FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
Nov. 18 – 24, 2013
WEATHER: We have been under partly cloudy skies for most of the week and it has been rather nice! I know that everyone loves the sun, and while you can still get a tan while it’s cloudy, it’s just not the same. However, from a fisherman’s point of view, these partly cloudy skies help in several ways. Number one is less glare on the water, making it easier to see and find fish indicators such as bird piles, fin tips and tails and porpoise in the distance. Second is that without the direct sun, it is more comfortable on the water! Our daytime highs have been in the mid 80’s while nighttime lows have been in the mid to low 70’s, and, it’s been much less humid than it was last week!
WATER: With no storms in the area the swells died back down to what we expect this time of year, 3-5 feet on the Pacific side of the Cape and 1-3 feet on the Cortez side. At least in our area that is. If you travel far enough up the Cortez you eventually end up on the East Cape, and there the wind has kicked things up so that a bumpy ride is almost a guarantee. Locally the water temperatures have remained steady with water from the Arch on the Pacific side to Los Frailes being 81-82 degrees, and outside of 10 miles by Los Frailes being several degrees warmer. We have had a cool spot of water hovering right on top of the 95 spot all week long, it has been 76 degrees and slightly off color. On the Pacific side the water has been blue and 76 degrees with slightly warmer 78 degree water to the west side of the San Jaime Banks.
BAIT: Caballito, Tortilla Chips (baby Pompano), a few Mackerel and assorted other small fish have been the larger live baits available at the usual $3 per bait.
BILLFISH: Billfish action remained red hot this past week and you did not have to go far to get to the action as many boats fishing only half days, or anglers fishing on Pangas were able to find decent sized Striped Marlin close to home. With water temperatures at a perfect 76 degrees and blue, the area from the lighthouse to inside the Golden Gate Bank on the Pacific side of the Cape was a perfect area to focus efforts. At times I did hear complaints from anglers looking for meat fish that the Striped Marlin were getting in the way! Schools of baby Pompano, small Mackerel and Caballito close to the beach meant that the Striped Marlin were close as well. With the usual combat fishing we see this time of year, when every boat in the area races to be the first one on the scene, when the high flying Frigates suddenly appear, swooping down on escaping bait, it was exciting, although a bit nerve wracking. Fortunately the fish were thick enough that you did not need to compete in the “speed boat challenge”. Hanging around an area that everyone had just left was a perfect way to make sure you caught a fish with less competition. Slow trolling or drifting through an area everyone had just left gave you a great shot at fish, as the noise and commotion caused by so many boats in one spot drove the fish and the bait under surface. They came back up in a little while, so if you stuck it out you hooked up. The closer to the beach you were, the more likely you were to catch something on the little Pompanos, slightly farther off the beach the Caballito worked and if you were several miles out then Mackerel were the bait of choice. Fish were thick enough off of Los Arcos ridge, Golden Gate Bank and the lighthouse ledge that dropping live bait to 100 feet or more on the drift was a very productive technique. Please remember though, if you are using live bait and drifting like this, ask the crews to use circle hooks. This is less stressful on the Marlin and makes a safe release much easier. Also, please don’t remove the fish from the water for a picture before releasing it, the internal organs are normally supported by the bouyancy of the water, and the weight when removed can tear the connective tissue holding them in place. Many charters stress catch and release for Billfish. We do as well, but with the understanding that there will be a few fatalities to the fish, and if fishing in a big money tournament we may take one or two. I just hate to see pictures of people holding a Marlin out of the water, then bragging that they “release” all the fish their anglers catch. Maybe, but what condition are those fish in?
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Tuna are definitely the low spot of our present fishery, at least for the past week. A few fish are being caught at the high spots on the Gordo Banks, but you may end up putting in days of effort to get one, but its a pretty sure thing you will be feeding the sea lions. Farther up the line off of Punta Gorda there has been an occasional flurry of football sized Yellowfin on the high spots, but nothing I have heard of indicates consistent action. Even boats that have been traveling 40+ miles offshore have been having a bit of trouble finding Porpoise pods that have held fish. Those that have been able to fish pods that hold Yellowfin have done fairly decent using live bait dropped in front of the traveling schools and flying a kite over the advancing front of these pods of Porpoise. The usual lures pulled while trolling have not been nearly as successful, but when they have worked, they have been dark colored lures for the most part, dark purple or green hootchies, or medium sized 5” lures in dark colors. For some reason cedar plugs have not been very hot for the past week.
DORADO: I believe you could make a good case for either Striped Marlin or Dorado as being our “Fish of the Week” this past week, as they both have been found in the same areas and both of them have provided plenty of action. This week the Dorado action picked back up, with any angler that wanted to catch a limit finding it no problem at all, the only difficulty was holding off on the 10-12 pound fish until one of the 20 pound plus fish hooked up. Normally we would be working the Frigate birds for Dorado, but with the Striped Marlin being as thick as they have been the Frigates have been on them instead. The best way to ensure a good catch on Dorado was to troll a 5” to 7” lure at slightly higher speeds, often 10 knots or better, until hooking up a Dorado, then working the same are with slow trolled live bait. The only problem (and what a problem to have!) were the number of Striped Marlin that would come in and eat bait intended for Dorado. Many of the boats were working the area between the Arch and the desalinization plant on the Pacific side, and going no further than that to get limits on decent Dorado (legal limit is two Dorado per person).
WAHOO: There was no change in the Wahoo report for this week, it is a repeat of last weeks action as the occasional Wahoo continued to surprise anglers, and crews as well, as these toothy fish managed to snip many lures from leaders without anyone noticing! Boats that were using wire leader, or just happened to get hooked right, were bringing back fish averaging 30 pounds. There were not a lot of them, but enough to make each strike a possibility.
INSHORE: Small Roosterfish still dominate the beach fishery but there have been occasional schools of fish in the 15-18 pound class show up, to the enjoyment of the anglers! Combine these Roosterfish with some decent Red Snapper action in the rocks and if you did not want Marlin or Dorado you had options. Or maybe you were just tired of catching Striped Marlin and Dorado and wanted something different. While I do not recommend it for cruisers, Pangas were able to get right in tight to the rocks in order to sling out a small weight with live bait into the pockets among the rocks. There were many snags and break-offs, but there were also some very nice Snapper to be found as well. A few Sierra and a few Yellowtail continue to be caught, the numbers go up just a bit every week, and the size on both seems to be improving slightly.
FISH RECIPE: Seared Tuna with Sesame seeds: Just about as simple as you can make it (my favorite kind!) Recipe posted on the blog in a few minutes.
NOTES: Can you say “Red Hot”? I normally avoid using those words, but since I am not predicting, just reporting, I feel they are appropriate for this past weeks fishing action. Add in the unusual number of whales that are showing up early and it has been great to be on the water! We are approaching Thanksgiving, and we have many things to be thankful for this year. We hope to have 20-30 people over for dinner Thursday once again, and one of the things to be thankful for is the number of friends that we do have. It is time like these months past that you really come to appreciate who they are, and what they do for you. On that note I would like to wish all our U.S. Friends “Happy Thanksgiving”, and offer thanks to all our Canadian and Mexican friends for their continued support this year. This weeks report is written to the music of Roger Creagor on a mixed CD given to me by a good friend. Until next week, Tight Lines!
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