CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of the Pisces Fleet charter boat Falcon at Cabo San Lucas reported a total of 78 striped marlin released in 5 outings to the Golden Gate Bank.
"This was an unbelievable week for the Falcon," Connolly said. "Capt. Manuel Romero took out 2 charters for 16 marlin, and then we had 3 crew days for 13, 21, and 28 marlin released.
"Our crew was me, my neighbor Noel Maltman, 70, who jumped out of a plane over Cabo on his birthday recently, and deckhand Carlos Romero.
"All the fish came from the incredible Golden Gate bank. Each day we only fished until we used up our original round of bait that we caught at the bank, including the dead ones."
Fishing conditions on the Golden Gate Bank were perfect, with calm seas and the water temperature at 74 degrees.
"The marlin were widely scattered, which is so important in spreading out the fleet," Connolly said. "Birds were all over the bank, often in small groups that did not attract much attention. There were marlin harassing bait balls of all sizes. They were everywhere, a fabulous show of lit-up marlin. This allowed us and others to be alone for hours, a very sweet thing that is not always the case. "This is a very good time to fish Cabo. Someday, these fish may leave the bank, but not yet."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported a total of 390 striped marlin landed and nearly all released during the week, as fish counts were topped by angler Matt Rainwater of Fort Worth, Texas, who fished at the Pacific-side Golden Gate Bank for 8 days aboard the boat Bill Collector for a release catch of 188 marlin, plus 2 dorado, 1 sailfish, 2 yellowfin tuna, and 1 mako shark.
"Matt was bruised, cut, and aching by the end," Ehrenberg said. "His buddy Neal jointed him the last 3 days. Their top score was 40 stripers in one day. The Golden Gate Bank has to be seen to be believed."
Overall, 91 percent of Pisces Fleet boats released marlin, 30 percent caught dorado, and 17 percent landed mako shark.
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly calm in the mid-80s, with water temperatures averaging 73 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with catches averaging more than 5 striped marlin per boat in fishing on the Pacific side northwards to the Golden Gate Bank.
"This was one of the best marlin weeks I've ever reported," Edwards said. "The marlin mania has continued right into March. The bite came back with a surge, just as I thought it was over. One can only hope it continues as long as the water temperatures hold up."
The top boat for the fleet was the Gaviota VIII with Capt. Juan Dominguez and 70 striped marlin released in 7 outings.
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear and warm in the high-80s, with clear water color and water temperatures steady on the Golden Gate Bank at 72 degrees, and 72 to 74 degrees on the Jaime Bank.
Good supplies of mackerel live bait continued to be available on the fishing grounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 1 local outing during the week with angler Al Trask of Colorado, for a catch including released fish of: 1 yellowtail of about 12 pounds, 3 amberjack of 12 to 13 pounds, 14 sierra of 6 to 8 pounds, and 2 roosterfish of 5 to 6 pounds. The Cheer's fished on the Sea of Cortez-side beaches with trolled live baits in water temperatures of 70 to 71 degrees.
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: 17 striped marlin, 5 dorado of 20 to 45 pounds, and 1 yellowtail of 15 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending March 1, 2009, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported a resurgence of Cabo's longstanding and excellent striped marlin bite at the Golden Gate Bank, after a lull the previous week. "It turned on again," Landrum said. "The flags flown by returning boats showed it. The boats returned to the bank as well. At times it seemed you could almost walk across it by going from boat to boat. One report counted 74 boats working the area. Almost everyone had left by 2 p.m., and he said the fishing was much better and easier without the crowds."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported some cool weather and light winds in the local Ensenada fishing area but pangas coming back from Punta Banda with Mexico fishing limits of mixed red rockcod, Johnny bass or olive rockfish, and lingcod. "The dropper loops on the bottom proved to be the ticket with anchovies and squid on the hooks," Villarino said. "We had plenty of good fried fish." Anglers fishing on Vonny's Fleet pangas with Capt. Beto included Garry and Margie Orwig, and Moises Magaña of San Diego, Calif., and Tom Gatch and David Linch from Ensenada.
Local Ensenada fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-60s, with 3-foot ocean swells and water temperatures at 57 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported on 6 boats fishing at San Quintin during the week for good results on bottom fish at the 15 and 240 spots including larger-sized lingcod and Mexico fishing limits of whitefish and mixed rockcods.
Hillis, currently at the Fred Hall Long Beach Show, noted that Mexican sportfishing licenses were reported available online. "I have been working with Baja Tourism and have been given information that the office of the State Secretary of Tourism for Baja is now processing online applications for Mexican sportfishing permits," Hillis said. "You would want to visit Bestbajafishing.org for further information and the user friendly application."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jorge Rosales of the CICESE marine research center in Ensenada reported on a sportfishing catch survey taken at San Quintin on Saturday, February 28, 2008, with 4 boats from Pedro's Pangas found to have gone out fishing that morning for a combined catch of: 92 whitefish, 40 bonito, 33 lingcod, 31 vermilion rockfish, and a few sheephead, starry rockfish, barracuda, kelp bass, and gopher widow rockfish. The largest fish surveyed was a lingcod at 87 cm length and 5.7 kilos weight.
Pedro's Pangas boats surveyed included the Rommy, Gorron, Coyote, and Paloma, with a combined total of 10 anglers from the Los Angeles area fishing at the San Quintin 15 and 240 spots.
San Quintin fishing area weather was warm with light winds and water temperatures at 57 degrees.
"As usual, we enjoyed the restaurants Jardines Baja and El Faro de San Quintin," Rosales said. "On Saturday afternoon I talked with Lorenzo and his wife Debbie, of Campo de Lorenzo, about a fishing trip on his private boat, but I had to leave San Quintin before we could go out."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported on an outing with Denis Quesnel's group from Action Lures, fishing with 12 to 14-ounce models of Quesnel's jointed jigs for a mixed bottom catch of rockcods, large lingcod, and cowcod off the west side of Isla San Martin. "We fished 250 to 350 feet deep," Catian said. "We used mostly orange-white, chrome, and blue-white. The rockcod took the Action jigs on the drop and way up off the bottom."
Local San Quintin fishing area water temperatures averaged 57 to 60 degrees, with colder water found to the south.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing confirmed that Don Eddie's annual fishing tournaments were scheduled this year for the Fourth of July and Labor Day. "We will have more information as soon as possible," Melville said. Information, DonEddie@hotmail.com.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Jose Angel Sanchez-Pacheco of Cedros Outdoor Adventures announced his 2009 schedule for 4 and 5-day fly-down fishing trips to Cedros Island off the Baja Pacific coast: April 10-13, May 25-29, June 12-15, July 3-6, Aug 10-14, Sep 4-7, and Oct 2-5. Additional dates are available, and groups of 5 may select departure dates on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays. Normally, 5 anglers are required per flight, but special arrangements may be made for groups of 2 to 4. Trip prices range from $1,300 to $1,500 per person for 3 to 5 days of fishing.
Charter masters bringing groups may qualify for free trips.
Cedros Outdoor Adventures Baja fishing trips feature van service from San Ysidro on the U.S. side of the border directly to the airport in Ensenada, where a short charter flight takes anglers to the village at the south end Isla Cedros for lodging at a local hotel and guided panga fishing around the island.
"We take care of the transportation from San Diego and you will be on the boat fishing at Isla Cedros the same afternoon," Sanchez-Pacheco said.
Anglers may take up to 50 pounds of luggage on the chartered Cessna aircraft at no extra charge. Excess baggage is 1 dollar per kilo. Fishing rods without cases up to 7 feet long may be accommodated.
"Most times, all you need is 3 rods, with some sinkers and jigs," Sanchez-Pacheco said. "Most fishermen only use 4 or 5 jigs and 10 sinkers on each rod, and maybe some scent oil and Rapalas, but it is up to them."
Fish packing and freezing service is available, and anglers may also bring back lobster bought legally on the island from September 15th to February 15th, and abalone from December to June, Sanchez-Pacheco said.
Cedros Outdoor Adventure trips include transportation from San Ysidro, round trip airfare, fishing, meals on the island, lunches on the boat, hotel accommodations, and water and soft drinks on the boat. Tips and alcoholic drinks are not included. Mexican fishing licenses and tourist permits are not included, but transportation to purchase them is provided.
Boats are equipped with radio or cell phone, PFDs, and experienced guides, and departures are filed with local authorities.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Nick Penna of Ensenada reported on a Baja run with his son Andy Penna down Highway Mex 1 to fish at Camalu with Capt. Lee Moreno of Lee's Sportfishing for a catch of 16 lingcod to 16 pounds, lots of red rockcod averaging 3 to 4 pounds, a good variety of mixed rockfish, 3 large sandbass, 2 calico bass, mackerel, and 1 large barracuda.
Baja coastal fishing weather was windless at 75 degrees, with a flat sea and a water temperature of 55 degrees as Penna fished 70 to 120 feet deep on a Lee Moreno beach-launched panga.
"With the help of Lee's vast set of GPS markings we had no problem finding all the usual suspects," Penna said. "We brought down 2 pounds of fresh frozen squid and this is what they wanted this time. Sometimes they only want your jig tipped with a chunk of mackerel. Butterfly jigs, Megabaits, and heavy Krocodile spoons were hot when tipped with squid. Heavy leadheads with plastics or ganion rigs also worked to a lesser degree.
"We had a great trip driving down on well maintained roads. The media has not kept up with the latest news. Baja is much more secure now that the soldiers have done their cleanup. We look forward to coming back down soon.
"In Camalu we stay at Cueva del Pirata Hotel with restaurant and bar on premises. It's very clean and located right on the beach all by itself with 24-hour security." Hotel information, 011-52-1-616-159-6575. Capt. Lee Moreno, 011-52-1-616-163-0767.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported the annual California gray whale migration to their Magdalena Bay winter breeding grounds starting to pass its peak for the 2009 season. "Whale watching at Mag Bay is into its final month," Graham said. "The number of whale mothers and calves is beginning to dwindle."
Fishing in the Magdalena Bay mangrove channels was improved for some cabrilla, corvina, and snook reported at Devil's Curve.
The San Carlos entrada continued to produce good counts of sierra and yellowtail under birds.
Some unconfirmed reports of dorado and tuna offshore preceded the local segment of the Baja California Sur statewide Governor's Cup fishing tournament scheduled for March 6-7, 2009. "If the fishing is slow, the big band and good food promised will make up for it," Graham said.
Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-80s, with water temperatures at 67 to 73 degrees.
San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos) Fishing
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 60 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 254 bonito, 118 dorado, 34 yellowfin tuna, 9 wahoo, 2 striped marlin, 2 mako shark, 162 sierra, 25 roosterfish, 28 cabrilla, 26 amberjack, and 39 pargo.
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was warmer in the mid-80s, with some fog and winds from the north, variable currents and sea conditions, and water temperatures fluctuating widely from 68 to as high as 76 degrees.
"All this variation resulted in up-and-down fish counts," Brictson said. "The action was inshore, on the bottom and offshore. We are now doing a bit more bottom fishing. There is enough action to keep things interesting and produce quality eating fish. The next couple of fishing months will be a transition period at San Jose del Cabo. Daily reports and satellite charts will provide valuable information."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Bob Grimes of San Jose del Cabo reported generally slow local fishing, mainly for sierra, dorado of 5 to 15 pounds, and bonito.
Grimes noted increased enforcement of fishing regulations in the area.
"They are checking bag limits and Mexican sportfishing licenses," Grimes said. "They are fining anglers for taking more than 2 dorado or filleting fish before returning to the dock. The fines are from 7,000 pesos to 16,000 pesos."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported East Cape fishing area weather windless with flat seas at midweek after a period of rough water. "Our client Peter Gell toughed it out and came back with a sierra and a few small skipjack," Graham said. "But the weather is amazing today."
East Cape locals chased a local bite for yellowtail during the week. Graham said, "Kayaks, tin boats, and even surf boards crowded around." Good numbers of whales were seen actively breeching, and near the beaches, roosterfish, jacks, and pods of halfbeak were seen.
East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 67 to 73 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: East Cape beach-launched aluminum boat angler Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista reported on 2 outings with poor results and a combined catch of about 10 barrilete of 5 to 6 pounds, all released, and 1 sierra.
On his first trip, after trolling 6 hours between Rancho Leonero and "The Slides" at the San Bartolo arroyo, Eddy said, "I didn't get a bite."
The barrilete or black skipjack were caught between San Bartolo and Punta Pescadero on Eddy's second trip with a friend from Canada.
"But more important than the fishing here are the things you see," Eddy said. "Yesterday we boated through a school of small dolphins and saw a very large turtle, a very large bull sea lion, a couple of whales, and a leaping thresher shark estimated at 9 feet and 150 pounds 100 yards from the boat. A leaping thresher makes a marlin look like a piker. Anyway, that's as much why I love it here as the 'catching.'"
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending February 2, 2009, John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported some moderate north winds, but fishable weather all week, with dorado consistent offshore, inshore fishing good for early morning roosterfish and jacks along East Cape beaches, and sierra directly in front of the hotel.
"Quality dorado to 45 pounds are being taken off Los Frailes," Ireland said. "They are on a 5-degree water temperature break about 3 to 4 miles offshore.
"The fishing inshore is visual. Anglers are using bait washed up on the beach, lures, and squid, and they are sight-feeding gallos and jacks."
A few striped marlin were also released after being hooked along with dorado off Los Frailes.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz reported excellent weather and sea conditions for his pangas fishing on the Las Arenas side and catches of larger mullet snapper or pargo lisa and yellowtail between 30 and 40 pounds at Punta Perico on the Baja coast and also out at the south end of Isla Cerralvo.
"We had very calm seas and the fishing got better this week," Hernandez said. "Out at the buoys off Punta Perico we even got dorado to 25 pounds. At Las Arenas, we caught sierra. We have good weather and fishing at La Paz, and we hope for the anglers to visit us now."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported pangas scoring on yellowtail of 20 to 30 pounds close to the south side launch spot at Ensenada de los Muertos and at nearby Punta Perico. "But here's the surprise," Roldan said, "in the same area schools of 8 to 15-pound dorado showed up! That could only mean that there's some fingers of warm water moving around. We don't normally see dorado until at least late April or May."
LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto reported on an outing by his neighbor Charlie Licha aboard the panga of Capt. Alvaro Murillo for a catch on jurelito baits at the San Bruno bajo of 3 yellowtail of 25 to 35 pounds.
"They also lost one solid yellowtail hookup in the rocks," Bear said. "After a few unsuccessful drops along the east side of Isla Coronado they headed north to San Bruno on glassy water.
"They were using jurelito baits, also known as caballitos or bigeyes. They used 10-inch fluorocarbon leaders, swivels, and 3 to 4-ounce sliding sinkers on the main lines."
Licha reported 7 other pangas fishing with weighted sardina baits at San Bruno and catching smaller yellowtail. "Charlie described the size by saying they could be lifted aboard without a gaff," Bear said.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Jim Anderson of San Bruno south of Santa Rosalia reported increased local enforcement of Mexican fishing regulations in the area.
"Mario from the PESCA office shared a warning with San Lucas guide Francisco Meza for everyone fishing in the Santa Rosalia, San Lucas Cove, San Bruno, and Mulege areas that the checking of fishing licenses and boat registrations will continue on a stepped up basis and no more warnings will be given," Anderson said.
"If you are caught, you may end up with fines, confiscation, or jail time. We were boarded and they not only checked everything but wrote down all the information. They even checked all of the local pangas. They also suggest that you have a picture of your passport or some ID, and boat registration. There is no longer a boat license but make sure your boat is registered from home, or you have the Temporary Importation Permit for Mexico if you leave it down there.
"It looks like they are going to get really serious about this. Perhaps we can get them to start checking bag limits, which could only help the fishery.
"Capt. Rigo Ojeda from San Bruno has started guiding boats. If you are unsure of how to fish the Santa Rosalia area, this may well be the best way to learn. Rigo can be reached at 011-615-153-9013 or ask anybody around the docks at San Bruno and they can help you get in touch with him."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Rod Mebius of Kino Bay on the Mexican mainland Midriff Area coast reported windy conditions hampering local fishing. "Most boats only got out one day this week due to windy conditions," Mebius said. "Bottom fishing was good, but there isn't much going on the yellowtail. Hopefully the wind will go down."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters at San Carlos reported some boats scoring 2 to 8 yellowtail of 20 to 28 pounds earlier in the week along the Mexican mainland coast, but fishing at Isla San Pedro Nolasco slow. "The pangueros were doing well at the island but the local boats were getting a lot of nada," Jon Jen said. Another San Carlos boat ran out to distant Isla Tortuga but was also blanked. Fishing was slow in windy conditions at midweek, as boats averaged a couple of smaller yellowtail at Isla San Pedro Nolasco and one boat reported good counts of goldspotted bass, snapper, and whitefish just off San Carlos.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 26 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 10 mako shark of mostly 60 to 80 pounds, 7 striped marlin, and 1 dorado. Eleven inshore super pangas had a catch of: Mexico fishing limits of mojarra, 8 baqueta, 40 cabrilla, 68 snappers, 13 jack crevalle, and 78 triggerfish. "An occasional mako shark exceeded 100 pounds," Edwards said. "There were also a couple of swordfish sightings, but no bait takers. Inshore action is very good and some cruisers are participating."
Mazatlan fishing area weather was clear in the low-80s, with generally calm seas, mixed water color, and water temperatures warming at 74 to 75 degrees."There was a greenish tint to the water that kept the fish from reacting favorably to the increased water temperature," Edwards said.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Mazatlan's Flota Bibi Fleet reported improved weather and fishing for striped marlin, shortfin mako shark, and hammerhead shark. "After several windy days, Mazatlan fishing conditions couldn't be better now," Hernandez said. "It's a sunny and very calm week."
Boats fishing inshore continued to bring in good catches of snappers, jack crevalle, grouper, mojarra, and mixed fish species, with the best action found along the coast from the Mazatlan lighthouse to the town of Marmol.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiter's Sportfishing & Tackle reported action at local fishing spots including active roosterfish to 59 inches at Islas Marietas, dorado offshore of Sayulita, sailfish and tuna to 60 pounds at Roca Corbeteña, and more yellowfin tuna on high spots 8 to 20 miles north of El Banco. Noting that some Puerto Vallarta fishing boats had been heading to the distant Islas Tres Marias about 80 miles north, Gabruk said, "You’re looking at close to 4 hours at top speed on a reasonably fast boat. Remember that it is a prison island and you are not allowed within 15 miles of it. Those who have been fishing closer have been warned. A few people say they have special permission to fish there. Don’t believe it. They may have been scammed."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Mike Bulkley of Huntress Sportfishing reported 15 sailfish releases in 5 outings for the charter super panga Huntress with Capt. Francisco. Angler Dave Hellwege of Oregon released 10 sailfish in 3 days. No tuna were caught and dorado were also scarce. "The clean blue water remains close to Zihuatanejo and the fish are scattered from the 9-mile to the 16-mile line," Bulkley said.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported Ixtapa Zihuatanejo boats starting to fish about 6 miles from shore for consistent strikes on sailfish and marlin, plus some wahoo and dorado. Inshore fishing produced light tackle jack crevalle. Ixtapa fishing area weather was clear at 90 degrees, with water temperatures at 76 degrees inshore, rising to 78 degrees at 6 miles out and 81 degrees at 20 miles out.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said warmer overall water temperatures in the Ixtapa fishing area produced improved sailfish action during the week as most boats averaged 2 to 3 sailfish per day. "The blue marlin are still possible, with a few strikes reported every day," Kunze said. "The panga Huntress is still maintaining its high-boat average with 3 to 5 sailfish releases each day."
Anglers fishing with Kunze during the week included Mike Hollern of Oregon and Pete O'Neil of Idaho, who released a sailfish on fly fishing tackle during a run to Puerto Vicente Guerrero.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was clear in the high-90s, with water temperatures at 78 to 83 degrees.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 8 short, 4-hour outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 6 peto or king mackerel, 2 dorado, 4 Atlantic barracuda, and 1 grouper. "Cancun fishing was better than the counts reflect," Edwards said. "While they are fun, the 4-hour trips just don't allow time to locate the better fishing areas as they change from day to day."
Cancun fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with winds at 10 to 15 knots but no swell, and water temperatures warming at 80 degrees.