WEATHER: We had beautiful weather this week as it was sunny every day! Not what most of you had for Christmas I know, but we loved it. Our highs during the week were in the mid 80’s while the lows were in the low 60’s. This morning at 4:30 it was 62 degrees, the same as yesterday.
WATER: At the end of the week the water in the Sea of Cortez continued to be a bit off-color and greenish while being in the 73-73 degree range. On the Pacific side the water was a bit warmer with 77 degrees being seen about halfway between here and Todo Santos and it slowly dropping to 73 degrees off of the lighthouse, with an occasional patch of 74 degree water. This water was cleaner as well. Surface conditions were great on the Pacific with swells between 2 and 4 feet and the prevailing wind early in the week was light and from the northwest. At the end of the week it shifted and blew out of the north. This caused some rough water on the Sea of Cortez side as the winds wrapped around the peninsula and came from the east, something we don’t often see. As I write this the wind is from the north at about 4 MPH, very nice conditions.
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. There were also frozen Ballyhoo at $3 each.
BILLFISH: There was no real change in the Striped Marlin situation this week as the concentration of fish appeared to be on the ledge off the Pacific lighthouse. With 50 boats working the area the fish were getting pounded but there were plenty caught. For those who focused on the area the results were between one and four fish released (and some killed unfortunately) per boat. The favored method was once again dropping a weighted line with a live bait on the end down into the water column. Most boats dropped two baits, one almost to the bottom in 250 feet of water and another at 120 feet and had a third bait on the surface, or just under it. I would like to once again stress that if you plan on releasing you’re Marlin (PLEASE release them!) then let your crew know your plans ahead of time so there is no confusion about what to do with the fish when it comes boat side. Take a picture of the fish in the water (take a lot of them if you have digital) then buy a release flag and mount the picture and the flag in a frame for a trophy. There is NO NEED to KILL the Marlin if you want a replica made. All you need is an estimated length. Once again, there is NO NEED to KILL the MARLIN! Ask the crew to use circle hooks when dropping bait down deep, it helps to keep the Marlin from becoming gut hooked, and the hook-up ratio is just as good as if you were using “j” hooks.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: I’m almost out of patience. These fish have still not shown up in any numbers and usually by this time of year they make up 50% of the catch. There are a few being caught, but my guess is that only 5% of the boats are getting any, and they are having to cover a lot of water to find them.
DORADO: I am slightly amazed that these fish are still hanging around, but the water on the Pacific side has not gotten really chilly yet. I was out on Friday and we worked the area off of Pedregal for the morning and got our limit of fish between 8 and 18 pounds with the larger fish coming early and on live bait trolled off a down-rigger. Most boats were getting a few as I did see plenty of flags flying for these fish at the end of the day. Smaller Mackerel were working just fine for these fish and we had a Marlin bite as well, even though we were several miles from the concentration of those fish.
WAHOO: I heard of a couple of Wahoo being caught but not many, and don’t know where they were found. It was second or third had information anyway, I did not talk to anyone who had actually caught one themselves.
INSHORE: Sierra had to be fish of the week this week as anyone who wanted could get limits on these fish, ranging in size from 2 to 8 pounds. There were fish scattered all along the Pacific coastline but the big concentrations were up off of the Marguerite area, inside the Golden Gate Banks. The fish were concentrated in the area because of big schools of Sardines. Hootchies in light colors worked well on the smaller fish, on Thursday all our smaller ones came on pink or pink/white hootchies. Once the fish got a little finicky we put out Ballyhoo rigged with a trailing hook and caught some larger fish, to 7.5 pounds. Another method that worked for us was chumming with cut bait then drifting a strip back, using a 12” section of light wire leader to avoid getting cut off. Doing this also resulted in some non-targeted species being caught (Triggerfish). There were few Roosterfish found or seen but there were some Amberjack found in 180 to 200 feet of water and a few Snapper in the rocks along the beach.
FISH RECIPE: Remember simple? It does not get simpler than this one. Take a skinless, boneless fillet of Dorado and trim it into two lengths, removing the bloodline in the center. Slice each piece into strips about 2 inches wide, on the diagonal. Dredge them in flour, then whipped egg whites, then panko crumbs and lower into hot oil. Let them cook for about4 minutes or less, then remove and let them drain on paper towels. You now have fish fingers, and they are great in tacos (especially hot out of the oil) and as snacks later on. Whip up some tarter sauce to go with them and away you go!
NOTES: I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and be careful this coming New Years Eve! This weeks report was written to the music of “King Crimson” on the album “IN The Court of the Crimson King”, the 1969 Master Edition release. Until next week, Tight Lines!
And as always, George writes this report
and posts to the blog on Sunday morning. So if you
can’t wait, click the “FOLLOW” on the top of the blog
page! You will know whenever something new is posted!