All That’s Fishy – September 2019
Monthly Fishing Report
By That Baja Guy - Gary Graham
Before the Bisbee East Cape Offshore Tournament held in East Cape out of the Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort completely fades into history books, four notable fish in the two-day event should be recognized.
Guy Yocum’s “El Suertudo” team landed the only qualifying fish weighing 381 pounds – well over the 300 pound minimum – during the first few hours of the tourney. Astonishingly, that fish earned the team $619,800, a click under $1,677 per pound!
Equally unusual was on Day One, the Tuna Jackpot belonged to “Team Snafu.” Felipe Valdez was ahead in the yellowfin tuna division where he dazzled the 65 teams competing with his tuna weighing 58.8 pounds. “Team Snafu” pocketed $18,275.
And on Day Two of the Tuna Jackpot Daily, the heaviest yellowfin was caught by Esaul Valdez, “Team Hotel Buenavista.” It weighed 60.8 pounds, besting his brother’s fish by two pounds and winning $31,935. The Brothers Valdez are owners of the host hotel.
The fourth most significant fish wasn’t brought to the scale. “Team Sirena,” John Dominc, angler/owner and Michael Hennessy, angler, along with Capt. Gonzalo Castillo and mate Freddy Castillo hooked into a black marlin mid-day on the second day. It turned out to be the only one of the event. They soon had it alongside the boat but weren’t sure it would meet the qualifying 300-pound minimum. After a great deal of discussion, the crew made the difficult decision and released the healthy fish instead of gambling its life on its size.
In Cabo San Lucas, striped marlin have continued to dominate the billfish scene with unseasonable multiple releases being common. There also have been a few larger bull dorado along with the mostly smaller dorado.
As the larger blue and black billfish continue to tease with their late arrival, cow-sized yellowfin may be preventing them from being center stage just yet as a handful of over 200-pound monsters are being brought to the scales.
Another surprise is the continued roosterfish bite from the Pacific side of Land’s End to Muertos Bay which keeps flourishing for both beach and boat anglers willing to put in their time.
At East Cape, inside sea temps range from 83- to 86-degrees – with clear, flat water – and highs in the low 90s and clear skies.
The best dorado fishing of the season is happening now. Some boats are traveling up to 40 miles south to find schools of fish in the 5- to 20-pound class mixed with some big bulls.
Quality yellowfin tuna up to 50-pounds are being taken off Rincon on live caballito and squid. Boats are soaking bait for a couple of hours and picking up one or two.
Plenty of striped marlin and quite a few blues are mixed in with a few sailfish – best fishing is off the La Ribera Bank from 3- to 6-miles offshore. Wahoo up to 50 pounds are mixed with dorado 25- to 40-miles south of the hotel and in the same areas as the billfish.
Big pargo and Almaco jacks are around now for some exceptional inshore fishing! Good-sized pompano are being taken daily. Lots of 50-pound roosters are being released.
La Paz continues to have sporadic weather and fishing conditions as seasonal weather lags behind the normal expected schedule.
There have been some dorado caught, mostly in the 10- to 20-pound class, but cold-water fish like pargo, liso (mullet snapper), amberjack, giant dogtooth snapper, cabrilla, pompano, jack crevalle, and even sierra prevail.
Then, not only did 20- to 100-pound tuna show up (most fish lost after long battles on light tackle), out of nowhere came the yellowtail.
Old timers can’t remember yellowtail so late in the season. One local observed that in more than 25 years, there have not been yellowtail seen in August; by May, these cold-water fish are long gone!
Even in August, it’s more like late May or June fishing. The waters are blue; the days are hot and humid; it feels tropical, and it looks like summer – it feels like summer, but the fishing isn’t summer. It’s more like springtime fishing.
Up Loreto way, it is summer and hot according to recent reports. “Catches of 48-inch dorado in large numbers” was welcome news for the 145 teams of 550 anglers (including 37 in the Kayak Division) that were winners of the State Sports
Fishing Serial Dos Mares, Copa of Champions Calisureños. These tournaments were held throughout Baja Sur over the past year that participated in the recent Grand Final Calisureños Cup 2019, according to Secretary of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Agricultural Development, Andrés Córdova Urrutia.
As local Rick Hill observed, “The Grand Finale of our state-sponsored sport fishing tournament was a huge success. I usually focus on the fish that hit the weigh station and the fillet table, but that for me has been overshadowed by the entire event that is well-organized with live on-stage entertainment and total involvement from many of the local service providers. There were big cash jackpots and fish-related products that included outboard motors and a Toyota truck.”
Teams, families, spectators, and kiosks packed the docks’ launch ramp as well as all along the malecon and the public beaches.
Dorado and marlin were the most frequent visitors. The huge dorado from last week seemed to move out just before Day One, leaving the 15- to 25-pound class dorado to entertain the hopeful.
What an event. Lots of fun. I'll be looking for this event next time it rolls through Loreto!