Saturday, May 26, 2007

Inshore Shines for “Feathers and Fur”

REPORT #1064 “Below the Border” Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996
Endless Season Update May 26, 2007

East Cape

Plenty of fish were seen this week ranging from striped marlin to YFT’s hiding under the porpoise schools beyond thirty miles. Seems like there is bait everywhere - from squid to sardina - and that has made it tough to entice them with feather and fur! Dorado action continued to be a tease with the lucky boats finding something floating to provide cover for these critters.

Inshore the fly fishers shined this week! Ed Randall, Houston, TX, headed out with BOF Guide, Lance Peterson, looking for his first rooster on the fly. Fishing with Captain Victor, Jr.
on "Mosca I”, they scoured the coastline for roosters on the bite. When they found a bait receiver full of sardina (flat iron herring) near La Ribera, their luck improved. Roosters had gathered around it and using a hookless live bait, Lance teased several into casting range. Ed had some great shots and when the scales settled, he had landed two nice roosters and a good number of really big ladyfish that made his 10wt creak in protest. Most of the roosterfish were in the 5 to 10lb class with a few much larger fish mixed in.

Watching Ed have all the rooster action fired up Lance and he headed down to the beach to find one of his own at the end of the day.

Water temperature 70-81
Air temperature 73-90
Humidity 24%
Wind: SSW 9-12 knots
Conditions: Mostly Clear
Visibility 10miles
Sunrise 6:33 a.m. MDT
Sunset 7:58 p.m. MDT

Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico

Estero action continued to be the best bet this week as the Pacific continued to be whipped into a froth by strong winds from the WNW keeping everyone close to shore. Inside, nice sized grouper and a corvina bite on the surface kept fly flickers happy. Those that braved the strong breezes in the open water were rewarded with only a few firecracker sized yellows for their effort. The local shark fishermen have reported seeing an occasional dorado under their buoys, but definitely not a bonanza.

Water temperature 65 - 72
Air temperature 67 -85
Humidity 45 %
Wind: WNW 14 knots
Conditions: Sunny
Visibility 3 miles
Sunrise 6:38 a.m. MDT
Sunset 8:09 p.m. MDT

Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico

Fishing has been below par for this time of the year. A lot of it can be attributed to the red tide that hit the coast this last week. It has decimated the inshore fishing. The red tide has affected the coastline for at least 40 miles in each direction from Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. But, there are signs of it breaking up now, and should clear out by next week.

The 82ยบ blue water is now at the 25 mark, with dirty, almost red tide conditions, water out at least 12 miles. The only bright spot is that the blue marlin are here and the yellowfin tuna are here also. But, the anglers looking for sailfish are averaging only about 1 fish per day per boat.

John Wilkinson of Michigan has fished with Santiago on the Gitana a couple of times this week. On the first day, because the 30 to 40 pound yellowfin tuna were traveling fast and were line shy, they dropped down to 30 pound test. Of course that is when the 100 pound beast came up from the depths and ate the bait. They fought the tuna for almost 2 hours, got a good look at it, and the line parted.

On the next trip they lost an estimated 400 pound blue after only a 15 minute fight. A 100 pound plus yellowfin tuna and a 400 pound marlin would make a decent week, however John ended up with only one sailfish released for the two days on the water.

Water temperature 80 - 84
Air temperature 76-98
Humidity 26%
Wind: ENE 9 knots
Conditions: Clear
Visibility 5 miles
Sunrise 7:11 a.m. CDT
Sunset 8:15 p.m. CDT

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Billfish Threatened by Mexico’s New Regulations!

REPORT #1063 “Below the Border” Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996
Endless Season Update May 19, 2007

East Cape

Once again the Mexican Government has made an end run approving some really rotten legislation regarding long liners that will only yield further declines for the offshore fishery in Baja. For more info click on the link:

Our week was largely devoted to beach fishing. Matt Jones, Dallas, TX, and his buddies Ian Crabtree, and Lee Field came down for some Baja fishing before they head up to Alaska for their guide season. On Tuesday, they hit the beach hard and prowled mile after mile of hot sand. They had their share of chances, though fishing was not wide open. Action on smaller roosters was fair but the “big boys” proved as difficult as usual. Their second day, Friday provided better action. Matt had the shot of the day when a 35lb+ rooster lit up on his fly...only to turn away at the last heart pounding second. Ian had the jacks dialed in on Friday. He hooked two fine jack crevalle sight casting, the largest about 12lb.

Offshore, Billfish action consisted completely of striped marlin this week and they seemed to be spread all over the map. The dorado action seemed to follow the same pattern with little or no concentration to be found. The few lucky anglers were the ones who stumbled into some floating debris providing some cover. For the rest, it was a single here and there. White flags were the most predominant this week as the fleet found tuna from a few miles offshore out as far as forty miles, with the best catches awarded to the boats that traveled the further distances.

Water temperature 70-81
Air temperature 75-87
Humidity 85%
Wind: SW 8 - 10 knots
Conditions: Mostly Clear
Visibility 4 miles
Sunrise 7:35 a.m. MDT
Sunset 7:55 p.m. MDT

Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico

Overcast and windy conditions for most of the week didn’t shut down the cabrilla and grouper bite in the Esteros. The only boats venturing outside were the commercial shark fisherman that had to go. Even the Entrada action slowed down this week.

The new legislation passed by the Mexican Government will only yield declines for this offshore fishery. For more info click on the link:

Water temperature 65 - 72
Air temperature 62 -84
Humidity 86 %
Wind: WNW 11 - 15 knots
Conditions: Partly Cloudy
Visibility 3 miles
Sunrise 6:40 a.m. MDT
Sunset 8:05 p.m. MDT

Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico

Earlier this week the fishing had slowed down considerably when compared to the great action we had this last couple of weeks. However, it is on the rise again. Even though the boats are only averaging about 1 sailfish a day average per boat, the blue water has moved into the 12 mile mark. This will definitely bring the fish closer.

The yellowfin tuna have showed up at the 19 mile mark and are giving us a lot of action. Even though they are only averaging between 22 and 25 pounds, there are a lot of them. Plus, a few of the boats are also picking up a couple of sailfish each when working the perimeter of the tuna schools.

The inshore action, with dirty water all up and down the coast, has turned off. A few chulas (a white meat tuna with teeth) are showing up about a half mile off the beach, and are hitting trolled Rapalas.

Ed Kunze

The Mexican Government’s new legislation on long liners that will affect the Zihuatanejo fishery as well. For more info click on the link:

Water temperature 80 - 84
Air temperature 78-86
Humidity 77%
Wind: N 3 knots
Conditions: Clear
Visibility 5 miles
Sunrise 7:13 a.m. CDT
Sunset 8:13 p.m. CDT

Saturday, May 12, 2007

“Grande” Rooster Thrills…Disappoints

East Cape Beach produces quality jack for Lance Peterson
In the oddity department, an Oarfish was found, caught, captured? Near the beach at East Cape this week.

REPORT #1062 “Below the Border” Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996 Endless Season Update May 12, 2007

East Cape

While the roosters were not exactly numerous close to the beach there were a few quality shots and patience on the hunt finally paid off Friday when a true "Grande" roosterfish came in from the deep water. After chasing a fly in classic fashion, the rooster with its comb fully extended, tracked the fly for a short distance and then devoured it. A brand new fly on a razor sharp hook wasn't enough to keep the fish hooked up and the fish came unbuttoned after a short fight. Those big ones are really tough to get a good hook set into. After all the hard work, it was brutally tough to see a "Grande" swim away. But that's roosterfishing...the high's are high and the lows are low. Next time!At least the jack crevalle were kind enough to eat flies with some frequency and take some of the sting out of big rooster loss. Early in the week, Lance battled with one of his best jacks ever. When those fish get over 20lb they are a force to be reckoned with. The panga fleet had some great days on roosters to 10lb's just off the beach. Lance, fishing with Brad Ellis on his panga, “Macaira”, had some great action teasing roosterfish with live bait. In just a couple of hours they had lots of chances and Brad hooked 3 nice Pez Gallo on the new fly.Dorado action was great for the few lucky ones who stumbled on the right school. For others, it was a single here and there. Yellowfin action disappeared when the Mexican seiners, led by a helicopter overhead, wiped out the school. However, by the end of the week the Seiners had been run off by the government and the YFT action picked back up. While there are plenty of billfish to look at, getting them to bite is the tough part.
  • Water temperature 65-74
  • Air temperature 75-87
  • Humidity 77%Wind: ENE 2-3 knots
  • Conditions: Partly Cloudy
  • Visibility 5 miles
  • Sunrise 7:15 a.m. MDT
  • Sunset 8:19 p.m. MDT

Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico

The weather and Estero fishing both improved late in the week. The spotted bay bass, halibut and grouper finally decided to bite along with a few corvina. Out at the entrada the small yellows, along with schools of bonito, continued to put on a show, chasing bait on the surface. Down lower in the water column a few decent sized grouper were also willing to bite a slow-retrieved chartreuse Baja Deepdiver.
Out at the Entrada, the big swells, pushed by the wind, made it difficult to get under the bird schools feeding on the sardines that were chased to the surface by firecracker yellows and small bonito.
Offshore, strong winds and big swells prevented many boats from getting outside the Entrada.

  • Water temperature 65 - 72
  • Air temperature 67 -89
  • Humidity 61 %
  • Wind: NW 12 - 20 knots
  • Conditions: Sunny
  • Visibility 13 miles
  • Sunrise 6:44 a.m. MDT
  • Sunset 8:02 p.m. MDT

Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico

After this last week's short down-turn from the effect of the full moon, the fishing for all species has been turning on again. Last week's 114 boat annual sailfish tournament (the 40th) also hurt the fishing early in the week. There were just too many boats out there pounding the water. But, sailfish averages are again close to 6 to 8 strikes a day, one boat in three is getting a shot at a blue marlin, a few dorado are being taken, and the yellowfin tuna are at the thirty mile mark. Plus, the roosterfish are starting to show on the beaches. In fact, this last Wednesday they really put on a great show down at Puerto Vicente Gro. Fly fishing client, Jim (Doc) Coulthurst of Portland, OR, fished with Cali and me in one of the three pangas set up for sport fishing in the Port (meaning it has a shade cover).Doc is an experienced guide in the Northwest states, but this was his first time for roosters. By 11:00, we had raised 20 roosters on a hookless popper, giving Doc five legitimate shots with the fly. He hooked two, but was only able to get one to the boat for photos. The roosters were all on the small side, averaging between 12 and 25 pounds. The big boys should follow in a couple of weeks. Doc finished up the day catching several black skipjack tuna. At times there were so many tuna breaking the water, it sounded like a rainstorm. With acres of fish on the surface, it was almost a fish a cast. Even Cali got into the action. With his first time ever at casting a fly rod, he managed to land several skipjack from the bow. He even talked about it with the other captains at the municipal pier in Zihuatanejo. He is hooked! Ed Kunze

  • Water temperature 80 - 84
  • Air temperature 78-99
  • Humidity 77%
  • Wind: Calm Conditions:
  • Mostly Sunny
  • Visibility 5 miles
  • Sunrise 7:15 a.m. CDT
  • Sunset 8:10 p.m. CDT

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Jacks Are No Joke

REPORT #1061 “Below the Border” Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996
Endless Season Update May 5, 2007

East Cape

This week started out with a great day on the water with Mike Vogel, Thornton, CO. We fished inshore on the panga “Victoria” with Capt. Victor Garciglia, Jr. Early in the day, we found great action on smaller roosters at Punta Colorada.
Working our way north, we noticed a large number of frigate birds swirling and diving near La Ribera. It didn't take long for the teaser baits to be attacked by large black skipjack and bruiser jack crevalle in the 14 to 20lb. class.
An all out feeding frenzy ensued and when the day came to a close, Mike had boated 2 big jacks and 2 hefty black skipjack along with a number of other close encounters and "long line releases". The hard pulling jacks took their toll on Mike’s equipment. His new Sage 10wt gave in under the pressure and broke right above the cork! Just goes to show you...those jacks are no joke!
Offshore fishing has been good this week as well. The yellowfin tuna have made an appearance in the porpoise schools and there have been plenty of white flags flyin'.
The marlin action has continued to be great as well. The bite is close, too...just 8 to 15 miles off of La Ribera produced some great billfish action. The marlin have been chasing lures in a big way making for excellent opportunities for those willing to tackle them with a fly rod.
The spring season is in full swing here at East Cape and with the water warming up every day, it can only get better.
Water temperature
Air temperature
ENE 2-3 knots
Mostly Cloudy
20 miles
6:42 a.m. MDT
7:49 p.m. MDT

Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico

Wind and grumpy seas kept most of the fleet close to home this week.

In the bay up above Lopez Mateos the grouper action was excellent along with the ever present spotted bay bass. On the surface the corvina put on a show chasing almost any popper that hit the water. Once the wind settles down and it warms up a tad, the action should improve.

Out at the Entrada, the big swell pushed by the wind made it difficult to get under the bird schools feeding on the sardines being chased to the surface by firecracker yellows and small bonito.

Water temperature
65 - 72
Air temperature
62 -87
44 %
WNW 14-19 knots
Mostly Cloudy
5 miles
6:48 a.m. MDT
7:58 p.m. MDT

Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico

The fishing has been fantastic this last week, and thank goodness for the full moon, which should slow the action down a bit. It has already moved the blue water to out beyond the 25 mile mark.

Today (Friday) was the first day of the annual sailfish tournament. The winners are determined by the largest three sailfish, the largest single marlin, and largest single dorado. They are all killed to determine the weights. Some day the Mexican fisherman must wake up to reality.

There are 127 boats this year, and they averaged about two sailfish a day....killed.
Plus, there are two more days of the tournament left.

The largest sail weighed today (dead of course) was only 81 pounds. The largest blue marlin was only 264 pounds (and again it was dead).

Santiago told me his brother on the Gitana II caught 5 sailfish in this first day of the tournament, but were all small, and were tagged and released.

Adolpho, on the panga, Dos Hermanos, told me he did not get any roosters this week, but did manage several jack crevalle.

Cali and I fished with fly fishing client, P.J. D' Amico of the Denver area in Puerto Vicente Gro. He had great luck on the fly with several black skip jack tuna and jack crevalle to about 6 pounds.
Ed Kunze
Water temperature
80 - 84
Air temperature
S 10 knts
11 miles
7:18 a.m. CDT
8:07 p.m. CDT