CRAZY MARLIN WEEK IN CABO!
Overall Catch Success Rate 97% for all species combined.
Billfish Catch Success Rate 75%, Tuna 26%, Dorado 23%, Other Species 21%
Billfish: After watching the news and seeing the wintry landscapes in the USA, the inescapable conclusion is that Cabo is the only place to be for fishermen and visitors alike. We are blessed here with sunshine galore, mirror-flat seas, and TONS of fish and all kinds of sea life. We had a record-breaking week for striped marlin catches, with Pisces alone totaling 676 striped marlin released plus a solitary sailfish.
How did we get to this fantastic number? Well, some boats headed to the Finger Banks, a little over 50 miles from Cabo and had non-stop, muscle-cramping, action-packed days that put them into double digits on marlin catches. “La Chingona,” a beautiful 46 ft Viking Billfish, led the pack this week, with 111 marlin in the 60 to 100 lb class released by anglers Adam Carlis, Charles Harris, and Kerry Stritt from Houston, Texas. As if this were not enough, they also caught 6 dorado. Definitely a fishing day they will never forget. On the same day, December 17th, “BBII,” another Viking Billfish, only a bit smaller at 37 ft, did a fantastic job of finding 61 marlin and 6 dorado for their guests, using a combination of live mackerel and frozen ballyhoo.
To catch a lot of fish you don’t necessarily have to be on a Viking – though they are beautiful and have all the creature comforts. Our standard cruisers have been to the Finger Banks this past week, too, and have held their own. “Rebecca,” a 31 ft Bertram, with her namesake Rebecca Ehrenberg on board along with Christian, managed to release a total of 55 striped marlin, as well as diving in and getting incredible underwater footage of the bait balls and free-swimming billfish. “Karina,” a 30 ft Bertram Moppie, did very well to release 40 striped marlin in the 90 to 140 LB range, as well as landing a dorado for the Elliott family from Mississippi.
Remember that Pisces Sportfishing is the ONLY charter company that will make that extra effort to get you to where the fish are, even when they are far away.
Those fishing closer to home at the Golden Gate also did very well and still caught more fish than some people can handle. On December 18th, “Caliente,” a 40 ft Cabo flybridge, released a total of 10 striped marlin, all on live mackerel at Golden Gate for the Beave and McCall families. A few days later “Hot Rod,” another 40 ft Cabo flybridge, released 15 marlin for a group from Falconbridge, Ontario – all on live bait at Golden Gate.
Earlier in the week “Tiburon,” a 31 ft Bertram, released a very respectable 9 marlin for anglers from Missouri. As the week progressed, the local bite got a bit slower, and boats could not be seen bottom fishing for marlin at the old Lighthouse. Boats headed to Golden Gate or Finger Banks, but many were tempted away from the ferocious marlin bite to chase tuna, which appeared in the area.
Pisces anglers released a total of 677 marlin this week and 1 sailfish. 75% of the boats we sent out caught marlin.
Tuna: Pound for pound, tuna may just be the toughest fighting fish in the ocean. Battling a 50 lb tuna can make you feel like you have a 100 lb plus marlin on the line. They are tough fighters, making them a favorite with many sportsmen – plus they are delicious to eat. This week we saw big schools of porpoise around Cabo, signaling that yellowfin tuna were in the area. They were first spotted above Golden Gate and then moved to San Jaime and other locations. “Ruthless,” a classic 31 ft Bertram skippered by Beto Lira, landed 18 tunas of up to 30 lb for Randy Lepow and his group from Houston, Texas. They used a combination of feathers and cedar plugs. On December 19th “Tracy Ann” and “Valerie” had identical catches, enjoyable for anglers due to the variety of fish, starting with 14 tuna each, 2 marlin and 2 dorado per boat. Jon Sot Sr. and Jr. had a great day landing and releasing some 17 tuna with captain Tito Olascauga, 14 miles out from Cabo. “Valerie,” a 35 ft Bertram, had another great tuna day at San Jaime, catching 14 fish of up to 20 lb for Ali and Kyle Dowd from Massachusetts. Although not the most tuna in a day, “Bill Collector” a 35 ft Cabo, had the heaviest fish: 13 fish with the largest hitting 50 lb. They did have to travel for these, though, heading 27 miles out at the 220 spot. Tuna catches ranged from 1 to 18 fish in the 12 to 50 lb class. 25% of our boats landed tuna, giving us a total of 232 caught overall in the past week.
Dorado: Dorado, as it is called here locally, is also known as dolphinfish or mahi mahi. Always a popular catch, it is great to eat, offers a fair fight, and is incredibly beautiful to look at. Catches were not numerous, but 22% of charters were able to find them, generally at the marlin grounds or on the way back. Top dorado boat this week was “Yahoo,”a 42 ft Bertram, which caught 8 dorado of up to 15 lbs at the Finger Bank and released 32 marlin for the Tarleton family from North Carolina – now that’s a busy day! Largest dorado of the week was a 25 lb specimen aboard “Hot Rod,” landed at the Old Lighthouse by Casey Brydson on a half day trip. Total dorado caught was 45.
Other Species: It was nice to see a variety of sharks being caught – nearly all at the Golden Gate bank. We had several catches of hammerhead sharks, something we had not seen in years. We also had thresher sharks and a mako. All sharks were released. “La Brisa,” with the affable Rey Winkler as captain, released 2 thresher sharks around the 100 lb mark and released 4 marlin on December 16th for Fred & Suzanne Hearring from Arizona – the sharks and marlin took live mackerel. This same day “Ruthless,” had a thresher shark, a bit smaller at 80 lb, as did “Caliente”. December 20th is when we saw hammerheads move into the Golden Gate amongst the marlin. First up was “Adriana,” a 28 ft Uniflite, that released a 60 lb hammerhead as well as catching 9 tuna and 3 marlin. Next was “La Brisa” with 2 hammerheads of around 80 lb each as well as 4 marlin for the Gallons from Canada. This was followed up by “Ruthless” who released a small 30 lb hammerhead, a 50 lb thresher and 6 marlin – fabulous day for the Petersons from Duluth! The only other type of fish caught were a few skipjacks and fair amounts of sierra.
Location: Golden Gate, San Jaime, Finger Banks, Old Lighthouse – all on the Pacific.
Water Temperature: 74 – 76 °F
Bait: Live mackerel, dead ballyhoo, feathers, cedar plugs, hoochies.
Weather Conditions: Clear, sunny skies, 3-4 knot winds, seas calm.
Based on the catches of Pisces by Tracy Ehrenberg