BY GARY GRAHAM
Cabo San Lucas
This week – We had a 52-pound dorado, a 107-pound yellowfin tuna, and many billfish releases! There were 181 marlin released in the past week!
A few of the dorado were large. A 52.5-pounder was caught on Pisces 60′ Happy Ending, along with 7 striped marlin. Most dorado ranged from 35 to 45 pounds each.
The Pisces 31′ Tiburon also landed several dorado weighing between 37 and 40 pounds, plus there were billfish releases. The Pisces 31′ Rebecca had a 40-pound dorado, a 35-pound yellowfin tuna, plus 2 billfish released.
More tuna are still showing up, with quite a few over the 50-pound mark now, including the 107.5-pounder caught on the Pisces 31′ La Brisa. There were also some nice ones on the Pisces 42′ Yahoo. Up to 13 marlin were released in one day per boat, as on the Pisces 46′ La Chingona and 8 for the Pisces 37′ BBII. A few big roosters are starting to show up now! This one from Pisces 35′ Knot Workin’ was safely released. Does anyone have an accurate weight estimate on this roosterfish??
It was a mixed bag for everyone yesterday, with marlin, dorado, and tuna caught by practically every boat. Boats averaged 1 to 3 marlin released. Some had 5 to 7 dorado each. A total of 20 marlin were released, 28 dorado and 36 tuna, plus some bonito and skipjack, for the fleet yesterday.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: The seas were clear and calm, with 2 to 3 F wind 10-12 kt.
WATER TEMP: 84 to 88 F.
AIR TEMP: 81- to 86-F, 2 to 20 kt.
SPECIES CAUGHT: Blue Marlin, Dorado, Roosterfish, Sailfish, Skipjack, Striped Marlin, and Yellowfin Tuna.
BEST LURES: Medium pusher-type trolling lures, tuna feathers, live and dead mackerel, caballito, ballyhoo, Lisa, and hoochies.
BEST LOCATIONS: Margaritas, Cerro del Golden Gate, La Brecha, Herradura, FUERA, 11:50 Spot and Los Arcos.
Puerto Los Cabos
Another hot and humid week in Southern Baja. Light crowds of anglers greeted clear sunny days, no rain in sight. There were slight swells and variable afternoon breezes. Caballito remain the primary bait source from the local marina, with jurelito, ballyhoo, and slabs of squid also an option.
Sportfishing fleets are concentrating on the grounds to the north and Gordo Banks to Iman and San Luis Banks. Others are adventuring straight offshore and to the south between Palmilla and Santa Maria. Overall, the action was tough. One factor was the 87-degree water temperature, and another was the extremely swift current. Again, there was a wide variety of species in the area. Just getting them to bite is another story.
Dorado have been the most common catch, though about 80% have been small–5 pounds and under–juvenile females, with an occasional larger bull.
Length limits need to be implemented on specific species, particularly on the female dorado, filled with eggs, which can grow up to five pounds per month and often never get the chance to reproduce. The problem is that many anglers want to put something in the fish box with limited action.
No yellowfin tuna or wahoo to speak about except a handful of scattered open-water, football-sized yellowfin. Typically, we see the nicer grade of tuna during August and September.
Bottom fishing hasn’t been easy due to strong currents, though we did see a few impressive catches of dogtooth snapper, leopardgrouper, amberjack, and yellowtail. Along the shoreline, a few 40-pound roosterfish, (a bit hit or miss) were landed and released.
The billfish bite has also been very scattered. There have been chances at sailfish, striped and blue marlin now, though it is also time we saw the first black marlin of the season, and we have not seen them yet. It would be nice if more of the smaller-sized tuna also appeared on the offshore high spots – this seems to help attract the black marlin. …Eric Brictson
The 19th Annual Dorado Shoot Out saw a record number of teams compete for the largest purse in Tournament History. With 151 boats and over 500 anglers, this year’s Dorado Shoot Out was one of the best. The jackpots soared to over $290,000 USD, making it the highest payout in tournament history.
It was a very close tournament with 16 dorado coming to the scale, with the top three weighing over 40 pounds. Many more dorado were brought in during the event but not to the scale. Of the top three places, Team “Burro” with angler Alfredo Trujillo came to the scale first. His Bull Dorado weighed in at 41.3 pounds and was in first place. Three minutes later, Team “Pinchy Aviles” with angler Marco Antonio Aviles came to the scale and weighed their Bull Dorado which came in at 41.2 pounds. They had missed the top spot by one ounce. It was heartbreaking at the time as both teams were across the board in all the jackpots.
Only 10 minutes later, the eventual winner, Team “Los Compadres,” with angler Juan Ramon Tamayo came to the scale to weigh the winning dorado at 43.8 pounds. Team “Los Compadres” took home the 2023 Volkswagen Amarok Pickup truck valued at over $40,000 and all the Jackpots worth over $290,000. This was the single largest payout in the 19th Annual Dorado Shoot Out tournament history!
Next year will be Dorado Shoot Out’s 20th Anniversary, and it promises to be the best one yet. Please, make your plans early, as rooms and boats sell out yearly.
DORADO STILL HUGGING THE SPOTLIGHT!
FISH CAUGHT THIS WEEK: Dorado are still 90% of the catch because it seems like they are everywhere! Can’t get away from them, but they are always a lot of fun. Also, bonito, pargo, snapper, cabrilla, jack crevalle, roosters, pompano, trevally, and triggerfish.
Commercial guys say there’s some tuna outside.
LAS ARENAS: Dorado. Most are medium-sized in the 8 to 12-pound class. Larger ones are easily 30 pounds or larger.
LA PAZ: Dorado are here, too! More school-sized fish, but this past week the larger ones came here with 40-pound class fish, but the larger ones were lost!
WEATHER: Like seemingly the rest of the world, it’s HOT. But the funny thing is that people come to Mexico to “get warm and enjoy some sunshine.” We’re probably cooler than most places in the U.S. right now! We’re in the 90s to low 100s.
WATER: After that little weather blew through that we had over a week ago, things cleared up and flattened out. The sea is primarily blue and warm. The surface temps are in the high 70s to low 80s now … Tailhunter, Jonathan Roldan.