LA PAZ — Overall, it was a really good dorado week and a good marlin bite continues.
“We’re fishing north of the city around Espirito Santo Island then around the tips near Las Cruces and the channel in between Espirito Santo and Cerralvo Island with my La Paz fleet,” Jonathan Roldan from Tailhunter International said. “That’s where nice schools of the mahi were being found by locating floating sargasso weeds or bringing schools to the boats by slow-trolling live or dead bait; getting a hook up; then chumming the rest of the school to the panga resulting in multiple hookups.”
Roldan said the highlights for this past week were the continued catches of larger dorado. “Fish in the 30- to 40-pound class were not uncommon and many large ones lost,” he said. “Of course to many anglers every large fish is a 50 pounder but, even our captains verified that there were some big boys out there that simply left the clients out-gunned. For the most part, we only had one slow day, but almost every day our clients each got limits or, if they didn’t get limits they were really busy with the larger fish.”
“Plus, the bite on marlin (stripers mostly) continued,” Roldan said. “Every day we had a few hookups on marlin with most fish being lost or released as the billfish were often found in the middle of the dorado schools often chasing the smaller baby dorado. This meant trolling a yellow and green feather was a good way to hook a marlin.”
As for other species, Roldan said there were more roosterfish and a smattering of tuna and pargo at Las Arenas, but the area still has not produced a consistent bite, even though they are finally finding some sardines. “If you’ve been following our reports, for the last 3 months, there have been very little sardines around the Las Arenas area to use as bait.”
LA PAZ DODOS A GOOD BET — Huge bill dorado like Roger Thompson’s from La Ventana near La Paz are still coming in near Cerralvo Island as the good bite continues. PHOTO COURTESY OF TAILHUNTER INTERNATIONAL
In other Baja fishing action:
— SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS): Sportfishing fleets covered a wide area in search of the best opportunities, but the majority of the charters headed in the direction of the 950 and 1150 spots, San Luis and Desteladera and to Gordo Banks, where the winning 262-pound tuna in the East Cape Bisbee was caught.
“San Luis Bank was holding more schools of bolito baitfish which were being used for slow trolling the surface for a variety of gamefish,” Eric Brictson form Gordo Banks Pangas said. “Although there were no large numbers of any particular species being found here, there was definitely a variety of quality fish being encountered.”
“Every day we heard reports of large yellowfin tuna being hooked in the 150- to 200-plus-pound class,” Brictson said. “These fish were striking on live bolito in and around the Iman to San Luis Bank, so far a handful of these fish have been landed. Specimens of 150 and 213 pounds were reported in the past few days, but many other stories were told of massive missed strikes or big fish being lost for various reasons after long battles.”
Brictson said there was also a grand slam mix of sailfish, striped marlin, blue and black marlin on these same grounds, all hitting on the same baits. “Several marlin in the 300-pound class were caught and released from charters based out of Puerto Los Cabos Marina.”
“You need patience while trolling around waiting for strikes; most boats were averaging several chances on big fish each day,” Brictson said. “There was no particular spot where a lot of numbers of smaller sized fish were found, so you basically had the same chance at hooking into a larger or smaller fish. If you were specifically targeting larger fish, you do need to use gear that was capable of actually landing big fish.”
Brictson said dorado are very spread out, but bulls up to 40 pounds were accounted for, though not in numbers and the majority of the do-dos found were medium sized. Trolling with bolito was a very good method for finding big bull dorado.
“Early in the week there were schools of smaller yellowfin found on San Luis Bank,” Brictson said. “They hit on hoochies, as well as other small lures and for the few charters that were able to purchase live sardina from commercial pangeros north near Los Frailes; they did well on these yellowfin. Then this action faded and larger tuna all of sudden made a presence, apparently attracted to the large concentrations of food, particularly their favored bolito.”
Brictson said the bottom action was not consistent, though there continued to be a productive early morning bite happening for huachinango. “This action was found at first light on the San Luis Bank, striking on yo-yo style jigs, weighing up to 12 pounds and excellent eating. There was only an odd amberjack or grouper being found, with more triggerfish that any other species now being found off of the shallow rock piles.”
The combined panga fleet out of La Playita and Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 48 charters for the week. Anglers reported a fish count of 8 striped marlin, 6 sailfish, 1 black marlin, 1 blue marlin, 38 dorado, 26 yellowfin, 12 amberjack, 9 grouper, 14 cabrilla, 16 roosterfish, 44 huachinango (red snapper) and 24 triggerfish.
— CABO SAN LUCAS: The only way to describe Cabo fishing this past week was superb. There was plenty of action to keep anglers busy, with a variety of game fish available. The big story though, was that of a 750-pound blue marlin caught by a boat named Acero Azul.
“We heard about the big fish and posted the news and received several comments, some angry, asking why the fish was killed,” Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing said. “We had just reported it, but thought the captain should give his input so I called him.”
“Firstly, the fish may have been well over 750 pounds but that was as high as their scale went,” Ehrenberg said. “Secondly, the crew intended to release this beauty but it died after 90 minutes and almost spooling them three times. They knew they had a dead fish and angler Gary Steelberg from Newport Beach, CA had his work cut out for him; taking another 40 minutes before the fish appeared belly up at the transom. Then it took another 30 minutes for the crew to manhandle it onto the swim step. The fish was caught at the 95 spot on a flying fish colored lure.”
In regular news, the Pisces Fleet had an overall catch success rate of all combine species of 99 percent. “Fifty-seven percent of our charters caught billfish this past week, giving us a total of 45 billfish that included 41 striped marlin, 3 sailfish and 1 blue marlin, all released,” Ehrenberg said.
“Yellowfin tuna catches, still topped the charts, with 71 percent of our boat catching between 1 and 27 fish normally in the 12- to 25-pound class,” Ehrenberg said. “Cedar plugs were the most popular hook up method as well as regular lures. The Tracy Ann caught the most in one day, 27, off of the Old Lighthouse and San Cristobal. But there was disappointment aboard the Valerie at the Jaime Bank, as the angler sweated for almost six hours, before losing an enormous tuna. His consolation prize was four smaller fish up to 25 pounds. The big one that got away took a live caballito. Our total tuna count was 202 fish for the week.”
“Dorado catches were at 35 percent, with catches of one to seven fish and weights up to 45 pounds, though more commonly between 18 and 25 pounds from the Pacific side at various spots,” Ehrenberg said. “We had just 1 wahoo this week, a smallish one at 30 pounds aboard the Falcon.”
Inshore, Ehrenberg said not much was happening or her boats simply were not fishing there, though there were a few roosters up to 50 pounds and some white skipjacks.
Sending in a late addition to her report late Sunday night, Ehrenberg said six of her boats went out fishing and caught 22 striped marlin and 1 sailfish, 24 yellowfin tuna (one was 160 pounds), 1 dorado and 1 white skipjack. It was the best single day of fishing we have had all season,” she said.
Larry Edwards said, reporting for the Gaviota Sportfishing and Fish Cabo fleets, that some of the boats enjoyed a few days of limit fishing (2) on 10- to 15-pound dorado that were found on a dead whale drifting on the Pacific side about 10 miles from shore, between the Jaime and Golden Gate Banks.
“According to Roberto Marquez, the whale was loaded with dorado and made for pretty easy fishing,” Edwards said. “In addition to the dorado bite, the yellowfin bite continued in several areas surrounding Cabo San Lucas and on both sides of the peninsula, producing good catches on the schoolie sized yellowfin tuna.”
“It was a great fishing week for the anglers, with action in all directions from the harbor,” Edwards said. “The billfish counts would most likely have been higher had the boats and anglers not focused so long on the easier catches of dorado and yellowfin tuna, but the name of the game is to return with happy anglers at the end of the day. The overall fish count for a total of 37 charters included 18 stripers with 16 released, 5 sailfish released, 2 roosterfish, 74 yellowfin tuna and 66 dorado.”
For more Mexico fishing reports visit: www.bajafisherman.com
Readers: To have your reports included in the Baja report, send photos and e-mails to email@example.com.
NOT ALL PLANNED RELEASES WORK OUT — Fishing aboard the Acero Azul, angler Gary Steelberg from Newport Beach, CA had planned on releasing this 750-pound marlin but 90 minutes into the battle the fish expired. The fish was probably even larger but the scale only went to 750. PHOTO COURTESY OF PISCES SPORTFISHING