FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
Nov. 24 – Dec. 2, 2015
SYNOPSIS: The appearance and departure of late season Hurricane Sandra had little effect on our fishing other than getting the port closed on Friday and Saturday. The fishing was good prior to the storms passing and great afterward, depending on what you were fishing for. Bill-fishing for Striped Marlin is as good as it gets, the Dorado are biting like crazy, there are some Tuna to be found and some very nice Wahoo have been hooked up!
WEATHER: Well the big news on the weather front was the development of a very late season Hurricane, named Sandra, that had everyone on edge last week. Early projections had the storm passing very close to us, but weakened from the category 4 class it reached for a short time. We got lucky with a high pressure ridge that came from the northwest and kept Sandra to the south and weakened her quickly. All we received were some large storm cells, overcast skies, a bit of wind and some rain. Very good for us! Since then our morning lows have been in the high 60’s and our daytime highs in the mid 80’s. As of today we have mostly clear skies with little breeze.
WATER: Swells from the south had the water humped up pretty good with swells to 8-10 feet and some big surf for those that liked that sport, but since the weekend the swells have receded to the normal, pretty much 4-6 feet on the Pacific side and 2-4 feet on the Cortez side. Water temperatures have varied as well with occasional warm spots of 82 degree water at the end of this reporting period being found south of us, and water to 76 degrees along the Pacific side. Water on the Cortez side has averaged 79 degrees. There has been some slightly off-colored water along the beach on the Cortez side and north quite a way on the Pacific side. With light winds we are currently experiencing the chop on the water has been minimal and relegated to the afternoons. Currents have been strong with the water on the Pacific side running strongly from the south to north and on the Cortez side it was much weaker and from the east-southeast to the west.
BAIT: The water finally cooled off enough for the Mackerel to show up so they have been readily available from the bait boats, as well as Caballito. Both these have been at the normal $3 each. There have been very few Sardines to be found, but most of the bait boats have had frozen Ballyhoo available at $3 each.
BILLFISH: Early in this reporting period the Striped Marlin bite was really, really good and almost everyone that wanted to catch one had a positive experience. It got even better after the passing of Hurricane Sandra, and of course it has been good since the Mackerel arrived. After the storm passed, boats going out were releasing between three and six per day, mostly on the Pacific side or directly south. They were found everywhere, but the concentrations were along the 1-3 mile range off the beach. Look for the bait on the depth sounder and you would find the fish. Many of the fish caught were hooked by casting live bait in front of tailing fish, some by dropping a live bait back into the trolling pattern when a Marlin showed up in the lure pattern. About 25% were caught on the plastic lures and a few were caught by boats soaking live bait between 80 – 200 feet deep on high points that held bait. A few Sailfish were reported as well, but as the water continues to cool it is doubtful they will be around for long. I did not talk to anyone who hooked up a Blue or Black Marlin this week, but heard gossip about several fish in the 200-300 pound class that were hooked up and fought to release.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Tuna have been about as on/off as you can get these past days. Prior to the storms passing there were good numbers 30+ miles offshore, with a few large fish mixed in, but few or no fish to be found closer to Cabo. Since the storm passed the fish have moved in closer and plenty of football sized fish in the 10-20 pound class have been found under passing Porpoise pods within 20 miles of the beach. There have been scattered schools of football sized fish not associated with porpoise close to the beach as well, so quite a few boats working the beach zone for Dorado managed to pick up one or two. Most of this has been taking place to the south (offshore) or on the Pacific side anywhere. I don’t know of any boats that have tried to make it out to the Cabrillo Seamount, but boats working the Cortez side closer to land (5-20 miles out) have reported scattered success.
DORADO: Almost wide open has been the catch phrase for the Dorado for the past several weeks. Not everyone was able to get hooked up to a lot of fish, you had to find the schools, but when you did the fishing was awesome! Most of the fish ranged between 12 and 20 pounds with quite a few in the 25+ range. As usual, keeping the first one in the water to attract others was the key to getting numbers. One thing I love about that is you do have a chance to use much lighter gear if you have it. I have had plenty of fly fishermen who use conventional gear to catch the first fish, and then target individual fish that show up. Using conventional gear, tossing a live bait behind the first fish works extremely well, and when you get low on live bait (it happens sometimes) strips filleted off of a bait or off a skip-jack worked well.
WAHOO: We just came off the full moon and there were some nice Wahoo brought in before the passing of Sandra, a few of them over the 50 pound mark. Since then I have not seen any of the big Wahoo but some boats have been getting more than one in the 20-30 pound class. The normal areas have been producing them, the high spots, the ridges and drop offs along the coast and the current lines off-shore have all produced fish. The only issue for most anglers was the razor teeth of the Wahoo. The fish caught have often been off of double or triple strikes, but on lures or bait being used for Dorado and Marlin, therefore on monofiliment leader. That stuff is like butter to a Wahoo, and to get one to the boat you have to be lucky or have the hook right in the corner of the jaw.
INSHORE: There was no change in the inshore fishing this period with the exception of high swells on Thursday through Sunday. Pangas fishing along the beach went mostly for the Dorado and had good success. Boats that fished this area also had some Wahoo bites. In among the rocks there were some decent Snapper on live bait and some Roosterfish in the #15 class. Using live bait also attracted Needlefish and they really took a toll on the bait count. A few small Yellowfin, some scattered Sierra and some Bonita rounded up the inshore action. Most of this took place on the Pacific side as well.
If you are planning on booking a fishing trip soon (or later in the year), contact me to see what I can set you up with. I offer fishing charters for people with any type of experience on the water at reasonable rates, and service is the name of the game to me!
My music of the week is the soundtrack album of “Local Heroes” and “Sailing to America”, both by Mark Knopfler.
The information I use in these reports are obtained in many different ways, some from personal experience, some from my clients and Captains who are out every day, and some from on-line subscription services such as Fish-Track, BuoyWeather and SurfZone as well as HurricaneZone. I, and only I, am responsible for any errors made, as I sift all this information and compile it.
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Meanwhile, Tight lines!