Monthly Fishing Report
by Gary Graham, That Baja Guy
For the many decades since it was discovered, Cabo San Lucas has been held in high esteem by the international sportfishing community. That community continues to find ways to improve its remarkable fishery.
Recently, the overall winner of the 20th Annual Los Cabos Billfish Tournament was
Team Sea Angel, scoring 1,700 points. Sea Angel did not weigh in any fish, but instead, they released 28 striped and one blue marlin, which allowed them to hold onto the top spots in the Overall Team Division and the Overall Release Points Jackpot – plus, they won the Day Two Release Points Jackpot.
According to Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet fame, what most people fail to understand is that this is the first time in the history of the LCBT that the winning team won without killing a fish!
The Team Sea Angel, Capt. Billy Chase “BC” Angel, Andrea Angel, Greg Angel, Austin Angel, Chase Travers, Fico Ortega and Juan Carlos Buenes, earned $113,500 for their efforts as well as an invitation to the 2019 Offshore World Championship in Costa Rica.
Not to be outdone, The Los Cabos Offshore Tournament took its place in the International Big Game-Big Money Tournaments becoming the eighth in the world to offer a total dollar jackpot of more than ONE MILLION dollars, said Wayne Bisbee tournament director. “The Bisbee Black & Blue was the first to ever do it back in the ’90s.” Adding, “Seven tournaments throughout the world have since broken through the Million Dollar ceiling.” Bisbee continued, “Only five black and blue marlin were brought to the scale this year out of 150 billfish hooked during the two-day event and not one billfish was brought to the scale that didn’t meet the qualifying weight of 300 pounds – the other 145 billfish were released!”
This underscored the contributions made by Bob Bisbee Sr., patriarch of the Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournament’s phenomena who passed away recently; coincidently his memorial and scattering of ashes were held the day after the event.
The final billfish-only tournament, the Bisbee Black & Blue Marlin Tournament, drew 114 teams and a payout of $3,693,625, the second highest total in its history. Angler Charlie Lee and his California-based Team Chinito Bonito on a boat by the same name claimed the tourney title and a cool $3,004,900 on Friday for their 510 pound black marlin brought to the scale on the final day of the three- day event.
Looking ahead, on November 2-4, the “The Inaugural Rockstar! Tuna Tournament presented by PELAGIC and the 20th annual WON Tuna Jackpot on Nov. 7-10 both focusing on yellowfin tuna weighing hundreds of pounds, like Charles Workman’s 312-pound monster caught recently aboard the Pisces Sportfishing’s Bill Collector.
Later in November, the Los Cabos Big Game Charter Boat Classic, a free visitor-entry tournament is designed to add excitement and competition to their fishing day on a Los Cabos charter boat. DATES: Nov. 13-16.
All three November tournaments attract large numbers of teams in search of cash and prizes for their catch of not only yellowfin tuna, but also jackpots of wahoo and dorado.
Of course, many are just looking for a day or two of fishing fun, and there’s plenty of that to go around. The huge black and blue marlin are around, but not in large numbers. Striped marlin are thick on the “Finger Bank” where double-digit releases are not uncommon. The sportfishers often return with many blue fish flags fluttering in the afternoon breeze, their outriggers often bent to the straining point.
Although the ride to areas where the billfish are located can take several hours, inshore, the roosterfish, jack crevalle, sierra mackerel and even an occasional toothy wahoo close to shore are a blast on light tackle as are smaller and much more manageable yellowfin tuna and skipjack.
At East Cape, reports of yellowfin, dorado, wahoo, billfish, and roosterfish, all biting, plus excellent bottom fishing; there’s lots of live bait available – sardina, caballito and some mackerel.
There are also reports that yellowfin were both inside and outside, with smaller fish from football sized to 40 pounders inside. Under the porpoise, the fish are bigger – to 70 pounds – and were taking cedar plugs, hoochies, squid, and both sardina and caballito. As for dorado, there were lots of smaller schooling fish in the 5- to 10-pound range, mixed with some nice bulls.
Lots of wahoo are in close biting on the Rapalas and Marauders; those targeting billfish are getting about one per day. Large pargo with plenty of pompano and sierra are being taken inshore off the bottom as well.
The La Paz area was hit-or-miss fishing. Anglers have had to work a lot harder than usual, but everyone caught some.
Up at Loreto, there is still warm water and a sprinkling of dorado continue popping up in the fish count. The problem with dorado seems to be finding where they are surfacing on any given day.
Some of the fleet fishing farther offshore is still scoring striped marlin catches and releases as well as a few dorado and yellowfin tuna.
The rocky points inshore continue to produce cabrilla, various snappers and pargo. Roosterfish and sierra are the best catches along the shorelines with a few toro mixed in.
It’s still 85 degrees at mid-day with nights down to 70. Most areas have afternoon winds, but not more than 10 knots and dead calm at sunrise.
Visitors can participate or simply be observers at the exciting tournaments offered now. Or they can enjoy an outing and fish for a half or full day in any of Baja Sur’s varied locations.
Either way, welcome to Baja Sur and good fishing!