FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
Dec. 30, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014
WEATHER: Unlike those of you living in the north, our weather remained very comfortable this week. Our daily highs were in the mid to high 80’s and the nighttime lows averaged 67 degrees with a low in town of 62 degrees. The wind shifted during the week, coming from the north at the start of the week and then shifting and coming from the northeast mid-week and then back from the north again at the end of the week. We had partly cloudy skies with a high overcast on Saturday, but the rest of the week was mostly sunny.
WATER: The water on the Sea of Cortez side was cooler than that on the Pacific side, and off-color in comparison as well. Temperatures ranged from 71 degrees up by Punta Gorda to 73 degrees off of Gray Rock while on the Pacific side it was 74 degrees between the San Jaime / Golden Gate Banks line-up and the shoreline, and 75 degrees on the banks and to the west. The offshore water on the Pacific side was cleaner as well. Surface conditions to the northern side of our fishing range on the Pacific were rough and choppy for the later part of the week, but very calm and smooth on the Cortez side. In between these extremes we had slightly choppy conditions in the afternoons when the winds picked up, but calm conditions in the mornings.
BAIT: No change in bait availability again, with Caballito and a few Mackerel making 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 are still a few Blue Marlin around, or maybe Black Marlin, as the fish was not identified except for the fact that it was a Marlin. Last Sunday one of the local charter boats tossed a live bait in front of a Marlin only to have it engulfed by a different fish entirely, and they proceeded to fight this big Marlin for the next 6 ½ hours before the line broke. This occurred only 5 miles off the entrance to San Lucas Bay! For the rest of the boats the Striped Marlin action was very consistent, with almost every boat that wanted to catch one able to do so, and some boats had multiple fish released. The favorite location was on the ledge off the lighthouse on the Pacific side, and the preferred method was “bottom fishing”. This involves tying on a lead weight of between 5 and 15 ounces and dropping a live bait down toward the bottom. The water depth is between 200 and 300 feet and several lines are set at staggered depth. The boat then drifts over the ledge, or along the current break until a bite occurs or the drift takes them off the ledge. The local boats love this as it is very effective and really saves on the cost of fuel. The only issue I have is that for me at least, it is very boring, and most of the boat use “j” hooks when fishing this way. Since the bait is so far down, and there is a large bend in the line caused by both the current and the boat moving, the first bite is very had to discern. This means the fish has plenty of time to swallow the bait, and often the first sign that one is hooked up is seeing it jumping in the distance. If you use a circle hook, the hook will slide to the corner of the jaw as the fish moves away and will not gut hook and injure the Marlin like a “j” hook will. If you are looking for Marlin, please ask your crew to use circle hooks if they are planning to “bottom fish” for Marlin, and it helps if you bring some along. All the tackle store here sell them, and they are not very expensive. Thank you! Striped Marlin have also been concentrating on the Golden Gate Bank, and there has been less boat pressure there due to it being 23 miles away instead of just 6 miles away like the lighthouse ledge. The water there has been choppier as well, but the fact that there are fewer boats makes it easier to stay on top of the high spot.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: While still slow, the pick has slowly improved this week with a few boats able to find porpoise pods with Yellowfin associated with the pod. Action was found at 35 miles to the southwest, just inside the Jaime Banks and just offshore of the Migraino area in small pods of porpoise. These fish are footballs at 6-12 pounds, but hopefully a signal of action to come. Hootchies in dark colors that were jigged while trolling worked the best on these footballs with cedar plugs coming in as the second best lure.
DORADO: Continuing to show up in the catch has been Dorado, averaging 10 pounds with occasional specimens to 20 pounds. On the Pacific side of the Cape from the Arch to Todo Santos, the better concentrations have been toward the northern section of this fishing area, but there have been hot-spots everywhere this week as the water remains a bit warmer here and the fish follow the bait. It may seem as if I am repeating myself, but dropping back a live bait or strip bait behind a hooked fish remains the best way to get multiple hook-ups on Dorado. Don’t remove the first fish from the water until you have tried to attract a second one!
WAHOO: Once again I heard of a few Wahoo being caught, but no big numbers and no big fish. There was an occasional strike in the early morning hours at the lighthouse ledge and along the drop-off outside Diamante.
INSHORE: Continuing their status as fish of the week, the diminutive but tasty Sierra maintained a strong presence along the shoreline on the Pacific side of the Cape. The largest concentrations of these sharp-toothed critters was in 30-120 feet of water from the Los Arcos area to Migraino beach, but there were scattered fish all along the shoreline. These concentrations were working schools of Sardines, and you could spot the feeding action by closely watching the water for the small boils and splashes. The majority of Sierra were small at 3-4 pounds, but there were larger fish found, a few to 9 pounds. If you matched the tackle to the fish, the fight was great, if the gear was too heavy you were just winching them in. For those of you who like to fly fish and have not done any saltwater fly-fishing before, these are the perfect species to try your luck on, just remember that a wire bite tippet is needed, and bring plenty of flies!
FISH RECIPE: Last week I posted up my method for making fish fingers and mentioned that I like them with tarter sauce. A lot of you asked how I make mine, so that is my recipe for this week. Once again, I go with the idea that simple is best! Take some Mayonnaise (about a cup) some Mustard (a good squirt of the yellow stuff, maybe a tablespoon or so) some pickle relish (the kind you use on hotdogs, I like the sweet relish myself, about double the amount of mustard you used), a sprinkling of garlic powder or salt (I prefer the garlic salt, maybe a ½ teaspoon) and a few dashes of Worcestershire (sp) sauce (about a tablespoon) and mix it all up. Add a bit more of whatever you think it needs and you are good to go!
NOTES: I feel bad for all of you that are experiencing the aftereffects of the most recent winter storm, and now you have “record breaking” low temperatures coming your way. We will be watching the wild card games today from the comfort of an open air sports bar, sipping a cold one in 80 degree weather. If you could get a flight you could join us next Saturday for the Seahawks-Saints game. Go SEAHAWKS! Lets see, there are lots of whales to be seen, this is the best time of year to go whale watching, so there is an added incentive to get your spouse to agree its time to get away, that is, if you can get a flight! Also, please be aware that the taxes in Baja California, both Norte and Sur, have been raised from 11% to 16% in order to match those of the rest of the country. Prices have gone up a bit folks! This weeks report was written to the music of Ricky Scaggs, man, can that guy play a mandolin or what? Until next week, tight lines!