Endless Season Update 05/21/2008
REPORT #1115 "Below the Border" Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996
Jim Rowland with a Muertos Bay jack
This was a week of more refusals than a California homeowner selling a house!
We threw sardina and/or large baits at free swimming billfish and big dorado all week and never even saw so much as a swirl for our efforts. By Monday night the chatter at all the bars at East Cape buzzed blaming the damn full moon as being the cause of the lethargic behavior of the fish offshore! My client told me that he and his buddies agreed that the full moon must be the cause, and he asked what I thought. I answered that fishermen want something to blame conditions on and the full moon is as good as any.
However, on Wednesday morning the full moon went down, the fish came up and the bite was on. Mark Rayor emailed the following: “The fish came up and started feeding in the afternoon at Pulmo. They were not plugged with squid and were eating sardines. The bite was good for everybody in the area.”
Inshore was a different story: Big jack crevalle, small roosters, and white bonito were ‘on the chew’ most of the week from Muertos Bay to El Cardonal…close to shore.
Tip: It is important to keep your rod pointed at the line when stripping. If you don’t, the hook set will be cushioned by the rod tip preventing a solid hookup.
Water temperature 66-78
Air temperature 60-91
Wind: S 7 to 10 knots
Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Visibility 5 miles
Sunrise 6:34 a.m. MDT
Sunset 7:57 p.m. MDT
Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico
According to Diana Hoyt
of Mag Bay Outfitters, the sierra and firecracker yellowtail bite has been good in spite of windy conditions. She also reports that the grouper has began to bite along with the corvina.
Water temperature 62 - 70
Air temperature 55 -85
Humidity 76 %
Wind: W 10 to 14 knots
Conditions: Partly Sunny
Visibility 6 miles
Sunrise 6:39 a.m. MDT
Sunset 8:07 p.m. MDT
Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico
It is the month of May, and the annual return of the fantastic blue marlin bite has arrived. With the blue water only 6 miles off the beach and lots of bait fish in the area, we are averaging at least 1 shot at a blue for each boat. The hookup ratio is quite a bit less, but there are at least 4 or 5 blues being caught each day..which is not bad considering there are only about 15 boats on the water.
Besides the occasional large dorado being taken, the yellowfin tuna have finally arrived. They are only in the 30 to 40 pound class right now, but this should be a prelude to the larger fish moving into the area.
Sailfish action is a bit spotty, but the boats are averaging 1 or 2 a day each.
Inshore has the roosters are showing up again, and in fairly decent numbers. Good action is still going on up at Saladita, with a few reported at Buena Vista.
Water temperature 80 - 84
Air temperature 75-95
Wind: SE 2 mph
Conditions: Mostly Sunny
Visibility 4 miles
Sunrise 7:12 a.m. CDT
Sunset 8:14 p.m. CDT
Cabo San Lucas
Our daytime highs have been in the mid to low 90’s while the nighttime lows have been around 72 degrees. We also had mostly sunny clouds this week, a nice change from the past month. Light winds have been from the northwest, just enough to cause an afternoon chop on the water, but nothing big.
There was an enormous difference in the water temperature between the Pacific side and the Cortez side of the Cape this week, and it was strongest just off the beach. In the area just off the beach at the Golden Gate Bank we saw water as cold as 55 degrees while the water on the Cortez side was pretty evenly at 77 degrees. Offshore there was a difference as well, but not as large. On the Pacific side, north of a line between the Cape and just to the south of the San Jaime Banks we had water temperatures in the low 60’s and just to the south it warmed up to the low 70’s. On the Cortez side from the arch to the 95 spot and then south and west, we had pretty much 80-82 degrees everywhere you went. The area between these two extremes was a mixed bag of 68-72 degree water. As is normal, the cooler water had much more of a green tinge while the warmer water remained blue.
Mackerel and Caballito were available at the new price of $3 per bait, and there were Sardinas at the Palmilla area at $25 a scoop.
We just finished the 2008 ROLEX/IGFA Offshore Championship Fishing Tournament this week. There were 63 teams fishing for 4 days, a total of 232 fishing days, and the result was approximately 350 Striped Marlin released. At an average of 1 ¼ fish per day this was just about the same as in the 2003 tournament when they averaged 1 ½ fish per day per boat. The top team in this year’s tournament released a total of 13 Marlin and 1 sailfish over the four days. We had the World Billfish Catch and Release Championship Tournament start this weekend and we will see how they do as well, I’ll report the results next week. Meanwhile, the fish this week were found from just off of Gray Rock to outside between Gorda Bank and the 1150 Spot. They were not feeding well, as a matter of fact we had clients on Friday who said they saw over 100 fish but could not get one of them to eat. Maybe it was a sign, but the last day of the tournament was on Friday as well, and that was reported as being the slowest for them.
Once again the bite on Yellowfin was slow; I saw very few white flags flying from the outriggers this week.
As the water continues to warm the Dorado continue to show up in larger numbers. Almost every boat that went out this week was flying at least one Dorado flag on its return, and most of the fish were decent size. We had clients catch one of about 60 pounds on Wednesday, and another group on Thursday caught two fish averaging 40 pounds each. The warm water on the Cortez side was the location and both slow trolled live bait and fast moving bright colored lures in smaller sizes worked well.
There were some decent Wahoo caught this week and most of them came from either the Gorda Banks of the Punta Gorda area. Darker colored lures and slow trolled live bait worked on fish ranging from 25 to 50 pounds. There were not a lot of them, but enough to make a little more effort worth it. Maybe 25% of the boats fishing for them lucked into fish.
Yellowtail in the 8-10 pound class were to be found from the arch in front and up to the lighthouse on the Pacific side. There may be more fish farther north, but there was no reason to travel that far. Live bait, small Caballito and Mackerel, were the best baits if you did not have large Sardinas, but small Rapallas worked as well. Just off the arch there was a decent concentration of small Roosterfish in the 10 pound class and they were biting on the live baits as well as a few that were caught on fly gear. Up on the Cortez side, in the warmer water, there were a few larger Roosterfish caught and released, fish that ran from 30 to 50 pounds. The best bite on these larger fish was in the afternoon. Anglers working for Snapper and Grouper just off the bottom had decent luck using chunks of bait and yo-yoing jigs in 110 to 200 feet of water along any of the points in that direction. These fish were between 5 and 15 pounds in size. A few surprise Amberjack moved in as well, generating some scorching runs and burned thumbs!
Good news this week was no Seiners in the area; the bad news is that the reason they were not here is that there are no Tuna! Maybe they got all of them last week? Sometime soon we should have new schools move into the area, it can’t be too soon for me! Sorry to the few of you who will get this late, but we had the computer crash yesterday and my wife spent all day getting it back in shape. Thanks dear! Until next week, tight lines!
George & Mary Landrum
Water temperature 67 - 75
Air temperature 62 - 88
Wind: SSE at 17 mph
Visibility 6 miles
Sunrise 6:36 a.m. MST
Sunset 7:56 p.m. MST