LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported full summer-style fishing conditions last week as air temperatures hit daily highs in the 90s, water temperatures held in the low-80s, prevailing winds shifting to the south, extended periods of calm weather in between, and good offshore fishing for larger dorado on floating debris, billfish going on the bite, and a local "mini-bite" on wahoo.
"On cue, the dorado at Loreto have increased in size, with many taken in the 30s, and a few larger," Erhardt said. "Seaweed paddies have failed to develop in number, so large schools of dorado are holding under whatever floating structure is available. Fishing boats accumulate quickly when floating structure is located.
"The billfish that have heretofore been too stuffed with natural bait to show much interest in fishermen's offerings have started to bite with a vengeance, both on natural bait and trolled feathers."
Some yellowtail were still available for anglers willing to drop deep in the heat from a dead boat.
Erhardt fished 4 days aboard his boat Soledad for a combined catch including released fish of: about 14 dorado to 39 pounds, 8 sailfish, 3 striped marlin, 2 yellowtail, and 1 wahoo.
Erhardt said, "To add a little spice, wahoo have provided at least 5 fish for Loreto fishermen. Rick Worley, fishing with Susana and Carl Duggan from San Quintin, landed a 75 pounder aboard the Duggans' boat Carlysue."
Loreto fishing area offshore water color was clear and blue at 83 degrees. Few sargassum weed paddies were present.
LORETO, MEXICO: Lou Federico of Folsom, Calif., and the original builder of the Hotel Punta Chivato south of Mulege, reported on a Baja trip to Loreto and panga fishing 2 days with Arturo's Sportfishing for very good action 35 to 40 miles out on dorado plus 5 sailfish hookups and 1 marlin hookup.
"I only fish with a fly rod, so after a few dorado, that was enough for me," Federico said. "The dorado were exceptionally large. Arturo's fleet was well worth the price. Great equipment, live bait, etc."
Federico noted his good experience while staying at Loreto's Hotel Mision. "They run it like a cruise ship," he said. "They pamper you silly."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported continued good spring fishing for his charter pangas at Ensenada as catches at the tip of Punta Banda included lots of surface bonito to 12 pounds and large barracuda of 9 to 12 pounds plus mixed bottom fish and few giant Humboldt squid. Anglers fishing during the week with Vonny's Fleet Capts. Hector on the Vonny IV and Beto on the Vonny I included Scott Rose and his son Alex from San Diego, Calif., and Jay Johnson of Ensenada. "Jay donated lots of bonitas to the fish smoker," Villarino said. "The fishing is good right now." Ensenada fishing area weather was in the 70s, with cloudy mornings, calm winds, ocean swells at 3 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 59 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the boat Bad Dog at Marina Coral reported on an outing with Juan Lu, fishing in bonito-infested waters around Islas de Todos Santos for unlimited fish at about 6 pounds, Humboldt giant squid boiling around the boat, and then a bottom fishing session at the Banda Bank for a catch in green, 59-degree water of: 1 vermilion rockfish, 6 starry rockfish, and 1 bocaccio.
Ross said, "It was a day dominated by bonito. They were thick all around Todos Santos Island and out to the Banda Bank. It was an incredible tonnage of these fish. We boated them until we couldn't stand it any longer."
No targeted yellowtail were caught at the island. "We found some birds and threw iron on the spot," Ross said. "I hooked a large fish, which put up a hell of tug-of-war, until it came to the top. It was a Humboldt squid. Juan Lu hooked another one and they began boiling. One more, and then we left the area, giving the squid room to do whatever they were doing."
Ross noted that the bonito around Islas Todos Santos were feeding on concentrations of an unusual juvenile bait fish about 3 inches long. "I'd never seen this one before," he said.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort south of Ensenada reported very calm winds under overcast skies during the week and 2 panga sportfishing trips for bonito on the surface and mixed bottom fish including rockcods, whitefish, 1 calico bass, and 1 lingcod. "The lingcod bite has slowed down at this time of year," Saenz said. "On the surface, the bonita were hitting on Rapalas around Bahia de Soledad."
Baitfish were abundant in the area, but no yellowtail were reported at Soledad reef. Saenz noted very few visitors during the past several weeks of Mexico's swine flu scare. "After 3 weekends without sportfishing tourists, we finally had Richard Sanchez and his group of 7 from the Los Angeles area this week," he said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 14 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 3 striped marlin, and 2 dorado.
"It was another very difficult week of fishing in Cabo San Lucas, with very few anglers and boats," Edwards said. "Adding a little more difficulty was the tough fishing for the week. We had a report that some other owners are pulling boats from the water and parking them."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area water temperatures were unseasonably cool, as low as 60 degrees near shore on the Pacific side and 68 degrees offshore on the Pacific side, and as high as 81 degrees on the Cortez side, as most boats fished around the 95 and 1150 spots, but with very few biters.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: In a fishing week still reduced by a lack of anglers at Cabo San Lucas, Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 1 outing, with 1 angler, for a catch including released fish of: 1 cabrilla of 15 pounds, 12 sierra of 4 to 6 pounds, 1 Mexican giant needlefish, 3 skipjack, 1 roosterfish of 8 pounds, and 1 yellowtail of 10 pounds. The Cheer's fished with trolled Rapalas and hoochies along Cabo's Pacific-side hotel beaches in water temperatures of 70 to 72 degrees and very good sea conditions. Fishing aboard the Cheer's was Federico Soldo of Italy.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 4 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 3 striped marlin, several striped marlin missed and 1 boat with over 40 marlin seen, 2 dorado of 20 pounds, and 1 jack crevalle of 20 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported yellowfin tuna scarce, but decent counts of striped marlin coming from the Sea of Cortez side at the 95 and 1150 spots. Dorado close to 50 pounds in weight were also caught.
Inshore fishing was good for yellowtail near the arch plus pargo on rocky points going up the Cortez side. "Giant Humboldt squid are also congregating in the Medano Beach area and grabbing jigs dropped down about 150 to 200 feet," Lowendick said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending May 27, 2009, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported 41 percent of charters releasing striped marlin and just a few odd tuna and dorado landed. Inshore fishing produced about 2 or 3 red snapper per panga around Cabeza de Ballena on the Cortez side, plus some amberjack, jack crevalle, needlefish, large Humboldt giant squid, and a 60-pound mako shark caught off San Jose del Cabo. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear, with some rough seas on the Pacific side and water temperatures from 62 degrees on the Pacific side to 73 degrees on the Sea of Cortez side
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending May 31, 2009, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported some northwest wind early in the week and water temperatures near the cape as low as 63 degrees, but recovering to about 77 degrees by the end of the week. Good numbers of striped marlin were located around the 1150 and 95 spots, but they continued to be picky as boats worked for up to about 3 or 4 releases on better days. "Some boat threw baits every 5 minutes," Landrum said, "but finding a marlin that was hungry took some time." Both yellowfin tuna and dorado continued scarce.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 58 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 215 roosterfish, 104 various pargo species, 44 bonito, 27 dogtooth snapper, 25 amberjack, 23 sierra, 18 hammerhead shark, 16 yellowtail, 15 jack crevalle, 11 dorado, 10 cabrilla, 8 striped marlin, 4 wahoo, and 4 yellowfin tuna. "Concentrations of mullet now moving inshore are attracting more roosterfish, jacks, and snappers," Brictson said. "Slow trolling mullet north of Punta Gorda has been producing."
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was settling in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at about 80 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Marisol Verdugo of Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort reported 4 to 7 charter boats going out per day and plenty of fish being seen but few takers. "We are seeing lots of fish, but unfortunately, they do not want to bite," Verdugo said. Some marlin plus a few wahoo were caught by offshore boats. Inshore boats found good numbers of roosterfish from 15 to 50 pounds. Most boats fished about 10 miles out between Cabo Pulmo and the Punta Arena lighthouse in water temperatures of 78 to 80 degrees, good weather conditions, and air temperatures in the high-80s.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the East Cape fishing week ending May 28, 2009, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 216 charter boats from combined fleets including Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, Punta Colorada, Buena Vista Beach Resort, Rancho Leonero, and Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort, with 629 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 29 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 210 dorado, 1 yellowfin tuna, 58 pargo, 1 wahoo, 2 amberjack, 12 pompano, 12 cabrilla, 96 roosterfish, 13 sierra, and 4 triggerfish. East Cape fishing area weather was at 90 degrees, with water temperatures of 69 to 85 degrees. East Cape boats fishing inshore found good action on roosterfish and pargo along the Baja coast both north and south.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending May 28, 2009, Felipe Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 38 boats, with 73 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 8 striped marlin, 5 sailfish, 57 dorado, 64 roosterfish, 52 snapper, 1 jack crevalle, 3 amberjack, 5 bonito , 26 ladyfish, 3 triggerfish, 6 cabrilla, and 9 skipjack tuna. East Cape fishing area weather was in the mid-80s, with water temperatures of 73 to 79 degrees. Fleet boats fished about 20 miles out, to the north off Punta Pescadero or to the south off Punta Arena. "Many striped marlin have been spotted," Valdez said, "but they were not interested in lures or bait." Roosterfish counts were good along all East Cape beaches.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport diving service reported on a run north to dive at Punta Perico in light currents, water temperatures 70 feet deep at 68 degrees, and visibility of 30 to 45 feet.
"With the wall to our left and the open sea to our right, we lazily finned our way along, making sure to cover all angles so as not to miss out on a thing," Cazaly said.
"Several Sedna nudibranchs were dotted around, their brilliant white bodies and delicate gold and magenta frill making them easy to spot.
"We found a swim-through that snaked its way through the wall, maybe 30 feet long and wide, and well lit. I scanned for stone scorpionfish and, sure enough one, had concealed itself behind a rock, Only its gun turret eyes swiveled as I moved my hand in front of it."
Other sea life sighting included yellowtailed surgeonfish, Moorish idol, parrotfish, Guineafowl puffer, and green moray eels "thick as my thigh."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending May 31, 2009, John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported continued good roosterfish action for boats fishing inshore. "Bart Hall of the Fred Hall Show released 2 roosterfish in the 60 to 80-pound range," Ireland said. "Big roosters were released daily. The Los Frailes area is producing the really big fish." Striped marlin continued picky biters, but dorado action was improving.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the East Cape week ending May 27, 2009, Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported flat seas and water temperatures in the low-80s, but offshore fishing still sluggish. "Even last week's dorado action has slowed to a few here and there," Graham said.
Inshore fishing was also slower, with few anglers present in the area due to Mexico's swine flu scare. "The swine flu thing has reduced the normally busy spring season to a trickle of hardcore regulars," Graham said.
Baja On The Fly guide Lance Petersen said, "One highlight of the week was sight casting to an estimated 20-pound tripletail. It eagerly followed my fly right to the beach, but just would not close the deal."
East Cape fishing area weather was sunny in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 72 to 82 degrees.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing reported summerlike weather in the 90s for his pangas fishing on La Paz' Las Arena side south of town, with completely calm seas extending through midweek, dorado continuing at the offshore buoys, and larger dorado plus wahoo caught at the south end of Isla Cerralvo.
At the north end of the island, Tortuga pangas caught amberjack and more dorado.
"We also still have good numbers of pargos at Isla Cerralvo," Hernandez said. "Pargos were also caught at Punta Perico, and some big roosterfish around Ensenada de los Muertos. We have plenty of sardina bait."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported boats fishing on the Las Arenas side continuing to lead the fish species counts with "spectacular" roosterfish action, plus amberjack, medium to large dorado, pargo, sierra, jack crevalle, and some hot sessions on wahoo.
On the La Paz side, scattered dorado action was found on increasing concentrations of sargassum weed paddies. Some billfish were also caught, yellowtail were still found on high spots, and some wahoo were caught at the north end of Isla Cerralvo.
La Paz fishing area weather was hot and summerlike. "And humid!" Roldan said. "Bring the big brimmed hat and sunscreen!"
MULEGE, MEXICO: Mike Reichner of Mulege reported "clouds" of dorado located 12 to 18 miles due east of town in 83-degree water. "In 2 days, we had triple hookups twice on big bulls in the 25 to 30-pound range," Reichner said. "There were lots of sailfish too. Reports of doubles from the locals. It's on fire here. We got all our fish on blue-white or blue-pink feathers."
A boat out of Punta Chivato reported a blue marlin baited but not hooked.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Diana Johnson of Mulege's Hotel Serenidad reported all boats catching dorado on the first day of the annual tournament. "One boat even caught a 60-pound dorado, but he was 5 minutes late and they did not let him in," she said. "This is the right time of year for the larger dorados and the weather is great." Marlin into the 200-pound class were also reported.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Ed Epifani of Punta Chivato reported a very good session on dorado while fishing with green-yellow trolling feathers among boats entered in the Mulege dorado tournament for a catch of 4 dorado at 10, 25, 35, and 40 pounds, plus 3 sailfish. "The season is starting off with a bang," Epifani said. "By most accounts, it's the best here in several years." The Punta Chivato fishing tournament was scheduled for June 26, 2009.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Jim Anderson of San Bruno south of Santa Rosalia reported a bit of confusion as yellowtail reversed their normal habit and bit during slack tidal flow periods at the Isla San Marcos bajos.
"Just when you think you understand how this yellowtail thing works, you get thrown for a loop," Anderson said. "During the winter, I can predict the good days according to the tide charts, but the yellowtail must not have read the book. They were biting on a flat tide this month."
Yellowtail continued active in the Santa Rosalia fishing area despite water temperatures hitting 80 degrees.
"This is transition fishing at its best with yellowtail and cabrilla eating live baits both on San Marcos Island as well as Tortuga Island," Anderson said.
"Forget the swine flu and border violence. At Santa Rosalia the worst problem has been packing enough ice in the cooler to keep your beer cold with the warmer temps."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Santa Rosalia locals reported the arrival of the Mexican commercial fishing trawler fleet, probably out of Guaymas, that had been working south off of Bahia Concepcion. "There have been up to 15 trawlers per day netting sardinas just outside the mouth of San Lucas Cove," one report said. "There are thousands and thousands of dead fish in the water that didn't make it into the boat. There is an Army boat on duty just inside the cove. They have been boarding the trawlers but are not stopping them. Conapesca says they don't have personnel to send there."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tom Ward of The Longfin Tackle Store reported on 6-day Midriff Islands fishing trips by the Tony Reyes Fishing Tours panga motherships Jose Andres and Tony Reyes, returning to San Felipe on May 29, 2009, with a catch of:
B/M Tony Reyes, with charter master Gene Kwan of Millbrae, Calif., after fishing at San Francisquito, Isla La Raza, and Isla San Lorenzo: 385 yellowtail of 20 to 31 pounds, 419 bass, 144 cabrilla of 10 to 19 pounds, 39 red snapper, 30 triggerfish, 6 sheephead, 4 white seabass, 3 grouper of 45 to 61 pounds, 1 shark, and 183 miscellaneous and released fish.
B/M Jose Andres, with charter master Roger Rohm of Silverado, Calif., after fishing at Snake Island at the southeast corner of Isla Angel de la Guarda, Isla San Lorenzo, and Isla La Raza: Mexico fishing limits of yellowtail and cabrilla, 86 bass, 2 pargo, 6 sheephead, and 3 whitefish. "Bait was difficult and not available until the fourth day of the trip," Ward said. "Most of the fish were taken on jigs, blue-and-white being the best color."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore at San Felipe reported humid weather in the mid-80s and very few tourists in town. "Summertime is here, and it looks like a hard one for San Felipe vendors and restaurants," Meders said. "There's an in-depth article on SanFelipe.com.mx that beautifully explains the situation. People have offered rooms in their homes, or the price of a hotel room, to any reporter from a large newspaper in return for an objective article about what they find here. This is really a gorgeous time of the year to come to San Felipe. Please, let autumn be better."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters of San Carlos reported the preliminary results of the local Yacht Club/Rescate Fishing Tournament, with 24 boats and 90 anglers fishing 2 days on May 30-31, 2009, and a scored catch of: 2 marlin, 21 sailfish, 26 dorado, 1 wahoo, and 1 tuna. The winning boats were: first place, Predator, Capt. Jose Grajeda; second place, No Limit, Capt. Eli Garcia; third place, Funticket, Capt. Pedro Chavez.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of Team Margarita Sportfishing reported good numbers of billfish present at San Carlos and some taking baits and lures as one outing produced 2 billfish and 3 dorado. Sierra were numerous close to town, skipjack were 10 miles out, and cabrilla and yellowtail were caught at Isla San Pedro Nolasco. A few tuna and wahoo were also reported. The largest dorado entered in the Rescate/Yacht Club tournament was weighed at 35 pounds.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 9 Aries Fleet charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: lots of dorado for all boats. "Dorado were males and females of all sizes from 10 to 40 pounds," Edwards said. "The boats had easy limits and many releases." Mazatlan fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with mostly calm seas and water temperatures of 84 to 85 degrees as boats fished with all baits and lures at the shark buoys about 18 miles from the marina.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet reported continued very good dorado fishing at Mazatlan but few anglers present. "Most people are aiming at these big, small, and all-sized dodos," Hernandez said. "Some sailfish and marlin have also been caught." Fish counts also included skipjack tuna, amberjack, tripletail, and jack crevalle. Few boats fished the bottom, but mojarra, triggerfish, and snappers were available.
Mazatlan fishing area water temperatures were at 83 degrees, with moderate winds and no harbor closures during the week.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Bill Heimpel of Star Fleet at Mazatlan reported lots of medium-sized dorado plus a few to 40 pounds caught in calm, 82-degree water. "A few blue marlin have also been spotted, jumping along with sailfish," he said.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta said a yellowfin tuna of 180 pounds was reported in offshore catches that also included tuna of 40 to 75 pounds at Roca Corbeteña. "This could be an early season tease," Gabruk said. "But I'm a little inclined to call it an indicator. Last year, the yellowfin never really showed up in the numbers we're used to seeing at Puerto Vallarta. With unusually large tuna outside of the bank this early, combined with what has been happening at the Tres Marias Islands, I think this season will be made to order for the serious yellowfin hunter."
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Terry Kitaguchi, noting the Mexfish.com report of his Puerto Vallarta fishing trip aboard the Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle boat Mamba Negra, reported that his group fished aboard the boat again a few days later for very good action on dorado including 5 large bulls. "It was like fishing in a bucket," Kitaguchi said. "I don't remember the total dorado count. We also caught 5 sailfish near Punta Mita and I released mine."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of Zihuatanejo, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said offshore fishing was extremely slow during the week, as 90 local boats fished 2 days in the 26th annual Ixtapa Zihuatanejo tournament for a catch of just 34 sailfish, 2 blue marlin, and no weighed dorado. The tournament, usually held on the first weekend of May, had been postponed due to Mexico's swine flu scare.
"Even with the delay, 90 boats entered," Kunze said. "But with the full moon coming up, I don't expect the fishing to improve."
Red tide plankton was present along the Mexican coast at Zihuatanejo and stretched about 7 miles north and south. Other coastal areas had clear water and good fishing conditions for roosterfish and jacks.
"The red tide has actually pushed the bait fish into the bay," Kunze said. "The jacks are following. Some of the best fishing at Zihuatanejo right now is inside the bay."
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 8 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 3 king mackerel, 1 sailfish, 3 red snapper, 2 bonito, 1 wahoo, 1 yellowfin tuna, 1 dorado, and 2 barracuda. Cancun fishing area weather was mostly cloudy at 90 degrees, with light breezes and water temperatures stable at 84 degrees.
CANCUN, MEXICO: For the week ending May 29, 2009, Edwards reported on 14 outings, with a catch including released fish of: 10 sailfish, 3 barracuda, 13 dorado, 3 king mackerel or peto, 1 wahoo, 2 bonito, 1 tuna, 4 red snapper, and 1 amberjack. Cancun fishing area weather was humid in the low-90s, with light winds and water temperatures at 84 to 85 degrees.