Outdoors, action, adventure

Category: Mexico

La Paz fishing for dorado, tuna fantastic--until the arrival of the big north wind


Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reports that fishing was wide open this week -- until the midweek arrival of the seasonal north wind.

At the beginning of the week anglers found the Sea of Cortez teeming with the acrobatic and delectable dorado, or  mahi-mahi. "Not a lot of big fish, but solid numbers of 10- to 20-pound fish all day long, and you could catch and release to your heart’s content," Roldan said.

Those who ventured out of the Las Arenas area also encountered schools of 20- to 35-pound yellowfin tuna, not far from the beach.

"As several veteran anglers said, 'These fish fight a lot bigger than they are. They are amazingly strong,' " Roldan added. "Whether it was tuna or dorado, it wasn’t complicated fishing.  You either fished with live sardines for the dorado or stripped slow trolled chunks of fresh bonito.  The tuna came up mostly on handfuls of drifted dead sardines."
But then came the wind, which is often persistent and hampers the fishing effort. It diminished today but Roldan is unsure what effect it had on the bite.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Steve Marabella (right) of Wilmington poses alongside Capt. Jorge Moscoron with a late-season dorado caught off Las Arenas near Muertos Bay south of La Paz. Credit: Jonathan Roldan

Tropical Storm Rick alters course, may spare Cabo San Lucas area major damage


A tropical storm warning remains in effect in Cabo San Lucas and parts of Baja California Sur. But Tropical Storm Rick, now with maximum sustained winds of only 65 mph, has altered course considerably and its center is expected to pass well to the south of the peninsula.

This has Cabo San Lucas residents breathing a sigh of relief, but there is sad news: Authorities confirmed that a 16-year-old boy was killed Monday in the pounding surf at Medano Beach, which faces the famous arches at Land's End.

Huge waves continue to pound the beach and the storm surge has reached many of its hotel patios. The  Los Cabos International Airport remains open but travelers are advised to check with their carriers regarding possible delays or cancellations.

Tracy Ehrenberg, general manager of Pisces Sportfishing, says it has been raining steadily but lightly since Monday night, and there is little wind. The annual Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Tournament, which is the world's richest billfish competition, was scheduled to run Wednesday through Friday but probably will run as a two-day competition Thursday and Friday, as the port will remain closed through at least Wednesday.

Eric Brictson, owner of Gordo Banks Pangas, said today via e-mail: "The storm has really weakened, but it is still raining lightly at this time and we are out of work during a very busy time. We do assume we will be able to start operations back up on Thursday morning."

At 8 a.m. Tuesday the storm was located 200 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas and traveling in a northeasterly direction. According to the National Hurricane Center its center is expected to pass Cabo San Lucas tonight or early Wednesday on a course toward mainland Mexico.

Rainfall will be heavy and flooding is possible in some areas.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Storm watchers run from the deck at a hotel on Medano Beach as a large wave overtakes their perch. Credit: Paul J. Richards / AFP / Getty Images

Hurricane Rick weakens further as it approaches Baja California Sur


*Updated with sharper image

Hurricane Rick continues to weaken as it approaches the Cabo San Lucas area at the tip of Baja California. The National Hurricane Center at 2 p.m. Monday issued an advisory stating that maximum sustained winds are down to about 100 mph and that Rick is now a Category 2 hurricane.

The storm is located 325 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas and its predicted course has changed since the morning forecast. The center of the storm is now expected to merely skirt Cabo San Lucas, perhaps sparing the region major damage, as it travels toward the northeast in the direction of mainland Mexico. It will pass Cabo San Lucas as a tropical storm late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

The accompanying photo was taken during the lunch hour from the Cabo San Lucas marina, where many boats have been transported to land. Tracy Ehrenberg, general manager of Pisces Sportfishing, e-mailed the photo to Outposts and said the weather, while gloomy, is eerily calm and that the size of the surf has actually dropped.

That's a cruise ship in the distance. There had been two moored outside the marina this morning, but one has left. It remains unclear whether the ship in the photo, apparently with passengers still aboard, is going to ride out the storm at anchor.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo courtesy of Pisces Sportfishing

Hurricane Rick, still 'a major storm,' already being felt in Cabo San Lucas area

A wave generated by Hurricane Rick breaks outside of the San Jose del Cabo area on Monday morning.
Hurricane Rick is tracking toward southern Baja California and although it continues to weaken, the National Hurricane Center still refers to it as "a major storm," and residents and tourists throughout the region are bracing for the worst.

Rick, which on Saturday packed 180-mph winds and was the second strongest eastern North Pacific hurricane on record, is now a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph. At 8 a.m. Monday its center was located 375 miles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas. It's expected to make landfall in that area, still as a hurricane, late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

One man reportedly was killed Sunday after being swept into the water and jetty rocks in San Jose del Cabo.

Flooding and high winds are expected. Airline travel probably will be disrupted. Plans are being made to relocate residents in vulnerable areas to shelters. Fishing fleet operators and private boat owners are still working to remove vessels from marinas or at least into sheltered areas within marinas.

In Cabo San Lucas, this includes more than 100 wealthy yacht owners entered in the Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Tournament, which was scheduled to begin Wednesday. Some have already fled toward Southern California. The three-day tournament, which offers about $3 million in prize money, might become a one-day affair on Friday -- if the storm passes quickly enough.

"Please keep your fingers crossed that Hurricane Rick does not hurt us too bad," Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing implored in a fishing report issued Monday morning. "We just had one huge noisy squall come, part of the feeder bands. Cats and dogs [are] hiding everywhere."

Tracy Ehrenberg, general manager of Pisces Sportfishing, wrote Monday on the fleet's blog: "Heavy rain fell for a while and wind picked up to about 25 mph, with some thunder and more lightning. We all thought, 'Wow, it's here already,' but this was just an isolated outer thunderstorm."

Continue reading »

Cabo San Lucas port closed due to Tropical Storm Patricia


Tropical Storm Patricia, at 11 this morning, was centered about 100 miles southeast of the tip of Baja California, and a tropical storm warning remained in effect for Cabo San Lucas and the southern portion of the peninsula.

An advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center stated that the storm was becoming less organized as it traveled to the north-northeast at about 7 mph but still had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Patricia is expected to veer to the northwest later today and start  tracking to the west by Thursday.

It will make its closest approach to Baja, southwest of Cabo San Lucas, tonight and Wednesday.

Tracy Ehrenberg, general manager of Pisces Sportfishing in Cabo San Lucas, said the port is closed today despite reasonably calm seas and a mixture of clouds and sunshine. It rained earlier, and the National Hurricane Center predicted 1 to 3 inches would fall in the region.

Los Cabos Billfish Tournament is scheduled to start Wednesday.

-- Pete Thomas

Image: National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Patricia takes aim on Cabo San Lucas area


Tropical storm Patricia is not expected to become a hurricane, but its center is expected to brush the tip of the Baja California peninsula near Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday afternoon. It then is expected to track to the west and weaken.

Patricia, which at 11 a.m. Monday was 245 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, will deliver heavy rain and wind gusts to about 60 knots. The Mexican government has issued a Tropical Storm watch extending north just past La Paz.

The storm will briefly interrupt fishing off Cabo, where marlin, tuna and dorado have been cooperative for anglers during the past week, according to Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing.

The annual Bisbee's Black and Blue Marlin Tournament -- the world's richest billfish competition -- is Oct. 20-24 off Cabo San Lucas.

-- Pete Thomas

Image showing predicted five-day track of Tropical Storm Patricia was issued at 11 a.m. Monday by the National Hurricane Center

La Paz fishing report: Winds hamper effort but anglers scratch for tuna, dorado

Bruce Dodge from La Canada displays yellowfin tuna caught off Las Arenas on live bait while fishing with Tailhunter International's Las Arenas fleet. Tailhunter International today recaps a stormy, rainy week of fishing in the Sea of Cortez in the La Paz region of Baja California.

In essence the effort was hampered by nasty weather and fishing was slow, but  improved later in the week.

"It was so rough we had some folks actually get seasick on us, which is a rarity because it’s normally so calm especially this time of the year," Jonathan Roldan said via e-mail. "As well, the winds didn’t do us any favors as far as the bite was concerned."

The wind diminished these past couple of days and fishing for tuna and dorado improved slightly. "The tuna bite outside of Muertos Bay and Las Arenas came back on the chew with fish running between 15 and 30 pounds and schools of smaller dorado ripping through the chum," Roldan reported.

"For our La Paz boats, the winds started coming from the north and that really made it difficult.  It was just unseasonably windy for October, but then again, this whole year has been a paradox."

His La Paz fleet traveled extensively but found schools of dorado at various locations, and the catch average was three to six fish per boat. Most of the dorado were small.

Outposts always appreciates an honest report.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Bruce Dodge from La Canada displays yellowfin tuna caught off Las Arenas on live bait while fishing with Tailhunter International's Las Arenas fleet. Credit: Jonathan Roldan

Large tuna, bull dorado on tap for anglers at Baja California's East Cape

Dorado:east capeLouisiana angler Todd Winkler (pictured) is 6 feet, 4 inches tall, and the dorado he caught Sunday in the Sea of Cortez comes up to his nose.

The bull weighed struck a black-and-purple marlin lure and took about 20 minutes to land aboard Vista Sea Sport's Jen Wren in the East Cape region of Baja California.

"We went tuna fishing but the wind blew and they were hard to find so we had to settle for this dorado along with a smaller one and a sailfish," said Mark Rayor, owner of the fishing/diving business.

Fishing in the remote region halfway between Cabo San Lucas and La Paz has been productive, and gorilla-size tuna have been the primary draw.

"Hundred-pound tuna are coming to the beach daily," reports John Ireland, owner of Rancho Leonero Resort. "The 100-pound fish are very powerful; two hours to land on 80-pound test."

A report on Friday from the Van Wormer Resorts reads: "We did see over 400 yellowfin tuna landed this week ranging in size from 15-80 pounds.  Most of the tuna are still to the south near Cabo Pulmo and Los Frailes."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Todd Winkler displays bull dorado caught Monday aboard the Jen Wren in the Sea of Cortez. Credit: Mark Rayor

Large yellowfin tuna swim into spotlight off Baja California's East Cape region

Gary Street with an impressive day's catch in the Sea of Cortes.

I'm still on vacation, but while catching up on e-mail I found a brief report sent this morning by Mark Rayor, who runs Vista Sea Sport in the East Cape region of Baja California.

Rayor, who is one of the top anglers in the area, said by e-mail: "Quality yellowfin tuna have finally showed up in big numbers on the East Cape.  My long time friend and high school buddy Gary Street [pictured] of Laguna Hills and I landed these four bad boys yesterday.

"They were all between 80 and 100 pounds. The main concentration of fish are between 15 and 30 miles out on porpoise schools.  Many fish ... being taken on chucked up giant Humboldt squid.  We used green jacks for bait and found that to be the bigger fishes' choice."

Wish I could be there for the rest of my vacation. All I have to show for it so far are some tiny wild brown trout caught in the San Joaquin River near Mammoth Lakes. No complaints though.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Gary Street with an impressive day's catch in the Sea of Cortes. Credit: Mark Rayor

Cabo San Lucas anglers hooking up with mostly tuna (some very large), dorado

La Brisa 200 Tuna 004 as Smart Object-1

Heather DeRamus, right, obviously had time to freshen up after her three-hour battle with a 200-pound tuna Wednesday at Jaime Bank beyond Cabo San Lucas.

Why? Because the weather is blazing off Land's End and nobody could look so cool after such a monumental battle with such a stubbornly powerful game fish.

Anyway, congratulations are in order for the angler from Richmond, Texas, who was aboard La Brisa from the Pisces Sportfishing fleet.

Fishing is not great off Cabo but no Pisces anglers were shut out during the past week, said Tracy Ehrenberg, the fleet's general manager.

She said tuna fishing has been consistent, though, with vessel catch rates ranging from one to 10 fish per day. Several have come in at 80 pounds or more. DeRamus hooked her tuna on a black-and-green lure.

Dorado, or mahi-mahi, also are active and 53% of Pisces charters caught the vibrantly-colored game fish. Largest aboard a Pisces boat weighed 55 pounds.

Striped marlin, blue marlin and sailfish are biting sporadically. Most of the fishing effort is on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Heather DeRamus poses with a 200-pound yellowfin tuna caught Wednesday off Cabo San Lucas. Capt. Nicolas Winkler, right, and deckhand Salvador Flores pose with the angler. Credit: Pisces Sportfishing

Cabo San Lucas waters yield 525-pound blue marlin

Anglers aboard Spartacus pose with 525-pound blue marlin landed by Chris Fuller off Punta Gorda in the Sea of Cortez.

Tournament season is close at hand off Cabo San Lucas and already anglers are trying to figure out where the big billfish are lurking.

The high banks beyond Punta Gorda in the Sea of Cortez might be one area. That's where local resident Chris Fuller last Monday landed a 525-pound blue marlin that inhaled a live skipjack tuna cast out as bait.

It was the largest marlin captured in the region in months.

As for general fishing, yellowfin tuna remain abundant and some boats are posting double-digit catches. They range from 15 to 60 pounds, reports Tracy Ehrenberg at Pisces Sportfishing.

However, the fish are widely scattered and those high scores are the exception, according to Capt. George  Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing.

Landrum reports that striped marlin appear to be gathering at the Finger bank north of Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific side of the peninsula. He had not heard of any blue or black marlin catches this week, but fall is the peak season for these species.

Dorado and wahoo catches have been sporadic.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Anglers aboard Spartacus pose with 525-pound blue marlin landed by Chris Fuller off Punta Gorda in the Sea of Cortez.

Cabo San Lucas anglers find tuna cooperative in wake of Hurricane Jimena


Cabo San Lucas anglers wasted little time getting back into the swing of things in the wake of Hurricane Jimena, which is now a tropical depression far up the Baja California peninsula.

Fishing wasn't great Thursday, the first day boats were sent out since the storm began to arrive last weekend. But most anglers aboard the few boats that were sent out were able to catch yellowfin tuna, according to reports. And some of the tuna were behemoths.

Pictured above are Tony and Steve Clement, left to right, from Los Gatos and San Louis Obispo, with a 120-pound tuna they caught aboard Bill Collector after a 45-minute fight. Bill Collector, a 32-foot Cabo sportfisher, is booked through Pisces Sportfishing.

Meanwhile, mid-Baja towns such as Mulege, Santa Rosalia, Loreto and Ciudad Constitucion, have begun to dig out after being ravaged by Jimena. The storm tore roofs from houses, downed power lines and caused extensive flooding. At least one death has been reported.

For them, things also will get back to normal. But it will require a lot more time and effort.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo courtesy of Pisces Sportfishing


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

About the Bloggers
Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.