Capt. Gary Graham
October 23, 2008
Baja Sur - Saltwater Fishing Report
Endless Season Update 10/22/2008
REPORT #1137 "Below the Border" Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996
Still unsettled, conditions have been frustrating. One day the dorado turn on, then the next day it's the tuna. In both cases it is mostly small fish with an occasional larger one showing up, (dorado to 50 and rumors of tuna to 150). The most consistent bite has been the Humbolt squid.
Meanwhile the billfish action is scattered with some boats running as far as 40 miles to find them.
Along the shore, it's jacks, roosterfish and some early sierra as the North winds begin to cool the water.
There was a report of a 650 pound black marlin caught 3 miles off the beach near Rancho Leonero.
Water temperature 76-82
Air temperature 74-92
Wind: NNW 8 to 11 knots
Visibility 9 miles
Sunrise 7:20 a.m. MDT
Sunset 6:46 p.m. MDT
Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico
The wahoo, dorado and tuna action was WFO! Quality sized fish and only a few miles above Cabo San Lazaro. But the marlin seemed to have been scattered by Norbert's wind. Finally, a few were found late this week.
With light pressure, the Esteros produced a few mangrove snapper, grouper and cabrilla. There were also a few sierra on the surface along with a few smaller corvina.
Water temperature 78 - 85
Air temperature 73 -94
Humidity 95 %
Wind: WNW 10 to 14 knots
Conditions: Mostly Clear
Visibility 3 miles
Sunrise 7:26 a.m. MDT
Sunset 6:59 p.m. MDT
Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico
The full moon, and last week's hard rain, slowed the fishing down this week. The blue water had moved out to the 20 mile mark, and the inshore water was discolored by the heavy runoff out of the rivers.
This next week looks very promising. The rain season is all but over, and we are getting out of the moon phase. There was not much action this week, with the boats averaging less than a sailfish a day each. A few dorado showed in the counts, and this could develop into a decent bite as the current lines become more defined.
A few small roosters were reported, but finding a decent stretch of clean water made for a lot of fishing, and very little catching.
Water temperature 80 - 84
Air temperature 77-87
Wind: SSW 5 knots
Visibility 10 miles
Sunrise 7:40 a.m. CDT
Sunset 7:24 p.m. CDT
Cabo San Lucas
The Bisbee Black and Blue began Wednesday morning with 141 boats to compete for just under $3 million.
BILLFISH: There were still plenty of striped marlin at the Golden Gate Bank but as the days went along the bite dropped off. Early in the week boats were releasing five or six fish on a good day, but by the end of the week, a two fish day was a good one. The fish were still there; you could see them on the depth sounder and on the surface, but they were not biting as well. Farther to the north at the Finger Bank, the same situation was occurring, but there the difference was in the baits available. At the Finger Bank, the marlin were feeding on sardina, but because they were so focused on the small fish, they would often just ignore a mackerel or caballito.
On the big fish front, there were quite a few medium-sized blue and black marlin released, with the majority of them being blue marlin in the 200-250 pound class. The Los Cabos Billfish Tournament, held over three days, had only one qualifying marlin caught, a 415pound black that ended up taking all the jackpots for the three days as well as the big fish prize, a nice total of over $500,000 U.S. Saturday was the first day of the two-day little Bisbee tournament, with only 20 something boats entered. With the 415 pound black being caught on the Outer Gorda Bank on live bait, every boat in this tournament was there fishing the same way. There were two fish weighed in on Saturday, the largest was a 385 pound Black. The other fish did not quite make the grade, weighing in at a short 295 pounds, five pounds shy. The winning fish on Sunday was a 514 pound black…same area, same method.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: This was almost a repeat of last week's results with most of the fish caught being found to the south of the San Jaime Banks among porpoise pods. The first boats on the fish did well with catches ranging from 6 to 10 fish with an average weight of 20 pounds, the larger fish going 30 pounds. If you were the third or fourth boat on the scene you might get one or two fish; if you were later than that you were out of luck. There was one very nice fish caught this week during the Los Cabos Tournament, a yellowfin weighing in at 181 pounds, but I could not get the information on where or how it was caught.
DORADO: The number of dorado being caught this week fluctuated day to day, but overall the numbers are down a little bit unless you went far up the Pacific side. The passing of Hurricane Norbert left quite a bit of debris in the water, but the inshore current changed and at a movement of 2 knots, pushed the debris to the north and out to the west. Locally the best bite has been on the Pacific side from 2 to 4 miles off the beach. Finding feeding frigate birds in that area was a sure indicator of dorado and slow trolling live baits under the birds, or pulling lures in the area usually resulted in hooking up, with the fish averaging 12 pounds. I did hookup one nice dorado this week, in the 50-pound class, but it got away after charging the boat like a marlin. The largest dorado caught during the Los Cabos Tournament was 57 pounds.
WAHOO: I heard good things this week about wahoo up around the Punta Gorda and Inman Banks, with quite a few of the local Pangas getting one or two fish in the 40 pound class each day. They were getting good results on swimming plugs like Rapallas and Marauders, and there were a few large fish hooked up as well. The largest wahoo brought in during the Los Cabos Tournament weighed in at 44 pounds.
INSHORE: Almost every Panga captain I talked to this week was working off the beach for dorado and striped marlin. Only one fished the beach and he told me that the roosterfish bite was off, releasing only three small fish outside of the Westin Hotel on the Cortez side.
George & Mary Landrum
Water temperature 73 - 91
Air temperature 73 - 95
Wind: NW 4 to 6 knots
Visibility 1 miles
Sunrise 7:30 a.m. MST
Sunset 6:53 p.m. MST
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