WEATHER: Our break from the summer highs seem to be over, or perhaps it’s just wishful thinking. In any case, our daytime highs this week only reached 100 degrees one day, the rest of the time we seemed to stay in the high 90’s, and our nighttime lows were in the low to mid 80’s. That may not seem low to you, but we had a few nights where we did not have to run the air conditioner in order to sleep and that’s big for us! We had clouds in our skies this week on most days later in the week and actually had a little spit fall from the sky on Saturday, just enough to make interesting patterns on the windshields.
WATER: Water temperatures did not have a big change from one side of the peninsula to the other. On the Pacific we saw water at 85 degrees until you got 50 miles out and then it dropped to 83 degrees. On the Cortez side of the Cape we had water that was 86-87 degrees with a push into our area of slightly warmer 88 degree water outside the 1,000 fathom curve. Surface conditions were great all week with the exception of Friday when new clouds moved into the area and brought some windy conditions in the afternoon. Water clarity was great with blue water everywhere, slightly off-color due east but still good clarity.
BAIT: Caballito, Mullet and Sardines were the live bait available with the bigger baits at the usual $3 each and Sardinas in Cabo were $25 a small scoop.
BILLFISH: Let;s see if I can keep from making a mistake on this weeks report! I fished the Bisbee Black and Blue so the numbers I have on big fish are correct. There were a reported 100 teams entered into the 3 day tournament for a total of 300 fishing days. 122 Billfish were caught, 2 Black Marlin, 56 Blue Marlin, 52 Striped Marlin and 12 Sailfish for an average of 1.22 billfish per team, or to be blunt, .4 billfish per day. You do have to realize that almost all the boats were focused on large Marlin and were pulling large lures or very large bait. This means that there were quite a few strikes from smaller fish that did nor result in a hook-up. For the charter fleet, working smaller lures for Striped Marlin, Dorado and Tuna the daily average was much better, around .6 Marlin per day. Almost all the action happened on the Pacific side of the Cape as the water was a bit cleaner and that is where all the Tuna and Dorado have been, one of the main food sources for these large fish. The Tournament was a success with the top money winner taking home a check for $1,162,842.50, once again proving the Bisbee Black and Blue to be the worlds richest billfish tournament (and a lot of fun too!).
YELLOWFIN TUNA: While running all over the place looking for Marlin, the boats in the Black and Blue found plenty of schools of Yellowfin Tuna from north of the Golden Gate Bank to south of the San Jaime Bank. Some of the fish were big, often topping the scales at over #200. The fleet boats were very into the tuna bite and the lucky ones had schools all to themselves, often managing to get limits on fish to 45 pounds with a few larger #80 fish tossed in. Even the fleet managed to get some of the larger fish, and it was often a matter of getting a bait far enough from the boat using either a kite or a very long 150 yard or more drop-back and slow trolling the bait. A few of the larger fish also came in right off the transom, crashing lures run in the second or third wakes, you never knew what was going to work!
DORADO: For the fleet boats these were definitely the fish of the week. Almost all the Dorado were found close to the beach on the Pacific side from right off the arch all the way up to Todo Santos. Perfect for the charters who wanted action and fish to eat, most of the boats started trolling at the lighthouse and kept working their way north until the anglers cried uncle and then they went offshore looking for the Tuna. The fish were not large on average, right around 12 pounds, but there were enough fish in the 20-25 pound class to make it interesting and once in a while a 40+ pound fish would crash a bait or lure. Limits were easy to come by (2 per person), so easy that many boats exceeded the limits before they realized it.
WAHOO: Going into the new moon phase we did see a decrease in the number of Wahoo caught, but also saw more large fish than normal. This was probably due to the number of tournament boats fish the offshore structure with large lures and heavy leader, but there were some nice fish in the 50-60 pound class that came from the San Jaime and the Gorda Banks areas.
INSHORE: With plenty of Dorado to be had in easy traveling distance most of the Pangas focused on them. A scattering of boats went offshore looking for Tuna, often with success as well as Marlin since the water was decent and they had some luck as well. The usual inshore fish were present, but due to the fantastic Dorado fishing few of the Pangas focused on the Roosterfish, Snapper and Grouper.
FISH RECIPE: My recipe has been taking too much space so if you want to see it, check out my wordpress blog a little later in the week, or subscribe to the blog and you will receive an email as soon as I post it.
NOTES: I have to thank my wife, Mary, for updating the blog for the past week as I was fishing the tournaments, and she will be doing the fish report and blog next week as I will be gone. The boat I was fishing the Black and Blue on, Dan Lewis’ “Sporty Game” scored one Blue Marlin release (a fish of about 225-250 pound) as well as two Striped Marlin releases on day three of the tournament, and we had a fish that probably would have qualified get its bill into the gap of the hook on a lure on the second day, coming off after about 60 seconds. With the great weather and the number of Tuna out there, as well as having some really nice cows caught, then next tournament coming up should be a great one. The Western Outdoor News Tuna Tournament is always a blast and does not cost a lot to enter. With plenty of parties and great give- a-ways some teams enter just for those, but the fishing should be great as well. For only $800 to enter a team of four anglers is is affordable, and the dates are November 2-5, with the fishing days on the 3rd and 4th.
Thanks to my friend Mark Bailey, this weeks report was written to the music of Jason Boland and the Stragglers Band on their new release “Rancho Alto”.
Until next week, tight lines!
I will be posting more to my blog now https://captgeo.wordpress.com, 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