Loreto's pre-spawn spring yellowtail bite moves south to Isla Carmen

Mexico Fishing News, April 20, 2009



LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto said the strong yellowtail bite of the past several weeks located north of town at the San Bruno bajo slowed down, but yellowtail fishing improved sharply at the north end of Isla Carmen.

"The action picked up even closer to town," Erhardt said. "Over a sandy bottom in water under 100 feet deep, yellowtail between 20 and 30 pounds were taking flylined mackerel or bait slow-trolled further down in the water column."

A run to the north end of the island by Erhardt's boat Soledad produced 2 yellowtail missed on flylined bait and 9 more landed on downriggers for his group.

"I fished with relatives visiting from the Midwest," Erhardt said. "With no rocks handy to shred leaders, the fish could be taken on relatively light tackle. Long horizontal runs were common."

Loreto fishing area water temperatures averaged 69 degrees, with variable and fluky winds.

LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company also reported the San Bruno bajo yellowtail bite tapering off over the full moon period, but better action found farther south. "Now the focus has moved back to northern Isla Carmen," Bolles said. "The bite has been surprisingly good. There have been few days when we've gotten skunked. The ratio of females to males caught is up, and we've been finding full egg sacks. In some locations, the spawn may have already started. The yellowtail are grouped in densely packed schools in preparation for that event."

Bolles also noted that Loreto anglers observing illegal fishing activity in the area may report it by contacting her at paminlto@gmail.com, by her local telephone number, 135-1603, or by calling Eco Alianza Loreto at 135-1907.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet at Ensenada reported a windy fishing week keeping his charter pangas ashore at times, but some good fishing found, as Capt. Beto snuck out with anglers Tina, Phillip, and Samantha Yeo of San Diego, Calif., for a Mexican sportfishing limit of halibut in sheltered water inside the bay. "One of the halibut weighed 12 pounds," Villarino said. "They also got sandbass. It was a good day of fishing on the sand flats, dragging anchovies with trap rigs."

Local Ensenada fishing area weather was overcast in the low-60s, with light winds, ocean swells at 2 to 3 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 55 degrees.



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending April 10, 2009, Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported windy weather at San Quintin as most boats stayed off the water. By the weekend, improving weather allowed boats to fish the 240 spot for the usual Mexico fishing limits of lingcod and mixed rockcods plus larger bonito.

Hillis noted commercial Mexican fishermen's reports of good yellowtail action at Isla San Martin. "There have been reports of a huge bite," Hillis said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to get out there and throw a few lines."



BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Mike Borden of El Cajon, Calif., reported on a fly-down fishing cruise from La Paz to Loreto and back aboard his boat Fish Magnet, finding the best action at Punta Perico south of La Paz, and at Isla Catalina south of Loreto.

"Capt. Luis Palomino took us to wide-open yellowtail fishing at Isla Catalina," Borden said. "On Isla Catalina, the yellows wanted to eat and we fed them Yozuris and heavy Tady’s. These are quality yellows."

At Punta Perico, good-sized pargo lisa were hooked and lost to rocks.

Water temperatures averaged 69 degrees at Isla Catalina and 72 degrees around La Paz.

After flying his plane into Ensenada de Los Muertos, also known as Bahia de Suenos, to meet the Fish Magnet, Borden commented on recent developments in the area.

"The new construction and opportunities at Bahia Los Suenos are off the chart," he said. "The airport at Las Arenas is fantastic and Steve Games and the crew are doing amazing things at Bahia Los Suenos. We parked next to two Citation jets. If someone has the capital to get in there, go for it. First class comes to mind."



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Jeff Petersen of Loreto and the Lopez Sportman's Lodge at Puerto Lopez Mateos said the Magdalena Bay business would be closing operations and his boat, The Baja Californian, would be moved to Panama.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 39 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 4 striped marlin, 71 dorado, 26 yellowfin tuna, 1 roosterfish, 8 Humboldt giant squid, and 6 yellowtail.

"Cabo San Lucas fishing boats are still seeing stripers throughout the area, but the fish are not at all interested," Edwards said. "Fishing continues difficult for billfish."

Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear in the high-80s, with cool water at 67 to 68 degrees coming down the Baja Pacific coast and warmer water temperatures farther offshore in all directions at 72 to 74 degrees.

No concentrations of billfish were found. Dorado were caught mostly 4 to 6 miles off Baja's Sea of Cortez coast from Chileno to Destiladeras.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 51 boats fishing in some windy conditions during the week, for good counts of sierra, plus dorado, yellowtail, Humboldt giant squid, skipjack, mako shark, snappers, some yellowfin tuna, and a few marlin hooked up but none landed. "It seemed striped marlin were on spring break, mostly attributed to the abundance of squid in the water," Garcia said. "Not a lot of guests are able to handle the wind. This can change overnight."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of the Pisces Fleet Sportfishing charter boat Falcon reported rough weather at Cabo San Lucas and a slow week of fishing.

"Rough weather turned into seasick anglers begging for Capt. Manuel to return to Cabo and dry land on several occasions," Connolly said.

The Falcon did manage 1 striped marlin release at the 95 spot, as the boat concentrated mainly on good yellowtail action near shore for fish of 12 to over 17 pounds.

"There were abundant fish close to the beach from the lighthouse to San Cristobal," Connolly said. "We metered fish in 120 to 200 feet of water and they were biting the jigs very well. Mexico fishing limits were the norm."

Good fishing for sierra was also found in spots tight to shore.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 10 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 33 yellowtail of 15 to 20 pounds, 1 other boat with good yellowtail action, 27 sierra mackerel of 5 to 6 pounds, and 5 skipjack of 20 pounds. Some striped marlin were seen during the week, but they were not biting.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending April 12, 2009, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported bumpy seas and cool 64 to 66-degree water temperatures on the Pacific-side banks, but water temperatures up to 73 degrees straight south and on the Sea of Cortez side.

Striped marlin action was sluggish over the full moon period as the Cortez-side bite of the previous week scattered. "The concentration of marlin in the Destiladeras area was short-lived," Landrum said. "Toward the end of the week the fish were found almost everywhere in the Sea of Cortez, but it was almost impossible to get bit."

Yellowfin tuna continued scarce, although a few Cabo San Lucas fishing boats scored good numbers on tuna at about 25 pounds in spots to the south and west of the Jaime Bank.

Dorado were also scattered as Cabo boats averaged about 1 to as many as 4 fish per outing.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending April 8, 2009, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported blustery winds on the Pacific side as boats struggled to find striped marlin. Some boats found better action at Destiladeras on the Cortez side, including 6-marlin release days for the C Rod and the Falcon, and a 6-marlin day for La Brisa, with 5 released.

Overall, 25 percent of Pisces Fleet boats released marlin, 28 percent landed dorado, 50 percent caught sierra mackerel, and just 1 boat caught yellowfin tuna, as Bill Collector checked in with 4 tuna of 20 to 25 pounds caught 20 miles off the Old Lighthouse on the Pacific side.

Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was sunny and mostly windy on the Pacific side, with overall water temperatures averaging 72 degrees.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 46 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 234 sierra, 28 roosterfish, 28 pompano, 22 cabrilla, 17 jack crevalle, 13 amberjack, 12 dorado, 6 yellowtail, 5 yellowfin tuna, 5 bonito, 4 hammerhead shark, 3 striped marlin, and 1 rainbow runner.

San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was variable, with some wind, strong currents, and water temperatures as high as 73 degrees at the Gordo Banks. Sardina live bait supplies were usually adequate, although bait was more scattered over the full moon period.

"Billfish action slowed way down over the full moon," Brictson said, "and yellowfin tuna remained very elusive."

Most charter pangas fished closer to shore with sardina baits, hoochies, jigs, and Rapalas for mixed species led by sierra mackerel averaging about 2 pounds in weight, but with some sierra present to 8 pounds.



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending April 9, 2009, Felipe Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort at East Cape reported on 21 boats, with 62 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 22 striped marlin, 53 dorado of 20 to 30 pounds, 8 roosterfish, 9 snappers, 7 triggerfish, 4 cabrilla, and 4 sierra. East Cape fishing area weather was in the mid-70s, with water temperatures at 70 to 75 degrees, as most boats fished straight out 15 to 20 miles. Mackerel live baits were available daily, and sardina baits were available on 4 mornings.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista reported his first-ever mako shark, caught aboard his beach-launched aluminum boat 4 miles off Buenos Aires beach on a trolled MirrOlure 111MR lure in hot pink color.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending April 12, 2009, John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported East Cape fishing area weather with variable calm and windy days in the low-80s, with water temperatures of 72 to 75 degrees, dorado in the warmer water areas about 20 miles out, and good roosterfish action along the beaches. "Roosterfish are feeding on sardina schools," Ireland said. "The gallos are averaging 5 to 7 pounds, with some 30 pounders mixed in. Anglers are releasing up to 20 roosterfish a day, with most taken on sardinas."

Inshore fishing for pargo, cabrilla, and sierra was also good directly off Rancho Leonero. "Four anglers on my boat filled 2 ice chests in an hour," Ireland said. "All the fish were taken on sardinas."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport East Cape diving service reported good conditions at Punta Pescadero and Cerro Verde, with water temperatures at depth averaging 73 degrees, and visibility at 60 to 80 feet.

A trip north with recently certified divers produced sightings of spotted eagle rays, bumphead parrotfish, yellowtail surgeonfish, and big numbers of burrito grunts and graybar grunts. "Huge plumes of grunts clouded the water all around us," Cazaly said.

"In the sand, garden eels were in good form as they twisted and swayed to their own rhythms. Our divers commented that they could quite easily have spent the majority of their time just watching them dance."

Diving at El Cardonal found "a kaleidoscope of color as fish bombarded us from every direction" and bottom species included camouflaged stone scorpionfish and lobsters.



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported variable action during the week for his pangas on a mixed bag of yellowtail to 30 pounds, dorado at some buoys, and inshore catches of cabrilla, pargo, snappers, smaller yellowtail, and roosterfish.

"Everyone got fish, but some did better than others," Roldan said.

Strong south winds on some days made both inshore and offshore fishing problematical. "Boats fishing outside found dorado and yellowtail if they were able to get to the island and hold into the spots," Roldan said.

"Inshore there were lots of pelicans and birds also hiding from the winds which often made it difficult to fish the baits."

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing reported offshore winds preventing his pangas from running out to the north end of Isla Cerralvo, but yellowtail and dorado caught closer to Punta Perico.

Inshore fishing in sheltered waters produced dog snapper, barred pargo, sierra, cabrilla, and lots of bites from mullet snapper. Good concentrations of mullet snapper were also seen at the south end of the island.



ROCKY POINT, MEXICO: Art Pina of Tucson, Ariz., reported on a run out to 25 miles aboard his boat Big Daddy for a catch by angler Louie Xourafas of 1 grouper, 175 feet deep in tough, windy sea conditions. "The weather fooled me, as it had flattened out in the morning," Pina said. "Louie hooked 2 but lost 1 of them. I was busy keeping the bow into the waves. I need to check Buoyweather more often. Extremely rough water made the trip back kind of lumpy."



SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos reported fishing slower during the week, as 5 outings produced just 3 yellowtail. "On one outing, the boat next to us boated 6, jigging the boils," Replogle said. "Maybe a lot of it is timing and water clarity."

One San Carlos boat reported dorado to the south.

"It should be about time that the bite picks up at Isla San Pedro Nolasco," Replogle said. "Maybe the big ones in close are spawning, full of bait, or didn't want to put up with the barracuda anymore. Another few days of wind, and hopefully it will start warming."

Water temperatures at San Carlos were cooler at about 63 degrees.

SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters of San Carlos reported generally slow fishing as 2 half-day outings produced sightings of fish boils and some break-offs, but just 1 quality yellowtail. Two afternoon trips with Semana Santa visitors found lots of barracuda. "We were hooking up every cast," Jon Jen said. "It's fun fishing with light rods." Few charter boats fished during the week.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 10 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 3 yellowfin tuna, and 3 dorado. Eight inshore super pangas had a catch of: 135 snappers, 4 cabrilla, 6 baqueta, 8 barracuda, 70 loras, and 20 triggerfish.

Mazatlan fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-80s, with water temperatures at about 70 degrees near shore, rising to about 75 degrees 18 miles out. The port of Mazatlan was closed 1 day due to weather, as most boats fished about 20 to 30 miles to the southwest.



PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta reported big crowds of Mexican vacationers present for the Semana Santa holiday period as most charters were for short days that did not fish the offshore locations. Yellowfin tuna to about 60 pounds were present at El Banco. Few boats fished Roca Corbeteña, as commercial boats were reported to be working the area. Fishing closer areas including Islas Marietas, El Morro, Punta Mita, and Sayulita produced roosterfish, jack crevalle, mixed snappers, and dorado at the buoys.



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported tough fishing for Ixtapa Zihuatanejo boats over the full moon period. "The offshore bite took a beating," Edwards said. "Capt. Temo Verboonen reported red tide conditions in some areas." Inshore fishing continued good for mixed species including sierra, bonito, jack crevalle, and some rainbow runner.

Ixtapa fishing area weather was mostly clear in low-90s, with 75-degree water near shore and 81-degree water offshore with patches of red tide plankton. Inshore water was clear.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said offshore Ixtapa boats averaged about 1 or 2 sailfish per outing during the week. Several blue marlin were brought in, as boats recorded about 1 blue marlin hookup per 5 outings.

Capt. Santiago Valdovinos on the charter panga Gitana had 3 sailfish during 1 outing, and his brother Adan had 4 sailfish releases for another outing.

Jack crevalle fishing inshore was good for catches including fish of 15 or 20 pounds reported at White Rocks about 7.5 miles south of Zihuatanejo, and Petatlan about 16 miles south.



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: 7 dorado, 4 sailfish, 3 yellowfin tuna, and 1 red snapper. Cancun fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with easterly winds at 10 knots and water temperatures stable at 80 degrees.

Yellowtail fishing at Loreto

LORETO YELLOWTAIL 101--With 5 fish hanging and ready for the smoker, Jon Wilson, visiting Loreto from Iowa for his first-ever encounter with yellowtail during fishing aboard Loreto resident Bill Erhardt's boat Soledad, battles 1 of 6 more yellowtail released Tuesday in good action north of Isla Carmen, as Erhardt, center, and Aaron Connell visiting from Ohio look on. PHOTO COURTESY OF RON BEITELSPACHER.

Gulf grouper caught at Loreto

LORETO GULF GROUPER--Loreto resident Ron Beitelspacher, fishing Wednesday with his wife Linda on their boat Sonrisa on an overnight trip to Isla Carmen, dropped a mackerel bait on a high spot looking for yellowtail and was rewarded instead with this big gulf grouper. PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL ERHARDT.

Yellowtail caught at Bajo San Bruno

LORETO FISHING--Francisco Susarrey, left, and Bradley Petersen, both of Loreto, with yellowtail caught while home from studies during Easter break. Francisco's father, Arturo Susarrey of Arturo's Sportfishing, was at the helm during action at the San Bruno reef north of town. Bradley's father, Jeff Petersen, was also aboard as yellowtail and mixed bottom fish were caught at a "secret spot." PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFF PETERSEN.

Halibut fishing at Ensenada, Mexico

ENSENADA FLATS FISHING--On a windy day at Ensenada, Capt. Beto Lucero of Vonny's Fleet found a nice catch of halibut to 12 pounds while fishing the shallows inside the bay with anglers Phillip, Tina, and Samantha Yeo of San Diego. They trolled rigged anchovy baits for Mexico sportfishing limits of halibut plus some sandbass. PHOTO COURTESY OF IVAN VILLARINO.

Sawtail grouper caught at Isla Las Animas

LA PAZ-LORETO CRUISE--Mike Borden with a nice sawtail grouper caught at Isla Las Animas during a cruise aboard his boat Fish Magnet from La Paz to Loreto and back. The best fishing during the trip was found at Isla Catalana and Punta Perico south of La Paz. Lower photo, Brooke Borden with a real nice Isla Catalana yellowtail. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE BORDEN.

Mahi mahi caught at Cabo San Lucas

CABO SAN LUCAS FISHING--Gene David Pincus, left, of Studio City, Calif., with a nice dorado caught at Cabo San Lucas recently during a trip aboard the charter boat Cabo Magic Dos. Assisting Pincus is Cabo Magic Dos first mate Jesus. PHOTO COURTESY OF LORI GARCIA.

Mako shark caught at East Cape

MAKO MAN--Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista at East Cape ready to fillet out his first-ever mako shark, hooked on a trolled MirrOlure MR111 lure in hot pink color during action aboard Eddy's beach-launched aluminum boat. PHOTO COURTESY OF TORRANCE EDDY.

Roosterfish caught at La Paz, Mexico

FIRST-EVER GALLO--Eric Mikity of Chino, Calif., caught his first-ever roosterfish, or gallo in Spanish, during live bait fishing with Tailhunter International off the beach at Punta Arena de la Ventana south of La Paz. PHOTO COURTESY OF JONATHAN ROLDAN.

Barred pargo caught at La Paz

LA PAZ REEF TOUGHIE--Sam Smith shows off a nice barred pargo, or pargo mulato in Spanish, caught at La Paz with Tortuga sportfishing. The hard-hitting reef dweller was hooked during an outing with Tortuga's Capt. Jorge Lucero that also produced a nice dog snapper and other species. PHOTO COURTESY OF GERARDO HERNANDEZ.

Gulf grouper caught 25 miles out of Rocky Point, Sonora

WINDY DAY GROUPER--With a fish flag still showing a stiff breeze, Art Pina, left, and Louie Xourafas show off a hard-won gulf grouper caught in very windy and rough sea conditions about 25 miles out of Rocky Point, Sonora, aboard Pina's boat Big Daddy. Said Pina, who didn't manage to hook-up during the day, "I was busy keeping the bow into the waves." PHOTO COURTESY OF ART PINA.

Color variation of Pacific creolefish

CREOLEFISH COLOR PATTERN--Troy Shandy with one of the color variations of the Pacific creolefish, caught at San Francisquito in August 2002. The fish hit a Krocodile about 20 or 30 feet deep. PHOTO COURTESY OF TROY SHANDY.

Killer whales at Ixtapa in water temperature of about 80 degrees

WARM WATER ORCAS--A pair of killer whales, or orcas, was caught cruising in water at about 80 degrees during an early April 2009 outing by the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo charter boat Huntress. PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL PHILLIPS.

Underwater yellowtail at San Carlos 1

Underwater yellowtail at San Carlos 2

Underwater yellowtail at San Carlos 3

YELLOWTAIL "ATTACK"--An underwater camera catches close-up photos of some aggressive yellowtail seeming to attack the rudder of a sailboat cruising off San Carlos, Sonora, as they possibly chased bait hiding under the boat. Jon Jen Charters of San Carlos said, "The fish were bumping the rudder." PHOTOS COURTESY OF JON JEN CHARTERS.

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