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Here Comes Norbert…There Goes Norbert

Capt. Gary Graham
October 12, 2008
Baja Sur - Saltwater Fishing Report

Endless Season Update 10/08/2008
REPORT #1135 "Below the Border" Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996
East Cape
Sunday AM report The center of the storm has moved into the Sea of Cortez and left Los Barriles with little to show for it; no rain, no wind to speak off, and a power outage that lasted several hours depending on what part of town you are in
The 14th storm of the season, Norbert, is weakening a little but is still considered a major hurricane. It is predicted to make landfall somewhere in the vicinity of Magdalena Bay midday on Saturday. The storm is expected to pass by out to the west of East Cape, but most of the boats at the hotels have been pulled. Apparently, Odile, another tropical storm is making its way up the Mexican coast as well.
Billfishing was an "iffy" proposition again this week with only a few sails and even fewer stripers. There were a couple of blues reported. Last weekend's La Paz Gold Cup attracted 71 boats for the two day event with only two fish being caught; only one fish qualified at 214 pounds winning all the marbles.
The dorado and tuna action from the preceding week evaporated this week. A few lucky anglers landed a few here and there.
The best action for the week was inshore from La Ribera to Punta Colorada for rooster fish, pompano, bonito and lady fish.
The roosters were still small, but ladyfish and a few small jacks could also be found with the sardina and mullet. We found our best action near the rocks on both sides of Punta Colorada Hotel.
Water temperature 76-87
Air temperature 75-91
Humidity 73%
Wind: S 7 to 9 knots
Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Visibility 15 miles
Sunrise 7:14 a.m. MDT
Sunset 6:59 p.m. MDT

Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico

Sunday AM Update: PUERTO SAN CARLOS, MEXICO -- Hurricane Norbert swept across Mexico's southern Baja California peninsula on Saturday, tearing off roofs and forcing hundreds of people to flee flooded homes. It hit land near Puerto Chale on Baja's southwest coast as a Category 2 hurricane, but weakened to Category 1 after emerging over the Gulf of California, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Norbert was expected to reach mainland Mexico before dawn today.

Everyone is preparing for the storm, Norbert, which is expected to come ashore somewhere near here. Offshore fishing remained good preceding the storm with wahoo, yellowfin tuna and still a few small yellowtail. More yachts are arriving each day and they reported marlin from the ridge on down to the Entrada.

With little pressure on the Estero action, the catch has included corvine and small sierra in the open water. Near the mangroves there were leopard grouper and a few small snook along with some mangrove snapper.

Bob Hoyt

Water temperature 78 - 84
Air temperature 75 -95
Humidity 73 %
Wind: WNW 6 to 8 knots
Conditions: Mostly Clear
Visibility 14 miles
Sunrise 7:23 a.m. MDT
Sunset 7:06 p.m. MDT

Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico
With the blue water only 8 miles off the beach, the fishing is continuing its trend from last week, and actually improving on it. Martin on the Nautilus told me "mucha pesca" Which translates to good fishing.
The yellowfin tuna are still too far out for the sport fishing fleet, but the commercial pangeros are getting them around the 45 mile mark. Plus, a few blue marlin are showing again in the counts this week. Dorado are being taken, but not as many as we thought would develop after the rains from a couple of weeks ago.
Yesterday (Wednesday) Jason Baig, of Wichita KS, fished with Captain Margarito on the Gaby. They were back at the dock by noon with 8 sailfish raised and 4 released. Margarito fished the area between 10 to 12 miles out.
There is also excellent action on the roosterfish all up and down the coast

Ed Kunze
Water temperature 80 - 84
Air temperature 74-90
Humidity 93%
Wind: SSW 5 knots
Conditions: Cloudy
Visibility 9 miles
Sunrise 7:36 a.m. CDT
Sunset 7:29 p.m. CDT

Cabo San Lucas
WEATHER UPDATE: This was an interesting week on the weather front as we had a scare from Hurricane Norbert and were keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Odile. Norbert ended up passing well to the north, bringing only several days of cloudy skies, gusty winds and a little bit of rain. Oh, and some big swells! Odile looks as if she is going to dissipate well to the south and west of us and should not effect us in any way. As expected, although several days early, the temperature dropped and the humidity dropped as well. This morning on the way to the golf course we had a reading of 74 degrees, at least 10 degrees less than anytime in the past four months! The skies were sunny and the weather perfect.

BILLFISH: One of our clients this week ended up fighting a Blue Marlin for 4 ˝ hours before getting the tail-wrapped fish to the boat. It came in on a short rigger lure and the guys dropped a live bait back to it, thinking it was a Striped Marlin. The battle took place on a fairly light bait rod and since the fish died, they took it to the weigh station. It was a nice Blue of 376 pounds! There were a few others caught this week as well, but the big noise around the docks has been the influx of Striped Marlin. Last week it was looking real good but you had to go 50 miles for double digits, this week the Golden Gate Bank started to turn on and the run was much shorter. Boats working the Pacific side between the lighthouse and the inside of the Golden Gate were hooking two or three fish per trip while trolling and casting to tailing fish or fish raised on the lures. Boats working the Golden Gate were dropping bait deep and drifting across the high spot or running to birds dropping down on fish. The problem with running to the birds was the large numbers of whales and dolphin. The Gate was producing double digit catches with one boat getting a three-day total of 33 Striped Marlin as well as several sailfish. The Finger Bank really started popping this week as well, but the fish were not right at the finger, instead the concentration seemed to be five or six miles to the north, just around the flats at the wrist. Talk about double digit fishing, one of the fleet boats reported releasing 45 Striped Marlin in one day! I hope it keeps up for a while.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: There were some Tuna out there but they were scattered. Most of the action on larger fish switched directions with the area around the Cabrillo Seamount on the Cortez side producing fish in the 50-60 pound class for a few boats that checked the area out. The Pacific side outside of the San Jaime Bank still produced fish in the 15-40 pound class under pods of dolphin. In both areas live bait produced the larger fish with small dark colored lures working on the smaller fish. When the fish became shy and the bite slowed, switching out to small pink hootchies tied directly to the line, let out 150-200 feet and jigged with sharp pulses while slow trolling worked.
DORADO: There are still decent numbers of Dorado out there but it was not the fish of the week this week, instead the title went to Striped Marlin. The bite slowed on Dorado and the size seems to have dropped a bit as well with the average fish coming in at 12 pounds. There are still fish of 30 and 40 pounds being caught, but not in the numbers of the last few weeks. Another possible reason for the lower catches might be the Marlin action, with most boats concentrating on these fish. There was decent action on the Cortez side for Dorado as well with good reports coming from boats working the Punta Gorda area, fish averaging 15 pounds with four or five fish per trip.
INSHORE: Roosterfish action was still to be had if you were in the right place, at the right time, with the right bait; this week that meant the beach off of La Laguna on the Cortez side, right at the start of the drop off of high tide, and using live mullet. A few boats reported fish to 60 pounds with a lot of medium 20-35 pound fish as well. The best report I heard from one boat was 11 releases in a trip. Other inshore action was sparse as most of the Pangas worked off the beach for Dorado and Striped Marlin.
George & Mary Landrum

Water temperature 73 - 91
Air temperature 75 - 97
Humidity 77%
Wind: ESE 9 to 12 knots
Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Visibility 8 miles
Sunrise 7:14 a.m. MST
Sunset 7:00 p.m. MST

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