CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported 100 percent of charters landing fish during the week, including 90 percent with billfish, 37 percent catching dorado of 10 to 30 pounds, and just 11 percent with yellowfin tuna to 40 pounds.
"Again, we had fantastic fishing results at Cabo," Ehrenberg said. "Those anglers that didn't catch marlin this week simply didn't want to because they preferred something for the table.
"The prolific Golden Gate Bank on Cabo's Pacific side continued to produce the goods, with some amazing striped marlin catches."
Top Pisces Fleet outings during the week included a 52- release day by the charter boat Bill Collector. The Bill Collector also had 2 other trips with 22 releases each.
The charter boat C Rod had a 30-release day on marlin, plus 5 tuna and 1 dorado for the Pascal family of Bluebell, Fla.
"These marlin numbers are even higher than Cabo San Lucas has had over the last few weeks," Ehrenberg said. "This may be due to the moon being at its darkest phase now, making the fish hungrier during the day.
"Marlin numbers could have been even higher, but a lot of people decided to stay home for Thanksgiving this year. To be honest the charter fishing business was slow this week, although practically every boat had from 3 to 8 marlin."
Overall, 483 striped marlin averaging about 130 pounds were landed by Pisces fleet boats during the week, with 473 successfully released. One sailfish was also released.
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear, with calm seas and water temperatures averaging 81 degrees as most boats fished at the Pacific-side Golden Gate Bank.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the previous week ending Nov. 19, 2008, Ehrenberg reported 91 percent of charters landing a total of 561 striped marlin, with all but 4 of them released. Top outings during the week included 3 runs by the charter boat Spartacus for a total of 78 marlin landed and all released by Mike Nosal and his group from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic at Cabo San Lucas reported on 46 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 187 striped marlin, 6 wahoo, 46 dorado, 45 yellowfin tuna, and assorted snapper species.
"There has been explosive action on striped marlin across the board," Garcia said. "It is rewarding that new visitors as well as those that have been coming to Cabo San Lucas for years are able to experience such adventure. "
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of the charter boat Falcon with Capt. Manuel reported a good fishing week for marlin at the Golden Gate Bank, and good close inshore fishing on the Pacific side for dorado and wahoo. Five outings by the Falcon produced 32 striped marlin landed and all released. "We trolled a 30-swim bait dredge when the bite slowed down at the Gate, which was not often," Connolly said. "While not magic, it did seem to stir the fish up a bit."
Other fish reported on the Golden Gate Bank included a winter season blue marlin and a 200-plus pound class yellowfin tuna lost at the boat.
"There are also some wahoo around," Connolly said. "It is a good idea to have a Marauder or chrome-head in the mix. Mixed sizes of wahoo are being hooked mostly right on the coast with the dorado."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 2 outings during the week with a total of 4 anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 13 dorado of 8 to 15 pounds. The Cheer's fished with trolled baits and lures near shore along the Pacific side beaches and out to 2 miles in water temperatures of 81 to 83 degrees and good sea conditions. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included Mike Maxwell of San Diego, Calif., Brandon Duncan of Canada, and John Simeone and Tomas Tandaric of San Diego, Calif.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing reported almost all charters at the Golden Gate Bank with multiple striped marlin and some boats into the high-teens.
"The red-hot marlin action is continuing on the Golden Gate seamount," Lowendick said. "Further out on the Finger Bank, the striped marlin are chasing bait balls under diving frigate birds. Release numbers into the 25 to 35 range are the norm."
School-sized yellowfin tuna to about 40 pounds were also caught inside the Jaime Bank and outside the Finger Bank, and some reports were received of scattered tuna at 150 to 200 pounds.
Marlin Master boats also landed about 2 to 8 dorado of 15 to 40 pounds per trip.
"Good water conditions will hopefully prevail and allow the great fishing action around Cabo San Lucas to continue into December," Lowendick said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 10 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 29 striped marlin, 20 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 25 pounds, 14 dorado of 15 to 25 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Nov. 23, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported continued heavy striped marlin counts at the Golden Gate Bank, with the migration showing signs of moving southwards closer to the tip of Baja.
"Most of the marlin are still at the Golden Gate Bank but there was a decent showing at the lighthouse on Cabo's Pacific side as well," Landrum said. "The bait fish keep moving and the marlin follow them. Most of the live bait available at Cabo San Lucas this week was caballito, but the marlin are fixated on mackerel, so most of the caballito are not being used. You could catch your own mackerel live baits at the Golden Gate Bank. If you had a good depth sounder, you could also catch mackerel at the lighthouse."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Ensenada boat Bad Dog at Marina Coral reported on an offshore run of about 60 miles to a fishing location near the Lower 500 spot for a catch of 13 albacore, 6 skipjack tuna, 4 yellowtail, and 1 bigeye tuna.
"This trip could not have been accomplished without Jeff Gamin's Terrafin Sub Surface Temperature and Chlorophyll charts," Ross said. "They showed a major temperature break. I decided to gamble on the albacore remaining in our area for another week, until the warm water gives way to the winter's colder currents."
Fishing in water at about 66 to 67 degrees, Ross said the Bad Dog trolled all-Mexican flag colored jigs all day. "Seven Strand's Lures in different sizes were rigged in daisy chains with Moldcraft L'il Birds in front of them," Ross said. "There were 4 lures in front of the lure with a hook in it. My favorite lures for that purpose are the 1210C with 4 Tuna Clones in front.
"We have had incredible results utilizing this technique. Every so often they bite one of the forward lures, but 90 percent of the time they bite the trailing lure with the hook in it."
Ross said few boats were fishing offshore of Ensenada." The only boat I saw all day was a small seiner that showed up at sundown," he said. "No one was talking on the VHF radio all day and nobody responded to my call for a radio check. The first voice I heard was Bob Vanian calling out for fish reports in the 390 and 213 area.
Ross also noted the species identification for bottom fish reported caught by the Bad Dog the previous week at Punta Colonet. "We caught limits of the Mexican Rockfish," he said. "This is a specific species and not a general term. They look a lot like salmon grouper or bocaccio, but they taste quite different, very sweet, mild, and delicious. They have a dark back and a lateral line."
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort south of Ensenada reported few tourist anglers present in the area, but catches good for abundant bonita on the surface plus assorted bottom fish. Anglers fishing out of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort during the week included Liang Jensen and his trip partner who loaded up with trolled Rapalas.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of San Quintin's K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported continued yellowfin tuna and yellowtail being caught on kelp paddies about 20 miles out. "We ran out and our first paddy produced," Catian said. "The fish were taking bait and iron on the drop. On the way in, we stopped at the 240 spot and got some nice yellowtail on slow-trolled bait."
Anglers fishing with K&M Sportfishing during the week included Nate and Mike Fisher who also got lucky with a late season dorado landed on their second day out.
San Quintin fishing area water temperatures were at 64 to 66 degrees near shore, and 67 to 69 degrees farther out.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Shari Bondy of Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion said yellowfin tuna of 20 to 50 pounds were still being caught in wide-open action very close to shore on the central Baja coast. "We have been fishing between San Roque and San Pablo within a mile of shore," Bondy said. "We are using cedar plugs and feathers. Good-sized yellowtail are also present."
A 200-pound class black sea bass was also caught by anglers at Bahia Asuncion, Bondy said, and the commercial Mexican lobster season was in full swing. "We are enjoying lots of lobster dinners along with the traditional sashimi platters and stuffed yellowtail," Bondy said.
Baja fishing conditions at Bahia Asuncion were good, with light winds and clear water in the high-70s.
Anglers fishing during the week with Capt. Juan Arce of Arce Bros. Sportfishing included Walt Rouleau of San Diego, Calif., and his group.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported unseasonably warm fall air temperatures in the high-70s offshore of Magdalena Bay, as outings from Mag Bay Outfitters at Puerto Lopez Mateos produced Mexico fishing limits of dorado plus good quality yellowfin tuna. Anglers fishing during the week included Jamie Pierre of Seattle, Wash., and his group. "A few striped marlin were also seen, but they seemed to be located down south of Punta Tosca," Graham said.
Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was partly cloudy, with water temperatures to 78 degrees.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 122 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 485 dorado, 134 yellowfin tuna, 4 sailfish, 21 wahoo, 42 mixed snapper species, 18 sierra, 26 bonito, and 52 skipjack tuna.
The Gordo Banks Pangas charter boat Sea Senorita took second place in the local La Playita Wahoo Tournament with a 38 pounder. First place was won by angler Saul Crow with Capt. Nicolas Quinones and a 65 pounder as 48 boats landed 11 wahoo. "The bite was tough," Brictson said. "We caught our wahoo on a wire leadered chihuil trap bait set-up."
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was mostly clear, with blue water a few miles off shore and water temperatures continuing warmer than seasonable at about 79 to 82 degrees.
Live sardina bait fish were scarce at San Jose del Cabo but some were being netted off Punta Palmilla. Mixed size caballito baits were also caught in the same area.
Dorado were caught mainly at Iman and La Fortuna where some pangas limited out and then released fish. Yellowfin tuna were up-and-down, as fish of mostly 10 to 20 pounds were hooked on chihuil or skipjack baits.
"On Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008, the annual wahoo tournament was held," Brictson said. "First place was taken by the team of Capt. Nicolas Quinones. They landed their 65-pound wahoo in the last hour of competition off La Fortuna on a yellow MirroOlure without a wire leader. Our second place fish was hooked while trolling a live chihuil bait on the Inner Gordo Bank. The La Playita Dorado Tournament, I believe, will be on Sunday, May 31, 2009."
Brictson noted the first wave of the winter whale migration beginning to arrive in waters at the tip of Baja. "These whales, along with manta rays, sea turtles, and sea lions, are an added attraction," he said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported fewer boats fishing at East Cape as the winter season approached. "With north winds blowing on some days and a lack of clients on others, fewer and fewer charter boats are getting out at East Cape these days," Graham said.
"But there are still some dorado to be caught along with a few yellowfin tuna."
Some billfish were also present in spotty action spread out around Bahia de las Palmas. Inshore fishing produced some small roosterfish and jacks, and a showing of sierra beginning to arrive.
East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-70s, with water temperatures of 76 to 80 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport diving service at East Cape said Punta Pescadero and Cerro Verde to the north had water temperatures at depth of 79 degrees, with visibility at 40 to 60 feet. Sea life sightings at Cerro Verde included schooling spadefish. "We were greeted by a large school of Pacific Spadefish," Cazaly said. "This is the only dive site where I see these fish and my divers always comment on how beautiful they are."
Other sea life sighting on Vista Sea Sport dive trips included graybar and burrito grunt, Panamic porkfish, bumphead parrotfish, octopus, Latin grunt, yellowtail surgeonfish, leopard grouper, stone scorpionfish, green and jewel morays, lobster, and nudibranchs.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Eddie Dalmau of Van Wormer Resorts and the East Cape hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada said, "During the months of December, January, and February, our fishing reports will be done once a month. They will return to a weekly report starting in March. Fishing in the East Cape has been hampered a bit by north winds, which are normal for this time of year.
"The north winds should continue to blow in the East Cape fishing area for most of December, January, and February, but if they don't blow too hard, we can expect to see sierra mackerel, dorado, grouper, wahoo, cabrilla and striped marlin during the next 3 months."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said some offshore game fish were still present in La Paz fishing waters but most pangas focused on mixed species light tackle action close to shore. "There's still some dorado about, as well as the occasional yellowfin tuna, wahoo, or billfish, but you have to do a bit of hunting," Roldan said. "The inshore fishing at La Paz can be incredible right now. Pargo, jacks, cabrilla, sierra, amberjack, and even roosterfish are still around. It's great light tackle fishing.
"It's not quite summer or fall, but it's not quite winter either. It's a great time to be in La Paz fishing because almost no one is competing for the fishing holes and a great mixed bag of fish can be caught."
La Paz fishing area weather was cooler in the mid-80s, with water temperatures in the mid-70s.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company reported unseasonably calm seas for part of the week, with fishing steady for yellowtail of 8 to 12 pounds at El Bajo, Punta Colorada, and Isla Coronado. "There are also pargo, cabrilla, sierra, dorado, and an occasional roosterfish," Bolles said. "It's an early bite, usually off by 10 a.m."
An outing by Baja Big Fish Company's Capt. Francisco Munoz produced 2 yellowtail at 35 pounds, 1 amberjack of 15 pounds, and 1 huachinango or true red snapper of 15 pounds.
"They fished on the bottom with live mackerel baits," Bolles said. "They got a yellowtail at the La Vaca sea mounts off Punta Lobos on Isla Carmen but lost many others because the anglers couldn't keep them out of the rocks. Other yellowtail were hooked over the San Ildefonso sea mount between the islands, and that's where they also caught the red snapper and amberjack."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Syd Lindsay of San Lucas Cove just south of Santa Rosalia said the Isla San Marcos yellowtail bajos produced up-and-down action. Top fish caught recently included a 10-pound cabrilla by Larry Chaves, and a 39-pound yellowtail brought in by Bud Pierce of Washington. "He also had a 47.5 pounder last spring," Lindsay said. "The surface yellowtail are still a few weeks away. It should be a good year."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore at San Felipe reported good crowds of tourists present during the Thanksgiving holiday period, but overall business still slower than normal. "Things are still very quiet although there are more people in San Felipe now," Meders said. "We are seeing more and more businesses closing at San Felipe, including some that have been here for years, Thrifty's Ice Cream for example. It's not a good sign, and as our new mayor keeps warning, it's going to get worse before it gets better, so I guess we'll all have to chin up and make it work."
San Felipe weather was at 70 degrees, with relative humidity at about 35 percent. "I am wearing long pants again and we have had some rain," Meders said. "The air feels fresh and crisp."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos reported some good fishing for medium-sized dorado, yellowfin tuna of 15 to 25 pounds, and marlin for boats running south. "Bonita, sierra mackerel, and even a few yellowtail are being caught off San Antonio Point in the morning," Replogle said. "Some large yellowtail are still out at the island. Be patient and maybe some afternoon yellowfin tuna will save the day. Marlin are still being found just a few miles out, so have the lures and pitch baits ready."
Jon Jen Charters of San Carlos reported cooler water temperatures but dorado and marlin still present about 18 to 30 miles out. The charter boat JonJen II found dorado limits and releases at 30 to 40 miles. Inshore fishing produced good action for sierra and bonita, plus some corvina and some yellowtail at Isla San Pedro Nolasco.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet at Mazatlan reported good offshore action for yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, and skipjack tuna at 15 to 30 miles out. Few boats fished inshore, but good counts were turned in from the Mazatlan lighthouse to Marmol for triggerfish, sierra, mackerel, red snapper, mojarra, and corvina caught on Rapalas and feathers or shrimp and squid baits. Mangrove channel fishing produced snook on live shrimp baits at Teacapan.
Flota Bibi Fleet charters during the week included an outing by the boat Paty C. with Capt. Alex and crewman Alex Jr., for a catch of: 1 yellowfin tuna of 44 pounds, plus dorado and skipjack tuna.
Mazatlan fishing area weather was in the mid-70s, with water temperatures averaging 83 degrees.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Auditore of Phoenix, Ariz., reported on a trip to Puerto Vallarta and 2 days of fishing with Capt. Sal of Tuna Time Sportfishing for slow action found at El Banco and Roca Corbetena, a total of 3 yellowfin tuna hookups and 2 tuna landed at about 60 and 80 pounds.
"There were plenty of birds and skipjack all around but not much action on the big guys," Auditore said. "There was a sailfish tournament going on with no fish registered until the last day. We caught our tuna on live google-eye and squid bait."
Puerto Vallarta fishing area water conditions ranged from bumpy to calm, with few boats on the water. "We did not see more than 5 or 6 other boats fishing the first day and 2 the second day," Auditore said. Also fishing with Auditore was trip partner Chris Honack of Phoenix, Ariz.
Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta reported inshore action for roosterfish of 25 to 40 pounds north of town from Sayulita to Islas Marietas. "The roosters are back," Gabruk said. "I've been scratching my head wondering where they had taken off to. Roosterfish are always in the bay, especially in summer, but that wasn't the case this year. But they've returned. Anywhere from Sayulita to the Marieta Islands is alive with action. It's a little surprising that this late in the season the roosters would show up."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said 80-degree blue water moved in to just off the beach in the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area, but overall action was poor. "One explanation might be that a 60-boat, 4-day fishing tournament is flaying the water fairly hard," Kunze said.
On the second day of the tournament at midweek, the tournament fleet caught just 10 sailfish, 1 blue marlin, and no dorado. An outing 2 days earlier by Zihuatanejo Capt. Margarito was skunked, and Capt. Martin on the charter boat Nautilus also turned in 2 skunked days.
High boat for the week was the Gitana II with Capt. Adan and 4 sailfish releases in 2 outings.
The charter boat Huntress with Capt. Francisco and the boat Gitana each fished inshore 2 days for slow action on a few roosterfish and jack crevalle plus lots of black skipjack and needlefish.
"As we go into the dark of the moon period, I really expect the fishing to improve," Kunze said.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was sunny in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 78 to 80 degrees.