Tuesday, March 02, 2010

February 18th to 28th,2010

Overall Catch Success Rate 86%

BILLFISH: Last week we talked about how the fishing was "March like", now we are practically in March and it hasn't changed. We often refer to this as the March doldrums, but in reality there is lots of activity on the fishing front, just not for marlin. There has been no one location where boats were sure to spot marlin and we are not seeing them congregate in any one area. As an example let's look at some of the locations of where marlin were caught; the envy of everybody this week was "Andrea" for catching and releasing two striped marlin for Brian, Jason & Pat Garret from Breton, Canada – one of their fish was hooked up outside the Golden Gate and the other three miles out from Las Margaritas. Later in the week this same boat released a striper twelve miles out from Golden Gate where they were also very fortunate to get eight yellowfin tuna for Lee Pearson from Paynesville, Florida. "Falcon" on the other hand, went the opposite direction, into the Sea of Cortez and released a striped marlin at the Herradura. This same day "Rebecca" released a marlin eighteen miles from where Falcon got their fish and at the same time "Tracy Ann" released a marlin thirty five miles from the Old Lighthouse. So you couldn't really get a wider range if you tried as each of the locations mentioned above is at the limit of day charter range and all in completely different areas. This is probably why our billfish catch rate was a low fourteen percent, consisting of a total of eight fish, all released.

OTHER SPECIES: Catches for other traditional catches, considered staples of the Cabo fishery were also only average with twenty percent of boats catching dorado, though seldom more than a single fish in the 15 to 25 lb class. Yellowfin tuna catches were on par with that of marlin with fourteen percent of boats hooking fish up to 30 lbs, but the difference here was that when found they could catch up to thirteen in a day. "No Big Deal" was the top tuna boat with thirteen caught, plus two dorado four miles out from the Old Lighthouse for Gary Wade from Pickering, Ohio, fishing with friends. We had several sharks this week "Andrea" taking top honors again, this time for two mako sharks for Naomi Kretzwieser & Paul Handley from Canada, one was very big at 130 lbs and the other was estimated at 60 lbs, they also caught six sierras, all between GaspareƱo and Golden Gate. "C-Rod" released the only hammerhead shark, estimated at 60 lbs and also caught a dorado, 20 miles from Moro Prieto for Steve Henager from Kennewick, Washington. Now, a big story……do you remember the odd ratfish from last year? Well another one appeared this week, at almost the exact same location. This time Fish Cabo was out between eight and nine miles from Cerro Blanco, looking for marlin, when they saw birds in a feeding frenzy on the surface of the water, they zipped over there and immediately recognized as that what the birds were pecking at was a ratfish. It was already dead and starting to decompose, so the deckhand carefully scooped it up in his bait net to bring back to shore, where we have it safely stored for scientists to pick up. This one was larger than the previous one and did not have the feather/lure type thing on its forehead like the previous one. Going back to regular news, the small game catches were excellent with well over eighty percent of boats catching a mixture of sierra, roosterfish, large squid, sea bass, snappers, bonitas and even a solitary wahoo. "Rebecca" fished at Punta Lobos near Todos Santos and caught and released twenty roosterfish, two sierras and a tuna for Matt & Stacey Osiecki, from Tallahassee, Florida – what a fun and active day they had. "La Brisa" fished half a mile from Chileno and landed five large squids, the biggest topping out at 40 lbs (that's a lot of calamari!) and also got three sierra and a roosterfish for Robert Mabry & Dennis Jones from South Whitley, Indiana.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Beautiful, clear sunny skies, windy some days, seas calm to moderate. Very weird…..we were affected by the Tsunami caused by the earthquake in Chile. On February 27th, starting at noon and lasting until 2.00 pm, the water level in the marina would rise and fall, sucking back and making the pelicans float by in reverse. Nobody here had ever seen anything like it. We saw the sand in some places of the marina. The water got so low in the area where our boats leave from that you could walk from the seawall across the sand to our floating dock, which was no longer floating…then the tide would come back in. There was no damage at all, but it was an eerie experience.

LOCATION: No one set area, though smaller game was better on the Pacific.

AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 74 F; higher than it should be for this time of year.

BEST LURES: Live bait for marlin, assorted green colored lures for dorado, cedar plugs and marlin lures for tuna, hoochis and rapalas inshore.

Based on the catches of Pisces by Tracy Ehrenberg