FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
Dec. 16 – 22, 2013
WEATHER: Mostly sunny skies greeted us almost every morning this week, but the temperatures have dropped a bit to go with the sun. A bit counter-intuitive I know, but maybe the clouds had been holding the heat in! Our nighttime lows have been in the low 60’s for the most part with some areas on the Pacific side seeing a few nights in the high 50’s. Daytime has been much warmer with highs in the low 80’s to high 70’s. No rain, and I think I can safely say we have 0% chance of snow, ice or freezing hail this week!
WATER: On the Pacific side was where the warmer water appeared this week. Pretty much anywhere you went the water was 77 degrees, at least withing a degree of that. On the Cortez side the water was a bit cooler by a degree or so. This is something we see every year as we have a change in the seasons happening. The water in both areas has been a bit off color. The blue water has been directly to the south but the water is also much cooler there with surface temperatures in the 74 degree range about 12 miles out. We did have several days toward the end of the week when the wind kicked things up, and Friday evening things finally died down a bit. The winds were from the west and caused quite a bit of chop as well as some decent sized swells in the 4-6 foot range. The surfers loved it but it made fishing from a Panga on the Pacific side a bumpy experience.
BAIT: Caballito and a few Mackerel make up the choice of live baits this past week, and you were lucky to get the Mackerel. The price was the normal $3 each.
BILLFISH: The bite on Striped Marlin improved as most of the boats were coming in with at least one release per trip, and many of them were flying three or four flags. The best results I heard of were from the area just off the Los Arcos, off the point of the ridge there. Boats drifting with live bait sunk deep did very well. Just a reminder for you, if you are using this technique to fish for marlin, please make sure your crew is using circle hooks. The fish are feeding deep and they often have enough time to swallow the bait before you can get the hook set. If you are using “j” hooks in the bait the chances of gut hooking the Striped Marlin and having them die is extremely high. With a circle hook the hook will slide to the corner of the jaw as they swim away, not catching on the gut or gills, and after your fight the fish will still be in good shape for release. You just have to remember not to yank back on the rod in an attempt to set the hook with a circle hook, just keep the pressure on the fish until the hook has set itself. Just to be sure, buy some circle hooks to bring with you and ask the crew to use them when using live bait. Minerva’s Tackle in downtown Cabo carries plenty of them and they are not expensive.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: These are still scarce and even though the boats keep a sharp eye out for the porpoise the Tuna are usually associated with, there have been few pods with fish around them. Finding the Tuna this week has been hit-and-miss, many boats have been traveling out 40+ miles looking for them only to find out later that boats fishing inside for Dorado get a few off of a small pod of porpoise. You just never know. If I had to hazard a guess, it would be that only 5% of the boats looking for tuna had any success. I did not hear of any boats from Cabo San Lucas finding the big ones on the Gordo Banks, but I am sure there were boats from San Jose that worked it hard and may have managed a fish or two.
DORADO: Sharing the title of Fish Of The Week with both the Striped Marlin and the Sierra, there were still lots of Dorado around, but they were scattered this week with the fish found from the lighthouse or Sol-mar all the way up the Pacific side to past Todo Santos. This was not a big surprise as this is where the warmer water was. A few of the fish were in the 20-25 pound class but there were more of them in the 8-10 pound range. Live bait was a big help if you were looking to catch more than one or two during a trip, as dropping back a live bait and waiting a few minutes for another fish to bite while fighting the first one was the best method for getting limits. Spotting frigate birds working and running to the spot would put you on either Striped Marlin or Dorado, it was a pretty even chance for either species.
WAHOO: I only heard of a few Wahoo caught this week and it was a surprise to me as I thought this moon phase would have brought an increase in the number of fish. Well, as good as the bite has been for the past two months we cannot complain too much!
INSHORE: Inshore fishing is starting to get good for the Sierra, it has improved every week and the fish seem to be getting closer every week as well. Pangas did not have to travel 15 miles this week, there were fish found as close as the lighthouse on the Pacific side. The wind at the end of the week had the effort in that area drop off a bit and there were fish being found closer, as close as the beach off the Sol-mar Resort. It was not wide open, and the fish may have been there for several weeks, but I think the amount of effort put into fishing that area may have had something to do with it. For some of the boats not wanting to battle the winds at the end of the week, the area in the Sea of Cortez from Gray Rock to Cabo Del Sol was worth fishing. Targeted species were Triggerfish, Sierra and Amberjack with a few Grouper and Snapper in the catches as well.
FISH RECIPE: I wish I had the recipe to give you but I don’t. We had dinner this week when we were invited to the “Baja Cantina” at the Marina, and the fish was a coconut crusted Cabrillo with a picante Mango sauce, wow was that good! Maybe I can manage to get it later on and post it! Meanwhile feel free to look back on my older posts for some great fish recipes.
NOTES: Merry Christmas to one and all, I hope you were good this year and Santa brings you tickets to Cabo and puts them in your stockings! This weeks report was written to the Christmas songs of the 1940’s with the bluegrass sounds of Bill Monroe accompanied by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs! Until next week, Tight lines!
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