April Fool Tuna
Capt. Gary Graham
April 5, 2011
Baja Sur - Saltwater Fishing Report
Endless Season Update APRIL 4, 2011
REPORT #1251 "Below the Border"
Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996
The most encouraging report came from Luis Ariza, long-time skipper at the now closed RBV, and his son Luis, Jr. Palmas de Cortez Captain. They were fishing off of Pescadero in a panga when they spotted some commotion on the water. Turned out to be a very small skipjack, maybe 5 or 6 inches. They hooked one on they caught and began slow trolling it behind the boat. All of a sudden the hapless bait disappeared with a loud whoosh and a swirl of white water. Both were sure they had hooked a huge blue marlin.
Even after a couple of hours of fighting the fish that never jumped, they weren't sure what they had hooked. More than four hours after they hooked the fish they finally managed to drag a monster yellowfin into their small panga that now seemed much smaller with the more than 200 pound tuna taking up most of the space headed back to shore
Catches are still somewhat sporadic from day to day. With spring-like weather the hotels are putting more boats into the water. Calm seas and little wind provided perfect conditions for spotting billfish on the outside. As it turns out, there were plenty striped marlin to look at plus an unusual early showing of sailfish. The marlin seemed to have lockjaw while the sailfish seemed much more aggressive. There were also a few swordfish spotted finning but no biters.
The yellowtail bite continues with boats targeting them boating two or three 30-pounders most days. Plenty of roosters mixed with jacks were seen tearing up the bait schools inside. Sardina seem to be scarce with some boats traveling all the way to Las Arenas to find some for their clients.
Current East Cape Weather http://tiny.cc/EastCapeWeather303
Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico
Most of the maintenance on the boats is completed and it is about time for the first of the season's clients to begin arriving.
As the water temps continue to slowly climb, the yellowtail reports sound good outside plus there are some rumored white sea bass outside the rocky beach on the weather side of Magdalena Island. Inside the Esteros have not been fished recently so it's hard to determine exactly what is happening. The best we have heard of is there are a few corvina and pargo up toward the north.
Current Magdalena Bay Weather http://tiny.cc/MagBayWeather150
Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico
I wish I could say the fishing is wide open, but that would be an April Fool's joke which may not be appreciated by some. Especially if they drop everything, book a flight on short notice, spend a couple of thousand dollars, find out what the reality is, and then come looking for me to do me some bodily harm.
However, it does appear our historical "April current" of cold green water came about a month early, causing the poor fishing of these past few weeks. And, what is usually typical in late April and early May, the warmer 80º water is now moving back in, with clean water only 6 miles off the beach.
A few sailfish, blue marlin, and striped marlin are being caught, but the main target has been a lot of 12 to 25 pound yellowfin tuna being taken on anything from trolled sailfish baits, cedar plugs, or live bait. There are a lot of tuna out there, but if they are in fairly close, there is a good chance you can over run them. They seem to be getting active in the mid to late morning hours. For instance Adolfo on the panga Dos Hermanos got 13 tuna at the 18 mile mark for his French clients. But Santiago, on the super panga Gitana, went 33 miles before local icon Ernesto from Troncones and a couple of his friends got 18 of them for a lot of good dinners and appetizers.
The great jack crevalle action is still holding up for fish to 25 pounds on the inshore. Adolfo got 20 for the same French clients out in front of the White Rocks.
Current Zihuatanejo Weather http://tiny.cc/zihuatanejo582
Cabo San Lucas
There was a brief showing of marlin in the Los Frailes area, a 50-mile trip out of Cabo. Boats were seeing plenty of fish but they were not hungry. A good trip to the area for those few days might have resulted in a couple of hook-ups and a release. Still later you could travel 70 miles in one direction and end the day with only one marlin…if you were lucky.
If you were in the right place at the right time you could catch yellowfin tuna; the problem was that there was no way to predict that time or place! Once in a while one of the boats would get into a school of fish and limit out on yellowfin ranging in size from 8 to 25 pounds. Other times you could go all day without getting a bite.
Inshore fishing continues to be the best bet. At least there are fish there to be caught!
The sierra bite was good on the Cortez side if you chummed heavily with sardina then free-lined a live one behind the boat with a light wire leader to protect it from getting cut-off. Limits were easy to get on fish ranging in size from three to six pounds. The little firecrackers yellowtail (four to eight pounds) were also everywhere, almost every rock-pile held them, and in the slightly deeper water you could fish some that went to 30 pounds.
Inshore was once again the way to go, but sometime soon the offshore should start to happen! There are still plenty of whales to be seen. I watched a mother Humpback and her calf yesterday as they breached, tail-lobbed and had a great time off of Cabo Real.…George and Mary Landrum
Current Cabo Weather http://tiny.cc/cabo191
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