CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Cabo San Lucas fishing boats worked the annual Pacific-side fall striped marlin bite last week and scored big numbers on the Golden Gate Bank. Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 14 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo San Lucas charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 74 striped marlin, 17 dorado, 1 sailfish, and 5 yellowfin tuna.
The top single outing for the week was by the Tuna Time, with Capt. Christian and 25 stripers released at the Golden Gate Bank. "For boats to sustain a 5-plus billfish average per day for a week is highly unusual," Edwards said. "We only get to see this for the short fishing period of November and December. This is the annual billfish bonanza that rolls through the Cabo San Lucas fishing area each season. It's hard to imagine just how good the fishing really is when the huge striped marlin migration moves around the corner of lower Baja and into the Sea of Cortez."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly sunny in the low-90s, with light winds and water temperatures slightly cooler at about 80 degrees on the Pacific-side banks, and up to about 84 degrees on the Sea of Cortez-side Gordo Banks.
Most Cabo boats pounded marlin-rich waters from Cabo Falso northwards. Live bait supplies were good at the downtown Cabo San Lucas marina and plentiful mackerel could be caught at the Pacific side banks.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported continued very good striped marlin action at the Pacific-side Golden Gate Bank, with steady multiple releases and one 8-hour charter by the boat Marlin Master X producing 17 releases. Anglers also scored dorado of 25 to 40 pounds, plus some 50 pounders. Yellowfin tuna were caught just south of and offshore of the Finger Bank farther north. "I expect this area to be the major target for tuna in this week's WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament," Lowendick said.
Lowendick also noted the 870-pound blue marlin caught by the boat Marlin Master I during a recent Bisbee's tournament at Cabo San Lucas. "We hope their luck continues and we see them back in the winner's circle," he said.
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: 28 striped marlin, 3 yellowfin tuna of 15 pounds, and 22 dorado of 15 to 25 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Oct. 29, 2008, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported 82 percent of charters releasing striped marlin at the Golden Gate Bank. "The only reason it wasn't 100 percent was that some boats were trying for something else," Ehrenberg said. The week's billfish count including released fish for Pisces Fleet was: 445 striped marlin, 3 blue marlin, and 16 sailfish. All but 2 of the billfish caught were released.
Top outings for the week included a 20-release day for the charter boat Yahoo, 18 releases for the Andale, and 15 for the C Rod.
Fifty-six percent of charters also caught smaller dorado, and just a few football-sized yellowfin tuna were reported. "With the Western Outdoor News Tuna Tournament coming up next week, Cabo San Lucas boats will start to hunt for tuna," Ehrenberg said.
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was excellent, with flat seas and water temperatures averaging 85 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Nov. 2, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported local weather unseasonably warm, with good sea conditions and water temperatures still at 83 to 86 degrees. Plentiful striped marlin plus some sailfish were present on the Pacific banks. School-sized yellowfin tuna were caught to about 80 pounds by chumming sardina baits on moving pods of porpoise. "The bait went quickly while doing this, but the hookup ratio was good," Landrum said. Dorado were more plentiful on the Pacific side, where boats averaged about 3 or 4 per day at about 10 to 18 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Dave Palmer of Fiesta Sportfishing reported on an 18-angler group trip to Cabo San Lucas during the last week of October, fishing on 6 boats for 2 days at the Golden Gate Bank for a catch including released fish of: 47 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 46 dorado of mostly 5 to 8 pounds, 2 roosterfish, and 4 yellowfin tuna. "Striped marlin were stacked up on the Golden Gate, with schools holding 20 to 30 marlin," Palmer said. "The Golden Gate Bank is unbelievably on fire right now." Water temperatures on the Golden Gate Bank averaged 84 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported continued good Santa Ana-style sea conditions in the local Ensenada fishing area and steady bottom fish and bonita for his charter pangas working the tip of Punta Banda. Anglers scoring Mexico fishing limits or near limits during the week included Jorge Taylor and his group on the panga Vonny I with Capt. Beto Zamora, and George Chew of Alhambra, Calif., with Capt. Hector on the Vonny III.
Don Fagan of Cactus Tackle at Ensenada also tested some of his jigs and feathers with Capt. Beto for good results. "He tested some of his creations," Villarino said. "This week Ensenada had good weather. We caught reds, lings, and a nice 10-pound sheephead. Everybody limited out."
Local Ensenada fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-70s, with light winds, ocean swells at 3 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging about 60 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the boat Bad Dog at Marina Coral reported on an offshore run to the fishing area around the 213 spot about 60 miles out for steady jig strike action and a catch in 66.6-degree blue water of: 8 albacore, 4 skipjack, and 1 yellowfin tuna. Ensenada offshore fishing conditions were generally good, with 2-foot seas and light wind under 10 knots, but with rougher seas early in the day. Also fishing aboard the Bad Dog were Gail Ross and Juan Lu.
"We set out the lines at the crack of first light with white caps breaking all over the place in dense fog with less than 500 yards of visibility," Ross said. "To test the 'no choice' theory, the pattern consisted of daisy chains with the main lure being a Midnight colored 7 Strand Tuna Clone feather, with 4 smaller lures of the same color preceding the main lure, and a Mold Craft L'il Bird fluttering in front of the whole chain.
"The jig strikes began at 0700 and kept on a steady pace until noon. I did not hear of anyone catching as many albacore as we did in our area.
"At 10 a.m. I changed the pattern to the color Carrot Top. We had 21 jig strikes. We lost a large dorado that spit the hook and the rest were tuna striking a forward lure on the daisy chain. I am going to reduce the chain to 2 lures and keep the bird.
"This excellent fall tuna fishing can be found on a straight line from the 213 to the 395 spots. The lat-longs for the beginning of it all were 31.48 117.48."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported windy seas early in the week off San Quintin and few anglers in the area. "It's an uneventful fishing report this week," Hillis said. Boats that did fish at San Quintin reported continued yellowfin tuna caught 12 to 15 miles out on a heading of 230 degrees, plus yellowtail at the 6 and 240 spots.
Bottom fishing was steady for lingcod and mixed rockcods. San Quintin fishing area weather was favorable again by midweek.
For the previous week, Hillis reported similar San Quintin fishing conditions, but with very foggy mornings. Anglers fishing with Pedro's Pangas during the week included Tom Guerola, Kevin Kiedpool, and Dennis Lim, of Los Angeles, Calif., who caught Mexico fishing limits with Capt. Hector on the charter boat Rommy that included yellowfin tuna of 20 to 30 pounds, 2 albacore of 30 and 40 pounds, and 1 dorado of 15 pounds.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported yellowfin tuna smaller but still biting, and yellowtail caught at the 240 and 6 spots, and at Ben's Rock. "The white seabass haven't shown this week, but everyone's been fishing offshore," Catian said. San Quintin fishing area offshore water was very clear at 68 to 70 degrees.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Shari Bondy of Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion said the local commercial lobster harvest resumed after a brief suspension due to low wholesale prices. "Everyone is happy at Bahia Asuncion as lobster season has resumed with excellent catches reported off an Hipolito," Bondy said.
Pacific Baja coastal fishing was good off Bahia Asuncion as Arce Bros. Sportfishing's Capt. Juan Arce reported wide-open sessions on yellowfin tuna off Isla San Roque, plus larger yellowtail in the area. Anglers panga fishing out of Bahia Asuncion also caught large calico bass at the island.
Central Pacific Baja coastal fishing area weather had some high wind and swell during the week.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Dave Bambauer of Vista, Calif., reported on his trip to Laguna La Bocana on the central Baja Pacific coast, with 6 days of fishing aboard his Skipjack producing a catch including released fish of: 40 yellowtail of 8 to 20 pounds, 7 dorado, over 100 yellowfin tuna of 10 to 35 pounds, 11 grouper of 5 to 40 pounds, and 12 wahoo of 45 to 75 pounds.
"The wahoo and yellowtail were at the 25 spot, 18 miles out," Bambauer said. "The grouper and yellowtail were at Roca Ballena, 5 miles south, and the yellowfin tuna were 3 to 8 miles out with dolphin, and at the Hutchens bank 34 miles to the south." Bambauer's boat scored second place in the tuna division of a local fishing tournament at La Bocana.
Also with Bambauer's group were Derrick Arneson, "Dell," Frank Klopp, and Gary Funk, fishing with local captains Sergio, Joaquin, and Juanchys. Arneson, fishing with Capt. Sergio, took first place in the yellowtail division of the tournament.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported windy weather offshore of Magdalena Bay during the week, but boats scoring wahoo, good-sized yellowfin tuna, and marlin, all found while working bait balls at the Thetis Bank. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 78 to 85 degrees.
San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos) Fishing
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 142 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 295 dorado, 13 striped marlin, 14 sailfish, 4 wahoo, 32 bonito, 82 yellowfin tuna, 7 dog snapper, 38 red snapper, 38 triggerfish, and 22 sierra. San Jose del Cabo fishing area water temperatures were slightly warmer than seasonable at 80 to 83 degrees, with variable early winter-style winds coming from all directions. "Pacific-side fishing has been plagued with more wind than in the Sea of Cortez where seas have been relatively calmer," Brictson said.
Live bait supplies were adequate for sardinas locally, and mackerel on the Pacific side. "There are also smaller bolito, skipjack, and chihuil for targeting larger game fish," Brictson said. "And giant Humboldt squid are in the area but more difficult to jig up. They are mainly caught at night now."
La Playita pangas landed tuna of 40 to 150 pounds on the Inner Gordo Bank. The dorado bite was inconsistent, but some boats caught 4 to 6 fish of 15 to 20 pounds later in the week from La Fortuna to the Iman Bank.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Mark Daugherty of East Cape Guides said pangas fishing off Punta Gorda found yellowfin tuna of 50 to 100 pounds. "I didn't see one football tuna come to the dock in 3 days," he said. Pangas also caught huachinango, or true red snapper, a few dorado, and 1 wahoo.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said East Cape fishing area charters found yellowfin tuna to 80 pounds during the week, plus sailfish, striped marlin, and larger dorado. School-sized dorado were also caught within 5 miles of the Punta Arena lighthouse, and Humboldt giant squid were available on the near-shore drop-off in front of East Cape hotels. Smaller roosterfish plus a few "bubba-class" gallos were seen. East Cape fishing area weather was mostly cloudy at 90 degrees, with water temperatures at 76 to 84 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Nov. 1, 2008, John Ireland of East Cape's Rancho Leonero reported mostly flat seas, with some north winds, and water temperatures at 80 to 83 degrees. Fleet boats landed a mix of tuna of 30 to 120 pounds caught 10 to 40 miles out, sailfish, striped marlin, and limits of dorado. "Our fleet is averaging at least 1 striped marlin per boat day," Ireland said. "Forty to 70-pound Humboldt squid are readily available right in front of the hotel."
Beach anglers caught roosterfish to 50 pounds and fly tackle anglers were releasing 5 to 10 roosterfish per day.
Anglers Jack Nilsen and Del Marsh fished on the boat Jen Wren with Mark Rayor of Vista Sea Sport and caught their Mexico fishing limits of yellowfin tuna of 30 to 115 pounds on 2 of 3 days of fishing, plus 3 sailfish released, and dorado of 10 to 20 pounds.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport diving service reported continued good conditions at the Cabo Pulmo coral reef, with water temperatures at depth holding at 81 degrees, visibility at 50 to 70 feet, and big schools of bigeye jack concentrated in the area. "Hordes of them are patrolling the dive sites, so many that they block out almost all the light from the surface," Cazaly said. "Northwest Divers joined us for a week and they said they had never seen this many fish anywhere."
A night dive at Cerro Verde produced sightings of mating sea hares. "Sea hares were found knotted together," Cazaly said. "These interesting creatures have both sets of sexual organs and after dark they like to come out and use them to full effect. Also seen were curious looking sea cucumbers and a very long, thin, banded ribbon worm. Once the light went out, hundreds of thousands of squirrelfish, normally found under the rocks, swarmed around me."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International at La Paz reported a resurgence of dorado in the fish counts plus an active bite on wahoo during the week. "The lights went on again. Not only did the dorado come up strong to the boats, but Isla Cerralvo turned in the best wahoo bite of the season," Roldan said. Dorado caught went to 50 pounds and wahoo to 70 pounds.
"In addition, pargo and cabrilla were caught in the rocky areas and inshore species such as roosterfish and sierra were also in the counts. There was quite a bit of variety. Several billfish were hooked in the channel and were released or broke off on lighter tackle."
Anglers catching late-season dorado at La Paz with Tailhunter International included Al Tesore and Richard Onishi of Los Angeles, Calif., who also landed pargo lisa and cabrilla out of Ensenada de los Muertos on the Las Arenas side during panga fishing with Capt. Adolfo.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: For the previous week ending Oct. 30, 2008, Roldan reported fewer bait fish available as the windy season began to roughen La Paz fishing area waters. Some tuna were caught at Isla Cerralvo, dorado action picked up in the channel, and cabrilla, pargo, and roosterfish were caught off the beaches at Las Arenas. "The season is definitely changing, but there's still a lot of fish to catch," Roldan said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said La Paz fishing area weather on the Las Arenas side was cooler in the 70s, with calm seas and no wind. "The winter season is coming," Hernandez said. "There are few anglers at La Paz right now."
Panga outings around Punta Perico produced dorado of 20 to 30 pounds, and boats running out to Isla Cerralvo when winds permitted found yellowfin tuna to about 30 pounds.
Mexican commercial pangas fishing at Isla Cerralvo caught mainly huachinango.
LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto reported on a trolling run northwards along the Baja coast aboard his boat with Capt. Paulino Martinez for a catch including released fish of: 2 triggerfish, 5 sierra, 7 small cabrilla, 2 black skipjack, and 1 snapper. "We lazily trolled the coastline up to El Mangle primarily using small Rapalas," Bear said. "We returned to the Loreto marina around 1 p.m. to avoid a low tide that would have made it impossible to get the boat out of the water."
Loreto fishing area weather was near-perfect in the low-90s, with light breezes, flat seas, and the water temperature in the low-80s.
For the previous week ending Oct. 30, 2008, Bear reported on 2 inshore trips southwards toward Nopolo for a catch on small trolling plugs of: 1 dorado of 6 pounds, 1 triggerfish, and 11 sierra, plus 3 small cabrilla and 1 ladyfish at Isla Coronado.
A 146-mile total fishing trip to Isla Catalana produced 3 dorado strikes in 4 hours of trolling, plus 7 cabrilla and 2 pargo caught while bottom fishing at Bajo Seco. Loreto fishing area water temperatures were holding at 81 to 83 degrees.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said her charter boats fished mostly along shore as the summer offshore fishery shut down. "We have been able to catch firecracker yellowtail and small dorado after easy runs," Bolles said. Also in the near-shore mix were snappers, cabrilla, roosterfish, and sierra. "Transition winds are becoming more the norm," Bolles said. "Loreto weather patterns are giving way to winter conditions. The prevailing winds will change 180 degrees during a period of several weeks. We will have to start to play it by ear each day as to whether or not we go out fishing. Inshore waters are coming to life again now that the waters are cooling down for the season. Once winter weather dominates, we will switch gears and focus on inshore fishing through the end of April."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos reported a good yellowtail bite at the north end of Isla San Pedro Nolasco, as runs to the island produced about 4 to 5 fish of 20 to 30 pounds, plus bonita, skipjack, and some missed yellowfin tuna in the 20 to 25-pound class. "Tuna showed up in close with packs of marlin," Replogle said. "We missed 4 short pulls today. We should have brought some bait."
For the previous week, Replogle reported good weather in the San Carlos fishing area, with cleaner water, lots of dorado to 45 pounds present, and a few tuna on porpoise.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Fernando Almada of Catch 22 Sportfishing Adventures at San Carlos reported good action for yellowtail on jigs at Isla San Pedro Nolasco as yellowtail were hooked 150 to 200 feet deep in water temperatures of 76 to 78 degrees. "The start of the winter fishing season at San Carlos is very promising," Almada said.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 32 Aries Fleet offshore charter trips fishing during a 2-day reporting period out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 4 blue marlin to 350 pounds, 38 sailfish, and 16 dorado of 30 to 60 pounds. Inshore charter pangas caught Mexico fishing limits on snappers and "permit."
"The ocean at Mazatlan is coming back to life and appears to be picking up speed," Edwards said.
Mazatlan fishing area weather was party cloudy in the high-80s, with seas calm and water temperatures stable at 86 degrees, as Marina El Cid fleet boats fished 20 to 25 miles northwest for dorado and billfish.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Mazatlan's Flota Bibi Fleet reported slowly cooling weather in the mid-80s as boats fished with lures and mullet baits. Outings for the week included a run by the charter boat Norma Patricia with Capt. David and crewman Jorge for a catch of 3 dorado to 18 pounds and 5 skipjack tuna for anglers Catherine Olivares and Jordan Houston.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Merle Erickson of Chicago, Ill., reported on 3 days of fishing at Roca Corbetena with Capt. Danny Osuna and first mate Alvino aboard the Puerto Vallarta charter boat Marla for action including 10 to 12 tuna, with the 2 largest at 95 and about 140 to 150 pounds, 7 or 8 dorado, 1 sailfish, and 6 missed shots at marlin. "No trophies this time," said Puerto Vallarta regular Erickson. "I'll be back down in 6 weeks for a season finale."
Also fishing aboard the Marla was Trevor Clark of Chicago, who landed the 150-pound class tuna, his personal best. Puerto Vallarta offshore fishing weather was perfect, with light winds and blue water at 87 degrees.
At Roca Corbetena, Erickson said, "We drifted with cabbies and did a little chunking to start out for nada. We had heard about Scotty Osuna's double on cows from a few days earlier on flylined cabbies early in the day. We were hoping for the same.
"We got a double marlin bite, but did not hook up and we kept fishing, for a couple of small tuna here an there. Mid-afternoon, we put the kite out with the double trouble rig. We got a blow out on the kite. Trevor grabbed Danny's custom Calstar 655XXH made by Louis at Bad-fish.com rigged with an Avet 50. The fish took off on a couple of nice runs and Trevor settled in. His personal best tuna was about 80 pounds. After about 2 hours, we realized that the drag on the Avet was not holding its pressure, so we had to help Trevor thumb the spool. Toward 3 hours of battle, we saw the fish at color, but it kept surging away. Finally, Alvino stuck it and we dragged the 140 to 150-pound class tuna aboard. Trevor runs marathons, but by the end of the battle, he was getting tired. Great fish, and a new personal best."
At Roca Corbetena on the second day of fishing, Erickson said, "About mid-morning Danny got us in position near some tuna that were blowing out on bait, a real melee in clear blue, slick calm water. We could see dozens of olive shadows slashing below the water eating bait and numerous tuna to 150 pounds flying out of the water. I threw a Ranger and had 3 tuna chase the lure before one slammed it. Danny was screaming, trying to get more cabbies out to entice the 150-pound class tuna going crazy around us to eat another bait so we could get the quadruple header. We had to settle for a triple. Another great day."
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle said offshore action was up-and-down at the El Banco and Roca Corbetena high spots as some catches of larger blue marlin and black marlin were made on some days, and slower fishing was found on other days. Yellowfin tuna were mostly at 40 to 60 pounds. "We haven't seen the monster tuna that we're known for in Puerto Vallarta," Gabruk said. "Those fishing for larger yellowfin tuna have been chunking, basically another word for chumming. The billfish are coming in closer to shore. The place to be right now is 10 miles outside of Sayulita. You'll catch mahi-mahi even mid-sized black marlin."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo sportfishing fleet averaged 2 to 3 sailfish per day plus an occasional larger dorado in action that began in blue water about 4 or 5 miles out.
Capt. Adolfo also reported 4 quality roosterfish landed just outside the surf line. "Aldolfo said there are roosters all up-and-down the coast," Kunze said. Inshore boats averaged about 3 roosterfish per outing plus good counts of sierra and jack crevalle.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was clear and calm in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 80 to 84 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 3 combined outings by the charter boats Secuestro de Amor, Duquesa, and Bloody Hook, with an offshore catch including released fish of: 10 sailfish, and 5 dorado. "Capt. Temo Verboonen reported very good fishing very close to the bay," Edwards said.
Inshore, the Dos Hermanos I reported many roosterfish and jacks. Ixtapa fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with very calm seas and water temperatures stable at 86 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament commented on recent reports of charter boats being difficult to book at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo for some periods this winter. "The better captains are mostly open at this time," Phillips said. "There will be a large group of 49 European anglers at Zihuatanejo in November. The Vargas Fleet will be arranging the boats. The next groups will be in January. There will be 3 groups using 6 or 7 pangas for each group for 7 days. Another group will come in February and use the same pangas for 7 days."
MEXICO: Greg Hovey of Kino Bay Sportfishing at Kino Bay, Sonora, reported cooler Sea of Cortez Midriff Area weather during the week and larger class yellowtail and white seabass taken on iron. Hovey and Capt. Jim Wilson of the charter boat El Pato scored mixed yellowtail and white seabass in about 100 feet of water at Isla Turner, along the south side of large Isla Tiburon. "We didn't have a scale to measure them, but these were nice fish," Hovey said. "Elizabeth Ramirez of Kino Bay was able to hook up to her first yellowtail on the iron, on her very first cast!" Information on the new Kino Bay Sportfishing service, 866-625-1117.