LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said the good yellowtail bite at the north end of Loreto's Isla Carmen shut down as the fish's annual spring spawn began at that particular location on or about April 20, 2009.
"The fish are actively spawning there now," Bolles said. "San Bruno had shut down as the spawn began up there a couple of weeks ago, but now those yellowtail are feeding again."
Boats running north to the San Bruno bajo reported Mexico sportfishing limits taken on flylined mackerel, caballito, or grunion baits fished about 90 feet deep.
"The yellowtail populations spawn on their own time," Bolles said. "The particular time is probably determined by the environment as well as genetics. Luckily for us, the yellowtail spawns at Loreto are staggered. If one area is spawning and thus not feeding, another area may be off its spawn, or still feeding in pre-spawn."
"The San Bruno yellowtail did come up to the surface right before they spawned, but they are now back down in their pre-spawn depths. The bajo we fish at San Bruno is about 5 miles from the Baja coast."
LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported yellowtail and cabrilla being targeted by local anglers near shore, and steady action on peanut dorado available for those trolling feathers offshore.
On one outing during the week, Erhardt's boat Soledad trolled 15 to 20 miles offshore for release action on 15 dorado to about 12 pounds, after a planned trip to fish for yellowtail at Isla Catalana was aborted due to a lack of bait.
"There was no floating structure to hold the dorado," Erhardt said, "but the fish were plentiful and could be seen greyhounding after bait, sometimes with a frigate bird on sentinel duty.
"The only other fishermen in the area were Eleanor and Les Swenson on their boat Sailfish, and they spent the day as I did, catching and releasing the little schoolie dorado."
Loreto fishing area weather was variably light after a period of winds, with sea surface water temperatures at 72 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported steady Mexico sportfishing limits for his charter pangas at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda. Anglers going out with Capts. Beto and Hector fished in calm seas for species including lingcod, red rockcod, treefish, olive rockfish, halibut, and sandbass. "They used anchovies on dropper loops on the bottom and dragged anchovies on the flats," Villarino said. "They also tossed plastics for sandbass. Not bad."
Angler Leonardo Luna brought back a full ice chest of species that also included bonito, after fishing with Capt. Hector. Also fishing during the week were Larry Kellerman and Greg Wiley of Los Angeles, Calif.
Ensenada fishing area weather was clear and sunny in the 70s, with light winds, ocean swells of 2 feet, and water temperatures averaging 59 degrees.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO:Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported dorado still being found by commercial shark fisherman at the buoys about 20 miles outside the San Carlos entrada. Small yellowfin tuna mixed with skipjack were reported 10 miles outside Boca de Soledad near Puerto Lopez Mateos to the north. A few grouper and snapper were caught in the Magdalena Bay mangrove channels. Smaller halibut were reported on the Punta Belcher flats just inside the San Carlos entrada. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was clear in the low-80s.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 32 offshore outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 137 yellowfin tuna, 79 dorado, 8 striped marlin, and 1 yellowtail. "With the drop-off of billfish counts, the tuna were most welcome," Edwards said. Tuna were found mostly on the Pacific side around the Jaime Bank. The high boat for the fleet was the Fish Cabo, with Capt. Gil Marquez and a total of 40 tuna and 20 dorado caught in 2 outings.
Cabo San Lucas sportfishing area weather was clear in the low-90s, with water temperatures at about 70 degrees on the Pacific side, warming to 75 degrees at the Gordo Banks on the Sea of Cortez side. Live baits supplies at the Cabo San Lucas marina were good for both mackerel and caballito.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending April 15, 2009, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported continued very slow striped marlin action. "We heard of boats seeing lots of them, but they were uninterested in eating," Ehrenberg said. "One boat reported sighting 15 marlin in a morning, but didn't even get a look." Overall, 23 percent of Pisces Fleet boats released marlin, 29 percent caught dorado, and no boats reported yellowfin tuna. Inshore fishing produced good numbers of sierra, plus cabrilla, roosterfish, and yellowtail. A few mako shark and 1 hammerhead shark rounded out the fish counts. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear and windy on the Pacific side, with water temperatures averaging 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: 2 striped marlin, 1 yellowfin tuna of 15 pounds, and 5 dorado of 15 to 40 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing reported Pacific-side yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds plus dorado found on a temperature break about 10 miles west of the Jaime Bank. On the Cortez side, striped marlin were caught about 32 miles northeast of the Cabo marina. Local inshore fishing near the Cabo San Lucas arch produced yellowtail on caballito baits, and good numbers of Humboldt giant squid were caught by jigging about 200 feet deep at locations 2 to 4 miles straight south of the arch.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 2 outings during the week with a total of 6 anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 17 sierra of 3 to 8 pounds, 10 yellowtail of 6 to 12 pounds, and 2 Humboldt giant squid of 15 to 25 pounds. The Cheer's fished along Cabo's Pacific side beaches in water temperatures of about 70 degrees and good sea conditions. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included Jorge Garcia, Jorge Garcia Avalos, J. Alejandro Vazquez Garcia, and Juan Pablo Vazquez Garcia, all of Mexico City, and Jaime Vicker and Mensler Werner of New York.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 51 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 156 mixed snapper species, 69 sierra, 31 cabrilla, 28 bonito, 22 amberjack, 18 roosterfish, 14 jack crevalle, 13 yellowtail, 12 dorado, 9 yellowfin tuna to 50 pounds, 9 pompano, and 2 striped marlin.
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was clear in the mid-80s, with light tourist crowds and water temperatures at 68 to 73 degrees.
Sardina bait fish were scarce during the week, as anglers made do with a mix of squid, mullet, mackerel, caballito, skipjack, and bolito.
"Skippers are doing the best they can under the circumstances," Brictson said. "The most consistent fishing areas have been north of Punta Gorda."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist John Snow reported on 10 surf fishing trips, 5 outings aboard the panga Salome, and a trip to visit the commercial pangueros of Todos Santos, with a total of 214 fish caught of 41 different species, including 3 new species, the finespotted jawfish, slender kingfish, and unicorn filefish. Another new species, an Atlantic porkfish, was also observed on sale at a local market.
"Water conditions were significantly improved, with pristine clear blue water loaded with an overabundance of very diverse jellyfish," Snow said. "Only 10 percent of the jellyfish in the world have been characterized. Beach fishing was on fire, which I attribute to improved skills. The fish have always been there. I just did not understand exactly where or how to catch them."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending April 16, 2009, Felipe Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 12 East Cape boats fishing during the week, with 20 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 15 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 8 dorado, 1 shark, 1 snapper, 7 ladyfish, 7 triggerfish, 2 cabrilla, 1 sierra, and 89 skipjack tuna. East Cape fishing area weather was in the mid-70s, with water temperatures of 69 to 71 degrees. Fleet boats fished mostly about 5 miles off Punta Pescadero to the north. Good numbers of striped marlin were seen but not biting. Roosterfish were present inshore although fleet boats did not target them.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja fly fishing service reported clearing weather and improving fishing conditions at East Cape, with good bait fish concentrations present and catches including roosterfish, ladyfish, jack crevalle, pompano, and some late season sierra. Bait fish present along East Cape beaches included sardinas, ballyhoo or halfbeak, mullet, and very small flying fish.
"We've had some nonstop roosterfish action," deBrown said. "We also have very big schools of jack crevalle. We encountered one school that was so dense it looked like a black reef, only it was moving. The fish were between 25 and 40 pounds, but the problem is that they are spawning, and not many have eating on their minds. Pretty soon, these fish should be on the eats, and we should see some nice jack crevalle fishing."
Offshore East Cape fishing boats found excellent numbers on dorado of 15 to 30 pounds around a dead whale about 15 miles off Punta Colorada. Fair numbers of marlin, but no tuna, were also reported offshore.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported good dorado action for East Cape fishing boats around the dead whale found floating in the water. "It was off the charts," Graham said. "Nonstop action for fly and conventional."
Inshore fishing produced a steady mix of jack crevalle, pompano, and roosterfish, in clearing conditions following several days of wind.
East Cape fishing area weather was clear in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 67 to 73 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort at Los Barriles reported 2 or 3 boats fishing per day, with good results for about 8 to 10 dorado of 30 to 40 pounds per outing.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending April 19, 2009, John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported calm weather following 2 days of wind, with water temperatures at 72 to 74 degrees, and air temperatures in the low-80s.
Inshore fishing was very good of a mix of pargo, cabrilla, sierra, and plentiful roosterfish.
Offshore boats found good numbers of striped marlin, but with few ready to strike. Dorado were more scattered, in slower overall conditions.
"Sardinas are abundant along almost all the East Cape beaches and they are holding limitless roosterfish," Ireland said. "Fly fishing anglers are releasing as many as 20 roosterfish a day. Everything is biting on live sardinas, but the flies are also working very well on the gallos."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport diving service reported 2 humpback whales seen during the week, despite warming spring season water temperatures recorded at 73 degrees at the Cabo Pulmo coral reef. Visibility was at 60 feet.
"Conditions are the best that I have seen in April," Cazaly said. Sea life encounters during the week included diamond stingrays, concentrated leopard grouper and burrito grunt, guitarfish, parrotfish, Cortez and king angelfish, moray eels, nudibranchs, and a school of about 100 smoothtail mobula manta rays ghosting by.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz reported warm weather in the 90s, with calm seas around Ensenada de los Muertos and Isla Cerralvo. Anglers fishing with abundant sardina baits did well on good-sized dorado at the buoys and larger pargo lisa at Punta Perico and Isla Cerralvo.
"We have a lot of sardina bait available," Hernandez said. "People who have been fishing with us for years are surprised by how much bait there is throughout our fishing area."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Diana Johnson of Mulege's Hotel Serenidad reported the first dorado of the season caught during the week. "The dorado are now at Mulege," Johnson said. "The first ones were caught yesterday. It seems Mulege will have an early dorado season, and it looks like a good one."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Ken Jones of Long Beach reported on an overland Baja run down the Gonzaga Bay road from San Felipe. "It is a bit sad to see it paved over," Jones said. "The progress is basically up to Black Mountain. From my favorite corvina fishing spot near the Hot Chocolate Cliffs, I can look over and see construction debris in the distance.
"From one rock, I have fished and caught over 15 different species, seen and heard whales close to shore, and have had turtles swim by me, and it made me truly fall in love with the Sea of Cortez. It's not as romantic as some stories, but it's mine!
"Last fall when I was here, 25 Mexicali locals in 3 trucks raped the shoreline, catching sacks and sacks of fish and keeping every single one. Now with the road, they can do it more often, until there is nothing left."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the San Felipe Title Company bookstore in downtown San Felipe reported warm weather into the 90s during the week. "The heat wave should be passing. What happened to spring?" Meders said.
San Felipe was quiet and getting quieter during the spell of unseasonably warm air temperatures as Meders noted animal control officers at work removing stray animals from the streets.
"The economic downturn is affecting all of us," she said. "The Mexicali animal control department has been down here catching slews of homeless animals. It looks like a quiet week ahead, but we always have our beautiful Sea Of Cortez to visit. There have been several dead whales on the beaches lately. I hope this is not an ominous trend."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos reported mostly desultory yellowtail action during the week, as several outings produced an average of about 1 yellowtail per trip. "Other boats were getting a few fish by jigging and some trolling, and a friend did well on live bait and caught a lot of groupers too," Replogle said. "We have struck out a couple of times. Maybe the fish are getting ready to spawn. The weather looks good, so maybe we'll see some warm water action within a week. The pangas are beginning to work their nets, hoping to get a whole school. I think a lot of the small bait has moved off."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters at San Carlos reported mixed yellowtail fishing, with some trips skunked but Capt. Abel getting some fish aboard the charter boat Jon Jen II, and Capt. Fernando of Catch-22 Sportfishing with 3 yellowtail on one trip.
"But we had some customers out yesterday getting that dreaded fish count of nada nada," Jon Jen said. "They ended up with only barracuda. The fish were all around, but just not taking anything." San Carlos fishing area water temperatures were reported at 67 degrees.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 3 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 4 striped marlin, 1 dorado, and 1 mako shark. Five inshore super pangas had a catch of: 15 dorado, 11 cabrilla, 4 conejos, Mexico fishing limits of snappers, 7 baquetas, and 25 loras.
"Mazatlan was extraordinarily slow for anglers," Edwards said. "However, the offshore bite is starting to improve."
Mazatlan fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-80s, with light breezes, calm seas, and water temperatures warming at 74 to 75 degrees.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet reported good inshore fishing for a nice mix of species including red snapper, triggerfish, gulf coney or baqueta of 8 to 15 pounds, mojarra, parrotfish or lora, lengua, gulf grouper, cabrilla, amberjack, barracuda, croakers, and jack crevalle.
Baits used for these species included squid, shrimp, barracuda, goggle-eye, "chile verde," "chiro," and "chabela."
Offshore fishing was improving for a spring transition mix of cooler water shark and striped marlin, plus warmer water dorado.
Mazatlan fishing area weather was mostly clear, with calm to moderate seas and water temperatures averaging 75 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said offshore action was "practically nonexistent" during the week for the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo sportfishing fleet. "The blue water moved out beyond 24 miles," Kunze said. "The fleet is averaging less than a sailfish per boat."
Commercial pangueros running out 45 to 50 miles scored on blue marlin and yellowfin tuna.
Inshore fishing was good for jack crevalle, skipjack tuna, and black skipjack. "There's lots of action for light line," Kunze said. "The fishing is one-half to two miles off the beach, all up and down the coast."
As has been occasionally reported during previous seasons, large jack crevalle were caught unusually far offshore of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo. "Capt. Jaime said he encountered them at 17 miles," Kunze said. "They averaged 25 pounds and were so hungry he got a quadruple hookup on sailfish baits."
Ixtapa fishing area weather was clear in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 78 to 83 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Mike Bulkley of Huntress Sportfishing said, "Offshore fishing out of Zihuatanejo is shut down." Bulkley estimated the fleet sailfish count at about 1 fish per 10 outings. "The Huntress has gone strikeless in the past 5 trips offshore," Bulkley said. Inshore fishing was steady for jacks.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported sailfish seen but not biting. "The water clarity is pretty good outside the 100-fathom curve," Edwards said. "We are looking at sailfish a couple of miles offshore, but we can't get them to bite." Inshore fishing was good on light tackle for a mix of bonito, skipjack tuna, mackerel, and jack crevalle at White Rocks and along shore to the north.