La Paz fishing area swings into full summer-style dorado mode

Mexico Fishing News, June 15, 2009



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported full summer-like weather and fishing conditions at La Paz as dorado led the counts. "Not only did temperatures ramp, but the dorado got let out of the starting gate," Roldan said. "I'd have to say 75 percent of the catch was dorado."

Tailhunter boats had catch-and-release action on dorado anywhere from 10 to 50 pounds.

"Some days, we really had to tell the guys to catch-and-release," Roldan said. "You could find a spot and go nuts and forget all the fish that were going into the box.

"Some boats would go skunk for long periods and then hit a solitary spot where the water would come alive in a frenzy.

"A lot of this has to do with the sargassum weed finally building up and providing cover for the dorado, bait fish, and flying fish that use the sargassum for laying eggs. When the eggs hatch, the dorado are there to gobble both the parents and the fry. That's a bad time to be a bait fish! Not only are the dorado just laying in the water waiting, but birds are also hovering overhead as well, watching for bait jumping to escape the dorado."

Some yellowtail were also caught even as La Paz fishing area water temperatures warmed beyond their preferred temperature range.

Tailhunter panga anglers also missed landing large pargo, very difficult to pull from the rocks in shallow water, and sharp toothed wahoo in offshore areas.

"Everyone is concentrating on the dorado," Roldan said. "Marlin are also out there, eating the bait fish and smaller dorado like French fries!"

Inshore pangas also did well on 5 to 20-pound roosterfish, hooked in fast catch-and-release action.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sport Fishing reported another week of excellent fishing weather for his pangas on the Las Arenas side of La Paz. "No wind anywhere," Hernandez said. "The sea has been completely calm. We have full summer-style heat in the 90s. But, La Paz still has just a few anglers."

Very good dorado fishing was found by Tortuga pangas running to the buoys. "The dorado went to 40 and 50 pounds. Everyone is happy," Hernandez said.

Some wahoo were caught at the south end of Isla Cerralvo and some marlin were also seen in the area. Larger pargo also continued to be present at the island.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported no yellowtail caught during the week by his charter pangas fishing at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda, but very good surface action on bonita and barracuda plus mixed bottom fish including whitefish, lingcod, treefish, and red rockcod. "It was good fishing," Villarino said. "Capt. Beto used 30-pound test on the bottom with squid bait for good counts of all species. They used feathers and tossed aluminum jigs for the bonitas and barries."

Anglers fishing with Vonny's Fleet Capt. Beto Zamora during the week included Joshua Stevenson and Omar Mackarme of San Diego, Calif., and Jay Johnson of Ensenada.

Ensenada fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high 70s, with light winds, ocean swells at 3 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 59 degrees.



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending June 4, 2009, Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas at San Quintin reported on 2 boats with a catch of 1 or 2 yellowtail plus good catches of mixed bottom fish. Scott and Trish Tolever of San Diego, Calif., went out during the week and had a catch of 6 lingcod, and 1 cowcod of 15 pounds.



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported the Magdalena Bay mangrove channels producing good numbers of midsized grouper plus corvina and a few snook. Offshore waters were windy, but boats reported dorado and yellowfin tuna present about 10 miles outside of Puerto Lopez Mateos. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was mostly clear in the low-90s, with water temperatures at 69 to 77 degrees.

MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: For the week ending June 5, 2009, Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported good catches of small grouper, cabrilla, and halibut in the Magdalena Bay mangrove channels. Outside the San Carlos entrada, corvina and small halibut were caught at Bahia Santa Maria. Boats running offshore to the shark buoys found dorado to 25 pounds plus good numbers of yellowfin tuna. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was mostly sunny in the high-90s, with water temperatures of 69 to 77 degrees.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 35 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 50 striped marlin, 25 dorado to 40 pounds, 4 wahoo, and 28 yellowfin tuna. "All in all, it was a terrific fishing week," Edwards said. "There was a substantial upswing for the sportfishing industry at Cabo San Lucas. Boat charters increased to about 30 percent or so. The fish were all close to Cabo, starting at just a couple of miles out."

Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly clear at 100 degrees, with cool water temperatures on the Pacific side increasing to about 81 degrees on the Cortez side.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 55 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin, 31 striped marlin, lots of dorado, yellowtail and snapper, 8 wahoo, 5 yellowfin tuna, lots of roosterfish, several hammerhead shark, and some needlefish and parrotfish. "There were more guests this period," Garcia said.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 9 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 1 striped marlin lost, 5 dorado of small to 25 pounds, 3 hammerhead shark of 30 to 35 pounds all caught by the same boat, 8 sierra mackerel, 3 roosterfish of 20 pounds, and 1 jack crevalle of 20 pounds.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the Cabo San Lucas fishing week ending June 3, 2009, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported 50 percent of charters releasing a total of 16 striped marlin and 75 percent of boats catching all species combined. Offshore boats landed some dorado to 32 pounds. Inshore boats caught red snapper to 25 pounds, skipjack, roosterfish, and a few hammerhead shark to 50 pounds. Most boats fished near shore from the Hotel Solmar on the Pacific side, around to Chileno, and out to the 1150 spot.

"It was a bit hit or miss," Ehrenberg said, "but catches are beginning to creep up as water temperatures climb. The better fishing days were toward the end of the week. Striped marlin began biting close to shore, a mile-and-a-half off the arch."

Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear, with calm seas on the Cortez side, some chop on the Pacific, fog banks offshore, and water temperatures averaging 65 to 73 degrees.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 48 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 64 roosterfish, 45 dorado, 34 various pargo species, 18 sierra, 18 bonito, 16 striped marlin, 14 cabrilla, 12 jack crevalle, 12 hammerhead shark, 11 amberjack, 8 yellowfin tuna, 5 rainbow runner, and 2 wahoo.

Water temperatures in Los Cabos fishing waters were in the low-80s, as schools of mullet were present on local beaches and more bolito and small skipjack bait fish were seen on the fishing grounds. Sardina bait fish continued scarce along shore in higher than average surf conditions. "This was the time of year in 2008 that sardinas schooled so heavily inside Puerto Los Cabos Marina," Brictson said. "We are waiting to see if it will occur again this year. Meanwhile, local bait sellers have caballito and mullet."

Offshore action included one La Playita panga with a 170-pound yellowfin tuna that was one of 2 large tuna that hit trolled bolito baits in a double hookup outside the San Luis bank. "Some cows are being seen locally," Brictson said. "A sportfisher out of Cabo San Lucas reported a double strike on 200-pound tuna."

La Playita charter pangas fished in a variety of areas including El Cardon, La Fortuna, Iman, and from San Luis to Vinorama. "Each day is changing," Brictson said. "With all of the bait fish on these grounds, there is now a chance of anything."

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist John Snow reported on 5 outings with Capt. Pata aboard the panga Salome for a catch including released fish of 142 total fish of 18 species.

Four surf fishing sessions produced 28 fish of 9 species.

Snow reported 7 new species of fish and fauna caught or observed during the trip at Los Cabos or while visiting commercial Mexican fishermen on Baja's Pacific coast north of Cabo, including an unknown ratfish possibly new to science reported by Pisces Fleet, and 6 other species: the spotted sharpnose pufferfish, nakedbelly sea robin, roughjaw frogfish, spotted eagle ray, bigclaw purple hermit crab, and whitesnout sea robin. The unknown ratfish specimen was being held for study by Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing.

Snow noted extremely low tourist traffic in the Los Cabos fishing area, mostly due to bad publicity about Mexico's swine flu scare, "gripe porcina" in Spanish.

"I landed at San Jose del Cabo in midafternoon and started to look around," Snow said. "There was one commercial airplane at the airport, us, no one else landing, no one else parked, no one loading or unloading, and no one else taking off!

"At Cabo San Lucas, I drove up restaurant row, not a person in sight. Most of the restaurants were open but there was not even one person on the streets."

Fish and fauna species caught or observed during Snow's trip included: a large conch shell containing a bigclaw purple hermit crab, a Panamic spider crab, roughjaw frogfish, spottail goosefish, spotted eagle ray, spotted sharpnose pufferfish, whitesnout searobin, bumphead parrotfish, California salema, halibut sp., croaker sp., Pacific eyed flounder, Pacific hake, Pacific sand perch, Pacific seahorse, scrawled filefish, smooth hammerhead shark, barred sand bass, black croaker, California corbina, goldspotted bass, Pacific creolefish, sand grunt, yellowtail surgeonfish, and Panamic spider crab.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Stan Woodward of Manhattan Beach, Calif., reported on a day of fishing at San Jose del Cabo with trip partner Doug Coffey of La Mesa, Calif., and local Capt. Agustin "Brujo" Pino, for a catch of: 1 large amberjack at 60 kilos, 3 dog snapper, 1 yellowfin tuna of 30 pounds, 1 roosterfish of 12 pounds, and 1 dorado of 15 pounds.

San Jose del Cabo fishing area water around the Iman Bank was clean and blue at 76 to 78 degrees. "We saw several striped marlin," Woodward said. "Mullet was the only bait available. The Iman high spot held lots of puddling bonito. The big amberjack hit a mullet slow-trolled over the high spot at El Cardon."

Woodward noted the San Jose del Cabo celebration of Mexico's Dia de la Marina holiday marked by some captains with hangovers, or "crudos" in Spanish. "The fiesta was in full swing Saturday through Monday with the Dorado Torneo held on Sunday. Hardly any pangas fished on Monday, I suspect due to crudos a-plenty."



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Marisol Verdugo of Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort reported improved action for offshore boats including some boats with 7 to 10 dorado and up to 3 marlin releases for others. "They have also caught some wahoo," Verdugo said. "And yesterday, some boats found tuna. They were small, but they caught several of them."

Verdugo fleet boats fished mostly south from La Ribera to Los Frailes. Some boats ran north and fished from Punta Pescadero to the south end of Isla Cerralvo.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous East Cape fishing week ending June 4, 2009, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 219 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 646 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 4 blue marlin, 39 striped marlin, 13 sailfish, 103 dorado, 4 yellowfin tuna, 43 pargo, 2 wahoo, 19 pompano, 3 cabrilla, 70 roosterfish, 7 triggerfish, and 1 mako shark. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 70 to 84 degrees.

"The news just gets worse and worse," Moyers said. "We may have hit an all-time low with regard to fish-per-angler numbers. The fish have plenty of squid, flying fish, and sardinas to feed on. There’s been so much bait that it’s been tough to find hungry fish."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week ending June 4, 2009, Felipe Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 42 boats, with 85 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 9 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 12 dorado, 97 roosterfish, 111 snapper, 3 bonito, 35 ladyfish, 5 pompano, 32 triggerfish, 51 cabrilla, 5 skipjack tuna, and 10 parrotfish. East Cape fishing area weather was in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 75 to 82 degrees. Offshore fishing was spread out. "No one is fishing at any specific spot," Valdez said. "Great numbers of striped marlin have gathered in the East Cape area. But, finding a marlin that wants to eat is the challenge. Boats spending the day along shore are being rewarded with a least 5 nice roosterfish per day."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported an unusual East Cape catch during the week of a small orangemouth corvina that hit a chartreuse Clouser fly for angler Jim Ogborne of Montana as he was night fishing in front of Rancho Leonero. "The orangemouth corvina is common at Magdalena Bay, but this is the first one I can remember at East Cape," Graham said.

East Cape inshore fishing continued very good for roosterfish and jack crevalle. "Plenty of bait along the beaches is attracting some of the best grade of roosterfish seen in years," Graham said. "Daily, huge schools of jacks can be seen cruising up and down along shore."

East Cape fishing area weather was mostly sunny in the high-90s, with water temperatures at 72 to 82 degrees.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending June 5, 2009, Graham reported striped marlin picky at East Cape, but very good roosterfish action near shore. "East Cape anglers have released at least a dozen roosters over 50 pounds, Graham said. "Live mullet is the best bait for the larger fish. They are spread throughout Bahia de las Palmas, with the Los Frailes area producing the really big fish. East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-90s, with water temperatures of 72 to 82 degrees.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja fly fishing service reported continued good numbers of roosterfish and jack crevalle present on East Cape beaches. "But these fish have been getting lots of attention," deBrown said. "I have witnessed more people than ever along East Cape beaches this week. When you find a spot, dig in your heels."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport East Cape diving service reported clear blue water on the Cabo Pulmo corral reef, with water temperatures of 81 degrees near the surface and 75 degrees at 40 feet deep, as sea life sightings included large bass, schools of snappers and grunts, numerous rays, and concentrations of bigeye jacks.

"Swirling tornados of jacks blocked out the light," Cazaly said. "We lay on our backs and blew rings of air bubbles up through their midst.

Vista Sea sport trips during the week also included a night dive at Cerro Verde.

"We descended into the blackness with our flashlights like light sabers," Cazaly said. "Arriving at the sand patch, a huge dome-shaped rock that wasn't there last time aroused my curiosity. I realized my mistake. The largest leatherback turtle I think I have ever seen was enjoying a nap. With a dismissive flick of its fins, it rose off the sand and effortlessly moved away to find another resting place."

Other nighttime sea life sightings included octopus feeding on sea urchins, thousands of sea lice balled together, and bioluminescent plankton swirling around the divers. "It created a myriad of tiny stars all around us," Cazaly said. "We launched into a frenzied underwater dance and created our own little solar system. Finally, it was time to rise to the surface, and we took in the splendor of the full moon."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the East Cape fishing week ending June 7, 2009, John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported clear, flat weather in the 90s, with water temperatures of 80 to 83 degrees and good roosterfish action inshore. "There were big roosters mixed with large jacks again," Ireland said. "The roosterfish bite moved north from Los Frailes to the lighthouse area and Punta Colorada. Big gallos are being released daily."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Eddie Dalmau of Van Wormer Resorts reported on a trip to East Cape's Hotel Palmas de Cortez during the week ending June 5, 2009, where big numbers of dorado were seen, but few enticed to bite. "I've never seen so many dorado in 12 years of fishing at East Cape," Dalmau said. "We came across a school about 300 dorado strong. After 3 hours of following this school around and throwing everything we had at them, we ended up with 1 small dorado. But, the next day, a cruiser came in with 6 dorado all over 45 pounds."

Inshore roosterfish action was very good at East Cape as Dalmau reported one group that landed about 50 fish of about 10 to 40 pounds in 2 days.



LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported slower billfish action north of town, but some marlin and sailfish still being hooked. "Concentrations of dorado are also around floating structure, but in between is a lot of barren sea," Erhardt said. A few yellowtail were still being caught in warming water temperatures.

Erhardt ran far offshore aboard his boat Soledad, looking for tuna after reports were received of a commercial seiner with helicopter working Loreto waters, but he found no tuna and settled for a wide-open dorado session on a dead whale.

"After over 100 miles on the water with nothing to show for it, the day was salvaged by the dead sperm whale," Erhardt said. "It had not yet been discovered by local fisherman and was holding hundreds of dorado of all sizes. No other boats were in sight. I called two friends but they were both too far away to respond. In an hour or so I caught about a dozen dorado to 44 pounds by trolling marlin feathers around the whale corpse, and returned to port with 2 nice fish in the box."

Another outing by the Soledad found no billfish at San Bruno reef to the north, but about a dozen dorado to 25 pounds caught in release action, as Erhardt located the commercial seiner that had been reported. "I found the seiner at San Bruno reef. There was no sign of yellowfin, but there were skipjack on the surface at the reef," he said.

A third outing by Erhardt's boat produced just 1 sailfish lost south of town.

LORETO, MEXICO: Erhardt described his encounter with the commercial seiner at San Bruno reef.

"I came across the seiner and chopper on Monday, June 8, 2009, around 2 p.m, he said.

"When I first sighted them, the seiner was stopped within a quarter of a mile, or so, from San Bruno reef north of Loreto and north of the Loreto Marine Park, and the helicopter was sweeping the area, apparently looking for fish

"As I approached, the helicopter returned to the seiner and landed on the bow.

"I took photos. Members of the crew waved and smiled and did not look like they thought they were doing anything wrong.

"From coordinates taken from my GPS, the seiner was about 8.5 nautical miles north of the north end of Isla Coronado, which is the northern extreme of the Loreto Marine Park, and about 6 nautical miles from the closest point of land on the Baja peninsula, Punta Mangles.

"As I stopped to see if I could pick up an afternoon yellowtail at the reef, the seiner motored north with the chopper aboard.

"The seiner did not have a net in the water at any time while in my sight.

"The Marine Park police office is at the head of the launch ramp at the marina in Loreto.

"When I retrieved my boat shortly after 3 p.m, I stopped at the office and asked if it was legal for the seiner to be where I had seen it.

"I was advised that the location I reported was not in the Loreto Marine Park and as far as they were concerned the seiner could not only be there, but could make a set there and not be in violation of the law.

"Usually a seiner, especially a high-tech one like this one, does not venture up into the Sea of Cortez unless it is hot on the trail of tuna. However, I know of none that have been caught nearby recently.

"Politics aside, it is a lot of fun to try to beat a seiner to a school of tuna that has been spotted by one of their choppers. The choppers serve the same purpose as porpoise or frigate birds, but you can see them from further away

"More than once. I have nearly been caught in a wrap and had to drag a hooked-up tuna or two out of harm's way with the boat. The crews on those occasions have not looked so friendly."

LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company reported Loreto fishing area dorado progressively increasing in size, with Mexico fishing limits caught over the last full moon period. "Dorado are eating flys," Bolles said. Baja Big Fish Company's downtown Loreto office was scheduled to reopen for the summer season on June 11, 2009, at the Mediterraneo Restaurant on the malecon. "Your dinner at Mediterraneo or Texas BBQ after your first day out fishing is on us!" Bolles said. "Offshore fishing is the main focus now. Dorado are becoming more and more consistent.

"Last weekend a dead seal 30 miles from port attracted a huge school of dorado. Boats limited out within minutes and they fished the dead seal for about 3 days. Last year about this time it was a piece of plywood that kept us on fish for a couple of weeks. I am hoping for a repeat of last year's great quality bite."



MULEGE, MEXICO: Mike Reichner of Mulege reported continued good offshore dorado and billfish action despite the presence of commercial fishing boats working the area.

"Fishing at Mulege continues red hot despite the presence now of at least 13 seiners," Reichner said. "What a mess!"

Reichner's boat ran out 22 miles to the southeast and found double hookups in concentrated marlin and sailfish. "We'd run up on a pod of 5 to 7 billfish sunning themselves, take a turn around them or throw a bait, and we were off to the races," he said. "It was some of the finest fishing in the Sea of Cortez that I have ever experienced."

Billfish were seen chasing dorado. "They were all mixed together, with the dodos jumping out of the water and the bills slashing away. Wow!" Reichner said. "We released all bills and lost many. Lots of big dorado."

Water temperatures ranged from 81 degrees at the mouth of the river at Mulege to 86 degrees on the fishing grounds. Angler Ted Morris also landed a blue marlin estimated at about 200 pounds.



SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Jim Anderson of San Bruno south of Santa Rosalia reported rising water temperatures, with Isla San Marcos marking the division between cooler water yellowtail and cabrilla to the north, and dorado and billfish to the south.

"It seems as though San Marcos Island is the dividing line," Anderson said. "If you want yellowtail and cabrilla, stay to the north side, and if your interests run to dorado and billfish, you want to be looking south."

Boats from Punta Chivato to the south reported some billfish action on trolled lures as water temperatures increased. "Earlier, you almost had to throw a bait right on their nose," Anderson said.

Yellowtail fishing was very good on the Isla San Marcos bajos north of the island as Anderson's boat make a run to the area and released 13 fish before 10 a.m.

"It has taken a while to figure out this yellowtail release where you can keep the fish in the water the whole time," he said.

"I started to use a glove because my thumb was getting shredded.

"When the fish first come to the surface, they are normally a little tired, so I touch them around the head, which causes them to thrash back and forth several times. But after 3 or 4 times they become more docile, which allows me to put a gloved hand in the mouth, get a good grip, and back out the circle hook

"Once the hook is removed, they are able to swim away under full power and no fear of damage to the slime layer or the gills from dragging them into the boat."



SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tom Ward of The Longfin Tackle Store reported a on 6-day Midriff Islands fishing trip by the Tony Reyes Fishing Tours panga mothership Tony Reyes, returning to San Felipe on June 5, 2009, with 15 anglers and a catch of: 361 yellowtail of 15 to 38 pounds, 82 cabrilla of 6 to 14 pounds, 431 spotted bay bass of 3 to 4 pounds, 1 grouper of 50 pounds, 38 Humboldt giant squid of 20 to 35 pounds, 10 sheephead of 5 to 12 pounds, 75 whitefish of 3 pounds, 2 pinto bass or spotted cabrilla of 15 pounds, 66 pargo of 8 to 14 pounds, and 97 miscellaneous fish to 3 to 15 pounds. Capt. Tony Reyes Jr. reported good Midriff area fishing weather and yellowtail action wide-open.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Susan Morse of Vista, Calif., reported a 69-kilogram black sea bass landed by Capt. Victor Orozco during a Midriff Islands fishing trip by the Tony Reyes panga mothership Jose Andres. "It was caught about noon, on the east side of Guardian Angel Island, about one-half mile off the shore, along a reef," Morse said. "Victor was using squid and 80-pound line."

A grouper of 55 pounds was also caught by Roger Henrich of Sierra Madre, Calif., off Isla La Raza, using squid bait on 50-pound line.

"Numerous yellowtail up to 31 pounds were caught during the week," Morse said. "It was a fabulous trip. We can't say enough positive things about the crew and the great time we had."

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the San Felipe Title Company downtown bookstore reported extremely light tourists numbers in town, but with perfect weather in the low-80s and cool evening breezes. "Hola from San Felipe, the quietest town in the West," Meders said. "The town is empty, bad news for the vendors. We have miles and miles of beautiful, pristine white beaches and ocean. Might as well enjoy it. The water is warm enough so you can just wade right in."

More tourists were expected for the Fourth of July holiday in a few weeks. "It's coming, with its crowds and the big fishing tournament," Meders said. "Let's hope we don't have anymore glitches. San Felipe needs a big weekend."



ROCKY POINT, MEXICO: Esther Johnson of Santiago's Ocean Services at Rocky Point said the second annual fishing tournament sponsored by the Rocky Point Convention and Visitors Bureau was scheduled for June 13-14, 2009. "Last year, boats from Mexico, California, and Arizona entered," Johnson said. "The biggest fish took home $2,000. It was a lot of fun, and this year we expect the same."

In local fishing, grouper, red snapper, goldspotted bass or "calico bass," and leopard grouper or "sardineros" in Spanish were caught on the 22-mile reef. Santiago's Ocean Services had boats available for local sportfishing. Information,; U.S. direct dial, 011-52-638-383-5834; Arizona, 602-324-9558.



SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters of San Carlos reported boats fishing almost daily in improving action for dorado plus some billfish lost in the spread. Top catches during the week included dorado of 42 and 59 pounds landed by the boat Sue She, and a run by the boat JonJen with Capt. Oscar for 4 dorado over 40 pounds.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported steady Mexico fishing limits for Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with many releases of smaller fish under 10 pounds. "It's superb light tackle fishing," Edwards said. "The best fishing is at the shark buoys 18 miles off shore. The dorado are eager on bait, Rapalas, and pencil poppers. Fishing at the shark buoys is allowing all anglers to land fish and enjoy a great fishing day."

Offshore billfish action was slow. Mazatlan fishing area weather was mostly clear in the mid-90s, with light breezes and water temperatures at 83 degrees inshore and 84 degrees offshore.

MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet said more anglers were arriving at Mazatlan last week and very good dorado fishing continued. "Skipjack tuna and tripletail are abundant too," Hernandez said. Few boats fished inshore, but snapper, triggerfish, jack crevalle, and mojarra were available.



PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta reported continuing very light angler activity in the area. "Right now, if there are 3 boats fishing at El Banco or Roca Corbeteña daily I'd be surprised," Gabruk said. "You can experience fishing in Puerto Vallarta like it was 20 years ago. Big game fish are moving in daily." Boats fishing at El Banco found yellowfin tuna into the 80-pound class, blue marlin, and striped marlin, but the fish were swimming in heavy concentrations of sardina bait fish. "Sardina are thick everywhere," Gabruk said. "Bait brings fish into the area, but it also makes it hard to get their attention." Most Puerto Vallarta charters ran north toward Punta Mita and beyond for dorado, roosterfish, and sailfish.



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported variable water temperatures and clarity as blue water was found closer to shore and overall fishing improved for Ixtapa Zihuatanejo boats. "The yellowfin tuna bite remains at 30 to 50 miles," Edwards said, "but billfish are in blue water about 15 miles from the entrance to the bay." Two larger marlin over 400 pounds were caught by the fleet during the week. Sailfish were present but not biting actively. "But that will change with conditions and biomass feed availability," Edwards said.

Inshore fishing continued good for jack crevalle, needlefish, a few rainbow runner, and more roosterfish showing.

"According to Capt. Temo Verboonen, the biggest problem is a lack of business, with an average of only a single super panga fishing per day," Edwards said.

Ixtapa fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with improving sea conditions, light winds, and water temperatures at 78 to 79 degrees inshore and 83 degrees offshore.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said fishing conditions improved dramatically during the week as water temperatures were found as high as 87 degrees and blue water moved in as close as 12 miles. "Game fish are coming with the favorable water," Kunze said. "The Vamonos I found a floating log and took a sailfish, a rainbow runner, and a 20-pound dorado off it. Another panga caught a blue marlin only 4 miles from Zihuatanejo Bay."

Other Zihuatanejo pangas reported sailfish and more blue marlin, as anglers Leigh Bingham and Chris Forgham scored 3 sailfish aboard the Vamonos I. Inshore fishing continued strong for jack crevalle and roosterfish.

Ixtapa fishing area was cloudy and calm in the low-100s, with water temperatures of 78 to 87 degrees.



CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 14 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 12 barracuda, 16 red snapper, 8 triggerfish, 4 dorado, 3 king mackerel, 1 jack crevalle, 1 wahoo, 1 amberjack, and 1 yellowfin tuna. Cancun fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with light breezes and water temperatures even at 83 to 84 degrees.



MEXICO: Steve Ross of the boat Bad Dog at Ensenada commented on the harmful effects of pulling billfish out of the water for photos before they are released:

"Fighting a marlin to the point of exhaustion and raising it out of the water puts tremendous gravity pressure on its internal parts. This practice has been outlawed in Florida, as their biologists have proven that the fish's organs become detached, and this sport caught fish is released only to die later from internal organ damage.

"How many more times do we have to see an angler hugging and kissing its catch on board and claiming a healthy release? This, in effect, gives the fish its own gastric bypass."

Dorado catch at La Paz

SUMMER LINEUP---The La Paz fishing area had full summer-like fishing conditions last week, with warm, clear water and plenty of dorado in the mix as anglers Paul Humphers, Ricky Crump, Greg Ortega, and Eric Mitchell scored dodos of 28 to 51 pounds in panga action with Capts. Hugo, Martin, and Adrian Lucero of Tortuga Sportfishing. PHOTO COURTESY OF GERARDO HERNANDEZ.

Roosterfish caught at La Paz

HIGH PRODUCTION TRIP--Heidi Crannell of Portland, Ore., was on her first-ever trip to La Paz and scored pargo, dorado, and the first-ever roosterfish shown here with this Tailhunter International panga skipper, but the main catch of the trip was her boyfriend Brian Mayo, who proposed to her! PHOTO COURTESY OF JONATHAN ROLDAN.

Panga fishing catch at Ensenada

ENSENADA PANGA MIXER--Omar Mackarme, left, Joshua Stevenson used bait and surface aluminum jigs at Ensenada's Punta Banda for a nice mixed catch of bonito, rockcod, lingcod, and tree fish with Capt. Beto of Vonny's Fleet's charter panga Vonny I. PHOTO COURTESY OF IVAN VILLARINO.

Snook fishing at Cabo San Lucas 1

Snook fishing at Cabo San Lucas 2

NICE CABO SNOOK--Ellie Crocker of Houston, Texas, landed her largest fish ever, this beautiful 32-pound snook, while fishing inshore at Cabo San Lucas with her brother-in-law, George Landrum of Cabo's Fly Hooker Sportfishing. Crocker and Landrum fished aboard the charter panga Santi I for 3 days of great action including snappers, roosterfish, and 3 more snook of 25, 26, and 29 pounds. PHOTOS COURTESY OF GEORGE LANDRUM.

Blue marlin fishing at Cabo San Lucas 1

Blue marlin fishing trip at Cabo San Lucas 1

CABO BIRTHDAY SURPRISE--John Fraser of Dallas, Texas, got a surprise when his dad and 2 sisters intercepted him and his wife at Cabo San Lucas for a 40th birthday celebration that included a fishing trip aboard the charter boat Cabo Magic that produced a blue marlin release. PHOTOS COURTESY OF LORI GARCIA.

Large amberjack at San Jose del Cabo

HUNKY PEZ FUERTE--This big amberjack, or pez fuerte in Spanish, estimated at 60 kilos, was hooked by Doug Coffey, right, during panga fishing at San Jose del Cabo with trip partner Stan Woodward and local panguero Agustin "Brujo" Pino, left. Said Woodward, "The brute ate a slow-trolled mullet at El Cardon. It took 2 gaffs to haul the fish into the panga. PHOTO COURTESY OF STAN WOODWARD.

Whitesnout searobin

Roughjaw frogfish

Spotted eagle ray

MORE LOS CABOS SPECIES--In the continuing saga of John Snow's species fishing adventures at San Jose del Cabo, recent new species caught or observed included, from top, the whitesnout searobin, roughjaw frogfish, and spotted eagle ray. PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOHN SNOW.

Orangemouth corvina caught at East Cape

EAST CAPE RARITY--Jim Ogborne of Bozeman, Mont., fished in front of East Cape's Rancho Leonero on Wednesday night and landed this unusual catch for the area, an orangemouth corvina, usually found on either far north between the Sea of Cortez Midriff area and the mouth of the Colorado River, or on Baja's Pacific coast centered around Bahia Magdalena. Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said it was the first orangemouth corvina he could remember being caught at East Cape. PHOTO COURTESY OF GARY GRAHAM.

Sunrise at East Cape

EAST CAPE TRADITION--In a scene repeated on uncounted mornings since the 1950s, an East Cape cruiser awaits sportfishing clients under a glorious sunrise sky last week. The enduring moment was captured by Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja. PHOTO COURTESY OF JEFF DEBROWN.

Dead sperm whale and dorado 1

Dead sperm whale and dorado 2

Dead sperm whale and dorado 3

DEAD WHALE = DORADO--This dead sperm whale about 30 miles off Loreto provided unlimited dorado action for Bill Erhardt's boat Soledad, with no other boats in sight. Erhardt landed about a dozen dorado to 44 pounds and kept his Mexico fishing limit of 2 fish as he headed back to town. PHOTOS COURTESY OF BILL ERHARDT.

Purse seiner north of Loreto 1

Purse seiner north of Loreto 2

Purse seiner north of Loreto 3

LEGAL WATERS--About 2 p.m. on June 8, 2008, this commercial fishing seiner with helicopter spotter was found about 8.5 nautical miles north of Loreto's Isla Colorado by Bill Erhardt's boat Soledad. The boat had no nets in the water, but Erhardt was later told by officials in town that it could have set nets in the area legally since it was outside the Loreto Marine Park boundary. PHOTOS COURTESY OF BILL ERHARDT.

Striped marlin jumping at Loreto

LORETO STRIPER--Loreto resident Rosey Sheffer, fishing Monday with husband Mike aboard their boat Crackerjack, caught this beautiful striped marlin in a late spring billfish bite that has slowed but continues to produce fish north of town. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE SHEFFER.

Honda outboards at Loreto marina

Loreto downtown launch ramp

PANGUERO BAILOUT FUNDS--Heavily government subsidized Honda outboards await distribution to local pangueros at the Loreto downtown launch ramp. "They were placed there this morning," said Pam Bolles of Loreto's Baja Big Fish Company. "The state government is giving them away for very low credit at 2 p.m." PHOTO COURTESY OF PAM BOLLES.

Dorado caught at Mulege

MULEGE JUNE FISHING--Ed Epifani of Punta Chivato with a nice Mulege area dorado caught during a trip in early June that produced 6 dorado of 12 to 40 pounds plus 1 sailfish in flat, 80-degree water 5 miles outside Punta Concepcion. Epifani fished aboard his boat Nancy Karen. PHOTO COURTESY OF ED EPIFANI.

Grouper caught at Isla Angel de la Guarda

Midriff islands panga fishing

Red snapper caught at the Midriff islands

Yellowtail caught at the Midriff islands

TONY REYES PANGA MOTHERSHIP--Good fishing during a recent Midriff islands trip by the San Felipe panga mothership Jose Andres included, from top: Capt. Victor with a 69-kilo grouper, Wendy Owens with a nice red snapper, and Baja first-timer Marie Henrich with a 25-pound yellowtail. Susan Morse of Vista, Calif., reported excellent boat service and fishing during the trip. PHOTOS COURTESY OF SUSAN MORSE.

Grouper caught at Rocky Point

ROCKY POINT FISHING--A nice catch of grouper found about 22 miles out of Rocky Point during a Santiago's Ocean Services trip with Capt. Pancho in the first week of June. PHOTO COURTESY OF ESTHER JOHNSON.

Dorado caught at San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico 1

Dorado caught at San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico 2

BIG SAN CARLOS DORADO--The San Carlos boat Sue She with anglers Sue and Robert Preston scored trophy-sized dorado in 79-degree water about 42 miles out. Jon Jen Charters reported Sue's dodo at 42 pounds and the big bull photographed during a jump at 59 pounds. PHOTOS COURTESY OF JON JEN CHARTERS.

Dorado caught at Mazatlan

MAZATLAN DORADO RUN--Robert McLane caught 8 dorado including this 37 pounder in the very good bite at Mazatlan last week during a trip aboard the Flota Bibi Fleet charter boat Mahi Dreamer with trip partner Chris Powell and Capt. Tony. PHOTO COURTESY OF TADEO HERNANDEZ.

Sailfish caught at Puerto Vallarta

PUERTO VALLARTA SAILFISH--John Bellows, left, of Atlanta, Ga., fished just north of Puerto Vallarta's Punta Mita aboard the Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle boat Magnifico with Capt. Alonso, right. Goggle-eye baits cast on the surface produced 6 sailfish including this one kept, dorado, and roosterfish. PHOTO COURTESY OF STAN GABRUK.

Sea lion eating at Los Cabos

BAJA SNACK TIME--A Los Cabos sea lion keeps body and soul together during a recent trip by Baja species fishing specialist John Snow. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN SNOW.

Dorado caught at Mulege

DORADO HIGH SEASON--Late spring is the traditional peak season for dorado at Mulege and Ted Morris, left, got into the action with this gold-and-blue trophy hooked with Mike Reichner, right, of Mulege. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE REICHNER.

Baja coastal fishing reports and articles.

Ensenada fishing reports and articles.

Puerto Santo Tomas fishing reports and articles.

Erendira fishing reports and articles.

San Quintin fishing reports and articles.

Magdalena Bay fishing reports and articles.

Cabo San Lucas fishing reports and articles.

San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos) fishing reports and articles.

East Cape fishing reports and articles.

La Paz fishing reports and articles.

Loreto fishing reports and articles.

Mulege fishing reports and articles.

Santa Rosalia fishing reports and articles.

Bahia de los Angeles (L.A. Bay) fishing reports and articles.

San Felipe fishing reports and articles.

Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) fishing reports and articles.

San Carlos (Sonora) fishing reports and articles .

Mazatlan fishing reports and articles .

Puerto Vallarta fishing reports and articles.

Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing reports and articles.

Huatulco fishing reports and articles.

Cancun fishing reports and articles.

Mexico coastal fishing reports and articles.

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