EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja fly fishing guide service at East Cape reported good offshore fly tackle action for dorado and yellowfin tuna last week. "We seem to have dorado everywhere, especially off Cabo Pulmo and they have been very cooperative," deBrown said.
"Most of the dorado are between 8 and 15 pounds but there are fish up to 40 pounds mixed in. The great bite for yellowfin tuna over the past several weeks has dropped off slightly, but we are starting to see some bigger yellowfin mixed in with the football-sized ones."
Top outings during the week included a panga run with fly tackle anglers Aaron Bertagnoui and Chris Currah more than a dozen dorado, some bonita, a roosterfish, and a striped marlin landed with a 10WT rod and 20-pound leader.
East Cape beach fishing was fair for smaller roosterfish, pompano, ladyfish, and jack crevalle. Few boats fished inshore.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 29, 2008, Eddie Dalmau of Van Wormer Resorts reported on 286 East Cape charter fishing boats from Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a catch including released fish of: 880 dorado, 910 yellowfin tuna, 3 blue marlin, 20 striped marlin, 36 sailfish, 25 roosterfish, 4 wahoo, 10 cabrilla, 24 pargo, 40 bonito, 18 pompano, 35 skipjack, and 8 amberjack. East Cape fishing area weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures at 78 to 85 degrees. "Dorado numbers have been consistent," Dalmau said. "They may not be as big as everyone would like, but they are out there in large numbers. It doesn’t matter which way you go, because they are everywhere. The majority of the dorado have been under 30 pounds, but you may come across the occasional 30 to 50-pound bull. There were not too many billfish landed this week, but with all the dorado and tuna in the water no one is complaining."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said small yellowfin tuna were found a few miles off La Ribera and plenty of school-sized dorado were scattered throughout the East Cape fishing area.
Beach fishing was hampered by "hordes of needlefish" concentrated in water made cloudy by recent swell activity, but Graham said, "There are schools of sardinas on many East Cape beaches that are attracting small jacks and roosterfish along with the pesky needles."
East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-90s, with water temperatures at 76 to 87 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 28, 2008, Marisol Verdugo of Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort said fleet boats did well on yellowfin tuna of 25 to 30 pounds caught off La Ribera and Punta Pescadero. Offshore fishing for blue marlin, sailfish, and some striped marlin was close-in for East Cape boats going both north and south and some boats found good inshore action for red snapper at La Ribera and the Punta Colorada lighthouse.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 29, 2008, John Ireland of East Cape's Rancho Leonero reported blue water at 83 to 85 degrees found 2 miles off the beach and fishing improved for tuna, dorado, and blue marlin. "Blue marlin fishing has improved, with at least one per day released by the fleet in the 200 to 300-pound range," Ireland said. "Schooling dorado in the 10 to 20-pound class are 1 to 3 miles off the beach. Yellowfin tuna schools are pretty close, 15 miles off, between Rancho Leonero and Punta Pescadero. Anglers are taking 50 to 80 pounders on live sardinas and smaller football tuna are in a very compact, stationary school, located 4 miles off La Ribera."
Top outings for the week included 3 days of panga fishing by 11-year-old Scott Szatkowski for a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 1 sailfish, 5 yellowfin tuna to 25 pounds, and 2 dorado to 15 pounds.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 21, 2008, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 313 charter boats from combined fleets including Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, Punta Colorada, Buena Vista Beach Resort, Rancho Leonero, and Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort, with 930 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 12 blue marlin, 21 striped marlin, 47 sailfish, 163 dorado, and 467 yellowfin tuna. "East Cape fishing fell off a bit," Moyers said. "This week saw decent yellowfin tuna counts and a steady but slow dorado bite, but the billfish bite is mighty slow. The yellowfin tuna bite has pretty much been sustaining us. Anglers reported ahi action off Cerro Verde, Punta Pescadero, La Ribera, Los Cerritos, Las Barracas, and Cabo Pulmo, on sardina bait, hoochies, and cedar plugs."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported continued good fishing for his beach-launched pangas at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda, with regular Mexican sportfishing limits or near limits on bonita, mixed bottom fish, lingcod, sugar bass, Johnny bass, and barracuda, plus 2 nice yellowtail of 25 pounds and some Humboldt giant squid.
"This week our pangas had more good fishing," Villarino said. "Not bad."
Anglers fishing with Capts. Vicente Flores, Hector Zamora, and Beto Zamora during the week included: Rudy and Trish Perez and their children Christopher and Monica, all of Arcadia, Calif.; Robert Ochoa of Bakersfield, Calif.; "Calico" Brian Foley of Campo La Joya at Ensenada; and Garry Orwig and his fishing partner Moises.
Ensenada fishing area weather was mostly sunny in the mid-70s, with morning clouds, calm winds, ocean swells at 3 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 62 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Ensenada sportfishing boat Bad Dog at Marina Coral reported on an offshore run for good mixed lure and bait action around the 295 spot and a kept fish count of: 5 albacore to 24.6 pounds, 1 yellowfin tuna of 21.5 pounds, and 1 yellowtail kept. The Bad Dog found a good yellowtail concentration on a kelp paddy at GPS 31.30 117.24, but just one biter. "At 11:30 a.m., I found a kelp paddy loaded with yellowtail in the 10-pound range," Ross said. "There were hundreds of them. They charged the boat. My wife, Gail, hooked one on live bait but we couldn't hook another one. This took place as I worked my way further south. The live bait was a mix of large sardines and small mackerel from Mike's."
Ross noted few fish in southern offshore Ensenada fishing waters. "I had been curious about the southern Ensenada waters which includes the 1140 Finger and the Lower 500 areas," Ross said. "As I cruised by the top of the Animal Basin and over the top of the 1140 Finger, I arrived at the Lower 500 without any further action. That whole southern area was a desert and we returned back to Marina Coral.
"It was a fabulous day on small seas of 1 to 2 feet and less than 10 knots of wind until the afternoon when it picked up to 3 feet and a little bit more than 10 knots."
Offshore Ensenada fishing water temperatures averaged about 71.5 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Erasmo Carrizales of Ensenada Sportfishing Works at the downtown marina reported on 2 outings by the charter boat Morgan James, with a catch at offshore and local fishing areas of: 7 albacore, 8 yellowfin tuna of 30 to 40 pounds, 20 yellowtail to 26 pounds, 5 dorado, 32 bonita, 6 large barracuda, 8 calico bass, 30 assorted bottom fish, and 1 mako shark.
"We have been fishing with Dolphin electric reels and have gotten a lot of great top fish with them," Carrizales said. "Our customers with back problems or in wheel chairs love them."
Carrizales reported on 2 other outings by Ensenada charter boats, with a combined catch of: more than 37 yellowfin tuna, 20 albacore, 25 dorado, 8 yellowtail, lots of mixed bottom fish, and 1 striped marlin.
Offshore Ensenada fishing waters were deep blue at 71 degrees, and Carrizales said, "The kelp paddies are full of dorado and yellowtail."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported more anglers at San Quintin last week, as 25 boats fished in good action on white seabass. "San Quintin's white seabass bite has really picked up to the south of the bay, in front of the Hotel La Pinta and further down at Socorro," Hillis said. "Large chrome Krocodiles seem to be the only thing the white seabass are hitting. There were also a few yellowtail and a lot of large barracuda mixed in with the white seabass, so San Quintin anglers may want to use a wire leader so they don't loose too many lures to the barracuda."
San Quintin fishing area weather was good, with calm seas at midweek. Top outings during the week included 3 days of Mexico fishing limits on white seabass, barracuda, and yellowtail by George Alfaro and his wife Saimi, who fished with Pedro's Pangas' Capt. Miguel.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing reported steady, good fishing for San Quintin charter boats, with catches including daily white seabass to 60 pounds. "Yesterday, Capt. Juan Cook took out 2 guys and they brought in 15 white seabass," Melville said. "Today, they are out fishing again, and they have more white seabass on the boat."
Two other outings by Capt. Cook with anglers John Hoglievina, Danny Howard, Angel de Guzman, and Trin Vanscyoc, produced Mexico fishing limits of mixed bottom fish on the first day, and 10 white seabass to 52 pounds the second day.
"They were fishing at Pabellon using Krocodiles," Melville said. "Capt. Juan said the water was great, the weather was great, and the fishing was great. One of the guys said it was a legendary day of fishing with Capt. Juan Cook."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Julio Meza of San Quintin reported on a family and friends outing by his boat Santa Monica with 2 white seabass of 40 and 67 pounds caught on trolled lures. "The water temperature was 68 degrees, with clear blue color, lots of bait, and birds working. There was no wind," Meza said.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Stan Vath of Oxnard, Calif., and San Quintin reported on top fish weights brought in during the 16th Annual Labor Day Campo de Lorenzo Tournament at San Quintin, with the biggest white seabass at 28 pounds, and the biggest lingcod at 19 pounds. Vath's boat fished in the tournament for Mexico sportfishing limits of yellowtail of 8 to 14 pounds on kelp paddies at 15 miles out or further. "San Quintin had great weather and a lot of fun," Vath said. "Lorenzo had Pancho’s Palapa roast a whole pig outside the Campo Lorenzo 'Wreck Room' where the awards banquet was held. Good eats!"
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Les Heil of Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast at La Bocana on the central Pacific Baja coast reported on an outing over the weekend for 15 dorado of 10 to 15 pounds caught about 15 miles out. "I went out with Pancho Espinosa, a local panguero whose father is one of the original cofounders of La Bocana village and the fish cooperativa," Heil said.
A previous outing by 2 anglers from the U.S. produced more than 40 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 30 pounds in a short-lived bite. "They reported that the tuna were everywhere and they loaded all the fish holds, including the live bait tanks with fish," Heil said. "The next day everyone went out but there was nothing to be found except by Juanchys who caught just one tuna. I went out with Pancho and got 8 dorados and 1 yellowtail but no tuna."
Another boat fishing out of La Bocana reported lures being bitten through. "It looks like wahoo are around as well in the same area as the tuna were," Heil said.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Jerry Davis of San Diego reported good yellowtail action during a run by his boat Isla Tortuga to the Middle Grounds fishing area at the Coronado Islands with his sons John and Alex. "We had multiple hookups on large sardines," Davis said. "We managed to land 5 yellowtail plus a lingcod, multiple rockcod, and bonita. Larger yellowtail were breaking us off on 30 and 40-pound test line and the seals continued to harass us all day long. The yellowtail were caught on the surface, on the bottom using 3-ounce sliding sinkers, and anywhere in the water column."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Jose Angel Pacheco of Cedros Outdoor Adventures reported on a charter fly-down Baja fishing trip to Isla Cedro in mid-August with anglers Anton Gerscher and Bob Grimes of San Diego, for 3 days of panga fishing that produced heavy action on bonito and barracuda, dozens of calico bass over 5 pounds, yellowtail to 22 pounds, and a 100-pound class black sea bass.
Sanchez forwarded comments about the trip by Gerscher, who said, "Today was one of the best single day's fishing in my whole life! Incredible is the only way to describe it. The hotel on Isla Cedros is nice, clean, neat, and comfortable. The restaurant El Marino has really good food and even nicer people. The only bad things I can think of are 1. We have to leave on Monday, and 2. Why have I never come here before?”
Fishing locations during the trip with Isla Cedros Capt. Enrique Arce included Bajo San Agustin between Islas Cedros and Natividad, Bajo el Morro southeast of Isla Cedros, and locations along the east side of the island.
"Capt. Enrique’s panga is big at 24 feet and his 75-h.p. outboard is powerful enough to get you around fast," Sanchez said. "It is easy to get mackerel for bait, but the truth is that at Isla Cedros we really didn't need it because all of the fish except one yellowtail were caught while yo-yoing with jigs."
Angler Bob Grimes on the trip said,"A nice thing about the island is that the east side is generally protected from prevailing winds that can make most of the coast of the Baja peninsula uncomfortable. Conditions for snorkeling or scuba diving there can be very good.”
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Barb Mason of Vernon, British Columbia, reported on a Baja fishing trip to Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion on the central Pacific coast, with a yellowtail caught by her panga scoring fourth place in a local tournament.
"Bahia Asuncion is a small fishing village on the Pacific side of Baja, Mexico," Mason said.
"We were invited for the Yellowtail Tournament in August by Shari and Juan of Bahiaasuncion.com They were truly great hosts.
"Tim Young and I had plenty of time to scout for the big yellowtail. We also headed out to San Roque to try our luck at shore fishing. We had the beach to ourselves.
"Tim caught a halibut and Kevin Quick a boca dolce. We found out later that day that the boca dolce was the first of the season. Tim and Kevin did rather well fishing off those rocks using a chrome Krocodile with scales.
"We met Ed who graciously asked Tim if he would care to join him and Juan for a day of calico bass fishing, jigging off the bottom with scampis.
"They were probably out fishing for 6 hours when Shari received a phone call from Juan saying they were heading back with their limit of calico bass and Tim had just landed the first yellowtail of the season.
"While the guys were busy cleaning fish, Shari was preparing her famous sushi along with her secret sauce.
"The rest of our 10-day stay at Bahia Asuncion was pretty much the same, except that we also had a fiesta, horse racing, surf board contests, beer guzzling competitions, and a carnival to contend with.
"Our last day was the yellowtail tournament, and we were ready. We had to be at the village launch at 7 a.m. with all the other pangas for the blessing by the padre.
"About 2 hours into our day Juan landed a yellowtail. We knew by the biggest grin on his face that we had a winner.
"For the rest of the day we struggled to land another yellowtail. Tim's red-and-white Rapala was all bent out of shape. It had done its job from all the scouting it had done.
"While coming to shore, Juan asked me if I would mind taking the yellowtail up to be weighed and I got the credit for catching the fish, in fourth place, and I had to accept the beautiful glass trophy and check. What a perfect ending for a perfect vacation! Bahia Asuncion has forever got a piece of my heart. The people and their hospitality are strong and pure. I would encourage anyone to take a trip to this outstanding paradise to see for themselves."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported few anglers fishing at Magdalena Bay last week, as some boats going offshore found small yellowfin tuna, dorado, and wahoo. "The fish are there for the taking, according to the few locals who ventured out," Graham said. Magdalena Bay area Mexican commercial fishermen caught some grouper, and more billfish were also being seen offshore. Fishing in the Magdalena Bay mangrove channels produced grouper, corvina, and a few snappers, but with very few boats looking for them. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was mostly clear in the high-90s, with water temperatures at 60 to 76 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 30 fishing days by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 26 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 48 yellowfin tuna of 15 to 20 pounds, and 118 dorado of mostly about 15 pounds plus some larger ones. "The dorado bite perked up considerably at Cabo San Lucas this week," Edwards said. "Good dorado catches were coming from the Pacific side."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-90s, with very good sea conditions and water temperatures at 82 to 83 on the Pacific side banks. Most boats fished on the Pacific side with live baits and strip baits working well on dorado. Live baits available at the downtown Cabo San Lucas marina were mostly caballitos, but mackerel baits could be caught at the Golden Gate Bank.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported a 99 percent catch rate for all fish species combined, with 56 percent of charters landing marlin or sailfish, 96 percent catching dorado of 15 to 40 pounds, and 21 percent with yellowfin tuna.
"It was a great week of fishing at Cabo for a mixed bag rather than exclusively billfish," Ehrenberg said, "with all but one boat catching fish. We could have called this the dorado fishing report, which is nice to see, as last year's dorado action was exceptionally slow. Pisces boats caught up to 12 dorado for a total of 288, and it was nice to see the smaller dorado released. Yellowfin tuna were found in the same fishing areas as the dorado and took cedar plugs and green colored lures."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was partly cloudy, with calm to moderate sea conditions and water temperatures averaging 85 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the previous week ending Aug. 27, 2008, Jorge Narro of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported a 92 percent overall catch rate for all species combined, with most boats landing tuna or dorado, plus billfish. "Pisces anglers caught a total of 26 striped marlin and 5 sailfish, all released," Narro said. "But dorado was actually the number-one fish in Cabo San Lucas this week, with 72 percent of Pisces charters catching 1 to 6 dorado in the 20 to 30-pound class." Yellowfin tuna were also caught by 64 percent of Pisces boats.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 4 fishing trips during the week with a total of 6 passengers, for a catch including released fish of: 36 dorado of 8 to 20 pounds, 9 bonito, and 1 skipjack. The Cheer's fished locally and up to 2 miles out on the Pacific and Sea of Cortez sides with both fly fishing tackle and trolled lures in water temperatures of 80 to 83 degrees and calm sea conditions. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included Bill and Patty Lynd of Arizona who fished 3 days, Larry Ghigo, and Rick Thoen.
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: 6 sailfish, 6 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 30 pounds, and 24 dorado of 10 to 45 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Pete Peters of Redondo Beach, Calif., reported on 3 days of fishing at Cabo San Lucas aboard the boat Blue Marlin with Capt. Luis Olascoaga and fishing partners Dick Selway and Rudy Ybarra for a catch including released fish of: 12 yellowfin tuna to 30 pounds, 15 dorado to 45 pounds, and 1 striped marlin. "We flew in directly after Tropical Storm Julio and the boat ride was rough in the mornings, but smoothed out later in the day," Peters said. "It was good to see the dorado start to return to the area. We fished the Margarita region, located about 7 to 8 miles past the old lighthouse going to the Pacific and about 10 miles off shore, and at the Jaime Bank. We have fished Cabo for the past 20 years. For the past 8 to 9 years we have gone down in August and have not been disappointed."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Geri Christman of Cabo San Lucas reported on a late-August outing with her husband Dave Christman on their boat EZ-DUZ-IT, for a catch of 8 yellowfin tuna including a large fish estimated in the 200-pound class while fishing in 81-degree water straight out from the arch at 180 degrees. "We had been fishing for 6 hours with very rough seas," Christman said. "We also caught a marlin that was tagged and released." Also aboard the EZ-DUZ-IT were Capt. Ernie and his son Ernie II.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Aug. 31, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said some charters were lost due to a late-morning port reopening on Monday following the closure of the port on Sunday due to the passage of Tropical Storm Julio. "At 10 a.m. on Monday the Cabo San Lucas port captain decided conditions were safe enough to allow the sportfishing fleet to go out," Landrum said. "But, of course, that was too late for many of the boats as anglers were not willing to wait at the dock for the possibility that he would open it up. Anyway, the weather cleared. Upon going to sea it was found that Pacific-side seas were at 3 to 5 feet, and on the Cortez side the seas were 1 to 3 feet. On Friday the Pacific side became even calmer with swells at 2 to 3 feet."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 41 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 132 dorado, 104 yellowfin tuna, 1 striped marlin, 4 rainbow runner, 4 hammerhead shark, 9 sailfish, 6 amberjack, 11 cabrilla, 19 pargo, 9 roosterfish, and 22 triggerfish. Bottom fishing was hampered by strong currents as pangas concentrated on the surface catch off Punta Palmilla but with skipjack a nuisance throughout the area.
"There wasn't much bottom fishing this week as strong currents made it tough to work the rock piles," Brictson said. "More often than not, it was skipjack that hit on the rock piles, and it's a lot of work to fight and release them since they are not good for eating.
"The pangas were fishing off Palmilla for good catches of dorado and yellowfin tuna, but some days the skipjack were hard to get through."
Sardina bait supplies were adequate but not plentiful as bait boats fished for them around the Puerto Los Cabos marina channel. "On some mornings, anglers had to wait up to 20 minutes to obtain bait," Brictson said.
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was humid, with water temperatures at 80 to 85 degrees and a weather eye out for any possible heavy tropical weather working its way up from the south as pangas fished in all directions in changeable currents and water conditions.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist John Snow reported on 2 beach fishing sessions and 4 pangas outings with Capt. Pata on the panga Salome, with a catch of 102 fish of 35 species including good action for 25 dorado to 45 pounds. Seven new species caught or collected on the Sea of Cortez and at the San Jose del Cabo river estuary included bluegill, an unknown goby, an unknown guavina, a smallwing flying fish, a Pacific sleeper, an unknown sleeper, and a blackspot wrasse.
Snow described a serendipitous species collection visit to the San Jose del Cabo river estuary, which had been opened to the sea by recent rains.
"This adventure started when we were on the way home from a day's panga fishing," Snow said.
"As we were coming back to La Playita, El Capitano yells back 'El rio es abierto.' A 50-yard-wide, 6-foot wall of water was pouring into the sea, and based on the turbulence, I estimated that it had been opened for about an hour.
"There was over a year’s collection of water in the estero and of course the fishes had a chance to thrive.
"I arrived at the estuary about 6:15 p.m., hoofing in from the Intercontinental Hotel. The locals were out in force with their cast nets, grouped in pods of six or seven, dad with net, mom with the 5-gallon bucket on shore, and three to six bambinos.
"A pod of three younger guys gave me the pick of their bucket. With great difficulty I did manage to get them to take 50 pesos for 3 fish.
"Up the lagoon, I approached a family group with a bucket being manned by Grandma. I selected 4 very small fish and tried to give Grandma five dollars. Someone translated, 'Please take fish, no money needed.' She sent the money back with a four-year-old.
"I helped several local young guys catch perhaps one hundred 6 to 8-inch tilapia that had been washed out to sea, couldn’t handle the pounding surf or salt water, and were being beached with each wave. At the end of the journey one guy offered me a live tortuga that he had in his bucket to take home for dinner!"
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said his pangas fishing at La Paz found conditions recovering after the passage of the recent tropical storm. "It seems like we're getting back on track after Julio disrupted things at the end of August," Roldan said.
"Dorado have been more eager and there's a lot of billfish in the water although some days they want to bite and other days they just look at the baits.
"Roosterfish have been the saving grace many days for light tackle action and we're seeing more pargo in the counts as well. It's real tropical here at La Paz right now. We have blazing sunshine and humidity with afternoon showers to cool things down. La Paz fishing waters are a bath-like 88 degrees."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz said his pangas launching on the Las Arenas side found improved action for medium dorado of 15 to 25 pounds while fishing north off Las Cruces following last week's rough tropical weather. "We also caught yellowfin tuna to the south off Punta Pescadero," Hernandez said. "They're still small, but they have been consistent for the past several days. We haven't caught anything big in recent days, but we're waiting for them to come."
La Paz fishing area weather was cloudy and humid in the mid-90s, with some periods of rough seas but no rain. "There is plenty of bait around Isla Cerralvo, but sometimes it's difficult to get it," Hernandez said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jamie Lawson of San Diego reported on fishing at La Paz with Fisherman's Fleet during a period of unsettled tropical weather that kept pangas from running far offshore, but with inshore fishing producing small tuna and barred pargo of about 15 pounds at the south end of Isla Cerralvo, 1 dorado of about 35 pounds on the Ensenada de los Muertos buoys, and some good roosterfish action at the Punta Arena de la Ventana lighthouse that included a very large roosterfish estimated at 75-pounds that hit an unusual Spanish mackerel bait on 20-pound line during fishing with Fisherman's Fleet's Capt. Lalo Lucero.
Recounting his landing of the trophy-sized roosterfish, Lawson said, "The only bait we could muster was a lone Spanish mackerel, not very common in these parts but a good bait on the Pacific side, that we nursed throughout the day. It was engulfed by the 75-pound roosterfish within a minute of starting the troll, leading to one of the most grueling battles in my memory.
"We had dropped the mackerel in, and he was a lively one, swimming alongside the boat and darting this way and that.
"I asked Lalo if had any experience with using Spanish mackerel for roosters, and he said that he hadn't, but about a minute into the troll, the clicker went off. I counted to seven and lifted. Suddenly there was a limpness in the line. The fish was headed straight for the boat. I reeled as fast as I could and the fish turned away. The spool was just spinning. The line was making that 'pling plung plang' sound that monofilament makes when it's about to part.
"Lalo occasionally fired up the engine, backing down on the fish so I could gain a bit of line, but for the most part he was relaxing at the transom and poking fun at me.
"Finally, the fish took a big circle around the boat, and we got a good look in profile.
"'This is a big one!' says Lalo.
"We settled into a repeating pattern, and finally the circles were all on one side of the boat, like with a big tuna.
"At last, the fluoro knot comes through the tip guide, Lalo lifts the fish out of the water just long enough for a photo, and then sets him free. 'Seventy-five pounds,' he says.
"The most unbreakable rule in 'Rooster Bill Mathias'' dogma is 'Never kill a roosterfish. Never ever ever!'
"We hold onto the fish's tail, push some water through its gills, and at last, it swims away.
"We zoom back to the launch area where the others have all been waiting for an hour, and we know for sure that there is a huge roosterfish in front of the lighthouse at Las Arenas, and he has a taste for Spanish mackerel."
LORETO, MEXICO: Patty Zapata the Hotel Oasis at Loreto said local fishing conditions returned to "excellent" last week after the passage of recent Tropical Storm Julio and sportfishing pangas found good dorado action in water temperatures of 85 to 86 degrees. Nine panga outings from the hotel produced a catch including released fish of: 146 dorado of 21 to 55 pounds, and 5 sailfish. Anglers fishing with Hotel Oasis Capts. Alfonso Susarrey, Martín Perpuli, Jesús Osuna Talamantes, and Servando Davis included Chuck and Jeff Naas, Tom Tanita, Bobby Smith, Jacki Smith, Frank Baker, Beverly Novak, Dacia Baker, Daneca Gray, John Novak, and Rob Novak. Hotel pangas fished mostly north of Isla Coronado during the week.
LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported very good fishing for a range of species following the storm. "Since the sea calmed after Tropical Storm Julio, big dorado have moved into the waters south of Loreto, and with them sailfish, marlin, thresher shark, and jack crevalle," Erhardt said.
"Not only are they present and putting on a show, along with occasional whales and porpoises and thousands of jumping rays, but they are biting. The fishing out of Loreto is as good right now as it has been at any time this year, and in terms of the quality of fish, in particular the big dorado, it is as good as I have ever seen it."
Four outings with trolled marlin feathers during the week by Erhardt's boat Soledad produced a catch including released fish of: 9 sailfish, 5 striped marlin, and 14 dorado, with about half of the dorado over 40 pounds and some in the high-40s.
"That's not an awful lot of fish, but the size of the dorado was remarkable," Erhardt said. "While the panga fleet continued to fish for dorado north and east of the Loreto marina under debris left by the storm, I fished south of town.
"Among the notable fish that I didn't catch was a big marlin that ran out about 350 yards of spectra and then spit the hook. Fishing conditions where I was were excellent all week with clear, blue water and no debris from the storm."
Loreto fishing area water temperatures were in the high-80s.
Other private boats finding good action at Loreto last week included Don and Diane Lindeleaf's Gottafish, Randy Hamman on his boat Little Jig, and Barry Wilkerson on his boat Rocket with Randy Hamman, but fewer tourist anglers were present in the area.
"It is ironic that many pangueros who had clients bidding for their services to catch dorado a month ago are now hanging around the marina without a customer in sight," Erhardt said. "Some of the best and most varied fishing out of Loreto is always in September and October and there are usually not many tourists here, but locals take advantage of it. For my money the best fishing on the Baja is in the fall out of Loreto and the overlapping season on the Pacific banks outside Magdalena Bay that extends through the end of the year, and, it is just beginning!"
LORETO, MEXICO: Michael Jones of San Jose, Calif., reported 2 dorado of 42 pounds caught during a mid-August outing with Loreto's Capt. Tito while fishing north of town. "Mine had a very large head and narrow body and Bud's had a smaller head and a bigger body and they both weighed the same," Jones said. "We had a great trip and also caught sailfish and a nice striped marlin."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at the south end of Bahia de los Angeles village reported heavy rain on Aug. 30, 2008, as a remnant of Tropical Storm Julio's dissipation over the central Sea of Cortez passed by. "We had more than 2 inches of rain at Camp Gecko," Vazquez said. "Water and mud came down from the mountain. The road to town is in bad shape, and the landscape has changed a bit. At the camp it is just mud. There is no structural damage." Bahia de los Angeles weather was very humid in the mid-80s.
Prior to the storm, air temperatures at Bahia de los Angeles were in the high-80s, and local water temperatures were at 82 to 84 degrees. Fishing was good for dorado with live bait on the Midriff points but local yellowtail were scarce around the bay. Large numbers of whale shark were present in their summer habitat at the extreme south end of the inner bay. "It's easy to find and swim with them," Vazquez said, "but it's also easy to get hit by a fast moving boat. Be careful inside the bay."
ROCKY POINT, MEXICO: Art Pina of Tucson, Ariz., reported on an offshore fishing trip from Rocky Point by his boat Big Daddy with his wife Sandy and a friend from Mesa, Ariz., for a mixed catch of leopard grouper, pinto bass, and white sea bass at a spot about 48 miles out, and then a 55-pound gulf grouper caught about 24 miles out during the ride back to Rocky Point.
"We all met at the marina and went out to make bait," Pina said. "We caught some rock bass and some grunts, and headed southeast. The seas were beautiful, flat and a little breeze.
"At about 2 p.m., we decided to head back. I stopped at a rock I know about 24 miles from Rocky Point and put the whole head of a skipjack on a Scampi. All it took was 2 jumps and I had a 55-pound gulf grouper. That was enough fish for me, a great day of fishing."
Offshore Rocky Point fishing area water temperatures were at 85 degrees as Pina's boat fished in 150 to 200-foot deep water.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of the San Carlos boat Margarita IV reported slow action before and during the recent San Carlos fishing tournament, as 3 trips produced no fish landed, and 3 other trips produced a few peanut dorado and then 3 dorado of 27, 32, and 37 pounds, good enough for second place in the tournament.
"One billfish managed to escape just as I was turning it towards the boat and it twisted the medium-sized hook," Replogle said.
Another outing to the Yaqui River boca found plentiful debris from the recent storm and concentrations of juvenile dorado in the water. "There were trees and branches everywhere, loads of bait, and thousands of 2-pound dorado," Replogle said. "We saw some jumpers but just caught one sailfish and a few small dorado. Hopefully things will cool down soon and the fishing will pick back up."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters at San Carlos reported 11 inches of rain falling during the last stages of Tropical Storm Julio's dissipation over the central Sea of Cortez and several days of fishing after the storm producing spotty results.
"The place looked like a river running everywhere," Jon Jen said. "Our backyard looked like a lake and the puppies went crazy running around and playing in the mud. The 13-year-old golden retriever was right in the middle of it all, thinking he was a puppy."
Fishing up to 40 miles out on 3 days found lots of debris but no dorado, water temperatures near 90 degrees, and 5 fish missed.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 8 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats working out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 4 sailfish, 26 dorado in very good sizes to 65 pounds, and 30 yellowfin tuna to 90 pounds. Six inshore super pangas had a catch of: 26 dorado of mostly larger sizes, and 1 sailfish.
"Mazatlan was very slow on anglers but very good on fishing," Edwards said. "Boats are still fishing on current lines separating clean from dirty water following the rain run-off. The dorado were almost all in the trophy class."
Mazatlan fishing area weather was very humid and party cloudy at 90 degrees, with light wind and swell, and water temperatures at 87 degrees inshore and 85 degrees offshore.
Dorado fishing was best on current lines 10 to 12 miles out, and billfish mixed with yellowfin tuna were found with porpoise about 20 to 25 miles out.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet at Mazatlan said very few tourists were in the area, but fishing was good for sailfish and dorado despite Mexican commercial longlines found as close as 12 miles out. "The best fishing area continues to be 10 to 25 miles out," Hernandez said. Outings during the week included a run by Capt. David and first mate Jorge on the charter boat Norma that produced a sailfish for anglers Kevin Dewey, Art Valdez, and Jeff McElrath.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Bob Manroe of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., reported on several offshore Puerto Vallarta fishing days aboard his boat Karma III that produced 3 blue marlin of about 200 to 500 pounds, an estimated 650-pound black marlin lost, a 90-pound yellowfin tuna, and a surprise super-cow class yellowfin tuna taped with an 84-inch length and 57-inch girth for a formula calculated weight of 341 pounds.
Describing the big tuna, Manroe said, "We had drifted at the bank all night. At first light, we made bait and after 20 minutes of slow trolling our 7-pound skippy got bit.
"We had a Shimano 50 Wide with 100-pound spectra, 80-pound top shot, and a 180-pound fluorocarbon leader with a 14/0 Owner circle hook. My son Kyle took the rod and the big tuna really pulled hard.
"Since no huge cows had been caught so far this year Kyle didn’t think it was that big and wanted me to close ranks on it so he could pull it up to the gaff.
"About an hour into the fight I was very concerned the fish was big and we didn’t really have control of the situation.
"Suddenly the fish turned and made a beeline towards the side of the boat. I sped up to 8 knots to try and get ahead of it.
"When we realized the fish was going under the boat our guest Juan Pablo Moll yelled to loosen the drag and put the boat in neutral.
"Suddenly there was a splash and Juan Pablo is overboard in the water guiding the line around the stern. It was a bit crazy but an amazing reaction from a real professional.
"Dead in the water, we got Juan Pablo back on board and I told my son the fish was huge and he needed to take his time and bring it in himself.
"He did a great job. Thirty minutes later we gaffed the fish and it took 4 of us to pull it through the door. The yellowfin tuna's measurements were 84 inches by 57 inches and I’m sure it was 350 pounds.
"We have a huge refrigerated fish box but this tuna was not going to fit. The boys decided to clean it so the meat didn’t go bad. We were starting to get strong wind and big swells from the tropical storm that was moving towards Cabo San Lucas and we headed inside, as did all the other boats that were fishing that day.
"We where able to show off our catch on the Puerto Vallarta docks and feed a lot of people.
"We fished 2 more days but both were slow for all Puerto Vallarta boats."
During fishing by the Karma III, offshore Puerto Vallarta fishing area water temperatures were at about 86.5 to 88.7 degrees.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta said boats fishing at the offshore Roca Corbeteña and El Banco high spots had a good probability of hooking up a blue or black marlin of 350 pounds and up, but the big yellowfin tuna season was still behind schedule.
"Normally at Puerto Vallarta this time of the year, the tuna are coming in daily weighing 200 pounds plus but that hasn’t been the case this year," Gabruk said. "You can find opinions all over the marina on what’s wrong with the season and speculation is everywhere, but the simple fact is that Puerto Vallarta hasn't seen the size or number of tuna we’ve come to expect in August. At the bank you could expect tuna from 40 to 300 pounds. But the good news is that you can expect to come in with at least some tuna, which have been averaging 60 pounds.
"There is plenty of bait in the water and the deep water locations are sapphire blue. Inside the bay, it’s still summer with the dirty water that comes from seasonal rains. Puerto Vallarta water temperatures are hovering in the 86-degree range."
For the previous week, Danny Gomez of Dhamar Sportfishing reported on a run from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle by the charter panga Dhamar for a catch with 2 anglers of: 4 yellowfin tuna of 20 pounds, 2 sailfish, and 1 marlin of about 400 pounds.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The fly, said river run-off following recent rains pushed debris into the sea and shut down inshore fishing. "We got a huge thunderstorm and 2 and 1/4 inches of rainfall in 1 hour," Kunze said.
Blue water moved out to about the 10-mile point and offshore sailfish action was steady as Capt. Martin on the charter boat Nautilus reported 10 sailfish in 4 outings. "Martin also reported lots of skipjack just outside the dirty inshore water," Kunze said.
No dorado or yellowfin tuna were reported by Ixtapa fishing boats, although dorado were expected to arrive in areas with debris in the water.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was very humid in the low-90s, with rain and water temperatures of 80 to 84 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported few boats fishing at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo but steady sailfish for those going out. Inshore fishing was good for grouper, rainbow runner, bigeye jack, and small yellowfin tuna. Roosterfish catches near the beach were limited by ocean swell action. Ixtapa fishing area weather was cloudy with showers, at 90 degrees, with water temperatures at 82 to 83 degrees as boats fished on current lines along the edge of river run-off zones.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on just 3 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 13 Atlantic barracuda, 1 yellow snapper, 3 triggerfish, and 1 amberjack. "It was a very slow week for anglers at Cancun," Edwards said. Cancun fishing area weather was mostly cloudy in the high-90s, with seasonable afternoon showers, easterly winds at 10 to 15 knots, and water temperatures stable at 82 to 83 degrees.