CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the Cabo San Lucas fishing week ending July 19, 2009, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported striped marlin sluggish and thinning out in numbers as midsummer water temperatures warmed to as high as 89 degrees and more blue marlin were seen and caught.
"Striped marlin numbers continue to dwindle," Landrum said. "But things are starting to happen with the blue marlin. There has been about 1 blue marlin hookup, not releases, reported every day for every 10 boats. The warm blue water on the Sea of Cortez side has the fish scattered. Cabo San Lucas boats are working structure at the 1150 and 95 spots, the Cabrillo Seamount, the Vinorama drop-off, the 1,000-fathom line, and at the Gordo Banks."
Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 5 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 blue marlin of 180 pounds, 1 striped marlin, and 5 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 25 pounds.
Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 24 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 12 striped marlin with 3 released, 65 yellowfin tuna, 10 dorado, and 2 roosterfish. "There have been a few blue marlin strikes but summer fishing is lagging this year," Edwards said. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was in the low-100s, with water temperatures warm on both the Pacific and Sea of Cortez sides at 83 to 86 degrees. Pelagic game fish species were scattered in all directions. "Live bait is very difficult and almost not available," Edwards said.
For the Cabo San Lucas fishing week ending July 15, 2009, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported slower overall fishing, with fewer anglers present at the tip of Baja, as 29 percent of Pisces Fleet charters released a mix of striped marlin, sailfish, and blue marlin, 57 percent landed yellowfin tuna of 20 to 35 pounds, and just 2 dorado were caught. "Captains are reporting up to 5 marlin seen, but they simply didn't seem hungry," Ehrenberg said. "The number of anglers dropped again this week."
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Marcoz Hernandez of Fillmore, Calif., reported on an early July trip to Erendira to fish with Capt. Conrado Castro for a catch that included 3 white seabass of 10, 15, and 60 pounds. "We found a ball of squid, made our own bait, and had a great time," Hernandez said. "When I was fighting the 60-pound white seabass, it brought up 15 to 20 others that surrounded our boat. That was a great sight."
Information: Conrado Castro Sport Fishing, Erendira, Baja California, Mexico, direct dial from U.S. 011-52-646-154-4169, Located 79 kilometers south of Ensenada.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jorge Rosales of the CICESE marine research center in Ensenada reported on a sportfishing catch survey taken at San Quintin with 7 charter boats making 21 outings from the Old Mill launch ramp area over the third weekend of July, for a combined catch of: 65 red rockcod, 36 barracuda, 36 brown rockcod, 20 scorpionfish, 19 California halibut, 11 bocaccio, 11 ocean whitefish, 7 bonito, 3 yellowtail, 1 small thresher shark, and assorted flag rockcod, greenspotted rockcod, kelp bass, lingcod, sand bass, sheephead, starry rockcod, sugar bass.
San Quintin fishing area weather was mostly clear and warm, with the local water temperature averaging 61.5 degrees and some strong wind on Saturday as some boats chose to fish for halibut inside Bahia de San Quintin.
The San Quintin boats monitored in the CICESE survey were: the Fany, Fany II and Fany III from Garcia`s Pangas, the Marinero from Tiburon`s Pangas, the Goyita from Tito's Pangas, the Romy from Pedro`s Pangas, and the Offshore IV from K&M Offshore Sportfishing.
Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported more anglers visiting San Quintin during the week in improved fishing conditions. Capt. Pato made an outing to Isla San Martin for good results on yellowtail and larger red rockcods, and another run south to Socorro for 2 white seabass to 55 pounds plus Mexico fishing limits of sandbass and calico bass. "The fishing has picked up," Hillis said. "All boats are heading to Socorro today in hopes of getting white seabass."
For the previous week ending July 17, 2009, Hillis reported good weather at Isla San Martin but yellowtail counts up-and-down. Calico bass and halibut were consistent. A 51-pound black sea bass was caught inside Bahia de San Quintin by Larry Biedebach's boat.
Hillis noted the annual San Quintin fishing tournament scheduled for Aug. 22, 2009. "We're hoping the tuna and albacore are back for some real competitive fishing," he said.
Earlier, Kelly Catian of K&M Offshore sportfishing reported 7 quality kelp paddy yellowtail landed and some lost during an offshore outing in 67 to 68-degree water. "We fished about 14 miles outside Breakers reef," Catian said. "There's lots of quality yellowtail in the bush out there."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 49 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 148 amberjack, 48 roosterfish, 12 surgeonfish, 14 jack crevalle, 21 dorado, 18 bonito, 15 yellow snapper, 15 dog snapper, 14 huachinango, 13 cabrilla, 12 pompano, 7 yellowfin tuna, 6 hammerhead shark, 5 rainbow runner, 3 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, and 1 black marlin.
Southern Baja fishing weather was hot and humid in the low-100s, but with no rain and no tropical storms forming down the Mexican coast during the week.
San Jose del Cabo fishing area sea conditions continued variable, with water temperatures of 80 to 86 degrees, fluctuating currents, and sportfishing pangas using a mix of sardina, mullet, bolito, skipjack, and jurelito baits in scattered action. Increasing numbers of blue marlin hookups were reported during the week.
"Perhaps the best local bite this past week was for amberjack," Brictson said. "La Playita pangas were jigging up small jacks, or jurelitos, directly in front of the Puerto Los Cabos jetties for fly-lined baits. The amberjack, normally found a bit deeper, are coming up to the surface. Amberjack catches ranged from 2 or 3 fish up to a dozen. They averaged 15 to 20 pounds, but the largest amberjack reported was a 96 pounder."
San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist John Snow reported on a panga outing from Punta Palmilla aboard the Marian I with Capt. Javier for a catch including released fish in the local area of 35 fish of 11 species: 2 barred serrano, 1 black skipjack, 5 finescale triggerfish, 1 flag cabrilla, 2 Mexican hogfish, 1 mutton hamlet, 1 Pacific Creolefish, 3 Pacific porgy, 1 scalloped hammerhead shark, and 18 yellowside triggerfish. "We motored out just off Point Palmilla and fished the area from Point Palmilla to just south of the Westin with multiple stops between 300 yards and 1. 5 miles from the beach," Snow said. "The Marian I is an old traditional Mexican panga, with an excellent new government subsidized 90-horse motor. I had forgotten what an excellent fishing platform they are. We took my 2 traditional bottom rig outfits and one yo-yo set-up, all our support gear, and bait in the form of frozen squid and frozen bonito."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the East Cape fishing week ending July 16, 2009, Felipe Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 36 boats, with 78 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 12 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 48 dorado, 132 yellowfin tuna, 1 wahoo, 3 roosterfish, 3 snappers, 1 jack crevalle, 1 amberjack, 3 bonito, and 7 skipjack tuna.
East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-100s but with one reading at 110 degrees, with water temperatures of 80 to 86 degrees. Fleet boats fished about 20 miles from the hotel both north and south. "The fish have showed up everywhere," Valdez said. "Every spot is a fishing spot right now." Top catches of the week included a 300-pound blue marlin landed by Togo Hazard, 87.
For the East Cape sportfishing week ending July 16, 2009, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 127 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 367 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 3 blue marlin, 23 striped marlin, 25 sailfish, 65 dorado, 430 yellowfin tuna, and 1 wahoo. East Cape fishing area weather was in the high-90s, with water temperatures of 77 to 89 degrees.
For the previous week ending July 9, 2009, Moyers reported on 113 boats from the same fleets, with a catch including released fish of: 22 striped marlin, 14 sailfish, 139 dorado, 527 yellowfin tuna, 10 pargo, and 5 wahoo.
Mark Daugherty of East Cape guides reported 7 blue marlin landed in 6 fishing days. "The fish were spread out from La Ribera to Los Frailes. Most of them were hooked 3 to 5 miles from shore," Daugherty said.
Baja tin boat angler Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista reported on an outing aboard Eldon Hathaway's super panga that produced a 5 foot 3 inch, 50-pound dorado by 10 a.m. "I had never caught a dorado over 15 pounds," Eddy said. "I wish that I had caught it in the tournament yesterday."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz reported a very quiet week on the Las Arenas side south of the city as few anglers were present and those that did go out found scattered action. "It's very calm as far as fishing goes in our area around Punta Arena de La Ventana," Hernandez said. "There's little activity." Small yellowfin tuna led fish counts as fewer dorado were found by Tortuga Sportfishing pangas. La Paz fishing area weather was mostly calm, with some cooling breezes during the hot days, and water temperatures in the 80s.
For the previous La Paz fishing week ending July 17, 2009, Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported air temperatures topping 100 degrees daily and continued good catches of dorado at 5 to 20 pounds, plus some into the 50-pound class. Yellowfin tuna of 10 to 20 pounds were caught very close to shore at Las Arenas.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Ed Epifani of Punta Chivato south of Mulege reported water temperatures averaging 85 degrees as few boats went out and radio reports of dorado tournaments at Loreto and San Carlos reflected slow action.
"Very few billfish or dorado have been found in the Punta Chivato and Isla San Marcos areas in the past few days," Epifani said. "Attention is beginning to focus again on resident yellowtail at the north end of Isla San Marcos where the odd fish has been caught all summer, and we looking forward to the back migration which usually begins in the middle of August here."
Just one Punta Chivato boat report was received during the week, for a dorado of 15 pounds caught on a weed scum line about 3 miles off the south end of Isla San Marcos with Ken French of Brazil and Todd Matea of Australia aboard.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Stan Woodward of Manhattan Beach, Calif., reported extremely slow fishing during a fly-down trip to San Francisquito south of Bahia de los Angeles.
"The fishing was unremarkable at best," Woodward said. "We took a 'resort' panga 12 miles south to Punta San Miguel. We tossed the iron, swim baits, and dragged Rapalas for 3 hours for nada. We saw very few cabrilla in the water. We resorted to catching triggerfish for dinner. We ran over the El Barril high spots on the way home and again nada."
San Francisquito fishing area weather was hot, humid, and calm, as 2 other outings produced a few bonita and skipjack, a few bottom fish, and 2 small dorado.
"A Mexican Navy panga out of the caleta ran us down, stared us down, and finally asked us for a couple pintos for bait," Woodward said.
The San Francisquito resort continued to be in transition. "It is looking pretty sad, truthfully," Woodward said. "Only 4 cabanas remain, but they had new palm fronds on the canopy over the porches. The cross bars in my cabana were alive with wasps living in holes in the wood. The bathrooms were overwhelmed with bees. Every source of water was a bee heaven. The toilets in a bathroom were filled with drowned bees 6 inches deep. I turned on a faucet in the bathroom one evening and a bunch of bees flew out.
"On a positive note, Juan is doing his best running things with the help of his oldest son Lionel. Rosa cooked up wonderful trigger empanizado. They had so-so cold beer, sodas, water, and some ice. Construction material was piled up in the Don Quixote bar, so maybe change is in the wind...maybe.
"For the adventurous ones with low expectations San Francisquito is still a wonderful Baja destination. The water offshore was very warm so the yellowtail are gone, and it is always a so-so dorado fishery. The best bet is to wait for the jurel to return in October."
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 Tony Reyes, returning to San Felipe on July 19, 2009, with charter master Mike Cross of Irvine, Calif., and a catch of: 438 yellowtail to 35 pounds, 103 cabrilla to 12 pounds, 82 bass, 7 sheephead, 10 pargos, and 97 miscellaneous and released fish. The Tony Reyes fished at Midriff locations including Snake Island, Isla Partida, Refugio, and Islas Encantadas. Live bait was scarce in Midriff waters as most fish were caught on jigs and trolled MirrOlures.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 21 Aries Fleet inshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: easy Mexico fishing limits of dorado. A single offshore boat had a catch of: 1 dorado and 1 sailfish. Mazatlan fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with good water clarity, light breezes, and water temperatures at 85 to 87 degrees. "Dynamite dorado fishing leads the report again this week," Edwards said. "Big dorado numbers reflected easy limits and numerous catches and releases."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported very clear water at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo as inshore boats focused on roosterfish and jack crevalle, and offshore boats found dorado at about 7 miles out. "The water is unbelievably clear," Edwards said. "They can see the bottom at 20 meters." Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-90s, with water temperatures at 88 degrees inshore and 89 degrees offshore. Caballito live bait was in good supply.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 16 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 21 peto or king mackerel, 16 bonito, 11 Atlantic barracuda, 10 triggerfish, 6 dorado, 3 sailfish, 2 jack crevalle, 2 yellowfin tuna, 1 amberjack, and 7 miscellaneous fish. More anglers were present in the Cancun area. Cancun fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with calm seas and water temperatures stable at 84 to 85 degrees.
MEXICO: Erich Priemel of Baja's East Cape fishing area commented on the Mexican sportfishing regulation that prohibits the filleting of fish aboard boats still at sea.
"The Mexican fishing regulations which are being enforced in the East Cape area state that you may not fillet fish on the boat," Priemel said. "I do not agree with the regulations. I like to fillet fish as soon as possible and put them on ice."