MAZATLAN, MEXICO: The Mazatlan fishing area's very heavy seasonal summer dorado bite solidified into a bonanza last week as boats found basically unlimited dodos both inshore and offshore.
Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 5 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: continued Mexico fishing limits of dorado for all anglers plus 5 sailfish. Inshore super pangas also had dorado limits with many releases by light tackle anglers.
"It seems that the bulk of the dorado in the Sea of Cortez have taken up residence at Mazatlan," Edwards said. "The dorado were eager to bite most things that moved through the water. Most anglers opted for dorado, or they tried for billfish first and reverted to dorado if nothing happened."
Mazatlan fishing area weather was mostly cloudy in the high-80s, with light swells and breezes, and water temperatures even at 80 to 81 degrees. Aries Fleet boats fished with rigged baits for sailfish and with any baits or lures for dorado.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet said, "The great dorado fishing continues!" More anglers were arriving at Mazatlan from Mexican areas, and cruise ships were also visiting again as the recent swine flu scare abated. "It's still not what we'd like to have, but it's significantly better than a few weeks ago," Hernandez said.
Blue marlin and sailfish were also caught off Mazatlan as Flota Bibi Fleet boats fished with a variety of baits including live and dead skipjack tuna, the smaller-sized skipjack called "platanillos," squid, mullet, shrimp, and ballyhoo or halfbeak.
"There isn't a lot of inshore fishing going on at Mazatlan," Hernandez said. "Most people are going out for dorado. But inshore, we have snappers, triggerfish, jack crevalle, and mojarra.
Top outings for the week included a run by the Flota Bibi Fleet charter boat Mahi Dreamer that lived up to its name with a 3-day catch of 22 dorado to 45 pounds plus a sailfish for Capt. Tony, crewman Cristian, and anglers Cherlyn and Richard Burleson.
Mazatlan fishing area weather was rainy every night, with a couple of port closures due to tropical weather systems moving up along Mexico's Pacific coast.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Ensenada's Vonny's Fleet reported steady early summer fishing for charter pangas at the tip of Punta Banda, including an outing by Capt. Beto on the Vonny I for good action on mixed bottom fish plus a 22-pound yellowtail hooked on the surface with Vonny's Fleet's locally made aluminum jigs. "They used single hooks on the dropper loops," Villarino said. "And they got the sushi fish by tossing the aluminum. We had a good week of fishing." Ensenada fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-70s, with light 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 Ensenada's Marina Coral reported on a local trip to fish in massive concentrations of Humboldt giant squid of 20 to 35 pounds.
"In 2 hours we set a new boat record," Ross said. "We boated 52 squid for the kids at La Paz Orphanage.
"As the meter got thicker with Humboldts, there were thousands, maybe millions of squids filling the screen, from 3 feet to maybe 150 feet. The screen was all red and orange. It was solid Humboldts.
"One squid grabbed Juan Lu's boot and began to draw itself close for a bite.
"The only thing I can think to compare this to is a plague of locusts.
"I am certain that if you dropped your shirt in the water they would tear it to shreds in a heartbeat. We had so much squid on board my high water bilge alarm went off. This ended the trip.
"Back at the marina, the director of the orphanage showed up, and we offloaded the squid to their vehicle for processing in their very professional kitchen."
On another outing, the Bad Dog ran offshore for a catch in water of about 62 to 64 degrees of: 2 albacore, 2 bonito, and 3 yellowtail to 13 pounds.
"All day long, I metered a lot of albacore from 500 feet on down," Ross said. "There are lots of albacore, but they are very deep."
Anglers fishing aboard the Bad Dog during the week included Ross, Capt. Juan Cardona, and Mike Kraus.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jorge Rosales of the CICESE marine research center in Ensenada reported on another sportfishing survey trip to San Quintin, with 6 charter boats monitored on June 27, 2009, for a fish count with 15 anglers of 158 total fish including: 27 yellowtail, 23 bonito, 14 barracuda, and assorted bottom fish such as red rockcod, bocaccio, brown rockcod, starry rockcod, kelp bass, cowcod, sculpin, whitefish, and lingcod.
Boats surveyed included the Coyote with Capt. Pato, Rommy with Capt. Lilo, Telly Girl and Nelly Girl with Capts. Tito Aguayo and Elias Cervantes, Fanny III with Capt. Gordo, and the Paloma.
In all, at least 10 charter boats fished out of San Quintin on the day of survey. San Quintin fishing are weather was sunny and warm, with light winds and water temperatures at Isla San Martin averaging 59 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported windy weather during the week hampering long offshore runs, but Isla San Martin producing Mexico fishing limits of yellowtail of 15 to 22 pounds, plus barracuda and bonito. "The yellowtail were caught on live bait and blue-white jigs," Hillis said. "As usual, the lingcod and rockcod fishing is still great."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Alberto Tapia Landeros of UABC Mexicali reported on a trip to San Quintin to fish with Capt. Hector Villavicencio out of Pedro's Pangas for Mexico fishing limits of rockcods, bocaccio, whitefish, lingcod, and and one Humboldt giant squid.
A second day of fishing up to 22 kilometers off the Baja coast found no targeted yellowfin tuna or albacore. One yellowtail was lost after it hit a live mackerel bait during a kelp paddy stop.
Water temperatures were still cool at about 61 degrees, as many finback whales were seen offshore.
"On the way in, Hector took us to his secret spot," Tapia said. "We caught limits of sugar bass and released many small ones and a crab that the locals call 'the devil's horse.' San Quintin has many anglers and they will continue to come until September."
Tapia also reported illegal commercial fishing at Isla San Martin. "We saw illegal lobster traps," he said. "No one is guarding the coasts of Mexico."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: For the week ending June 27, 2009, Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing reported on 4 total charter trips to Ben's Rock by Capts. Chiflo Flores and Pancho Berellesa for heavy counts of bottom fish plus 5 yellowtail to 21.3 pounds and a grouper at 8.2 pounds. Water temperatures at Ben's Rock averaged 58 degrees. Anglers fishing out of Don Eddie's Landing included Jesse Ramirez, Omar Nasser, Eric Mendoza, Johnny Hernandez, David Ramirez, Joel Mendoza, and Abel Mendoza.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: For the week ending June 26, 2009, Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported better weather offshore of Magdalena Bay as a few boats ran out for good numbers on dorado and smaller yellowfin tuna about 10 miles off the Baja coast. The San Carlos entrada produced small yellowtail plus smaller cabrilla down deep. Boats fishing the Magdalena Bay mangrove channels north of Puerto Lopez Mateos caught spotted bay bass and cabrilla.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 26 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 2 jack crevalle, 8 striped marlin with 5 released, 2 skipjack tuna, 49 dorado, 49 yellowfin tuna, and 8 roosterfish. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-90s, with cooler near shore water temperatures on the Cortez side as low as 70 degrees, and warmer water offshore at 82 degrees at the Gordo Banks. Fleet boats found the best billfish action up the Cortez side at the Gordo Banks and off San Jose del Cabo. Good supplies of caballito live baits were available.
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: 1 dorado at 72 pounds caught by angler Jon Blake of Martinez, Calif., 5 dorado of 18 to 50 pounds, 7 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 25 pounds, and 1 wahoo of 45 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the Cabo San Lucas fishing week ending June 24, 2009, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported the fleet's first blue marlin of the season at a little over 200 pounds, caught by the charter boat Tracy Ann. Overall, 62 percent of Pisces boats released a total of 34 billfish, 73 percent landed 1 to 5 dorado averaging 30 pounds, and 30 percent found 1 to 5 yellowfin tuna of 15 to 30 pounds. Boats fishing inshore also caught amberjack, jack crevalle, and skipjack, and 1 wahoo of 30 pounds was caught.
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear, with some wind early in the week and water temperatures widely variable from 67 degrees close to the cape to about 76 degrees off San Jose del Cabo.
"Los Cabos was threatened this week by Tropical Storm Andres, but the storm came up against colder water temperatures which caused it to dissipate," Ehrenberg said. "Cabo is still experiencing two climates, hot on the Sea of Cortez, and cold on the Pacific. This is hindering summer fishing getting underway."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 70 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 53 yellow snapper, 24 roosterfish, 21 sierra, 19 pompano, 18 amberjack to 70 pounds, 13 dorado to 40 pounds, 12 huachinango, 9 yellowfin tuna including 1 specimen of 140 pounds, 8 hammerhead shark, 8 dog snapper to 50 pounds, 8 jack crevalle, 3 striped marlin, and 3 yellowtail. San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was in the 80s and windy from the south, with cooler currents pushing in toward the tip of Baja and causing green water color near shore. Blue water at 80 degrees began 12 miles offshore of Los Cabos, and closer to shore northwards on the Sea of Cortez at Los Frailes.
"We are patiently waiting for weather conditions to get back on track for the summer fishing season," Brictson said. "Big tuna have been hooked, but few have been landed so far. We are expecting the action to bust loose soon."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the East Cape fishing week ending June 25, 2009, Felipe Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 42 boats, with 93 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 6 striped marlin, 162 dorado, 10 yellowfin tuna, 1 wahoo, 40 roosterfish, 6 jack crevalle, 1 yellowtail, 2 pompano, 10 skipjack tuna, and 1 sierra. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 75 to 84 degrees. Fleet boats fished mostly to the south, up to 40 miles from the hotel. Roosterfish provided good action for boats chosing to fish inshore.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja fly fishing guide service reported variable weather during the week, with some southern wind and swell, settling to calm conditions by midweek, air temperatures in the low-90s, and water temperatures at 78 to 80 degrees.
Beach fishing continued good for mid-sized roosterfish and jack crevalle along East Cape beaches as the jacks continued their seasonal spawn into the first days of July. "It is late in the season for this activity," deBrown said, "but it is good to see some of the bigger fish in the area. We have had good action in at La Ribera. Along the beach, we've also had numbers of ladyfish, as well as a few needlefish and Mexican lookdowns."
Inshore boat fishing produced small to medium-sized dorado, with some into the 40-pound class, and bonito at about 10 pounds.
East Cape offshore fishing boats sighted good numbers of marlin. "We saw about 15 billfish today," deBrown said, "but only 2 came up on teaser and both of them were quick to drop off." Some yellowfin tuna were found by offshore boats making long runs to the south.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport diving service reported settling water conditions during the week, as water temperatures at depth reached 73 degrees and visibility ranged from 40 to 60 feet. Sea life sightings at Punta Perico south of La Paz included shoals of mullet, dolphin, green moray eels, and rocks littered with flower urchins and crown-of-thorn starfish.
"At Rancho Leonero," Cazaly said, "a tiny juvenile hawksbill sea turtle was seen, and at Cerro Verde a beautiful zebra moray eel swam through my hands."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported a break-out of school-sized yellowfin tuna found by his Las Arenas side pangas.
"This is the best tuna bite of the season and something we’ve waited months for," Roldan said. "Lots of fish were released. The tuna charged just about anything in the water, live sardinas, feathers, lures, everything but the burrito lunches!
Earlier, Roldan noted some strong winds on the La Paz side, but with plenty of mixed-size dorado found in scattered hotspots. "You might go all day and then the waters explode with every rod bent," he said, "or, you might hit a fish here, two there, and at the end of the day you realize your box was full."
Roldan noted emerging enforcement of fishing regulations in La Paz waters. "Inspectors are going boat-to-boat some days," he said, "checking boat and angler licenses. We have fishing licenses here at our store, but don't leave them in your room. You have to have them on you when they ask!"
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz reported mostly calm seas and pleasant air temperatures in the 90s for his charter pangas fishing on La Paz' Las Arenas side. Dorado led the fish counts as mahi of 25 to 40 pounds were caught at Isla Cerralvo, at Punta Perico on the Baja shore, and along the Baja coast south of Ensenada de los Muertos.
Good numbers of yellowfin tuna at 12 to 15 pounds were also caught south of Isla Cerralvo. Boats fishing in shallow water scored on roosterfish and jack crevalle, or toro in Spanish.
"In general, the fishing is going great," Hernandez said, "although La Paz doesn't have many anglers at this time of year."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company at Loreto reported many charter reservations coming in as boats did well on dorado into the 40-pound class. "We sent out 12 boats today," Bolles said. "They didn't have to go far to find lots of floating sargasso weed and a whale carcass full of dorado. I've been running since 3 a.m. We've been busy with morning weather delays all week, but today we sent them out at noon."
LORETO, MEXICO: Al Jordan of Loreto reported on a family outing aboard his boat Sea Note for a catch of 4 dorado of 20 to 55 pounds found at a reef 28 miles north of town in clear blue, 81-degree water. "All the fish were caught in about an hour-and-a-half around diving booby birds," Jordan said. "My 11-year-old grandson, Jacob Jordan, caught the 55 pounder. It took him 38 minutes to land it."
LORETO, MEXICO: For the Loreto fishing week ending June 26, 2009, Don Bear of Loreto reported mostly good action on various sizes of dorado plus lots of sailfish and a few marlin. Loreto fishing area water temperatures were climbing toward 85 degrees and sardina bait fish continued in very good supply inside the downtown marina. Boats fished in some uncomfortable chop for a couple of days, with air temperatures in the 90s.
Bear's boat fished 3 days with Loreto Capt. Paulino Martinez on board for a total catch including released fish of 45 dorado and 3 sailfish. Capt. Martinez also fished 3 days with a group of anglers out of the Hotel Mision for a catch of 20 keeper dorado and 6 sailfish released.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Blas Zambrano of Azuza, Calif., and his wife Sandra Zambrano fished one day at Bahia de los Angeles with Capts. Ruben and Enrique Daggett of Daggett's Camp for a catch that included 7 yellowtail of about 28 pounds, and 1 red snapper.
"Initially, our captains took us to Isla Cabeza de Caballo," Zambrano said. "There was a lot of surface fish visible from the panga and we caught 8 fish in about an hour-and-a-half.
"Then we decided to go to Las Viboras where we caught the yellowtail and red snapper."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tom Ward of The Longfin Tackle Store reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands fishing trip by the Tony Reyes Fishing Tours panga mothership B/M Tony Reyes, returning to San Felipe on June 5, 2009, with 27 anglers, charter master Del Marsh, and a catch of: 481 yellowtail of 15 to 47 pounds, 126 cabrilla of 8 to 12 pounds, 215 spotted bay bass of 2 to 4 pounds, 5 grouper of 70 to 140 pounds, 45 Humboldt giant squid of 15 to 35 pounds, 4 sheephead of 5 to 10 pounds, 10 pargos of 8 to 14 pounds, 97 miscellaneous fish of 3 to 15 pounds, and 3 broomtail grouper of 25 to 35 pounds. The Tony Reyes launched its pangas in water temperatures of 68 to 72 degrees at Snake Island, San Francisquito, Refugio, along the Baja coast, and Islas Encantadas.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: For the week ending June 26, 2009, Bryan Replogle of Team Margarita Sportfishing at San Carlos reported overall fairly slow fishing, but with some floating debris present that held good numbers of larger dorado for those lucky enough to find them. Scattered sailfish and marlin were also present. "The action has been better farther out, in the center of the Sea of Cortez and also on the reef extending south from Isla San Pedro Nolasco," Replogle said.
Boats fishing inshore around San Carlos caught plentiful skipjack plus some sierra, small dorado, and bonita.
A charter fishing run to Isla San Pedro Nolasco by the boat Margarita V with Capt. Ruben found good bottom fishing action plus a sailfish hooked and lost less than a hundred yards from the island.
San Carlos fishing area weather had some bumpy morning seas, calm afternoons, and water temperatures running in the mid-80s.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said Ixtapa fishing area conditions were settling down after the passage last week of Tropic Storm Andres. Local charter boats averaged about 1 sailfish per day plus good numbers of smaller dorado. Inshore fishing for jack crevalle and roosterfish was very good. Most of the week's dorado were caught less than a mile from the beach.
Water temperatures at about 87 degrees were found 6 miles out. "It may be a bit too warm for the sailfish," Kunze said, "but the dorado and roosterfish sure like it."
Top catches during the week included a 54-pound roosterfish landed on the fly by angler George Brown of Lodi, Calif., who fished at the "Valentin" area south of Bahia Zihuatanejo aboard the charter panga Dos Hermanos II with Capt. Cheva.
"George always releases his fish," Kunze said, "but the hook got in the gills and killed this roosterfish. By the time Cheva decided it was a possible record, the fish had dehydrated too much."
Capt. Arturo fished aboard his panga Janeth with conventional gear angler Richard Anbers of Illinois for a release catch of 12 jack crevalle, 1 dorado, and 2 roosterfish to 32 pounds, also in the "Valentin" fishing area.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported good fishing conditions off Zihuatanejo, with warm blue water just a mile outside the bay and easy Mexico fishing limits of dorado caught daily. Sailfish action was slow, with many fish present but few willing to bite.
Inshore fishing was very good for roosterfish into the 40 or 50-pound class. "The birds are pointing out the movements of the roosters," Edwards said. "It's fast and lively action."
Good catches of rainbow runner were also made near shore.
Ixtapa fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with some rains over the mountains, calming and clearing sea conditions, and water temperatures stable at 86 to 87 degrees.