EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja fly fishing guide service at East Cape reported steady beach fishing in unseasonably warm water temperatures. "We are seeing water temperatures about 5 to 8 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year," deBrown said. "This is providing good bait populations.
"East Cape anglers willing to stand on the beach in the heat have a good chance of getting at least a few shots a day. Three anglers from Finland traveled all the way to East Cape just to fish the beach. They have had decent success the last ten days with a handful of nice roosterfish to about 20 pounds, along with many smaller roosterfish, as many ladyfish as one could want, pompano, Mexican lookdown, pargo, jack crevalle, and cabrilla."
Offshore anglers found decent action on dorado, bonita, football yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, and sailfish. We have very few striped marlin," deBrown said. "I think the water is just too warm for them. Yesterday we raised 3 small blues, but had no hookups on the fly."
For the East Cape fishing week ending Aug. 6, 2009, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 163 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 486 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 326 yellowfin tuna mostly of about 15 pounds, 81 dorado, 34 sailfish, 22 striped marlin, 10 blue marlin, and 9 wahoo. East Cape fishing area weather was at 100 degrees, with water temperatures of 83 to 90 degrees. Fish counts did not include boats competing in the East Cape Bisbee's tournament.
For the previous week ending July 23, 2009, Moyers reported on 203 boats from the same fleets, with 591 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 215 yellowfin tuna, 97 dorado, 58 sailfish, 37 striped marlin, 32 wahoo, 18 blue marlin, and 14 roosterfish.
For the East Cape fishing week ending July 23, 2009, Felipe Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 63 boats, with 118 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 79 dorado, 46 striped marlin, 43 yellowfin tuna, 40 blue marlin, 37 sailfish, 13 roosterfish, 10 snappers, 7 bonito, 2 black marlin, and 3 wahoo. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-100s, with water temperatures of 80 to 86 degrees.
Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport diving service reported continued excellent East Cape diving conditions, with over 100 feet of visibility and 82 degree bottom temperatures found at Isla Cerralvo.
Heavy concentrations of sea life were also found at the Cabo Pulmo coral reef. "There is so much life to be seen in any direction," Cazaly said. "At Cabo Pulmo there were yellow snapper in their thousands, leopard grouper facing into the oncoming current en masse, and large green morays under every ledge.
"A couple of yellowfin tuna were seen from afar on our safety stop and we even stopped to interact with a large sea turtle of unknown species between dives."
Bisbee's Fishing Tournaments released official results of the 10th Annual Bisbee's East Cape Offshore Tournament hosted at Buena Vista Beach Resort from July 28 to Aug. 1, 2009, with 53 boats fishing 3 days for a billfish catch of: 1 black marlin, 37 striped marlin, 36 blue marlin, and 27 sailfish. Ninety-five percent of billfish landed were released. Two qualifying blue marlin were weighed at 341 pounds and 310 pounds. Two yellowfin tuna over 100 pounds were weighed, with the larger at 174.4 pounds. The largest dorado caught weighed 57.2 pounds. The total purse for the tournament was $274,350.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported more good summer fishing for his Ensenada charter pangas fishing at the tip of Punta Banda, with Mexican limits of bonita and calico bass, several yellowtail to 18 pounds, and a total of 4 white seabass to 22 pounds caught with the locally-made aluminum jigs on the surface.
Villarino's daughter, Yvonne "Vonny" Villarino fished with Capt. Beto at midweek for a good mix of bonita, halibut, yellowtail, barracuda, and limits of bass.
Jay Johnson of Ensenada tossed aluminum jigs for white seabass of 13, 15, 18, and 22 pounds.
Other anglers fishing during the week included George Chew, Scott Robinson and his sons Dean and Tyler, Chuck Beck, and Ed Armstrong, all of Los Angeles, Calif.
Ensenada fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-70s, with light winds, ocean swells at 2 to 3 feet, and local water temperatures averaging 63 degrees.
Steve Ross of the Ensenada boat Bad Dog at Marina Coral reported on an overnight trip in rough sea conditions and water temperatures of about 67 degrees around the 1140 spot 40 miles out for a catch of 7 yellowtail and 3 dorado.
"We trolled the area just north of the 238 spot until sundown for nothing," Ross said.
"In the dark, we ran for the 1140 Finger and set out the sea anchor in 20 knots of wind gusting to 30 knots and 6 to 8-foot seas with swells breaking into the cockpit. The bilge pumps were working continuously to keep us afloat.
"At midnight, Juan Lu hooked a 40-pound shark that chewed through 180-pound wire and swam away into our generator-driven lights.
"At 0530, we set out the trolling lures and began crashing through the swells. We found our first kelp paddy among the massive white caps and caught a yellowtail as we flew away down swell at first light. Unable to find it again, we resumed trolling."
Also fishing aboard the Bad Dog was angler Joseph Carter of the boat Wahoo.
Ross noted that downtown Ensenada was crowded with Mexican tourists during the 2009 Wine Festival.
"Ensenada had blocked off streets with live bands and lots of food vendors," he said. "I spent a few hours in Hussong's enjoying a large mariachi band surrounding me while I enjoyed Don Julio shots while yelling 'ole and bravo' and raising glasses with the standing room only crowd."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing reported some days of windy weather in the San Quintin fishing area, but boats going out in calming conditions at midweek for catches including more white seabass. Don Eddie's Landing Capt. Juan Cook took anglers Chris Gessel, Ken Jones, and Bret Hambrick out in swelly conditions for 3 white seabass to 51 pounds plus red rockcod and lingcod.
A second outing with the same group produced 2 yellowtail, a halibut at 21 pounds, and 2 more white seabass of 40 and 44 pounds.
Don Eddie's Capt. Pancho Berrellesa also went out on the charter boat Mona Lisa for a catch of 3 white seabass. The private boat Brute Force went out with Capt. Horacio Acosta for more white seabass at Socorro.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Shari Bondy of Bahia Asuncion on Baja's central Pacific coast reported calming seas after a period of winds, and local boats catching halibut, calico bass, and the season's first yellowtail by angler Jeff Copen of Yucaipa, Calif.
"After catching some bass, they decided to try trolling a bit outside of Isla Asuncion and Jeff hooked something big," Bondy said. "A sea lion had the yellowtail and Jeff won the battle after about 20 minutes of hard work. It was his first yellowtail ever, a 20 pounder."
Halibut were caught by kayak just off the beach, and calico bass were active in the kelp beds at the point.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: For the Magdalena Bay fishing week ending Aug. 9, 2009, Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported striped marlin plus good counts of dorado to 30 pounds caught in 71-degree water about 60 miles off Puerto Lopez Mateos.
Red snapper were caught just outside the Boca de Soledad entrance to the bay. Local Mexican commercial fishermen brought in good catches of larger grouper. Inside the main bay at San Carlos, limits of sierra at 6 to 8 pounds were caught.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 32 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 164 yellowfin tuna of 12 to 100 pounds, 125 dorado, 28 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, and 2 wahoo.
"Overall fishing at Cabo San Lucas picked up considerably following the full moon," Edwards said. "The best striper action was on the Pacific side Golden Gate Bank. The tuna are doing well on cedar plugs and feathers, but the bigger fish were taken on live bait."
Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly clear in the low-100s, with water temperatures at 83 degrees on the Pacific-side Jaime Bank, but otherwise 86 to 88 degrees on both sides of the arch and up the Sea of Cortez to Los Frailes. Dorado, wahoo, and tuna were also found mostly on the Pacific-side Golden Gate and Jaime Banks.
Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 7 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, 4 sailfish, 1 yellowfin tuna of 15 pounds, and 26 dorado of 10 to 55 pounds.
For the fishing week ending Aug. 9, 2009, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported decent numbers of yellowfin tuna at 20 to 30 pounds present on Cabo's Pacific-side banks and some tuna to 180 pounds moving from south of the cape over to the Pacific side. "There were fish into the 180-pound class caught every day," Landrum said. "The dorado bite improved, as most boats fishing the right areas were able to get 5 or 6, up the Pacific side to inside the Golden Gate Bank." Fewer black and blue marlin were caught by Cabo fishing boats, and striped marlin continued at a relatively slow summer pace, but with some boats scoring 2 or 3 releases in fishing within about 5 miles of shore.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 52 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 172 dorado of mostly under 20 pounds, 76 yellowfin tuna, 16 huachinango, 13 hammerhead shark, 13 cabrilla, 12 roosterfish, 11 jack crevalle, 5 sailfish, 5 wahoo, 5 grouper, 4 amberjack, 4 dog snapper, 2 striped marlin, 2 blue marlin, and 1 black marlin.
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was in summer mode, with daily thunderstorms over the mountains, humidity, air temperatures in the high-90s, and long ocean swells from the south caused by distant tropical storms beyond the horizon.
Local boats worked bait fish concentrations on the Gordo Banks, Iman Bank, and San Luis Bank in water temperatures averaging about 85 degrees.
Live sardina bait fish were in good supply around the Puerto Los Cabos marina jetties, but larger fish were being caught on bolito baits trolled up on small hoochies. A few snook were reported caught on mullet, sardina, and lures near the marina. Shore anglers also caught croaker, jack crevalle, corvina, barracuda, roosterfish, and 2 bonefish.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz reported improved action during the week following a slow period for boats running out to Isla Cerralvo. La Paz fishing area weather was hot with light scattered rains in some areas.
"Our fishing is better for dorado, small and medium-sized tuna, and quality wahoo," Hernandez said. "We're also catching striped marlin of 80 to 100 pounds, which we are releasing. Our fly fishing clients are hooking up roosterfish. We're catching fish at Isla Cerralvo, Punta Perico, and Las Arenas."
Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported improved fishing at La Paz as the full moon approached. "As the week went on and the moon got fuller, the fishing got better," Roldan said. "The La Paz side dorado bite got more consistent, and both tuna and dorado started showing again at Las Arenas."
Earlier, offshore fishing on both the Las Arenas and La Paz sides slowed, but inshore action remained consistent for a mix of cabrilla, pargo, jacks, and roosterfish. "It was scratchy fishing offshore as water temperatures seemed to drop," Roldan said. "But those anglers that worked inshore took advantage of some great fishing."
LORETO, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending Aug. 7, 2009, Don Bear of Loreto reported on an outing aboard his boat with local Capt. Paulino Martinez for slow action on 4 dorado of 10 to 20 pounds, plus about 4 fish missed, on Bajo Mercenarios about 30 miles north of town. Also fishing on Bear's boat were Dick Muhl of New Zealand and Frank Durkee of Colorado.
"We trolled for hours with live mackerel and sardinas on 4 lines out," Bear said. "Judging from radio traffic, other boats had equal difficulty in finding fish."
Loreto fishing area weather was "comfortably flat," with water temperatures at 87 degrees. Mackerel live baits were in good supply, but sardinas were harder to locate than during Bear's outing at Loreto in June.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Ruben Daggett of Daggett's Camp at the north end of Bahia de los Angeles village reported good yellowtail action at Guadalupe Reef in Canal de Ballenas as Capt. Enrique Daggett fished with clients for a 2-day catch of 34 yellowtail of 18 to 20 pounds aboard the charter super panga Heidi I.
Another outing by Capt. Alfonso Daggett produced 3 yellowtail of 15 pounds, plus 5 dorado and 6 bonita. "They used feathers for the dorados and mackerel for bait fishing," Daggett said.
Bahia de los Angeles fishing area water temperatures were at 85 to 86 degrees.
Angel Aguilera of Santa Ana, Calif., reported on 3 days of fishing at Bahia de los Angeles, with 1 day of slow action near Don Juan Cove for firecracker yellowtail, small bonita, and small barracuda on scarce sardina baits, 1 day of fishing near a big sea lion at El Bajo for some yellowtail to 15 pounds, whitefish, cabrilla, and midwater bonita, and a final day of good yellowtail action at El Bajo for yellowtail to over 20 pounds on blue-white and green-yellow jigs in 83-degree water.
Aguilera noted local signs of a Sea of Cortez earthquake that occurred on his second day of fishing, Aug. 3, 2009.
"Our captain heard on the radio that there had been an earthquake," he said. "We looked south, and there was dust on top of the mountains near Don Juan. A couple of minutes later, we saw Isla Coronado with brown to white streaks and then all white. Isla Angel de la Guarda turned all white in seconds, and our panga started to rock back and forth. We could hear the rocks on the bajo move, very freaky. We looked north and saw avalanches also on Punta Remedios. Our captain said let's head south just in case a tsunami shows up, so we went west of Isla Coronado and called it a day."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported Aries Fleet offshore charter boats catching about 1 sailfish per 2 outings plus a few dorado and yellowfin tuna, and inshore boats continuing to do well on dorado at the buoys. Mazatlan fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with light winds and water temperatures stable at 84 to 85 degrees. Aries Fleet boats fished with rigged mullet for billfish about 22 to 25 miles southwest of the marina, and with live bait for dorado at the buoys.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported very few tourist anglers present at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, as offshore boats caught sailfish and dorado, and inshore boats caught larger roosterfish, jack crevalle, and sierra. "The fishing remains very good, but there are few anglers," Edwards said. "Capt. Temo Verboonen says you can count the anglers on the dock with one hand."
Ixtapa fishing area weather was clear in the low-90s, with sailfish eager to hit trolled baits 4 miles outside Zihuatanejo Bay.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 18 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 36 Atlantic barracuda, 29 king mackerel or peto, 7 red snapper, 6 triggerfish, 2 sailfish, 1 blue marlin, 1 wahoo, 1 dorado, and 1 bonito. Cancun fishing area weather was mostly cloudy in the mid-90s, with light winds and water temperatures even at 85 degrees.