The Fish Sniffer - Sailfish, Marlin And Dorado Tangle With Anglers Off East Cape
Sailfish, Marlin And Dorado Tangle With Anglers Off East Cape

Written By: FishSniffer Staff, December 17, 2013
Species: Billfish Dorado Tuna Wahoo Marlin
Location: Baja California,

According to the folks at Rancho Leonero Resort on the East Cape, conditions are very good with warmer than normal water temperatures for this time of the year.

“For this late in the season the fishing remains very good. We have been sending out only one or two boats a day, the light fishing pressure hasn''t hurt the fishing,” disclosed Eric Lopes.

“Our best billfish year continues, with both sailfish and striped marlin biting aggressively all week. The dorado have been bigger with 30 pound fish common and most anglers limiting. All the fish are close to the hotel, most boats returning midday. We have been using big Spanish mackerel for bait this week. The macks have been deadly, almost all fish taken on live mackerel.”

“Our billfish have been a 50/50 mix of stripers and sails. All taken off La Ribera and south to the lighthouse. Anglers targeting billfish are releasing at least one. All the bills were taken on live mackerel this week,” disclosed Lopes.


Cabo Billfish Bite Slows

“Everyone I talked to this week said that the water wherever they went was almost glassy and calm the whole trip,” related Captain George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing. “I know that in the afternoons the water on the Pacific side received a bit of wind that caused some chop, but the swells stayed down and it was comfortable everywhere. As far as water temperatures go, the Sea of Cortez side of the Cape was a fairly steady 81 degrees within 5 miles of the beach and 82 degrees farther out than that.”

“This week the fishing for striped marlin went from red-hot to lukewarm almost overnight as soon as that had been written. It took until this Friday for the action to return, but it finally did. I have no idea why the bite dropped off, but boats that had been getting 5 to 6 releases per trip were suddenly only getting one, or sometimes none at all. During this time frame the temperature break slowly moved to the west, to where it is now, and it may have been the slow movement that threw everyone off. Now the fish are being found on the cool side of the break, or right on the edge of the warm water. Yesterday we had clients that hooked no marlin on Thanksgiving release four and unfortunately tail wrap a fifth fish that died during the fight. Other boats were reporting the return of the bait-balls as well and once again the Frigate birds were pointing out the right locations to fish. This meant it was only an hour run to the break giving anglers plenty of time to find the marlin concentrations,” said Landrum.

“The action on dorado went had in hand with the action on striped marlin this week. As soon as the week started the action dropped to a standstill, but thankfully the bite returned at the end of the week. While the marlin action moved offshore with the temperature break, the dorado stayed in the warmer water near the beach. Most boats were finding them from 100 feet to two miles out. I hate to keep repeating myself, but the best way to catch them continues to be trolling lures until one is hooked up, then leaving that first fish out and dropping a live bait back about 50 feet behind it in order to catch others that may be with it. Second most productive (and what happens quite often when the fish are playing hard to get) is boating the first fish so there is something for dinner, then working the area with slow trolled live bait. Where there is one, there is usually another, especially on the larger of the species. Dorado, once they get to about 18 pound or so, seem to start spreading out and you will only find two or three packed together, and the really large fish in the 40 plus pound range will be loners,” disclosed Landrum.

“At the end of the week the wahoo action picked up for boats working the shallow waters close to the beach. Once again many anglers and crew were surprised to pull in a live bait only to find it had been bitten cleanly in half, or find a lure that had the skirts chopped off. Crews that decided to forgo fishing for dorado and concentrate on wahoo changed to wire leaders and either fished their lures on wire lines as well, or placed heavy 24 ounce torpedo sinkers ahead of the lures, running the main line to a swivel, attaching the sinker then attaching the lure to the sinkers other end with another swivel. Working the shallows at 8 to 10 knots with this setup caught a lot of the wahoo brought in at the end of this week. These fish were not giants, with the larger of them reaching 45 pounds, but the average was a decent 25 pounds,” Landrum concluded.


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