WEATHER: I really don’t know what to say except to mention what a great pleasure it has been to once again get through the heat and humidity that summer time brings to us here in the southern part of the Baja Peninsula. When our nighttime lows stay in the mid 70’s and the daytime highs stay in the low 90’s it is about as good as it gets, compared to what we had for the past three months. In another few months we will be even cooler as the temperature at night drops to the low 60’s, but this weather I would prefer to have year round! We had very light clouds this week and while the beginning of the week started off a bit windy, by the end of the week we were experiencing just light breezes. The week started with moderate winds from the northwest, picking up in the afternoon, and ended with light breezes from the northeast in the morning, dying to nothing in the afternoon.
WATER: On the Sea of Cortez side of the Cape we had water at 84-85 degrees inside the 1,000 fathom line most of the week, with the exception on Friday when a hot spot of 87 degree water formed across the 1150 to the 95 spot and out to the 1,000 fathom line. For most of the week there was a good temperature break at the 1,000 fathom line as well with the water to the northeast being 2 degrees warmer than the water to the southwest. Surface conditions on the Cortez side were great all week as well with swells at 2-4 feet early in the week and dropping to 1-3 feet later in the week. On the Pacific side we were seeing the water between the San Jaime and the Golden Gate Banks at 84-85 degrees with swells at 3-6 feet early in the week and dropping to 2-4 feet later in the week. In between the Cortez and the Pacific we had a late intrusion of cooler water at 82-83 degrees, coming in to almost three miles of the arch. The water was slightly cleaner on the Pacific side than it was on the Cortez side this week.
BAIT: Same bait report as last week. Sardines could be had here in Cabo this week, probably due to the demand of the tournament boats who use them to catch skip jack and small Yellowfin for bait. A scooped bucket would set you back $25, but they were in much better shape than the Sardines we were getting earlier in the week from bait boats farther north. Caballito and Mullet could be had easily at $3 each, and there were frozen Bally-hoo for $3 each.
BILLFISH: Our big money Marlin tournament season is over now that the Bisbee Black and Blue is finished, at least the tournaments for big Marlin. Next week is a small tournament with the Trip Advisor website members, then the W.O.N. Tuna tournament in November. Next year we will see more tournaments that focus on Striped Marlin in the Spring. Statistics can do funny things to your thinking, and as I did last week in the report, this week I am going to lay a few more on you, based on the three day Black and Blue tournament that just finished. There was 106 teams fishing three days for 318 boat days on the water, with big Marlin as the focus. There were 67 billfish caught, 1 Spearfish, 4 Sailfish, 4 Black Marlin, 19 Blue Marlin and 39 Striped Marlin. Based on this, it took 4.75 boat days to get a Marlin this week. Pretty sad stats, and when there was only one Marlin caught over 300 pounds it almost makes me cry. (The team that caught the 2.4 million dollar fish is not crying!) Once again I have to remind you that the stats for normal charters would be much better as the focus for most of the boats in the tournament was big Blue or Black Marlin over 300 pounds, or numbers of smaller sized Blues or Blacks. None of these boats focused on Striped Marlin, which is the most common species here, as evidenced by the comparative number caught during the Tournament. In conclusion, while the possibility of getting a Blue or Black to the boat was fairly small, the chances of hooking into a Striped Marlin, if you focused on that, was fairly good, probably at twice the rate of the Marlin hook-ups experienced by the tournament anglers.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: With the Black and Blue Tournament going on, and since Tuna did not count in any category, the pressure on the Tuna was pretty slack. Not that there were many out there, but those that were caught were pretty decent fish. There were scattered pods of Dolphin to the south 30 miles and to the west the same distance, and some of these pods produced a few Yellowfin to 35 pounds, but once again the focus for big fish was on the Gorda Banks area. Charter boats drifting, slow trolling or flying live bait off of kites were getting the occasional bite from fish that occasionally exceeded 300 pounds (314 for one boat) but most of them were between 100 and 200 pounds. It took a while, you had to have patience. One of our friends worked the area for two days and managed to get a nice 158 pound fish.
DORADO: The Dorado bite experienced a sudden drop this week and I am not sure why. Plenty of charters were working both the inside and the outside area of the Pacific coastline and most were lucky to get three or four fish, there were no really large concentrations found. Boats that did well were ones that were willing to lose their first fish to get more. Leaving that first fish in the water and slow trolling it 30 feet behind the boat until more fish appeared was the trick, and it works much of the time. We had one fly-fishing client this week who did very well, it’s often hard to get enough shots at a fish on the fly rod, but if your target is Dorado, this method as well as heavily chumming with Sardines works very well. On the Cortez side there were Dorado appearing in fair numbers off of the Cabo Del Sol area as tournament boats were heavily chumming the area early in the morning attempting to get those big Skipjack for live bait. With 30 or 40 boats tossing Sardinia in the water the Dorado came in and there were quite a few caught. I didn’t see any really large Dorado come in, or hear of any large ones, most of the fish were between 10 and 15 pounds, but there were a couple of big fish caught by tournament boats, at least I assume they were big as the teams reported the hook-ups on the radio before reporting them as non-qualifying species.
WAHOO: The full moon did produce more Wahoo than were caught last week. During the tournament our team caught a 60 pound fish the first day. While not worth any money in the tournament, it sure was good to eat! Other boats reported hooking up Wahoo as well, and there were a decent number caught by the charter fleet. I did hear of one boat getting two 30 pound fish one day. The action on these fish was scattered and not concentrated in any one area.
INSHORE: The slow down in the Dorado bite had many of the panga anglers crying this week. Last week was absolutely great, but there was a dearth of action off the beach this week. One of the saving graces was that area off of Cabo Real early in the morning as the numbers of white Skipjack and scattered Dorado at least produced action. For the normal inshore species such as Roosterfish, Jacks, Grouper and Snapper, the action was slow as well. Fishing on the Cortez side of the Cape just off the beach produced most of the action as this was the side of the Cape that was holding the Sardinia schools.
FISH RECIPE: Check the blog for this weeks recipe!
NOTES: In a couple of days I am going to produce a short blog with some number crunching concerning the tournaments we have just had, so check it out. I had a great time fishing this week, just wish our team, “Sporty Game” had gotten our big bite on Thursday hooked up. Oh well, next year! We did get that nice Wahoo as well as a Dorado while bait fishing, so there were fish in the boat, just not the right kind. I would like to thank Mary for keeping the blog updated with the tournament results while I was out fishing, great job honey! Also, a big thank you to Mark Bailey for turning me on to the group “Two Tons of Steel”, this is the first time I had heard of them. Based out of San Antonio, they are described as a “rockabilly” group. However you want to describe them, they are fun to listen to! Until next week, tight lines! Oh, don’t forget that Cabo has changed their time already, last night we set our clock back when we went to sleep. This is one week earlier than in the states, so don’t get confused when you get down here!