SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Baja species fishing specialist John Snow reported generally slow overall sportfishing conditions in cold, green water found during surf and panga outings at San Jose del Cabo from June 21-July 3, 2009, but with a record total of 96 fish, flora, and fauna species caught or observed, locally and during a trip to visit commercial Mexican fishermen about 50 miles north on Baja's Pacific coast.
Among the 17 or possibly 18 new species caught or observed by Snow were:
King angelfish, giant black sea bass, Pacific bearded brotula, round conch, long conch, specklefin cusk eel, oval flounder, red gorgonian, California halibut, mimetic midshipman, Pacific angel shark, witch skate, serpent basket star, tamarisk sea star, yellowspotted star, threebanded butterflyfish, banded tonguefish, and a possible sanguine frogfish.
"The fish of the week was probably the banded tonguefish, with a close second being the serpent sea star, both of which are seldom seen by humans," Snow said. "The witch skate is also of note, which has to be in the top five of the best protected animals on earth. He poked me at least a half-dozen times with various spines and each time drew blood."
Panga fishing off San Jose del Cabo was notably slow, producing an average of about 13 fish per day, for a total of 88 fish of 33 species.
Four Baja surf fishing sessions produced 14 fish of 8 species.
There were no species overlaps between beach and panga fishing; the balance of the species observed were in the catches of Mexican commercial fishermen.
Snow also noted an encounter with a Peruvian scorpionfish's poisonous spines.
"I pulled a 10-inch Peruvian scorpionfish out of 180-foot deep water and the thing poked me on the second finger of the right hand, causing pain almost to the level of blacking out," Snow said. "El Capitano advised that I should try to get as much blood out as I could which I did at a limited level. The pain finally dissipated in about an hour and it became a total non-event."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 55 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 165 huachinango (red snapper), 26 amberjack, 18 yellow snapper, 18 roosterfish, 15 jack crevalle, 13 pompano, 12 pargo colorado, 9 cabrilla, 8 dorado, 7 dogtooth snapper, 6 yellowfin tuna, 3 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, and 1 halibut.
Baja fishing area weather at San Jose del Cabo was hot and humid, with some wind coming down the Pacific side of the cape, but Sea of Cortez waters mostly calm, as water temperatures warmed into the low-80s, with clearing water color near shore.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Good summer fishing conditions were reported for local Ensenada waters during the week by Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet as charter pangas scored good surface catches of bonita, log barracuda, yellowtail to 33 pounds, and several white seabass to 46-pounds. Bottom fishing produced Mexico fishing limits of mixed species including halibut, lingcod, and rockcods.
Anglers fishing with Capts. Hector and Beto on the pangas Vonny I and Vonny IV included Scott Baxter , Logan Baxter, Greg Lee and Tanner Lee of Los Angeles, Calif.; Daniel Bean of Escondido, Calif.; Walter Korbler and Walter Korbler Jr. of San Diego, Calif.; and Manuel Mendez and Vince Bermudez of Santa Paula, Calif.
Local Baja fishing weather at Ensenada was mostly cloudy in the mornings, sunny in the afternoons, in the low-70s, with light winds, ocean swells at 3 feet, and water temperatures at the tip of Punta Banda averaging 60 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the boat Bad Dog at Ensenada's Marina Coral noted recent species fishing reports in Mexico Fishing News and reported that his boat's unusual species catches in Bahia de Todos Santos have included ratfish and the sarcastic fringehead. "I had no idea what these fish were until someone else ID'ed the darn things. They were weird and were released," Ross said. "I also caught a mantis shrimp within an hour of the sarcastic fringehead, to make it a weird trip.
"I also reeled up a totally white starfish, all white, with no other color on it. It was beautiful and I also released it on that same trip."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing reported 2 bluefin tuna at 23 and 25 pounds landed during an albacore hunting trip by Capt. Juan Cook aboard the charter boat Mona Lisa with anglers Juan Vega and Jaime Ayala. "They went out looking for albacore, but they came back with bluefin tuna," Melville said. "They were so happy." San Quintin offshore water temperatures were at 65-degrees where the bluefin tuna were caught about 31 miles off the Baja coast.
Melville reported good numbers of anglers present at San Quintin over the Fourth of July holiday, as boats caught Baja fishing limits of mixed bottom fish on local high spots, south at Socorro, and at Ben's Rock.
Water temperatures at local San Quintin fishing locations averaged 58 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of San Quintin's K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported yellowtail of 18 to 20 pounds, halibut, lingcod, and mixed bottom fish during a run to Isla San Martin by the charter boat Offshore III with anglers Chris Pierce, Dave Brown, and Scott Solana. "The yellowtail were caught on live mackerel while slow-trolling the west side of the island," Catian said. "The northeast side of the island was working well for halibut. There were fish in shallow water up inside Hassler's Cove."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported good, wind-free fishing conditions at San Quintin with air temperatures in the 80s. Two boats running is Isla San Martin had a combined catch of: 4 yellowtail of 18 to 20 pounds, 6 good-sized calico bass, 1 halibut, 1 Humboldt giant squid, and some barracuda. San Quintin boats fishing the bottom on local high spots found steady counts of lingcod and mixed rockcods.
Anglers fishing with Pedro's Pangas Capt. Hector on the charter boat Rommy and Capt. Pato aboard the Coyote included: Tom Lewis, Paco Nunez, Alan Lewis, and Carlos Ramos, all of the Los Angeles area; and Jose Lewis, Adrian Gilliams, and Alexander Beltran, all of Long Beach, Calif.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Paul Montgomery of Vista, Calif., relayed a white seabass report from charter panga Capt. Lee Moreno of Camalu, on the Baja coast just north of San Quintin. "Lee wanted to let me know that the white seabass are there right now," Montgomery said. "They are hungry. He believes the next few weeks should be very good."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: For the Magdalena fishing week ending July 3, 2009, Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported some marlin being seen offshore. "There are a few marlin about 24 miles off Puerto Lopez Mateos," Graham said. "Yellowfin tuna and dorado in the 10 to 20-pound range are also in that area."
Smaller yellowtail were caught under birds at the San Carlos entrada. The Magdalena Bay mangrove channels produced mainly bass, plus some grouper and snappers.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending July 1, 2009, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported 37 percent of charters releasing striped marlin, with no more than 2 marlin per outing, 58 percent landing dorado to 40 pounds, and 35 percent with yellowfin tuna. Other fish species caught included skipjack, bonita, roosterfish, and 1 hammerhead shark of about 40 pounds.
Forty-seven Cabo San Lucas boats fished 2 days in the Stars and Stripes tournament for 86 billfish released, 32 tuna to 81 pounds, and 47 dorado. Most of the marlin were caught on live bait just north of San Jose del Cabo.
Local Baja fishing area water temperatures averaged 67 to 76 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 2 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 striped marlin, and 5 dorado of 15 to 40 pounds.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the East Cape fishing week ending July 2, 2009, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 142 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 419 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin, 34 striped marlin, 191 dorado, 401 yellowfin tuna, and 2 wahoo. East Cape fishing area weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 72 to 86 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week ending June 25, 2009, Moyers reported on 161 boats from the same East Cape fleets, with 468 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 47 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 185 dorado, 175 yellowfin tuna, and 3 wahoo.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous Baja fishing week ending June 18, 2009, Moyers reported on 136 boats from the same fleets, with 398 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 34 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 218 dorado, 127 yellowfin tuna, and 47 roosterfish.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the East Cape fishing week ending July 2, 2009, Felipe Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 54 boats, with 127 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 10 striped marlin, 93 dorado, 134 yellowfin tuna mostly of about 15 pounds, 36 roosterfish, 1 shark, 13 snapper, 6 jack crevalle, 3 bonito, 2 cabrilla, and 10 skipjack tuna.
East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 75 to 84 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly the the Vista Sea Sport diving service at East Cape reported improving conditions on the Cabo Pulmo coral reef, with visibility at 30 to 40 feet and water temperatures ranging from 75 degrees at depth to 79 degrees in shallow water areas.
Sea life sightings were led by a rarely seen Clarion angelfish. "There was no way I could miss it and it held me spellbound for several minutes," Cazaly said.
On the way to Cabo Pulmo aboard a panga, Cazaly said, "We marveled at all the life to be seen, a shark of unknown species pointed out by our eagle-eyed skipper, a pod of dolphins, and best of all a huge Pacific manta ray that flipped a somersault as it leapt clear from the water."
Other sea life sightings during Vista Sea Sport dive trips at East Cape included masses of leopard grouper, yellow snapper, a solitary cownosed ray, and diamond stingrays.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending July 3, 2009, John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported East Cape fishing weather in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 74 to 81 degrees. Top fishing results for the week included 6 days aboard a cruiser by angler Gary Benes of Illinois for a catch of: 29 dorado, 8 yellowfin tuna, 1 striped marlin, and assorted pargo, pompano, roosterfish, and cabrilla.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing reported full summer conditions for his pangas fishing on the Las Arenas side south of La Paz. "We have hot weather and winds from the south that interfered with the fishing," Hernandez said.
Tortuga Sportfishing pangas found wind and strong currents at the Las Arenas-side offshore buoys and returned to the beach with just one or two fish. Few dorado were seen in fishing areas near the Baja coast, but some smaller dorado were caught at the south end of Isla Cerralvo, in addition to small tuna, and some wahoo.
Tortuga Sportfishing captains also targeted shallow water areas around Punta Perico and Las Arenas for smaller snappers and good numbers of roosterfish in all sizes.
LORETO, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending July 2, 2009, Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company reported dorado moving in closer to the Baja shore near Loreto, as quality fish were caught in the channels between the downtown marina and Islas Coronado and Carmen.
"Dorado were found 5 to 10 miles from the marina. Our boats found large dorado under a dead whale floating off Isla Coronado," Bolles said. "Several large pieces of Sargasso weed were fished off the island. Thirty to 40-pound class dorado were the norm."
Bolles also noted commercial fishing boats working in Loreto area waters a few miles north of Isla Coronado.
"Bonita and skipjack were the supposed target," she said. "Who knows what they do with them. Neither are good eating. Are they being sold as canned tuna, or used as cat food, or to feed the tuna pens at Ensenada? This kind of fishing may be condoned by the Mexican government, but must be controlled. Pescadores Vigilantes is working toward that goal."
LORETO, MEXICO: For the Baja fishing week ending July 2, 2009, Don Bear of Loreto reported a total of 16 dorado of 8 to 25 pounds plus 4 sailfish released during 2 days of fishing by his boat with local Capt. Paulino Martinez aboard. "Most of the dorado were caught 5 to 15 miles east of Punta Mercenarios," Bear said. "On Saturday, the sailfish were so numerous they caused us to pull in the baits, making dorado fishing difficult."
Bear's neighbor Charlie Licha fished with Loreto Capt. Alvaro Murillo for a catch of 5 dorado of 15 to 30 pounds plus a pargo of 15 pounds caught within 2 miles of Isla Coronado.
At La Cholla on the north end of Isla Carmen, Capt. Paulino Martinez fished aboard his boat Dorado Fumador with a charter group out of Loreto's Hotel Oasis for a catch of 5 yellowtail, 8 dorado, and many dorado lost.
Loreto fishing area weather was hot, with cooling breezes and water temperatures in the low-80s.
LORETO, MEXICO: Lou Federico, the original builder of the Hotel Punta Chivato south of Mulege and author of the classic Baja book "One Hell of a Ride," fished at Loreto with Capt. Chico of Arturo's Sportfishing for very good action on fly fishing and conventional tackle about 35 to 40 miles east of town for dorado, sailfish, and marlin.
Federico said, "Arturo's fleet is first class. In the hundreds of days that I have fished the Sea of Cortez, I have never had a day like this, even with Ray Cannon. There were so many big dorado on a dead sea lion carcass that I was able to hook a big one on every cast. Once I found the right fly, it competed with live bait. We were through by 12 noon."
Federico and his wife Lana also visited Mulege and had a reunion of Baja old timers including Nancy and Don Johnson of the historic Hotel Serenidad, and Saul Davis, who staffed at the Mulege's old Rancho Loma Linda, later the Club Aero Mulege, which opened in 1961.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Johnathan Ellis of Diamond Bar, Calif., reported on 2 days of fishing at Mulege by his group with local panga Capt. Jose Luis for a catch of 15 dorado of 25 to 40 pounds, 1 bonita, and 1 small sailfish released. "Most of the dorado were caught on a single kelp paddy," Ellis said. Also fishing on the trip were Daniel Venegas of Corona, Calif., and Mario Aceves of Ontario, Calif.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Ed Epifani of Punta Chivato noted Mexican commercial fishing boats working in the area recently.
"The seiners have done great damage here this year," Epifani said. "There is lots of dead by-catch, fish , bird, and mammal.
"They are fleeing now though, as a 400-square-mile algal bloom is hitting us now. It is pea soup thick and stinky. All the surface fish appear to have fled. The band of algae goes from Isla Tortuga to Punta Santa Theresa and 20 miles out. Nobody here remembers this happening before. It is amazing!"
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Iver Lien of McKinleyville, Calif., reported a large gulf grouper weighed at 117 pounds on a certified scale caught by Bobby Owings, also of McKinleyville, during a 6-day Midriff Islands fishing and diving trip by the San Felipe panga mothership Andrea Lynn. "He was trolling a pink MirrOlure just west of Puerto Refugio at the north end of Isla Angel de la Guarda," Lien said.
The Andrea Lynn fished in clear water at a warm 77 to 78 degrees at Refugio and also stopped at La Vibora and Bahia de las Animas. Southern Midriff waters were found to be murky green at 68 degrees, with visibility at less than 10 feet. The charter master for the trip, from June 27-July, 2, 2009, was Al Gage, of Phoenix, Ariz.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of Team Margarita Sportfishing at San Carlos reported improving action as some marlin were landed, others were seen into the 300-pound class, and fair numbers of sailfish were also raised into the spreads.
"The bite is a little finicky but there are a fair number of larger fish around now," Replogle said.
Dorado were not numerous but good numbers of 30 to 40 pounders were caught about 15 to 20 miles out of San Carlos on headings of 170 to 210 degrees.
Inshore boats caught sierra of 3 to 6 pounds, skipjack, and peanut dorado of 2 to 4 pounds.
The 62nd International Fishing Tournament was scheduled at San Carlos on July 17-19, 2009, with registration fees of $100 per angler.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters of San Carlos reported results from the recent Billfish Blowout fishing tournament, as the boat Mr. Tata took first place with 6 sailfish released during 2 days of fishing, the Margarita V took second place with 3 releases, and Andale II was third with 2 releases. The largest dorado weighed was caught by the boat Sassy Lady at 35.4 pounds.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: For the week ending July 2, 2009, Tadeo Hernandez of Mazatlan's Flota Bibi Fleet reported continuing excellent catches of dorado of all sizes. "There are many releases and many keepers!" Hernandez said.
More sailfish and blue marlin were being seen as water temperatures warmed. "The big blues are reluctant to be hooked," Hernandez said. "The best blue marlin numbers at Mazatlan are normally from August to October."
Mazatlan boats fished with a mix of baits including goggle-eye, live and dead skipjack tuna, the smaller skipjack locally called "platanillo," shrimp, mullet, squid, and halfbeak.
Most boats fished offshore for dorado, but those Mazatlan boats staying inshore caught mixed species including small snook.
Mazatlan fishing area weather was rainy each night, but with no port closures, and water temperatures averaging 85 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said Ixtapa Zihuatanejo charter sportfishing boats averaged about 1 to 2 sailfish per day plus 2 to 4 dorado, while fishing mostly about 1 to 2 miles out in water temperatures of about 85 degrees.
Few anglers were present in the area. Capt. Adan of the charter panga Gitana fished just one day during the week for 2 dorado and a sailfish release. "His only complaint is that there aren't enough clients here," Kunze said. "It's almost like going out blind. There aren't enough boats on the water to locate the fish."
Inshore roosterfish action continued very good from Union, 25 miles north of Ixtapa, to La Barrita 25 miles to the south of town.
MEXICO: Trout fishing in Mexico is a sporting activity little known in the outside world. In the monograph linked here, entitled "My Secret Spot," saltwater fishing guide Ed Kunze of Zihuatanejo writes about the status of the rainbow trout fishery in his state of Guerrero, and as it relates to Mexico in general and other more widely known locations in North America. RAINBOW TROUT FISHING IN MEXICO.