Sunday, February 03, 2013

Massive Marlin Caught in Cabo by Senior Citizens!

Left to Right: Deckhand Alejandro Suarez, Captain Manuel "El Chichi" Dominguez and Jaime Dominguez Photo by Mario Banaga- all rights reserved

Unknown to the fishing community an epic battle was taking place off the Cabo coast yesterday with a monster marlin. A 32 ft charter boat "Ziggy", left the dock Saturday morning on what was supposed to be a half day, or four hour trip. The anglers all senior citizens from Phoenix, Arizona, were no spring chickens and if Captain Manuel Dominguez, understood them correctly, the youngest was 82 years old. They headed up the Pacific to look for tuna as the clients had requested. Manuel, also know as "Chichi" is a very experienced captain and had fifteen tuna on board before long for the two couples - Sergent & Sandy Snagirett, John & Edie Rayno. It was 1.20 pm in the afternoon and they were nine miles off of Cabo; time to bring the lines in. Suddenly they got a hit on their right outrigger, their homemade flying fish lure - the line started to peel off the reel at an alarming speed. Captain Manuel said "I thought it was a big tuna, because we had big porpoises around us".  Forty minutes later the fish jumped and  they saw that it was a large blue marlin "I thought it was around 800 lbs, because I´ve caught two around that size before", said the captain. The first tourist to fight the fish only lasted about ten minutes before surrendering to the brute beast and was relieved by Jaime, Captain Manuel´s 18 year old son, along in training as a deckhand. Jaime did a little better as he fought the fish with his 80 lb tackle and managed to crank for  three hours. Then another of the tourists had a go, but loosened the drag and the line quickly bunched up making a "bird's nest", forming a knot that stripped one of the rod guides of it's inner liner. Deckhand Alejandro Suarez took over and quickly rectified the situation and continued to fight the fish for another hour. By now it was getting late and the captain was worried that he might run out of diesel as the fish had taken them eleven miles out and he had no idea how much longer the fight would go on. He called his friend Julio Castro, captain of Tracy Ann from Pisces Sportfishing and asked for help. The diesel dock was closed so Julio, along with his son Abrahn and fellow captain Jose Ramon of Pisces Rebecca, went to the gas station to buy some diesel and headed out on the Tracy Ann to assist the Ziggy. They located the boat easily with the GPS  and were there to assist thirty minutes later, around 6.00 pm. The crew and anglers of Ziggy where happy to get reinforcements & encouraged the Pisces boys to help fight the fish. Julio stayed on his boat but Abrahn and Jose Ramon climbed aboard and both took turns at fighting the fish for a total of two hours, before realizing they had an important soccer match to play in & needed to get back (gives you an idea of how important this game is in Mexico). They left the Ziggy with promises of phone contact help until the game was over. Captain Manuel decided it was up to him to get the job done, climbed down from the bridge and went to work putting a lot of pressure on the fish. At 9.00 pm he felt the fish shaking it's head and knew it was jumping - he got the fish boat side, handed the rod to his deckhand and went back to the controls, while his crew gaffed the fish. They now had a new problem on their hands; how to get the marlin on to the swim step or in the boat. They struggled for half an hour before giving up and tying the head only to the swim step and starting the sixteen mile trip home in the dark. Good to their word the Pisces boys were there to lend a hand when they finally pulled into their slip at 1.30 am on Sunday morning. There was no way to weigh the fish at that hour, so between them all they hauled the massive fish up onto the concrete dock and left it in the custody of the night watchman, before waving goodbye to the dazed anglers who headed off to their hotel. What a surprise everybody got on Sunday morning to see that huge fish lying there. At 8.30 am there was enough help to get the fish weighed and it was hauled up on the marina scale where it registered 987 lbs. Now, it had sat out all night on the dock so at least ten percent of its body weight had been lost, meaning it was at least 1085 lbs putting it in the top five largest fish ever caught in Cabo. - 
Note: Pisces did not kill this fish, we are reporting this story only. 
The fish spent the night on the dock, where it lost at least ten percent of its body weight. Photo by Mario Banaga - all rights reserved

Fish Report

Overall Catch Success Rate 99%
Numbers at a glance: Marlin 65%, Dorado 61%, Tuna 17%
BILLFISH: We have not had a lot of anglers in town, which is shame because fishing is good and we know it is cold everywhere else – it is worth coming to Cabo for a weekend right now. Striped marlin catches were good throughout the week with boats averaging one to two each on most days in the 100 to 160 lb class. Thankfully live mackerel was readily available which we believe to a positive factor in the catch rate.  Los Arcos and Golden Gate seemed to be the way to go, but strangely enough, on January 29th boats did an about face and fished the other extreme of Destiladeres on the Cortez side where they found marlin, before switching back to the Pacific the following day. There is a micro climate around Cabo; the seas and calm and there is no wind, but once you pass San Jose it is windy. The best marlin day was at the end of this report when we saw Pisces Adriana, a 28 ft boat catch and release four striped marlin for a couple that described themselves as “a desert lizard and a polar bear” Suzy Hertzman from Arizona and Patrik Hertzman from Sweden, who travelled from Europe to release these four fish at the Golden Gate. This same day we saw Pisces Great Escape Jr release three marlin for Kevin & Jamie Henderson from Greenacres, Washington as well as Pisces Andrea releasing three marlin, plus two skipjacks for Wayne & Warren Gyorfi from Canada. Sixty five percent of our boats caught striped marlin this week resulting in a total of 25 stripers, all of which were released.

OTHER SPECIES: It was great to have a revival on the tuna this week; commercial tuna seiners swept through him over a week ago and swept them all up, but I guess a new school moved into the area of San Jaime, resulting in some great catches. Tom Shave and his friends from Fort McMurray, Canada, were out on Pisces Tracy Ann and loaded up with 23 tuna, releasing some and also boating a dorado, they even saw a marlin but couldn’t get a hook up. This same day Pisces Bill Collector really went overboard catching 50 tuna of which they released 30, plus ten dorado were caught, for Mark Chiavetta & friends from Jose, California. Tuna were not found but a lot of boats, but when located the catches were excellent – just seventeen percent of charters caught yellowfin but the total catch was of 100 fish. You had a better chance of catching dorado this week; sixty one percent of boats, in fact did and catches ranged from one to fourteen fish, with weights between 15 and 30 lbs. One of the best spots for these was two miles offshore at Los Arcos on the Pacific. Charter boats also caught white skipjack in shore – in other words the type you can eat, as well as a few sierra. We are now offering surf/beach fishing with an expert guide, American born, Mexico raised, Wesley is now available for excursion with groups of up to four anglers and usually has high success rates. This week he caught jack crevalle up to 20 lbs, red and dog tooth snapper and even a large roosterfish. He has success catching sharks from the beach too, with some large copper sharks in the last month.
LOCATION: Pacific - Los Arcos, Migrino, San Jaime, Golden Gate; Cortez Punta Gorda, Destilideras.
BEST LURES: Live mackerel, green lure, ballyhoo, cedar plugs, and feathers.
Based on the catches of Pisces by Tracy Ehrenberg