Monday, December 28, 2009

2009, 'A Final...Final'

Endless Season Update 12/27/2009
REPORT #1195 "Below the Border" Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996

East Cape

Jennifer Medrano and Jonathan Medrano take time out from their Honeymoon for a beach catch.

Fewer visitors and more fish seemed to be the mantra for 2009. While locals debated whether or not the lack of fishermen helped improve the fishing, the smart ones took advantage of the bite when it occurred. The reward was a swordfish for a few as well as one of the largest blues caught in quite a few years in July, plus the dorado and football tuna became commonplace, filling limits daily.

Then the better grade of tuna arrived...the 'tackle-busting kind' that had Captains and deckhands searching their respective storage areas for their heavy tackle. First large fish weighing in the double-digit range, and then the real tackle busting triple-digit ones. For some reason the usually ever-present Mexican tuna seiners never appeared. From Isla Cerralvo to Baja's tip the mayhem continued, remarkably all the way into December.

While all the offshore action drew the attention of most, for the few willing to brave the heat and hot sand, the beach delivered some one-two punches of its own with trophy sized jacks and some memorable roosters.

Now in late December you would assume that most of the attention would be directed to celebrating the holidays. Not exactly! Lance Peterson couldn't resist the great weather and while prowling a deserted beach he found a nice sized rooster to cap off 2009.

With 2010 just around the corner, the anticipation of what will happen in Baja's New Year is exciting.

Current East Cape Weather

Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico

While the fall season didn't produce the expected number of billfish, Magdalena's multi- dimensional fishery provided plenty of other species and many memorable highlights. Wahoo action was the best it has been in quite some time. Getting them to bite was the easy part ...keeping them away from the fur coats was another matter. Notwithstanding there were some spectacular catches by the local fleet as well as the visiting sports, yachts and trailer boats. One monster was reported weighing just over 100 pounds.

Tuna, dorado and yellowtail came to the party early and stayed late providing easy limits from early in the summer all the way until mid-December.

The esteros lived up to their 'fishy' reputation. Don’t confuse ‘fishy’ with easy. The spotted bay bass, grouper, corvina, sierra, jacks, mangrove snapper, pargo, pompano, halibut and snook were plentiful and there were trophy fish to be caught. Perhaps earned is a better way of putting it.

This combination of tough and strong fish in an hostile environment demands all the skill that an angler can gather. For those who met the challenge the rewards were some trophy sized catches.
As preparations for whale watching season continues, we are all looking forward to 2010. I'll leave the predications to the experts but after several decades of fishing in and around Magdalena Bay, I can promise it may be unexpected but remarkable..

Current Magdalena Bay Weather

Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico

2009 was the best year we have ever experienced for fishing for roosters on the fly here in Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. Of course, having Cheva and Adolfo, two of the best roosterfish captains in Mexico, certainly helps.

There were days we raised as many as 40 roosters and 30 jack crevalle on hookless teasers. And these fish are huge...averaging 30 pounds.

Sara Henry of British Columbia got one pending line class World Record and several other records almost fell. We are really looking forward to the 2010 season......…Ed Kunze
Current Zihuatanejo Weather

Cabo San Lucas

The predictions of an El Nino year are thus far supported by the unusually warmer sea temperatures and the recent catches of blue marlin, including an 800 pounder. The bite on the striped marlin has been sporadic with little spurts of action from time to time. Private boats willing to travel 80+ miles up the coast on the Pacific side have found large schools of billfish, but these fish have not yet made it into our area. The striped marlin we are getting have been found off of the lighthouse on the Pacific and just offshore of Los Arcos, both areas where bait is concentrated by the currents.

The smaller variety of yellowfin tuna were moving around very rapidly; one day they could be found off of the Golden Gate Bank, the next day they would be absent there but were found 12 miles south of the Cape. With the fish moving around so quickly the action was not consistent, but if you were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time the action was good on fish that ranged in size from 10 to 30 pounds.

Dorado are being caught on almost every boat that fished this week, and those that managed to find something floating in the water managed to limit out. Most of the action was still close to the shore on the Pacific side in the warmer water.

Sierra that were averaging 6 pounds with an occasional 8 or 10-pound fish were the mainstay along with roosterfish that averaged 5 pounds with an occasional fish to 30 pounds. Some scattered bottom fish were found as well. ...George and Mary Landrum

Current Cabo Weather

Sunday, December 20, 2009

One Angler’s Sportfish is another's Carp!

Endless Season Update 12/20/2009
REPORT #1194 "Below the Border" Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996

East Cape

Big schools of feeders, and frigates on meatballs of mackerel and sardines down below Punta Tosca on the Finger Bank.

Preparations for Christmas have sprung to the forefront as the north wind blew relentlessly this week. The hot bite down at the Gordo Bank seems to have slowed, and there are few takers for the long ride down and back.

Best bet are the sierra close to the beach. Since the wind has blown more than the usual few days before backing off, everyone is hoping that Santa delivers a few calm days for Christmas.

Odds are the dorado, tuna and billfish are still lurking out there; it just needs to flatten out enough for anyone to care.

Current East Cape Weather

Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico

Thetis bank is still kicking out some wahoo for the few local boats making the run. Dorado and tuna strung out along the way. The big marlin bite that everyone was looking for last month is happening down below Punta Tosca on the Finger Bank.

Big schools of tailers, feeders, and frigates on meatballs of mackerel and sardines were reported.

Not many yachts there but the long-range boats finally drove away in disgust. They are more interested in cow sized tuna than double-digit marlin catches…one angler’s sport fish is another's angler’s carp!

Estero action fishing this week remained about the same but with fewer anglers. The few that were fishing had catches of pargo, golden jacks, a few grouper and snook.
This is the time of year that attention turns to the migrating whales that should be arriving in numbers sometime in the next few weeks....Bob Hoyt

Current Magdalena Bay Weather

Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico

The 82° blue water has moved off the beach to the 9-mile mark. The fishing action for sailfish and dorado has also moved out a little farther, with most fish being reported to be between the 12- to 15-mile mark.

Here is a report from Flip Himmelreich of Spokane, Washington who each year holds a small mini-tournament among friends fishing from pangas:
“Thought I would tell you how we did last week.
Five boats/ten fishermen caught 35 sails and 8 dorado in the 2-day tournament. All sails were released, except three that died, and all dodo’s were consumed “con mucho gusto” at Lety’s and Chendo’s.

On the next day, I went out with Chago and teased some sailfish up with lures, then tossed a bait on light tackle to them. We raised five and I was able to hook four and land three. WHAT A BLAST!!!! Next time I’ll try the “fly” thing”.
Hugh ‘Flip’ Himmelreich

Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, reports a lot of roosters and jack cravelle up North at the Barra Union area.....…Ed Kunze

Current Zihuatanejo Weather

Cabo San Lucas

With the water temperature staying fairly warm, we've had clients on two trips hook into blue marlin. Also, there are still sailfish around. The big news though is the striped marlin bite. It has started again and is happening close to home. Most of the action is taking place off of the Lighthouse and up to the north to Los Arcos, close to the beach where the bait is stacked up, and there are reports of them showing up in small numbers at the Golden Gate Bank. Some of the better catches have been double digit numbers (the best I heard of was 19 in a day) but any boat that has gone out marlin fishing has been coming in with at least two flags flying.

Dorado remained a staple for most, as they were fairly easy to find and close to home. They were scattered over the area with even numbers found on both the Pacific and the Cortez side of the Cape.

Sierra inshore are averaging six pounds with an occasional eight- or ten-pound fish; roosterfish averaged five pounds with an occasional fish to 30 pounds and some scattered bottom fish are being caught as well...George and Mary Landrum

Current Cabo Weather

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stretching the Season

In spite of the north wind, the hard core fishermen continue to stretch the season out a bit farther.

Making the long run down to Gordo Bank has definitely done just that. The big tuna, as well as the more manageable smaller ones, continue to bite. Even the billfish and wahoo are biting well.

It is a good thing something is biting because the ride back uphill to East Cape is not pleasant.

Closer to home, it's an early morning gig. Get out as early as possible, catch a few sierra and whatever else that bites and haul-tail back before the wind picks up.

Same deal for fishing from the beach...if you get up early and hear the waves crashing, it might be a good day to break out the blender for margaritas.

Current East Cape Weather

Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico

Better late than never...the striped marlin are beginning to trickle into the neighborhood. Several boats have reported catching a few near Thetis Bank. Now that the weather is cooperating, more boats have been getting outside where they are finding wahoo, dorado and lots of smaller tuna.

There's much less pressure in the Esteros this week as the attention turns to offshore. The few boats that did fish inside caught pargo, golden jacks, a few grouper and snook....Bob Hoyt

Current Magdalena Bay Weather

Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico

The 80° blue water is still close to the beach, and action has not let up. Each boat is raising an average of six to eight sailfish a day and actually catching three to four. Plus, every boat is also getting a nice dorado or two.

Adolfo, on the panga, Dos Hermanos, had an excellent day with his fly fishing client. They raised eight sailfish, hooked and released three.

The inshore has slowed down a bit for the local roosters, with none of the boats traveling any distance to find them. Cheva, on the panga, Dos Hermanos II, fished the local waters, getting a small rooster and a whole bunch of jack crevalle, enough that the clients were worn out....…Ed Kunze

Current Zihuatanejo Weather

Cabo San Lucas

No blue or black marlin being caught now even though the water temperature is fine for them. The high catch rate per trip for striped marlin are three per boat with the average probably less than one release per boat. There have been some very small fish in the releases...some of them as small as 15 pounds, but the average seems to be staying around the 100 to 110 pound mark. An occasional fish is in the 160 pound range.

It's still slow for yellowfin with a few fish being found on the Golden Gate Bank every few days as well as off of Palmilla on the Cortez side.

The water temperature across the area warmed back up and the dorado have remained in the area, but the bite has been slower than it was last month. Boats are averaging four to eight fish per trip with an occasional limit load. The fish were spread across the area but the best results seemed to be close to the shoreline and close to Cabo.

There's still an occasional wahoo bite, but not nearly the numbers we were seeing during the full moon phase. Once again the shallower waters near steep drops and around rocky points supplied what little action there was.

Inshore has been a decent mix of sierra, small roosterfish and dorado. Most of the activity has been taking place on the Pacific side of the Cape, and you did not have to go very far to get into the action...…George and Mary Landrum

Current Cabo Weather

Monday, December 07, 2009

Cabo Billfish Explode

We had a great trip to Mag Bay......Bob Hoyt helped with a place to park our Chinook ..and advice you know the Marlin didn't show while we were plan B was in the mangroves...........we did get outside in our (Baja only)18 ft alum boat for lots of tuna and Dorado!...but.....the most fun was fishing inside, with live mullet..we learned a lot ...............the grouper fishing was awesome........I'm cooking some right now..for dinner .............. we also got Halibut when we went to Campo Rene in Punta Abreojos...among other species. had a great trip overall and as usual, we can't wait to go back!

Best Regards,
Craig and Jilly Cove Boat ( First Light) So Cal
Endless Season Update 12/5/2009
REPORT #1192 "Below the Border" Saltwater Fly-Fishing reports since 1996
East Cape

It has been mostly quiet this week with increasing clouds and wind. Weather reports are calling for light winds next week which should be good news for the few visitors and locals. The smorgasbord of choices remains!

Yellowfin tuna out in front of La Ribera...nothing huge but large enough to bend your stick. Dorado and billfish are becoming more elusive, or maybe it's just that fewer and fewer boats are willing to go prospecting.

Wind or not, the sierra bite continues producing limits for most. Beach action is completely dependent on the wind velocity. The wind waves caused by the wind can shut the action down quickly.

Current East Cape Weather

Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico

Offshore action may be good but rough conditions convincing all but the most hard-core anglers to look to the Esteros for most of their action. The one day the Temming's group did get out they found tuna, dorado and wahoo.

The nice thing about fishing Magdalena Bay is that even when the weather gets weird the Esteros are nice insurance. Fishing with flies, the Temming's party landed pargo, snook, golden jack and even a few 'skinn'y halibut. I went out with them one day and I might be hooked on fly myself! ...Bob Hoyt

Current Magdalena Bay Weather

Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico

The 85° blue water is still with us on the beach. I can't remember a time when it has stayed so close for so long. Normally it is within two miles for only a couple of weeks, then moves out to six to ten miles. But, it has been near the beach for almost two months now.

And, the game fish are here. The best action for sailfish and dorado is the area about four miles off the beach. The boats are each averaging two to three sailfish and a couple of nice sized dorado each day.

The outstanding roosterfish action is still holding up inshore, as well as the mid-sized jack crevalle and sierras. Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, released six nice roosters to 55 pounds for his clients while fishing along the beach in the Pantla area.

A couple of days earlier, John Thodos of Illinois and I fly fished with Adolfo up near the Ranch. John had an estimated 75-pound rooster completely inhale the fly, and swim about 15 feet back towards the boat, putting a large belly which in the fly line. John couldn't catch up to get a tight line, and the huge rooster spit the fly about ten feet off the stern...…Ed Kunze

Current Zihuatanejo Weather

Cabo San Lucas

On Sunday the 6th as the boats started coming in there were blue marlin flags flying everywhere. Mid-morning the bite on Striped Marlin had busted wide open on the ledge at the lighthouse and boats were releasing between two (for the slow boats) and 17 (high flag boat) marlin, best of all, there were only 30 boats in the area at the time. Hopefully the bite will continue. The bait was stacked up and the fish were feeding hard on a mix if Mackerel and large Sardinas, but boats using Caballito as bait got bit as well.))

The high note of the fishing week the capture (and non-release) of a blue marlin that weighed over 850 pounds. The fish was caught on the Pacific side just on the inside of the Golden Gate Bank within a mile of the beach. This area has been providing some action on fish to 400 pounds or so. The amount of bait in the form of young dorado kept these large fish in the area much longer than normal. When weighed, this marlin had two dorado in the 12-pound class in its stomach. There are plenty of striped marlin; however getting them to eat has been a problem. Many boats were seeing groups of a dozen or more feeding on bait balls off of the area known as Los Arcos and were able to get an occasional fish to bite. .

Once again the yellowfin action remained slow as the few fish that found on a regular basis seemed to have been fished so hard that it was difficult to get anything going.

The water continues to cool and the dorado bite continues to drop off. Boats were averaging 4 to 8 fish per trip with an occasional limit load. Most of the fish remained in the warmer water on the Pacific side and around the structure of the 95 spot on the Cortez side.

We continue to catch wahoo. While never a common fish in our area, the past couple of months have really been good. The fish have not been large, with an average weight of 20 pounds once again, but there have been many more than normal come in on the boats.

Inshore has been a decent mix of sierra, small roosterfish and dorado. Most of the activity has been taking place on the Pacific side of the Cape and you have not had to go very far to get into the action..…George and Mary Landrum

Current Cabo Weather