East Cape Fishing Report 12/1/07
The biggest news in the past few weeks is the resurgence of the yellowfin tuna bite here in the waters off the East Cape. While weï¿½ve had tuna in the area all along, the numbersï¿½and average sizeï¿½of the fish really exploded. Fish are averaging 25-35 pounds (compared to 10-20 a few weeks back) and a few larger 40-60 pounders are hooking up as well. Multiple schools are available. A chummed mix of chunk squid and live sardines is getting the feeding frenzy going and boats are fishing the schools both on the surface and down 20-40 feet. Everybody whoï¿½s tuna fishing is pretty much limiting out! Lots of plates of sashimi and sushi are being passed around the bar each afternoon, tuna steaks are on the dinner menu, and coolers are going home full!
Dorado numbers are excellent as well, with anglers hooking up on 15-30 pound fish while trolling for striped marlin and also encountering rogue fish on the surface. Sardines are aiding the hookups there. Plenty of mahi-mahi are in the mix!
Striped marlin numbers have dropped quite a bit from the incredible 2007 billfish bite that went from Marchï¿½November this year. Some stripers are still around, as well as a few sailfish, but not too many boats are getting multiple hookups per day, as was the norm more or less for months on end. Granted, with the tuna bite so strong, the number of hours spent trolling for billfish is way down in tandem. A large blue marlin and an even larger black marlin were caught last week as well.
Inshore, juvenile roosterfish continue to feed aggressively on sardines, and chumming/slow trolling near Las Cuevas Arroyo is producing roosters, as well as plenty of sierra mackerel. Some pargo and cabrilla snapper also are available, plus plenty of wahoo for anglers trolling close to shore to the south of Los Frailes.
East Cape Fishing Report 11/15/07
Fishing is excellent on the East Cape right now! Leading the way are good numbers of yellowfin tuna in several distinct schools in our area of the East Cape right now. Although the fish are mostly running small–in the 10-20# range–lots of fish are being caught, especially in the mornings. Schools have been located out from La Rivera, near Cabo Pulmo, Los Frailes, and further south. All of these schools are being targeted with chummed sardines and drift fishing with live bait, and light gear. The fish are somewhat line shy. A school of larger yellowfin also was located 25 miles east running with porpoises, and boats were trolling hootchies for hookups in this school of larger tuna (15-40#). Many boats in the fleet are coming in with 4-10 yellowfin per day.
Sierra mackerel have invaded the shoreline near Punta Colorada and La Rivera, and are congregated in great numbers near the inflow of Las Cuevas Arroyo between La Rivera and Rancho Leonero. Most of the fleet is stopping for sardines from bait boats here in the morning and then slow-trolling sardines for multiple hookups of delicious sierra mackerel. Trolling with small X-Raps and Rapala Magnums (rigged with light wire leaders!) also is very productive.
Roosterfish are abundant but small. These are the juvenile fish spawned in the Sea of Cortez and range from2-4 pounds. However, they are great fun on light tackle, and can be caught with sardines or topwater lures thrown to a surface feeding frenzy. Many roosterfish also are around the Palmas de Cortez and Playa del Sol docks.
Offshore, striped marlin fishing is excellent. There are plenty of big sailfish around as well. Trolled lures are raising fish and producing multiple strikes and hookups, with double and triple hookups possible as pods of marlin attack the lures. We don’t have any live mackerel for bait in the area right now, so our only pitch baits are frozen ballyhoo rigged on a #7 bait hook. Many hookups are coming on ballyhoo. Boats are coming in with 2-8 blue and red flags flying on the outriggers, with blue signifying a billfish caught, and red signifying release of the marlin or sailfish.
There are quite a few wahoo being caught near-shore in the morning, especially near Las Destiladeras to the South, on trolled Rapala Magnums, Yo-Zuris, and Marauders. Most of the fish are 20-40 pounds.
Dorado fishing dropped off this past week after going hot and heavy for most of October and into early November. Some boats are still contacting a few dorado while drift-fishing for tuna or while trolling for marlin. A couple of boats are catching as many as four dorado in a day.
Rounding out the report is good inshore bottom fishing for pargo, cabrilla, and amberjack. Seas are calm, the sky is bright blue, and daytime air temps are 85 degrees. Sea surface temps are 81-83 degrees. It’s an awesome time of year to be sunnin’ and funnin’ on Baja’s East Cape!
East Cape Fishing Report 11/1/07
Fishing remains excellent on the East Cape. Weï¿½ve seen a downturn in overall numbers of blue marlin in the past couple of weeks, but they are still showing up in the lure spreads and on the hooks almost every day. Some boats are getting multiple shot, and most of the blues are in the 200-350# range.
Striped marlin numbers are solid, and some big fish are available. One boat had two stripers estimated at 190# and 250# caught and released one day last week. Any stripers over 200# are HUGE for our area! The world record is only 447#, but thatï¿½s from New Zealandï¿½a region where they consistently see fish exceeding 300#. In the Sea of Cortez, our striped marlin range from 120-200# most of the time.
Rounding out the billfish report are sailfish, which weï¿½re catching in high numbers. Some boats are running into pod of fish while trolling and reporting multiple hookups and catches, including as many as 6-8 fish caught and released per day. For the blues, stripers, and sails, most fish are being teased up and hooked on a variety of trolling lures (petroleum, orange, green, and blue/white are reportedly the best colors) and some fish are being taken on pitched dead baits (ballyhoo) as well. Running large skirted, rigged ballyhoo while trolling with lures also is taking many stripers and sailfish. They are a lot of adult flying fish in the water right now.
Fishing for yellowfin tuna has seen an uptick in the past two weeks. Several schools are accessible, with the most consistent bite coming from just 2 miles off Cabo Pulmo and the Lighthouse area, where boats are catching tuna ranging in size from 10 up to 80 pounds. The fishing is going in cycles, with one day yielding only footballs and the next producing little fish as well as some bruisers over 50#. Chumming with chunk squid and live sardines to raise the schools, and then long-lining both baits in the chum, is hooking fish. Light line tactics are getting more bites, but those big ahi will spool light gear in seconds! Secondary schools of tuna are off Los Frailes and points south, and some are running with tuna 12-20 miles offshore where anglers are catching fish trolling cedar plugs and hootchies as well as with bait.
Dorado fishing is fantastic. Fish are hanging around surface debris and can be caught with sardines or topwater Rapalas like Skitter Walks. Many fish are also being seen on the surface and caught with pitched dead ballyhoo. Some dorado are hitting marlin lures. The fish are ranging in size from 10# chickens up to 35 pounds. Another offshore bonus: lots of big wahoo are in the area, with fish between 40-75# being caught on trolled Rapalas and Marauders, especially first thing in the morning.
Many boats are stopping three miles offshore for 15-30 minutes in the morning to hook up 2-3 ï¿½Diablos Rojosoï¿½ squid to use for chunk bait. These are the four-foot Humboldt Squid (ï¿½Red Devilsï¿½) that you may have heard about. They are a dangerous species for diversï¿½we had to work hard at the Sushi/Pool bar last week to convince a Japanese photographer who was visiting to get shots for a Japanese tourism brochure that he could NOT get in the water with his scuba gear to film a Diablo Rojo being caught because the school would likely attack him and skin him alive! Our boats are dropping glow squid jigs down 250 feet for the squid and jerk-reeling them back up to hook the squid, which put up a tremendous fight back to the boat. They must be short-pumped and reeled very slowly back to the boat to avoid tearing the hooks from their fleshy tentacles. Once on the transom, the mate swiftly fillets off the head (and the business end) and the remaining body is chunked into pieces for bait fishing. A great snack for yellowfin!
The downside to the annual appearance of Humboldt squid is they chase most of mackerel schools out of the area and out of reach of our bait boats, so we are limited to dead ballyhoo and live sardines for bait. There are hoards of sardines at the mouth of Las Cuevas arroyo near the town of La Rivera right now.
Rounding out the fishing report are the welcome addition of delicious sierra mackerel just offshore from La Rivera and Punta Colorada, and schools of small roosterfish (10# fish) that can be caught in the same area. A few dogtooth snapper and yellow snapper, plus some jack crevalle, also are available inshore.
East Cape Fishing Report 10/2/07
The month of September has produced some of the best fishing on the East Cape waters in recent memory. The Sea of Cortez is really an amazing fishery! Although the all-important fish numbers go up and down with the seasonal movement of the many different species we have prowling our waters, the summer of 2007 will be remembered as one of the best on record.
Leading the way have been strong numbers of yellowfin tuna. With one caveat: the fish have been much smaller than we expect to see during summer. Usually, anglers come to the East Cape from July through October seeking tuna of legendary size, meaning numbers of fish over 100#, with shots at 200#, and maybe even the fish of a lifetime–ahi exceeding 300#. While we see few fish of this girth in any year, they do exist. A couple of years ago we had big ones all over the place! This summer has been The Summer of the Football, with acres of 10-20 pounders and a few up to 40-50 pounds. Occasionally, an angler has hooked into a 100-150# class fish and thatï¿½s really been news. The upside to all the football tuna? Great sushi and sashimi at the pool in the afternoon and plenty of meat to bring home in your cooler. Those little fish eat better anyway, right? Tuna have been found in schools in varying locations, including two miles out from Palmas de Cortez last week, but also 3 miles from La Ribera, off Punta Arena, to the south, and straight east 22-40 miles (bigger fish). Trolled cedar plugs are working on the big offshore schools; inshore, anglers are chumming sardines and drifting with live bait for most hookups.
Dorado have been on fire for a month now. Last week, boats targeting dorado nearshore were catching multiple fish, with defined flurries in the morning and again in the afternoon. Chumming with sardines near La Ribera and drifting down current with live sardines and dead mackerel was doing the trick. Some boats working the schools hard were limiting out, while most were hooking 2-4 fish in just a short amount of time before heading offshore for billfish. Most of the dorado are smallï¿½10 to 25#–but very numerous. A lot of boats have been picking up on the aggressive early morning tuna bite, swinging past a dorado hotspot for a few hookups there, maybe stopping near Cabo Pulmo to deep jig the reefs for pargo, snapper, triggerfish, and grouper, and then going marlin fishing. Even some amberjack are being hooked.
Inshore, as dawn approaches, sardines, mullet, and other baitfish species have been boiling the surface in fear as small roosterfish and some nice-sized jack crevalle and pompano begin the daylight feed. There is an incredible amount of bait both inshore and offshore right now and the predators are feeding aggressively. Most of the roosters are just 5-10#, and the pompano 5# or less, but some of the jacks are 30-35# and put up a bruiser fight on a surf rod. The same scenario occurs with the bite in the afternoon, and again at dusk. Rapalas, surface poppers, iron, and meat have been doing the trick there.
Blue marlin have really been a story this year. Pretty consistently starting in Augustï¿½but really picking up speed here in Septemberï¿½are the numbers of shots we are getting on blues per week. Weï¿½re averaging around 100 shots a week for our fleet, about double the usual number. While many of these shots arenï¿½t hooking up, itï¿½s always magnificent to see big blues rise up in the spread. Weï¿½ve seen some real bruisers this year, fish of maybe 600-700# in the spread as seen by trained eyes. Weï¿½ve also hooked into some monsters, and landed our fair share. An estimated 800# blue marlin broke the line after a 40-minute battle last week. Numerous blues 200-350# have been caught and released, as well as a few in the 400-500# range. A couple 400-500# blues also have expired during the fight and come to the scales. Numbers of boats are enjoying multiple blue marlin hookups in a single day, including some doubles with both fish released after the fight. Trolled lures are raising fish and producing most of the strikes, and live mackerel and live caballitos are providing the bait-n-switch hookups. A 550# black marlin was brought to the scales mid-month. Please try to release these adult spawners!
Striped marlin fishing has been excellent. Last week several boats were getting 4-9 billfish per day, mixing together sailfish with striped marlin. These stripers are our younger ï¿½juvenilesï¿½ that probably were spawned in our area 3-4 years ago, with most of the fish running 100-140# as compared to 120-200# stripers we usually see from February through June, which is spawning season. The upside is even these smaller stripers in our waters now are hard fighters despite the warm water, and are great fun on 25-30# test live bait rods. Again, trolled lures are hooking some fish, but most are biting a live mackerel dropped back in the spread to charging fish, or pitched to stripers seen tailing on the surface. A few bigger dorado are being caught on trolled lures as well, plus some nice wahoo are showing up.
Fishing Report! 9-4-07
After a couple of weeks of ï¿½insaneï¿½ fishing, we had a week ï¿½lullï¿½ in the action. And to call it a lull is a mischaracterization! Fishingï¿½s just great here on the East Cape!
We were really spoiled for most of August; although itï¿½s consistently a great fishing month, things were really over the top there for a few weeks. Hundreds of marlin hookups per week, huge schools of yellowfin, ample dorado numbers (and big ones too), plenty of roosterfish, jacks, and snapper, you name it.
The awesome numbers of marlin, especially stripers, that were schooling on bait a couple of weeks ago have dispersed. There are still many, many striped marlin in our waters, but contacting them has returned to the traditional methods of trolling them up with lures, or spotting fish on the surface and pitching live bats to them. For awhile there, fish were congregating in such numbers on bait that you could get double and triple hookups. Nice fish, too: 125-200 pounders. Catch and release these beauties for the future of the Sea of Cortez! While some boats were hooking as many as ten striped marlin in a day, now the numbers are more realistic of 1, 2, 3, or 4 per day caught and released. Four marlin flags in blue and four red release flags waving on the outriggers after a dayï¿½s fishing is a wonderful thing!
Blue marlin have really been a hot story this year. The East Cape is enjoying one of the better blue marlin seasons in recent years. In the past week, numbers of fish 300-500 pounds have been caught and released, with most of the fish on the lower end of that measurement. Smaller blues 150-300 also are being caught, and most released. For some perplexing reason, some anglers still find it necessary to kill these magnificent apex predators to hang from a chain for ï¿½photosï¿½! We certainly strongly encourage catch and release for ALL billfish at our hotels, but will permit guests to make a choice. Remember, virtually all blues (and black marlin) over 200 pounds are adult females, 6-7 years old at least, and prime spawners for the future of the worldï¿½s oceans. Last week, a 485# blue expired during the fight and was weighed (big fish!) and another 345# also died from exhaustion during battle. Several fights with big blues last week went 5-plus hours before the fish were released.
Yellowfin tuna schools are in several locations, with many boats that find the porpoises and tuna hooking up on limits of fish to bring to shore for processing. The story this year is the sameï¿½not many big yellowfin (usually one of our favorites!). Most of the ahi are schoolie-size, 10-30 pound fish. Fish over 100# are sometimes seen leaping from the water during feeding, but these fish are not consistently hooking up. A few 80# class fish have been caught. Weï¿½re still hoping to see schools of yellowfin this summer featuring numerous 100-200# bruisers our region is famous for! And maybe a few over 300# too!
Dorado are numerous, to the south near Los Frailes, to the north off Punta Pescadero, and in the vicinity of the Ocho. We’re seeing tremendous size for mahi mahi right now with plenty of fish 20-40# and some awesome bulls of 50# plus. A lot of sailfish also are being reported to the north. Striped marlin are in all locations, and most of the blue marlin action is being reported to the south near Gordo Banks and straight east of our hotels from 12-25 miles offshore. Ample bait, from mackerel to caballitos to sardines, remain available.
Inshore, some boats stopping near Punta Colorado, Punta Perico, Las Barracas, and Los Frailes are reporting consistent catches of roosterfish, especially in the mornings. Many of the fish are in the 15-20# range. Jack crevalle, pargo, and some triggerfish also are being caught. Huge schools of baitfish can be seen darkening the waters close to shore, and the water occasionally boils as hungry predators like roosterfish and jacks attack these schools.
Water temperatures range from 79-90 in our fishing grounds, with a lot of mid-80 degree water offshore. We received a much-needed 4-hour downpour from the remnants of Hurricane Dean passing through last Friday, but other than that itï¿½s been sunny and blue and HOT on the East Cape all summer long! See you here!
Fishing Report! 8-20-07
It’s an understatement to say that fishing is going berserk right now in the Sea of Cortez off the East Cape. Our charters are reporting tremendous fishing overall and some big catches of some of our most popular species.
Leading the way are the striped marlin, which are being seen in tremendous numbers right now. Multiple hookups are being reported for many boats, and on a consistent daily basis as well. An abundance of bait, including mackerel, ballyhoo, caballitos, and sardines are causing quite a schooling effect as the billfish feed voraciously in our waters. Much of the action is close to shore from points to the North, straight east, and to the south of our resorts. Most action is being reported only 1-6 miles offshore.
Sailfish number also have increased dramatically in the past couple of weeks, with the sails mixed right in with the stripers close to shore feeding on ample schools of bait. Some multiple hookups are being reported.
Blue marlin numbers continue to impress. Typically, in a strong blue marlin season we might expect 50 or so fish in the spread or on the hooks in a given week, and those numbers are pretty accurate as to what’s happening right now. Live bait is productive for hookups, but most fish are being trolled up on lures. A few boats are bridle-rigging live football tuna for blues as well. In the past several weeks, a number of 400-pound class fish have been caught. A couple of black marlin–our least common marlin species–have made appearances as well. Swordfish are absent.
Overall yellowfin tuna catch rates spiked in the past week. Fish are being found within a couple miles of Cabo Pulmo, and offshore 16-30 miles. Many of the tuna are football-sized, but some nice 20-30 pounders are mixed in along with the occasional bigger ahi. We still are not seeing the giant yellowfin typical in our waters in mid-late summer. This has been an off year so far for yellowfin exceeding 200 pounds.
Dorado numbers remain strong as well, with plenty of big bulls 30-40 and a few popping the 50-pound class. Most of the dorado are within a few miles of shore gorging on the same bait schools that are drawing so many billfish to our fishing grounds.
Inshore, roosterfish, amberjack, snapper, and pargo (dogtooth snapper) are available, mostly on live bait presentations. Our water temps are in the 81-89 degree range, keeping those fish metabolisms running high.
Fishing’s really incredible on the East Cape right now! The weather’s scorching hot, but the fishing’s the same way! See you on the Sea of Cortez.
Fishing Report! 8-1-07
Well, it’s been one heckuva month down here in the Baja, with the overall fishing numbers skyrocketing in tandem with soaring sea surface temperatures, calm seas, and plenty of charter fishing action. The hotels are very busy and everyone is getting out and catching fish.
Leading the way are awesome yellowfin tuna numbers, with most boats catching all the tuna they can. Although the overall size is below normal, with lots of 10-25 pounders, the action is steady. Several larger tuna up to 150 pounds also have been landed in recent weeks. Trolled cedar lugs, hootchies, feathers, and live bait have all been working for tuna hookups. Numerous schools are being targeted, from 20-50 miles offshore.
Dorado numbers also are up, with many fish in the 15-35 pound classes. A few bigger bulls also are showing up in catches. Fish are striking trolled marlin lures and fish spotted on the surface are susceptible to live mackerel.
Striped marlin continue to lead the way for overall billfish catches, with several hundred fish per week being reported hooked up. Sailfish numbers also are increasing, and good numbers of blue marlin are starting to appear also, with some of the biggest fish ranging to the 500-pound class. Great news as the East Cape Bisbee Tournament is underway! A few large wahoo, including a few approaching 90 pounds, have been caught offshore as well.
Inshore, excellent numbers of roosterfish are being found to the North off Punta Pescadero and to the South off La Rivera and Punta Colorada. Pargo and red snapper numbers also are strong for inshore anglers. A few amberjack are being caught. Fishing’s awesome on the East Cape!
Fishing Report! 7-1-07
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for the fishing here on the East Cape. Just as the overall fishing started to really get nuts as it usually does in June, weï¿½ve had a fall-off in total numbers of fish just when things were about to break loose. While fishing is still consistent, with good numbers of fish available, itï¿½s simply not up to our summer standards here in the Baja when we expect to see acres of yellowfin tuna boiling the surface coupled with nonstop action for big dorado, marlin, and roosterfish, as well as availability for numerous other species.
A combination of environmental factors are contributing to the situation. For one, a big swath of cooler Pacific water (surface temps in high 60ï¿½s) has been forced around the Cape and north into our waters by uncharacteristically strong southern winds. What makes our region such a great fishery for ten months of the year is our warm water; only in mid-winter are the Pacific currents warmer than in the Sea of Cortez. Secondly, the full moon coincided with this temperature inversion, leading some fish to feed more aggressively at night. Third, ample schools of baitfish in our area are keeping the predators well-fed. Our rich ecosystem is conspiring against us this week!
Leading the way are still the striped marlin. The fish are everywhere on the surface, and the fleet is averaging a couple hundred hookups per week. However, based on the thousands of fish being seen in our area, the fact is that the fish arenï¿½t biting as consistently as usual. Many fish are being live-baited on the surface but not eating. A lot of fish are attacking trolled lures in the spread, whacking the baits with their bills, and then not hooking up. While itï¿½s true that the Sea of Cortez remains one of the worldï¿½s best locations for striped marlin fishingï¿½again, our hookup rates just arenï¿½t what weï¿½re used to. When dark nights return this week, expect fishing to ramp up in tandem. There are still awesome numbers of billfish in our area!
Dorado fishing is steady, but again, not up to the numbers we expect. The average size is excellent, however, with numerous big dorado in the 25-40 pound class. Fish are taking pitched live baits and also smashing trolled lures and feathers. Because the overall numbers are not up to par, fly fishing is tough right now for the mahi mahi.
Yellowfin tuna numbers, after climbing week-by-week in May and June, have fallen off this week. Fish are averaging 15-35 pounds with a fish bigger brutes mixed in, and a number of schools have been located between 17-25 miles offshore, to points north, south, and east. The solid fishing of a few weeks ago has tapered, however. Optimism abounds nonetheless, as we are entering our hottest months and the best fishing period for BIG yellowfinï¿½from now through November.
The best news is the roosterfish. Itï¿½s true that so far this summer we are seeing some of the best inshore fishing in recent memory, with large numbers of big roosterfish in our area. Some anglers are averaging 30 pounders in a morning of fishing. Live mackerel and fly presentations are hooking most of the fish. The surf right in front of Punta Colorado, Punta Arena, and south along the coast near Cabo Pulmo are the best fishing spots. Our namesake ï¿½Roosterfish Capital of the Worldï¿½ is living up to its billing!
When we dodge the cool finger of Pacific water, our fleet is finding surface temps from 79-88 degrees. Along with our beautiful 95-degree daytime temps and soft breezes, itï¿½s a great time to find yourself sipping a cool drink and doing some fishing on Bajaï¿½s East Cape!
Fishing Report! 6-13-07
The yellowfin tuna bite is going absolutely crazy in the waters of the Sea of Cortez right now. Although many of the fish are running small at 10-20 pounds, some nice fish in excess of 40 pounds are starting to show up in overall catch rates as well. Multiple hookups from vast schools of tuna are being reported, with most fish being encountered 20-25 miles offshore. Trolled cedar plugs, hootchies, feathers, and live sardines are catching the tuna.
The dorado bit also has ramped up in recent days, with many 20-25 fish being reported. A few 40-pound class bulls also are showing up. Trolled marlin lures and pitched live bait (mackerel and sardines) are successful tactics.
For billfish, no blues, blacks, or sailfish are being reported. However, impressive numbers of striped marlin continue to show up, with some boats encountering multiple hookups in a fishing day. The fish are close to shore, in some cases just 1-2 miles out from Cabo Pulmo and Los Frailes, but are being spotted on the surface and caught far and wide across the Sea of Cortez.
Roosterfishing has improved dramatically. Nearly 100 fish were caught and released last week alone. Action is hot near la Rivera and in front of Punta Colorado, and south to Los Frailes. Live mackerel are the ticket for the roosters.
Water temps ranging from the mid-70s up to 84 degrees are being reported in our fishing grounds. The weather’s hot, the fishing’s even hotter–here on the East Cape!
Fishing Report! 5-24-07
The best news of the past two weeks is the invasion of the yellowfin tuna. A number of schools are in the area, with the biggest numbers of fish being found 30 miles straight east of the resorts. Several smaller schools are located to points north and south, and some fish also are close to shore (north near Punta Pescadero and south near Punta Arena). Although many of the fish are on the smaller size—10-40 pounds–the action is fast and furious and these little guys make for excellent eating. A summer of monster tuna (100+ pounds) is right around the corner! Trolled cedar plugs and feathers and live bait are taking most fish.
Striped marlin action remains excellent. Fish are in all directions, and are susceptible to trolled lures and live mackerel and ballyhoo. Dorado action is off a little bit, but still relatively good, with 15-30 pound fish most common (being caught on trolled lures, hootchies, and live bait). Quite a few wahoo up to 40 pounds have been showing up, caught on Rapalas and Marauders.
Inshore, very few roosterfish are being seen, although fishing is great for pargo and other snapper species. Water temperatures are in the high 70s-low 80s in most of our fishing grounds. Hot weather–hot fishing–awesome summertime action on Baja’s East Cape!
Fishing Report! 5-3-07
The biggest news to hit in the past week is the arrival of the yellowfin tuna. Several schools have been located, with the largest school located 30 miles straight east of Los Barriles, and other schools are closed in near Punta Arena and La Rivera. Although the fish are primarily footballs of 10 to 20 pounds, there is plenty of action on trolled hootchies, feathers, and cedar plugs, as well as live bait action on mackerel and sardines. Water temps are 72-76 degrees and the fish are in!
Dorado action likewise picked up this week, with average size and overall numbers both increasing. 15-30 pound mahi mahi are available; fish are being caught on trolled marlin lures as well as on pitched live baits, especially mackerel. Best action was reported to the north off Punta Pescadero and near Isla Cerralvo.
Striped marlin action is still off the charts, with most boats reporting multiple hookups daily, with sightings of as many as 40-50 stripers per day. Fish are seen tailing on the surface and are being baited with live mackerel, and numbers of fish are also attacking trolled lures. Average size remains around 140-160 pounds. The spawn is also in full forceï¿½a single adult female, 170-200 pound class, will be seen lazily swimming on the surface with three or four smaller male fish (120-150 pounds) trailing her. Cool to see, but these fish will completely ignore live bait offerings. Most of the marlin are being caught within 4-8 miles offshore, to the north near Pescadero and Punta Perico, off Cerralvo, and south/east off Punta Arena, La Rivera, and Las Barracas.
Numerous gray and humpback whales remain in the area, as well as manta rays and schools of porpoises numbering in the hundreds. Ample mackerel and sardines are available for bait. Inshore, roosterfishing is slow, but some nice pargo 10-30 pounds and also some sierra mackerel are being caught, near Punta Colorado and also just north of Palmas de Cortez and Playa del Sol off the Tuna Slides. Cabrilla are numerous. May is going to be an awesome fishing month!
Fishing Report! 4-12-07
The striped marlin fishing is off the charts on the East Cape right now. Seas are flat calm, with daytime highs in the 90’s, and the stripers have congregated in earnest within just a few miles of Punta Arena, about 12-17 miles from Hotels Palmas and Playa and just 3 miles from Punta Colorado. Boats are reporting multiple hookups, with the best boats catching and releasing up to ten striped marlin in a single day. Many marlin are spotted tailing on the surface or feeding on needlefish, trumpetfish, and mackerel. Very few boats are getting hookups on trolled lures; the vast majority of marlin are being caught on live mackerel and dead sardines pitched to fish seen on the surface. On some days, individual boats are presenting baits to as many as 40-50 marlin. Occasionally, boats are getting double and triple hookups on trolled lures or on multiple pitched baits–the marlin are feeding aggressively.
The stripers are averaging 130-150 pounds, and the low mortality rate impressive. It’s extremely important to release these apex predators for the future, especially since the striped marlin are in the East Cape region for the annual spring spawn right now. Virtually all stripers over 140# are females, and the fish we are catching now are adults of 6-9 years of age. One day last week, our hotels caught and released over 100 marlin with only three fish brought in because of hooking mortality! Great ratio!
A 350#-class swordfish was seen last week leaping from the water right next to one of our cruisers, and another boat hooked up on an estimated 250# sword that fought for over two hours before the leader parted.
Dorado fishing is up and down. Some nice fish are being caught–up to 42 pounds–with numerous dorado 15-25 pounds in the area. A dead seal gave up three big bull dorado to one boat last week. On some days, no dorado are being seen or caught, and on other days, boats are getting multiple hookups, primarily on trolled feathers, skirted dead baits, and live bait. With most of the boats fishing close in for hot marlin action, this is also where the dorado are being caught.
A school of tuna has been located 45 miles out, but with reported 10-20 pound fish, no boats are making the long run–again, because the marlin fishing is so incredible close to shore.
A few sailfish are being caught and released along with the marlin and dorado.
Inshore, excellent fishing for cabrilla, pargo, and a few roosterfish is available near Punta Colorado, La Rivera, and to the North near Punta Pescadero. Sardines and mackerel are doing the trick there. A couple of 30# dogtooths were caught. Likewise, jack crevalle are schooling and taking marlin baits on the surface–in some cases outrunning the marlin for the baits–and jacks can be seen busting schools of mullet right in front of our hotels each morning and evening as well. 20#-plus jacks are being caught nightly from the docks.
Occasional humpback whales are breaching in our waters, and a few gray whales also are spouting on the surface in our fishing grounds. With water temps in the mid-70’s, calm seas, and bright sunny days, summer’s coming and hot fishing is already here right along with the hot weather! See you on Baja’s magnificent East Cape!
Fishing Report! 4-12-07
The weather is fantastic, 90 degree days and cool breezes at night, and calm conditions prevail here on the East Cape. Tremendous numbers of striped marlin have invaded the area, with most boats reporting multiple hookups each day. Because the fish are ranging far and wide across the Sea of Cortez (rather than congregating on baitballs in tight areas), most boats are hooking up 3-6 marlin per day instead of 6-10 that is possible this time of year. Trolled lures and live mackerel are catching the fish, with many marlin being spotted on the surface before presenting the bait. The fleet is running east 18-30 miles and finding fish in all areas.
Dorado fishing was slower in the past week than in the previous month overall, but several boats are catching 6-10 dorado in a day. The best news is the average size has increased dramatically, with numerous bulls in the 35-45 pound range showing up in catches. Just two weeks ago, a “good” dorado was 15-25 pounds, and while many fish of this size are still in the area, some bigger fish are showing up.
Tuna remain hard to find. A few boats are contacting fish at 32 miles out among porpoises, but the fish are 10-20 pounds. With so many marlin and dorado closer in, most boats aren’t running for the poqueno (little) tunas.
A few blue marlin have been showing up already this year. One boat had a 350-pounder on the hooks for awhile last week before the fish shook off, and another blue marlin of similar size was caught three days ago, but also spit the hooks during the fight.
Inshore, some excellent cabrilla and pargo fishing is being found straight north near the Tuna Slides, Punta Pescadero, and Punta perico, and many sardines (pilchards) are available for live bait. Many cabrilla are 5-10 pounds and some nice dogtooths near 15-20 pounds are being caught also. To the south near Punta Colorado, some small roosterfish 10-20 pounds are in, and the occasional 30-pounder is being found also. Sierra mackerel have slowed down with the warming seas, but some fish remain near Punta Arena/Las Barracas near the lighthouse.
Sea surface temps are in the 72-75 degree range in most of our fishing grounds, although a big finger of cooler Pacific water in the 67 degree range pushed up as far north as Los Frailes (about 90 minutes south of our resorts), which seemed to move the fish east and north and even closer to us! On the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula, conditions are extremely rough and windy, but on the tranquil Sea of Cortez side, our waters are flat calm and warm and gorgeous! Slight east/south breezes are making for beautiful days on the water!
We’ll see you on the East Cape soon!
Fishing Report! 4-3-07
Right now the fishing along the East Cape of the Baja Peninsula is starting to throttle up to wide open! In the past week, two large tuna schools were located, one about 25 miles straight east and another offshore from Cabo Pulmo and points to the south, along with many porpoises. The fishing was hot and heavy for the yellowfin, with most fish being trolled up on cedar plugs and some of the larger tuna grabbing live mackerel. Although most of the fish are running 10-20 pounds, a few large brethren are mixed in. The huge schoolsï¿½and hoards of bigger fishï¿½will be in any day now as the Sea of Cortez waters continue to warm (currently 72-75 degrees in most of our fishing zones). Striped marlin also continue to invade the Cape in strong numbers, with many of the fish running 140-180 pound and some of those 200-pound females mixed in. Remember to release all billfishï¿½they are in our region to spawn and these apex predators are too precious a resource to kill as a food source or for the vanity of a photo! The tuna and dorado will fill all the coolers you require. And speaking of dorado, itï¿½s interesting to note that the overall catch rate for them diminished in the past week as the tuna fishing ramped up. Dorado were numerous throughout February and March to this point. Itï¿½s possible catches were down as anglers focused on the tuna more aggressively. Usually in the spring of the year, points to the south (where tuna are currently located) also hold good numbers of dorado and also some wahoo. Sierra mackerel continue to lead the inshore bite, in two primary areas near La Rivera and also to the north off Punta Pescadero. Roosterfish are being caught near Punta Colorada, although the fish are running small. The bruisers will be here soon! Overall, the fishing already is fantastic here on the East Cape!
Fishing Report! 3-23-07
Striped marlin continue to lead the way this spring here on the East Cape. Water temperatures ranging from 72-75 degrees in most of our fishing grounds has the stripers arriving in bigger numbers every day. Fisheries biologists have shown in studies that the preferred surface water temps for striped marlin are in the mid-70 degree range. Fish are being taken on trolled lures, with fish attacking the spreads or being “bait-n-switched” when they appear. There is an abundance of a favorite marlin and dorado food source in the Sea of Cortez: mackerel. Fish spotted tailing on the surface also being caught on live mackerel.
The dorado are active and numerous as well. Fish are still running small, at about 10-25 pounds, and are being caught on trolled lures as well as live mackerel. Fresh mahi-mahi for dinner, or served as ceviche on crackers at the bar! Yummy!
Roosterfish are being caught near Punta Colorada in shallow water, but the fish are very small, mostly around the ten-pound mark, so the bite isn’t a big draw, and these smaller fish are very difficult to catch on mackerel. When the bigger roosters appear, mackerel will do the trick there. Lures and sardines are an option. Inshore, many sierra mackerel are being caught on bait as well as slow-trolled Rapala X-Raps and other diving crankbaits. There are quite a few snapper around also.
The big question remains: where are the tuna? Usually some schoolie yellowfin of 10-30 pounds are in our region virtually all year, but we’re now going on two months without finding tuna. With so many stripers and dorado around within 8-15 miles offshore, most of the fleet is not running 25+ miles out. Perhaps there are some tuna schools out there, but no-one is looking for/finding them. No worries, the yellowfin will be in any day now!
Daytime temps are in the low-90’s, absolutely glorious weather that’s heating up the Sea of Cortez quickly with our deep blue, cloud-free skies. Hot weather, hot water, and hot fishing go hand in hand! See you in the Baja!
Fishing Report! 3-1-07
We’re delighted to report that fishing in the Sea of Cortez near the East Cape is about three weeks ahead of the normal spring schedule. Striped marlin, our most common billfish species, have already begun to arrive in the region in great numbers. Migrating to the Baja Peninsula annually in spring to spawn, the stripers are aggressive feeders and thrilling to catch and release! Most billfish anglers will say the striped marlinï¿½pound for poundï¿½is the toughest of the marlin species. Perhaps only the broadbill swordfishï¿½a rare species in the Sea of Cortezï¿½puts up a tougher battle. The stripers are feeding on large schools of mackerelï¿½a preferred baitfish speciesï¿½and fattening up for the spring ritual. Boats are finding the fish 12-15 miles offshore in 72-75 degree water and raising fish on trolled lures, as well as pitching live mackerel to fish seen ï¿½tailingï¿½ on the surface. Some multiple hookups are being reported. As always, we encourage 100% release of all billfish species. There are plenty of other fish that make for great eating and a cooler full of fillets to bring home.
Inshore anglers also are experiencing excellent fishing. A few roosterfish were being caught near Punta Colorada and Punta Arena a few weeks ago, but now the species (one of our May-October species) has temporarily disappeared. The sierra mackerel, however, are more than filling the void. The sierra fishing is simply off the charts right now for action, numbers, and size. Many fish are being taken on trolled Rapalas. Sierras (Spanish mackerel) make delicious table fare, and our chefs will happily prepare your catch as an hors dï¿½oeuvre or as a meal, lightly seared or pan-fried and seasoned with garlic salt and pepper. The tender white meat melts in your mouth. Sierra fishing is going strong just offshore from Rancho Leonero, La Rivera, Punta Colorada, Punta Arena, Las Barracas, and to the north near the Tuna Slides, Punta Pescadero, and Punta Pericoï¿½all areas that are easily accessed by our charter fleet. The best fishing is during the morning hours. Also inshore, pargo and yellow snapper are being caught on both jigging spoons and live bait.
Offshore, in addition to good action for striped marlin, numerous dorado are being caught in the 12-25 pound range. Although well shy of our summer size average of 30-40 pounds (and last July we were seeing fish touching the whopping 60-pound mark!), the ï¿½chickenï¿½ dorado we are catching right now are filling coolers and adding tasty treats to the dinner table, both at the resorts and after being transported back home.
All in all, February fishing has been excellent and from here on out it only gets better and better!
Fishing Report! 2-20-07
The 2007 Fishing Season is already going gangbusters! The month of February thus far has been delightful, with warm temperatures and calm Baja breezes. The northerly trade winds have diminished for the most part, and that means tropical sea surface temperatures have made their way up the East Cape and deep into the Sea of Cortez. The result? Excellent fishing! Water temperatures are between 72-76 degrees in most of our fishing grounds, which is about two weeks ahead of schedule, so fishing is more typical of mid-March right now than mid-February.
Striped marlin are leading the way. Numerous fish are being spotted in the area, including several roving packs of fish corralling bait balls and feeding aggressively. Mackerel are plentiful. Most boats are trolling lures to raise fish, or spotting marlin on the surface and pitching live mackerel to the fish. Some multiple hookups are being reported. Most of the fish are 12-15 miles offshore. The stripers are ranging in size from 120-190 pounds.
Dorado are delightfully numerous as well, although the average size is typical for this time of year at about 10-20 pounds. These “chickens” still make great eating, served on crackers as fresh ceviche at the bar after fishing, or as an appetizer or meal at dinnertime. Filleted and frozen or smoked and packed in a cooler for the trip home means you can bring the “Taste of Baja” back home with you after your East Cape fishing vacation!
Some boat captains are scanning the horizon for signs that yellowfin tuna are moving into the area. Schools of porpoises have been spotted, but the tuna are not running with them as of yet. With warming waters, the schoolie tuna will be arriving any day now. Humpback and gray whales are moving through the region as well.
Inshore fishing similarly has ramped up early. As usual, sierra mackerel are being found close to La Rivera and Cabo Pulmo, and a number of roosterfish have been caught in the past couple of weeks by anglers slow-trolling live mackerel close to shore near Punta Colorada as well as south in the area known as Los Frailes. Small dogtooth snapper are rounding out the inshore opportunities.
All in all, the fishing is excellent and the weather is beautiful. All the anglers who have been fishing the East Cape in February–and those traveling to Baja in March and April–sure are lucky!
Fishing Report! 1-30-07
Weï¿½re experiencing a typical January with cooler temperatures (daytime highs in low 70ï¿½s) and afternoon trade winds putting a chop on the Sea of Cortez. Our surface seas temperatures dipped below 70, but now are starting to rebound with a thick band of warmer water curling up along the East Cape coastline from the south. The fleet now can run southeast to encounter temps in the low 70ï¿½s, and here is where the boats are contacting both striped marlin and some dorado. Although a few fish can be found to the north, more consistent success is being met with to the south, in the region approaching the Gordo Banks. The stripers are nice-sized fish 120-180#, but the dorado are small. Trolling lures and live bait are both taking fish. There arenï¿½t any tuna schools around, but inshore anglers are finding some sierra mackerel and a few snapper species, primarily pargo.
Fishing Report! 1-4-07
Even though our quietest timeframe for fishing is December 15 through January 15, anglers who are getting out fishing are encountering striped marlin, dorado, and schoolie yellowfin tuna in the mix. The fleet is running southeast for the warmest water in reach of the East Cape. Trolled lures are raising marlin and providing most of the hookups, while some fish are being taken on live bait, primarily mackerel. The fish are in the 120-140# range. Dorado are numerous, but most of the fish are running small, which is typical for this time of year. There are a few yellowfin tuna around as well, again of the smaller ï¿½off-seasonï¿½ variety. Wahoo are being found to the south, and a few sierra mackerel are available inshore near La Ribera. Pargo and cabrilla snappers round out the inshore opportunities. Our water temps have cooled to 70 degrees now. Look for expanded fishing reports starting in February, coinciding with the start of our new season, the invasion of striped marlin by the thousands for the annual spring spawn, and the return of huge numbers of dorado, tuna, and the many other gamefish species that make the East Cape of the Baja Peninsula one of the worldï¿½s greatest sportfisheries!