Fish Report

BY: GARY GRAHAM

Baja Sur Fishing…Sunday, August 02, 2015

As we slide into summer’s “hump month,” conditions for the billfish tournaments — beginning with Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore in August and continuing all the way through November in Cabo — seem to be encouraging. There have been enough billfish qualifiers (up to 300 pounds) caught lately throughout the region. Regardless of your location here in Baja Sur, (dorado being the one exception that seems to have taken a powder) all the other popular species, including roosterfish, yellowfin tuna and wahoo, are present and accounted for. Take your pick and go get ‘em.

Gary Graham, gary@garycgraham.com

 

Perla Clifton from Albuquerque, NM shows off her first ever roosterfish caught aboard El Regalo during a recent half day trip. photo provided by Matt Clifton, Big Game Baja Charters Cabo San Lucas Reports reflected that it’s feast or famine — while some boats returned with flags flying and smiling anglers, others drew a blank, losing fish that wouldn’t stay, or just simply not getting them to bite at all.

Adding to the difficulty in making the next day’s decision was that the fish were not remaining in the same spot, which required a great deal of searching and trying to anticipate where the fish might be each day.

The good news is the warmer-than-normal water temperatures have attracted more sailfish and are producing one of the best blue marlin bites in years according to some local Captains and crews.

Many boats scored with double billfish days catching sailfish, black, blue or striped marlin. Local Captains commented disappointedly that many of the billfish are coming up in the pattern, smacking the lures or bait without being hooked, so there’s action but not always a catch. Adding to the recent excitement was a few small black marlin in the release count.

A few anglers who were targeting yellowfin tuna came back with fish weighing 20 to 50 pounds for the most part.

The one exception was the Bill Collector from the Pisces Fleet with anglers from Fayetteville, Arkansas, who landed a 136-pound tuna just four miles from Los Arcos.

Very few dorado were caught this week which it leaves us wondering if commercial fishing is making inroads on this species as recently the Mexican government passed a law making it legal for commercial boats to have up to 10% dorado as a by-catch, which they are allowed to commercialize. The question is — who is checking?

Only a couple of wahoo have been caught recently and inshore there have been a few roosterfish, snapper, skipjack and triggerfish.

San Jose The action on the Gordo Banks for the very small yellowfin tuna has mostly faded, leaving a few black and blue marlin and a handful of striped marlin and sailfish.

With supplies of sardina in the vicinity of the Marina jetty, the action has now switched north to the Iman Bank, with anglers using the small-sized baitfish. There the anglers were finding yellowfin tuna in the 10- to 50-pound class. No significant numbers, but most charters were scoring two to five per morning. Off the bottom they were catching some huachinango, dogtooth snapper, cabrilla and triggerfish — again no big numbers, but a few quality fish.

Dorado continue to be virtually nonexistent — a combination of factors are likely the cause for this. Just a handful of wahoo were found and most of these were caught while trolling early in the day with Rapalas.

No inshore action to speak of either, just a few roosterfish hanging around. The season for this gamefish is nearing the end, although there is always a chance at finding a roosterfish lingering around the Marina jetty where there are concentrations of various baitfish.

East Cape Entering August, the billfish are dominating the catches. No wonder, since they are hanging out only a few miles offshore in some spots along the coastline. Feeders, tailers and jumpers are all putting on a show. Even if you don’t want to catch them, they are fun to watch and offer some challenging photo ops.

Adding to the excitement is that the roosterfish seem to be everywhere and they are not being picky at all. Troll a bait, toss a fly or grab your spinning tackle … chances are you will be screaming like some frenzied sports spectator as the hard to miss distinctive dorsal slices through surface of the water towards your offering. “FISH ON!”

However, the East Cape options do not stop there — snapper, jacks and even pompano are all part of the mix right now.

La Paz Fishing is steady, if not spectacular. Everyone caught fish, with the three main species being roosters, dorado and marlin, even with the big blue moon full on. There were some blustery days and a bit of a swell generated by a big storm far to the south, but it brought no rain or bad weather at all. On the contrary, it was hot and humid and the waters looked good. The good thing is that for the most part, if you were targeting a certain species and had a day or two to pursue them, an angler could hope to find his bucket list fish. So, the folks who wanted a marlin, got a marlin…or a rooster…or had fun with a dorado!

Las Arenas upheld its Roosterfish Capital of the world reputation with “smaller roosters” in the 30-pound class. The larger ones were good-sized — 50 to 60 pounders with even larger roosters lost!

Plus some okay-sized 10- to 15-pound dorado were caught. Many are the 5-pound class. There are also some smaller pargo, cabrilla, triggerfish and such along the rocks that are great eating.

The La Paz anglers found limits or near limits of dorado around the areas north of La Paz and around Espirito Santo Island. But, in terms of just action, it’s hard to resist a school of hungry dorado slamming around the panga.

Along with 10- to 15-pound bonito mixed in with some 25 pound jack crevalle that are just beating the heck out of the light tackle guys.

Cabo San Lucas

Tracy Ehrenberg www.piscessportfishing.com

Larry Edwards www.cortezcharters.com

San Jose

Gordo Bank Pangas www.gordobanks.com

East Cape

Rancho Leonero Hotel www.rancholeonero.com

Jen Wren Sportfishing www.thejenwren.com

East Cape Tackle Cindy Kirkwood, www.eastcapetackle.com

La Paz

Jonathan Roldan’s Tailhunter International www.tailhunter-international.com ,