Fishing Report! 12-1-05
The fishing right now on Baja’s East Cape is nothing short of incredible. Usually, December is a peaceful month, with the resorts full of holiday travelers who are enjoying the relaxing tranquility of this region of Mexico, sipping cool drinks, soaking up the sun by the pool, or admiring the vistas of the Sea of Cortez. For many folks who visit in December, fishing is secondary to the overall experience.
This year, however, many folks are adding charter days to their vacations to take advantage of the “wide open” fishing. For those not in the know, WIDE OPEN refers to a scenario when the sportfishing simply can’t be any better. This is often the case on the East Cape, but typically not in December.
Currently, the dorado are so numerous it’s hard to fathom. Boats are getting shots at 30 or more fish in a single day. That’s THIRTY, folks. These mahi mahi are all over the size range, from little 10-15 pound “chickens” right up to bruiser 35-45 pound fish. And what excellent eating! Many anglers are practicing catch-and-release on the cows (females, easily identifiable by their sloped brow) and savoring some fillets from the bulls (males, featuring a squared-off head). Whether you’re enjoying some ceviche as an evening hors d’oeuvre, grilled mahi steaks, breaded fillets as an appetizer or main course (all prepared by the hotel chef just for you), or packing some meat in your coolers for the trip home, you simply can’t beat the dorado fishing right now on the East Cape. Indications point to these fish hanging around all winter, too, so these angling opportunities should sustain right through the upcoming months and into Spring.
Striped marlin remain very common. 2005 has been a fantastic year for the stripeys and now it seems even more fish are arriving. Stripers spawn in the Sea of Cortez in the Spring, when literally thousands of fish show up in February, March, April, and May, and this year it appears the fish are returning early. Typically, the stripeys drop off in size from 150-200 pounds down to 100-150 pounders (younger fish) that reside year-round in the area. In 2005, we saw a size drop-off in late summer, but now the bigger adult fish are returning already here in December. Between the huge numbers of dorado, plus aggressive striped marlin (4-8 shots per boat most days), it’s hard to keep a line in the water without hooking up! A few bonus sailfish also are showing up in catches. For both the dorado and the billfish, boats traveling north, east, and south are all contacting fish. Dropping a line in the water anywhere from 4-20 miles offshore does the trick. A combination of trolled lures, hootchies, and pitched live baits are the preferred tactics. Plenty of mackerel are available for bait each morning.
As if this wasn’t enough, a huge tuna school also is roaming the waters about 30 miles offshore. While the fish aren’t the typical summer run of huge yellowfin, incredible numbers of fish are biting, ranging in size from 10-40 pounds. Occasional 50-70 pounders are in the mix.
Inshore opportunities abound for sierra mackerel. Fish are numerous near Punta Colorada, La Rivera, and Punta Arena, biting on live bait as well as lures presented on wire leaders.
All in all, it’s a fine time to find yourself on Baja’s East Cape. With WIDE OPEN fishing right now, beautiful weather, and the excellent service at our hotels, come on down for a visit!
Fishing Report! 12-1-05
Just when we thought the fishing couldn’t be more fun, worthwhile, and consistent, the dorado have suddenly appeared! In an amazing turn of events, dorado are everywhere. The thing about pelagic species is, you never know when they are going to come and go, but 2005 has gone down in the books as one of the poorest dorado years on record. Granted, here on the East Cape we are spoiled by consistent, tremendous dorado fishing every year. We are blessed both by significant numbers of fish practically year-round, as well as excellent average size 30-50 pounds. Anglers travel here from the world over to experience our mahi-mahi. Yet, 2005 was “muy malo” (very bad), with few fish available, albeit the dorado caught were of good size. Thus far in 2005, a boat might expect to catch a dorado or two over several days of fishing, if lucky. This is compared to 5-10 shots PER DAY in a normal year.
Last week, the dorado arrived in huge numbers. Boats are contacting fish in all directions: to the north off Punta Pescadero, straight east within 6 miles of the resorts, near La Rivera, off Punta Arena, and to all points south. Fish are of a variety of sizes from 15-50 pounds. Many fish are being spotted on the surface and mates are either casting chunk squid bait (to the smaller dorado) or a live/dead mackerel (to bruiser bulls) to these fish. Mahi-mahi also are attacking lure spreads meant for striped marlin and sailfish. Captains/mates have changed tactics accordingly, with many running smaller lures in the spread–especially on the flat lines–to trigger strikes from dorado while still trolling the deep blue for billfish.
Overall striped marlin numbers remain consistent, with boats getting 2-6 shots per day along with a few sailfish mixed in. A few blue marlin are still showing up as well. No black marlin have been seen in the past two weeks.
Inshore angling opportunities are consistent. Sierra mackerel are available in good numbers from Rancho Leonero all the way around Punta Arena and south past Las Barracas. This puts fish within casting distance of anglers from Punta Colorada, and some sierra are being caught in front of the resort as well as from the charter boats. Plenty of snapper are mixed into the inshore catches as well, plus a few jack crevalle.
The weather is beautiful, with daytime temps in the mid-80’s, cooling to 70 at night. Sea of Cortez surface temps range from 72-80, depending on the currents. All in all, it’s a great time to find yourself relaxing on the East Cape!
Fishing Report! 11-15-05
One of the most consistent fishing years in recent memory continues. Striped marlin and sailfish are still leading the way with boats reporting 2-8 shots per day on average. One boat out of Palmas had a great day with eight striped marlin caught and released, plus a half-dozen yellowfin tuna 30-50 pounds. Striped marlin are being found just a few miles offshore, and boats heading north, east, and south all are finding fish. A combination of trolled lures and mackerel pitched to tailing fish are both producing strikes. Most of the stripers are in the 100-140 pound range. Sailfish catches are mixed in with the stripers, with fish around 100 pounds common. Some boats are encountering pods of sails further east, while searching for tuna schools 25-40 miles out.
Yellowfin tuna are on the small side, but consistent numbers of fish are being caught. 10-30 pound fish are numerous, and occasional bigger fish are also being caught. El Loco II, from Palmas de Cortez (captained by Julio Cota), won the Cabo tuna tournament last week with a 199.5 pound yellowfin caught on chunk squid near Los Frailes–a fishing area to the south of the East Cape hotels.
As for bait, in addition to the many large squid in the area that boats are catching first thing in the morning for bait, the bait skiffs are well-stocked with live mackerel for sale each morning at departure.
Dorado made a surprise appearance recently. This has been a very poor year for dorado, one of the worst on record. The waters of the East Cape usually are thriving with mahi-mahi, but they are unusually sparse in 2005. However, numbers of 10-20 pound dorado have suddenly appeared. Occasionally, boats are lucking into the odd big dorado around 40 pounds.
Blue marlin reappeared this week as well after an absence of about two weeks, albeit 40 miles out. Boats in search of tuna caught and released several large blues. Black marlin are absent.
Inshore, wahoo of nice size up to about 40 pounds are susceptible to trolled Marauders and Rapalas, while numerous pargo (snappers) can be caught shallow. Slightly cooler water has the sierra mackerel back in action close to shore; fly anglers had the most luck.
Great multi-species angling continues to be the story here on the East Cape!
Fishing Report! 10-25-05|
Striped marlin fishing success continues to lead the way and surprise anglers with its consistency on the East Cape. Boats are enjoying 2-6 shots per day, and although the fish are young adults averaging only 100-140 pounds, they are putting up excellent fights on light tackle with the recent drop in surface temperatures. A north wind for three days moved some cooler waters into the southern Sea of Cortez straight east of the resorts, dropping surface temps from their summer highs of 90 degrees to closer to 80 degrees. With the increased dissolved oxygen in the cooler water, the stripers fight hard. Boats are contacting fish to the North, 4-15 miles out from Punta Pescadero, straight east at 11-18 miles, and south off Punta Arena and Cabo Pulmo at 4-10 miles out.
Yellowfin tuna are available in strong numbers, close to shore near Cabo Pulmo, although the fish are running small at 10-30 pounds. Occasional tuna 30-50 pounds are mixed in. A week ago, boats venturing out 25-40 miles contacted tuna schools with bigger fish. One boat brought in a monster 220-pound yellowfin last week.
Boats trolling Marauders and Rapalas are encountering decent wahoo fishing to the South. Several 40-pound wahoo topped the bragging rights, although most fish are averaging 20-25 pounds.
Dorado fishing, unfortunately, has returned to the ongoing slow pattern that has prevailed for most of the 2005 season. A good run of fish that started in early September and continued through most of the month has tapered off, and even though some 10-20 pound mahi mahi are being caught close to shore along with the tuna–and occasionally offshore by marlin trollers–the overall fishing for dorado remains inconsistent.
Inshore anglers are focusing on pargo and other snapper species that are available in huge numbers right now. One father/son staying at Hotel Palmas de Cortez last week capped off each fishing day out on the boat by strolling down the beach with spinning gear to catch a dozen pargo every afternoon during their stay. They had quite a cooler of fish fillets!
Hoards of mackerel are available for live and dead bait presentations. Striped marlin are attacking lure spreads and biting on artificials but many also are being caught via live bait pitched into the spread when the marlin come up for a look. Numerous tailing fish spotted roaming on the surface also are beeing triggered by pitched baits. Occasional sailfish are showing up, many around 100 pounds in size, adding to the excellent mixed bag available in the waters off the East Cape right now. Blue marlin have been rare for the past two weeks. Many boats are angling for squid at dawn, catching some four-foot brutes that put up a nice tussle from deep water to start the fishing day. Tuna anglers are chunking the squid for bait, necessitated by the current absence of sardines in the area.
With beautiful weather in the 70’s at night and mid-90’s with moderate humidity during the days, it’s a wonderful time to visit Baja’s East Cape. The fishing is very good, the swimming pools are magnificent, and the cocktails are cold! Everyone is excited about the upcoming November fishing opportunities.
Fishing Report! 10-6-05
After a short hiatus, the fishing reports are back. The East Cape Resorts took a brief hiatus from the fishing, as well, as a precautionary move against the approaching Hurricane Otis last week. In general, tropical storms and hurricanes reach the Baja Peninsula only infrequently (1-2 storms every couple of years), and up until last week, the Cape was storm-free for the entire year. A Category 3 storm, Otis was not a severe threat to begin with, but a northeasterly storm track suddenly veered east, so we pulled the entire resort fleet out of the water to be safe. This process only takes about 8 hours (for the 80-boat fleet). Otis then turned back North and the eye passed some 600 miles to the North, and the only effect from the storm were some insignificant winds, brief stormy seas, and some much-needed rain. In three days it was business as usual on the Cape.
Fishing has been excellent leading up to the storm, and often, post-storm fishing is even better as the storm tracks seem to “blow in” even more fish from the Pacific. Evidence of this can be seen in the suddenly superb dorado bite. After an unusually poor year for dorado, in which few fish have been caught (although of nice size), now dorado are everywhere. Although many of the fish are 15-20 pounders (and much welcomed table fare!), some fish up to 40 pounds also are showing up in catches.
Yellowfin tuna have been excellent as well. The fish are close, with some schools only a few miles offshore, with numerous tuna 10-30 pounds and some fish in the 40-50 pound range. Fish are biting on a combination of live bait and trolled lures (hootchies and feathers).
Live bait available include numerous pods of squid, some mackerel and caballitos, as well as some sardines.
Striped marlin continue their summer-long lead in the billfish catches. Fish are being contacted on both trolled lures, and caught with bait/switch techniques, to the north off Punta Pescadero, straight east, and numerous points to the South as well. Sailfish also are common, especially north. Blue marlin have tapered somewhat in the past few weeks, but still are available.
Lastly, good wahoo fishing can be found using trolled Rapalas and Marauders about 20 miles south of the resorts, close to shore (in the area commonly known as Las Destiladeras).
Fishing Report! 9-7-05
Angling opportunities for various billfish species–including sailfish, blue marlin, and striped marlin–remain very consistent. There are plenty of sails and stripers around, and blue marlin are more numerous than most years, based on catch rates. Around 50 hookups and releases a week for blues are very solid numbers, not counting the numbers of fish that strike and miss the hooks, or shake the hooks during the fight. Blue marlin put a notorious strain on fishing tackle, so the number of missed fish is easily double the 50+ catch/releases per week. Striped marlin continue their great showing this year, and the sailfish are as consistent as always.
Yellowfin tuna are available in huge numbers. In recent days, the fish are averaging excellent size, with many 40-50 pound fish being caught. A 250-pound monster yellowfin was brought to the scales last week. Numerous tuna 100-pounds-plus are being hooked as well. A combination of live bait (sardines), and trolled feathers, hootchies, and cedar plugs, are taking the fish.
Much of the fishing for billfish and tuna is being done very close right now, within 6-15 miles of shore. A lot of tuna are just a few miles offshore, including around La Rivera and Punta Arena, and most marlin catches seem to be coming from the “88” Reef (Ocho-Ocho) and the adjacent waters of Punta Pescadero and Isla Cerralvo.
Dorado fishing remains very slow for the summer. The fish simply are not numerous as per usual. However, boats are encountering fish daily, typically 35-50 pound brutes. Very nice quality mahimahi indeed, just not in the schooling numbers typical for the East Cape. As prolific as this species is, they are sure to return in big numbers at some point.
Inshore, the roosterfish have pulled their annual vanishing act. Big amberjack are being taken on sardines in shallow water as a nice alternative.
Surface water temperatures are hovering around 88 degrees.
Come experience the beauty of the Baja Peninsula and great fishing on the East Cape!
Fishing Report! 8/17/05
The fishing on the East Cape continues to be excellent and consistent. Billfish are available in good numbers, with striped marlin still the most common species around. Warmer water temperatures, now between 83-90 degrees, usually push the stripers out, but this year they are hanging around and are susceptible to both trolled lures and live bait presentations. Some mackerel are still being caught for bait, but caballitos and ballyhoo are more prevalent. Sardines also are available for bait, for tuna and dorado. Sailfish are numerous, and catch rates would have been higher in the past week except for tournament anglers trying for blue marlin who were pulling lures away from the pestering sails. Talk about spoiled! Blue marlin fishing also is very good, with about 30 fish being caught (and virtually all released) per week right now. A few black marlin are in the Sea of Cortez near the East Cape as well. Anglers choosing to slow-troll live yellowfin tuna or skipjacks are targeting the big blues and blacks. Patience is the key, but some big fish are showing up in catches.
Yellowfin tuna are numerous, with the big schools and the bigger tuna hanging with the porpoises 35-40 miles out. Some “football” tuna can be found close to shore. Boats making the long run to the big tuna are scoring well with fish between 20-100 pounds.
The dorado bite is slow. Not many mahis are in the area, but the ones being caught are of excellent size. Most of the dorado are bulls averaging around 40 pounds, with a few 50-pound plus fish also being hooked. Other pelagics like wahoo are similarly infrequent but available.
Few boats are fishing inshore, but those that are enjoy good success for roosterfish, pargo (snappers), and jacks.
One of the best fishing years in recent memory continues on the East Cape. Are you planning your vacation to this beautiful region soon?
Fishing Report! 8/2/05
The fishing along Baja’s East Cape is nothing short of incredible right now. The consistent striped marlin bites continues, although catch rates are down just a little bit compared to a few weeks ago. It may be that just as many stripers are around, but most boats aren’t spending too much time trolling for billfish because of the huge numbers of yellowfin tuna in the vicinity.
The tuna schools are 25-40 miles out, and are biting on a combination of trolled cedar plugs, hootchies, and small skirted lures, as well as on live bait. Fish are running from football size to over 100 pounds, with the occasional 150#+ bruiser mixed in. Most boats fishing tuna are limiting out. Occasional marlin and sailfish are being picked up on the edges of the tuna/porpoise schools.
The blue marlin catch rate has skyrocketed. Just a few weeks ago, fish were showing up periodically in catches, but in the past week alone 30 blues were caught. Thankfully, most fish were released. Unfortunately, a 400+, 500+, and whopping 616-pounder were brought to shore. Impressive fish, no doubt, and better if they were still swimming. All of these big blues are females in their prime reproductive years. Snap some photos in the water and let ’em live! Our captains enjoy practicing catch-and-release for billfish unless their charter strongly encourages otherwise.
Dorado are uncharacteristically spotty. Some fish are available, and they are the big bulls from 40-60 pounds–awesome dorado for sure, but the numbers of fish just aren’t around this year. Of course, they could start appearing at any time. Water temps from 78-85 degrees should have all gamefish on a tear in this region of the Sea of Cortez!
Few boats are targeting inshore species, but a few roosterfish, pompano, and jacks are showing up from La Rivera south to Los Frailes. A few wahoo are also close to shore, even further south.
Marlin are being contacted in all directions out from the resorts.
As we enter the hottest months of the year–August and September–the fishing should continue in spectacular fashion. And barring any tropical storm activity, this awesome fishing year should continue right to the end! Book early for September, November, and December. For the month of October, all three hotels are virtually sold out.
2005 may turn out to be a year for the record books!
Fishing Report! 7/19/05
Baja’s East Cape is in the midst of one of the strongest and most consistent striped marlin bites in years. The fish are everywhere; anglers are encountering fish to the North around Punta Pescadero all the way up to Cerralvo Island, straight east, from a few miles offshore all the way out to the tuna schools, and to the South near La Rivera, Punta Arena, and down past Los Frailes. A combination of trolled lures, bait-and-switch tactics, and sight fishing “tailers” all are producing strikes.
The sailfish have started showing up more regularly now with the warm surface temps (water ranges from 78-86 degrees depending on which area you find yourself fishing). Additionally, several blue marlin have been caught in the past week. The numbers aren’t strong, but the fish are available.
Dorado have been unusually slow this summer thus far. This prolific gamefish usually appears in super numbers along the Cape all year, and fish certainly are being caught, just not by the boatload. The bonus is, hookups are averaging 35-40 pounds, with some bruisers topping 50# this week. These big bulls are tremendous fighters and, of course, excellent table fare.
Yellowfin tuna have arrived in huge numbers. Most boats targeting tuna are limiting out, and although many fish are football size, some larger specimens in the 40-60# class also are being caught. As the frenzy continues into August, those 100-200 pounders should start popping up in catch rates also. Although some smaller tuna schools are close in, the biggest numbers are showing up 25-35 miles out from the resorts.
A few roosterfish are being caught in the surf near Punta Arena, and other inshore species like snapper, jacks, and sierra are readily available.
Summer’s in full swing here on Baja’s East Cape!
Fishing Report! 6/30/05
After a stretch of cooler than normal water temperatures (in the low- to mid-70’s), 80 degree water has arrived in the Sea of Cortez, and with it comes the arrival of the yellowfin tuna schools. 23 miles out, resort boats are finding huge pods of porpoises and tuna, with many fish running between 40-80 pounds, with occasional bruisers over 100 pounds mixed in. Fish are taking trolled cedar plugs, hootchies, and marlin lures, as well as live bait.
The striped marlin fishing this spring and summer has been one of the best in recent years. With the stripeys preferring mid-70 degree water, the fish have been hanging around in big numbers for much longer than normal. Unusual this year are the numbers of small (juvenile) striped marlin being caught right along with the adult fish that range from 100-200 pounds. Virtually all Baja stripers weighing over 140 pounds are females that come to the area to spawn, while the adult males are 100-150 pounds typically. For the past few weeks, anglers have also been hooking numbers of striped marlin from 40-80 pounds–the young fish.
Fisheries biologists provided Hotel Palmas de Cortez with nine “pop-up” satellite fish tags that were implanted in young striped marlin over the past two weeks. The tags were targeted specifically for the juvenile marlin, averaging about 60 pounds across the nine fish that were caught, tagged, and released. Currently, striped marlin are being tagged in a number of sportfishing locations around Mexico, as well as in some other Pacific Ocean locales. The purpose of the wide-ranging study is to better understand marlin migration and reproduction patterns. Because so many striped marlin spawn on Baja’s East Cape, the area is an ideal spot to study.
Since billfish are a fragile part of the marine ecosystem and an apex predator, anglers are encouraged to release all marlin caught in the Sea of Cortez. Prolific spawners such as tuna, dorado, and wahoo are available in large numbers for anglers wishing to harvest fish.
Numbers of blue marlin have started to show up along with the tuna and the warmer water in the past week. An estimated 600# blue was caught and released, in addition to other smaller blues from 200-400 pounds.
Fishing Report! 6/17/05
Striped marlin are numerous in the Sea of Cortez. Boats are getting multiple shots at marlin each day. A few sailfish are mixed in with the Stripers. As an added bonus, some swordfish are being caught. Four swords have been hooked in the past week. Occasional blue marlin are showing up.
Dorado are less numerous than normal for the month of June, but some nice fish up to 40 pounds have been caught. Dorado catches are occurring right with the marlin up and down the East Cape.
Yellowfin tuna are schooled with the porpoises about 40 miles out from the resorts. Although many tuna being caught are football size, some nice Yellowfin in the 40 to 60 pound class are also showing up.
Roosterfish and other inshore species, like Sierra Mackerel and Pargo can be found close to shore, however most boats are targeting the plentiful marlin.
Fishing Report! 5/25/05
The billfish bite continues to be superb on the East Cape! Numbers of striped marlin are being caught, in fishing grounds both to the north and to the south of the resorts. Although some striped marlin and sailfish are biting trolled lures over deep water straight east, more fish are relating to the current upwellings and huge schools of baitfish near reefs and seamounts closer to shore. Multiple hookups for striped marlin are occurring.
The blue marlin have made an appearance in the area. Several fish approaching 300 pounds have been caught and released in the past week. The ample baitfish and vigorous currents along the stretch from Punta Arena south to Los Frailes is producing most of the blue marlin action.
Dorado remain spotty, but the fish being caught are of size. Several 40-pound plus fish have come in during the past few days. Likewise for the tuna, with so much billfish action near shore and close to the resorts, few boats have ventured out far in search of tuna.
80 degree surface temperatures in the Sea of Cortez are bringing in more fish from the Pacific every day.
Roosterfish are not numerous, but can be found along the surf near Punta Colorada, as well as south close to Las Barracas. Various other inshore species such as sierra mackerel, snapper, and jack crevalle, are also available. Schools of jack crevalle also are being seen offshore herding bait schools and churning the water in the process.
The main ingredient right now are the billfish. Some amazing marlin fishing is going on right now on the East Cape. Be sure to catch and release ALL billfish–they are a precious resource!
Fishing Report! 5/16/05
The fishing–especially for striped marlin–is nothing short of spectacular here on the East Cape. Boats are finding schools of marlin feeding on mackerel bait balls, and pitching live bait into the frenzy to hook up. Although the intensity of the bite varies from day to day, most days anglers are enjoying multiple hookups for the stripeys. In the past few days, boats that find the bait schools and the nearby marlin are catching and releasing 4-8 fish per boat.
Multiple areas are producing fish. Just a mile offshore to the north, near Punta Perico, a huge school of striped marlin was feeding for several days nonstop. Similar success was encountered out from Punta Pescadero, just 8 miles from Playa del Sol and Palmas de Cortez. Similarly to the south, where giant bait balls of mackerel are attracting feeding marlin north of the Gordo Banks. About 40 boats were working the schools, with half the boats hooked up simultaneously–some with 2 and 3 marlin per boat at the same time!
Dorado are spotty. When boats are trolling, a few dorado are showing up in catches, and the fish are of excellent size–usually 35 pounds plus. Several dorado over 50 pounds have been caught in the last week. The reduced dorado catch is due in part to the fact that most boats are pitching baits to marlin schools instead of trolling.
With so much action elsewhere, tuna have not been located in numbers. One boat found a school 50+ miles out a few days ago, but the fish were small.
A 594-pound blue marlin was caught last week, the first of the spring season to show up on the East Cape.
A few roosterfish and sierra mackerel are near Punta Colorado and Punta Arena.
Fishing Report! 4/30/05
The spring billfish bite is in fulll swing here on Baja’s East Cape. Boats from Punta Colorada, Playa del Sol, and Palmas de Cortez are averaging 4-5 billfish per day. A combination of striped marlin and sailfish are being caught. The stripers are running big–with a 140# average–and the sailfish seem to be showing up in bigger numbers every day. After a slower-than-normal week last week (probably due to the moon phase), fishing success has been excellent. Numerous fish are showing up in trolled lure spreads, sometimes in packs of two, three, and more fish at one time. Most hookups are coming to anglers pitching live bait at fish that are seen tailing or feeding on the surface. Some boats are reporting multiple hookups at the same time. Plenty of mackerel are available for bait from the bait boats each morning.
Big dorado are around. Although fewer numbers overall are being reported, the dorado that strike are of good size. Several fish exceeding 50 pounds have been caught the past few days.
A huge tuna school is 45 miles out. The fish are football size up to the 30-40 pound class for the most part. With so many marlin and sailfish closer to shore, not too many boats are making the 2-hour run for the small tuna.
A rare treat right now are the swordfish. These are a pretty uncommon species generally speaking in the Sea of Cortez, but several boats have reported hookups in the past few days and one of these hard-fighting billfish was landed. Reports are that other swordfish have been seen on the surface but not are not taking pitched baits.
Inshore fishing for roosterfish, sierra mackerel, and snappers remains good, especially in the mornings. Some bigger jack crevalle are starting to show up also.
Fantastic fishing is here on the East Cape!
Fishing Report! 4/14/05
Awesome numbers of striped marlin are showing up in the Sea of Cortez near the East Cape. A few days ago, every boat that went fishing hooked at least four stripers, and one boat had an incredible day with twelve hookups!
Numbers of fish are a few miles out from La Ribera, and the seamounts near Las Barracas (which typically draw the stripers in the spring) are also productive. In reality, there are stripers everywhere right now! Although a longer ride than to the south, the area around “Ocho-Ocho” to the north also harbors stripers.
Fish are biting on both pitched live bait (plenty of mackeral around) and trolled lures, especially green/white and blue/white patterns.
Dorado seem to be creeping up in average size every week. Fish are averaging 25 pounds, with a few 40-pounders in the mix.
The tuna schools are not in the area, but with most boats concentrating on the striped marlin and dorado that are a short boat ride away, no boats have gone way out in search of tuna.
Roosterfish and sierras are available in the shallows near Punta Colorada, Punta Arena, and Las Barracas.
Great fishing is here on Baja’s East Cape!
Fishing Report! 4/4/05
The striped marlin have started to show up in spectacular numbers here on the East Cape. Boats from the three hotels are averaging 4-5 marlin per boat per day. The fish are being found throughout the nearby Cape waters, with numbers of fish schooled about 4 miles out from La Rivera and out around Punta Arena and down the shore of Las Barracas 2-6 miles out. Huge schools of mackerel are in the area, and the stripers are on a corresponding feeding frenzy on the surface. The billfish are rrunning 120-200 pounds.
Skippers are triggering strikes on trolled lures (especially in green patterns) and using bait-and-switch to fish that appear in the spread but don’t hook up. Mackerel is being used for bait. Numbers of marlin are on top, thus many boats are spotting fish and casting live bait to fish for hook-ups as well. Almost all marlin are being released per the encouragement of guests and captains alike.
Dorado are averaging 22 pounds, with fish up to 35 pounds in the area. Dorado are showing up in trolled presentations plus being caught by sight-fishing techniques using mackerel as bait. Numbers of fish are around.
Several boats caught sailfish in the past few days, so it appears some sumemr species are arriving on the front end of warmer ocean currents. A finger of 75 degree-plus water surged up the Baja Peninsula; the sails probably rode that water in. Striped marlin enjoy water temps in the mid-70’s, while sailfish show a preference for water that is 80 degrees plus. Does the appearence of sails portend early-arriving summer tuna schools and the blue and black marlin?
The school of small tuna that was about 25 miles out has disappeared, but with so many striped marlin and dorado close to the resorts, few boats have been venturing further out to try to relocate any tuna schools. A lot of whales are in the area also.
Roosterfish and sierra mackerel are being caught in the surf in front of Punta Colorada and along the Las Barracas sand dunes, but the bite is definitely a first-thing-in-the-morning opportunity only. The roosters especially are super-spooky after about 9am. Surf anglers are catching fish, and boats slow-trolling a mackerel are pulling up the odd 30-pound rooster.
After a three-day blow last week, seas are calm and temperatures are glorious in the mid-80’s with a cloudless sky.
Fishing Report! 3/21/05
Striped marlin have been schooling to the north of the resorts, starting only two miles out from Punta Pescadero. Here, a long shallow point only a few hundred feet deep extends into the Sea of Cortez for several miles offshore. Adjacent to this structure is the deep blue, to several thousand feet deep. Although marlin are a pelagic species (they roam the open ocean), the spring of the year brings stripers close to shore as part of the annual spawning migration.
In addition to Punta Pescadero, striped marlin also are being found in the area known as “Ocho-Ocho” (Eight-Eight), a ten-mile long seamount topping out at 600 feet, surrounded by 6000 feet of water. This area, to the east and south of Cerralvo Island, is a popular spring spot for stripers as well.
Plenty of mackerel are schooled up, attracting the predators and providing ample live bait for anglers each fishing day.
According to Joaquin Mesa Cota at Palmas de Cortez, a school of yellowfin tuna was found about 23 miles offshore by a boat from Playa del Sol. The lucky anglers enjoyed excellent catches of small yellowfin to 20 pounds, from one of the first large schools of tuna to appear so far this spring. Hundreds of porpoises were running with the school, and based on the huge quantities of bait in the area, the fish should hang around for awhile.
Schoolie dorado are still showing up in some catches, with the biggest fish approaching 20 pounds. Other than the occasional bigger bull to 40 pounds, the big dorado haven’t shown up in numbers yet. Most of the small dorado being caught are females (cows), so anglers are encouraged to release a few of them. Female dorado are sexually mature at only 22 inches, so they represent the current year’s spawning stock.
Hundreds of roosterfish have appeared along the shallow reefs and shoreline sand areas, both along La Rivera and Las Barracas. Fish to 50 pounds are available, but the roosters are super-skittish and only can be caught first thing in the morning or 2-3 from the school before spooking. Small sierra mackerel and snappers are still readily available along shore as well.
Some 74 degree water is in the region–great fishing is already here and AWESOME fishing is coming!
Fishing Report! 3/4/05
Striped marlin are showing up in big numbers this week, but a windy day on 3/8 slowed fishing. Huge numbers of mackerel and skipjacks are schooling 4 miles out from La Rivera and also in Bahia de las Palmas. Stripers are feeding on the surface and some boats are hooking 5-6 fish per day and missing some shots as well. Multiple hookups are common. On 3/6 so many anglers were hooking up on schooled marlin that some boats were tangling lines.
Dorado are running small, less than 20 pounds, although a 42-pounder and a 35-pounder were caught this week. Schoolie dorado are being caught very close to shore, including right in the moored boats at Palmas de Cortez and Playa del Sol and even some small dorado right off the dock.
Anglers at Punta Colorada are enjoying short runs to the marlin, dorado near shore, and multiple sierra mackerel along the inshore reefs.
Fishing Report! 2/25/05
Fishing has slowed down a little from the previous week. Fewer boats were out as compared to the week before, which meant fewer fish were caught overall. Dorado are still showing up everywhere, in the 10- to 35-pound range. Most boats are heading north out of the resorts to target numbers of fish out from Punta Pescadero (Fisherman’s Point).
It’s been cloudy a couple of days in the past week, and water temperatures have cooled a degree or two, hovering around 71-72 in the sea out from the resorts. A finger of warm water -75 degrees and warmer-is approaching the Peninsula, bringing with it larger fish and bigger schools. Striped marlin are plentiful, with some boats catching 3-4 a day, although most anglers are targeting dorado. Striped marlin should start swarming the region within the next couple of weeks.
Inshore species remain plentiful, with cabrilla and small sierra mackerel in good numbers along La Rivera and around Punta Arena. The few roosterfish that have showed up are only biting first thing in the morning. A few wahoo are holding south of Los Frailes and near the Gordo Banks.
Fishing Report! 2/16/05
There has been a pretty consistent stretch of calm seas and beautiful weather here in the Sea of Cortez recently. The water temps straight east and to the north are 71 degrees, with a finger of 72-74-degree water showing up off the Gordo Banks and Los Frailes to the south.
According to Palmas de Cortez Fishing Manager German Cosio, plenty of dorado are being caught off Punta Pescadero (Fisherman’s Point) to the north. “The fish are running 10-35 pounds,” says German. “The big bulls aren’t in yet, but the weather is getting nice and warm so the big fish should be here soon.”
Off the Gordo Banks to the south, nearer to Cabo San Lucas, schools of 10-50 pound yellowfin tuna are available. On some days, skippers are finding the porpoise and tuna running together as far north as Los Frailes, about an hour run from the resorts. Anglers are encountering striped marlin everywhere, but the numbers aren’t here yet. A typical day is netting 1-3 shots at stripers, with occasional days of as many as six shots. As the surface temps approach 73-75 degrees in the next few weeks, striped marlin will start arriving in bug numbers in preparation for the spring spawn.
Inshore, anglers along Punta Colorada’s shoreline and near the town of La Ribera are finding good numbers of small Sierra mackerel in the rocks close to shore, as well as lots of snapper and cabrilla. A few roosterfish have been showing up in the surf, but are only biting in the morning.