FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
Nov. 26 – Dec. 1, 2013
WEATHER: Once again we had a week with partly sunny skies. If I were a pessimist I would have said partly cloudy skies, but I am a fisherman and we fishermen have to be optimistic, that’s just part of the sport. Anyway, partly sunny with our nighttime lows dipping into the mid 60’s while the daytime highs have been just touching the 85 degree range on the thermometer on the patio. We ended last week with a spattering of rain as I finished the report but we have had none since then. It appears as if we have a chance of a bit of precipitation coming on Tuesday or Wednesday, but who knows, it could just as well be sunny and hot, but the animations (hurricane) for the eastern Pacific show some clouds working our way.
WATER: Everyone I talked to this week said that the water wherever they went was almost glassy and calm the whole trip. I know that in the afternoons the water on the Pacific side received a bit of wind that caused some chop, but the swells stayed down and it was comfortable everywhere. As far as water temperatures go, the Sea of Cortez side of the Cape was a fairly steady 81 degrees within 5 miles of the beach and 82 degrees farther out than that. The big news is the temperature break on the Pacific side. If you ran a line just on the eastern edge of the San Jaime Banks and northward to just to the eastern edge of the Golden Gate Banks you would have been on the break, at least at the end of the week. Inside (eastern side) of the break the water was 80 degrees, outside of the line it was 76 degrees, and there was not much blending, it was a fairly sharply defined break. Not surprisingly for this time of year, the cooler water was cleaner, a bit more blue to it. This is the opposite of what we see when the water begins to warm back up in the late spring.
BAIT: Caballito remain the most common of the larger baits, but there are still a few Mackerel showing up on the bait boats. As the water continues to cool we should start seeing many more of them, and fewer of the Caballito. There has also been a mix of misc. baits, a few Look-downs, a few green Jacks, a few small Pompano and of course this time of year some strips of Humboldt Squid. The live bait has been selling for the normal $3 per bait, there has been some frozen ballyhoo at the same price and the squid has been all over the place, depending on who you are buying it from.
BILLFISH: Remember me mentioning how nice it was to not have to say, “You should have been here last week” last week? Well I had to say it this week, at least for the start of the week. The fishing for Striped Marlin went from red-hot to lukewarm almost overnight as soon as that had been written. It took until this Friday for the action to return, but it finally did. I have no idea why the bite dropped off, but boats that had been getting 5 to 6 releases per trip were suddenly only getting one, or sometimes none at all. During this time frame the temperature break slowly moved to the west, to where it is now, and it may have been the slow movement that threw everyone off. Now the fish are being found on the cool side of the break, or right on the edge of the warm water. Yesterday we had clients that hooked no Marlin on Thanksgiving release four and unfortunately tail wrap a fifth fish that died during the fight. Other boats were reporting the return of the bait-balls as well and once again the Frigate birds were pointing out the right locations to fish. This meant it was only an hour run to the break giving anglers plenty of time to find the Marlin concentrations.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: I keep telling myself “Self, be patient, the Yellowfin should show up anytime now”, but it is hard to be patient, I want my Sashimi now, dang it. Guess I will just have to continue waiting unless someone stumbles onto a pod of porpoise holding Tuna. It has been happening now and then this past week, and the Tuna have been footballs to 15 pounds, but they have been scarce for everyone. When a boat has found the Tuna they have been quiet about it until they have caught a few, then finally they will announce it on the radio. Everyone within 8 miles then piles on the school and puts them down. My fingers remain crossed that these fish will return soon, and in force.
DORADO: The action on Dorado went had in hand with the action on Striped Marlin this week. As soon as the week started the action dropped to a standstill, but thankfully the bite returned at the end of the week. While the Marlin action moved offshore with the temperature break, the Dorado stayed in the warmer water near the beach. Most boats were finding them from 100 feet to two miles out. I hate to keep repeating myself, but the best way to catch them continues to be trolling lures until one is hooked up, then leaving that first fish out and dropping a live bait back about 50 feet behind it in order to catch others that may be with it. Second most productive (and what happens quite often when the fish are playing hard to get) is boating the first fish so there is something for dinner, then working the area with slow trolled live bait. Where there is one, there is usually another, especially on the larger of the species. Dorado, once they get to about 18 pound or so, seem to start spreading out and you will only find two or three packed together, and the really large fish in the 40+ range will be loners.
WAHOO: At the end of the week the Wahoo action picked up for boats working the shallow waters close to the beach. This may be due to the moon once again approaching the new phase, which will be on Dec. 1st. Once again many anglers and crew were surprised to pull in a live bait only to find it had been bitten cleanly in half, or find a lure that had the skirts chopped off. Crews that decided to forgo fishing for Dorado and concentrate on Wahoo changed to wire leaders and either fished their lures on wire lines as well, or placed heavy 24 ounce torpedo sinkers ahead of the lures, running the main line to a swivel, attaching the sinker then attaching the lure to the sinkers other end with another swivel. Working the shallows at 8 to 10 knots with this setup caught a lot of the Wahoo brought in at the end of this week. These fish were not giants, with the larger of them reaching 45 pounds, but the average was a decent 25 pounds.
INSHORE: The little Roosterfish we have been catching continue to bite small lures just off the beach, and there is a decent chance of running into a school of larger fish in the 15-18 pound class while fishing just outside the breakers with live bait. As long as the water on the beach remains fairly warm this bite should continue. While we are still seeing small Sierra and small Yellowtail, they have not been plentiful. Once the water temperature starts to drop we should see an increase in numbers on these fish. I am hoping that the snapper bite will turn on in a couple of weeks when we have the full moon once again, often this time of year the snapper start to school on the high spots in spawning congregations. When this happens the action can really turn on, but please, if you manage to be there at the right time, try to limit your catch, not catch your limit. These are spawning aggregations after all, and we do want fish in the coming years!
FISH RECIPE: Can you say “smoked”? As easy as pie (easier, actually as there is no cooking involved), making a sandwich using smoked tuna or dorado flaked into some mayo (I like using wasabi mayo, check last weeks recipe for that) with some diced celery and onion is magnificent. Use croissants instead of regular bread for a meal you would be willing to pay big bucks for.
NOTES: I hope your thanksgiving was as great as ours was, if you live where it is celebrated. We had a lot to be thankful for this year, and friends to share with at the house. Now, if those darn Tuna would just show up I could have Sashimi for Christmas, Ho-Ho-Ho! This weeks report was written to the music of Mark Knopfler on his second solo release, the 2002 “Sailing To America”. I hope you like it! Until next week, tight lines!
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