LORETO, MEXICO:Baja fishing operations were briefly interrupted early in the week by Tropical Storm Julio which landed at Cabo San Lucas with some heavy rain and winds to 50 m.p.h. before running northward about halfway up the Sea of Cortez and dissipating near Santa Rosalia.
At Loreto, Don Bear said dorado action rebounded after the slow period he experienced the previous week. "I was too hasty last week in declaring that the dorado had abandoned Loreto," Bear said. "Apparently, they just went on a 3-day vacation."
Part-time locals John and Howard Moorers returned to the Loreto downtown marina by 10 a.m. after landing 16 dorado with 20 baits on a single stop.
Immediately following the passage of Julio, Loreto's Capt. Paulino Martinez when out on his boat Dorado Fumador and reported dorado concentrations everywhere on floating debris. With his fly fishing client targeting billfish only, Martinez was forced to pass up the easy dorado and found 4 sailfish landed on the fly in 4 days, plus other sailfish hooked and lost.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Loreto's Baja Big Fish Company reported continued very good dorado action as Julio moved up the Sea of Cortez and approached town. "Little has changed in numbers of dorado and their willingness to take baits," Bolles said. "But earlier, the full moon affected the quality of the dorado bite and the dorado being caught were consistently small, under 20 pounds and averaging 12 pounds."
LORETO, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 26, 2008, Patty Zapata of Loreto's Hotel Oasis reported several days with no pangas going out due to weather in advance of Julio. But just before the storm's arrival, 1 panga fishing 3 days scored 14 sailfish plus 16 dorado of 17 to 45 pounds. "The fishermen had double and triple hookups while trolling mackerel and bigeye baits," Zapata said.
Loreto fishing area weather prior to the passage of the storm was excellent, as boats fished 20 miles north of Isla Coronado and 20 miles northeast of Puntas Diablo and Mangles in water temperatures of 85 to 86 degrees.
LORETO, MEXICO: For the period ending Aug. 19, 2008, Bud Smith of San Jose, Calif., reported on 5 days of Baja fishing at Loreto by his group with Capt. Tito for easy 25 to 43-pound dorado limits plus catch-and-release on 4 days, 1 marlin landed, and 1 sailfish lost. During periods of fishing north of town, straight out, and to the south, Smith said, "We limited out with ease and then did catch-and-release until we got tired or the bait ran out. The dorado were so thick, it was like a sure-catch pond. We dangled the live sardina and bigeye baits over the side of the boat and more than a dozen dorado would swarm up."
Loreto fishing area water temperatures were at 82 degrees. "This was my first trip fishing out of Loreto, and it was so much fun we are already looking to go back," Smith said.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported overcast mornings, calm seas with 2-foot swells and water temperatures averaging 63 degrees for his beach-launched pangas fishing at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda. Anglers going out with Vonny's Fleet Capts. Beto, Vicente, and Hector scored steady lingcod, red rockcod, and mixed bottom fish, plus some bonita, good-sized Humboldt giant squid, and a few yellowtail of mostly firecracker size but including one 17-pound forkie landed by Sam Simonian and his son Greg.
Other anglers fishing on Vonny's Fleet pangas during the week included Mike Figueroa, Agustin Quintero, Alberto Quintero, Destiny Segovia, Brian Unk, Erl Jackson, and Won Choi.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Ensenada sportfishing boat Bad Dog reported on an offshore run from Marina Coral for easy Mexico fishing limits of dorado at the 238 spot, plus a mako shark and a striped marlin that died during the fight.
"The marlin was caught at GPS numbers 31.34 117.16 in the same area as the dorado," Ross said. "The water temperature was 71.5 degrees. Of major interest is the fact that these lat-longs were precisely on a chlorophyll break on the Terrafin chart for the local Ensenada area. This will make you a believer to study these charts."
Ross described the good dorado action found at the 238 spot, saying, "We arrived at the 238 at daybreak. At 0930 we found our one and only kelp paddy and it was an aquarium full of dorado, also known as mahi-mahi. We landed easy Mexican limits with the small mackerel we received from Mike at Ensenada Live Bait. Every mackerel was a dorado, as schools of fish swam under our boat by the dozens. As we drifted away from the paddy, the school followed our boat with the engines off. A mako shark stopped the bite until we took him out, and then the dorado came back on full force.
"The marlin lure was a Sevenstrand Tuna Clone 300, now out of production, with a hook that never fails to dig in deep on marlin and wahoo. It has a diamond cut to the edge and I've never found them again since my initial buy many years ago. It cut through bone and came out the same side, buttoning the fish."
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort, on the Baja coast south of Ensenada, reported continued good surface fishing around the Soledad Reef as boats fished in good sea conditions, with light afternoon winds, small swell, and just a few clouds in the mornings.
"The surface bite continues to be good," Saenz said. "Luis Perez and his group from Tijuana went out fishing in 3 pangas. Two of the pangas returned within an hour with their first-time fishermen all seasick. But Luis stayed out fishing with Capt. Marcos and came back with full Mexican limits of assorted bottom fish and lots of bonita and barracuda. He had enough fish to feed 30 people for dinner. Other pangas fishing in the area brought in yellowtail."
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Jonathan Smith of San Diego, Calif., reported on a Baja fishing run to Erendira south of Ensenada with trip partner Andre Jackson, for action with Capt. Poncho of Castro's Camp for Mexico fishing limits of lingcod, halibut, red rockcod, whitefish, salmon grouper, calico bass, and bonito, all caught on white Scampis and squid. "It was the best trip ever," Smith said. "I can't wait to go back. The rooms were nice and the staff at Castro's were professional."
Coastal Baja fishing water in the main fishing area about 6 miles north of Castro's Camp had light afternoon wind and chop, with the water temperature averaging 58 to 62 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas at San Quintin reported on 25 boats fishing during the week, for Mexico sportfishing limits or near limits on yellowtail and white seabass plus mixed bottom fish. Anglers fishing during the week included Eddie Delhoya and his family who went out with Capt. Miguel on the charter boat Pelicano for 3 white seabass and limits of mixed yellowtail, rockcods, bass, and whitefish.
San Quintin fishing area weather was "picture perfect," with calm seas and no wind.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing at San Quintin said boats fishing during the week included 3 outings by Danis Mantei and his group with Don Eddie's Capt. Juan Cook, for average results and Mexican limits of sandbass, bottom fish, a couple of yellowtail, and 1 seabass, but a spectacular fourth day, with San Quintin Capt. Horacio Acosta, for a catch of 15 white seabass to 59 pounds. On their final day, Melville said, "They were fishing over by Pabellon in 61-degree water temperatures. There were lots of San Quintin boats fishing in that area and they all caught white seabass. They were using Krocodiles and live bait."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Les Heil of Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast at La Bocana reported a strong bite for lots of smaller yellowtail of 4 to 10 pounds. "Pangas are catching 50-plus fish each," Heil said. "It's fun on light gear, and most of the yellowtail are being caught right in front of our bed-and-breakfast property."
Three anglers fishing a single morning out of Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast scored a release count of 102 yellowtail plus 36 bonita.
Dorado were also present along the Baja coast as boats caught fish up to 30 pounds from near the beach outwards to 2 or 3 miles.
"Birds are also diving right in front of the surf for mackerel chased by yellowtail," Heil said. "It's a good way to catch yellowtail off the beach, as I have done a few times."
Baja fishing water temperatures ranged from the high-70s to over 80 degrees, but Heil said, "So far the tuna have been elusive."
Heil noted that Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast is located on the open Pacific coast about 1 mile north of the La Bocana boca. "It's the second to last house north of town, going towards La Bocanita Point," he said.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Shari Bondy of Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion said yellowtail action firmed up last week and the season's first dorado was also landed, a 30-pound bull hooked by angler Leo Pasos of Ensenada, who went out with Capt. Juan Arce of Arce Bros. Sportfishing.
"They were trolling for yellowtail when the dorado took a sardine-colored Rapala on the surface just off Isla San Roque," Bondy said. "They had a double dorado hit but unfortunately they lost the biggest one!"
Arce Bros. Sportfishing boats fishing along the Pacific Baja coast at Bahia Asuncion also landed Mexican limits of medium-sized yellowtail, some larger bonita, and a good-sized grouper.
"The yellowtail bite at Bahia Asuncion is wide-open just off Islas Asuncion and San Roque," Bondy said. "Capt. Juan Arce on our panga Sirena caught over a hundred yellowtail this week plus dozens of big calico bass, some sheepshead, and lots of bonito. Fishermen reported seeing billfish and catching dorado and tuna only 5 miles offshore too. We are looking forward to another great week as the bigger yellowtail move in."
Baja fishing water conditions at Bahia Asuncion were calm, windless, and very clear at about 77 degrees.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Alejandro Rosas of Tijuana reported on an outing aboard Rene Gonzalez' boat El Mago from Puerto La Salina north of Ensenada for 4 albacore to 30 pounds and 3 yellowfin tuna caught on 2 kelp paddies. Also fishing aboard El Mago were Gonzales, Dante Laura, and Rosas' son-in-law Juan José Thomas.
"We solved the bait problem with a friend that went out from Point Loma and got enough bait for the two boats," Rosas said. "We met at specific coordinates at the 302 and the problem was solved."
Offshore Baja fishing waters were calm and windless in the low-70s, with a few clouds and the water temperature averaging about 72 degrees.
The final 2 albacore of the day were caught near the 9-Mile Bank after hearing radio reports. "We heard on the radio that they were getting yellowfin tuna beneath large schools of porpoise at the lower part of the bank west of the Coronado Islands," Rosas said. "We headed that way and did a little trolling with small feathers and caught 2 more albacore, but there was nothing beneath the porpoises."
Another trip by El Mago 2 weeks earlier produced dorado limits for smaller females caught on squid bait at the 302 spot.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Sal Pilato of San Pedro, Calif., reported on 6 days of fishing by his group on the Baja coast at Camalu, north of San Quintin, for Mexican sportfishing limits of rockcods, large whitefish, and lingcod, plus yellowtail seen but not hooked, with Leo Moreno's panga charter service. "We went fishing for 6 days and got our limits," Pilato said. "The weather and fishing were great, and hats off to a great dinner at Gaston's." Also fishing at Camalu with Pilato were Bob Morris, Tom Okamura, Emerson Holden, Andy Morris, and Richard Dudek.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: As Tropical Storm Julio approached the Magdalena Bay fishing area, Bill Erhardt of Loreto crossed over the Baja peninsula with his trailer boat Soledad and snuck out from Puerto Lopez Mateos for a catch including the first wahoo of the season for local boats.
"Since fishing action is slowing in Loreto, I have been keeping an eye on fishing conditions on the banks outside Magdalena Bay," Erhardt said. "With credible reports of a wahoo hooked outside San Carlos and another caught at San Juanico, satellite images showing surface water temperatures in the 80s, and an apparent window of good weather forecast as Julio approached Cabo San Lucas, I made a solo run out to the Thetis Bank on Sunday, August 24th.
"The Boca de Soledad exit from Magdalena Bay was fairly calm in advance of the storm and the offshore wind was less than 10 knots all day with swells at about 6 feet and an interval of 10 seconds.
"Although the sky was an ominous gray to the south, fishing conditions at the Thetis Bank were good. The surface water temperature was about 84 degrees.
"Trolling for about 4 hours yielded 1 dorado, 2 small wahoo caught, and 1 other wahoo that bit me off."
Erhardt said he saw no marlin or yellowfin tuna during the trip and he returned to Boca de Soledad just as the first showers from the Julio arrived.
"That night, the skies opened in Puerto Lopez Mateos, Loreto, and in particular in Ciudad Insurgentes," Erhardt said. "This was my first time using the new launch ramp at Puerto Lopez Mateos. It sure is nice not to have to wallow in the mud along the river bank and try to guess where the slope of the bank will accommodate a trailer on a given tide."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said last week's tropical weather dropped enough rain in the Magdalena Bay area to flood about one-third of the towns of Ciudad Constitucion and Ciudad Insurgentes. "The inhabitants of Ciudad Insurgentes found it necessary to place sandbags at some buildings and several families suffered material losses," Graham said. At Magdalena Bay, boats were kept from fishing during the period of rough weather, Bob Hoyt of Mag Bay Outfitters at Puerto Lopez Mateos reported. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was in the mid-90s, with mostly cloudy skies, wind to 10 knots, and the water temperature at 60 to 76 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 32 outings during a weather-shortened week by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 62 dorado, 72 yellowfin tuna, 19 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, and 1 wahoo. "The rains from Julio had little effect on offshore Cabo San Lucas fishing and may have even improved the overall action," Edwards said. Cabo San Lucas sportfishing area weather following 6 inches of rain from the storm was in the low-90s, with mostly sunny skies, calm seas, murky water near shore caused by runoff, and water temperatures of 81 to 83 degrees. Most boats fished the Pacific side Golden Gate Bank area. Live bait available at the Cabo San Lucas marina was mostly caballitos.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 5 outings in a weather shortened week with a total of 10 anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 1 sailfish, 1 small skipjack, 2 small bonito, and 26 dorado of 8 to 25 pounds. The Cheer's fished with trolled live baits and hoochies on the Pacific side in water temperatures of 75 to 79 degrees and mostly calm seas but with some periods of swell and wind and a day of port closure on Sunday, August 24, 2008. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included Jack Gergen, Samuel McManas, Ethan Castaneda, Michelle McCracken, Don McCracken, Steve Steward, and Wendy Garcia.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing said, "Following the passage of Julio, catches of dorado at Cabo San Lucas have dramatically increased, with most of our anglers landing multiple gaffer dorado of 20 pounds or better." Yellowfin tuna of 25 to 40 pounds were also caught by Marlin Masters boats fishing 15 to 20 miles south and west of the arch. Billfish catches included sailfish, striped marlin, and some blue marlin, but no black marlin to date. "Our anglers have not yet gotten a black marlin during the 2008 season and we have had fewer blue marlin since the storm," Lowendick said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 8 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin of 180 pounds, 3 striped marlin, 29 yellowfin tuna of 30 to 40 pounds, and 11 dorado of 20 to 30 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 20, 2008, Jorge Narro of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported a 100 percent catch rate for all species combined, for a total of 41 sailfish or striped marlin landed and all but 1 released, 58 percent of boats landing yellowfin tuna of 15 to 90 pounds, and 39 percent with dorado. Inshore fishing was good for red snapper on the San Jose del Cabo banks. Top Pisces Fleet outings for the week included a quadruple release day for the charter boat Rebecca and triple releases for the Adriana and Tracy Ann. Most Pisces Fleet boats fished locally at the arch or on the Pacific-side Jaime and Golden Gate Banks. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was in the mid-100s, with very calm seas and the water temperature averaging 85 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 24, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas described local weather conditions as heavy tropical weather from Julio approached the tip of Baja California. "Cabo San Lucas started the week with hot and humid conditions and a little sprinkle of rain," Landrum said. "On Saturday night, Julio’s feeder bands moved into the Cabo San Lucas area and it really started to rain. Cabo San Lucas received a total of around 5 inches. Forecasts call for up to 6 inches this weekend. Today, on Sunday, Cabo is expecting winds to 35 m.p.h., with gusts to 50 m.p.h., and the port captain has shut down the Cabo San Lucas marina for the day. Near shore fishing waters on both sides of Cabo San Lucas are going to be discolored next week, as there is enough rain that the runoff is going to extend quite a way offshore. This usually means that wood and debris is washed down the arroyos, and that will give dorado some floating items to congregate under."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 41 combined La Playita fleet pangas sport fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina during a storm shorted week, with a catch including released fish of: 325 dorado, 42 yellowfin tuna, 16 huachinango, 246 skipjack, 4 sailfish, 1 striped marlin, 3 hammerhead shark, 11 cabrilla, 4 amberjack, 5 dog snapper, 3 grouper, 9 barred pargo, and 7 roosterfish. "Julio made landfall just to the west of Cabo San Lucas on Sunday afternoon and continued towards Mulege before it dissipated over the Sea of Cortez," Brictson said. "The storm brought 3 to 10 inches of rain, 50 m.p.h. wind, and very stormy ocean conditions. San Jose del Cabo sportfishing fleets didn't really return to full operation until Tuesday. Things are gradually returning to normal while we keep a close watch to the south for any new storms."
San Jose del Cabo fishing area water temperatures fell about 5 degrees during the storm, but were back up to 80 to 83 degrees by Tuesday and clearing rapidly.
Beach anglers fishing near Puerto Los Cabos and the San Jose del Cabo estero reported several snook caught to over 30 pounds, plus many juveniles to 10 pounds. Other anglers caught a few tripletail, or platinado in Spanish, to about 20 pounds while fishing with cut mullet baits from sunset into the first hour of darkness.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported good East Cape fishing conditions following the quick passage of weakening rough weather from Julio, with water temperatures in the high-80s, but with fishing still slow. "The fishing at East Cape has been described as 'double tough,'" Graham said. "Offshore fishing has been a scratch bite for sailfish and blue marlin, and a few small yellowfin tuna on the high spot in front of La Ribera."
Inshore fishing for a few small roosterfish and jacks was hampered by murky water caused by rain runoff and a residual storm swell that was keeping the shallow bottom stirred up. "You had to earn the few roosters and jacks still to be had," Graham said. "Many East Cape fishing boats canceled their trips at the last minute because of Julio."
Baja sportfishing weather in the East Cape area was humid at 100 degrees, with clear skies and water temperatures ranging from 76 to 87 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport diving service reported better than expected conditions on local reefs following rough conditions caused by the week's passing tropical storm. "We dived Punta Pescadero and Cerro Verde expecting poor visibility," Cazaly said. "I was pleasantly surprised by clear water with visibility of 40 to 60 feet and a water temperature at depth in the mid-80s."
Sea life sightings during the trip included greybar and burrito grunts, yellow snapper, parrotfish, green and jewel moray eels, sergeant majors, stone scorpionfish, and pinto lobster. "With so many colourful and interesting reef fish there was never a dull moment," Cazaly said. "It was a perfect place to bring new divers on their first training dives."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Brent Watson of Imperial, Calif., reported on 4 days of cruiser fishing by his group out of East Cape's Rancho Leonero for a catch including released fish with Capt. Hector on the charter boat Ansuelo II and Capt. Arturo on the Agua Dulce of: 1 blue marlin of 250 pounds that died during the fight, 1 striped marlin, 2 dorado, 10 yellowfin tuna to 45 pounds, 2 amberjack to 70 pounds, 10 triggerfish, 1 cabrilla, and 30-plus needlefish. "The fishing was a little slow, but we did catch fish each day out," Watson said.
Anglers fishing in Watson's group included Scott Weedman, Tony Miller, Brent Watson, Keoni Sundseth, Scott Weedman, Giang Nguyen, and Eric Caputo. Weedman caught the blue marlin that died during the fight and was kept.
"We also had 3 or 4 knockdowns on the troll for marlin with line running off the reels, but then gone," Watson said. East Cape fishing area sea conditions were excellent with clear skies, no swell, and no wind.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 22, 2008, Eddie Dalmau of Van Wormer Resorts reported on 310 East Cape charter fishing boats from Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a catch including released fish of: 830 dorado, 1,230 yellowfin tuna, 5 blue marlin, 56 striped marlin, 42 sailfish, 35 roosterfish, 3 wahoo, 12 cabrilla, 18 pargo, 30 triggerfish, 18 pompano, 30 skipjack, and 10 amberjack. East Cape fishing area weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 78 to 85 degrees. "Dorado and tuna were the species of the week again at East Cape," Dalmau said. "Anglers are hitting tuna schools about 8 miles off Punta Colorada to the south and near Punta Pescadero to the north. The dorado at East Cape were found just about everywhere you looked."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 21, 2008, Ana Lizeth Velazquez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 25 boats, with 86 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 3 blue marlin, 5 striped marlin, 10 sailfish, 9 dorado, 118 yellowfin tuna, 6 roosterfish, 10 jack crevalle, and 5 amberjack.
East Cape sportfishing area weather was in the low-100s, with water temperatures of 81 to 87 degrees. "It has been cloudy most of the week with big clouds up in the Sierra de La Laguna mountain chain," Velazquez said. "Our sportfishing fleet fished north in the Punta Pescadero area where the warmer water was early in the week, and then moved to La Ribera."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 24, 2008, John Ireland of East Cape's Rancho Leonero reported summer weather conditions, with hot mornings, cooler afternoons with rain showers, and water conditions flat at 82 to 86 degrees. Yellowfin tuna fishing was consistent and billfish action was led by blue marlin appearing in numbers at the end of the week.
"The billfishing lit up on Thursday with quite a few blue marlin in the 200-pound class released," Ireland said. "They were 4 to 6 miles off the Baja coast from Rancho Leonero to Los Frailes.
"A very stationary school of yellowfin tuna is also located 4 to 5 miles off Las Barracas. Tuna in the 5 to 15-pound class are feeding on the surface and anglers going to the bottom are picking up 30 pounders, all on live sardina or caballito baits."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International at La Paz said fish counts were still low following rough weather from Julio. "La Paz fishing hasn't been real great since Julio visited us over the weekend," Roldan said. "The storm wasn't any big whoop, but it did bring La Paz waters enough wind and rain to apparently affect the fishing. Occasionally, one panga will get into a good bite of dorado, but for the most part, the fishing has been scratchy for an occasional dorado, billfish, tuna, or whatever will bite. One day all the pangas came back with was bonito and triggerfish. That was it. Hopefully, the fishing at La Paz is on the mend. It seems to get a bit better each day."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz said his pangas were already fishing again, for a few dorado on the day after the passage of Julio. The day after that, yellowfin tuna were found again by pangas running out to Isla Cerralvo and the 88 Bank. "But there is a lot of current, and we didn't catch dorado out there," Hernandez said.
Fishing conditions on La Paz' Las Arenas side were returning to normal by midweek. "We really don't have any complaints about the tropical storm," Hernandez said. "It was more of a benefit than a problem."
At midweek, pangas running to the south point of the island were beginning to catch some dorado in addition to tuna. But pangas checking the action at the north end of the island scored zeros.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Bill Coffman of Ojai, Calif., and Bahia Coyote south of Mulege relayed a tropical storm report from his Mulege neighbor Patsi Hodges. "Mulege was hit badly by Julio but not as badly as with John," Hodges said. "There is a lot of flooding. All the junk from the runoff, as well as what washed in from the bay, is just ugly. The highway to the top of the hill was out in four places, mostly with rocks over it. Traffic is just now beginning to pass again but very slowly."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Brenda Goodson of the Las Casitas Hotel in Santa Rosalia said she placed second in the town's 18th Annual Dorado Tournament held Aug. 15-17, 2008, with a 16.9-kilo dorado caught while fishing with a replacement captain. "My captain, Guerito Gallagos, blew a transmission the day before so I found a squid fisherman, Capt. Adrian, who is a friend of Francisco Meza from San Lucas," Goodson said. "He is from Sinaloa and fishes here in Santa Rosalia for 2 months for squid each season and then returns to Topolobampo with his panga. He had never fished for dorado here, but as I found out later, he sure can gaff.
"We headed for Isla Tortuga after making about 35 baits in the harbor. We caught one dorado and threw it back, not a keeper for sure. We got a hit about as hard as a marlin hits and I thought I had a marlin but my captain yelled 'dorado que grande.'
"It took me about 25 minutes to land the dorado. Since Isla Tortuga is 1 hour-plus away from Santa Rosalia, we headed in.
"I have entered the tournament 5 times with 4 different captains since I moved to Santa Rosalia 9 seasons ago.
"I took second place a few years back fishing with Isla San Marcos Mike Kanzler, fished 2 times with Ed Hogan, winning first place last year, and got this year's second place with Capt. Adrian. The dorado gods sure have been with me. I enjoy the tournament, and the guys finally have been accepting of me being the only woman to have ever entered, and won."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Syd Lindsay of San Lucas Cove noted that the nearby town of Santa Rosalia, 10 miles north of the cove on Baja's Mex 1 Transpeninsular Highway and the location of one of Baja's most notorious Pemex gas stations, now has four Pemex stations. "A fourth station opened just a week ago, north of the station by the marina," Lindsay said. "Isn't it something that for who knows how many years we were at the mercy of one station and now we have four to chose from. I do not know anyone who goes to the old station."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Louie Prieto of Ontario, Calif., reported on a 6-day fishing trip to the Sea of Cortez Midriff islands aboard the San Felipe panga mothership Tony Reyes, returning to port on Aug. 22, 2008, with charter master Roger Cortez, 26 anglers, and good results on yellowtail and plenty of mixed fish species.
"The Tony Reyes mothership fishing trip from San Felipe has been on my to-do list," Prieto said.
"Upon arriving at the San Felipe harbor where the Tony Reyes was docked, we unloaded our gear from the trucks.
"The deck of the Tony Reyes looked like a Turner’s store with fishing tackle of all shapes and sizes. The fish didn’t have a chance.
"We headed south in pretty windy conditions.
"After making bait the night before, we fished between Islas Raza and Partida for pargo, yellowtail, and miscellaneous goldspotted bass, whitefish, etc., using dropper loops and 16 ounces of weight. The yellowtail were 150 to 220 feet deep and the currents would at times make it nearly impossible to stay down. Everyone caught at least 2 or 3 yellowtail for the morning run.
"At Isla San Lorenzo it was wide-open all morning on 12 to 20-pound yellowtail. There was tonnage of yellowtail between Isla San Lorenzo and Isla San Esteban. Everyone was catching fish. Some pangas finished the day with 30-plus yellowtail.
"It was close to, or over, 100 degrees on the water. We asked our Capt. Israel to take us for a boat ride to cool down. We trolled the outer edges of the reef and I managed a dink dorado. The count at the end of the day was 220 yellowtail for the boat.
"The evening produced some of the biggest Humboldt squid I have ever seen. It was cool seeing these squid attack each other from the second deck of the Tony Reyes.
"On day three, for whatever reason the yellowtail fishing slowed way down.
"On our final day of fishing, we headed out pretty early for the Golden Reef. It was real slow for most of us but a couple of pangas snuck out to a couple of secret grouper holes.
"We arrived back at San Felipe and there was a well organized unloading of fish, ice chests, and gear. I was very impressed on how well organized the whole mothership trip went. Tony Reyes runs a very professional and well organized fishing operation. There was plenty of food including appetizers that consisted of sushi yellowtail, yellowtail belly ceviche, and triggerfish ceviche, all very tasty. There was plenty of ice, water, and cold beer. I don’t believe there was one person who didn’t have an awesome time on this fishing trip."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Larry Gibbons of Tucson, Ariz., reported on a slow trip with no fish landed during an outing from San Carlos on Aug. 23, 2008, aboard the boat No Le Hace with Capt. Juan Tirado. "We fished all around Isla San Pedro Nolasco with no luck," Gibbon said. "On artificials, we had one dorado strike and one striped marlin strike, but neither of the fish were landed. The marlin hit a light colored lure consisting of oranges and yellows."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 10 Aries Fleet offshore charter boat outings from Mazatlan's Marina El Cid during a weather shortened week, with a catch including released fish of: 5 sailfish, and many Mexico fishing limits of dorado. Five inshore super pangas had a catch of: 6 red snapper, and 32 dorado. "Mazatlan was very slow on the anglers this week," Edwards said. "A couple of port closure weather days took their toll on the fish report. Still, there were some good dorado caught up to 50 pounds and a number of Aries Fleet boats reported dorado limits." Offshore billfish counts were slower during the week.
Mazatlan fishing area weather was mostly cloudy in the mid-80s, returning to good sea conditions, light tropical breezes, and water temperatures even at 81 to 82 degrees.
Aries Fleet boats fished on current breaks 8 to 10 miles off Mazatlan for dorado, and 12 to 20 miles out for billfish.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Earlier, Tadeo Hernandez of Mazatlan's Flota Bibi Fleet said, "Fishing continues hot for sailfish and dorado, but unfortunately, there are not a lot of people fishing in Mazatlan. The weather is like every summer, 85 to 95 degrees, with high humidity some days, and the water temperature in the 87 to 88-degree range. There have been occasional rains in the early mornings, but the harbour of Mazatlan has open daily."
Flota Bibi Fleet charters fished 10 to 30 miles offshore with mullet baits and lures for billfish and ballyhoo baits and 8-inch squid baits for dorado. A few small tuna were also caught. Inshore boats caught red snapper and corvina of 8 to 15 pounds using live shrimp baits.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Sal Campanile of Tuna Time Sportfishing reported yellowfin tuna of 30 to about 100 pounds caught at and outside the El Banco and Roca Corbeteña offshore high spots, and a big cow-class tuna estimated at over 300 pounds seen but not hooked. "On Sunday we had a huge yellowfin miss our kite bait twice," Campanile said. "She never came back for a third swing and we had to run in since the weather was turning real ugly. Slow trolling goggle-eyes is a good bet, along with drifting over the sea mounts with baits on top, deep, and under the kite. Small skippies are money when we can get the smaller ones of 1 to 4 pounds."
Also present in Puerto Vallarta fishing waters were larger sailfish, black marlin, large pargo, and lots of big rainbow runner.
"The weather has really been great except for a few random storms," Campanile said. "There’s plenty of fishing action around Puerto Vallarta with bigger tuna moving in every day. The world record is right here and up for grabs."
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta noted fewer tourists in the area during the midsummer travel season. "Even though it’s not September yet, you can see a reduction in the number of people cruising Marina Vallarta," Gabruk said. "Just when the fishing gets serious here in Puerto Vallarta the people leave, except for the serious anglers. The number of charter boats going out from Puerto Vallarta during the last few weeks has dropped considerably."
Yellowfin tuna were active at El Banco, but with bait scarce in the area. "Yellowfin tuna were jumping all over the place," Gabruk said. ""Loading up the tuna tubes early with chorras or skipjack tuna baits was a wise move this week because if you didn’t have bait before you got out there, you wouldn’t get any. It’s a horrible thing to find you have 'flying tuna' everywhere and you can’t make bait. Tuna are everywhere but so are the bottlenose dolphins getting a free lunch on the baits you are trolling! The dolphin will eat a bait right up to the gills and the hook on its forehead, tricky devils. The bait you worked for in the bay would be eaten by Flipper's cousin when you got out there!"
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said blue water was just 6 miles out of Zihuatanejo bay but several days of wind held offshore sailfish counts to 1 or 2 per outing. "And nobody has been going out further than about 15 miles to look for tuna," Kunze said. About 1 boat out of 3 also returned with dorado of about 20 pounds or over.
"Capt. Santiago of the panga Gitana had an unusual catch of tripletail while fishing inshore," Kunze said. "His boat caught an even dozen of the tasty 6 to 8-pound fish. He found the tripletail around the river mouths under debris that had washed out."
Inshore fishing also produced continued good results on roosterfish and jack crevalle.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was cloudy and humid in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 80 to 84 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported very few boats fishing at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo during the past 2 weeks, but those boats going out scoring dorado and sailfish. Continued runoff from summer rains sustained bait fish concentrations near shore that were attracting roosterfish. "The inshore roosterfish bite has picked up steam. There are some good opportunities to target the bigger roosters," Edwards said. Ixtapa fishing area weather was humid at 90 degrees, with runoff debris in the water and water temperatures at 83 degrees inshore and 85 degrees offshore. Live bait supplies were good.
Carlos Cortez of Evanston, Ill., reported on an outing with Capt. Jose aboard the charter panga Tarpon for a catch of 1 nice roosterfish of 28 pounds on a live caballito bait, plus "8 pesky needlefish" while fishing just north of Ixtapa.
MEXICO: A regular Baja angler, who fishes mainly on the Pacific side and eats fish at least several times per week, reported that he recently decided to have his blood mercury level checked, with startling results.
"As part of my annual checkup with my primary care physician, I requested a lab test for mercury," he said. "A physician friend warned me about this a year ago.
"I was called back immediately by my doctor's nurse who instructed me to stop eating fish, all fish, any fish, immediately. At that moment, I was eating a nice piece of swordfish.
"I tested 'very elevated' for mercury.
"The affects of mercury upon ones body is quite severe. I purchased some metal purging drugs, which is about all I can do.
"I have not found a doctor who knows anything about this other than standard text book crap. The symptoms are all related to the nervous system, all not good."
"I have eaten quite a bit of marlin and shark in my day, right up until this week. Fish is my main diet for all meals. I am going to cut down. Juvenile fish should be better. But, I sure as heck am going to eat a bluefin tuna if we get so lucky."