September 8, 2016 6:11 pm

HOT is a welcomed word in most circles and if you are in the Baja neighborhood, it’s a pretty good bet that “hot” is a frequently used adjective in your conversations. Thankfully, relief is close by — AC, swimming pools, palapas on the beaches with welcomed afternoon breezes wafting across the immense Pacific Ocean or the Sea of Cortez. Of course another option, always have a cool one at hand. The recent Bisbee East Cape Offshore tournament definitely turned many heads for a variety of reasons. The three days’ fishing event targeting billfish, dorado and tuna attracted 65 teams with 429 anglers.  Not bad for the first billfish event of 2016! However, there is much more. The teams caught 167 billfish: 1 black marlin, 112 blue marlin, 36 striped marlin, 14 sailfish, 1 dorado, 4 yellowfin tuna. Plus there were the 158 billfish that were released to be caught another day — a remarkable achievement in the history of East Cape sportfishing.  What a coincidence! That remarkable number of releases just happened to be in the same year that a new “Release Category” offering 1st, 2nd and 3rd cash prizes was added to the tournament! When Sherry McGettigan, long-time Baja resident and wife of Mike McGettigan, Sea Watch Founder, dedicated to a healthy Sea of Cortez since 1993, heard the news, she commented, “That gives me chills.” She was joined by Tim Simpson, editor/publisher of “Bluewater Boats & Sportfishing Magazine” in Australia who added. “Wow, sounds like a fabulous tournament. Well done to Wayne Bisbee for including the new category!” While fishing throughout our entire region has been hot, many agree it is a different kind of year. Large, even huge, yellowfin tuna have been showing up on the docks with some regularity. Yet dorado, one of our mainstays, is in very short supply. Dorado of any size have been scarce, and larger ones are even more rare. Roosterfish have dominated the inshore close to the beach from La Paz all the way to the tip of Cabo, with a number of the released fish weighing over 50 pounds. And joining those catches are the wahoo, prized for their taste, which have been unusually consistent since the first of the year. Other species that have become “normal” while being different are huge triggerfish, dog tooth snapper, cabrilla and even amberjack — all great eating fish. Plus they are considered tough adversaries matched with the right tackle as well as colorful additions for those “grip and grin” photos. As summer begins drifting into fall, the heat will begin to dissipate. The fishing will begin to change as well. With all the different catches so far this year, it will definitely be interesting to see what critters show up as the weather and water cools. We can only wait and see…* jenn-skylarlow]]>