CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 47 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo San Lucas charter fishing boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 165 striped marlin, 39 dorado, and 7 yellowfin tuna.
"The striped marlin surge at Cabo San Lucas continues through another week as boats continue to produce high catch-and-release numbers at the Golden Gate Bank," Edwards said.
"The best fishing area continues to be at the Golden Gate Bank, but good numbers of marlin are also being caught on the way to the bank."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 77 degrees on the Pacific side Golden Gate Bank, and up to 79 degrees on the Sea of Cortez side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the previous week ending Nov. 27, 2008, Edwards reported on 62 outings by the same fleets, with a catch including released fish of: 201 striped marlin, 16 yellowfin tuna, 1 wahoo, and 131 dorado.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of the Cabo San Lucas charter boat Falcon reported "4 to 7 stripers per day no problem."
In 3 outings during the week at the Golden Gate Bank and also near shore, the Falcon had a catch including released fish of 12 marlin, 13 dorado, and 1 yellowfin tuna that was weighed at over 300 pounds.
"The tuna was caught on a regulation marlin rig of 40-pound mono and 100-pound leader," Connolly said. "Normally a fish that size would spool a rig like that, but being tail-wrapped it came to the boat after 2 hours.
"The Golden Gate Bank continued to produce fish. There are plenty of marlin feeders on bait balls. There were feeding seals, whales, and marlin often on the same bait ball of mackerel. The lucky boats had shots at yellowfin tuna feeders on the bank as well. There were occasionally 60 to 80-pound tuna on the bank feeding like the stripers.
"One day we were into the dorado I was tossing a Ranger surface lure. Three times I had wahoo strikes, which was a pleasant surprise except for the part that there was no wire on the Ranger. I went 0-for-3. By the time I found one with wire, it was over. Next time."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 46 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 110 striped marlin, 10 yellowfin tuna, 60 dorado, 3 wahoo, and good numbers of pargo, roosterfish, needlefish, and sierra.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 7 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 7 striped marlin, 18 dorado of 20 to 25 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Grant Hartman of the Baja Anglers fly fishing guide service said, "The great marlin fishing at Cabo San Lucas continues. The Golden Gate Bank is still the place, but with some of the marlin moving closer to Cabo. There are also some big yellowfin tuna around, I saw one over 250 pound swimming with the bait balls."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Nov. 30, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said, "Cabo boats really concentrating on marlin are releasing over 20 fish per day on the Golden Gate Bank. Most boats are trolling there and back and are getting 2 to 5 fish per trip. Working bait balls between 150 and 200 feet deep with live bait caught on the spot has done the trick for most boats. There are also a few scattered marlin 1 to 2 miles off the beach on the Pacific side, and a few showing up on the Cortez side close in as well."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported most pangas scoring Mexico fishing limits of mixed bonita, lingcod, red rockcod, and whitefish during the week. "We're catching bottom fish mostly by soaking anchovy baits on dropper loops," Villarino said. "Bonitas were taken on aluminum jigs and small feathers. On Saturday, anglers fishing on the Vonny IV with Capt. Hector and on the Vonny III with Capt. Vicente had a blast on bonitas with surface irons and Rapalas on the troll."
Anglers fishing during the week with Capts. Beto, Hector, and Vicente included Joe, Alex, and Dave Mead, Joshua and Donald Stevenson, Lowell and Andrew Brown, Nikko and Carlo Jaramillo, and Jorge Taylor.
Local Ensenada fishing area weather at the tip of Punta Banda was partly cloudy in the mid-60s, with calm winds, ocean swells of 3 feet, and the water temperature averaging 59 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jorge Rosales of CICESE in Ensenada reported on sportfishing catches at San Quintin taken during a survey on Nov. 29-30, 2008, with a total of 4 boats going out during the two-day period and a catch of 126 fish including 34 yellowtail of 17 to 25 pounds, 33 vermilion rockfish, 27 brown rockfish, 16 whitefish, 5 bocaccio, 4 lingcod, 2 bonito, 3 starry rockfish, 1 flag rockfish, and 1 copper rockfish.
For the week ending Nov. 29, 2008, Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas at San Quintin reported some light rain during the week and continued good counts of yellowfin tuna offshore and yellowtail at the 240 spot.
Anglers Tom, Sean, and Floyd Roney of Hesperia, Calif., and Jim Molino of Hemet, Calif., fished with Pedro's Pangas 3 days for a catch of bottom fish on their first day, and about 15 yellowtail per day for their next 2 days at the 240 spot.
"The yellowfin tuna and albacore brought in by other boats this week were plentiful, but averaged only 10 to 12 pounds," Hillis said.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Richard Hollo of Fontana, Calif., reported on a late-November Baja fishing run to San Quintin with his wife Monica Hollo, for 2 days of fishing aboard their boat and catches including Mexico fishing limits of 8 to 10-pound albacore, a very large halibut lost in the bay, and limits of calico bass concentrated south of the bay at Socorro.
During their offshore run for albacore, Hollo said, "Abel put us in the water and we headed for the bait grounds through heavy fog running by the GPS. Bait was scattered and it took us an hour to pick up a couple dozen baits. Captain Hector called over the radio and told us that he was already on the tuna and that we should head offshore so we headed for the 304 bank. The water was beautiful and glassy smooth and we were able to run at 30 m.p.h. all the way out which made the 18 mile run relatively short.
"We found lots of small kelps with bait on them at 17 miles and started working them with bait, but no one was home. A critical piece of equipment on my fish finder, the temperature gauge, was not working. Had it been, we would have known that the water was a few degrees too cool and we needed to move.
"Captain Hector called us again at 10:30 and told us we needed to run southwest. He gave us some coordinates and I punched them into the GPS. It was a 10-mile run. We found Capt. Hector just as he hooked up on a triple jig strike. We trolled in a tight circle and within 2 hours we had our limit of 8 to 10-pound albies and we decided to head into the bay to try for some halibut."
On the following morning, Hollo's run south for white seabass produced a hot bite of calico bass instead.
"We dropped down a metal jig and a big mackerel and were instantly bit," he said. "We were sitting on top of a concentration of 3 to 6-pound calico bass and they were hungry. We limited in about an hour and then played catch-and-release for another hour before reluctantly moving inshore to search for white seabass. We ran towards the kelps at Tranquilo and tried for a couple more hours to coax a white seabass out of hiding, but either they weren’t biting or we were in the wrong place at the wrong time."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Les Heil of Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast at La Bocana on the Baja central Pacific coast reported a December dorado caught by his boat about a mile out, plus some smaller yellowtail. Another boat earlier in the week landed 15 yellowfin tuna of 30 to 40 pounds, but Heil said, "Only the Americans are going for tuna. Only 1 or 2 boats have been out looking for them."
Beach fishing around La Bocana produced corvina and halibut.
Central Baja fishing area weather was clearing after some days of wind, with water temperatures cooler at 71 degrees.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported on 2 trips to Magdalena Bay with his trailer boat Soledad, fishing outwards to 110 miles for a total of 6 days and a catch including released fish of: 3 wahoo, 1 striped marlin, and 1 session for Mexico fishing limits of yellowfin tuna at 15 to 20 pounds found outside Boca de Soledad.
"Fishing for all species at Magdalena Bay has slowed considerably from the sometimes frenetic action of a month ago," Erhardt said. "I fished on the tuna banks west and south of Mag Bay from 25 miles north of the Thetis Bank to the Lusitania Bank, 110 miles to the south, anchoring overnight 4 nights at Punta Tosca, Punta Belcher, and Bahia Santa Maria.
"Off Punta Tosca, a dwindling number of marlin and dorado are still slashing bait balls of sardines. On my 200-plus mile trip out of Bahia Santa Maria to the tuna banks south in search of big yellowfin along with Barry Wilkerson and Bob Wells fishing on Barry's boat Rocket, we both struck out completely. The best action was found outside Boca de Soledad on the way back in where I easily picked up my limit of 15 to 20-pound tuna."
Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was moderate to good, with offshore water temperatures at 76 to 78 degrees.
"In addition to sardines and other bait fish abundant in the Magdalena Bay area, pelagic red crabs are now providing forage for sport fish and other marine life," Erhardt said.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported dorado and tuna at the Thetis Bank and the better striped marlin action southwards off of Punta Tosca. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was cloudy in the low-80s, with water temperatures at 72 to 78 degrees.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 67 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 to 25 pounds, 134 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 75 pounds, 2 striped marlin, 39 wahoo, 3 sailfish, 13 cabrilla, 42 bonito, 42 pargo, 8 roosterfish and 22 sierra.
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather had early morning temperatures as low as 55 degrees, afternoon highs in the 80s, and moderate winds. Water temperatures were slightly warmer than normal for the season at 78 to 80 degrees, with clear blue water within a mile of shore.
An improved wahoo bite on fish of 8 to 60 pounds was centered off La Fortuna. "Pangas caught wahoo on sardinas, cocineros, chihuil, and ballyhoo baits," Brictson said. "They were also caught on the normal array of lures such as Marauders, Rapalas, Yo-Zuris, and skirted lead heads."
Live sardina baits were concentrated at Punta Palmilla. "This meant backtracking by the La Playita panga fleet since the more productive fishing was from the Gordo Banks to La Fortuna," Brictson said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported slower overall offshore fishing in the East Cape area. "The tuna have all but disappeared," Graham said. "A few blue and striped marlin are being taken, along with some dorado."
Inshore boats did well on good counts of dorado showing at the blue water mark and just inside. Closer to the beach, sierra and roosterfish were active, plus jacks, good-sized pompano, cabrilla, and pargo.
East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy at 80 degrees, with the water temperatures at 76 to 80 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport diving service reported a large school of cownosed rays encountered during a dive at El Bajo on the Cabo Pulmo coral reef. "The flying squadron of 80 to 100 rays ghosted above us," Cazaly said. "We kept still so as not to disturb them, allowed them to pass over us, and then joined the tail-end of the group. We spread our arms wide and for 2 or 3 minutes we were part of the formation. Then, with our cumbersome bodies unable to emulate their graceful and effortless movement, slowly but surely they were just a memory."
Another dive at El Cantil produced an unexpected boat encounter with a Humpback Whale and its calf near the reef.
East Cape diving area weather was calm, with 50 to 60 feet of visibility, and the water temperature at depth averaging 79 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Nov. 30, 2008, John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported 2 to 3 hotel fleet boats fishing per day, with a consistent dorado bite close to shore. "There are lots of dorado around in the 5 to 30-pound range," Ireland said. "The schools are very spread from Punta Pescadero south to Los Frailes, from a couple of hundred yards off the beach to 5 miles." Inshore fishing near the hotel produced roosterfish of 5 to 60 pounds, and good action on sierra during the mornings and evenings.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Steve Gruenwald of Orland, Calif., reported on a family trip to La Ribera, with good sierra action in front of Hotel Punta Colorada, and a small roosterfish landed by his son with live bait given to them by a local.
"I spent a couple of mornings casting Krocodiles from the shore without success when an elderly Mexican gentleman gave me a hook and shared his live bait bucket with me," Gruenwald said. "I tossed the bait out and within minutes had hooked a little rooster, which my oldest son Lane landed after a 15-minute battle. I would like to say we released the little rooster, but we gave it to the gentleman who set us up with bait. Later that day we went to see Jimmy at Pezcifico and purchased a net so that we could make our own bait."
Gruenwald noted development occurring in the La Ribera area. "I have been visiting La Ribera for a few years now," he said. "I love the small town and have grown to know several families there. The long awaited marina project looks to be progressing. Excavators work day and night digging in the arroyo near the beach, and piles of sand are visible from the water just north of town. Locals are generally excited about the employment opportunities that the development might bring, but many, especially gringos like me, are concerned that the character of the town will be lost in the process. My friend Victor is making an effort to organize a group of La Ribera pangueros to provide pangas and possibly a cruiser for folks visiting the town."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing reported continued good fishing weather on the Las Arenas side south of La Paz, with air temperatures in the 80s following some days of north winds.
Tortuga pangas fishing around Isla Cerralvo caught yellowfin tuna of 20 to 25 pounds, and some dorado at the island and off the Baja coast at Punta Perico.
"With persistent fishing at the south end of the island, you could also catch wahoo of 40 to 60 pounds, with a little fisherman's luck," Hernandez said. "We also have lots of smaller sierra."
Good numbers of 10 to 30-pound roosterfish were present off Las Arenas-side beaches.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said pangas fishing inshore on both the Las Arenas and La Paz sides found good action for plentiful sierra plus roosterfish at 10 pounds and mixed cabrilla, amberjack, jack crevalle, and pompano.
"We've also got pargo showing," Roldan said, "although putting one in the boat is a separate issue. Several pargo were hooked, but none of them were boated."
Some dorado and occasional dorado were present off the southeast corner of Isla Espiritu Santo on the La Paz side. "But," said Roldan, "it's hard to tell. This is winter and there are not many folks fishing, so it's not like the hotspots are hit every day. There could be whole schools of critters on certain spots and we'd never know."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company reported calmer seas after several days of wind in the Loreto fishing area, with larger yellowtail in the 30-pound class being caught by Mexican commercial pangueros. "The wind has prevented us from going out after them," Bolles said. "They're feeding on the bottom at La Vaca, the 50, San Ildefonso, Puerto Almejas, and at Punta Pulpito."
Firecracker yellowtail were feeding at Isla Coronado and El Bajo. Dorado, sierra, pargo, and cabrilla were also present. Lots of roosterfish into the mid-30 pound class were reported on sardina baits at Isla Coronado and El Bajo. Live bait was readily available at the downtown marina. " There's plenty of mackerel and bigeye bait to buy or catch," Bolles said. "Sardinas are plentiful but scattered. The morning tides have been high so netting them has been tough."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Patti Higginbotham of Mulege reported on an outing by Stu Sherman's boat with John Dinning for a catch of yellowtail over 30 pounds.
"Heavy north winds kept Mulege fishermen home last week," Higginbotham said. "But on December 3rd several boats gathered mackerel and bigeye quickly off Punta Prieta and headed for San Marcos Island.
"Stu Sherman and John Dinning trailered to San Bruno, putting in with ease at the new marina. Reaching the reef off the north end of the island, Stu soon landed his first yellowtail, a 30 pounder.
"John Dinning landed a nice grouper, while Randy Gates and Tom Higginbotham, aboard Tom's boat Strange Lady also brought in biggies in the 30-plus pound range.
"The regulars from San Lucas Cove were also scoring well with the biggies on the early morning bite.
"Fishermen around Santa Inez Island and off the point have been picking up nice-sized sierra on hoochies, with cabrilla and small yellows hitting MirrOlures and even feathers while trolling."
Mulege fishing area water temperatures averaged 71 degrees, with calm seas at midweek.
Higginbotham also noted the dates for the upcoming Mulege fishing tournament scheduled for Jan. 28-31, 2009. "Sign-up is January 28th and the banquet is on January 31st," she said. "The tournament was moved back one day to avoid conflict with Super Bowl Sunday. Information, MulegeFishingTournaments.com.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at the south end of Bahia de los Angeles village reported cool fall weather in the mid-70s, with clear skies, moderate north winds during the day, turning westerly at night, and local water temperatures at 68 to 70 degrees.
Fishing was active for yellowtail of 10 to 20 pounds south of the bay at Roca Bernabe, and also northwards at the Guadalupe bajo. "The whale sharks have left the bay now," Vazquez said. "Bahia de los Angeles is quiet."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore at San Felipe reported cool weather in the low-60s, with mostly overcast skies. "I had a most interesting visit this day from a group of people who are traveling the country in an old school bus powered by alternating diesel fuel and vegetable oil," Meders said. "They go around to restaurants and recycle the used oil. The group consists of 8 adults, 4 children, and several people who do 'fire dancing.' They are headed to a 'Rainbow Meeting' in Oaxaca. It seems that Ken Kesey's spirit is alive and well."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 30 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 38 sailfish, 3 blue marlin of 200 to 300 pounds, 16 dorado, and 2 yellowfin tuna of 60 pounds. Six inshore super pangas had a catch of: 20 triggerfish, 6 pargo, 4 roosterfish, and 5 jack crevalle.
"Sailfish remain the fish of the week at Mazatlan with most boats having a shot or 2 or more," Edwards said.
Mazatlan fishing area weather was cloudy in the mid-80s, with light winds, calm seas, and water temperatures ranging from 75 degrees inshore to 81 degrees offshore.
Offshore boats fished with rigged mullet baits 20 to 25 miles southwest of Mazatlan.
For the previous week ending Nov. 27, 2008, Edwards reported on 42 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 10 blue marlin of 200 to 300 pounds, 47 sailfish, 30 dorado, 1 yellowfin tuna of 60 pounds, and 22 sierra. Eight inshore super pangas had a catch of: 15 pargo, 45 triggerfish, 5 red snapper, and 1 dorado.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet at Mazatlan reported good action offshore for sailfish and dorado, plus some yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, and striped marlin. "This week, it has been a bit more difficult to entice the fish to go for the baits," Hernandez said. "Mullet has been particularly slow."
Mazatlan fishing area weather had 2 days of rough seas, but without a port closure. Few tourists were present at Mazatlan. "There are not a lot of people going fishing in Mazatlan right now," Hernandez said. "There are much more than in summer, but much less than in a normal winter season."
Mazatlan weather was in the mid-70s, with water temperatures at 83 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, reported warm water temperatures of 80 to 83 degrees, but sailfish sluggish to bite. "It's confusing," Kunze said. "The sailfish are acting like the water is very cold. They have had a bad case of lockjaw all week. It's possible they're gorging on squid. Almost every Ixtapa captain says he's getting blue marlin and sailfish in the pattern but they leave after taking a couple of swipes at the baits.
"A few dorado are biting, but nothing like year's past when late November and December have been hot for big dorado."
Inshore fishing at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo produced lots of sierra and small jack crevalle, but very few roosterfish. Good numbers of black skipjack were present.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was clear in the low-90s.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said fishing at Ixtapa was difficult during the week, with green water extending out to past 26 miles. "Capt. Temo reported only a couple of smaller marlin and sailfish 'very lazy,'" Edwards said. "Overall, it was a very difficult week for both anglers and crews."
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with mostly calm seas, light winds, and water temperatures averaging about 80 degrees, with green color.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 7 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 11 king mackerel, 3 sailfish, 6 Atlantic barracuda, 5 dorado, and 2 amberjack. "Cancun fishing was pretty good this week, but angler pressure was very low again," Edwards said. Cancun fishing area weather was cloudy in the mid-80s, with moderate easterly winds, some whitecaps, and water temperatures at 80 degrees.