FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
Dec. 2 – 8, 2013
WEATHER: Partly sunny skies once again, and while most of our friend and clients in the U.S. were shivering we were enjoying temperatures in the high 70’s and low 80’s during the daytime. We did our shivering at night after the sun had set and the breeze cooled us off. It seems my blood has thinned a bit as 72 degrees makes me get goose bumps and put on long sleeved shirts or a light jacket or sweater. Please don’t make fun of those of us who walk around with a sweater on while you gambol about in your swimsuits! I know we look funny while walking the beach but at least there is no snow or ice on the ground!
WATER: The Pacific side has had little change in water temperature this week, the water to the inside of the San Jaime and Golden Gate Banks is still warmer than elsewhere on the Pacific at a fairly consistent 78-79 degrees, down a degree or two from last week, but that’s what happens in the winter here. Outside of the banks, to the west, the temperature has been in the 72-73 range, with this cooler water once again being a bit cleaner than the warmer inside water. Afternoon winds have had a fairly strong effect on the surface conditions as well with the swells in the mornings at 2-5 feet, but after the winds start (around noon every day) the wind chop picks up and we get a bit of cross swell of 1-2 feet from the wind that makes for interesting rides home. On the Cortez side of the Cape the water has been a consistent 78-79 degrees with a few spots peaking at 80 degrees. Surface conditions have been much better with swells staying in the 3 foot range and the wind chop not having much, if any effect once you get to the west and north of the 95 spot. The water on this side of the Cape has been a bit off-color, tending toward a clean green instead of a deep blue.
BAIT: While Caballito remains the most common of the larger baits (which are selling for the normal $3 each) there are a few more Mackerel showing up in the bottoms of the bait boats. Still not very common yet, there should be more soon as the water continues to cool. Other than those two species, your choice is Green Jacks and small Pompano. I have not heard of any Sardines available locally, but there might have been some available up in San Jose.
BILLFISH: There was not much change this week from last weeks Billfish report. They still seem to be hanging out along the temperature break on the Pacific side, but there are small concentrations as well along the coast at the normal high spots such as right off the Lighthouse on the peanut shaped ledge and on the ridge running straight out from Los Arcos farther up the coast. There is a small bump to the inside/north of the Golden Gate that has also been producing a few fish, not to mention the small concentrations atop the Golden Gate Bank. I have heard from a few boats that made the run that there are some decent concentrations found this wee at the Finger Bank as well, but it has just been rumors, third hand information, so I have not been able to confirm it. The key to getting a Marlin (and they have all been Striped Marlin) has been to keep an eye on the sky and an eye on the depth finder. When you see the Frigate birds start to swoop, head there, as the fish are beginning to force a bait ball to the surface. If you see a bait ball on the depth sounder, stay there until the Marlin force it to the surface. Basicly, follow the bait, the fish will be where the food is. Sight fishing by spotting tail and fin tips and tossing a bit also worked well, and often produced double hook-ups. Seeing a “picket fence” with several fish in a row is beginning to become more common and offers a good chance at multiple hook-ups. The preferred bait has been Mackerel, but the fish will eat Caballito as well if they are hungry, the smaller baits seem to get eaten more often than the larger ones. Fish found just off the beach are suckers for the small Pompano, it seems to be a matter of “matching-the-hatch”, so to speak.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: I am still being patient, I have no choice. There are a few football to 25 pound fish around, but the chances of getting into them are small as the pods of porpoise they have been found with are scattered all over the place. I know of Pangas working the Dorado inside that have spotted small groups of porpoise and have hooked and landed several Yellowfin to 25 pounds, and cruiser going 30 miles off the beach doing the same thing. Some boats have reported finding pods of porpoise that cover acres of water but have not had any fish under them, while they find just a few porpoise that have given up four to six small Yellowfin. No rhyme or reason to it, just chance as far as I can tell.
DORADO: Lots of small 6 to 8 pound fish have been striking lures and trying to eat live bait on the Pacific side of the Cape. The warmer, cleaner water has kept them around, trying the warm water on the Cortez side has not resulted in as many fish and the water is more green there as well. Getting a bigger Dorado this past week has been a matter of working harder and smarter. The plume of warm water running up the coast seems to taper to a point around Todo Santos, and boats going that far up have seen slightly larger fish. It may be a matter of the narrowing warm water concentrating the fish, but the fish caught toward the north have been consistently in the 12-15 pound class. Closer to home, in order to get the larger fish, you have had to make a slight change in tactics. Boats that were fishing using wire line or torpedo sinkers to get jet-head lures and swimming plugs down deep for Wahoo were hooking a few larger Dorado, some to 30 pounds, while boats pounding the surface were only getting the little guys. Having noticed this, quite a few boats began running down-riggers and Z-Wings with live bait to attract the larger Dorado. The only problem with this is that if there were Wahoo around, they would get the bait bitten in half or the leader cut without ever noticing it happen. Also, it is a great method for catching Striped Marlin as well and often one of these would gulp the bait. For anglers only wanting to fish for meat fish, this was not what they wanted. Well, I have always been happy to catch something rather than nothing, and would never turn my nose up at catching a Marlin!
WAHOO: These fish are still here, and still biting, but you have to be in the right place, at the right time, using the right gear in order to have a decent shot at them. We just came off the new moon on the third, and have the full moon coming up around the 17th, so the bite should, repeat, should, be good then for these speedsters. The right place means along steep drop-offs, high spots on the bottom, ridges projecting out from shore and canyons running right up to the beach. The right time has been just before and just after tide change, when the water starts moving again. The right gear means lures with a short trace of wire leader to prevent cut-offs, lures or swimming plugs that will go deep, the deeper the better, and run at speed. If using live bait, make sure there is a trailing hook wired to the front hook as to prevent having the bait cut in half without hooking up, and running the bait deep.
INSHORE: There were some decent sized Roosterfish reported this week, by decent I mean in the 18-25 pound class, but they were still out numbered by the little 5-6 pound fish. There were many more Sierra showing up as well with some of the fish coming in reaching the 8 pound mark on the scales, but most of them were 4-5 pounds. The Snapper bite dropped off, perhaps due to the new moon, but should improve once the full moon comes around. Once again, if you get into the stacks of Snapper that happen during the full moon, please limit your catch as these are spawning concentrations. I have not heard of any large Yellowtail this week but there have been fish to 10 pounds caught, and they are becoming more common every week. It should not be long before we start to see larger fish on a consistent basis.
FISH RECIPE: Simple is the key work. This is about as simple as it gets. Take a Dorado fillet cut to meal size (or Snapper, or Wahoo), marinate it for about 30 minutes in fresh lemon juice. Dust it with salt and pepper, then again with some smoked Paprika (I have a big bottle of Penzy’s in the cupboard) and cook it in a frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil (I like using the Avocado Oil they have here at Cost-Co). Serve it up with some potatoes that have been diced small and dusted with Thyme and a bit of Paprika as well as with a small salad. Easy, tasty and good for you!
NOTES: I have forgotten to mention in my last two reports that the Whales are here! Grey Whales close to the beach and Humpback Whales farther out, both species have been putting on good shows for us on a daily basis. This weeks report was written to the music of “Two Tons Of Steel” on their CD “Not That Lucky”. A bit of Texas Rockabilly to keep my toes a tapping!
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