PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Clarke Smith of Newport Beach, Calif., reported on a run to Puerto Vallarta's El Banco offshore high spot aboard the private boat Aleta with skipper Manny Ocaranza and crewmen Mario Relingo and Mitchel Ocaranza for a catch of 2 yellowfin tuna of 273 and 323 pounds weighed on a certified scale.
"The 323-pound fish was hooked at El Banco while trolling a live skipjack bridled with a 10/0 Hayabusa circle hook," Smith said."The angler, Ali Hussiany of San Diego, boated the fish after a 1-hour and 40-minute battle using 130-pound spectra line and 180-pound fluorocarbon leader.
"The second fish was caught by me later the same day at Roca Corbetena. This 273-pound fish was landed in 30 minutes after it ate a live skipjack. Both fish were weighed on the certified scale from the Puerto Vallarta based charter boat Pacifico. Captain Manny was at the helm of the Aleta for the two vaconas."
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiter's Sportfishing & Tackle reported catches during the week including a 250-pound class yellowfin tuna landed at El Banco during an offshore run by the charter boat Discovery with Capt. Oscar and anglers Jim Larken, Martin Levien, Kasey Armstrong, and Stewart Horton. "Finally, the monster tuna have arrived at El Banco," Gabruk said. "This week, Roca Corbetena and El Banco were firing on all cylinders and it's about time. It's common to see people boating 2 or more tuna in the 160 to 250-pound range. El Banco edged Roca Corbetena for size, but not by much. Marlin and sailfish are still hanging out in the area and are a little larger this week. Trolling skipjacks, bonito, or goggle-eyes is working fine.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Ensenada's Vonny's Fleet said, "Punta Banda is still producing fine catches," as his charter pangas found steady counts of lingcod, whitefish, smaller yellowtail, and lots of bonita for the Vonny's Fleet fish smoker during the week. Anglers fishing with Vonny's Fleet Capts. Beto, Vicente, and Hector included Kelly Moore, Craig Lawrence, RIchard Primavera, and John Adler of Clairemont, Calif., and Jay Johnson of Ensenada.
Local Ensenada fishing area weather was in the mid-70s, with morning fogs, sunny afternoons, light winds along the coast, and water temperatures in the mid-60s.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Ensenada sportfishing boat Bad Dog reported on a tough weekend outing from Marina Coral to fish at the offshore 238 spot with anglers Gail Ross and Juan Lu for a catch in rough sea conditions of: 1 yellowfin tuna of 25 pounds, 1 yellowtail of 10 pounds, and a possible marlin jig strike.
"We cleared Todos Santos Island around 0500 with a tankful of bait from our own receiver," Ross said. "Neither Mike nor Gordo's had any live bait for sale.
"The further we went offshore, the rougher it got. There were whitecaps everywhere and the seas grew in 15 knots of wind to 10 feet. One swell broke over the top of our bridge.
"We couldn't troll more than 4 lures. I chose the 7-Strand Pro Series Plunger, now out of production, because of its weight. It was 'Victory at Sea' conditions and Pilas of Azteca reported that his 8 customers were all seasick.
"At 0900 we got a jig strike yellowfin tuna in 67.1-degree blue water.
"At 11 a.m., in big water, we got two jig strikes on the same jig which in my opinion was a marlin, but it was too rough to drop back mackerel into the pattern.
"At noon, Juan Lu reeled up a 10-pound yellowtail on a blind jig strike.
"We found 3 kelp paddies but no one was home. The meter was blank all day long and I lost my favorite hat. We never changed the lures."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported good counts of yellowfin tuna coming from 18 miles out on a heading of 240 degrees. "Capt. Hector said the fishing has been great," Hillis said. "Limits of yellowfin tuna have been brought in weighing 25 to 40 pounds." Capts. Pato and Hector also tallied a total of 21 yellowfin tuna with clients aboard the charter boats Calimar and Paloma. Yellowtail and dorado were present on kelp paddies in the same location.
San Quintin sportfishing boats were also still running south along the Baja coast in search of up-and-down white seabass.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Bud Brittain reported on 2 trips for white seabass for a lifetime personal best of 61 pounds earlier in September with Capt. Juan Cook of Don Eddie's Landing.
"If you want a trophy fish, you need to go when and where the fish are, and with someone who knows your quarry," Brittain said.
"I had established a friendship with Capt. Juan Cook in San Quintin over the past year. I knew his reputation as a white seabass master. He called me when the conditions were right.
"He started me out on September 10th, warming up on a boat load of beautiful grade seabass.
"Then on the 11th he made my dream come true with not only the 50-pound fish I was after, but a 61-pound fish of a lifetime. Juan Cook of San Quintin is one hell of a captain!"
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Shari Bondy of Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion reported good yellowtail action, and yellowfin tuna also being caught close to shore, with Pacific Baja coastal water temperatures holding in the high-70s and water clarity improving after a period of swells. "There are lots of folks fishing off the rocks as word has gotten out that yellowtail can be caught casting," Bondy said. "And lots of croakers are being caught off the beaches. Sardines are very close to shore which has brought the big fish closer. There are huge batrays doing incredible leaps." Top panga fishing outings during the week included a run for lots of yellowfin tuna by Capt. Juan Arce of Arce Bros. Sportfishing with angler Kevin Quick of California.
Bondy also noted Mexican commercial fishermen along the central Baja coast preparing for the October opening of the commercial lobster season. "Bahia Asuncion is a bustle of activity with the lobster fishermen busy completing their traps for the season," Bondy said.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Les Heil of Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast on the central Baja Pacific coast at La Bocana reported yellowfin tuna caught in good numbers very close to shore. "The tuna are just off La Bocanita, a mile from my house," Heil said. Local boats were reporting 10 to 20 tuna to about 30 pounds per outing.
Pacific central Baja coastal fishing water temperatures were warmer at 78 degrees, as tuna were found 1 to 6 miles out and dorado as close as half-a-mile.
"What a difference a week makes," Heil said. "The fishing water around La Bocana is blue instead of green. There is no need to go further. Small yellowtail have also returned again and you can almost get them off the beach."
Mexican commercial fishing pangueros reported up to 300 yellowtail per day while fishing with handlines.
A sportfishing outing by Heil on Saturday produced a catch of: 6 tuna, 6 dorado, 6 yellowtail, and two trolling lures cut off, possibly by wahoo, including one lure with a 175-pound wire leader. "My friend Valentine from La Bocana got a burned thumb as he tried to stop the line being ripped off the reel, but he got spooled anyway and a sore thumb," Heil said.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Yvonne Graham of Baja On The Fly reported Magdalena Bay fishing area weather at 90 degrees, with mostly cloudy skies and water temperatures at 60 to 77 degrees. Billfish, smaller tuna, and dorado were reported offshore, but few boats were going out. Some wahoo were biting early at the Thetis Bank. "You needed to be on the spot at gray light," Graham said. Fishing inside the Magdalena Bay mangrove esteros produced cabrilla, some snook, and mangrove snapper, plus some halibut on sandy shallows.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 36 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 321 dorado, 21 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, and 31 yellowfin tuna. "The dorado bite at Cabo San Lucas is soaring by the day, reflecting some easy limit fishing for many sportfishing boats, along with numerous dorado releases," Edwards said.
Fleet boats found the best dorado action closer-by on the Pacific side from the San Cristobal ridge to the Golden Gate Bank, and boats running farther north to the Finger Bank reported very good counts of striped marlin, dorado, and yellowfin tuna, plus some wahoo. "The Finger Bank is outstanding but catches from San Cristobal to the Golden Gate Bank have been enormously productive for the Cabo fleets," Edwards said.
"With all of the dorado present throughout the Cabo San Lucas area, it will truly bode well for some of the upcoming marlin tournaments in October," Edwards said. "Dorado and tuna are like candy to the bigger billfish."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was very good in the mid-90s, with favorable seas, good water clarity, and water temperatures averaging 84 degrees on the Pacific side and 87 degrees at the Gordo Banks on the Sea of Cortez side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported most charter trips on the Pacific side getting into double-digit dorado action on fish of 20 to 75 pounds while fishing with trolled lures close to shore.
The Pacific side offshore banks also produced good mixed species counts in water temperatures in the mid-80s. "The Golden Gate Bank is providing solid action for striped marlin," Lowendick said. "Several trips to the Finger Bank showed hot action for yellowfin tuna, dorado, and striped marlin. Early indications are that the Finger Bank may be ready for another record breaking year."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 11 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 4 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 46 dorado of small to 45 pounds, and 3 boats with Mexico fishing limits of dorado of 15 to 25 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Grant Hartman of the Baja Anglers fly fishing service at Cabo San Lucas reported continued good dorado action following heavy rains earlier in the month. "It's now been a few weeks since the storm and Cabo San Lucas dorado fishing is still outstanding," Hartman said. "On some days we are releasing only 8 to 10 dorado on the fly, but 30-dorado-plus days are not uncommon, with some dorado over 40 pounds."
Hartman noted good striped marlin concentrations on the Pacific-side banks, but with very heavy bait concentrations still supressing the bite. "On some days, the striped marlin are so full they ignore everything thrown their way," he said. "There is a ton of bait out there. Humboldt squid, mackerel, and sardines are everywhere, with the marlin, whales, and sea lions gorging themselves. It looks like it's going to be a fantastic striped marlin season in October, November, and December."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Sept. 17, 2008, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported a 100 percent fleet catch rate for all fish species combined, including 423 dorado of 15 to 40 pounds, 27 percent of charters with yellowfin tuna of 20 to 50 pounds, and a total of 30 striped marlin and 11 sailfish landed, all of them released. Top outings during the week included the Rebecca with a quadruple marlin release day, and Ruthless with 21 dorado plus a sailfish and a striped marlin. "Dorado was the number-one fish in Cabo San Lucas this week," Ehrenberg said. "Every Pisces Fleet boat going out caught this eating fish."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear and calm after inclement weather on 2 mornings during the week, with water temperatures averaging 82 degrees and most charters fishing on the Pacific-side Golden Gate Bank, but with one day on the Cortez-side Punta Gorda area due to rough seas on the Pacific side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Sept. 21, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported a brief tropical downpour on Monday morning with about 2 inches of rain falling in 2 hours. "Friends coming into town were amazed, as this was a localized storm with only light sprinkles just 2 miles away," Landrum said. "Cabo has had mostly clear skies since."
Billfish and tuna catches were steady as dorado averaging about 15 pounds led the fish counts for Cabo San Lucas charter boats. "Dorado were the fish of the week at Cabo," Landrum said. "The correct place to be was anywhere within 10 miles of shore on both the Cortez and Pacific sides, but with the better dorado concentrations on the Pacific side. Almost everyone released any dorado under 10 pounds and still limited out.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Donald Rubi of Duarte, Calif., reported on an outing with trip partner Ismael Villadores aboard the Cabo San Lucas charter panga Choyera with Capt. Jose for a catch of 6 dorado to 15 pounds, all on the troll. "Although the storm had just cleared the day before, high winds and high seas were still prevalent," Rubi said. "It limited our outing to probably no more that 2 miles offshore on the Pacific side."
Rubi noted the rescue of a sea turtle caught in a piece of flotsam on the Pacific side of Cabo. "The little guy was caught up in some type of nylon sack and we pulled him aboard, freed it, and let it go back about his business," he said. "A larger sea turtle was rescued from a nearby beach by the local policia and brought over to the Cabo Dolphins Center for some medical attention. The big turtle had about an 8-inch crack on his back."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 57 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 466 dorado of 10 to 25 pounds, 349 yellowfin tuna of 15 to 60 pounds, 4 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 3 hammerhead shark, 4 wahoo, 12 Humboldt giant squid, 48 miscellaneous snapper species, and 3 yellowtail. No trophy-sized billfish were reported, as Brictson noted few boats trolling with large tuna or skipjack baits for them as most anglers opted for wide-open dorado and tuna action. "Serious big marlin anglers know that there can be long time periods of slow trolling without action," Brictson said, "but when the big marlin strike occurs, there are not many fishing experiences that can equal the adrenaline rush of a black or blue marlin grayhounding towards the horizon."
Dorado and tuna counts were high all around the tip of Baja, as San Jose del Cabo charters found their best action from Punta Gorda to the Iman Bank.
"The fishing this week at San Jose del Cabo really busted open for tuna and dorado," Brictson said. "Drift fishing with live or dead sardinas was most productive. This week saw a much better quality of tuna landed. They could be seen feeding on free swimming bait fish and swimming through the chum lines. They were not line shy, although lighter leaders and fluorocarbon were still the hot ticket. Things are shaping up for a great fall fishing season at San Jose del Cabo."
Good supplies of sardina bait fish were available off La Playita beaches north and south of the Puerto Los Cabos marina, and also within the marina itself. "San Jose del Cabo sportfishing fleets have been fortunate this year with such a steady supply of sardina bait," Brictson said. "They are the preferred bait for most of our frequently targeted medium-sized game fish."
San Jose del Cabo surf anglers reported a few larger snook landed off the beach just north of the marina while casting live sardina baits.
Brictson noted more tourists and anglers in the Los Cabos fishing area as the summer doldrums were gradually superseded by the beginning of the fall season. "Crowds of visiting anglers have noticeably increased at San Jose del Cabo and will do so for the rest of the year," Brictson said. "No new tropical storms have developed, but with ocean water temperatures into the upper 80s it's hard to predict what might happen. By the second week of October, the real chance of destructive storms is typically over."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Yvonne Graham of Baja On The Fly reported East Cape charter fishing boats finding widespread smaller dorado and yellowfin tuna action to the south from La Ribera all the way to the area between Destilladeras and Punta Gorda. "Small dorado were found close to shore," Graham said, "but there were only a few of the larger dorado that were so common at East Cape a few weeks ago. There's some football-sized tuna a few miles outside of Cabo Pulmo." Billfish counts were mostly for sailfish mixed with a few striped marlin found spread out around Bahia de Palmas as large Humboldt giant squid continued to be concentrated near the beach. "Most of the East Cape sportfishing fleet is loading up on them before heading out," Graham said.
East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with water temperatures at 76 to 87 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Sept. 19, 2008, Eddie Dalmau of Van Wormer Resorts reported on 210 East Cape charter fishing boats from Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a catch including released fish of: 972 dorado, 492 yellowfin tuna, 4 blue marlin, 18 striped marlin, 55 sailfish, 28 roosterfish, 5 wahoo, 10 pargo, 15 triggerfish, 15 squid, 18 skipjack, and 4 amberjack. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures at 76 to 82 degrees. "The giant Humboldt squid have arrived directly in front of Hotel Palmas De Cortez," Dalmau said. "Each fishing morning you can watch the boats congregate in a circle around the 'squid hole' and each boat takes at least 1 squid. They are great for bait. " Most tuna being caught at East Cape were football sized, but top catches for the week included a 135 pounder caught out of Hotel Palmas de Cortez. Dorado counts were high as the mahi-mahi averaged 10 to 20 pounds. "Boats are coming to the docks with 15 to 20 dorado per boat," Dalmau said, "but some of them had no business being brought in as they were females that could not have weighed more that 7 pounds. Smaller females should be released to breed and reproduce."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Malcolm Smith of Palm Desert, Calif., reported on 3 outings from Buena Vista Beach Resort aboard the charter boat Tres Hermanos with Capt. Ramon for daily Mexico fishing limits of small dorado and yellowfin tuna, plus 2 large pargo and a very large tuna seen. "We saw one jumping tuna that looked like 200 pounds or so," Smith said. "An 80-pound tuna was reported at the dock, but I didn't see it." East Cape fishing area weather was favorable in the mid-90s, with no wind, as Smith's boat fished south of the Punta Arena lighthouse in a good early morning bite dying off later in the day.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Julio Meza of San Quintin reported on 3 days of fishing out of East Cape's Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort with the hotel's Chuy, Esau, Axel, and Felipe Valdez, as well as Baja California SAGARPA representative Genaro Lopez, for daily Mexico fishing limits of dorado and yellowfin tuna to 45 pounds, good-sized roosterfish, sailfish, and a blue marlin of about 300 pounds. Meza commented on his stay at the hotel, saying, "The food service was beyond description, with the fish of the day prepared a thousand ways, the rooms were comfortable, and the general service was excellent."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Sept. 20, 2008, John Ireland of East Cape's Rancho Leonero reported clear, flat water at 82 to 85 degrees and improved action for both yellowfin tuna and dorado following rough tropical weather the previous week. "Most East Cape anglers are targeting dorado and yellowfin tuna," Ireland said. "Yellowfin tuna limits were caught by all anglers. The bite is fairly close, from La Ribera to Los Frailes. Sailfish are plentiful, but with very light fishing pressure."
Inshore fishing was good for roosterfish chasing large schools of mullet bait fish, but with few boats targeting them. Humboldt giant squid into the 40-pound class were also present.
Top catches out of Rancho Leonero during the week included a pair of 60-pound class yellowfin tuna landed by anglers Mike Mason and Dan Walsh, and Mexico fishing limits of dorado and yellowfin tuna for the 15-angler Dan Walsh group, with more than 50 dorado released.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport dive service reported good conditions during a trip north to dive and snorkel at locations including Punta Perico, El Cardonal, and Punta Pescadero. "Heading north was an inspired decision this week," Cazaly said. "A great wall dive with many swim-throughs put a smile on everyone's faces. Parrotfish passed in shoals and yellowtail surgeonfish gleamed as the sun shone through clear water and impressive rock formations."
Sea life sightings at northern dive locations also included stone scorpionfish, gafftopsail pompano, large lobsters, gobies, blennies, and 2 sea turtles encountered while snorkeling.
"At Punta Pescadero the water was as clear as I have seen it," Cazaly said. "Masses of fish were hanging out as we were swept through by the current. This was an exhilarating dive."
The Cabo Pulmo Marine Park to the south also had good diving conditions, with water temperatures at depth averaging 86 degrees and visibility at 60 to 100 feet. "The current has been sweeping through here also, making for some fun drift diving," Cazaly said. "When the current is there, the fish tend to be hanging out in great numbers." Sea life sightings at Cabo Pulmo included leopard grouper, dog snapper, bigeye jack, grunts, yellow snapper, Panamic porkfish, and a possible diamond stingray near Iguana Beach. "We still do not need to dive with wetsuits," Cazaly said. "East Cape is coming into perhaps the best time of year for fun and relaxing diving with lots to see."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz said weather conditions for his pangas fishing on the Las Arenas side were cloudy at 90 degrees, with plenty of humidity for 3 days running, but without any storms. Water temperatures south of La Paz were at 80 to 83 degrees as Tortuga Sportfishing pangas worked the nearby Baja coastline areas around Punta Perico and Ensenada de los Muertos for dorado to 35 pounds and yellowfin tuna of 15 to 25 pounds.
"We haven't run out to the famous 88 Bank or to the north point of Isla Cerralvo for the past few days," Hernandez said. "There are no reports of marlin, sailfish, or other larger fish from out there."
Along the Baja coast, Tortuga pangas caught good-sized roosterfish into the 60 and 70-pound class. Sardina bait fish were in adequate supply, but were small and were being used for tuna. Giant Humboldt squid were also present and being caught for dorado bait.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International at La Paz reported a good week for dorado for his pangas fishing on both the La Paz and Las Arenas sides. "Easy Mexican sportfishing limits were common, with dorado in the 8 to 15-pound class abundant in many spots," Roldan said. "There were also a few 20 to 40-pound bulls. There weren't many of the larger fish, but the smaller fish provided lots of action and great fun on light tackle. "
Marlin and sailfish were feeding amid concentrations of smaller game fish. "The tuna popped up every now and then, but would quickly sound out," Roldan said. Larger Humboldt giant squid were also caught by pangas fishing on the south side of the hill at Las Arenas.
LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported excellent action for mixed offshore species in the Loreto fishing area, as dorado were joined by sailfish in big numbers and larger roosterfish also showed up along the beaches.
"Loreto's terrific fall fishing season continued apace last week," Erhardt said. "I have never seen a better time and place to catch a sailfish on the fly, or by any other means for that matter. At any Loreto fishing location between Islas Coronados and Mercenarios, sailfish are being found singly and in schools of up to a dozen or more, hungry and willing to bite either lures or natural bait.
Dorado were smaller in size than earlier in the season, but still produced some fish over 30 pounds. Marlin were fewer, but Erhardt's boat Soledad still managed a average of a marlin per day during 4 outings.
"And now, big roosterfish are on the scene," Erhardt said.
"Randy Hamman who fished with Barry Wilkerson and Pancho Martinez to win the last fishing torneo of the season in Loreto last weekend, used a 30 pounder caught in the shoals around Islas Coronados to pad his point total, and then went back Monday for 3 more roosterfish between 30 and 40 pounds."
Erhardt's boat found a 4-outing fish count including released fish of: 4 striped marlin, 16 sailfish, and 21 dorado to 30 pounds.
"On the two fishing days that I concentrated on billfish, I caught 7 each day," Erhardt said. "It does not get much better than that."
Loreto fishing area water was clear and blue to the north, with the water temperature at about 86 degrees and little debris remaining from recent storms.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company was recovering from good fishing action during the recent Loreto First Annual Dorado Tournament held on Sept. 19-20, 2008. "My arms are very long right now," Bolles said after competing in the tournament with fly fishing tackle. "There were about 10 or 11 boats, with only 3 being pangas. I am hoping that we are not seeing the end of the panga tradition. I intend to keep it alive as best as I can."
Tournament fishing was marked by very good sailfish action that overshadowed the targeted dorado.
"I had never seen so many sailfish, ever," Bolles said. "I almost brought myself to complain to the tournament directors about what kind of event they were running when I can't get beyond the sailfish to get at a dorado."
Bolles noted tournament rules that awarded points for species including sailfish, marlin, roosterfish, cabrilla, yellowtail, pargo, yellowfin tuna, and wahoo. Top catches during the tournament included a 30-pound plus roosterfish, 2 dorado over 40 pounds, and very good numbers of sailfish released.
LORETO, MEXICO: Randy Hamman of Loreto reported on his fishing in good conditions during the Loreto Dorado Tournament aboard his boat Jig's Up with his neighbor Francisco Martinez skippering for a winning 2-day count including released fish of about 35 dorado, 2 sailfish, 2 roosterfish, and 1 cabrilla.
"We released all the fish successfully with the exception of 2 dorado," Hamman said. "We were not looking for total fish count. We were looking for the tournament grand slam. On Monday I went out again with Jim Borden and landed 3, 38 to 40-pound roosterfish, weighed, 8 sailfish, and 6 dorado. We were back in at 1 p.m."
Describing the tournament action, Hamman said, "The starting gun went off at 6:45 a.m. and the tournament boats shot out. All the boats were heading north of Coronado Island where a large group of dorado and sailfish were hanging out.
"The tournament, sponsored by the Loreto Hotel Association, was a two-day event with dorado counting as 3 points per pound, sailfish releases 20 points, marlin releases 25 points, and roosters, cabrilla and yellowtail worth 1 point per pound, but with only one total fish of these species allowed altogether. A grand slam of 4 different fish was worth 50 bonus points.
"Hunting for large bull dorado takes a lot of work. We must have released 20 dorado and a bunch of sail's before we decided to head east about 8 miles and stumbled upon the bottom half of some kind of sheep that was either killed or washed out to sea from the rain the week before. After about 20 minutes we had a big guy, 42 pounds, in the boat."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Mulege fly-in angler Ron Grant of Crestline, Calif., reported on a flight to the Hotel Serenidad, with few tourist anglers fishing in the area but dorado still present in all directions. "Anglers are picking up fish on feathers, with an occasional billfish mixed in," Grant said. "Things are still on the slow side at Mulege, but should be picking up about mid-October when local residents return after their summer vacations and tourists begin flying and driving down.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Ed Hogan of San Bruno about 15 miles south of Santa Rosalia reported on fishing with friends from the U.S. for a 3-day fish count including released fish of: 5 sailfish, 6 yellowtail, 12 dorado, and 4 baqueta.
"I would have to classify the sailfish bite as wide-open," Hogan said. "I had one pick up on iron and another on a dropper loop. They were a nuisance. Yellowtail fishing is a little slow as the water is still very warm.
"Baqueta fishing is great right now and look for it to improve over the next few weeks as well as the yellowtail fishing. Dorado fishing is also fantastic if you can find debris. This isn't much action in the open water without it."
Bait was scarce in the Santa Rosalia fishing area, but was found in 250 feet of water at the cliffs south of town.
Santa Rosalia fishing area water temperatures were at 85 to 89 degrees, with the warmer water found outside around Isla Tortuga, where water clarity was excellent at 100-feet plus. Inshore fishing water was green.
Hogan noted the San Bruno marina and launch ramp in good working condition.
"The marina and launch ramp survived the storm and the ramp is very launchable with no problems," he said. "We even have a new beach volleyball court right next to the marina."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters at San Carlos reported on a trip by the charter boat JonJen II with Capt. Abel for 4 quality dorado and a sailfish lost, and the charter boat Catch-22 and other boats reported released schoolie dorado. "There is a lot of action and fish," Jon Jen said. "It's just starting to get better. Get ready for October, one of the best fishing and weather months of the year."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 13 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 44 dorado to 57 pounds, 1 bonito, 3 mako shark, 3 sailfish, and 1 striped marlin. Four inshore charter super pangas had a catch of: Mexico fishing limits of dorado including numerous releases, 14 mojarra, and 3 pargo.
"It was another great week of fishing at Mazatlan," Edwards said, "although the number of anglers continues to be quite low for this time of year. Offshore action continues with boats averaging 3 to 5 trophy-sized dorado per day, and the inshore pangas are on fire with easy dorado limits and many releases."
Mazatlan fishing area weather was cloudy at 90 degrees, with light swell and tropical breezes, and the water temperature stable at 87 degrees.
Aries Fleet boats fished the buoys for "massive numbers" of school-sized dorado to about 15 pounds and on offshore current lines for bigger fish hooked with ballyhoo baits. "Almost anything is working for dorado at the buoys," Edwards said. "I would think that catching dorado on banana peelings would probably work well at Mazatlan right now."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said that with few anglers fishing in the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area, most boats had been pulled for annual maintenance. "Capt. Temo Verboonen says the fish are there, but Ixtapa weather has been very rainy with port closures over the past couple of weeks," Edwards said. "When the boats do get out, they have been doing okay with 1 or 2 dorado and sailfish per day, but there's no consistency due to the lack of anglers."
Inshore fishing at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo was hampered by high surf and cloudy water conditions caused by rain run-off.
"The weather and fishing at Ixtapa will begin to improve by early October and the skippers are anxious to get back to sportfishing," Edwards said. "Nobody hates boat work more than the crew."
Ixtapa fishing area weather was cloudy and humid at 90 degrees, with rain, some rough sea conditions, and water temperatures even at 85 to 86 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said the few boats going out averaged about 1 sailfish and 1 dorado per day. "We did have some inclement weather for 3 days this week, with light rain, cloudy skies, and enough wind to make Ixtapa fishing conditions a bit on the miserable side," Kunze said.
Blue fishing water was holding 3 to 4 miles off the beach, but inshore water was still unsettled. "Ixtapa inshore fishing water is still stained due to heavy rains in the mountains and swelling rivers carrying a large volume of silt-laden water into the sea," Kunze said.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 80 to 84 degrees.