FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
October 21 – Nov. 3, 2013
It seems I have to apologize again as it has been two weeks instead of one since my last report. In my defense, I left the morning after the Bisbee Black and Blue Tournament for Ensenada to bring a boat with the owner and friends down to Cabo and had little time to write. So, you get this report instead. We had people fishing this past week so I will use their information as well as what I have been told by other anglers and Captains as the basis for the information on this past weeks fishing, and my own time on the water during tournament week for that time frame. I may mention at times as well the experiences we had on the trip down.
WEATHER: I truly don’t think the weather could have been much better during the Bisbee tournament week. We had mostly clear skies, evening lows in the low to mid 70’s and daytime highs in the mid 80’s. The winds we experienced were light and variable on the Cortez side of the Cape and light at 4-10 knots on the Pacific side. Add in the small swells and it was really nice. This most recent week showed a bit of a change as a deck of clouds moved in as Hurricane Raymond passed well to the south and west of us, leaving trailing remnants to bring a bit of humidity back in our lives. Daytime highs reached the low 90’s while nighttime lows were in the mid to high 70’s and it was humid, a bit more like summertime. The cloud cover broke at the end of the week and it again became nice and sunny. We won’t be seeing a lot of that this week though, at least at the beginning, as Tropical Storm Sonia begins her approach to the mainland. She is expected to pass to the south of us this evening and tonight and has a very large deck of clouds, some of them with plenty of rain. At this time she is 250 miles to the south and expected to pass within 150 miles as she turns to the east and makes landfall on the mainland. During our trip down from Ensenada we had wonderful weather with the exception on Wednesday. Early in the morning as we were at anchor in Magdalena Bay the wind picked up to around 25knots as had been expected and we spend all day watching movies and eating. Thursday we went out again and had fairly smooth going until approaching Lusitania Banks in the evening and the winds picked up again, knocking us around a bit until we came to the lee of the Peninsula around midnight. Friday morning as we set lines at first light on Golden Gate Banks it was glassy and remained that way until arriving at Puerto Los Cabos in the late afternoon.
WATER: The seas never did build up from any of the storms that passed us, at least it did not develop any short, close together sets that make for uncomfortable rides. The item of most importance in anglers mind, at least for the first week was the water temperature and the clarity. Both these can be very important in a tournament, so everyone was watching changes closely. For the tournament we were seeing the water on the Cortez side of the cape being in the 84-85 degree range, with a bit of mixing and off-color to it. Directly south of us, and running basicly in an east-west direction along the 1,000 fathom line was a slightly cleaner demarcation, with the water a degree cooler and cleaner to the south. Once reaching the San Jaime Banks this line ran more toward the northwest. Inside along shore on the Pacific side, as well as on the Cortez side along the Punta Gorda area the water was more off-colored with a heavier tinge of green. This week the average water temperature dropped at least two degrees on the Pacific side as we were reading water between 80.5 and 82.7 degrees on Friday, and the water was a very clean blue. Throughout the past two weeks surface conditions were fine, with only some surface chop the middle of the second week as remnants of Raymond moved past.
BAIT: Caballito, and frozen Ballyhoo could be had for $3 each this week, and there were actually a few mackerel to be had as well. Sardines were just a bit easier to find, but still not readily available.
BILLFISH: Once again telling the results of the Bisbee Black and Blue Marlin Tournament may be one of the best ways of showing accurate catch statistics, at least for the Black and Blue Marlin. Striped Marlin did not count in this tournament, so most of these hooked up were not reported in on the radio if it was immediately obvious what the fish was. Based on our personal experience, I would hazard a guess that there were about twice the numbers of Striped Marlin hooked up as there were Blues or Blacks. The first day of the Tournament there were no qualifying fish brought to the scale (#300 or larger to qualify), there were 12 Blue Marlin caught with a #290 brought to the scales, the rest released, and one Black Marlin released. On day two things improved a bit as 21 Blue Marlin were caught with two brought to the scales, one of them underweight but the boat “Retriever” with owner/angler Martha Macnab weighing a 525 pound Blue Marlin, and one Black Marlin released. The catch improved yet again on day three with 25 Blue Marlin caught with nine brought to the scales and one Black Marlin released.. Four of these were qualifiers, the largest of the tournament was caught this day and with angler Linda Williams in the chair and Captain Kevin Pahl on the helm, “Team II Success” captured the largest fish of the tournament with a 774 pound Blue Marlin. The top release team was a 56′ Beneteue Sailboat, the “Titan” with three releases. One very interesting thing about this tournament, if you care to look, is the fact that the top two fish were caught by female anglers, and the fishing cockpit of the top release team was run by a female angler! With a total of 61 Blues and Blacks caught there had to be well over 150 Striped Marlin as well. On a side note, the last day of our delivery we put lines in on the Golden Gate Bank at first gray light and less than five minutes later hooked up, fought and then released a Blue Marlin we estimated at 250 pounds. Later in the day we were south of the San Jaime Bank along the 1,000 fathom line and managed to catch two more, one estimated at 300 pounds and the other at 250 pounds, lost a large fish after a giant first run estimated at 500 pounds and missed another Blue Marlin Bite. The fish are still out there, at least the Blue Marlin offshore, and I heard on the radio that there were plenty of Striped Marlin to be found just off the beach on the Pacific side. We spotted several areas with Frigate birds working small bait balls offshore, and there were Striped Marlin working on these. Up outside of Magdalena Bay boats were working Frigate birds and releasing double digit numbers every day.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Yellowfin Tuna have been the disappointment of the past two weeks. There have been a few large fish found, but not in any numbers and there has been no real concentration of fish in any one area. There have been quite a few football fish in the 10-15 pound class found under porpoise, but again, these have been scattered and moving around a lot, so it has been difficult for the boats to pinpoint them on a daily basis. This does not bode real well for the upcoming Western Outdoor News Tuna Shootout (fishing November 7 and 8, entry fee $800) unless there is a drastic change. Of course there will be large fish brought in, but probably not in the numbers we have seen in the past. Maybe the passing of Tropical Storm Sonia will bring about a change? Lets keep our fingers crossed!
DORADO: Sometimes you just cannot appreciate what you have until it is gone. The fishing for Dorado continued to be great for the past two weeks with plenty of fish to be found along the Pacific coastline between the lighthouse and the Gaspirino area up around Todo Santos. The majority of the fish were between the beach and three miles offshore, with most of them found within two miles of the beach. We really missed the action on the fish on the trip down from Ensenada, as they can provide steady excitement when they are biting. Most of the boats that focused on the Dorado (and that was the majority of the charters these past two weeks) were able to post limits of two fish per angler, then go search for other species.
WAHOO: Sparse, but there, were the reports I received from both anglers and Captains upon my return Saturday. It seems that there have been Wahoo caught every day, but no large numbers in any one area, more of a lucky thing than anything else. Well, with the exception of a couple of private boats that focus on these fish and were able to get daily action up in the Gorda Banks, Punta Gorda area.
INSHORE: Things inshore are changing to wintertime mode, but slowly, as we are starting to see a few more Sierra and small Yellowtail every week. With the Dorado action being so good just off the beach, there has not been much in the way of effort next to the beach so it is hard to tell exactly what is there, but reports from a few of the Panga captains I know show that there are still small Roosterfish (less than 5 pounds) and a scattering of Amberjack and Snapper.
FISH RECIPE: You can mix and match spices and additional herbs to your hearts content, but it is hard to beat a simple grilled fish meal. The fish is showcased when you keep it simple, and when the fish is as fresh as we get it here it is just about the only way to go. There does come a time though when you are dealing with fish that has been frozen. You have returned home and that Tuna, Dorado or Wahoo you caught on your fishing trip needs to be used, it just stares up at you from the freezer, saying “eat me, choose me for dinner”. This is when those slightly more complicated recipes come in handy. I have to say in the attempt at full disclosure that very few of the recipes I post here are my own, except for the simple ones. I try to give credit where it is due, and the following is the direct result of reading a cookbook by Sam Choy and has become one of my favorites. My cholesterol level goes up just from reading it, but here goes,
Take four 8 oz Wahoo or Dorado fillets and slice a pocket in the side of each one, almost all the way through. Mix some softened butter with minced fresh parsley to form four butter logs the size of your finger and put them in the freezer. One of these will go in each of the pockets you just cut in the fillets. Mince 8 oz of Macadamia nuts, mince them very finely, they are going to crust the fillets. Dredge the fillets (after placing the butter logs inside) through flour, then whipped eggs, then through the minced Macadamia nuts and lightly brown both sides in a skillet or pan set at medium high. Have the oven pre-heated to 350 degrees and once the fillets are browned, place them in a glass pan that has been rubbed with butter and place them in the oven for about 15 minutes. For a sauce, take two Mangos and dice one of them fine, place the other in a blender (after removing the seed and skin of course) along with an ounce or two of fresh parsley and chop/blend/pulse the mix with a bit of white vinegar and some sugar (both to taste). Heat this mix until it has simmered several minutes than add the diced Mango. Pour equal amounts on each of four plates, place the cooked fish fillets on the sauce and a healthy scoop of rice on the side and you are done!
NOTES: As I was writing this report we received our first rain from Tropical Storm Sonia. Not a lot, but a promise of things to come. There is still no wind and we don’t really expect to get any until this evening. As you can tell, I got a bit wordy on this report, having a lot to say about the fishing and my trip, just be glad I am not writing on other things, I might have bleeding fingertips by the time I was done! Our trip down the coast was great, with some wonderful people on board the 51′ Rivera “High Bid”. A new boat for the owner, but one I have delivered before under a different boat name, it has been updated and upgraded to perfection. We had no issues mechanically and had firsts for the new name with first Dorado, first Striped Marlin, first Blue Marlin, first Wahoo, first Spotted Bay Bass (a Mag Bay specialty). My thanks and appreciation to new owners Carl and Sally, and guests Rick, Dave, Leo and Frank. Most of all to my deckhand Carlos who somehow was able to make everyone happy while living in tight quarters. Until next week, tight lines!
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