SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 72 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 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 80 pounds, 205 dorado of 10 to 40 pounds, 46 wahoo, 25 roosterfish, 5 hammerhead shark, 3 sailfish, 5 striped marlin, 33 bonito, 64 sierra, 14 amberjack, and 48 mixed snappers.
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was clear in the low-80s, with unseasonably light north winds, water temperatures warmer than normal at 70 to 73 degrees, and highly variable water conditions.
"Currents have been strong," Brictson said. "That is producing rapidly fluctuating water clarity. It is not uncommon to see greenish water turn blue in a couple of hours and this has affected the fishing at San Jose del Cabo accordingly."
La Playita fleet pangas fished in good tuna and dorado action at the Gordo Banks, La Fortuna, Punta Gordo, and Iman.
Sardina bait fish were in plentiful supply near shore at San Jose del Cabo, as some smaller dorado were caught almost in the surf zone.
"Normally at this time of year, anglers at San Jose del Cabo would expect to target sierra, smaller roosterfish, and bottom fish, but instead there have been great opportunities for tuna, dorado, and even wahoo," Brictson said. "Punta Gorda continues to be the best area for wahoo, mostly juvenile fish under 20 pounds, but this week many wahoo over 40 pounds were landed."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Ensenada's Vonny's Fleet sportfishing panga service reported good local weather during the week for boats fishing at the tip of Punta Banda, with catches including lingcod to about 10 pounds, chuckleheads or olive rockfish, red rockcod, and sheephead to 14 pounds. Jay Johnson of Ensenada fished with Capt. Beto for good results with frozen anchovy baits, squid bait, and 30-pound line. "The fishing this week had calm seas and a good assortment of fish," Villarino said. Ensenada fishing area weather was calm and sunny in the low-70s, with ocean swells of 2 to 3 feet and water temperatures at Punta Banda averaging 56 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the boat Bad Dog at Ensenada's Marina Coral reported on an outing that produced excellent bottom fishing at Punta Colonet plus a big catch of Humboldt giant squid closer to Ensenada that was donated to the Guadalupe Valley La Paz orphanage.
Fishing at Islas Todos Santos and along the 500-fathom curve just outside the Banda Bank found good numbers of giant squid for Ross, Juan Lu, and Tim Foote of the San Diego Rod & Reel Club.
"After a short ride from the marina we arrived at 'The Gap,' a deep water hole between the Punta Banda rocks and the south end of South Todos Santos Island," Ross said. "This trench was empty of squid a few weeks ago, but in the afternoon daylight they were on the meter at 600 feet. We loaded a quick half-dozen and headed out to the 500-fathom curve.
"We dropped our special squid lures to 600 feet where my meter illustrated the school and then lifted over 30 of these animals into the boat. We were all dressed in rain suits and took some direct shots of an incredible amount of water."
"We cruised on down to Punta Colonet, arriving at first light, and were the only boat at my spot for the big rockcod. We began lifting the specific species "Mexican Rock Fish" and Tim got one vermilion rockfish that weighed slightly more than 8 pounds on my new digital scale. There was nothing under 4 pounds, easy limits.
"The fishing slowed down around noon and I tracked this canyon west to below 3,000 feet with more Humboldts and plenty of them at 600 feet.
Water temperatures at Punta Colonet averaged a warm 62 degrees as fishing by the Bad Dog also produced lingcod of 6 and 9 pounds. Also seen in the area were the San Diego charter boats Dominator and Holiday.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jorge Rosales of CICESE at Ensenada reported on another catch survey of boats fishing in the San Quintin area, with 4 Mexican boats launching at El Socorro returning to the beach with a combined catch including: 74 whitefish, 38 copper rockfish, 34 sheephead, 18 barred sand bass, 10 calico bass, 4 scorpionfish, 6 kelp rockfish, 2 red rockcod, and 1 treefish. "The boats were from El Papalote, south of San Quintin," Rosales said. "Because of the low numbers of boats fishing at the Old Mill, we are searching other sites close to San Quintin to find the catch numbers."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported very few visitors at San Quintin and just 1 boat fishing during the week, the Paloma with Capt. Hector, that scored 2 yellowtail and a good load of bottom fish for angler Sam Lunde of Solana Beach, Calif. "Not much to report," Hillis said. "San Quintin fishing weather has been absolutely beautiful, with no winds and very calm seas."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian and K&M Offshore Sportfishing at San Quintin reported excellent weather, lots of yellowtail in the area and good bottom fishing during 2 outings, one with Matt Flake's group, and another with Izzy Carian's group, both from Los Angeles. "We got about 5 yellows each day and then went fishing for big reds and other bottom fish," Catian said.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported yellowtail and good-sized tuna and grouper caught during a Baja California Sur sponsored fishing tournament held at Magdalena Bay as part of the annual gray whale festival. "Whale watching at Magdalena Bay continues at full force," Graham said. "Tourists are arriving by the bus load."
Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-70s, with water temperatures at 67 to 73 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Grant Hartman of the Baja Anglers saltwater fly fishing guide service at Cabo San Lucas reported somewhat slower striped marlin action on the Pacific-side Golden Gate Bank, but the week's action including a rare 3-marlin hookup on the fly with anglers Greg Vanzant and Sean Kelly. "We landed and released all three marlin," Hartman said. "Sean hooked up first. Then Greg cast into a bait ball, hooked up, and passed his rod to Capt. Arturo. Then Greg cast a third fly and hooked up again. It was an incredible day. Most boats are still catching 2 to 4 marlin per day on bait. It's still great, but just not wild."
Cabo San Lucas local inshore fishing was very good for roosterfish averaging about 15 pounds and sierra mackerel were plentiful. Dog snapper were also hitting on the surface. "We catch them on top with both fly and light tackle," Hartman said. "These fish are great fun. It has been very good fishing."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 8 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 14 striped marlin, 2 yellowfin tuna of 25 pounds, and 6 dorado of 25 to 40 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 1 outing during the week with 2 anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 2 dorado of 14 and 16 pounds, and 6 roosterfish of 4 to 6 pounds. The Cheer's fished along Cabo's Pacific-side beaches and out to about 2 miles in water temperatures of 72 to 74 degrees and very good sea conditions with no wind.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of the Pisces Fleet charter boat Falcon at Cabo San Lucas reported on a 50-mile run up the Pacific side for 15 striped marlin releases on the Finger Bank. "The marlin were all on mackerel baits caught at the Golden Gate Bank," Connolly said. "There were no other boats at the Finger Bank. It was a good day." Sea conditions at the Finger Bank were "perfectly flat," with a water temperature of 72 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending Feb. 1, 2009, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported most boats averaging 2 to 8 striped marlin releases per day in slower and more scattered action on the Pacific-side banks, the lighthouse drop-off, the arch, and also at spots on the Cortez side. "A few Cabo boats also ventured up to the Finger Bank and reported excellent action," Landrum said. "Scattered strikes were reported all over the place, but the normal fishing areas produced better than others." Inshore fishing produced more sierra of 8 to 10 pounds, some yellowtail on rocky points, and pargo to 25 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending January 28, 2009, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported charters averaging about 6 to 10 striped marlin releases per outing during action at the Pacific-side Golden Gate Bank, closer to Cabo San Lucas, and around into the Sea of Cortez.
"We had one client come in on a cruise ship at 11:30 a.m., catch 11 marlin at the Golden Gate Bank, and return to the ship at 4:45 p.m.," Ehrenberg said. "That was aboard our boat the Andale, a fast 60 footer."
Overall, 90 percent of Pisces Fleet boats released marlin. Dorado and yellowfin were more concentrated on the Cortez side, with catches including a run for 15 dorado to 35 pounds and 3 tuna to 50 pounds by the charter boat Bill Collector. Overall, 27 percent of Pisces Fleet boats caught dorado, although just a few tuna were found. Other catches during the week included an unusually large hammerhead shark at 170 pounds. "For the first time in years, we are starting to see sharks of this size at Cabo San Lucas," Ehrenberg said. "Hammerheads had become rare."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was partly cloudy, with calm seas and water temperatures averaging 73 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Bob Sallis of Kelowna, British Columbia, commented on his trip to the Golden Gate Bank with the Pisces Fleet charter boat La Brisa, after arriving in Cabo San Lucas aboard the cruise ship Oosterdaam.
"We left the wharf around 8:30 a.m. and headed to the Golden Gate after buying some bait," Sallis said. "When we arrived, the sea was boiling with action, and boats were charging about to the many marlin coming up on the surface. Our crew got into the middle of a huge ball of mackerel and sardines, and proceeded to load up with more bait, which turned out to be a good thing. We began fishing around 10 a.m., and over the course of the next 4 hours, we pitched continuously to marlin, and had 21 strikes, 16 hookups, and 11 marlin released. I have never seen the sea so active with marlin, whales, seals, birds, and every other species of marine life."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported some calm breaks in the seasonable steady north winds at East Cape last week, as local boats snuck out for sierra and a few small jacks, and a few hotel boats ventured offshore for a few scattered dorado and yellowfin tuna. "Reports of marlin also persisted," Graham said, "but few blue flags were spotted on returning boats."
Baja On The Fly guide Lance Petersen reported good quantities of bait fish along East Cape beaches, as some sessions produced pompano, jacks, and ladyfish, and others showed very little action. Roosterfish were scarce. "Local tin boat reports have indicated a decent dorado bite a mile off the beach," Petersen said.
East Cape fishing area weather was clear in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 67 to 73 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja fly fishing guide service at East Cape reported plenty of wind at East Cape but with some breaks of calm weather. "We did have some mornings when you could fish," deBrown said. "Today is beautiful, with no wind and with flat calm seas."
Good numbers of sierra were scattered throughout the East Cape fishing area, plus ladyfish, small jacks, some pompano, and dorado of 10 to 15 pounds just off Punta Pescadero. "We have also seen the first of the yellowtail," deBrown said. "Rancho Leonero has been pretty good some days, and I expect the yellowtail fishing there to get better over the next few weeks."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz said the early week's windy weather didn't affect his pangas fishing south of the city for a mixed catch of cabrilla, pargo mulato or barred pargo, and pargo lisa or mullet snapper. "Those winds didn't affect the few anglers here," Hernandez said. "We were able to go fishing at El Alamo south of Ensenada de los Muertos, and even at the island."
Good quantities of Humboldt giant squid and sardina were available for bait. Mexican commercial fishermen returned at midweek with a good catch of yellowtail.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said strong winds caused the closure of the port on the La Paz side one day last week, but boats were fishing in sheltered water on the Las Arenas side for sierra, jacks, and occasional roosterfish. "Our fishing out of Ensenada de los Muertos was found off Punta Perico," Roldan said. "Most of the fish were just off the beach, over sand near the old Hotel Las Arenas."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Jim Anderson of San Bruno south of Santa Rosalia reported many boats getting out to the Isla San Marcos yellowtail bajos during a brief break in the wind on Wednesday. "Even though the tides were good and the current was running well, the yellowtail were a little slow," Anderson said. "This should improve up until the weekend when the tides start to slow down. Bait is readily available and plentiful in numerous locations."
Anderson reported some excitement at San Lucas Cove when suspected drug runners were chased to shore and captured by local authorities.
"Two pangas that started out on the mainland with a full load of marijuana ended up camping on San Marcos Island," he said.
"They decided to go to Punta Chivato to find something to eat. They were noticed by the military who ordered a boat out to chase them down. The military stopped one boat after shooting the driver and wounding the assistant and then chased the other boat to San Lucas Cove, where there is a military base, and the boat ran ashore at a high rate of speed.
"There was a lot of gunfire exchanged and the culprits headed west. One of them was apprehended near the new squid plant just west of the cove. The other suspect ended up in San Lucas village and was apprehended when the military did a house-to-house search.
"Both pangas had 250 h.p. Yamaha engines which made for a really speedy transport boat, but when it hit the sand and rocks in the cove, it managed to come to a really quick halt."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Ed Duitsman of Hinkley, Calif., reported on a late-January family trip with friends to Santa Rosalia, with 4 days of fishing aboard Duitsman's boat Daycare producing up to 8 yellowtail over 20 pounds by 11 a.m.
"We launched at downtown Santa Rosalia," Duitsman said. "Bait was easy, 300 feet deep, out from the cliffs." Water temperatures at the Isla San Marcos bajos averaged 62 to 64 degrees.
A run offshore to Isla Tortuga was unproductive. "There were no birds, no signs, and no yellows," Duitsman said. "On our way in, we stopped at the 'panga reef' on the north side of Isla San Marcos and saw Rigo and Jesus of San Bruno with 10 huge yellowtail!"
Duitsman said the biggest fish was caught last, an 80-pound gulf grouper. "I knew I had the jackpot," he said. "Even with 60-pound test and rock-tight drag, it was a battle to keep it out of the rocks. Everything was caught on the surface with 50 to 80-pound line and flylined bait with no weights."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore at San Felipe commented on the very low number of tourists present in town, and the effect of crime reports on local businesses. "My husband Ed spotted another really scathing article about the border," she said. "It's such a shame. I wish the Mexican diplomacy people would go to bat on this. So many people are really suffering from the lack of tourism. We can only hope that these unfortunate incidents will soon slow way down. Our little town of San Felipe is still beautiful and peaceful, and our beaches and desert remain gorgeous. Surely, sanity still prevails over fear-filled rumor mongering."
Meders noted the arrival in San Felipe of a massive RV with some travelers from Holland. "They are touring the world in a very unusual vehicle called a 'MAN' which is manufactured in Europe," she said. "It is a tremendous mansion-on-wheels designed to handle just about every road condition imaginable. It caused quite a sensation parked outside the bookstore."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet reported few anglers present at Mazatlan, as catches during the week included striped marlin, mako shark, and dorado, plus some sailfish, yellowfin tuna, and hammerhead shark. An outing 15 to 25 miles offshore by the charter boat Paty C. with Capt. Alex and deckhand Alex Jr. produced 4 skipjack and a dorado of 26 pounds for anglers Steve Hall, Ron Coreen, Mike Quinno, Jen Quinno and Steve Miller.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta reported an unusual number of black marlin landed by local boats. "Last week at least 4 black marlin were released in the 300-pound plus range," Gabruk said. "The surprising numbers of black marlin were coming from 'stretched' out 8-hour trips to north of Punta Mita. I’d suggest a 10-hour trip. You may have to work a little." Closer to town, dorado in mixed sizes, roosterfish, jack crevalle, and some sailfish were caught at Sayulita. At the offshore El Banco high spot, good numbers of yellowfin tuna at about 45 pounds were reported present but not biting actively.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said good concentrations of sailfish and dorado were present offshore but overall action was slightly slower. "Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing boats are averaging about 5 sailfish raised per day, but are only hooking 1 or 2 of them," Kunze said.
Inshore fishing in bait and birds produced jack crevalle. "The action depends on whether the bait has moved inside or outside of the surf," Kunze said. "If they are inside the surf line it's dangerous so we just have to leave them for another day. Some fish identified as cero mackerel between 8 and 11 pounds were taken on trolled Rapalas by the White Rocks."
Ixtapa fishing area weather was mostly clear in the mid-80s, with water temperatures of 78 to 83 degrees.