FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
Jan. 20 – 26, 2014
WEATHER: We had partly cloudy skies this week as some high cloud cover moved in early and then cleared on Wednesday, then during the later part of the week some of those clouds that you just know are going to let loose with a little rain but just end up teasing you moved in then out of our area by Saturday. The weekend was mostly sunny with some early morning cloud cover. Highs for the week were in the low 80’s while the lows were a balmy 64-65 degrees with a bit of humidity.
WATER: Water conditions on the Sea of Cortez in our area were very good with swells small at 1-3 feet, the water temperature 74 degrees within 6 miles of the beach and 76 degrees outside of that. Strangely enough, the warmer water was a bit more off-color than the cooler water. Up farther on the Cortez side the wind began to punish anglers, and if you went north of Punta Gorda you had to be ready for a bumpy ride. On the Pacific side of the Cape the week started with swells at 1-3 feet and as the week progressed so did the swells. They were not closely spaced but by this morning we were seeing 4-6 foot swells causing a surf of 8-12 feet. We are thankful that the wind has remained down and there has been very little wind chop and swell on top of this ground swell. The water temperature on the Pacific side has remained in the 76 degree range all week with slightly cooler water showing to the north of the Golden Gate Banks. The water has also been a clean blue color almost everywhere, not a deep purple summer color, but nice and clean.
BAIT: Plenty of both Mackerel and Caballito were available this week at the normal $3 per bait. I did not hear of any Sardinas being available.
BILLFISH: I’m not going to blow smoke and say the fishing was outstanding for Striped Marlin this week, but it improved a bit over what we were seeing last week. Every boat that wished to get a Striped Marlin was able to get at least one release, and several boats had multiple releases, up to six per trip. It was all about being where the concentrations were and having the right bait. As was the case last week, the majority of the fish were on top of the Golden Gate Bank and toward the inside of there, and they re-grouped a bit after the strong currents we had last week. Boats that had Mackerel in good condition did well, and those that were able to catch some on the grounds and “match the hatch” so to speak, did very well. The fish at the Gate were feeding on a mix of Mackerel and very large Sardinas. Slow trolling live bait was the best method and deep dropping bait while drifting came in second place as a producer of fish. There were also Striped Marlin found in other areas, namely on the ridge between the Golden Gate high spot and the high spots on the San Jaime Bank, the west side of the canyon. The fish were much more scattered, but finding the tailing fish very often resulted in a hookup when the bait was presented properly. Elsewhere the Marlin were even more scattered, but when found could often be enticed into striking a trolled lure or a live bait dropped back.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: The excitement continued this week as the Yellowfin Tuna that showed up have continued to make their presence known by way of filling the fish boxes! The majority of these fish actually weighed between 10 and 15 pounds, but there were a few schools that held 20-25 pound Tuna. There were also a couple found that had fish to 60-80 pounds on them, but these were few and far between. The larger fish were often fooled into biting by using a kite to get the lures and bait far from the boat and the prop noise. If you happened to be the first on the school, setting two lines out at 250 yards (that’s way back there folks, at a half spool or more, and many crews won’t do it) and making a pass on the front of the school also resulted in some of these larger fish as the lures did not get there until well after the boat had gone. For the footballs, cedar plugs and small feathers to three inches worked great, and a few fly-fishermen had a fantastic time blind casting while the crew chummed up some fish with chopped up bait. It was not hard to limit out on these fish this week, and as usual, many boats seemed to forget that there is a legal limit on how many fish you are allowed to keep (five Tuna per angler).
DORADO: We continue to see Dorado come in every day and I am surprised that the fishing has remained as good as it has. I expect to still be catching a few this time of year, but we have been seeing a few limits coming in this week on Dorado (legal limit is two per angler). Most of the fish have been found on the Pacific side from the shoreline out to about three miles, but there have also been fish on the Cortez side out to about two miles. Most of these fish have been in the 10 pound class but an occasional fish to 18 pounds has been in the mix as well.
WAHOO: I must have missed some wonderful Wahoo action the week before last as I saw several reports that the bite on these fish had been hot. On last weeks report I said that there had been a few scattered small fish but no large ones, then I was contacted by several fishermen who had been reading other reports and they informed me that there had been quite a few large Wahoo caught. All I can say is that I won’t write about it unless I see the fish or trust who is telling me about their fish, so apparently I missed that action. This past week there were some smaller Wahoo found once again and the action was inshore off of the high spots and points on the Pacific side. A few boats that left early and made passes at Gray Rock at gray light also racked up a few of these speedsters, but nothing I heard of was over 30 pounds.
INSHORE: Still the inshore fish of the week, Sierra were the primary target of the Pangas that fished inshore this week. Finding a school was not too difficult, and once you found it getting the fish to bite was fairly easy. It really helps the enjoyment of catching these little guys to match the size of the gear to the size of the fish. Most of the Pangas carry lighter gear, and we have several that carry fly rods as well, so if the numbers are not as important as the action, check to see what equipment your boat has before going for these guys. Reeling in a couple of 4 pound Sierra on #50 gear is not a lot of fun, but at least you get fish in the boat and have something to take home. Right? Hmm…. oh, there are also Snapper and Grouper to be found inshore. The snapper will be right in the rocks, and you are likely to loose a few rigs trying to get them, but they are great eating and it is fun to work them out of the rock piles! The Grouper have been caught by dropping a live bait to within 5 feet of the bottom in 60 to 150 feet of water. Make sure your drag is down as heavy as the gear can take for both the Snapper and Grouper, you need to keep them out of the rocks! Along with these fish, there are a few small Yellowtail showing up, hopefully soon we will be seeing a stronger showing of these gear busting brutes, and a slightly larger class of fish. Many of the Pangas caught a few Sierra for their anglers and then went out for the Yellowfin Tuna and did very well, often getting in a Striped Marlin as well.
FISH RECIPE: This week I used left-over grilled Dorado and just made fish sandwiches instead of ham sandwiches. Same idea, just a different protein, but it helps if you use something besides plain white bread. I like using the large croissants from Costco.
NOTES: Plenty of fish to catch, Whales and Dolphin to see, great water conditions and light crowds! We need to enjoy this while we can because Spring Break is coming soon and things are going to get hectic! This weeks report was written to the music of Brian Flynn and his band. In this case it consisted of Mauricio on the Keyboards, Base and Drums and Brian’s old partner Lulu Small on the guitar and vocals. Got to see them live on Tuesday at Tanga-Tanga, Puerto Parisio Marina side and at the Cabo Lounge. They used to play together 15 years ago, it sure was fine to hear them now! Until next week, tight lines!
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