CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of the Cabo San Lucas boat Falcon reported on 2 trips to the Pacific-side Golden Gate Bank for 10 striped marlin released.
"We followed the recent pattern of marlin first, then going tight to the coast for dorado and frequent shots at tuna in between," Connolly said. Tuna of 40 to 60 pounds were caught on porpoise near Pozo de Cota.1
Connolly noted a catch of 42 marlin released in 2 days by the boat Bad Company during an 8-boat Bisbee's event.
"There were plenty of hungry marlin with most boats getting pretty much as many as their people could handle before they called out for mercy followed by the famous, 'Let's go catch something to eat,'" Connolly said.
Most of the marlin on the Golden Gate Bank were hooked with abundant mackerel baits, slow-trolled on the surface.
"This fishing method has also produced some yellowfin tuna bites and some of the tuna have been enormous, some easily over 200 pounds maybe to 300," Connolly said. "Pray, if they bite the 40-pound stuff. Every once in awhile, the big tuna blow up right in the mix of whales, seals, and marlin, right on the bank."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 9 charter outings by the Cabo San Lucas boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 7 striped marlin, 1 yellowfin tuna of 25 pounds, and 35 dorado of 15 to 30 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing reported continued solid action for Cabo San Lucas striped marlin fishing on baits dropped deep at the Golden Gate Bank. "There is also lots of surface pitch bait action for marlin under driving birds," Lowendick said. "The marlin are feeding on schools of sardinas and mackerel."
Marlin Masters charters also scored dorado of 15 to 30 pounds mixed with yellowfin tuna just inside the Jaime Bank. Several trips farther north to the Finger Bank area produced yellowfin tuna into the 60-pound range.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic Sportfishing reported on 40 charters, with a catch including released fish of 55 striped marlin, 46 dorado, 3 wahoo, and good counts of snappers and sierra. Whales, sea turtles, manta rays, and dolphin were present in local Cabo San Lucas waters. "They are delighting anglers with the natural show," Garcia said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 49 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 109 striped marlin, 29 yellowfin tuna, and 68 dorado. The top boat for the fleet was the Gaviota VII with Capt. Juan Dominguez and 21 striped marlin landed in 4 outings.
"The full moon phase has slowed the Cabo billfish bite a little," Edwards said, "but striped marlin fishing continues to reflect catches common 40 years ago."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly calm in the mid-80s, with water temperatures averaging 75 degrees at the Golden Gate Bank, and 77 degrees on the Sea of Cortez-side Gordo Banks.
"The best fishing area continues to be at the Golden Gate for most Cabo boats," Edwards said, "but the Finger Bank is even better."
Caballito live baits were available at the downtown Cabo San Lucas marina, but most boats fished with mackerel bait caught at the Golden Gate Bank.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Dec. 7, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported Cabo San Lucas striped marlin fishing boats averaging 2 to 5 striper hookups per day at the Golden Gate Bank. "Matching the hatch by catching your own mackerel bait at the bank was key," Landrum said. A boat fishing with experienced anglers at the Finger Bank farther north reported 30 marlin in 3 hours. "Elsewhere, the marlin bite was slow with no concentration to be found," Landrum said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Dec. 4, 2008, 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: 12 dorado of 8 to 20 pounds, 1 Mexican needlefish, 6 skipjack of 2 to 3 pounds, and 6 roosterfish of 6 to 8 pounds. The Cheer's fished with trolled lures and live baits along the Pacific-side beaches and out to about 10 miles in water temperatures of 79 to 80 degrees and very good sea conditions. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included Douglas Ridges of Glendale, Calif., and Linda Benaszac, Tony Benaszac, and Mike Slija of Washington.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Dec. 3, 2008, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported 82 percent of charters releasing striped marlin, 42 percent landing dorado of 15 to 30 pounds, and just a few yellowfin tuna landed, but including a 70 pounder. The week's overall catch rate was 100 percent, as all Pisces boats caught fish.
Top Cabo San Lucas striped marlin fishing trips during the week included a run by the charter boat Bill Collector for 24 marlin releases by solo angler Johnny Mack Powers of Rockwall, Texas. "His arms must be like his home town," Ehrenberg said. "Rock walls."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly clear, with calm seas and water temperatures averaging 80 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said his charter pangas fishing at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda found lots of bonita for the client fish smoker, Mexico fishing limits of lingcod to 13 pounds, a few red rockcod, and a Mexico fishing limit of calico bass on Monday by angler Brian "Calico" Foley, who fished with Capt. Beto on the Vonny I. "Brian tossed black-and-silver swim baits," Villarino said. "They also used squid bait for whitefish. Not a bad day."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the boat Bad Dog at Ensenada's Marina Coral reported on a 70-mile offshore run with Juan Lu, fishing near GPS numbers 30.53 117.15 for a catch of 3 albacore of 6 to 9 pounds, and 4 skipjack released.
"We arrived at daybreak and put out 6 jigs composed of 7-Strand's Midnight color with assorted Tuna Clones," Ross said. "We were alone, 70 miles offshore with thousands of stars and planets in a most unusual display.
"There were lots of birds everywhere, and bait on the meter. We ran through a couple of acres of porpoise. The water was blue and 64.4 degrees, with little wind and calm seas."
Ross also noted a strike by a larger fish. "At 0805 came the all-time ripper," he said. "It tore the line out of the outrigger with such power that we were enjoying the speed. The rod was absorbing so much pressure I could barely get it out of the rod holder. After about 100 yards, the fish came dislodged."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jorge Rosales of CICESE at Ensenada reported on a total of 4 sportfishing trips during a 3-day period at San Quintin from Dec. 5-7, 2008, with a total of 13 anglers and a combined catch of: 29 bonito, 25 yellowtail, 6 vermilion rockfish, 15 ocean whitefish, 5 brown rockcod, and 1 lingcod. "Very few boats fished at San Quintin, despite good weather, with no wind, and sun, especially on Saturday," Rosales said. "Three of the boats were searching for pelagic fishes, and only 1 boat fished for a bottom catch."
San Quintin fishing area water temperatures averaged 65 degrees near shore, and 68 degrees in offshore fishing areas 20 to 25 miles out.
Rosales noted the very low tourist traffic in Baja, including the San Quintin area.
"The site of San Quintin's Old Mill was too quiet to be real," he said. "A year ago, I couldn't find available rooms for my sportfishing monitoring trips. However, now is a good opportunity to relax, to feel the warm light wind, to hear the birds on the sea, and smell the lagoon water. On Saturday afternoon, I had time to enjoy a seafood party plate of lobster, shrimp, fish and Pismo clams covered with bread crumbs at Jardines Baja restaurant during an American football game, and after that we were watching the De la Hoya-Paquiao fight with tequila shots."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported on 2 days of fishing by Danny Knight and his brother from Long Beach, Calif., for Mexico fishing limits of lingcod, yellowtail, and rockcod caught at the 240 spot with Capt. Hector. "The fish were landed on live bait and chrome jigs," Hillis said.
No boats fished outside in search of tuna. "With very light fishing pressure, we are not sure if the tuna are still outside of San Quintin," Hillis said. "No San Quintin fishing boats have made the trip out to the tuna grounds."
San Quintin fishing area weather was clearing and settling after some days of rough seas.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported on 3 outings by the charter boat Offshore III, with a total catch of over 50 yellowtail on local San Quintin rocks and high spots. "We fished meter marks using mostly yo-yo iron and some live mackerel baits," Catian said.
San Quintin fishing area weather had mixed sea conditions including some bumpy water, with water temperatures averaging 64 degrees. Fishing with Catian and deckhand George on the Offshore III were anglers Nick Rekrut, Alex Rekrut, and their friend A.J. Casey.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Les Heil of Baja Bocana Bed & Breakfast on the Pacific Baja central coast at the village of La Bocana reported continuing yellowfin tuna caught, but a smaller grade of fish last week from football to about 15 pounds. An outing by Heil with 2 clients from the hotel produced a catch of 6 tuna, 1 yellowtail, and 4 dorado. "We had to go out to the 25 spot for the tuna, but it wasn't really that bad for December," Heil said.
Baja coast fishing water temperatures off La Bocana averaged about 68 degrees. Big counts of yellowtail at 6 to 10 pounds were also reported.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Jose Antonio Sanchez of Tijuana reported on a 2-panga outing from Popotla north of Ensenada by 6 members of the Foros.pesca.org.mx website, for a catch of mixed bottom fish including whitefish, rockcods, sheephead, sculpin, barber pole rockcod, lingcod, and bonita.
Sanchez noted a bonita caught on the bottom with a yo-yoed blue-white iron jig. "I had luck," he said. "I had never heard of bonita caught on the bottom."
Sanchez' group fished mostly with squid and bonita chunk baits from about 6 miles off Popotla to an area south of the Islas Coronados.
Baja coastal fishing weather off Popotla was cool, with moderate winds and overcast skies threatening rain.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Shari Bondy of Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion reported yellowfin tuna still hitting strongly in this fall's extraordinary bite. "Plentiful tuna and yellowtail are still within 3 miles of shore off of Punta San Pablo," Bondy said. "Hopefully, the tuna will hang around for Christmas."
Anglers panga fishing for Mexico tuna limits with Capt. Juan Arce of Arce Bros. Sportfishing included Tim and Barb Young of Canada. "We took them to the remote San Pablo fish camp for a lobster and crab feast with the fishermen," Bondy said. "After limiting out in under an hour, we gorged on sashimi and fired up the fish smoker."
Baja coastal fishing weather off Bahia Asuncion was mostly calm, with water temperatures in the high-70s.
Bondy also noted the road to Bahia Asuncion in good condition, after being graded following recent rains. "After a week spent grading, the local roads are in even better shape than before the rain and crews are about to begin the last phase of paving the main road into Bahia Asuncion," she said.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported windy weather offshore of Magdalena Bay and slower offshore fishing overall. The fall fishing season at Magdalena Bay is winding down," Graham said. "The number of boats fishing in the Magdalena Bay area has dwindled. Reports are that the bite that was located below Punta Tosca has now moved farther southwards toward Cabo San Lucas."
Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 72 to 76 degrees.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 49 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 290 dorado, 74 wahoo, 142 yellowfin tuna mostly of 20 to 60 pounds, 2 sailfish, 1 striped marlin, 22 bonito, and 44 mixed snapper species.
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather had some moderate north winds to about 15 m.p.h., but was mostly favorable at about 80 degrees, with water temperatures at 78 to 80 degrees.
"We are now starting to see a cooling trend," Brictson said. "As we get further into December, we will be expecting more of this weather pattern."
La Playita fleet sportfishing pangas concentrated on dorado and tuna from Punta Gorda to the Gordo, La Fortuna, and Iman Banks, as an exceptional wahoo bite also appeared during the week. "December produced the best wahoo bite of the fall season," Brictson said. "Several boats reported up to 5 landed and many strikes lost. The hot spots seem to switch back and forth from La Fortuna to Punta Gorda. "
Blue water was close to shore at San Jose del Cabo, as dorado to about 20 pounds were sometimes caught by boats targeting sierra and roosterfish.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported winter-like winds in the East Cape fishing area and very few anglers present. "Another Baja winter has begun," Graham said. "For the few anglers interested, there are plenty of sierra and small roosterfish inshore and along East Cape beaches. But, most East Cape locals are claiming this is the slowest December in recent memory in terms of the number of visitors. Two East Cape hotels are closed for the month."
East Cape fishing area weather was in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 76 to 80 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 14 East Cape sportfishing charter boats from combined fleets including Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, Punta Colorada, Buena Vista Beach Resort, Rancho Leonero, and Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort, with 41 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 45 dorado, and 18 sierra.
"There aren't many hooks in the water on the East Cape," Moyers said. "That's fairly typical for this time of year. It's mostly the locals that are doing the fishing here."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week ending Nov. 27, 2008 Moyers reported on 13 boats from the same fleets, with 38 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 1 sailfish, 60 dorado, and 20 sierra.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Nov. 20, 2008, Moyers reported on 85 boats, with 232 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 4 blue marlin, 6 striped marlin, 13 sailfish, 296 dorado, 16 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 23 roosterfish, and 52 sierra.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending Nov. 13, 2008, Moyers reported on 139 boats, with 396 anglers anglers and a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 11 striped marlin, 17 sailfish, 213 dorado, 51 yellowfin tuna, 5 pargo, 3 wahoo, 3 roosterfish, and 43 sierra.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: East Cape beach launched aluminum boat angler Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista reported on a trolling run northwards to the Punta Pescadero area for a catch of 7 sierra, some very small skipjack, and 1 very small dorado.
"I had not been on the water for at least six weeks," Eddy said. "My favorite fishing route is a circuit bound by the East Cape shore from near the Los Barriles Pemex station to Punta Pescadero, a direct line from Punta Pescadero to Rancho Leonero, and from Rancho Leonero back to the beach near Pemex.
"This morning I reluctantly started toward the north, toward Punta Pescadero, because the winds would increase in the afternoon from the north and I would rather go with the winds later in the day.
"After nothing but very small skipjacks and one very small dorado, I learned that sierra sometimes bite aggressively in the afternoon. I caught four. The first was right in front of the Rancho Leonero Hotel about 200 yards from the beach. The next 3 sierra were caught just outside the Hotel Rancho Buena Vista Hotel reef.
"All were caught trolling a 4.5 inch blue-silver Rebel Jointed Fastrac lure using a multi-strand wire leader at 6 m.p.h."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing reported continued north winds in the La Paz fishing area, with few tourist anglers present. La Paz weather was in the 70s and cloudy, but without the threat of rain.
Tortuga Sportfishing pangas launching on the Las Arenas side found good action for wahoo mixed with yellowfin tuna at 30 pounds off the north end of Isla Cerralvo when sea conditions permitted. "This fishing was only when the weather allowed us to get to the area," Hernandez said. "The seas were sometimes very rough."
Tortuga Sportfishing charter pangas fishing along the Baja shore at Punta Perico continued to catch smaller dorado, pargo, and sierra in good numbers.
"On some fishing days, we're also finding giant squid that we're using for bait," Hernandez said. "Sardina live baits are also in good supply."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos reported on 3 weekly fishing trips out to 30 miles south for yellowfin tuna seen but not hooked up, several marlin unbuttoned, and lots of dorado including more than a dozen over 25 pounds. "I have never caught dorado in December before," Replogle said. "It looks like they may still be out there and even closer to San Carlos if the wind lets up. They have been caught in water temperatures down to 71 degrees."
A diving report from Isla San Pedro Nolasco included good numbers of yellowtail, and yellowtail of over 30 pounds were reported at Isla Tortuga.
"There are also still good reports of bonita and large sierra just in front of San Antonio Point," Replogle said.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters of San Carlos reported variable fishing, with some charters scoring Humboldt giant squid to 3 feet long, whitefish, bonita, and plentiful sierra, but others finding slow action.
Jon Jen Charters also commented on the widespread practice in Mexico of charter sportfishing boats doing business without legal permits.
"We have the other side," Jon Jen said, "those who just come down and put a boat in the water and start taking people out, with no attorneys, no corporation, no FM3, no nada. It kills the charter businesses."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 31 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 4 yellowfin tuna, 31 sailfish, 1 mako shark, and 2 dorado. Seven inshore super pangas had a catch of: 70 sierra, 1 roosterfish, 8 jack crevalle, 35 pargo, and Mexico fishing limits of mojarra and triggerfish.
Overall offshore fishing was slower, in water temperatures averaging about 79 degrees. "Mazatlan sailfish counts dropped off about to about every other boat landing a billfish," Edwards said.
Mazatlan fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-80s, with greenish water inshore, clearing at about 20 miles out.
Aries Fleet offshore boats were fishing about 22 to 25 miles southwest of Mazatlan and using rigged trolling baits for sailfish.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle reported many boats idle at Puerto Vallarta during the traditional tourist lull in early December, but both the Roca Corbetena and El Banco offshore high spots with yellowfin tuna present to over 100 pounds. "They’re hurling themselves out of the water like miniature missiles," Gabruk said. "The water is cool in spots, so use electronics and keep in the warm areas."
Fishing areas closer to shore at Islas Marietas and Punta de Mita produced dorado, sailfish, needlefish, and roosterfish. "Punta Mita is still active with roosterfish," Gabruk said. "There is plenty of bait and these fish don’t seem to mind a little chill in the water. "
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Mike Bulkley of Huntress Sportfishing reported on 5 outings by the charter panga Huntress with Capt. Francisco and 10 sailfish released. "We fished a nice blue water eddy north of Zihuatanejo," Bulkley said. "All the fish were caught between 10 and 13 miles west of Ixtapa." Good numbers of bonita were present close to shore.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported sailfish action most productive in clearer and warmer water at 82 degrees found from 15 miles outward.
"The fishing areas out to the south and southwest of Ixtapa were very slow, with greenish waters at about 80 degrees," Edwards said.
Jack crevalle were found mixed with billfish about 10 miles offshore. "Fishing was confusing, not knowing if a strike was sailfish or jack crevalle," Edwards said.
Good concentrations of sardina bait fish and bonito were present off Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, but no marlin were reported. "This area should begin to reflect improved fishing after the full moon phase," Edwards said.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was clear at 90 degrees, with mostly calm seas and variable water conditions.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said calm, blue water was just a couple of miles off the beach and conditions were favorable, but "the fishing is poor."
"We are scratching our heads trying to figure it out," Kunze said. "Some Ixtapa Zihuatanejo captains are making 25 to 30-mile runs. Other boats are working close-in fishing areas. Nobody is getting much more than a strike or two all day on any kind of fish."
Slow fishing reports were turned in by Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Capts. Martin, on the Nautilus with Paul Phillips, Adolfo on the Dos Hermanos, and Arturo on the Janeth.
Capt. Cheva on the charter panga Dos Hermanos II did find good action for jack crevalle action on the trip to the Barra de Potosi area 8 to 10 miles south.
"But the client wanted roosterfish," Kunze said. "They went 26 miles south without a strike. On the way back, they caught 18 to 20-pound jacks to wrap up the fishing day."
Ixtapa fishing area weather was sunny in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 78 to 80 degrees.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 6 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 19 king mackerel, 1 sailfish, 1 mutton snapper, 3 Atlantic barracuda, and 1 sierra.
An outing aboard the charter boat Pescadora II with Capt. Gabby and anglers Richard and Mary Castaneda of the Cass Tours travel service produced a catch including released fish of: 8 king mackerel to 20 pounds, 2 small barracuda, 1 sierra, and 1 mutton snapper.
Cancun fishing area weather was party cloudy in the mid-80s, with good sea conditions, light breezes, and water temperatures stable at 80 degrees.