The summer peak season is happening here on the East Cape, with a Marlin and Sailfish bite that keeps rolling. We have been into the billfish for about three weeks now with no indication of a slowing in the action. In the 17 years that we have worked out of the Van Wormer Resorts I have not seen this many sailfish in June. Add that happy occurrence to one of the better years for stripped marlin and you have an exceptional situation for those seeking billfish on fly or with conventional gear. Some of the boats have topped 20 bill fish released in a single day. Those are Guatemala and Costa Rica type numbers. Is it an every day occurrence for all who fished here? Are all boats hitting the jack pot? Like any great fishing spot on the globe there have been a few slower days, and other days that some boats hit it big and others not. That is fishing my friend. Experienced anglers except that they may hit the off day of a good bite, be a day behind the new hot spot, or for some unexplained reason be on the boat right next to the all the other boats catching one fish after another, using the same lures, same techniques and still come up short. Hard to explain, I have no answer, been on the hot boat and the not so hot boat. That’s fishing. So when I write about the exceptional fishing that we are experiencing this month, it from the perspective of all the boat going out and the over all success of those fishing now and over the past three weeks. Just about all our clients since late May have caught a billfish on the fly, whether they came for billfish or not. In the case of Jim Helinger it was a here to for quest unfulfilled. His first ever striped marlin put on a spectacular display of jumps, well over twenty, yet had the stamina to keep Jim working for over an hour. Congratulations Jim and all those that have caught a billfish on the fly.
The dorado bite is fair to good and getting better. I think there are more dodos around, but like Rodney Dangerfield they get no respect. The billfish bite is so good that few boats are targeting the other species. We are finding dorado around the shark buoys and otherwise where the billfish are, but there are plenty of fish working the current line closer to the shore. Dorado are showing up, as they often do, right in the anchored boats in front of Palmas de Cortez.
My clients, Jim and Tanner Zimmerman hit it a huge school of small dorado between a set of buoys off of Boca del Alamo two days ago. The fish count was lost well after the 20th fish to come over the rail and all were quickly released. The school numbered in the hundreds and they were ravenous. Jim and Tanner started a game of how fast they could sweep the fly rod skittering a popper across the surface and still catch a fish. They had dorado doing greyhound leaps after their bugs in an attempt to crash down on top of the fast moving poppers. Calin, the panga Captain, picked up a fly rod and joined in the fun with the excuse that he was teasing fish for the clients. Riiiight Calin, I saw that rod bent a lot. That is a fun time in any ones book.
Roosterfish are still very much a part of the menu along the beaches. Due to a lack of sardina, the smaller fish are just not here in the usual numbers. Most of the fish are big and in the mullet eating category. The good news is that the mullet are abundant and the roosters are aggressively in pursuit. Lots of feeding activity is taking place all up and down the sandy beaches, but notably around la Ribera and light house. While the catch rate will not blow your hair back, the possibilities keep the died-in-the-wool roosterfish chasers awake at night thinking about new flies, a faster strip and all the “what if I had only”…..
The days are warm, my reliable high/low thermometer seems stuck on 88 most days with an occasional bump up to 90. Most nights are staying warm. I chased the cows out of my yard at 3:00 am last night and the temp was still 80. The water temps are changing with the influence of the California current trying to insert itself into the Sea of Cortez. The Terrafin chart looks like junior’s attempt at finger painting. Over all it seems that 78 degrees prevails with swirls of warmer water and splashes of areas in the 74 degree range. Seems fitting, in memory to having kids, to post it on the refrigerator. One down side of the weather last week was a strong wind out of the South East that kicked boats around for three days. That little event is out of here and it looks like calm seas into the foreseeable future. My advice is to find a cheap flight and get yourself down here. Hell, even if the price of a seat is high, it is time to be on the East Cape.