East Cape Fishing Report! 12/1/09
November started out with a bang and ended with a whimper, at least as far as the size of the fish were concerned. For the first couple of weeks, giant yellowfin tuna were providing thrilling battles for anglers, and many fish were boated in the 100# class, as well as some fish exceeding 200#. Several distinct schools were producing results, to the north, straight east, and to the south, with the latter locale showing the biggest fish. Wahoo action also was fast and furious in early November, and while the average size of the dorado began to taper off from our summertime brutes, numerous dorado in the 30-40 pound class still were showing up in angler catches.
Striped marlin and sailfish action likewise was steady in early November, but diminished toward the end of the month. A few blue marlin were in the mix, but it looks like this will be one of the years when the blues and blacks will have vacated the East Cape by December. Our November ‘big fish’ highlight was a 500#-plus black marlin caught to the north off Punta Pescadero. Unfortunately, the fish died during the fight and could not be released.
In many years, marlin action for the blues and blacks continues through November, along with plenty of striped marlin and some sailfish enjoying our temperate seas. Thereafter, striped marlin, dorado, and small yellowfin tuna provide most of the action, along with pargo, sierra mackerel, and some yellowtail. With water temperatures still in the low 80-degree range, fishing continues to be good leading into December.
Inshore, good numbers of juvenile roosterfish and plenty of sierra mackerel are offering delicious table fare for light tackle anglers. A few roosterfish in the 20-30 pound class still are being caught and released. Plenty of live sardines are available for bait. We had plenty of chunk squid for bait in early November with the Humboldt squid schooling just a mile offshore, but the ‘Diablos Rojos’ (Red Devils) have vacated our waters, leaving us with the usual mackerel and ballyhoo to use as baits for marlin, plus larger dorado and tuna.
East Cape Fishing Report! 10/31/09
We’ve been fortunate to dodge the hurricanes this year, with only three close calls to report for the entire season. Our third storm of the year, Hurricane Rick, was a predicted strong storm that did a sudden vanishing act and diminished to a Tropical Storm in the 24 hours before it made landfall. All we received on the East Cape was an overnight rainstorm. Hurricane Season ends with another year of no consequential storms.
The yellowfin tuna bite dropped off a bit after the storm passed, but anglers are still enjoying good success catching ahi. The fish are ranging across the size spectrum, and some real giants still are being caught. Another bonus is much of the action is close to shore, so boats aren’t making long runs in the morning to find good fishing. Chunk squid, live sardines, and trolled cedar plugs, hootchies, and feathers are all successful strategies.
Speaking of squid, the Humboldts (Rojo Diablo) are still giving us a great morning bite just a mile offshore from Hotel Palmas de Cortez. These ferocious four-foot calamari provide an excellent fight (averaging ten minutes) when snagged out of 300 feet of water. They serve as an ideal chum bait for tuna.
Dorado fishing remains very consistent, although average size has fallen off a bit after the storm. They fish are very numerous. Many 10-15 pound dorado are being caught, and anglers are keeping a few, but releasing many of these smaller fish to reproduce and grow. Dorado of these sizes are already spawning adults, and the females release eggs for fertilization by the bulls every second day. Dorado also enjoy phenomenal growth rates, reaching 50-pounds-plus in just 18 months. It pays to let ’em go, so they can grow! Plenty of dorado are being kept for anglers to freeze and bring home as well. The pool bars are busy serving up fish tacos, dorado ceviche, and ahi sashimi.
A few blue marlin are being hooked, along with striped marlin, but the best billfish bite has been for sailfish, which are congregating in hunting pods and offering some awesome acrobatic action when hooked. The East Cape is more renowned for world-class marlin fishing as opposed to sailfish, but typically in late summer and fall we see good numbers of Pacific sailfish from time to time. Mixing in a few catch-and-release sailfish with the other species makes for a very rewarding fishing day! Anglers fishing for marlin also are encountering a few wahoo, but overall wahoo numbers have dropped off from the high points in August and September.
East Cape Fishing Report! 9/30/09
The yellowfin tuna bite remains hot here on the East Cape! We’ve had an AWESOME month of fishing (following on the heels of an excellent tuna bite in August), with both tremendous numbers of fish being caught, as well as some real bruisers. Many anglers have been lucky to break the incredible 200-pound mark for tuna in the past couple of weeks. We’ve even seen some upper 200#-class fish landed (eg. 264#, 279#, 282#) and we’re hoping to see a 300# landed soon. For those of you reading who are not familiar, yellowfin tuna in these size classes are absolutely brutal fighters and will test the wills of the most steadfast angler, as well as the limits of conventional fishing gear.
In addition to plenty of whoppers, the overall yellowfin numbers continue to impress. Virtually all of our fleet that is focusing on tuna fishing is limiting out, with most fish between 40-90 pounds. Impressive fish, to say the least’and delicious table fare. Some footballs are mixed in, as well as the giants mentioned above. A 200# tuna that may take 2-3 hours to land definitely cuts into your fishing day! The tuna are biting on chunk squid, sardines, and trolled cedar plugs and feathers, as well as small and medium profile marlin lures.
Dorado fishing remains wide open as well. Ever since our fishing grounds were grazed by the lone hurricane of the season to track in our direction (125 miles out), we’ve had some of the best dorado fishing in recent memory. 15-40 pound fish are the norm, with plenty of mahi mahi on the upper end of that size range. Sardines, hootchies, and trolled lures are producing most of the dorado.
Wahoo fishing also has been good, especially first thing in the morning. Anglers trolling Marauders and Rapalas are having the best success. The wahoo are averaging 40 pounds.
With so much focus on the great tuna and dorado bites, not as many boats in our fleet are focusing on billfish. Sailfish are available, and a number of nice blue marlin have been caught in the past week. Inshore, the roosterfish bite is tapering toward smaller, juvenile members of the species, and some nice pargo also are being caught.
Calm seas, hot sun, cold drinks, and some of the best big game fishing you can imagine is going on right now on the East Cape!
East Cape Fishing Report! 8/31/09
The big excitement regarding the fishing on the East Cape right now is the yellowfin tuna bite, which has just gone wild in August. Hundreds of fish are being landed by our fleet each week, and the size of the fish ranges across the spectrum. While many footballs are in the mix, there are many 40-50 pound ahi being caught in limits. Additionally, quite a few fish between 50-90 pounds are available. The biggest tuna caught recently weight 179 and 220 pounds! So we are seeing some real bruisers mixed in with the good numbers, meaning everyone is having a lot of fun catching tuna right now. Most of the action is to the south of the hotels, offshore from Los Frailes and points further south. Live bait, trolled cedar plugs, and hootchies are taking most of the tuna.
Dorado fishing remains excellent. Fish are ranging in size from 15-45 pounds, with lots of 30-40 pound mahi mahi available. A big school remains loosely scattered just 1-2 miles offshore from Hotel Punta Colorada, but many fish are being landed to the south 5-15 miles offshore as well. With the hot tuna bite to the south, few boats are running to the fishing grounds northward, but boats that do head north are reporting good dorado action offshore from Punta Pescadero and in the vicinity of the ’88’ reef and Isla Cerralvo. The fleet is contacting many large dorado offshore while trolling for marlin.
Speaking of billfish, quite a few big sailfish are in East Cape waters right now, as well as some striped marlin, but the blue marlin bite has tapered off quite a bit from July. We have seen numbers of blues caught and released each week and a few brought to the scales, including a 550-pounder. Try to release all billfish’they are a precious resource!
Wahoo action is steady, with usually a couple of fish being landed each day, in a nice size range of 40-60 pounds. Inshore, cabrilla, pargo, jack crevalle, and roosterfish are rounding out the action, although roosterfish action is less than stellar right now. With sea surface temperatures in the high 80’s, fish metabolisms are racing and the bite is on! It’s a great time to be fishing on the East Cape!
East Cape Fishing Report! 8/1/09
The marlin season is wide open right now, with lots of reports coming in on blue marlin as well as striped marlin. Good numbers of both species are in our East Cape waters right now, with the stripers running 120-200 pounds and the blues ranging from 150-450 pounds. For a Triple Slam, anglers also are catching numerous Pacific sailfish in the 100-150 pound classes. The famous billfishing our region is known for is providing a lot of exciting fishing days for our anglers right now!
The yellowfin tuna bite improved dramatically this month, with a real spike during the dark moon phase. Many boats fishing for tuna were limiting out. Most of the ahi are running in the 20-50 pound range, with many 40-50 pound fish available, and a few have topped 100# as well. A 57-pound dorado won the mid-July Dorado Shootout, and many fish are being caught from 30-40 pounds right now. If you’re seeking a cooler full of ahi or mahi mahi fillets, now’s a great time to be fishing on the East Cape! The tuna are biting wherever schools of porpoises are found, and are taking hootchies, cedar plugs, feathers, and live bait, while the dorado are biting both trolled marlin lures and pitched live baits.
Wahoo are numerous and big. Plenty of 40 pounders are around, with some even bigger. As is typical with whaoo, one day the bite is hot, the next it’s non-existent. One charter caught thirteen wahoo in just a few hours fishing one morning recently!
Inshore, a 75-pound roosterfish leads the news, but many more large roosters are being caught near Punta Colorada and around Punta Arena and south toward Las Barracas. Mixed in are good numbers of pargo from 12-15#, so there are plenty of fish to stretch your lines along the beach. Great multi-species fishing’and lots of great-eating fish for the grill’is happening right now on Baja’s East Cape!
East Cape Fishing Report 7/1/09
Both yellowfin tuna and big dorado are leading the way as far as the current East Cape offshore bite. Good numbers of yellowfin are available, biting on a live baits (primarily chummed sardines) as well as cedar plugs and hootchies. There are several distinct schools, including fish straight east at both 20 and 32 miles, and both close to shore and 30-40 miles offshore to the south. Plenty of schoolie football-sized fish are coming in as well as some nice bigger ahi.
The dorado bite is tapering a bit but good numbers still are available. The biggest story is the average size of the mahi-mahi, with many fish being caught in the 40-pound class. The fish are striking trolled marlin lures, trolled feathers and hootchies, as well as live bait including sardines and mackerel. The dorado are ranging far and wide across the Sea of Cortez on all compass points.
Striped marlin continue to be caught, but many more fish are being seen than are being hooked. The billfish are nice-size, 140-200 pounds. No blue marlin have been caught recently. Rounding out the offshore action is a pretty good wahoo bite, especially to the south off Los Frailes and Los Cerritos.
With the good bite for tuna and dorado, fe anglers are pursuing roosterfish, although some big fish are available inshore. Pargo also can be caught inshore. Hot summer fishing on the East Cape is here!
East Cape Fishing Report 6/1/09
The big news is the arrival of schools of yellowfin tuna in East Cape waters. Last week, nice-size tuna started showing up, with some ahi in the 120-150 pound class being caught, as well as many 50-60 pound fish. Then, just as quickly, the big ones disappeared and for the last week all we have in the area are schoolie football-sized yellowfin. Nonetheless, the arrival of numbers and size of tuna always brings optimism and excitement to Sea of Cortez anglers. Usually, some yellowfin are around much earlier in the season than has been the case this year’but now the tuna have arrived!
Striped marlin are everywhere. Literally dozens of fish can be seen in a day of fishing. The average size is truly amazing, with 120-210 pound fish the norm. Most of these are the big females in our region to spawn, so catch-and-release of ALL billfish is critical. Fish are seen jumping as well as tailing on the surface, and are susceptible to both trolled lures as well as pitched live baits. There is a huge abundance of bait right now in East Cape waters’hoards of mackerel, caballitos, ballyhoo, and calamari, as well as bucketfuls of sardines. The marlin are gorging on bait.
Dorado fishing remains spectacular on the East Cape! Loads of mahi mahi between 20-40 pounds are being caught on both lures and live bait, and the bite shows no signs of slowing.
Inshore, both pargo and roosterfish are available in good numbers. Drifting or slow-trolling sardines are producing most of the hookups. Good numbers of roosters to 25 pounds are available, and as we approach our peak months for roosterfishing (May-June-July), expect the big bruisers up to 80 pounds to start showing up. Jack crevalle and a few amberjack are in the mix as well. Wahoo fishing has been slow.
East Cape Fishing Report 5/15/09
It’s a mighty fine time to find yourself in the southern Baja right now, as the fishing is really good in East Cape waters right now! Leading the way are good numbers of striped marlin in our fishing grounds to the north, east, and south. While most of the stripers being contacted straight east are offshore 22-35 miles, it’s only 10-12 miles out to the north or south to find marlin feeding and jumping around on the surface.
We have awesome amounts of bait right now, with plenty of live mackerel, caballitos, balllyhoo, and plenty of sardines to fill the baitwells. Marlin are being caught on a variety of trolled lures and of course pitched live baits and rigged ballyhoo. A few sailfish are mixed in, and we’ve had our first blue marlin of the season as well! All in all, billfishing is looking really good right now in the Sea of Cortez.
Dorado continue to lead the way in terms of numbers of fish caught. There are simply hoards of dorado, with the bigger bulls and cows smashing trolled marlin baits, the rigged ballyhoo, and some hootchies and feathers being trolled at the rear of the spread. Plus, plenty of mahi are being spotted on the surface, and are easy targets with some sardines for chum and some hooked liveys tossed their way. The dorado are ranging in size from 15 pounds up to 40 pounds-plus right now.
Wahoo are pretty common right now as well, especially early on in the fishing day and if they don’t snip you off with their razor-sharp teeth. Inshore, roosterfish to 25 pounds are available, as are assorted pargo, cabrilla, triggerfish, and numerous sierra mackerel. The fishin’s good, the eatin’s great right now on the East Cape! Fish tacos for everyone!
PS: Not a SINGLE case of swine flu reported in the entire southern Baja, so…. “why worry?”
East Cape Fishing Report 5/1/09
Dorado fishing has been spectacular on the East Cape for the entire month of April, and shows no signs of slowing. A dead whale floating to the east produced literally hundreds of fish for our anglers, while a dead seal was also a highly productive locale for dorado to the north off Punta Pescadero. Live sardines and both live and dead mackerel are readily available as bait, with most of the dorado coming on sardines, as well as a variety of artificial lures like Storm WildEye Live Mackerel and Live Mullet swimbaits and various Rapalas. The best news of all is the relative size of the dorado’with most fish exceeding 20 pounds, plenty of fish hooked up in the 30-pound-plus range, and even a few bulls over 40 pounds. Awesome! With warmer-than-normal sea surface temps, the dorado fishing is definitely ahead of schedule this year.
The billfish bite is comprised almost exclusively of striped marlin, with a few sailfish mixed in. Trolled lures and pitched live mackerel are doing the trick on the big game species. Points north and east are producing fish, with most of the marlin being contacted 10-15 miles offshore of Punta Pescadero, and 20-25 miles offshore straight to the east.
Inshore, roosterfishing has been excellent and is far outpacing our usual April bite for this popular species. While lots of juvenile fish are the primary catch, a few roosters in the 20-30 pound range have been hooked. Plenty of sierra mackerel are available inshore, as are pargo and cabrilla, so a variety of species that make excellent table fare are rounding out the inshore bite. Some jack crevalle are starting to school inshore as well.
East Cape Fishing Report 4/15/09
For this Fishing Report, we’re going to do something a little different. We received a wonderful e-mail from some first-time guests, Bruce and Kelli Mack from Snohomish, WA, who just returned from a fishing vacation at Hotel Punta Colorada. The e-mail provides a much more detailed Fishing Report that we are accustomed to publishing, and offers some of the finer details that better articulates the East Cape fishing experience than we traditionally publish in our reports. Enjoy!
“To East Cape Resorts & the staff of Hotel Punta Colorada,
Thanks so much for your help in putting together our trip to Punta Colorada and the awesome Sea of Cortez. Kelli & I had a blast, everyday. I was a little nervous when our first full day started out with a strong North wind and there were people saying how it usually blows like that for three days, then calms. As there was no live bait available that day because of rough water, we opted to postpone our first cruiser trip. That was fine. It gave us a chance to chill out from our travel day, catch sierra off the beach and find cool shells.
Much to our relief, the next day dawned with calm seas and we boarded the “Mahi Mahi” for what was to be a very memorable day. Not ten minutes into trolling, Kel fought and boated what turned out to be the prize of our trip, a very large wahoo, estimated by our skipper, Ramon, to be right around 80 lbs. We were also told this was the first wahoo of the season for all the East Cape Resorts and that it’s very lucky to get one without the use of wire leader. That’s cool, we’ll take it! I was also able to get the first striped marlin of my life, a respectable 180 or so pounds, according to Ramon. Those things are brutal, what an awesome experience! The day finished out with a dorado for each of us, both around 20-25 lbs and encounters with 5 more marlin that didn’t seem interested in either lures or live mackerel… that’s fishing. What a killer first day on the water!
Our second cruiser day was all about dorado, 12 to 40 lbs, big school under floating debris, as many as you wanted to reel in and glass seas. What else can I say? Oh yea, seven more marlin sighted, one on briefly and another moderately interested in a pitched live mackerel. Our crew of Ramon, Torino and Diego were great… It would’ve been fun to fish with them even if catching wasn’t so good! You can tell they really love to fish.
Day three on the water was aboard the panga “Robert”, skippered by our excellent guide, Pedro. Started out going North for bottom fish. Mostly sierra and pargo… lots! Then back South near the lighthouse for roosters. Got four, up to 25 lbs and a 35 lb “corel” (jack crevalle). Pound for pound, great fighters and very fun on our light steelhead rods with 15 lb test. I’m sure we would’ve gotten smoked had we hooked any of the larger roosters that will be arriving soon. Then, after roosters, Pedro took us out a few miles for a quick shot at another marlin. We saw several and actually watched one grab one of the teasers. Unfortunately, the hook didn’t stick and the fish vamoosed. Oh well, another great day!
Our fourth and last day was again aboard the “Robert”. This is a very nice, new panga and it gave us a comfortable ride in the rough seas. Because of the conditions, there was no live bait available so we set out to catch our own. We caught 4 bonita and kept two as bait. Even the bait down there is fun to catch! We saw a few marlin and had a couple bites from dorado but the bonita would be it for the day. It was a slow fishing day for us and the rest of the fleet but we still had great fun fishing with Pedro.
Equally fun for us, was casting from the beach. We surf fished most mornings with the sunrise, every evening before dinner and, on our off days, a little bit mid-day. We always hooked something, mostly sierra but a lot of others too, even a couple roosterfish right in front of the hotel. In all, I think we caught 17 different species. There was tons of bait out front with lots of bigger fish and pelicans chasing it. I’ve included an awesome picture that one of the other guests took, thousands of sardinas being chased by a school of jacks. This feeding frenzy occurred two hours after we arrived at Punta Colorada. We saw it again our last night there, but not to the same degree.
Anyway, thanks again and thanks to the great staff at Punta Colorada. Manuel and Yadi in the front office, Johnny the bartender, Carlos & Carlos in the dining room, Norma our housekeeper, Alejandro, Alfonso and all the other folks whose names we didn’t catch – all were friendly and helpful. We will be back, it’s just a matter of when.
Bruce & Kelli Mack
East Cape Fishing Report 4/1/09
Dorado are definitely leading the overall catch rates right now in the East Cape, with many boats getting multiple dorado daily. The fish are seemingly everywhere, and are being spotted on the surface or are blasting trolled marlin lures. Live sardines and both live and dead mackerel are catching fish as well. Many of the dorado are schooled, so multiple hookups are possible. The fish range in size from 10# up to 30#, so some really nice-sized mahi-mahi are coming in. Fish tacos, ceviche, and fresh mahi steaks for dinner are definitely on the menu!
Striped marlin are numerous, but have been off the bite somewhat in the past week, which was surprising considering it was the dark of the moon. Some boats are enjoying multiple hookups and catching and releasing one to three stripers in a day, but many more fish are being spotted tailing on the surface. Unfortunately, many of these tailers are not taking a pitched bait, not even a lively mackerel! Some fish are coming into the spread and are being hooked on lures as well. One bonus: marlin are as close to three miles offshore, so the action starts right away in the morning for anglers targeting billfish. Marlin boats are fishing as far as 28 miles offshore, where a significant surface temperature break has been congregating both billfish and plenty of dorado.
Rather unusually for the East Cape waters, a variety of shark species have been available to anglers. An ongoing early morning bite for thresher sharks has been occurring just a few miles offshore from both La Rivera and Punta Pescadero, and a few mako sharks have been coming into the marlin lure spreads or taking live baits meant for schools of dorado. Our captains tell us that blood in the water from numerous gaffed dorado (when the boats target schools) are drawing in makos to the dorado fishing spots. A few makos have been up to seven feet in length. Additionally, a number of juvenile hammerhead sharks have been seen cruising on the surface.
Inshore, sierra mackerel are numerous, with fish taking both trolled Rapalas as well as slow-trolled sardines. The waters near La Rivera and Punta Arena have been most productive. Also inshore, roosterfish are starting to show up in good numbers, although the fish are on the small side (3-15 pounds). Of course, our peak roosterfishing season is in June and July, when fish up to 90 pounds are hooked.
With striped marlin and mahi mahi in abundance, Spring fishing is in full swing here on the East Cape!
East Cape Fishing Report 3/1/09
The winter season northerly trade winds, which were noticeably inconsistent in January, returned in February and limited the days when anglers could fish comfortably. However, on days when the fleet was on the water, fishing was very good. Excellent numbers of striped marlin are being contacted to the south of the resorts, south of Los Frailes. Here, warmer currents are congregating schools of mackerel and marlin are feeding aggressively. Multiple hookups are possible. A few nice wahoo in the 40-pound class also are being reported from these waters.
Dorado fishing has been impressive, with many 15-25 pound fish available. Our biggest mahi mahi usually show up during the summer months, but we are seeing both numbers of fish as well as good average size already. It could bode well for an awesome year of dorado fishing!
Yellowfin tuna are available, with schools of footballs in the region, as well as the chance to catch some bigger fish in the 30-40 pound range.
Inshore, sierra mackerel and pargo are numerous and easily caught. A few yellowtail are being reported from inshore waters to the north near Punta Perico.
We’re approaching the furious Springtime bite for striped marlin, which really gets going in March and April, and with plentiful dorado and tuna in our waters’along with several other popular species’it’s a great time to be planning a fishing trip to the East Cape!
East Cape Fishing Report 2/1/09
Fishing has been excellent on the East Cape in the month of January, provided the wind isn’t blowing. We typically get some pretty good northerly trade winds in January, and this year has been no exception, although we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of calm days as well.
We’ve got ideal sea surface temperatures to report as well. While we typically are fishing 71 degree water at best in January, this year we’ve been able to access 74-76 degree water. This is the preferred temperature for striped marlin, and boats are catching and releasing multiple fish per day via a combination of trolled lures and pitched live mackerel. All of the fishing is taking place in our fishing grounds to the south of the hotels, from Los Frailes to points further south, anywhere from 4-22 miles offshore.
Wahoo are on a heady bite right now as well, especially early in the morning. The fish are running big’40 pounds and up’and of course make excellent table fare. A few wahoo also are showing up in lure spreads while trolling for marlin, and are being brought to the boat provided their razor-sharp teeth don’t slice the mono leaders used for marlin lures.
Dorado fishing is excellent. The fish are plentiful in East Cape waters right now, but are running small (10-20#) which is typical for winter. Nonetheless, when contacted, dorado are filling the boats and thus anglers’ coolers. Sardines are the bait of choice for dorado right now.
A few yellowfin tuna schools are in the region, with football-sized fish being the primary result. Some bonita (blackfin tuna) also are available. Inshore, plenty of pargo (snapper) and small grouper can be caught, and a few nice yellowtail have been showing up too. The real story, however, are the sierra mackerel, which are absolutely thick inshore right now, congregated near the Las Cuevas Arroyo outflow, up and down the shoreline in front of Hotel Punta Colorada, and near Punta Arena (Lighthouse) and further south near Las Barracas. Trolled Rapala X-Raps and Magnums–and chumming/slow-trolling with live sardines’are the main tactics for catching plenty of sierra mackerel right now. This is one of our most delicious species to eat!
East Cape Fishing Report 1/20/09
Striped marlin fishing has been very consistent so far this winter, and has been especially good in the past week to accompany calm seas. While we generally see some windy days due to our northerly trade winds during the month of January, we’ve had quite a few glorious sunny, calm days as well, making fishing on the Sea of Cortez both fun and productive.
Sea surface temps in the 73-75 degree range are within easy reach of our fleet, exclusively to the south of our resorts. Boats are running to Punta Arena (The Lighthouse) and south to Los Frailes and even toward the Gordo Banks. Here, numerous striped marlin are available. Most boats targeting marlin are catching and releasing 1-3 marlin daily, with some even better days.
Plenty of small dorado are being caught. The fish are generally 10-15 pounds but make excellent table fare. A few fish tacos and ceviche at the pool bar, a side dish for dinner, and a full cooler of mahi mahi fillets for the trip back home are the benefits of the good dorado fishing!
Sierra mackerel are numerous along the inshore fishing areas near La Ribera and Punta Colorada. Sardines and trolled Rapalas are catching the sierra. This species is super-delicious when pan-fried in butter and seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper. Not only are many sierra being caught, but they are averaging a nice size as well, so anglers are getting some great fillets. A few pargo (snapper) are mixed in with the inshore bite.
Sunny skies, beautiful weather, and steady fishing make it a great time to visit the East Cape! With the good striped marlin fishing already this month, the fishing should be fantastic in February, March, and April!
East Cape Fishing Report 11/30/08
Dorado are leading the way as far as the fishing action here on the East Cape. The fish are numerous, and good numbers of big fish are being caught up to 40+ pounds, as well as many smaller fish. Schools of smaller dorado are being found near-shore, with the bigger dorado coming from offshore fishing grounds by boats fishing for marlin.
Speaking of marlin, there are still quite a few striped marlin around and the occasional blue marlin, but the billfish action definitely is tapering off as our peak season winds down.
Inshore, juvenile roosterfish are being caught on sardines and sierra mackerel are showing up in catches as well. Pargo and cabrilla also are available.
East Cape Fishing Report 10/30/08
The overall fishing hasn’t changed much for the past two weeks. We’re still seeing some good action for yellowfin tuna, dorado, striped marlin, sailfish, wahoo, roosterfish, and pargo, as well as some blue marlin and even one black marlin.
The best news is probably the average size of the yellowfin tuna. Although the fishing spots are hit-and-miss from day-to-day, when some tuna are located, anglers are hooking some really nice fish from 40-80 pounds, and even several 150# class ahi. A good day fishing anywhere! A pesky north wind has made the long run to find tuna a bit uncomfortable, but for those willing to hunt for tuna, the rewards are there.
Dorado action has slipped in the past two weeks. Although numerous dorado are still being caught, the action isn’t as fast and furious as it was in early October. Schoolies are being located near-shore around Punta Colorada and Punta Arena, out from Cabo Pulmo, and to the north near Punta Pescadero. A few brutes in the 30-45 pound class are being caught offshore by anglers trolling for marlin and searching for tuna.
One black marlin and a number of nice blue marlin were caught recently. Sailfish action remains steady with good numbers of 100# class fish being caught; occasionally, boats are finding a pod of sails and hooking up two or three fish at a time. Quite a few striped marlin have been caught and released in the Sea of Cortez in the past two weeks as well.
Inshore, hoards of juvenile roosterfish are available, being caught primarily on sardines. A couple of big roosters also have been caught and released. Some dandy pargo are being caught, along with a few cabrilla and sierra mackerel, to round out the inshore action.
East Cape Fishing Report 10/15/08
Overall fishing in the East Cape waters has been consistent but not spectacular, as we are accustomed to in October! We had a slight hiccup last week as Hurricane Norbert threatened the Baja Peninsula, but the storm was significantly weakened by cool Pacific waters, and by the time it made landfall, several hundred miles north of the East Cape, it was a non-issue. We did pull the fleet from the water for one day as a precaution, but everyone was back fishing the next day as all we had were some blustery winds and a sprinkle of rain. Hurricane season concludes with no storms adversely affecting the East Cape!
Sailfish lead the way as far as the billfish bite. Boats heading north out from Punta Pescadero, and also fishing close to shore near La Ribera, are encountering sails. The fish are coming up in the spread or being spotted on the surface, where they are susceptible to pitched live mackerel, caballitos, or dead ballyhoo. We have seen some blue marlin in the area in the past week, and two fish that expired during the fight were weighed–220# and 385#. Several others were released.
Dorado numbers are pretty strong. Boats are occasionally running into schools of fish and enjoying multiple hookups. The schoolies are averaging about 15#, but some larger dorado up to 40# are also being caught, primarily by boats fishing for marlin. Dorado are prevalent in all directions out from the hotels, with more schools being encountered off Punta Pescadero to the north and Punta Arena to the south.
Most boats are beginning their fishing days by hooking one or two Humboldt squid that are coming up from the depths just a mile offshore from Palmas de Cortez. These “Diablo Rojos” are putting up a tremendous battle of amount ten minutes per angler before coming to the gaff. These four-footers make excellent cum and chunk baits for tuna. Unfortunately, the tuna are ranging far and wide and there seems to be no consistent pattern to hookups. The best school was 57 miles out at last report. It contains numerous tuna averaging 40 pounds, and quite a few fish over 100 pounds have been caught. A monstrous 360 pound yellowfin was brought to the scales last week after a four-hour battle. Other loose schools of tuna are near Cabo Pulmo, Los Frailes, and La Ribera, but again–inconsistent. We continue to hope that the yellowfin bite takes off again as we get later into fall!
Inshore, excellent fishing is available for juvenile roosterfish, sierra mackerel, and pargo, as well as a few cabrilla and triggerfish. Smaller dogtooth are close to shore in shallow water, and some awesome 40-pounders are being found on the seamounts offshore from Punta Colorada. Sardines are the primary bait of choice for inshore species right now, although early morning trollers (with Marauders) are having the best success for nice-sized wahoo.
Sea surface temps range from 88-92 and our daytime highs are 95, cooling to the high 70’s at night.
East Cape Fishing Report 9/30/08
Fishing has been consistent but not spectacular recently on the East Cape. We’ve got a variety of species biting both inshore and offshore, and plenty of fish overall to catch, but the action isn’t fast and furious like we sometimes expect in September.
Sailfish lead the way as far as billfish are concerned, with good average size and good numbers of fish available. Most of the sails are in the 90-120# range and are being taken on trolled marlin lures as well as pitched dead ballyhoo. Trolled skirted ballyhoo also are bringing the fish up and into the spread. In addition to the sailfish, a number of blue marlin 200-350# have been caught and released, and after a dropoff in the striped marlin bit a week or so ago, the fish are back in our waters and also susceptible to both trolled lures and pitched dead baits.
Dorado action is fantastic, with many boats limiting out on the mahi each day. Earlier in September the average size fish were 10-15# (with many chickens being released), but in the past week the fish are running 20-25#. Dorado are one of the fastest-growing fish in the sea (fully-grown adults only live to be 2 years old), so it’s not surprising to see our average catch increase so rapidly. Many of the fish are being caught near Cabo Pulmo drifting sardines, or trolling hootchies to the south of Los Frailes, and it’s not uncommon to have schools of dorado surrounding the boat and producing multiple hookups.
Tuna fishing was better early in September, and while overall catch rates have dropped, the average size has increased to 40-50#. Several yellowfin over 1000# are being caught in the mix. Chumming and deep-drifting with squid and sardines, and trolled hootchies and cedar plugs, are taking most fish. Many boats are stopping to hook Humboldt squid in the mornings just a mile offshore from Palmas de Cortez, making for some great calamari steaks as well as awesome bait!
Inshore, some wahoo are being caught on trolled Marauders, and roosterfishing is steady near Punta Colorada and La Rivera drifting live sardines on light tackle. Most of the roosters are running 2-5 pounds.