World Championship Billfish Release Tournament
May 28-June 2, 2007
WEATHER: After the warming trend last week I was expecting things to get really hot this week. The arrival of that high-pressure system was a good intro to the temperatures to expect later in the year, and without the humidity. At the beginning of this week the warmest morning I recorded was 84 degrees before the sun came up, and 98 degrees during the middle of the day. At the end of the week the high-pressure system had moved on and we were back to having our morning lows in the low 60’s and our daytime highs around the mid 80’s. Of course we had no rain.
WATER: There was absolutely no doubt that the water was warmer on the Cortez side this week, and clearer also. We were seeing temperatures in the 78-79 degree range from the beach on out to the Cabrillo Seamount. The cleaner water was a band running from the Vinorama Canyon across the Outer Gorda Banks to the 1150 spot, elsewhere it was slightly tinged with green. The Pacific side started out with a push of warm water up the coast but as the week went on that push tapered off a bit and the water temperatures dropped a bit as well. Right now there is a significant temperature break off of the lighthouse and extending to the southwest. On the south side the water is showing a warm 72 degrees. 2 miles farther north it drops to 62 degrees and becomes very green. Surface conditions on both sides of the Cape were great with little surface chop and very light winds, with the exception of Thursday as the edge of the high-pressure system came across us.
BAIT: I really thought that bait would be harder to come by this week since it is the week after the IGFA Offshore Championship and the week of the World Championship Billfish Release Tournament but there was no problem getting all you needed. Of course there were not many Caballito yet, mostly it was Mackerel with a few Mullet at the normal $2 per bait. Up toward San Jose there were some really nice Sardinas in the 3-4 inch size at $25 per bucket, closer to home here at the marina the price was a bit higher with ¾ bucket costing the same.
BILLFISH: Probably the best was to describe the fishing for Billfish this week was, in the right place at the right time. Having the full moon this week helped and the bite was definitely tide related with the best bite happening close to the tide change on most days. The Billfish most folks found were the Striped Marlin and while they were out there in good numbers, they were pretty concentrated as well. During the three days of the World Championship Tournament 23 boats were successful in releasing a total of 325 billfish for an average of 5 fish per day per boat, the large majority of which were Striped Marlin. There were a few Sailfish mixed in as well as two reported small Blue Marlin. Most of the action was concentrated up to the north on the Cortez side around the Vinorama Canyon area, the Gorda Banks and the 1150. I had fair luck Monday finding fish on the Pacific side to the south of the lighthouse but the water changed and the fish moved away. Almost all the fish reported released were hooked up on live bait. Light leader seemed to be the way to go, as the fish were a bit leader shy. There has been an abundance of squid in our area and the Marlin have been too full to chase artificials (on average). There were quite a few Swordfish sighted as well (comparatively speaking) and at least once was caught. There were several hookups reported to last between 2 to 6 hours where the fish were lost.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Just as I reported last week, there were some fish found offshore up around the Vinorama area mixed in with Porpoise. They were decent fish in the 35-pound class. Other than that there was not much found in the way of Tuna. A few boats reported finding fish in the greenish water south of the San Jaime area early in the week but those fish did not stick around.
DORADO: The Dorado bite has started to pick up a bit with a few more fish showing up in the catch’s every week. We had two on Wednesday while fishing up to the north in the Sea of Cortez in 79-degree water using live bait. They are not large fish yet with the biggest I heard of in the 35-pound class, but it is a definite improvement and hopefully a sign of things to come.
WAHOO: I was amazed that I did not hear of more Wahoo being caught during this Championship Billfish Tournament. Most of the boats were fishing in areas that traditionally hold Wahoo this time of year. A few were caught but they were not large fish, mostly in the 30-pound class, and on artificial lures.
INSHORE: Inshore has still been good for Sierra to 8 pounds with a lot of boats getting double digit numbers of fish on the Pacific side of the Cape. The Roosterfish have begun to show as well with some Pangas reporting up to 10 releases in a days fishing, and the fish have been a decent 10-20 pounds. At the end of the week there was a reported bit on Dogtooth Snapper (Pargo) on the Pacific side up in the rocks at the points.
NOTES: There have been many protests locally this week about the Shark Norma 029. Several winning teams in the World Championship Billfish Release Tournament donated part of their winnings to the Billfish Foundation to help fight this law. For more information on the shark longline fishing law, you can go to this website for updates.
Until next week, Tight lines!
About The Author: Captain George Landrum
Company: Fly Hooker Sportfishing
Area Reporting: Cabo San Lucas
Bio: Capt. George Landrum holds a 100 ton USCG Masters License and has over 20 years experience in Pacific Saltwater Fishing. The FlyHooker’s English speaking crew has over 35 years combined experience on the waters off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The crew of the FlyHooker pride themselves in providing personalized service to their clients. Offshore fly fishing trips are regularly arranged with advance notice.