Cabo Bite Report

Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
April 18-24, 2011

WEATHER: What great weather we had for Easter week! Our daytime highs managed to reach just over the mid 90’s for a few days and the evening lows managed to touch the mid 60’s, really nice stuff! There was almost no cloud cover so it was nice and sunny all week.
WATER: Good news! We are seeing a warming trend and that means that the fishing is getting better. As the reports below show, warmer water most of the time means better fishing, until it gets too warm, of course. As of the end of the week the water on the Pacific side had warmed from the 62 degrees we had last week to 64-67 degrees. The only issue we had this week was surface conditions, as for part of the week evening winds made it a little rough to go offshore in the mornings. Inshore it was quite a bit better with just swells and not so much chop. On the Cortez side the warm water that had eased in up off of Vinorama continued it move in our direction, During the middle of the day we were getting water temperatures in the high 70’s, dropping to the low 70’s at night. This warm water moved south to the Gorda Banks and just a bit south of there, winding it’s way to the 1150. Surface conditions were great as well with only small swells and a bit of wind chop later in the day.
BAIT: It was still difficult to get any good supply of decent large baits here, most of the stuff the bait boats had were look-downs and grunts, there were only a few Mackerel and Caballito to be found. Of course it was the usual $3 per bait, even for the poor baits. Sardinas were available here, but they were more expensive than getting them to the north. Most of the boats that wanted Sardinas were traveling to Palmilla to get them. There were large ones and small ones, and whichever you wanted were $25 to $30 a scoop.
BILLFISH: We finally have some good news to report about the billfish! There were Striped Marlin found at the tail end of the week before last, but the bite was still an on-off situation, and I did not want to really say much since only a few boats were doing well. So…..this week it finally went off, great Striped Marlin fishing was to be had on the Gorda Banks to the 1150 and all the way down to the 95 spot. There were jumpers, tailers and feeders all through the area and they were finally hungry. While before a good catch for the better boats was three or four fish, this week the better results were in double digits! Plenty of fish were found to throw baits at, if you had the baits. Many of the boats were pulling rigged ballyhoo or tuna belly strips and getting bit. These fish were also going after lures. A few guys were saying things were wide open, but that is just in comparison to what we have experienced for the past three months. Average boats were releasing a couple of fish a day, whereas in a wide open bite everyone is in double digits! Anyway, another bright spot on the billfish front is the appearance of Swordfish. Most of them have been found up off of Vinorama and Punta Gorda on the surface. There have been several caught every day and more lost. One boat caught three over two days, all on the surface. I have no idea how long this is going to last but last week it was good!
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Another bright spot for the week was the showing of some Yellowfin, finally. The 95 spot to the 1150 had scattered schools of footballs with some larger fish to 40 pounds in the mix. Of course the first boats to the schools did the best, but the bite did not totally shut down and most anglers were able to get one or two into the fish box. Farther up the coast off of the Gorda Banks there were scattered schools as well, and some of them held fish to 100 pounds. A slightly different method was needed on the larger fish, just trolling lures or chumming with Sardinas did not work. Setting out a kite or using a helium balloon to get the bait well away from the boat brought some bites from these larger fish. Boats that were willing to brave the choppy water on the Pacific side of the Cape got into some larger footballs, to 25 pounds, just to the south of the San Jaime Bank, but the choppy water made it difficult to follow the pods of Porpoise used to find the action.
DORADO: We finally saw a few Dorado hit the docks this past week. The warm water that moved in brought everything with it and Dorado were not an exception. While not there in great numbers as the water is still a bit cool, there were fish caught that weighed up to 20 pounds. Most of them were in the 10-12 pound class however, and were mixed in with both the Yellowfin and the Marlin. If the warm water remains, or gets even warmer, there is a chance the bite on Dorado will get better. I am not going to say that for sure though, because if there is one thing I have learned in over 35 years fishing offshore is to never predict! I just say what happened, I can’t see into the future, if I could I’d be rich!
WAHOO: I saw more orange flags flying this week than last week, but I did not see any Wahoo hit the docks. That does not mean there were not any caught, after all with that warmer water and our just coming off of the full moon there should be Wahoo out there. I just did not see any of them, and none of my good friends told me of catching any. So, probably most of the orange flags I saw were for Sierra, but there is a good chance some of them were for Wahoo.
INSHORE: It was nice to have a good variety of inshore fishing to choose from. If you decided to go up the Pacific coastline you had a good chance to get into decent Yellowtail. Up off of the rocky points working iron in water to 200 feet resulted in some really steady action on fish to 25 pounds. One of my buddies said he did well with 10 fish between 20-28 pounds in two hours, with most of them coming right off the bottom, and lost a few more that rocked him. (good going Cubby!) If you decided to go after Sierra instead of Yellowtail all you had to do was go up the Cortez coastline a little way. Sardinas for chum brought the fish around, but the best bites were had by using dead ones, drifted back on a bit of wire leader. Mono leader got bit more often but also resulted in a lot few sharp-toothed fish in the boat. A few grouper were found by the Pangas as well as a few snapper.
FISH RECIPE: Simple is better, and much faster in food preparation. One of the simplest recipes I have for fish involves the use of just oil, salt and pepper. We had Sierra fillets Saturday night courtesy of one of our clients and as it was late when we got home I wanted something quick and simple, but with a twist. Sierra have no scales so I left the skin on but trimmed out the bloodline and ribs. Any fish with scales, get rid of them first. I then brushed the fish with avocado oil, then a light touch of sesame oil. Dust on the salt and pepper, oil the grill and away we go! Combined with some french fries and a small salad of tomato wedges, romaine, black olives and crumbled blue cheese and we had a meal fit for a king!
NOTES: What a great week! Wonderful weather, the fishing really picking up on all fronts and lots of people in for the Easter week. It has been quite a while since we have seen the fishing this good and it has everyone excited. If you want to go offshore for billfish, they are there. If you want Tuna there is a very good chance at them, and the possibility of a big one. Yellowtail and Sierra continue to bite for those that want some meat on the table or just don’t feel like spending a full day fishing. It really does not get much better than this! If you were hesitating about coming down to fish, go ahead and do it. Of course there is no guarantee that the fishing will continue to be this good when you get here, but then again there never is a guarantee about fishing! This weeks report was written to some sounds I haven’t heard in a while, but one of my wife’s favorites. The CD is a 1986 Chrysalis Records release of Billy Idol titled “Whiplash Smile”. Good sounds! Until next week, tight lines!
I will be posting more to my blog now, please go to and subscribe, you will be sent a notice every time I post a new article. Please feel free to send suggestions or if you have any ideas for articles. Thanks George


Cabo Bite Report

Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
April 11-17, 2011

WEATHER: A nice change was in store for us at the start of the week. The winds quit and the air warmed up. Our lows for the week were in the mid 60’s while the highs were in the mid 90’s. We had a little overcast so you didn’t really feel the sun, but as many tourists found out at the end of the day, she was shining!
WATER: That cold water current we had along the shoreline on the Pacific side last week shifted offshore and at the end of the week the eastern edge, at 63 degrees, ran right across the top of both the Golden Gate Bank and the San Jaime Bank. The water inside of there, between the edge and the shoreline is now showing 70 degrees. This 70 degree water crosses the tip of the Cape at a distance of 25 miles, outside the 1,000 fathom line, and extends all the way up the Cortez side with a little warmer water, at 73 degrees, just south of the Gorda Banks. Surface conditions were much better this week on the Pacific side since the winds died down and it was almost glassy on the Cortez side.
BAIT: It was still difficult to get any good bait this week. I am not sure why, but out of 30 that would be swimming in the bait boats tank, only a few would be the right kind. At $3 each, most of us just had to say no, and instead went with strip baits or frozen ballyhoo. There were nice Sardinas available for $25 a scoop up at the Palmilla area.
BILLFISH: The Striped Marlin did move in a lot closer to us this week, but they were still hard to get a bite from. Many of the Pangas were trying for them as a change of pace from Sierra and Yellowtail, but after a day or so of frustration went back to fishing for the inshore fish. At a distance of only 5 miles off the arch, you were able to spend a lot of time working the fish, and if you had the right bait (see above) and good luck you were able to release a few fish each trip. For the most part though, the fish were very closed mouthed and would just roll and look at you then swim away. Maybe they are stuffed with squid? I don’t know, just know that there are a lot of frustrated anglers and crews out there!
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Tuna were not the fish of the week! There were few found, and those that were found were not very large with an average weight of only 12 pounds. A few larger fish were caught, but not on a steady basis or in any numbers. Most of the larger fish were found while drifting live Sardinas after chumming heavily, and that action was occurring around the Gorda Banks area.
DORADO: I still didn’t see any Dorado flags this week.
WAHOO: Once again the red/orange flags I saw this week were for Sierra and Sharks, not wahoo.
INSHORE: With the change in the weather and the sea conditions there was a lot more pressure on the Pacific side, but there was a reason for that. The Yellowtail bite was good up around the Marguerite area with fish ranging in size from 12 to 20 pounds. A good trip resulted in a double digit catch with more lost. Using iron was the way to go, and you got your arms very tired reeling these up as fast as you could! Sierra were still biting off the Sol-mar area and farther to the north, the bite on the Cortez side dropped off a bit. There were a few decent bottom fish like Grouper and Snapper caught as well, most of them on live Sardinas.
FISH RECIPE: One of my favorite snacks, and sometimes a meal, is fish ceviche. Everyone has a different way of doing it. In Guam we would use soy sauce, wasabi, yellow mustard, lots of lemon juice and crushed onion, adding minced red pepper to taste. Once that was to our tastes, we would add diced tuna. Here in Cabo it is a mix of soy sauce, diced onion, diced tomato, chopped cilantro and lime juice, then adding the diced fish, either sierra of whatever the catch of the day is. All of it is done to taste, and then the mix is allowed to sit for an hour to cook the fish in the lime juice and have the flavors meld. Serve with tortilla chips or saltines and there you go. Make sure there are cold beers handy!
NOTES: The weather could not be any better! We are seeing between one and four cruise ships a day most days, but those numbers are soon to taper off to only a ship a week as they finish moving up to Alaska for the summer season. The whales are becoming more scarce as they too move on toward more northerly waters. The beaches are quiet in the mornings, but with Easter week coming up that is going to change quickly. Going to the beach during “Semana Santa” (Easter Week) is a Mexican tradition and we have major numbers of visitors from the mainland come over on the ferries and on planes. The beaches become packed, and on some of them the family’s just camp out. In town, the police do not allow any parking within two blocks of the beach, and all the wave runner operations are shut down in order to protect the swimmers. While that is going on it becomes a bit hectic, but always fun to watch and really gives us a chance to meet people. On that note, this weeks fish report is done. This one was written to the music of Chuck Allen Floyd on his first studio release “Tonight an Angle Fell”. Thanks to Allen Bailey for the copy, and I like it so much I used it again! Until next week, tight lines!

About Town

Cruising through town yesterday I noticed a policeman on a small scooter, all dressed to the nines and looking like a California Highway Patrolman with his knee high leather boots, white shirt with those little things on the shoulders and his white helmet. All of a sudden he zipped off and several blocks later He had a car pulled over and one of the corner policemen was walking over to him. You know who I am talking about? The corner policemen, the ones who stand at the corners and intersections to mess up the traffic flow. Yep, the ones with no gun, just a nightstick and radio. Well, it appears that they now have their own enforcement division! Before, if one of these corner cops tried to wave you over you would just pretend not to have noticed them, knowing that they were going for a shakedown looking for 50 pesos or so. Now they call the guy on the scooter, and he scoots along until he finds you, then either collects money or gives you a ticket. Since giving you a ticket here involves removing your license plate, and he has no place to store license plates, I think you know where this is going! Anyway, I thought it was cute and have nicknamed the guy C.R.I.S.P.’y instead if a C.HI.P. That stands for “Cabo Radio Intercept Scooter Police”. Cute, huh? On another note, a friend of mine, Malcom (he’s English) and I were watching sports at Tanga Tanga yesterday and we were watching soccer when two plyes went for a header and one of them was cut on the head. After seeing a bit of blood flow I mentioned that the only other sports I could think of that cause that kind of damage was boxing and hockey. Being English, he was very quick to respond and let me know that almost every 15 man Rugby Team member he had ever met had cauliflower ears adn scars on the cheeks and broken noses. Tough world out there! We were also watching a re-cap of the Masters (what a finish, uh?) when our friend John mentioned another friend had toured the course before the tournement, bought a round of beers for his friends and that the round of beers cost less than one beer at Yankee Stadium. I said that just goes to show the difference between class and crass, everyone cracked up! Oh well, until the fish report, have fun!

Cabo Bite Report

Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
April 3-10, 2011

WEATHER: It was a windy week here in Cabo. It started on Monday and did not let up until this Sunday morning. It was also blowing hard up at the East Cape according to the reports I got. Add in some cloud cover early in the week, thick enough that we were almost positive we were going to get some rain and it was about as far from the sunny beach scene as you could imagine happening here. And moisture? Well, there was no rain but we did get some misting on the car windows and when I was at Cabo Real Golf course Friday and Saturday we did have some fog move in off the shoreline! Cool winds, clouds, hmm, not much to say about that!
WATER: At the end of the week there was a cold 60 degree current sweeping down the Pacific coastline. The current extended this cold water as far as 40 miles to the southwest. Coldest close to shore 64 degree water extended to the west as far out as the outer edges of the San Jaime and Golden Gate Banks. On the Cortez side of the Cape it is 72 degrees close to the beach, 70 degrees any farther out than 5 miles and when you get up around the Punta Gorda area it warms a bit to 73 degrees. Surface conditions on the Pacific side were choppy to rough because of the winds so most of the cruisers were fishing the Sea Of Cortez. Some of the Pangas were hugging the shoreline and fishing as far north on the Pacific side as Punta San Cristobal.
BAIT: Bait, at least good live bait was hard to come by this week. Many of the boats were going with frozen Ballyhoo instead, at least you could get those, but they were expensive at $4 each. There were a few live baits of the larger size, but not much in the way of quality baits. Toward San Jose you could get decent Sardinas, and the farther you got from Cabo the more you got for your money.
BILLFISH: Well, the Striped Marlin did finally show up, but they are a long way offshore and they still are not very hungry. The question we have is how long they are going to stay in the area, and will they get hungry? A trip of 30+ miles has been needed to get to them, and that is a trip out to the Cabrillo Seamount area, making for a choppy ride home afterward, but boats that have been doing the trip have been seeing between 12 and 20 fish per trip and getting 5-6 bites, averaging 3 releases per trip. High boat for the week managed to get 10 releases in one day, but that was a full day trip on a private boat. Lures have worked for a few of the fish but the right live bait has been the big producer. That live bait has been hard to get so some of the private boats have been spending the time to try and catch their own, a time consuming proposition that can ruin a normal charter trip.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: There were scattered Yellowfin Tuna found, but still nothing in any size or numbers. It is quite possible that they are out there on the Pacific side but the water has been rough and few boats have been willing to go out there and get beat up on slim chance of finding fish. The area of the Gorda Banks has been producing an occasional Yellowfin Tuna, but better luck has been had for large Bonita, some of them going 12 pounds.
DORADO: I didn’t see any Dorado flags this week.
WAHOO: The red/orange flags I saw this week were for Sierra and Sharks, not wahoo.
INSHORE: Still the way to go if you want action, the sea conditions really changed where most of the Pangas went. On the Pacific side you could hug the beach and get as far north as Punta San Cristobal for some Sierra and a decent Yellowtail bite. There were also a few Snapper to be found in the rocks between there and the arch, but the swells kept many boats from getting close enough to fish for them. You had to be a hardy, determined soul to fish the Pacific side! On the Cortez side there were fish as well, but there seemed to be a few less Sierra than we had last week, at least in the spots where they had been found last week! Most of the boats were working hard to get a few fish and Sardinas were definitely the key to success.
FISH RECIPE: My thanks to Sam Choy for the recipe this week, my wife found the basic recipe in one of his cookbooks many years ago and when we manage to get the ingredients it is our hands down favorite fish dish. You need some white meat fillets, preferably Wahoo but Dorado works fine as well. Also a couple of Mangos, fresh is best but canned will do, minced Macadamia nuts, a couple of eggs, some cilantro, vinegar, sugar, finely minced hot red chillies, butter, lime and fix up a pot of rice! Start by cutting the fillets to portion size, then slicing a pita like pocket into the side of each one. Warm the butter, add lime juice to the butter as well as some minced cilantro, chill in the fridge for a while until firm, then place an equal amount into the pocket of each fillet. Dip the fillets in flour, dip in an egg wash then roll in the minced nuts. Place in a pan and cook for a couple of minutes on each side, just until the nuts brown, then remove to a glass pan to be placed in the oven at 275 degrees for about 10 minutes. Take the Mango (sliced and chunked), place ½ in the blender, add some more cilantro, a bit of white vinegar, a bit of sugar, red chillies to taste, blend then place in a saucepan and heat. When the fish is done, remove and place on top of cooked rice, mix the remaining chunked mango with the sauce and spoon on top of the fillets!
NOTES: Inshore, inshore, inshore, sigh, and inshore once again. On the bright side the Striped Marlin have shown up, our fingers are crossed that they come in closer and start to bite. We are getting ready to take the kid for her weekly Sunday morning walk on the beach, Bloody Mary’s when we get back and I am done washing drying and brushing her, a very nice breakfast, they off to town to watch the last round of the Masters. My music for this weeks report was the sound of the wind blowing through the palm trees out back, maybe I need to wear long pants to the beach this morning! Until next week, tight lines!

Cabo Bite Report

Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
March 28-April 3, 2011

WEATHER: Great weather at the start of the week continued on until the weekend arrived. Then we had a few clouds move in, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped several degrees in the night. For most of the week our morning lows were around 69 degrees and the daytime highs in the low 90’s. On Saturday the wind picked up and the morning low was 63 degrees and Sunday we had a high of 85 degrees.
WATER:  We had calm water on both sides of the Cape early in the week but as the days went on the wind slowly started to pick up and by Friday the wind, from the northwest, had kicked up the swells on the Pacific side and the currents had brought cold water into our region. On Saturday the water on the Pacific was rough and close to shore was only 60 degrees. Water on the Sea of Cortez was choppy and a bit warmer at 70 degrees and up around Los Frailles there appeared an area of warmer water at 76 degrees.
BAIT:  Some Caballito and Mackerel at the normal $3 per bait, and if you went past the bait boats supplying Sardinas to the Pangas outside Cabo Real you could get a decent amount of Sardinas for $25 instead of just a hand full. The Dines were decent size also, some of them 4” long.
 BILLFISH: Mid week there was a brief showing of Marlin up in the Los Frailles area, a 50 mile trip out of Cabo. Boats were seeing plenty of fish but they were not hungry. A good trip to the are for those few days might have resulted in a couple of hook-ups and a release. Later in the week you could travel 70 miles in one direction and end the day with just one Marlin if you were lucky. It has not been good fishing for Marlin this year, I just hope that things get better when the water warms up and the Blues and Blacks show up, Of course, that will be a few months from now, but my fingers will remain crossed!
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Here one day, gone the next, sort of like the Marlin this week. If you were in the right place at the right time you could catch Tuna, the problem was that there was no way to predict that time or place! Once in a while one of the boats would get into a school of fish ad limit out on Yellowfin ranging in size from 8 to 25 pounds, other time you could go all day without getting a bite. Due south past the 1,000 fathom line and around the Gorda Banks and Punta Gorda were areas where some fish were found, but not in any great numbers or with any consistency.
DORADO:  I didn’t see any Dorado flags this week.
WAHOO:  The red/orange flags I saw this week were for Sierra and Sharks, not wahoo.
INSHORE: Once again the inshore fishing was the way to go this past week. At least there were fish there to be caught! The Sierra bite was good on the Cortez side if you chummed heavily with Sardinas the free-lined a live one behind the boat with a light wire leader to protect from getting cut-off. Limits were easy to get on fish ranging in size from three to six pounds. Yellowtail were the other inshore fish of the week. The little firecrackers (4-8 pounds) were everywhere, almost every rock-pile held them, and in the slightly deeper water you could fish fish that went to 30 pounds.
FISH RECEIPE: For my recipe this week I share my version of fish balls. Unlike last weeks, this one uses fresh fish instead of leftovers, and you need to use sticky sushi rice instead of long grain white rice. Take a fillet of fresh fish with all skin and bloodline removed, cube it into 1” cubes. Cook enough sushi rice to make as many balls as you want. Dampen you hands and form a ball with some rice, press your thumb into it and place a cube of fish in the center, close the opening. Dip the ball in beaten egg, roll in flour and deep fry until golden brown. Remove and set on paper towels to drain oil. Use either homemade or store bought tarter sauce and have a ball! The outside of the ball is crispy, the fish tender and the rice holds it all together. A little soy and wasabi also work as sauce for this.
NOTES: Inshore was once again the way to go, but sometime soon the offshore should start to happen! There are still plenty of whales to be seen, I watched a mother and calf Humpback yesterday as they breached, tail lobbed and had a great time off of Cabo Real. While there I had a chance to watch pro golfer Steve Ames work on the range, wow, what a smooth swing! The Cabo Cultural Center had it’s grand opening and it’s first concert this week as the “Mariachi Vargas De Tecalitlan” played a free 90 minute show. Great music, my wife and friends all bought CD’s and got their autographs! Their next show was the next night in Mexico City. This means of course that they are my choice for writing this report, and the CD is titled “Romantico Boleros” . Until next week, tight lines!