WEATHER: I cannot believe it! After almost three years of looking out on a dry and dusty brown desert I can finally see green everywhere! The almost 10 inches of rain we received recently has resulted in an almost garden appearance if you decide to wander out into the desert, everything is budding out and in a few more days we should start to see plenty of flowers as well. This time of year is normally when we get our rains, and after the recent delivery we have been expecting more almost constantly as the dark clouds continues to move in every few days. At least the rain is getting dumped up in the mountains, but there is a possibility of more coming our way in the next month and a half. For this week out highs have been in the low 90’s and the lows in the low to mid 80’s with the humidity between 72 and 84 percent, and mostly cloudy skies.
WATER: Surface conditions have been great with swells at 2-5 feet on the Pacific side and 1-3 feet on the Cortez side of the Cape. On the Pacific side the water temperatures have been running between 81 and 84 degrees, on the Cortez side it has been pretty evenly 84 degrees this week. A lot of this has to do with the cloud cover we are experiencing, the water a few weeks ago was several degrees warmer across the board. One nice thin the rain did for us was wash quite a bit of debris out of the arroyos and into the ocean, there has been decent amounts of floating debris to work for the past week, but that has also meant keeping a sharp eye out for debris large enough to damage the props or the hull. Sometimes these objects are mostly submerged, so if you do spot them the likelihood of them holding bait is very good.
BAIT: Caballito and Mullet were available at the normal $3 per bait and you could get them if you were out early, many boats were unable to get bait and had to settle for frozen horse ballyhoo at $3 each. I heard reports that there were a few Sardianas available in the San Jose area, but you had to know someone and pay well for them.
BILLFISH: Not surprisingly the numbers of Sailfish that have been caught this past week were much higher than normal, perhaps due to the continuing warm water and strong current flow. When the water is this temperature the numbers of Striped Marlin that we see drop off quite a bit from what we see when the water is in the mid 70’s, but there are always a few around. This week they were a bit scarce, but there were still some found. Blue and Black Marlin really like this temperature so we have been seeing quite a few Blue Marlin appearing in the lure spreads, especially when working the schools of football size Yellowfin Tuna. There has been fairly good success rates on these fish, with most of them under 300 pounds and being released (thank goodness!). Good success rates don’t necessarily mean everyone is hooking up, just that the boats that are getting hooked up are not losing so many. Even with the water this warm and the large numbers of Skipjack and Bonito we are seeing, I have heard of very few Black Marlin being caught. This is a bit unusual since the fishing grounds have been packed with the perfect baits.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Fish of the week without a doubt as almost every boat that went out came in with near limits of Yellowfin. All the fish were found associated with Porpoise and there were actually a few schools found. Like I said, most of the fish were footballs between 8 and 20 pounds but there were a few larger fish caught as well. One boat came in last Sunday afternoon with a nice Tuna that weighed in at 205 pounds, way to go Mike! A few schooling fish have been caught as well, these are fish in the 30 to 70 pound class, but the numbers of them have been small. Speaking of small, most of the schooling fish were caught on that time honored Football Tuna lure, the three inch pink hootchie trolled about 50 to 80 feet behind the boat and worked steadily with a jerking motion. I was out last Sunday and every Tuna we caught was loaded with small squid between three and five inches long. The Tuna have been scattered on both sides of the Ca, from the lighthouse on the Pacific side to the area offshore of El Tule on the Cortez side. It looked like perfect water around the San Jaime Bank last weekend and we worked it hard, but saw nothing out there until we came back to the starting area about five miles off of the lighthouse.
DORADO: I really expected the debris in the water to attract and concentrate the Dorado this past week and was surprised when the reports came in that these great fighting and eating fish were scarce. A number of smaller fish to 10 pounds were being found inshore, but not in any concentration or numbers, and there were a few larger fish being found offshore. When boats were finding floating debris and pulled up to it, only a few pieces held Dorado, and not in any great numbers. I am not sure of the reason for this, it runs completely counter to what is normal and expected this time of year.
INSHORE: Roosterfish numbers were way down this past week due to the near-shore dirty water after the passing of the rain, but that was expected. Strong currents have effected the bottom fishing as well so the numbers of Grouper and Snapper as well as Amberjack were also off. Most of the Pangas have been going a bit offshore looking for the football Tuna and have been doing well on them.
FISH RECIPE: Check the blog for this weeks recipe!
NOTES: Beach time! Tawny just came up and put her head on my lap and let me know that I am taking too long, she really needs to get into the water and swim for a while. It looks as if the fishing is picking up a bit, as soon as the currents slow it should get even better. The desert is green and starting to bloom, the water is clean again as are the streets. This weeks report was written to the music of Hayes Carll on his album “Little Rock”. For those of you who like country, check him out! Until next week, tight lines!