Loreto fishing boats into the heavy July dorado season

Mexico Fishing News, July 22, 2002



LORETO, MEXICO: Dorado in larger sizes were caught in heavy action all around Loreto last week. Alex Rosas, president of Tijuana's Club de Pesca Deportiva de Baja California, A.C. reported excellent bottom fishing and four straight days of limits on dorado to 47 pounds for himself, son Alex Jr., and Alex Vega while fishing with Capts. Beto and Tito on the panga Maria Virtudes.

"But the biggest thrill," Rosas said, "was doing some bottom fishing at La Vaca, in front of Isla Carmen between Punta La Tintorera and Punta Lobos. We caught 4 amberjacks from 30 to 42 pounds, 3 jack crevalle to 32 pounds, 6 huge yellowtails (the biggest 52 pounds), and 8 red snappers averaging 22 pounds."

Rosas said another report from Joe De Anda last week was for a 62-pound dorado taken near Loreto on La Josefina. "It burned his left thumb, almost took the rod out of his hands, and he is still aching," Rosas said.

LORETO, MEXICO: At Arturo's Sport Fishing, Arturo Susarrey said dorado were getting larger and larger toward the weekend, especially to the south. "All skippers are reporting a lot of fish between 25 and 40 pounds," he said. "The biggest ones, to 46 pounds, are from Monserrate Island to east of Carmen Island."

Susarrey said customers were releasing many 25-pound fish in the heavy going. Dave Roark and Pat Patton had a typical experience. Given the choice of big fish counts to the north or larger fish to the south, they picked south, and fished with Capt. Antonio, releasing 20 to 25-pound fish, while keeping fish to 42 pounds.

Susarrey reported excellent weather in the 90s, with scattered clouds.

LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said Loreto water conditions were mostly calm, except for one brief period of wind, and the dorado were basically everywhere, with the larger fish concentrated to the south off Punta Perico and Punta Baja in line with Isla Monserrat:

"In reality, there are fish everywhere, you just have to find them. Look for bird activity if you can't spot sargasso. If you're fishing with bait, choose squid. Cut strips with some tentacles trailing behind, slow trolled."

Bolles said fish are being caught "well into the 40-pound class," and a few sailfish are also being landed. She added that her first attempts to land a dorado on fly from a personal pontoon boat were unsuccessful last week, but "I will get fish on that thing. I do have to say that I felt good in the pontoon. It felt really good."

LORETO, MEXICO: At Alfredo's Sport Fishing, Linda Ramirez reported lots of business, and clients were coming back early with their arms cramped up. Easy dorado limits on 20 to 35-pound fish are the norm, she said.

LORETO, MEXICO: And at Villas de Loreto, Wendy Wilchynski said, "Well! We have been busy! The fishermen all have big smiles on their faces! It's been great! The water is still warming up, so the fish will be around for a long while."

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: The albacore bite was steady last week for boats out of Bahia de Todos Santos. Sergio Susarrey of Sergio's Sport Fishing Center checked in with the following late-week counts:

Sunday: El Cazador with 11 anglers, 75 albacore, and 1 bluefin tuna. Ensenada Clipper with 24 anglers, 46 albacore.

Saturday: El Cazador with 15 anglers, 40 albacore. Shir Lee with 17 anglers, 28 albacore, and 2 bluefin tuna. Quest with 10 anglers, 38 albacore.

Friday: Ensenada Clipper with 20 anglers, 65 albacore, 1 bluefin tuna, 1 yellowtail. Quest with 12 anglers, 75 albacore.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said the fishing on Friday was for early albacore limits at GPS numbers 31:30 117:12, including a 15-fish stop on live bait. On Thursday, limits were also found at the same GPS numbers in 64.9-degree water.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Trailer boater Barney Phillips had a mid-week report from GPS numbers 31:28 117:13 to 117:20, saying, "I hesitate to use the word 'epic,' but I don't know how the bite could get much better." Phillips said his jig stops were "turning into hour-long 'baitathons,' or until you poop out and take a break." The albacore were running 18 to 20 pounds, with some fish to about 27 pounds, plus big yellowtail on the kelp paddies. Water temperatures were 64.2 to 65.2 degrees, and the color was deep blue, Phillips said. "Ocean flat and glassed out. It just doesn't get any better."



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Excellent fishing for albacore and yellowtail continued last week. Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said all boats were fishing over the weekend and finding limits on albacore to 25 pounds and yellowtail to 20 pounds, mostly about 14 miles off the point on a heading of 210 degrees, in sunny weather and calm seas.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Tony Marquez of Don Eddie's Landing said every available boat was booked solid over the weekend and the hotel was sold out. "The albies have gotten as close as 8 miles from the point," Marquez said. "They are hitting Rapalas, feathers and jigs. The average weight is up to 21 pounds. Boats are averaging 12 tuna per boat." Marquez said there has been a problem lately with some no-shows at the hotel, and he asked that deposits be mailed to: Heriberto Marquez, P.O. Box 953, Chula Vista, CA 91912.

Marquez added that San Quintin weather has been great, with "calm seas, no wind, sunny days, and cold Coronas."

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At the Old Mill Hotel, Jim Harer reported excellent fishing all week, with Thursday's and Friday's a little lower than the other days, only 2 to 3 tuna per rod: "They were probably not holding their rods right."

Saturday was wide-open again, with Kelly Catian of El Capitan scoring on 15 albacore and 8 yellowtail for 3 anglers. Harer reported seas a little more choppy than last week, but basically good conditions.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Gene Allshouse of San Quintin Sport Fishing said some boats over the weekend found easy limits, and some boats only had a couple, even though everyone was fishing in the same general area. "The yellowtail are still on the small patties," he said. "When you find one, it's generally loaded with nice 20 to 30-pounders."

Allshouse reported earlier in the week that the albacore were showing an early-morning preference for small feathers and were close in: "The nice thing is, you start trolling just 12 miles off the point. Several boats were done early enough to stop for some nice lingcod and sandbass at the point."



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said the esteros are producing a few leopard grouper, small snook, and corvina, with the best action around Devil's Curve. San Carlos weather was in the mid-60s, and water temperatures averaged 60 to 74 degrees. Plenty of smaller halibut were hitting on the sandy beach across the main channel.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Water temperatures finally warmed up last week, and there was some improvement in fishing, including the appearance of fair numbers of blue marlin.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Cabo Magic, Tommy Garcia reported on 24 boats chartered during the week, with a catch of: 18 striped marlin (all released), 2 blue marlin to 405 pounds (1 released), 9 dorado including a 70-pounder, 1 mako shark, and 1 wahoo.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mario Bojorges of Picante Fleet reported Cabo San Lucas weather in the high 80s and water temperatures ranging from 72 to 82 degrees. Four boats chartered on Saturday had a combined catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin, 2 striped marlin, 6 dorado, and 2 wahoo.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Solmar Fleet manager Rene Santa Cruz said San Diego twins, Rex and Dean Hancock celebrated their 34th birthdays by boating a 630-pound blue marlin only 3 miles off Cabeza de Ballena with Capt. Jose on the San Lucas III. The big blue was Solmar's biggest fish of the year.

Santa Cruz said last week's weather improved markedly on both sides of the arch, and the fishing was much better. Robert and Lory Jepson of San Francisco had a 5-marlin day, including 4 releases, with Capt. Hector on the San Lucas III, and many boats scored doubles.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Fly Hooker Sport Fishing, Capt. George Landry said billfish action was improved but still hit-and-miss, with some boats flying several flags and others coming back without seeing a fish. Yellowfin tuna counts were generally down. "Not even many footballs are being caught," Landry said. "The fishing has to pick up sometime soon! We are finally getting the water conditions we have been waiting for and I expect it to bust loose anytime in the next week or two."

About 225 other fleet and private boats reported a combined catch including released fish of: 133 striped marlin, 17 blue marlin, 77 dorado, 21 yellowfin tuna, and 5 wahoo.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Nancy Woods of Pisces Fleet said several blue marlin to 315 pounds were landed last week. About 60 percent of boats chartered hooked up striped marlin, mostly fishing on the Cortez side, in water temperatures averaging about 78 degrees.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet boats caught a couple of blue marlin, one weighing 330 pounds, 16 striped marlin, 10 dorado, 2 wahoo, and a single yellowfin tuna. The best action for billfish was on the Cortez side around the Gordo Banks, and other species were found mostly on the Pacific side out to the Jaime Bank.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said water temperatures were as high as 77 degrees and overall fishing in the San Jose del Cabo area was improved, although still not up to normal, except for a big local beach bite on snook.

The La Playita panga fleet was scratching around the bottom rock piles, with minimal success on amberjack and roosterfish, plus a few pargo, pompano, jack crevalle, and sierra.

"One of the best bites that happened was right off the beach of La Playita," Brictson said. "One afternoon, there were about 15 snook landed, all 15 to 40-pound fish. Other days there would be several fish landed, all of good size. This was the best bite of the year for these prized game fish.

"Snook like feeding very close to shore, in the muddy water, where there is a mix of fresh water, as in front of the San Jose Estuary, which due to high tides, broke open to the ocean this past week, sending many small baitfish, shrimp, and other tasty morsels out along the local beaches. This apparently is what triggered this big bite for the snook.

"Also there were sierra, jacks, halibut and roosterfish landed from the beach, including one monster roosterfish estimated at 80 pounds, landed by local panga skipper Chame Pino off the beach of La Laguna."



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Dorado paced the action at East Cape last week, as striped marlin and yellowfin tuna counts dipped.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 439 boats chartered from combined fleets including the Van Wormer resorts of Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a catch including released fish of: 14 blue marlin, 250 striped marlin, 23 sailfish, 426 dorado, 38 yellowfin tuna, 1 pargo, 6 wahoo, and 26 roosterfish. East Cape water temperatures reached 81 degrees, and weather was generally calm in the high 90s.

The blue marlin were concentrated only 5 to 10 miles off Punta Pescadero and El Cardonal to the north, Moyers reported, and other species were found in those locations, off Buena Vista, and off the Punta Arena lighthouse. The best area for dorado was also off Punta Pescadero and the shark buoys.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Tammy Moyeous of Rancho Buena Vista said water temperatures ranged to 82 degrees, and 50 boats chartered had a catch of: 48 striped marlin (43 released), 6 blue marlin, 4 sailfish, 38 dorado, and 14 yellowfin tuna. The Ranch is still offering a fourth night free from August through April, Moyeous said.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland said the week's catch included 2 blue marlin, 31 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 84 dorado, 42 yellowfin tuna, 20 roosterfish, and 6 wahoo.

Ireland said the fishing was picking up again after a slow period at the beginning of the week. With sardina bait still scarce, most fish were being hooked on lures.

The yellowfin tuna were school-sized fish to 20 pounds, blind-striking brighter-colored lures, about 2 to 5 miles off Cabo Pulmo, Ireland said. Inshore, fewer roosterfish were being caught, but the size was still impressive, including an 80-pounder caught at midweek. Most of the roosters were being taken on live mullet from the hotel south to the lighthouse.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Baja On The Fly, Gary Graham said plenty of smaller roosterfish, jacks, pompano, and a few pargo were being caught on the beaches. Lots of quality dorado to 50 pounds were being caught, "regardless of the direction you go," and the action was close to shore.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of Vista Sea Sport said East Cape diving conditions improved greatly last week: "We are finally peeling off our wet suits." Surface temperatures at Cabo Pulmo were over 80 degrees, and the color has turned from green to blue. Rayor said the departed cold water left "a huge abundance of sea life" behind, including manta rays, big eye jacks, free swimming moray eels, and "clouds of reef fish everywhere." Hammerhead sharks were also being spotted on some days.

Rayor added that Javier Cota won a private $1,200 captain's jackpot on Sunday when he landed a 616-pound blue marlin. The informal, unpublicized prize goes to the first entered captain who brings in a fish over 500 pounds. Rayor said, "Think they got fishing in their blood? It has been fun for me to follow this little competition."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service said last week's changed conditions brought water as warm as 75 degrees at diving depth, and visibility was still mixed at 5 to 35 feet. Murrieta said a recent survey team of biologists from La Paz found that Cabo Pulmo's marine life seems very healthy. Sea conditions were calm, with a little current.



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said dorado were the best performers last week on both sides of the hill. "The bigger fish have been on the Las Arenas side, especially out by the buoys with fish continuing to be in the 25-45 pound class," Roldan said. "However, the quantity fish have been coming from the La Paz fleets, especially those working the gap between North Cerralvo and the south side of Espiritu Santo, in front of Las Cruces, and any weed or current lines in the area. Fish in those areas are running 10 to 20 pounds." Roldan said there were no tuna to speak of in the area, although roosterfish were on the beaches, and there were still pargo around.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of Mosquito Fleet said La Paz water temperatures were around 79 to 82 degrees, and dorado were being found on small feathers in Mexican flag, purple, or blue-white. Some striped marlin were showing up at El Charro, lots of huachinango were hitting on squid at El Bajo, and some amberjack were found at La Reyna.



MULEGE, MEXICO: Fly-in angler Ron Grant said the weather was perfect on his recent 6-day trip, in the mid-90s with cooling south breezes, and the dorado fishing was "as good as it gets, in any direction off the lighthouse."

Mulege water temperatures were in the high-70s and low-80s, and Grant said his best location was about 12 to 15 miles off the lighthouse on a heading of 060 degrees. More good fishing was found north or east off the north Santa Inez island. "Either location will get your limits and back to the dock by noon," Grant said. Any color feather, followed by cut bait or jigs after a troll strike, was doing the trick.

Grant said campers at San Lucas Cove were loading up on the back side of Isla San Marcos, and the fish were running 10 to 30 pounds. Even the commercial pangueros were heading in by 10 a.m.

Grant said some pangueros have been going into the live bait business and have been selling it by flagging down boats at the mouth of the river. The Hotel Serenidad runway had some soft spots but was in good overall condition.



BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at Bahia de los Angeles said the yellowtail action has turned on again, with fish about 200 feet deep over the reefs at Smith Island and around the back side of Horsehead Island. The forktails are averaging 18 to 22 pounds and are hitting yo-yo iron and live bait. Sierra also showed up in the bay last week, plus big numbers of skipjack, but so far no dorado. L.A. Bay weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 81 to 82 degrees inside the bay, and 76 to 77 degrees in the outer channels. Nightly lightning shows are being seen over on the Sonora side, and the road was in "very good" condition.

BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Joe Morse reported on a trip to San Francisquito hampered by southerly winds and swell, in water temperatures at the resort averaging 74 to 82 degrees. Morse said "nightly chubascos" about 2 a.m. made things interesting with all the chairs and tarps flying around.

"The yellowtail are still at the point and off the beach but in smaller numbers and infrequent feedings," Morse said. "We managed to catch one 10 or 12-pound yellow plus a cabrilla the same size in about 20 minutes of fishing time. We spent the remainder of our time on the beach playing in 2 to 5-foot surf created by the southerly storm." Morse said the road south from L.A. Bay is now rocky and washboard, but passable, and his group spent the wind-bound hours by visiting nearby rock art sites and working on their equipment in camp. On their return trip, they brought back a Diaz panga for a new motor.



SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tony Reyes of Tony Reyes Fishing Tours reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Jose Andres, returning to San Felipe on July 19 with a fish count of: 31 yellowtail, 28 to 48 pounds; 4 grouper, 50 to 92 pounds (2 grouper of 27.5 and 31 pounds released); 1 white seabass, 47 pounds; 81 cabrilla, 10 to 16 pounds; 83 squid, 20 to 45 pounds; 7 red snapper, 8 to 12 pounds; 2 broomtail grouper, 10 pounds; 3 sheephead, 8 pounds; and 220 spotted bay bass.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Gustavo Velez of Baja Sportfishing, Inc. reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Erik, returning to San Felipe on July 19 with a fish count of: 128 yellowtail; 58 cabrilla; 18 red snapper; 8 white seabass, to 30 pounds; 2 grouper, 47 and 52 pounds; 31 squid; and 112 miscellaneous fish. Velez said the Erik fished south past San Francisquito looking for dorado, but without luck. Also, 2 stranded private boat anglers were apparently rescued from an island near Isla San Lorenzo, perhaps Isla Cardonosa, but further details were not available at press time.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Aries Fleet boats were averaging more than 2 sailfish per day. Inshore pangas were averaging more than 8 roosterfish per day. Overall, Aries Fleet boats had a catch of: 34 sailfish (27 released), 1 dorado, and 23 roosterfish. Mazatlan weather was in the high-80s, with water temperature about 80 degrees. The best fishing was 20 miles outside Marina el Cid on a heading of 220 degrees.



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Marcos Vargas of Vargas Fleet said big tuna to over 200 pounds were being caught last week. The boat Tuna Time took fish of 180 and 250 pounds, and Capt. Santiago of the super panga Gitana had a 7-fish day on tuna to 80 pounds, Vargas reported. Sailfish were still averaging 2 per day, and lots of roosterfish were off the beaches. Capt. Adolpho caught 5 fish to 80 pounds in one day. Zihuatanejo weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures averaging 78 degrees, blue water 2 miles outside the bay, and the best fishing on a heading of 210 degrees.

Fish Photo 1

SAN QUINTIN CATCH--Gene Allshouse of San Quintin Sport Fishing sent this photo to show what's hitting right now. Left to right with a nice bunch of albacore and yellowtail are Robert Green of Phoenix, Allshouse's daughter Regina, and Cielito Lindo resident Vince. Said Allshouse, "I don't get the chance to captain my boats often, but it sure is fun for me when I do."

Fish Photo 1

Californians Dave Roark and Pat Patton fished with Arturo's Sport Fishing in Loreto last week and found themselves releasing 20 to 25-pound dorado. They also kept fish to 42 pounds while fishing a short distance south of town with Capt. Antonio.

Fish Photo 1

Alex Rosas of the Tijuana-based Club de Pesca Deportiva de Baja California, A.C. had a fine trip to Loreto last week, with great bottom fishing and 4 straight days of limits on dorado. Left to right are: Rosas with a 34-pound amberjack and a 22-pound huachinango, son Alex Jr. with a 36-pound amberjack, and Alex Vega with a 42-pound yellowtail.

Fish Photo 1

Jeff Carothers of Morgan Hill, CA with a nice roosterfish he caught off Palmilla Beach while fishing on a trip booked by Jig Stop Tours with Capt. Augustine on the panga Fatima. Carothers said, "I have gone with Augustine at least a dozen times in past two years, and he always seems to find fish when nobody else does. He is great panga captain."

Fish Photo 1

LA PAZ DORADO--Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said, "Here's the type of big bull we're pulling off the buoys in the Las Arenas area. This is Juan Garcia who worked outside and took this bad boy."

Fish Photo 1

Blue marlin have arrived at Cabo. Jim and Hunter Veirs of Dallas caught this 405- pounder while fishing last week with Cabo Magic. The father-and-son team also landed and released an estimated 200-pounder earlier in the day. The big blue hit a cast live bait on 60-pound line and required 1 hour 35 minutes to land. Photo courtesy Tommy Garcia.

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