May 13, 2013
Hola one and all. I realized that I have missed some opportunities in posting a recent fishing report and I apologize for the lapse in information. Guiding and spending after hours with our guests in this wonderful place called Baja can induce a certain pleasant state of amnesia relative to the passage of time. Merry just says it’s my memory.
Since my last post, and up till a few days ago, the fishing for dorado and marlin had been good to excellent due to an abundant supply of bait. The last week has seen the dorado numbers drop as the ballyhoo have found other places to be, at least they are not in the numbers that clouded the shallows from the Bahia de las Palmas to Espiritu Santo.
The billfish numbers have also fallen off after a very good run of striped marlin and some sailfish. Tom Kilfoyle came all the way from Alaska to catch a billfish on the fly. As fortune would have it he accomplished that on the first stripe that came up into the teasers. He made several casts to the fish before it took, the fight ending about 40 minutes later and a released marlin of about 150 pounds swam off wondering what just happened.
Merry arrived to join up with Greg Heister of Seasons On The Fly to film roosters on the fly. The film crew, plus us, worked out of Pinchelinge with Leonard Phillips of Baja Pirates de la Paz. We found plenty of roosters and plenty of roosterfish attitude. In other words, lots of follows, lots of refusals and short periods of manic eating by mid 20 pound sized fish. Some of which were landed and recorded on film to be enjoyed later this season on NBC Outdoors. One of the distractions to filming were the all the dorado in close to shore feeding on the ballyhoo. Gregg lost the opportunity on a hot rooster when a dorado darted in and grabbed the fly right out of the open mouth of a big gallo. I am not sure who was more surprised, us humans or the roosterfish. In any event the camera man caught the whole sequence of events. The last day of filming gave equal time to the dorado and we spent the day intercepting cruising fish and throwing poppers in front of them. What followed were explosive takes, lightning runs and spectacular leaps.
The beach fishing this year for big roosters has been one the best I can remember. The mullet are here in good numbers and that brings the big roosters to the table to eat. The action has spanned all the normal hot spots from Frailes to Punta Coyote. While the offshore fishing cooled off toward the end of this past week the big roosters continue to prowl the beaches and provide great excitement among the wimpy rod fishers. If there is an element missing it is the smaller to mid sized fish that follow the sardinas. The small bait fish, so important to our fishing, have moved up into the Sea of Cortez at both Frailes and Cabo Pulmo. We are anticipating their arrival here at any time.
The water temps are slowly climbing and have reached the mid to upper seventies, or about normal for the time of year. The days are still mild along the coast but starting to heat up inland. I for one am enjoying the milder days on the beach with out concern for heat stroke.
All in all the season is shaping up. Till our next post, tight lines….Mike
April 20, 2013
Fishing report 4-19-13
Despite three days of North wind this week the, fishing overall, has been good from the beach for roosters and jacks. Roger Trout found some protected lee side fishing south of light house where they saw a good number of roosters working mullet and ballyhoo. Prior to the wind the fishing was great in most of the normal places. Large schools of mullet have moved in around la Ribera and in front of Rancho Buena Vista. The big school of Ballyhoo that was in front of Playa del Sol has also moved south to the Buena Vista area.
Dorado have been overlooked by most boats the past several weeks due to the good marlin bite farther offshore. The majority of the boats have been finding billfish on the 12 mile drop and current line extending from in front of los Ceritos to Cabo Pulmo. Some very nice striped marlin have been caught this spring along with a few sailfish. Yes I said sailfish. We don’t expect them to show till the water warms into the 80’s, but some hardy members of the species have found their way into the Sea of Cortez. A few dorado have been caught by fishermen working on billfish. The majority of the dorado have been found very close to shore where ever the ballyhoo are stacked up. I personally hooked one from a kayak about 100 yards off the beach in front of Palmas and had another follow. Stories of beach caught dorado have come in from the light house to Punta Pescadero. I haven’t heard anything on pargo, cabrilla or snapper, but imagine that they are around, feeding and being caught.
Padro Baroso of Baja Pirates reports that big roosters are busting bait near las Cruzes, Coyote and the bays of Espiritu Santo Island. That is good news as next we will welcome Greg Heister of Seasons on the Fly back to the Southern Baja. The main objective is to catch and film roosterfish on fly out of la Paz, with a possible swing for billfish down into the waters of the East Cape.
Pedro reported good bottom fishing for pargo, snapper and cabrilla. The yellowtail bite has slowed down as the mackerel have started to move north. Most of the action was on the bajo north of Espiritu Santo.
This was a good year fly fishing for yellow tail with several IGFA records pending on fly. Gary Bulla of Salt Water Fly Fishing Adventures is waiting on two line class records and Gary Boyle, a Baja Fly Fishing guide is waiting on one as well.
The winds are down and the forecast looks good for the next two weeks. It appears that the North wind season has blown itself out. The air temperatures remain mild for April, mostly highs in the mid to high 70’s. The water remains where it has been since March in the low 70’s. The stage is set for another great year here on the Baja.
Saludos, Mike, Merry and the Baja Flyfishing guides.
April 2, 2013
The fishing is definitely picking up here on the East Cape, the indications of change were discussed in my last report. The sea temperatures remain in the low 70’s while the winds have remained light. The change has come in the form of all the bait that has appeared along the beaches. Over the past few days big schools of ballyhoo could be found from light house to Boca del Alamo. The schools include full grown adults along with hordes of the more common smaller sized ballyhoo. Roosters, jacks and dorado can be seen slashing through the bait balls at light house, Rancho Leonero, Palmas, Pescadero and Boca del Alamo. More mullet have also poured into our local waters than were observed the previous week and the big roosters are here to dine in all their violent splendor.
Britta Shaw from Yellow Dog Travel paid us a visit along with her friend John, his brother Peter and Caitlyn. Our first day of fishing took us twelve miles offshore in search of dorado and marlin. During the course of the day Britta landed the biggest striped marlin I have seen in many years, a comment echoed by Roberto the Captain on the J&B. The day also produced several nice dorado for them. Our other two client boats out that day landed two more marlin a half dozen dorado, a bunch of skip jack and two wahoo.
The following day was spent on the beach north of Boca del Alamo. The bait, including big sardina was abundant and so were the roosters. The group landed three roosters and a dozen cabrilla from around the near by rocks. Just off shore from us we observed dorado feeding on big schools of ballyhoo.
There are still plenty of whales to add interest in the day, along with the jumping manta rays. The days are pleasant, the nights holding to a slight, but comfortable chill. I am tying some clouserhoo flies and plan on hitting the beach in time for the afternoon rooster busts. If you get a chance come join us.
March 30, 2013
Fishing Report for 3-24-13
It has been a beautiful week here on the Baja, the winds have continued to be calm, the temperatures in the high 70’s and the water in the low 70’s. The beach fishing has remained a tough situation most, but with some sporadic activity. Over the week end a big school of sardina moved through with jacks and roosters crashing into the bait balls. Most of the activity was right in front of Playa del Sol and Martin Verdugos. A similar bait ball showed up in front of Rancho Buena Vista on Saturday. The sardinas have since moved north around Pescadero and the slide. Big jacks were observed working bait in that area early this morning.
I had the pleasure of guiding Less Roos a long time client, friend and visitor to the area since 1972. His Daughter Leslie and friend Ryan made up the rest of the group for a day of beach fishing. Less finished the day with two roosters and two jack crevalles, not bad given the fish numbers along the beach. We also saw several big roosters on the hunt for mullet. Less turned one of the grandes on a clouserwhoo fly, but was not able to get the great fish to take. We were privileged to watch a school of Dorado feeding on ballyhoo just off of light house. The fish were breaking just outside fly rod range, but would have been close enough to reach with a spin rod.
The big news for the fly fishing group here is the monster yellow tail that Gary Boyer caught in front of Rancho Leonero on a ten weight. The fish weighed in at 36 pounds and could possible set a new record for a fly rod catch of that species.
Off shore the boats are finding striped marlin, dorado, wahoo and tuna. Boats are finding fish 12 mile straight off of the light house and outside Cabo Frailes on the buoys.
With the warming waters most of the yellow tail have retreated north to the la Paz area, where the bite is still red hot according to Pedro Baroso of Baja Pirates. The fishing has been so good that they had to buy a new freezer to handle the daily catch.
The whales are migrating through with Grey and Humpbacks displaying their style os synchronized swimming. Lots of breaches, tail wags and spouting can be seen from shore and boats.
March 17, 2013
A Happy Saint Patrick ’s Day to all. I hope the weather is as beautiful where you are as it is here on the East Cape. You can’t ask for a better day, clear skies, calm seas and a high temperature forecast of about 75 degrees. The fishing is improving after the slump of last week that included a cold north wind that made for rough days off shore and chilly morning boat rides.
I had the pleasure of hosting a father and son team of Mike and Michael Widmer. They endured the weather and the very tough fishing with smiles and fortitude, reminding me as a guide that trips are not always about the number of fish, but the experience, shared times of family or friends.
During their stay the fishing shut off for the fly rod fraternity and bait was hard to come by. The dorado of the previous week were off somewhere else, the roosters like wise seemed to have vacated the beaches along with the lady fish and jacks. Along with a cold wind the water temperatures plummeted, at least on the very surface, to a chilly, dorado discouraging 65 degrees. That all seems to be reversing of its self going into this week. We have been seeing more bait along the beaches and bigger fish busting on them. The catch is picking back up as we start into a new week. Roger has been picking up cabrilla again fishing the slide at first light.
The good news on the East Cape has been for the gear fishermen and the yellowtail bite taking place in Bahia de Muertos. Baits dropped to about 120 feet are picking up some nice jurel castillo.
Up in la Paz the bait is still plentiful around Espiritu Santo and the yellow tail bite at the Bajo north of Espiritu Santo continues to be red hot. Pedro Barroso says the boats are limiting early in the day and picking up pargo in the afternoons. A few yellowtails were caught on the fly at the Bajo as well when chummed to surface on sardinas.
The forecast for the week calls for light winds, calm seas, temperatures around 75 and a sea temp of 69 to 70 degrees. Indeed things are looking up here in Baja California.
March 9, 2013
It is very much spring here on the Baja, the wind surf season has officially ended and the fishing season has begun. Well actually, we had great fishing all winter when the winds weren’t up.
This past week I guided two Baja Pirates clients. La Paz is an area that is proving to be a nice, though occasional, change of pace for us, along with some great fly fishing potential. A potential we intend to explore more this spring with the idea of future combination trips to both the East Cape and la Paz in mind.
For Charlie and Chuck, age 70 something and 93, the winds were light to non existent, the temperature in the mid 70’s and the roosters and sierras were on. We fished the bays of Isla Espiritu Santo and the Ensenada del Coyote, and found lots of fish and bait. These two gentlemen capitalized on their years of fly fishing experience and took good advantage of a hot bite.
Mean while the gear fishermen were pleasantly worn out at the end of each fishing day after doing battle with big yellow tail on the Bajo north of Espiritu Santo. A few dorado showed up in the catch, a variety of pargo, snapper and one striped marlin.
Down here on the East Cape the beach fished tough, the past few days, a rarity for our fishing guide Roger and friends. Off shore though, the bite continued to be very good for dorado, yellow tail, big jack crevalles, the usual reef species and some cow yellow fin tuna. A few striped marlin were in the catch as well. According to Anibel at Playa del Sol, bait has been plentiful along with smiles on the faces of returning fishermen.
The season is upon us here and we are looking forward to fishing with our clients old and new. For those of you thinking about joining us we filling up, but still have openings in the guide schedule. Hotel space is more limited on the East Cape with sold out dates in May, June and October. April, July and November are still open and the fishing is very good in those months.