kilos of the small yellows per day for the last week or so," Heil said. "Two years ago we were getting 20 to 30 pounders right here so hopefully they will get here soon. My son Marek and myself went out on my 11-foot Zodiac inflatable yesterday for about 20 yellowtail just in front of my house, trolling Krocodiles and iron on 15-pound test line with a small rod. What a blast, as the reel was smoking even with the crackerjack yellows."
Information on Heil's new Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast lodging facility at La Bocana, bajablancales.googlepages.com/home.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Shari Bondy of Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion on the central Pacific Baja coast, said yellowtail were showing up in fish counts last week, in clear water warming to 77 degrees and near-perfect weather conditions. "Finally the yellowtail bite is on at Bahia Asuncion," Bondy said. "Halibut and croaker can also be caught off the beaches. The yellowtail are so hungry they are even taking Scampis, but their favorite bait is a white-redhead Rapala. The yellowtail are close, just off the islands, which makes for quick Mexican sportfishing limits. We are eating sashimi and sushi again."
The village of Bahia Asuncion was busy with 4 days of summer fiestas with events including horse, dinghy, car, and motorcycle races, a rodeo and fair with rides and games, live music and dancing nightly, and a Baja fishing derby with about 25 boats entered.
"There were fishing derby categories for kids, teens, and adults," Bondy said. "The yellowtail category was won by a Guerrero Negro fisherman with a 34-pound yellowtail. Second place was a Bahia Asuncion local, and third place by an American from San Quintin. Fourth place in the tournament was won by our own Team Sirena with a 24.2-pound yellowtail, with our amigos Barb and Tim from Vernon, British Columbia, and our Capt. Juan. Barb claimed the big check of 10,000 pesos and was the first woman and first Canadian ever to enter this tournament."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos off the Baja Sea of Cortez coast was spending time in the U.S. but did make a fly-in trip to Isla Cedros on the Pacific side of Baja to fish in the island's 5th Annual Yellowtail Tournament. "I was invited by Exportadora de Sal and COMSA to participate," Kanzler said. I wouldn't miss that for the world!"
Kanzler was flown to Guerrero Negro and the island aboard a Exportadora de Sal private plane, stayed at the island, and competed with a 3-angler team in tournament categories for total weight of yellowtail, largest yellowtail, and total weight of bonito. "The tournament is put on by Bulebar 24 Club and it's a first-class event," Kanzler said. "Cedros Outdoor Adventures was also a sponsor."
Winners in the event were:
Three fish tied at 15 kilos for largest yellowtail, with 2 yellowtail caught by Kanzler's team of Kanzler, Fernando Foyo, and Carlos Aramburo with Capt. Manuel Villavicencio, and the third yellowtail caught by the team of Raul Zuniga, Ricardo Duarte and Jesus Zuniga with Capt. Antonio Zaragoza.
Total weight of yellowtail, 122 kilos, by the team of Jacob Corona, Larry Krause, and Kent Rohrenbach with Capt. Diego Aviles
Total weight of bonito, the team of Joel Medina, Juan Varela, and Edgar Ceballos.
"I would like to thank Exportadora de Sal, especially Edmundo Elorduy and Salvador Felix, and COMSA for inviting me, and not least the beautiful people of Cedros island, Jose Meneses Garcia of Bulebar 24 Club, and Cedros Outdoor Adventures.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported continued increases in the volume of game fish being seen offshore of Magdalena Bay last week including dorado, striped marlin, and yellowtail. "We're not seeing many birds or bait, but there are more fish every day," Graham said. Angler Ken Kramer landed marlin, dorado, and yellowtail during a run from Cabo San Lazaro to the Thetis Bank. Roman Shidel and his son went out with Capt. Sergio aboard the Mag Bay Outfitters boat Mar Gato for bottom fishing including 4 grouper to 60 pounds.
Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was warming into the 90s, with calm seas, blue water offshore, and water temperatures at 60 to 76 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 38 charters by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 38 striped marlin, 7 sailfish, 30 dorado, 1 cabrilla, and 78 yellowfin tuna. The top boat for the week was the Gaviota VII with 9 striped marlin releases in 5 outings. "Cabo San Lucas fishing really did pick up this week and it was just outside the entrance, maybe just a mile or so from the arch," Edwards said. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-90s, with very good sea conditions and water temperatures averaging 84 to 85 degrees locally on both the Pacific and Sea of Cortez sides. Boats fished the Pacific-side Jaime Bank area early in the week but later moved to fish near the arch.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported on 87 charters, with a catch including released fish of: 6 blue marlin, 51 striped marlin, 25 sailfish, 120 yellowfin tuna, 26 dorado, 2 wahoo, and 6 roosterfish.
Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 7 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 18 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 40 pounds, 2 dorado of 25 to 30 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas said that due to due to favorable water temperatures holding in the low to mid-80s, black marlin should be expected to join the blue and striped marlin now being caught in Cabo waters. "We have not yet encountered any black marlin this season," Lowendick said, "but they should be ready to enter Cabo fishing area waters. The best areas for billfish in the Sea of Cortez have been the 95 and 1150 spots and the best area in the Pacific has been near the Jaime Bank."
Lowendick noted some quality yellowfin tuna topping 100 pounds caught on the Pacific side. "We have had 6 tunas in the last week that exceeded 150 pounds," Lowendick said. "One tuna easily topped the 200-pound mark."
Near shore fishing by Marlin Masters boats produced action for roosterfish including several in the 50 to 60-pound class released.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 17, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported swells of 3 to 5 feet at times on the Pacific side but otherwise calm sea conditions at Cabo San Lucas, with water temperatures stable to 80 to 85 degrees and clear blue color in all directions. Bait available at the downtown Cabo San Lucas marina was mostly caballito mixed with some mullets, plus sardina baits sold at $25 per scoop from pangas at Punta Palmilla. Billfish action was a mix of blue marlin outside the 1,000-fathom curve and striped marlin closer to shore. Yellowfin tuna including some larger fish to 130 pounds were caught by Cabo boats fishing the 1,000-fathom line west of the Golden Gate Bank on the Pacific side. "The key was to find the right pod of porpoise," Landrum said. "There were decent tuna caught. The average was around 30 pounds." Dorado numbers were still not up to summer norms. "Normally at this time of year Cabo San Lucas has fishing boats flying full outriggers of yellow flags," Landrum said, "but for some reason dorado fishing seems slower this year."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 14, 2008, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported an overall 81 percent fleet catch rate for all fish species combined, including 44 percent landing yellowfin tuna and 38 percent with dorado. Overall, Pisces Fleet boats landed 32 striped marlin and 10 sailfish during the week, with a release rate of 100 percent. "Cabo San Lucas saw a marked improvement on sportfishing this week," Ehrenberg said.
"The weather finally turned into a true Cabo summer, when you walk outside and you immediately begin to sweat. Cabo San Lucas fishing conditions right now are perfect, hot and mostly clear skies, with seas so calm that even on the Pacific it looks like the waves don’t move." Pisces Fleet boats fished mostly on the Pacific-side Jaime and Golden Gate Banks, and also at Cabeza de Ballena on the Sea of Cortez side. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly calm in the high-90s, with water temperatures averaging 85 degrees.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 48 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing in generally improving conditions out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 188 dorado, 89 yellowfin tuna, 7 sailfish, 6 hammerhead shark, 4 sierra and 28 triggerfish, 34 huachinango, 3 grouper, 22 roosterfish, 2 striped marlin, 19 dog snapper, 15 cabrilla, 13 jack crevalle, 1 wahoo, 1 blue marlin, and 1 black marlin.
"San Jose del Cabo fishing action has started to heat up," Brictson said. "Sailfish, striped marlin, black marlin, and blue marlin are all present and many larger marlin were hooked by trolling with live skipjack or bolito baits around the Gordo Banks area. Several black marlin and blue marlin weighing 300 to 450 pounds were reportedly landed or lost after extended battles.
"Dorado and yellowfin tuna numbers increased throughout the San Jose del Cabo fishing region. During the past several days many boats reported releasing up to 20 dorado.
"Yellowfin tuna were caught in the same fishing areas, most of them under 15 pounds, but larger tuna of 60 to 90 pounds were found as close as 3 or 4 miles from Punta Palmilla. Skipack baits remained abundant throughout the area and there were quite a few bolito as well, although they were not as easy to catch."
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was increasingly tropical and humid, in the mid-90s, with daily thundershowers over the mountains, almost no wind, calm seas, water temperatures at 82 to 88 degrees, and clear blue water found very close to shore. Sardina bait was plentiful locally and mullet and caballito were also available as fleets fished in all directions from Cabo San Lucas to Vinorama.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said East Cape fish counts were led by good numbers of small dorado and tuna. "The number of small football tuna has caused a shortage of wasabi to go with the sashimi being served in East Cape hotel bars," Graham said. Few billfish were caught by East Cape fishing boats during the week. Abundant needlefish were a nuisance.
"Unfortunately the hot water at East Cape has caused a needlefish bloom," Graham said. "The needlefish are as thick as pelicans on a bait ball and they are snatching anything that hits the water."
Inshore fishing produced good action for smaller roosterfish and jacks along East Cape fishing beaches, but Graham noted, "As hot as the weather is, fishing in the early morning and late afternoon makes the most sense."
East Cape fishing area weather was humid and mostly cloudy in the high-80s, with water temperatures at 76 to 87 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Mensik of Phoenix, Ariz., reported good yellowfin tuna action just north of the Cabo Pulmo marine park for fish of football size to about 40 pounds during an East Cape fishing trip aboard the charter boat El Loco I out of Hotel Palmas de Cortez. "We fished the tuna from 9 to 10:30 in the morning, loading up on enough fillets to fill a 50-quart cooler," Mensik said. "We were with a group of about 18 to 20 boats. I could see them all catching the smaller 'football-size' guys, but being just a little off got us into larger tuna."
Mensik and fishing partner Steve Mandarino of Pittsburgh, Penn., finished the day fishing inshore. "When the tuna bite died down we picked going inshore versus a 3-hour troll for marlin," Mensik said. "We caught a dozen triggerfish for ceviche as well as catching my first roosterfish. It wasn't that large but it was fun!" The total catch for the day including released fish was: 10 tuna, 1 roosterfish, and 12 triggerfish. East Cape fishing area weather was flat calm in the morning, with a light breeze by 1 p.m., and the water color blue close to shore but greenish at the Punta Arena lighthouse.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jorge Bergin of La Ribera reported on this year's local La Ribera fishing tournament held on Aug. 15, 2008, with Dave Froman of Santa Rosa, Calif., catching a yellowfin tuna of 54 pounds 9 ounces to win the tuna jackpot and a 5,500-peso prize while fishing with Mike Trip and Capt. Chuy Castro Minjarea on the panga En Su Sueños out of Trino's Fishing in La Ribera.
"The fish was caught on sardinas 5.5 miles north of Cabo Pulmo," Bergin said. "It looks like everybody was after big tuna and left the dorado behind. There was a dorado jackpot in the tournament, and it was won by Bob Grant fishing with John Simpson on Bob's panga, Si Mia. In 85-degree water they caught the day's dorado winner, an 8 pounder, for a prize of 9,200 pesos."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: East Cape beach launched boat angler Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista reported on a local trip trolling jointed Rebel lures northwards toward Punta Pescadero for a catch of: 1 small skipjack, 1 small needlefish, and a surprise sierra normally caught in cooler water temperatures.
"Fishing from my boat is exclusively trolling, even though I worked for a time in the ocean live bait industry," Eddy said. "I put my lures out as soon as my boat is on the water because I believe fish can be found anywhere and everywhere.
"Yesterday I didn't catch much but one of the fish was noteworthy. I left from the beach closest to the Los Barriles Pemex gas station and headed up the coast, staying about 1 mile off shore. I went close to shore near the San Bartolo arroyo and caught a small skipjack and needlefish.
"Then I spotted the 'tuna fleet' of about a dozen East Cape fishing boats a couple of miles off Punta Pescadero and headed up that way at my usual blistering trolling speed of 6 miles-per-hour. As usual, the fish around the tuna fleet preferred their live bait and I didn't even get a strike, so I headed directly toward the point. About 200 yards southeast of the point, I decided to change lures for a run toward Rancho Leonero and while reeling in one of my lures, was hit by a fish, and it was, of all things, a small sierra. It was my impression that sierra are only caught here at East Cape from October through April, so now I know better.
"Later, I had a visit from Ernesto, our local outboard mechanic. I told him about my unusual sierra catch and he said another acquaintance had caught several sierra just a day or two before."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 15, 2008, Eddie Dalmau of Van Wormer Resorts reported on 295 East Cape charter fishing boats from Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a catch including released fish of: 1,150 yellowfin tuna, 648 dorado, 8 blue marlin, 41 striped marlin, 48 sailfish, 45 roosterfish, 4 wahoo, 10 cabrilla, 35 pargo, 36 triggerfish, 32 bonita, 12 pompano, 25 skipjack, and 11 amberjack. East Cape fishing area weather was in the high-90s, with water temperatures of 78 to 85 degrees. "The tuna bite continues to be strong at East Cape, although there were no real big boys to talk about," Dalmau said. "Most of the tuna were football-size or smaller, but with the occasional 50 to 60 pounder." East Cape boats located tuna either north off Punta Pescadero and the 88 Bank, or south off Punta Colorada and Cabo Pulmo.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week ending Aug. 8, 2008, Dalmau reported on 360 East Cape boats, with a catch including released fish of: 15 blue marlin, 54 striped marlin, 26 sailfish, 1,200 dorado, 1,505 yellowfin tuna, 79 roosterfish, 4 wahoo, 12 cabrilla, 24 pargo, 48 triggerfish, 16 skipjack, and 8 amberjack. East Cape fishing area weather was in the high-90s, with water temperatures at 78 to 85 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport diving service reported very good dive conditions, with water temperatures at depth in the mid-80s, visibility at 60 to 100 feet, and sea life sightings at the Cabo Pulmo coral reef including large numbers of leopard grouper game fish, called "cabrilla" in Spanish. "The ever-present leopard grouper never cease to amaze me with their sheer numbers," Cazaly said. "While descending onto the southern tip of El Bajo in Cabo Pulmo we were also engulfed in a tide of purple surgeonfish while a bait ball of bigeyed jacks swirled overhead." Other sea life sightings during Vista Sea Sport East Cape diving trips included balloonfish, snappers, abundant green moray eels, glassfish, grunts, Panamic porkfish, and an 8-foot bull shark. "We were making our way up to our safety stop when the large bull shark cruised over to check us out," Cazaly said. "It casually eyed us as it glided past, came past again a minute later, and then headed off into the blue."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said his pangas on the Las Arenas side south of La Paz fished in typical hot summer Baja conditions, with air temperatures averaging 96 degrees, no wind to speak of, and the sea completely calm. "But the fishing was also calm," Hernandez said, "because there are few fishermen in the La Paz area right now."
The few pangas fishing out of Las Arenas caught dorado in the 15-pound class, some smaller yellowfin tuna, and a few wahoo to 30 or 35 pounds, but "no great quantities" Hernandez said.
Marlin and sailfish were not seen. "La Paz had few fishermen, few fish, and a calm sea," Hernandez said. "We're hoping that the action will return to usual in the next few days."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International at La Paz reported dorado on the north side and tuna on the south side providing the best action during a week of lower fish counts. "La Paz fishing was definitely slower this week," Roldan said. "Maybe it was the full moon, but I hate to blame the moon phase when so often some of our best bites are during the big luna. But there's no denying that the bite was scratchy. If you fished several days with us at La Paz, you got your fish. But if you only had one day to fish, it could have been that one day that the bite was off or you were on that one unlucky boat that didn't find the fish."
The best action for La Paz side sportfishing pangas was for dorado between Islas Cerralvo and Espiritu Santo, mostly of smaller sizes but including some bulls to about 30 pounds.
The Las Arenas tuna bite also slowed down, with pangas scratching for 1 to 3 tuna per day plus some dorado, wahoo, and inshore roosterfish.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Jeff Rumble of Whittier, Calif., reported on a Baja beach fishing and camping trip to the San Nicolas and Punta Pulpito area on the Sea of Cortez coast south of Mulege, with mornings calm enough to fish from a small inflatable boat for 4 days and a catch of 185 fish of 25 different species.
Rumble's catch, along with trip partner Pete Jenista of Grants Pass, Ore., included a few dorado to 18 pounds offshore, and a near shore reef catch of numerous goldspotted bass, Pacific creolefish, leopard grouper, true red snapper, triggerfish, hogfish, barred pargo, yellow snapper, numerous 10-inch bonefish at the water's edge, a bright red hogfish caught 150 feet deep, and a 32-pound diamond stingray caught at night.
"Due to the limited range of our inflatable boat, we weren't able to get out to where the dorado were supposed to be," Rumble said, "but the truth is that everyone we spoke with pointed us in a different direction. We did fish for them around Isla San Ildefonso, over the reef areas off Punta Pulpito, and in the waters to the south of there. The pickings were slim. Our better success came when we parked over the reefs.
"We split our time between offshore trolling, deep reef bait fishing, near shore trolling, and near shore bait fishing. We threw in some night fishing to round things out."
Rumble noted that Highway Mex 1 was in good condition during the drive down the Baja peninsula to Mulege.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Jeremy Lee of Irvine, Calif., reported on 2 days of fishing by his group at Bahia de los Angeles with Capt. Pancho for about 12 quality dorado caught at the south end of offshore Isla Angel de la Guarda, including a nice bull dorado hooked by Peter Oh of Long Beach, Calif. "We fished live mackerel," Lee said. "It was a nice bull pushing 60 pounds at least. After hooking one dorado on the troll, the entire school followed. We could see them swimming around the boat. It was the most amazing thing. We caught around 12 large dorado before filling up the cooler and being forced to retire early. The water was probably around 75 degrees and calm. The first day raised the bar of my entire fishing experience."
A second day of fishing local Bahia de los Angeles islands produced about 10 firecracker yellowtail, mostly on iron, plus some random smaller cabrilla, barracuda, spotted bay bass, and 2 more dorado at the end of the trip. "This day was definitely harder fishing and the yellowtail seemed hard to come by," Lee said. "We had trouble making bait and ended up with only a few mackerel. We saw other boats picking up yellows but not in abundance. We ended the day by trolling for dorado with the last 2 dead macks in the bait tank, and we finished nicely, catching 2 dorado. There were quite a few boaters out in the water this day."
Lee noted 2 major accidents seen during the Baja drive back to the U.S. "One accident was a big-rig that flipped on its side across a portion of the 2-lane highway between the Bahia de los Angeles turnoff and San Quintin," he said. "The other accident was of a car that apparently went over the side of the mountain between San Quintin and Ensenada. Be careful driving to and fro guys!"
Also fishing on the trip was Mark Lee of Long Beach, Calif.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Larry Gibbons of Tucson, Ariz., reported on 2 days of fishing out of San Carlos aboard the charter boat No Le Hace with Capt. Juan Tirado, for a catch including released fish of 8 dorado of 20 pounds or less, in 85-degree water off the north end of Isla San Pedro Nolasco on the first day, and a marlin measured at 102 inches long with a 46-inch girth near Kino Bay the second day. Also fishing aboard the No Le Hace were Bill Updike and Gabriel Grajya.
During the first day's fishing, Gibbons said, "We caught the small dorado at a heading of 240 degrees out of San Carlos and fishing to the north point of the island. Off the north point was water that was even a deeper blue than what we observed at 240. The dorado were biting on ballyhoo and artificials in black-and-green and bright colors. We dove twice at the north tip of San Pedro Island and the water temp was 86 degrees."
The large marlin caught the second day was a first-ever for Bill Updike. "In the last 3 years of fishing I have only kept 3 marlin, one each year," Gibbons said. "We decided to keep this one because it was Bill’s first and because of its size. He fought the fish for 25 minutes."
JSAN CARLOS, MEXICO: on Jen Charters of San Carlos reported 2 blue marlin and a nice bull dorado landed by the charter boat JonJen II early in the week but slower action on the days immediately following. "For the rest of the fishing week some boats were getting a few small dorado," JonJen said. "These small dorado we are seeing are the offspring of the April and May dorado. Maybe one of the females we released in early May was the one who spawned."
The charter boat Catch-22 reported a catch including released fish of 4 dorado, plus 2 sailfish landed on a triple hookup.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Lalo Munoz of Masatun Charters at San Carlos reported on an outing aboard Jack Rice's boat Spare Parts for a first-ever blue marlin landed in 84-degree water while fishing just south of Isla San Pedro Nolasco.
"We started on 190 degrees to 20 miles and nothing," Munoz said. "We decided to go across to 250 from Marina Real. We ran through a commercial fishing boat's longline for one knockdown so we started for the reef and bang! The right rigger bends and almost touches water. The beautiful blue jumps across all our lines, then back across, and then towards the boat. Jack hit the throttle and it was game on. Forty minutes later, the marlin came to leader for the third time and a perfect release by Steve Pringle from the boat Flying Low. It was my first blue marlin. The captain and leader man did a perfect job. Thanks to Jack Rice and his boat and Steve Pringle."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported Aries Fleet charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid finding improved fishing conditions for an average of 2 to 3 sailfish per outing plus good counts of dorado averaging 25 to 30 pounds and yellowfin tuna. Five blue marlin of 200 to 250 pounds were also landed and 3 of them released. Mazatlan fishing area weather was mostly cloudy in the low-90s, with some showers, mostly calm seas, and water temperatures even at 82 to 83 degrees. Offshore boats fished 18 to 30 miles out of Mazatlan, mostly to the south, using rigged baits for billfish, feathers for tuna, and ballyhoo baits for dorado.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet said Mazatlan fishing boats found good numbers of sailfish and dorado, plus improving action on yellowfin tuna. "The best fishing is still 10 to 30 miles offshore of Mazatlan," Hernandez said. "We are random trolling, as well as fishing the buoys for dorado." The Mazatlan fishing area had some rain but was fishable daily. Top Flota Bibi Fleet outings during the week included a run by the Delalande family of Paris, France, with Capt. Ramon for 5 sailfish released on 7 hits plus 2 dorado. The sailfish were hooked on ballyhoo and mullet baits, and 1 of them on a lure, Hernandez said.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said Ixtapa fishing slowed down over the full moon period as boats still managed 1 to 2 sailfish per outing. "The blue water is still close to the beach," Kunze said. "All conditions are leading to excellent fishing at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo. One to 2 sailfish per boat is not all that bad." Dorado and tuna did not show up in local fish counts.
Inshore waters were clear following a period without rainstorm runoff, as boats did well on jacks. "It's an ideal inshore fishing situation for roosterfish and they are responding," Kunze said. "There is also very good fishing for large jack crevalle to about 20 pounds."
Ixtapa fishing area weather was humid and partly cloudy in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 80 to 84 degrees.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 15 sportfishing outings by the El Cid Caribe fleet out of Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 54 Atlantic barracuda, 4 mutton or dog snapper, 8 red snapper, 7 triggerfish, 3 bonito, 1 dorado, and 1 king mackerel. "It was another smorgasbord fishing week at Cancun," Edwards said. Cancun fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-90s, with light surface winds and afternoon chop, and the water temperature stable at 85 degrees.
MEXICO: Cathy Sparta sent information regarding the fishing lure described as the "Mystery Jig" in articles by Mexico fishing writer Gene Kira after a sample was given to him at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo by Capt. Luis Maciel, who said he had lost track of where he got the excellent tuna lures and had been unable to obtain more of them.
Eventually, the source of the elegantly formed jigs was traced to the old S&G Tackle Company in New York that was operated by Cathy Sparta's father Bob Sparta and his partner Gary Goldberg, who was initially misidentified as Gary Goldstein.
Cathy Sparta described the history of the slender, s-curved metal jig, which has a triangular cross-section and the letters "S&G VK3" impressed on one of its surfaces, saying, "I am the owner of S&G Tackle Co. My parents, plus my brother have passed away. I could not run the company, not to mention learning all the machinery. You were dead-on when you recognized that the mold was old. That's because the mold caster died also.
"The name S&G Tackle Co. stands for Sparta & Goldberg, not Goldstein. They were the best fishermen on the East Coast. My dad's name was Robert Sparta, and he caught a world-record tuna off of Montauk, 1,200 pounds.
"There is no mystery jig. I have the company seal, know the alloy to mix, and how to hand-bend. My father's obituary is on the New York Times website. He worked there all his life while inventing S&G and playing golf."