|Spring brought welcomed changes throughout Southern California and Baja. Southern California was drenched by a much needed heavy rainstorm, ski resorts that were on the verge of closing finally had enough snow to draw the first real crowds of the season to their lift lines and Baja Sur, finally basking in sunshine, watched the sport fishing scene spring to life.
Tracy Ehrenberg, Pisces Fleet in Los Cabos, could hardly contain herself as she described first-time Cabo visitor, Al Sutton's spectacular catch of his first swordfish ever aboard their boat Tracy Ann, which was the Los Cabos fleets’ first swordfish of the 2012 season as well. Celebrating his 60th birthday late last week and traveling from Sutton, Massachusetts with his two sons David and Andrew, the team began the morning by releasing two striped marlin and catching six football-sized tuna before Al hooked into the huge, monster swordfish, which took almost four hours to subdue. Named the top worldwide release crew for striped marlin in 2011 by the Billfish Foundation, Captain Julio Castro and his deckhand Martin Gonzalez posed at the scale alongside the 391-pound swordie with Al. Castro commented. "It is early to be seeing these fish on the surface."
John Ireland, owner of East Cape’s Rancho Leonero, reported that they had reopened the hotel for the 2012 season to some of the best yellowtail action he had ever seen only a short boat ride from the hotel...not the firecracker yellows so common, these were averaging 25 to 35 pounds with a few weighing up to 50 pounds. Felipe Valdez, Buena Vista Beach Resort confirmed John's report saying he and other members of “East Cape Sportfishing Club” were landing large yellows directly from the beach.
As if that were not enough Mark Rayor, Jen Wren Sportfishing, reported "The bite is sick! East Cape is having the best yellowtail action I have ever seen with fish that look like they are on steroids plus striped marlin have shown up with big appetites."
After limiting out on yellows, Mark headed only a few miles offshore where he found plenty of striped marlin including a single plus a double hookup for first-timers Gary and Cindy Green, Chico, CA.
Jonathan Roldan, WON Baja Editor, declared it a wacky season up La Paz way. "In a normal year, we’re fishing pargo, snapper and sierra. It’s just that everyone has been concentrating on the big slug yellowtail! We did have one pair of our anglers decide they had enough with the yellowtail…’No mas!’ they said and asked to fish for something else. They caught a boat load of sierra and cabrilla as well as some pargo! There also was a flurry of yellowfin tuna in the 30- to 40-pound class that came breezing through at the south end of Cerralvo and two marlin hooked and lost this week as well."
Even Lopez Mateos, usually pretty quiet this time of year, produced several quality snook, according to Rueben Duran.
Last but not least, while most Loreto locals focus on the improving inshore yellowtail action, the attention getter was the offshore reports surfacing recently from Cast n Reel Charters. (mentioned last November in my Road Trekker "Connecting the dots").
They reported on a trip earlier in March where they landed three yellowfin tuna all over 200 pounds offshore once again raising eyebrows of many Baja regulars (including myself) who have never heard of yellowfin tuna being landed in March off of Loreto.
The yellowfin tuna notwithstanding, I have never seen such a list of exciting reports covering such a broad area since I began writing Baja reports in the nineties...perhaps one area but never the entire Sea of Cortez from the tip all the way up to Loreto. With the exception of the yellowfin off of Loreto all the action was confirmed by multiple sources.
Obviously the spring bite is welcomed. But the question is: is it the early beginning of a spectacular Baja season or is it a fluke that will fizzle out like a sky rocket? Regardless on which side of that question you fall, if you are looking for a quick ‘fishing fix’, now is the time. Get yourself down to Baja And by the way, there are some very cheap fares right now.
UNUSUAL SPRING break bite puzzles and delights. Baja is enjoying a spectacular late winter, spring fishing season.