WEATHER: What a great week we had! With daytime lows ranging from 68 to 73 degrees and the daytime highs from 78 to 87 degrees it was comfortable all the time. We had a bit of cloud cover during Thursday, Friday and part of Saturday but since the winds never did get too strong it was still nice out. Everyone thought for a while that we might get some rain due to the clouds, but they were high and moving so nothing dropped on us.
WATER: The water this week did not change from what we were seeing last week as far as temperatures go with the Pacific side showing at 73 degrees within 4 to 5 miles of the beach, dropping to 71-72 degrees farther out than that. Also, the water close to the beach was a bit off color compared to the cooler water offshore. On the Cortez side of the Cape the water is showing at 76-77 degrees with an occasional spot of 78 degrees, and the water is a bit cleaner than on the Pacific side. The currents have weakened a bit and that plume of cool water that extended from the tip of the Cape towards the southeast has started to collapse and warm a bit, as well as drift a bit to the west, most likely due to the weaker currents.
BAIT: Just as it was last week, most of the bait available from the bait boats was Caballito with a mix of green jacks and misc. small fish. The boats also had some frozen Ballyhoo and both frozen and live bait was offered at $3 each piece. Calming seas have allowed the net boats in the San Jose area to find and catch sardinas, and if you are in the area early enough you had a chance to buy a scoop for $25.
BILLFISH: Thank goodness the Marlin fishing has improved over the past week. While we were seeing plenty of Striped Marlin tailing down swell last week, they were not very hungry. For some reason, this week they started to bite a bit better. It was still not up to our usual and expected levels, but was a vast improvement over what we had been experiencing the past month. Many of the boats were coming in flying at least one release flag, and many more than last week were flying two or more. Unfortunately there were also many more boats than usual bringing in dead Marlin, probably because the charters have been slow and not many fish were being brought in (raising the prices for illegally sold sport-caught fish). Add in that many boats (not the ones I use though) kill the Marlin hoping to “guilt” the fishermen into getting a mount made for the commission money. I don’t think that will ever change here, we will never make it to 100% release, but I have to say that the numbers of crews doing this (killing the billfish) has dropped a great amount since I first got here!
YELLOWFIN TUNA: I guess we will have to go on waiting with our fingers crossed for these fish! I hate it, but the only Yellowfin I have heard of being caught have been up to the north of San Jose. Boats leaving Cabo very early, and boats starting out from San Jose were finding some fish in the 20-30 pound size a bit north of Punta Gorda, up around the Vinorama area. The earlier you go there, the better you did, at least until the end of the week when the wind blew hard for a day. Closer to home the fish have not shown, with the exception of an occasional small Yellowfin close to the beach on a blind strike.
DORADO: We had one day this week (Tuesday) when the Dorado actually showed up for a brief visit. They were gone again on Wednesday so it must have been a large school passing through. The fish were found about three miles offshore on the Pacific side, and catches ranged from one to four fish per boat. The fish were not large, averaging 12 pounds, but the fact that they were there resulted in a slight increase in the number of charters on Wednesday! As I said though, it was a one day showing, and none of the boats on Wednesday found the same concentration of fish, just a few stragglers. As is normal with Dorado, the boats getting multiple numbers were holding the first hooked fish close to the boat without bringing it aboard in order to entice any other fish around to come close. A strip bait dropped back to following fish, when twitched a little, worked much better in hooking up any followers than dropping back a live bait did.
WAHOO: I neither saw nor heard of any Wahoo being caught out of Cabo, but I am sure there were a few. There were a few reported by boats that left early and got on the high spots around Punta Gordo just at daylight.
INSHORE: Several weeks ago the offshore fishing was terrible and all the boats fished close to the beach and were finding Sierra, Amberjack, Snapper and Bonita. That fishing has changed a bit as the number of Snapper has dropped off severely (probably due to the lack of spawning aggregations), the Sierra have become difficult to find and the rest of the species are very hit-or-miss. As an example, this past Sunday there was a small Panga tournament (16 boats) with Sierra, Yellowtail and Dorado categories. Only one Yellowtail was caught, one small Dorado and no Sierra larger than 6 pounds. These were experienced captains trying to win money, so there is your example of how it is now. Perhaps as the moon phase continues waxing (new moon was yesterday) the bite inshore will improve.
NOTES: We have had some great weather this week, about as good as it gets and are still waiting for the fishing to match it! With the better Marlin bite we have seen, it just might happen. Just like last week, fewer whales are being seen as most of them have already begun their journey back north. Now that Easter week is over, the beaches are once again nice to be on, and not crowded.
The information I use in these reports are obtained in many different ways, some from personal experience, some from my clients and Captains who are out every day, and some from on-line subscription services such as Fish-Track, BuoyWeather and SurfZone as well as HurricaneZone. I, and only I, am responsible for any errors made, as I sift all this information and compile it.
Music of the week is Carlos Santana on the album “Guitar Heaven – The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time”, a 2010 Arista Records release. Excellent listening!
Thank you very much for checking out my report, and if you would like, check out www.flyhooker.com, I have just re-vamped the web site and you may like it. Still under development, but there will be new photos, articles, tips and techniques every week starting next month. I am going to set up a link on the website so you can access the archived reports at my blog. I have tried to load them on the website, but 10 years of weekly reports have slowed down my ability to make changes to anything else. The link will take you to the blog and all the reports since 2010 are listed there. If you want a report from years prior to that let me know and I will e-mail them to you, they go back through 2005.
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Meanwhile, Tight lines!
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