The main news this week is today (Sunday) is the last day of the 3 day 28th annual Sailfish Tournament. Prizes, in the form of new trucks and cars, are given to the top 3 sailfish weights, the largest dorado, and the largest blue marlin.
In one word, “slow” has been the action for this 179 boat tournament. I was on the pier at 5:30 this morning, knowing there would be no parking if I got there later, and talked to the captains. Looking at the leader board, there were only 5 sailfish weighed on Friday, and another 5 on Saturday. The largest was only 35.5 kilos (78 pounds) taken by Armando on the 3 Hermanos. (Normally, in years past it would take a minimum of a 45 kilo fish to qualify). The largest dorado (36 pounds) was taken by Jamie Morales on the Orion, but eventually came in second against a 42 pound dorado. Jamie own the Vamonos Fleet, and is a perennial “in the money” placer in this tournament. Margarito on the Gaby had the largest blue marlin at 277 pounds, which held up for a win.
Even though it is a “Kill” tournament, it does appear the tournament directors are at least up-holding the 30 kilo rule Paul Phillips (of the Fintastic Fish 100% Tag and Release Tournament here) and I fought them to implement for many years. But, unless action is taken soon against illegal lone lines, it may be too late for even that.
I realize it is an El Niño year, and it does adversely affect the fishing here, but how much is attributed to illegal fishing, El Niño, or simply a hiccup in migration patterns is too difficult to separate. Let’s see what happens next year.
I first talked to Martin on the Gaviota, whose financial situation is at a different level than his cousin Jamie on the 38 foot air-conditioned Bertram. Martin was very subdued and very worried about the future of the fishery on the West Coast of Mexico. Then, talking to Jamie, an excellent promoter and eternal optimist, I was told about a few smaller fish actually being released and “at least we are not having the 750 fish weekend slaughter of a few years ago”. This is true Jamie, but first there has to be 750 fish to catch.
|Sailfish being loaded after a day of fishing about 12 years ago |
(Photo by Paul Phillips)
Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos is another who does not fish the tournament, and concentrates on the inshore action for his clients. I told him about the off colored water showing on my SST program to north. He told me he had been south to Petatlan, and raised 6 nice roosters, but only got one of them to take the surface popper. He says it is still slow overall, but the water has warmed up, it is cleaner, and the roosters will be here soon.