Overall Catch Success Rate, All Species Combined 74%
Billfish Catch Success Rate 22%, Tuna 13%, Dorado 18%, Other Species 47%
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Mostly calm.
WATER TEMP: 69 – 73 degrees.
WAVE HEIGHT: 4-5 ft.
WIND: 4 – 7 knots.
BEST BAIT and LURES: Live and dead caballito, mackerel, ballyhoo, squid, cuchi, larger bright-colored trolling lures, and cedar plugs in various colors.
Pisces’ 28 ft. Uniflite “Andrea,” with Captain Fernando Noyola at the helm, caught 1 marlin and 15 sierra on cuchi at Migrino. Ben and Kendra Gorab, Larry Gorab, and William Gorab from Colorado Springs, Colorado, were the anglers.
Our veteran captain, Roberto Sandez, said, “The wind was the thing!” However, Captain Sandez knows a thing or two about dealing with the wind. He has been with Pisces for 37 years and fishes over 300 days a year. Even more importantly, he is aware that billfish are “closet surfers” that take advantage of big dudes to tail down swell for a few miles before turning up swell, only to do it all over again.
Robert and Shari Klutz from Tampa, Florida, who fished with him last week, were the beneficiaries of Captain Sandez’s local knowledge. Catching and releasing 3 striped marlin on “caballito muerto” (dead caballito) at the 1150 Spot earned Pisces “Valerie” high boat that day.
In command of Pisces’ 37 ft. Viking, “BBII,” Captain Osiel Winkler, born and raised in Cabo, is one of the Top Release Captains in Pisces’ fleet. He has been fishing professionally for 15 years. He loves to fish for billfish, and yep – you guessed it! – he also delivered for his clients, Antonio Moreno, Eugenio Salinas, Gonzalo Castano, Jesus De Luna, and Rodrigo Gutierrez from San Antonio, Texas. They caught a single striped marlin at the 1150 Spot.
In the mixed-bag department, Pisces’ 31 ft. Bertram “Tracy Ann,” with Captain Julio Castro at the helm assisted by his mate, Raul Leal, scored a remarkable day’s catch of 20 sierra mackerel on cuchi at Migrino, plus one of the most prized game fish in Baja — roosterfish!
Cory and Lana Pardon, and Scott Wolf from Minot, North Dakota, enjoyed a hectic day releasing 30 roosterfish from 5 to 8 pounds on cuchi at Margarita’s. There, they also encountered a jack crevalle, pound-for-pound one of the toughest fighters found in Baja. Another Baja rockstar, the mighty “yellowtail,” was taken by Ben and Kendra Gorab, Larry Gorab, and William Gorab from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
One last fish tale was a half-day outing aboard Pisces’ Mediterranean “Speedwell” with Captain Victor Sandez and his mate, Miguel Sandez. They headed out to the Lighthouse around Cape Rocks up into the Pacific, a few miles outside the Lighthouse. Robert and Donna Hodgson, Georgina Sweeney, and Luis Muaoz, from Chico, California, enjoyed the morning trolling offshore and catching a few skipjacks when the crew spotted a tiger shark finning on the surface! The mate hurriedly rigged a caballito and cast it to the giant shark that accepted the offering with a swirl and a gulp! After a short “pull and grunt” session, the critter was brought alongside, photographed, and released.
Puerto Los Cabos
The highlight was the wahoo that anglers hooked into while trolling closer to Punta Gorda or Cardon. It was not the typical season for these highly-prized pelagics, but it proves you can never know what might happen. These fish usually prefer warmer waters. The daily bite was sporadic, and slow-trolling live bait was the best bet, particularly the elusive chihuil. We saw one 79-pound monster wahoo landed and several others over 50 pounds that were brought in of impressive size.
A few dorado up to 15 pounds were also accounted for, plus a couple of scattered striped marlin, but overall, offshore surface action was limited unless you were lucky enough to be in the right spot when a wahoo was ready to strike. Yellowfin tuna action was pretty much dead.
Off the bottom, there was a mix of pargo, snapper, grouper, and amberjack, but by far, the most prevalent was the bonito averaging 3 to 8 pounds, striking on yo-yo jigs over the high rocky spots.
Inshore, there was good action found for both sierra and smaller-sized roosterfish. Much of this action was found along the local hotel zones while using live sardina for bait. … Eric Brictson
Some nice roosterfish in the 40-pound range are starting to show.
Another week and the epic yellowtail bite continues on the Sea of Cortez. Although they are a long run from Los Barriles, the bigger yellowtail bite has been excellent, as has the cabrilla and white bonito. In addition, marlin, dorado, sierra, and pompano have begun to show up in larger numbers as there has been a transition to warmer water and weather in the Sea of Cortez. The 2023 season on the East Cape is going to be great…Matt Clifton, Scorpion Sportfishing
What a difference a week (or even a day or two) makes!
It’s been one of the coldest, windiest, roughest winters we can remember in our almost 30 years in La Paz, and it’s been nearly impossible to get out on the water, let alone fish! That’s why we consider November to April off-season, even in a typical winter.
However, we know there are fish out there, and really for the first time in months, we had a few days of manageable winds and calmer seas as the gusts diminished enough for locals and visitors to get out on the water.
It was some of the best fishing we’ve seen in a long time.
We knew yellowtail had moved into the area, but for a few days, they were crashing the boats all over the La Paz area! North, south, and east sides of Cerralvo Island were hot. And the points around Espirito Santo Island were as well. Areas near Bahia Muertos, Punta Perrico, and Punta Arenas produced 10 to 40 pounders, and many fish were lost in the rocks, reefs, or just because. It was like hooking up a freight train!
Some nice-grade 30 to 70-pound yellowfin tuna were also hooked.
We could not have reached many of these areas if the winds were blowing, so it was definitely a factor.
The fish ate various live bait – sardina, mackerel, and caballitos. They also hit y0yo, knife jigs, plus trolled deep-running Rapalas, Yo-Zuri, and Nomads.
Inshore, great action was on cabrilla, sierra, jack crevalle, bonito, and snapper. Plus, free-swimming dorado were also boated. …Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International.
I support fish killers (just wanted to get that out there, subtlety is not my forte). I look forward to reading your Gazette during my Sunday morning social forays into the Baja Beans Cafe in El Pescadero. As I can’t read Spanish, it is my only glimpse into what’s going on beyond my local neighborhood. One result is that it assuages my (occasional) guilt about just enjoying what this beautiful country has to offer, and gets me thinking about what I could possibly do to contribute to it. I recognize that gringos that come here to kill magnificent animals support local fisherman, and contribute to the economy of Mexico in general. I’m wondering what would be lost, however, by focusing on people’s skill and success at being able to provide delicious food for us to eat, rather than extolling the killing of rare(r) animals. Besides, the “cherished” designation of “FISH KILLER OF THE WEEK” is a little bit much, isn’t it? I’ve heard fellow military aviators’ stories of fish killing that would put your designees to shame—you can kill a lot of fish with a 30mm gun sporting along at 500 feet, and think about depth charges, bomb testing, etc., I mean that is some serious fish killing. Did I mention that I support fish killers? I really enjoy all types of seafood, but, while there is a spreading religious sect in the United States that worships killing, I don’t support killing as a sport. I pay people to catch fish (which kills them) so that I can eat fish, not to just kill fish. Seeing “Fish Killer of The Week” in a local publication doesn’t fit with my impression of Mexican culture, but is reminiscent of a culture that I want to leave behind. How much would be lost by simplifying the title to “Fisher of The Week” instead of glamorizing the “Killer”? Now, I can return to my delicious sushi!