EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of East Cape's The Reel Baja fly fishing guide service reported mostly light winds during the week, with water temperatures at 72 to 75 degrees and good action for dorado offshore, and for schooling roosterfish and jack crevalle along the beaches. Sardina, mullet, and halfbeak baits were in good supply.
Good numbers of dorado were found 20 to 25 miles straight off Rancho Leonero.
"We are also seeing a good number of marlin in the same area," deBrown said, "but not many were willing to bite this week.
"Along the beach, we're seeing big schools of both roosterfish and jacks. They are starting to gather and spawn and some schools have been very large, with 40 or 50 fish." Some sierra also remained available inshore as their numbers thinned out in warming water temperatures.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Andrew Moss of Temecula, Calif., reported on 2 days of fishing by his group out of East Cape's Hotel Playa del Sol for very good dorado action the first day about 8 miles north of the hotel, and 2 striped marlin released the second day straight out from Los Barriles.
During the first day of fishing aboard the hotel boat Mi Fantasia, Moss said, "Mackerel and sardina baits were easily available in front of the hotel. Dorado of 15 to 24 pounds were under a large tree branch. Every bait in the water got bit. We trolled outside for a couple more bulls on dark jigs."
On Moss' second day of fishing, his boat the J&B fished inshore south for Mexico limits of sierra at 2 to 5 pounds, and then trolled north for the 2 marlin on bait. "Both fish were safety released," Moss said. "The wind was blowing 18 to 20 knots and the crew did a great job of finding stripers in miserable conditions. I highly recommend the J&B."
Beach fishing produced ladyfish on sardina baits, puffers on squid strips, and a roosterfish on a Megabait cast from the hotel pier.
Fishing with Moss on the trip were anglers Scott Davis, Dean Stinson, and Bobby DiPippo, of Orange County, Calif.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending April 2, 2009, Felipe Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 11 boats, with 26 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 3 striped marlin, 69 dorado, 1 wahoo, and 3 shark. Hotel boats continued to fish 15 to 25 miles straight out, finding areas of dorado to 30 pounds caught on mackerel baits. A concentration thresher shark was also noted during the week about 2 miles north of the hotel. East Cape fishing area weather was in the mid-70s, with light winds all week, and water temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported East Cape boats finding action by running northwards to the 88 Bank off the east side of Isla Cerralvo. "There are loads of dorado and some marlin," Graham said. "Closer to shore, anything floating in the water seems to be holding small dorado."
East Cape local inshore fishing produced some quality roosterfish and jack crevalle from Punta Pescadero north to Ensenada de los Muertos.
East Cape fishing area weather was sunny in the high-80s, with water temperatures at 67 to 73 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending April 4, 2009, John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported continued good counts of dorado of 15 to 40 pounds caught in 74 to 76-degree water about 20 miles off the hotel. "The larger fish are being taken on the troll and the smaller schooling dorado are taking flies and live sardinas," Ireland said.
Boats targeting striped marlin from 2 to 20 miles offshore found improved action for 1 to as many as 4 releases per outing.
Few boats fished inshore, but roosterfish of 12 to 15 pounds were active north and south of the hotel, pargo were caught on the reefs at the hotel, and some sierra were still present.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending April 2, 2009, Marisol Verdugo of Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort reported about 1 to 2 boats fishing per day, mostly in good dorado action about 22 miles offshore, for about 4 to 6 dorado plus about 1 marlin per outing.
"But it has been mostly dorado," Verdugo said, "and we have been catching some of them on lures."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet at Ensenada reported good local sea conditions and continued Mexico fishing limits for bottom species, plus a steady pick of 1 to 3 surface yellowtail per boat on aluminum jigs. "We caught limits of bottom fish on anchovies and squid and dropper loops," Villarino said. "This week was good fishing and good fun." Top yellowtail caught during the week included fish of 28, 30, and 32 pounds, all hooked near the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda. Anglers fishing with Vonny's Fleet's Capt. Beto included Ricardo Rosales and Jenny Rosales of Los Angeles, Calif., and Jay Johnson of the Barra Arenosa neighborhood of Ensenada.
Ensenada fishing area weather at midweek was partly cloudy in the mid-60s, with calm morning seas, ocean swells of 2 to 3 feet, and water temperatures averaging 58 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jorge Rosales of the CICESE marine research center at Ensenada reported on a sportfishing catch survey taken at San Quintin on April 4, 2009, with 4 boats met at the Old Mill launch ramp and a combined fish count for 10 anglers of 148 fish including: 52 vermillion rockfish, 35 bocaccio, 17 lingcod, and a few whitefish, barred sandbass, brown rockfish, flag rockcod, sheephead, and starry rockfish. Top catches for the day included a 17-pound lingcod by angler Guilibaldo Valles of Ensenada, and an 8.5-pound cowcod by Derrick Anderson of San Diego, Calif. San Quintin sportfishing boats surveyed during the trip were: the Fany, Fany I, and Fany III of Garcia's Pangas, and the private boat Habanero.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Shari Bondy of Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion on the Baja Pacific coast reported some bonita caught by boats fishing at nearby Isla Asuncion and one group with Mexico fishing limits of whitefish caught at a reef about 8 miles from town.
On April 1, 2009, Bondy said, the 39-foot cruising sailboat Gabrielle skippered by Sarah Anderson of Australia with a local crew member, Peter, also aboard, was destroyed by surf after running aground during the night just north of the Punta Abreojos lighthouse, which was reported not to have been operational at the time.
"Sarah had purchased the boat 6 months ago with the plan of testing it out for the summer in the Sea of Cortez and then puddle jumping home to Australia," Bondy said. "Around midnight, they hit something very hard and holed the boat. They decided to make for shore to beach the boat before she sank.
"They headed for the lights and with the vessel foundering, they struck a reef just off the lighthouse, which was not lit.
"They were pounded with big seas. The vigilancia brought trucks to the beach to illuminate the situation. The boat was underwater and they clung to the deck. Finally they had to abandon the vessel and threw the life raft. They laughed when they realized they were in shallow water up to their knees. They kissed the beach when they waded ashore and were very happy to be alive."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported Magdalena Bay fishing area weather as partly cloudy in the low-80s, with water temperatures at 67 to 73 degrees. Yellowfin tuna were reported within 10 miles of the Boca de Soledad exit to the Pacific Ocean near Puerto Lopez Mateos and dorado continued to be present at commercial shark buoys. Some smaller yellowtail and some sierra were caught at the San Carlos entrada.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of the Pisces Fleet charter boat Falcon reported decent striped marlin action while his boat worked hard on the Sea of Cortez side, with a count of 11 stripers released in 4 outings, and a high count of 6 marlin releases on Saturday. "The Falcon's captain, Manuel Romero, fished hard," Connolly said. "We discovered huge volumes of mackerel at the Destiladeras bank. We also fished the Gordo Banks, the 1150 spot, and the Cabrillo Sea Mount. We had 2 happy anglers from South Africa. It was good fishing by any normal standard, and will likely be typical of what we will see for the next few weeks."
Water temperatures on Cabo San Lucas' Sea of Cortez-side fishing waters averaged 73 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing reported good striped marlin action found on the Sea of Cortez side. "For the past 10 days, most of our boats averaged 4 to 6 releases," Lowendick said. "Striped marlin are about 6 miles north of the Gordo Banks area.
Inshore fishing near Cabo San Lucas produced solid action for sierra mackerel and yellowtail, and big schools of Humboldt giant squid were found about 2 miles straight off the Cabo arch. "The squid are in the 4 to 6-foot range," Lowendick said. "Drop a squid jig or heavy spoon down about 150 for some incredible action with these amazing creatures."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 5 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 6 yellowtail, 1 dorado lost, and 6 sierra mackerel. Boats fishing around the Gordo Banks on the Sea of Cortez side saw good numbers of striped marlin but were unable to get them to bite.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 43 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 42 dorado, 34 Humboldt giant squid, 12 yellowfin tuna, 10 yellowtail, 9 sierra, 6 striped marlin, 2 skipjack tuna, 1 jack crevalle, and 1 mako shark.
"It's definitely the spring doldrums for striped marlin fishing at Cabo San Lucas right now," Edwards said. "The marlin are moving around the corner into the Sea of Cortez. Water temperatures and clarity are much better than normal but the billfish continue to have lock-jaw and getting them to bite is a challenge."
The top boat for the fleet was the Gaviota VIII with Capt. Juan Dominguez and 4 striped marlin caught in 5 outings.
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly clear in the high-80s, with cool water temperatures of 69 to 70 degrees on the Pacific side and close to land's end, and up to 74 degrees on the Sea of Cortez side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the previous fishing week ending April 2, 2009, Edwards reported on 45 boats with a catch including released fish of: 22 yellowfin tuna, 13 sierra, 8 striped marlin, 6 Humboldt giant squid of about 25 pounds, 2 yellowtail, and 2 roosterfish. "For fishing at this time of year, we'll take it and be happy with it," Edwards said. "Cabo San Lucas billfish are rounding the corner and heading into the Sea of Cortez. They are on the move and for the most part in a no-bite mode."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear in the high-80s, with light northwest winds and water temperatures averaging 67 to 68 degrees on the Pacific-side banks, and up to 74 degrees at 25 miles south of the arch and northwest into the Sea of Cortez.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 3 outings during the week with a total of 5 anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 15 small sierra, 8 sierra of 4 to 5 pounds, 13 roosterfish of 2 to 8 pounds, 1 pompano, 1 skipjack, and 6 yellowtail of 8 to 10 pounds. The Cheer's fished with trolled hoochies and live baits along Cabo's Pacific-side beaches and outwards to about 1 mile in water temperatures of 70 to 71 degrees and very good sea conditions. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included Bruce Roberts of Miami, Fla., Geve Petersen and Kevin Shechen of Philadelphia, Penn., and Aldo and Karen Jimenez of Texas.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Grant Hartman of the Baja Anglers fly fishing service at Cabo San Lucas reported consistent inshore fishing for larger sierra, plus roosterfish, dog snapper, and jack crevalle. Offshore fishing produced some dorado but very few striped marlin. "This is normal for this time of year at Cabo San Lucas," Hartman said. "Offshore fishing should pick up in the next few weeks."
Hartman also reported the rescue of a juvenile porpoise found stranded on a Pacific-side beach.
"He was flopping around and couldn’t get back into the water," Hartman said. "I jumped into the water and swam in. He panicked at first, but he was tired and beat up, so he didn’t put up too much of a fight.
"I turned my back into the waves and took the brunt of the impact. I just talked to him calmly and petted his back.
"We took a few more waves and then we broke past the surf. As soon as we hit clear water, he got excited and started pumping his tail. He was propelling me through the water, he was so excited. I released him, and he took off like a lighting bolt.
"Other dolphin were feeding about a mile offshore, so I'm sure he had no difficulty finding his family. It’s the moments like this that make my life so special."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the Cabo San Lucas fishing week ending April 5, 2009, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported some improvement in spring striped marlin action on the Sea of Cortez side. "As expected, the marlin did finally make a showing again," Landrum said. "As is usual for this time of year, the marlin appeared to the north on the Sea of Cortez, around the Iman Bank. There was plenty of bait. The marlin were primarily tailing fish and you needed to be pretty accurate with your casts. The better scoring boats were releasing 5 to 7 marlin per day."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area water temperatures were at 71 to 75 degrees on the Sea of Cortez side, but as low as 65 degrees in some near shore areas as cool currents wrapped around the cape. Water temperatures on the Pacific-side banks were at 66 to 67 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending April 1, 2009, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported continued very slow striped marlin action for charter boats attempting to pound north to the Pacific-side banks. Overall, 18 percent of Pisces Fleet boats released marlin, with a total of just 7 landed. "But this is quite normal for this time of year," Ehrenberg said. "We are already hearing of good marlin numbers on the Cortez side at Destiladeras, so our boats will begin fishing that way now."
Inshore boats did well on up to 10 sierra per outing, plus jack crevalle, needlefish, skipjack, and one boat with 30 Humboldt giant squid to 40 pounds.
Fifty-five percent of Pisces boats caught dorado to about 40 pounds. Just a few yellowfin tuna were found, although the boat Bottom Line did report 9 tuna of 22 to 30 pounds for one outing.
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was windy on the Pacific side, with water temperatures averaging 69 to 71 degrees.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 70 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 665 sierra, 67 dorado, 67 pargo, 26 amberjack, 23 bonito, 22 roosterfish, 19 jack crevalle, 18 cabrilla, 13 striped marlin, 13 pompano, 12 yellowfin tuna, 11 yellowtail, and 2 mako shark.
San Jose del Cabo water temperatures averaged 72 to 73 degrees as most Los Cabos offshore boats worked the Cortez side in improving striped marlin conditions.
"Striped marlin action is still developing," Brictson said. "But it has shown signs of breaking wide open. There was a percentage hooked on trolled lures."
Most San Jose del Cabo pangas fished inshore with abundant sardina baits.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing reported warmer air temperatures in the 90s south of La Paz, with some wind, but with no boats prevented from fishing in good dorado action for fish to 35 pounds, plus pargo lisa, yellowtail, larger dog snapper, cabrilla, and sierra of mixed sizes near shore.
"This week, we had more boats fishing in all areas," Hernandez said, as crowds of locals came to the beaches for the approaching Easter holiday weekend.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mike Carter of Todos Santos reported on a trip to Ensenada de los Muertos and an outing aboard his boat El Suenero with local Capt. Fernando Lucero for good action at Isla Cerralvo and a nice mixed catch of 1 yellowtail at 35 pounds, 3 pargo at 20 pounds, 2 smaller pargo, 2 sierra, 2 cabrilla, and 4 barracuda. Carter fished with trip partner Dan Binetti using Rapalas and sardina baits along the east side of the island from the south end to the north end.
LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto reported continued good yellowtail fishing 7 miles north of town at the San Bruno bajo, except for one day of slow action, as a total of 6 outings by Bear's boat and other local sportfishing and commercial pangueros' boats produced a catch of: 49 yellowtail into the 30-pound class, plus assorted pargo and bottom fish.
On Saturday in 120 to 230 feet of water at San Bruno, Bear said, "Paulino Martinez captained my boat, and Fabrizio Marangoni and I caught 11 good-sized yellowtail.
Loreto fishing area water temperatures were in the high-60s, with good sea conditions alternating with windy days. About 30 to 35 boats per day were fishing the San Bruno bajo area.
LORETO, MEXICO: For the previous week ending April 2, 2009, Bear reported 2 yellowtail caught during a run to the bajo in 69 to 70-degree water.
"Until yesterday, locals fishing commercially were coming in with 10 to 30 yellowtail daily," Bear said. "On Monday, cousins Javier Martinez and Cristiano Martinez brought in 30 yellowtail."
Bear also reported 8 dorado caught about 20 miles outside Punta Lobos on Isla Carmen, or about 40 miles from Loreto, during an outing aboard a private boat skippered by Capt. Andres Cota.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company reported improving numbers of anglers making reservations for Loreto fishing trips this spring. "I have several boats scheduled through Thursday and Friday, and then a new wave of arrivals on Sunday," Bolles said. "Then we start up for the spring yellowtail run through the rest of the month. Kickback time is almost over for the season."
Earlier in the week, Bolles made a very quick run to the San Bruno bajo for a catch of 4 yellowtail of about 30 pounds in 1 hour of fishing time. "They are hitting the bait further up the water column, like at around 90 feet now," Bolles said. "They are hitting equally well on mackerel and grunion. Limits have been obtainable through this week."
LORETO, MEXICO: Thomas Cox of Brawley, Calif., reported on 2 days of fishing at Loreto's San Bruno bajo by Tina, Larry, and Travis Cox with their friend "Abram" for no fish caught during their first day in tough winds, but 6 yellowtail of 25 to 42 pounds the second day. "The winds were howling on their first day," Cox said, "but on the second day the winds calmed and they were able to make the short run to the bajo. The forkies were caught using mackerel baits on the bottom. They had one bite on the surface.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Syd Lindsay of San Lucas Cove south of Santa Rosalia reported generally slow fishing on the Isla San Marcos bajos. "The yellowtail fishing is somewhat down," Lindsay said. "A few fish have been taken. When boats can get to Isla Tortuga, larger fish are taken. "The fishing will pick up at San Marcos for the May tournament."
Lindsay also noted bridges in construction on Baja's Highway Mex 1 between San Bruno and Palo Verde near Punta Chivato. "People going that way should watch for the detour," he said.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore at San Felipe reported big crowds in town for the Semana Santa holiday.
"We are expecting up to 80,000 visitors for the weekend at San Felipe, and there is a large police presence in the town," Meders said. "Their command center is on the corner of Chetumal, a block north of Mar de Cortez, but there are vehicles cruising everywhere.
"There are also several ambulances parked around town in case of emergencies. Parking is very difficult to find. Many people are simply walking into town.
"The beach is fast filling up with tents, and hundreds of little taco stands and hot dog stalls are sprinkled all over the place. The banana boats are flourishing. A general party spirit prevails. In the space next to the bookstore a group of men are running a kind of carnival dice game of some sort with expensive looking prizes. They are getting a lot of clients.
"We hope that there will be no accidents this year and that everyone will have a wonderful time and stay healthy."
San Felipe weather was cool in the mid-70s. "It's been cold at night," Meders said. "The breeze that comes up in the afternoon is quite brisk and people need sweaters. There aren't a lot of people swimming..
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos reported good yellowtail fishing close to town. "My camera is loaded with pictures," he said. "I'm still fishing just outside the marina. We caught some 20-plus pound fish a hundred yards from the entrance, and I picked up a nice 12-pound cabrilla while trolling. There are good numbers of large boils in the afternoon. Sleep in, charge to the boils, and be ready to cast."
Replogle also noted the presence of halfbeak or ballyhoo bait fish found in the stomachs of fish caught, and reports of dorado caught about 45 miles out.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 7 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 3 mako shark, and 3 dorado. Eleven inshore super pangas had a catch of: 85 loras, 47 triggerfish, 62 baquetas, 25 barracuda, 15 conejos, 2 pargo, and 2 lenguas. "It's hard to explain the slow offshore fishing at Mazatlan right now. The fish are just not biting," Edwards said.
Mazatlan fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with good sea conditions and water temperatures at 73 degrees inshore, and 75 to 76 degrees offshore as offshore boats searched a wide area for signs of fish.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: For the previous fishing week ending April 2, 2009, Edwards reported on 24 offshore boats, with a catch including released fish of: 12 striped marlin, 4 dorado, 4 mako shark, and 2 sailfish. Fourteen inshore pangas had a catch of: Mexico fishing limits of roncachos, pargos, and triggerfish, 96 mojarras, 59 loras, 49 baqueta, 19 conejos, and 15 grouper. Mazatlan fishing area weather was clear in the mid-80s, with light northerly breezes and water temperatures at 73 degrees inshore, and up to 76 degrees offshore.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: For the Mazatlan fishing week ending April 2, 2009, Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet reported improved offshore action for striped marlin, sailfish, and dorado, and very good inshore fishing for triggerfish, red snapper, jack crevalle, mojarra, and grouper. "But not a lot of anglers this week," Hernandez said. "Not a lot of boats out."
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta reported heavy bait concentrations starting to thin out and the overall bite improving.
"We’re in the middle of our yearly transition where we see the currents change direction," Gabruk said. "The available small squid, shrimps and sardines have thinned out and the fish are finally taking baits. For weeks now, you needed to be 20 miles or so north of El Banco. But this week, the water has been clear and blue and water temperatures in several areas have warmed up. So for big game fishing in Puerto Vallarta it may be worth it to hit El Banco.
Closer to shore, Punta Mita and Islas Marietas produced variable action on roosterfish to larger sizes, and farther offshore, sailfish and dorado were present.
Roca Corbeteña was under pressure from commercial fishing boats.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said overall Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing was very slow during the week. "This is the typical trend for April," Kunze said. "Then, when the cool water current moves out, the fishing rebounds after the first week of May."
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo sportfishing boats averaged about 1 sailfish per outing in blue water beginning about 10 to 12 miles out.
"I was on the beach watching the commercial fishermen bring in their catch," Kunze said. "Even theirs was very small. One fisherman had a few football yellowfin tuna, but he said he had to go out 50 miles for them."
Inshore fishing was also "shut off" for jack crevalle after a period of very good action.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was clear and calm in the low-80s, with water temperatures at 78 to 83 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 2 days of fishing by Capt. Luis Maciel of the boat Gringo Loco, with the catch including a yellowfin tuna of 160 pounds and a blue marlin at 200 pounds.
For the previous week ending April 2, 2009, Edwards reported overall action slower, but some yellowfin tuna found 15 to 18 miles out. Inshore fishing continued good for jack crevalle, but with roosterfish absent.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was calm in the low-90s, with water temperatures at 74 degrees inshore, and 80 to 81 degrees offshore.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 21 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 15 sailfish, 10 dorado, 2 red snapper, 2 barracuda, 2 wahoo, 2 king mackerel, and at least 1 yellowfin tuna reported. Cancun fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-80s, with moderate winds to 13 knots and water temperatures stable at 80 degrees throughout the area.