FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
Dec 31, 2012 – January 6, 2013
WEATHER: After I had posted the report last week, on Sunday, we had some rain come down, actually it was more like a little bit of Seattle sunshine (those of you from there know what I mean). After that it started to clear up and from early in the week until now we have had clear skies and great temperatures. The daytime highs have been in the high 70’s to low 80’s while the nighttime lows have been in the low 60’s.
WATER: Let’s see, if you draw a line from just to the east of the Gordo Banks southward to just to the east of the 1150 then everything to the east of that line was in the 71-72 degrees range and green. To the west of there the water warmed up a bit. In a east-west line from 5 miles off of Cabo San Lucas everything to the north appeared to be in the 74 degree range while everything to the south of it appeared to be in the 76 degree range. It was also much cleaner water west of the 1250 and the Gordo Banks. Northerly winds made the afternoons bumpy out there but most of the mornings were just fine with swells on the Pacific side at the usual 2-5 feet and on the Cortez side at 1-3 feet.
BAIT: Caballito, Mackerel and frozen Ballyhoo could be had for $3 each this week, and there were very few Sardinas available.
BILLFISH: I never did get any confirmation of Black Marlin being caught last week off of San Jose, so who knows? The Striped Marlin action however has been great on the Pacific side and just out in front of Cabo. Our clients have been catching several every trip and hooking up many more, with 98% of the fish released. Perhaps we were just lucky but out Marlin catch ratio this week was 100%, every boat that went out caught at least one Marlin, and for many of the anglers this was their first attempt at saltwater sportfishing. Now that they are hooked, I hope they don’t expect action like this every trip! Most of the fish were caught on live bait dropped back to fish appearing in the pattern (45%), some were caught by tossing a live bait in front of them as they were tailing on the surface (30%) and the rest were caught on trolled lures (25%). The action occurred close to home for most of the boats as there were decent concentrations of fish from the Arch to up the coast on the Pacific side as far as Migraino Beach, out to 5 miles. There were other fish scattered out across the area with small concentrations found on all the banks as well as the current lines.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Tuna were an on-off fish for most of this week. We had one group fishing that managed to get into some decent fish averaging 35 pounds while working a Porpoise pod about 25 miles to the southwest early in the week and several other groups that caught one or two fish per trip, but they were mostly blind strikes close to the beach. I still hear of an occasional nice sized fish caught at the Gordo Banks, but not enough of them to make it worth a trip up there for me. It looks like this bite may be done for the time being. On a short lived positive note, one of the local boats (thanks Mike!) spotted a very slow moving large vessel about 25 miles to the northwest of the lighthouse on Saturday and went over to check it out. It was a converted Shrimp boat towing a tuna pen at about 1 knot toward the southwest. Mike fished around it and said that he had to go at least a half mile away from the pen before he could set all his line for another pass, the fish were so thick near the pen that the lures were getting hit before he could get them all set. Plenty of Tuna, Dorado and Wahoo as well as Striped Marlin were trailing the pen as it was being towed. The Captain of the boat told Mike that there were two other pens being towed this was as well, but not how far away they were or how close they would pass to us. This was great for Mikes clients, they had a blast, and there will probably be at least half the fleet looking for the Tuna pen today.
DORADO: Fish of the week as far as numbers go, there were plenty of Dorado everywhere you went. 100% of our clients caught Dorado this week and most of them limited out at 2 per angler. These fish were nice as well with the average in the 12-15 pound range. Anywhere on the Pacific side held Dorado but most of the boats were working near the shore out to 5 miles since that also gave them a good chance at a Marlin as well. There were also Dorado scattered all along the Cortez side of the Cape, but they did not seem to be there in the numbers that were found on the Pacific side. The best method this week as leaving the first fish hooked up in the water behind the boat and dropping back either live bait or strips of fresh bait and waiting for the school to show up. This week it seemed as if the fish were starting to school a little, not just traveling in twos and threes, so waiting about five minutes before giving up was the key. Oh, and all the fish around the Tuna pen on Saturday was a bonus, I just hope plenty of boats get into that action today!
WAHOO: This may be the last hurrah’s for our Wahoo this season as the water continues to cool down. We have just come through a l moon and the bite showed it as there were plenty of Wahoo out there if you wanted to target them, it’s just that so many boats were focused on Striped Marlin and Dorado that the pressure was light. The fish ranged from We-hoos of 5-7 pounds to small fish of 8-15 pounds with an occasional 20-30 pound fish in the mix. Near shore drop-offs and ridges held the fish and trolling the usual arsenal of Rapallas and Marauders on wire leader was the best bet. There were plenty of fish caught on live bait as well, but many more of them were lost due to getting the mono-filament leader bit through than were caught. Mike caught six decent Wahoo off the Tuna pen.
INSHORE: There were still some small Roosterfish along the beach this week but I expect this action to shut down as the water cools off. Most pangas were working within five miles of the beach for Dorado and Marlin, but those that went inshore for Sierra found a wide-open bite on fish from 3 to 4 pounds off the beach at Migraino. Small hootchies and rapallas trolled with a short wire trace racked up the fish. There were a few Yellowtail reported this week, but no numbers of them, just an occasional fish or two, and no large sizes.
FISH RECIPE: Check the blog for this months recipe!
NOTES: Our winter season is approaching and as the water cools down we can expect the Striped Marlin bite to pick up as well as more Tuna start to show offshore. Inshore action should improve as well for Sierra and Yellowtail and I expect next month that Snapper fishing in the rocks during the full moon should be good. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the action continues on into our new year! This weeks report was written to the music of Richard Thompson on the 3 CD set “The History of Robert Thompson”, released in 1993 by RYKODISC. Dark, moody music from one of the co-founders of Fairport Convention. Until next week, tight lines!
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