Overall Catch Success Rate All Species Combined 99%
Numbers at a glance: Billfish 25%, Dorado 83%, Tuna 10%, Other 19%
BILLFISH: The flurry of marlin activity we saw a couple of weeks ago, when boats reported multiple hook-ups did not last and we saw a substantial drop on billfish catches, however, we know fish are in the area, they are just not super hungry. Besides, the majority of boats are concentrating on the sure thing which was dorado. Nevertheless, we had some great catches and we were pleased to encounter a few late season blue marlin, still in the area due to warmer water temperatures. Attitude Adjustment, a 46 ft. Bertram, had a double marlin day at San Jaime for anglers Philip Davis and Richard Ward – releasing a large striped marlin each, around 160 LBS as well as a pilot shark and six skipjacks. This same day, December 9th it was our panga Poseidon fishing the other direction, on the edge of the 95 spot that released a small blue marlin, after it took a purple colored lure for long time Pisces friend Bob Sallis from Canada. Next day out Pisces Ruthless had a blue marlin, this time on the Pacific, with this fish also taking a lure for Barry Reddick from Texas. Not to be outdone, Tracy Ann went the opposite direction to the other boats and headed to Punta Gorda where they released three striped marlin on live bait, for Stephen Oppenheim and friends from California. Top catch of the week though has to go to Pisces Bill Collector; they fished at San Jaime on December 11th and released an approximate 200 LB blue marlin, a striped marlin, a pilot shark and boated seven yellowfin tuna; for Paul Linden, Brandon Long and Joe Janovich from Nebraska. Basically the billfish were spread out this week being found on both the Cortez and Pacific sides with more boats fishing the Pacific due to the strong dorado bite. A few sailfish were also caught. Blue marlin tended to take lures whereas striped marlin and sailfish preferred live bait. Twenty five percent of Pisces anglers caught a total of 24 billfish consisting of 19 striped marlin, 3 blue marlin and 2 sailfish, all released.
OTHER SPECIES: Anglers had fun this week with double and triple hook ups on dorado up to 25 LBS, which is great as they had been conspicuously absent from our shores for months. Catches concentrated on the Pacific from La Lobera up to Golden Gate, with areas like Elias Calles, Pozo de Cota and Migrino seeing most action. Tracy Ann had a busy day for Bob Sallis and party at Cerritos as they caught seventeen dorado in the 15 to 22 LB class, six released with a combination of bait and lures working. Ruthless also had seventeen dorado, caught on December 8th at Gaspareno; five were released for William Hanner and Donovan Smith and friends. Catches per boat ranged from one to fourteen with some exceptions; the average catch was around seven fish per boat. Dorado was the most common catch this week with eighty three percent of our charters catching a total of 425 fish. Some yellowfin tuna were caught this week, mostly at one of the spots famous for them, San Jaime. The catches were of football size fish, no more than 15 LBS and catches of up to seven fish resulting in a total catch of 39 fish for ten percent of the boats. A couple of boats had great mixed catches starting with Bill Collector on December 5th with Boston, Mass. Anglers Seth & Chris Frattasio on board; they did very well to release a 170 LB striped marlin, a pilot shark, boat four dorado and catch seven yellowfin tuna and thirteen skipjacks. The Kilburg party from Scottsdale, Arizona had an outstanding day on Valerie with a sailfish released, four yellowfin tuna, two dorado and ten skipjacks (eight released). Other catches were closer to shore and consisted of mainly skipjack and the odd sierra here and there.
LOCATION: Mostly Pacific, Gaspareno, La Lobera, Elias Calles, San Jaime, on the Cortez 95 spot and Punta Gorda.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Clear skies, with the exception of a sudden and heavy downpour accompanied by light winds on Friday night, seas mostly calm.
AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 79 F (first time below 80 F in months)
BEST LURES: Live caballito, pink/blue, purple, green/red, yellow, cedar plugs.
Based on the catches of Pisces Sportfishing by Tracy Ehrenberg.