REPORT #1247 "Below the Border"
Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996
I can't believe how grumpy everyone gets when the weather drops below 60 degrees. How many ways can a person say suck? Seems to be a contest these days.
The few reports I did get after the disgusted weather comments indicated that yellowtail did bite and while marlin moved in, they offered more refusals than a midnight '10' at a Cabo bar! A spicy rumor was a few tuna were caught up at the north end of Cerralvo, but you know it's a stretch when I have to go that far to find something to write about.
Weather has me a little grumpy as well. Snow closed the grapevine as we were headed home from the Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton, and Yvonne and I, along with Suerte and Maggie, ended up in a Motel 6 in Bakersfield. I think there may be a song title in there somewhere, though none of us were singing one that night.
Current East Cape Weather http://tiny.cc/EastCapeWeather303
Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico
The best reports are coming from the fish camp guys out on Magdalena island. Lots of yellowtail to twenty pounds (may be slightly less than that), grouper to fifty and even a few white seabass below the lighthouse.
Whales should begin to thin out soon and maybe we will begin to receive more informative reports.
Current Magdalena Bay Weather http://tiny.cc/MagBayWeather150
Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico
While on the municipal pier this morning, talking to the captains for more information for this report, I spent some time with Santiago, the owner of the super panga Gitana, and his client Len Grupp of Minnesota. Their experiences reflected the overall scenario for the fishing this last couple of weeks. They had been getting one or two sailfish and maybe a striped marlin a day. Most boats are averaging about one billfish a day, with the striped marlin being caught about equally with the sailfish.
What really got my attention though, Len is staying out at Barra Potosi and was telling me of the huge numbers of sardines in the surf there. This is an annual thing, and when the sardines come in like that, the jack crevalle follow. And the jacks are big enough that the Mexican hand line fishermen are having a tough time carrying their four or five fish back home.
The reason I was really interested in the Barra is because this is an excellent way to spend a day, and one of the few areas on this coast where the surf is not too high for a spin or fly rod fisherman for shore fishing. You can kick back under the palapa of one of the restaurants there, have a cold one, a few traditional Mexican appetizers, and wait for the jacks to breeze in again. When the jacks start crashing the bait, you go out and catch a couple of the hard fighting fish, and then back to the cold one. Any fly in a three or four inch sardine pattern will work, and the spin fishermen are having better luck with shiny one to two-ounce spoons and Mega Bait jigs of the same length as the flies.
Otherwise, Santiago told me he made a long run down south to La Barrita and only got a few jacks and a couple of small roosters. Other inshore fishermen are picking up a lot of very nice sized sierras.
With the cold current pushing down from the north, the clean water is about six miles off the beach, but the good blue water is way out at the 50-mile mark. Some of the boats are getting into the 10 to 15 pound yellowfin tuna between 16 and 20 miles on a 240º heading, but Ruben Lara found the bigger tuna on the same heading, at 54 miles, and has been hitting them every day. Ruben used to be the captain of the Vamonos III and is now a commercial fisherman. After a long hard day, he has been getting back to port averaging about 700 pounds of 40 to 80 pound tuna a day. Not bad for a single guy hand lining on an open panga. He told me there are schools out there with some really big tuna. But, he would rather catch 15 tuna at 40 pounds in the same time it would take him to get one 200 pound tuna to the boat.
For an idea how a few of the other captains are doing for a single day of offshore fishing: Mecate, on the cruiser Agua Azul, got two sails and one nice dorado. Martin, on the Gaviota, got three sailfish, and Cheva, on the panga Dos Hermanos II, got three striped marlin and one sailfish.
Leonardo, on the panga Fish On, fishing with Don Granges of Texas, had a large black marlin on for a while before it got off. Twenty minutes later they hooked a huge bull dorado over five feet long and approaching 60 pounds. It stuck. It will be dinner for several nights to come. Ed Kunze
Current Zihuatanejo Weather http://tiny.cc/zihuatanejo582
Cabo San Lucas
The 1150 was the place to be for striped marlin this week as a concentration was found in the area. Boats were able to throw bait on six to eight fish per trip and some of them were hungry. A good day was two releases but most boats were able to get at least one if they stayed and worked the area. The bite was associated with the tide as most of the action was occurring in the afternoon along with the high tide. The bite was later every day. There were also fish found in the Vinorama area past Punta Gorda and around the Gorda Banks.
Right place at the right time was once again the word of the week for yellowfin. Fish were found outside the 1,000 fathom line to the southeast and east as well as on the Gorda Banks and the Inman Banks. Those outside were associated with porpoise and if you found the right school, and were one of the first three or so boats there, you had no problem getting limits of five fish per person. If you were one of the late boats you scratched a bit, but were still able to get fish in the box. Most of these fish were in the 10 to 18 pound class. Closer to home at the Gorda Banks, sardina were the key to getting bit. Using a kite and flying a sardine at least 75 yards away from the boat resulted in quite a few fish to 70 pounds.
There were a few dorado caught this week and I saw one boat that was flying two flags, but for the most part these were small fish found close to shore by boats fishing for sierra. There was one nice fish I saw that might have pushed 50 pounds, and it was caught in the warm water on top of the Gorda Banks.
One fish I saw myself went 90 pounds; sure would have liked to have had a chunk of that meat! Once again caught in the warm water at the Gorda Banks, there were reports of some boats getting as many as four wahoo in a trip this week. But you had to be early for the numbers, getting there before the rest of the boats. Fish were also found around Punta Gorda and the Inman Banks.
Sierra were once again for pangas fishing out of Cabo, while the boats out of San Jose were doing better on the football yellowfin. Sierra are schooling fish so if you started out with nice size fish you stuck with the school. If all you were getting were peanuts, you moved and looked for the larger ones. It was not a problem for most of the boats to get as many sierra as they wanted. But getting the larger fish took some work. There were also roosterfish to 15 pounds as well as some decent snapper to 25 pounds. Sardina were the key to the larger sierra and using the large ones as well as caballito made for good catches. The smaller sierra were no problem to catch on swimming plugs and hootchies?George and Mary Landrum
Current Cabo Weather http://tiny.cc/cabo191
March 02, 2011
What is "weather sucks" in Spanish?
Endless Season Update March 1, 2011