|A baby whale shark, only a mile off the beach.|
The 81° blue water is now only 3 miles off the beach. We are seeing sailfish, dorado, yellowfin tuna, and blue marlin in the daily catches. The numbers are still down a bit, with only a couple of sailfish a day per boat, but we are also just now coming out of the full moon period.
Long time annual visitors John Wilkinson and Jim Heikkinen of Michigan fished offshore with Santiago for 4 days on the super panga Gitana. One day they concentrated on yellowfin tuna, getting 8. Then they fished 3 days for blue marlin. When targeting them, our average here is about a blue for every 3 days on the water, and the 3rd day saw John battling his 1st ever blue for 3 ½ hours to get the 300 pound fish to the boat.
|Jim (left) and John with a double while fishing with Santiago|
The inshore action has been excellent. We are averaging at least 5 different species each trip out, with large roosterfish being the main target. Even with the high surf we had most all of this last week, and the full moon, we still got quite a few fish.
|Santiago holding Jim's large rooster|
John and Jim also made the long run to Puerto Vicente Guerrero with Santiago on the Gitana. Due to the high surf they trolled live bait out in the “safe zone” and got 5 nice roosterfish and several jack crevalle, with one of the roosters estimated at a minimum of 50 pounds.
Another long time visitor and fisherman, Keith Paul of Minnesota, fished a day with Adolfo on the panga Dos Hermanos. They fished the areas down by Valentin (pronounced Balen- teen) This is what Keith had to say about his day on the water with Adolfo: (But, first I need to remind you Adolfo and his deck hand Jesus (pronounced Hay-sooz) are a fish catching machine. Normally two people fish with them and not alone like Keith does. This gives time for a person to fight a fish, and the other to recover).
“I had to ask Adolpho for the final count, because the bastard fished me into the bottom of the panga! LOL…We got 13 jack crevalle in the 6 pound range, 6 normal sized black skipjack tuna, 4 needle fish, and 4 roosterfish around 15 to 25 pounds. My freakin arms are jello.
|Keith with one of his roosters fishing with Adolfo|
Around 11AM I told him one more fish and I'm done. Don't care if it makes me a pussy or not! So of course four Jacks later Adolfo laughs and says “Okay. Finito!” As we are running back towards the white rocks, the birds catch his eye, and we pulled over to catch 5 bonito in 15 minutes. I even made him reel the second to last in!!”
|Jim with his nice rainbow runner|
And, then we had the incredible experience of a baby whale shark of about 15 feet long come up right at the corner of the panga. He even made a turn and came back from the direction of the bow. We could touch him. But, the game fish did not like the idea of him being there and took off. Even though the whale shark is harmless to them, they feel if something is bigger, it will eat them. So we went back to the surf line and managed to hook a couple of more roosters breaking about 300 yards off the beach.
On Wednesday, Keith wanted to see Puerto Vicente Guerrero and sample the fishing there. Knowing the surf had died down; we optimistically went down there again. We started getting into game fish at our No. 1 spot almost immediately.
|With Abel at the tiller, Keith is holding his sierra|
There was bait, porpoise, birds, and all kinds of life. A nice 8 pound plus sierra for dinner was the first fish, and then a pair of false killer whales moved in on us. Poof…the game fish disappeared….again. No matter what we did, we couldn’t shake the predators. Fist we fished the area thinking they would move on, but they didn’t. Then we would gun the motor to a new area for 10 minutes, and they showed up 30 seconds later.
We finally had to give up and fall back on plan “B”. Around the point and on the same beach, which was our plan “B” with John and Jim two days earlier, we finally started getting roosters and jack crevalle from the surf line. We ended up with a very decent day.
Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)
Another of Ed’s Observations: When the surf is high and dangerous, the roosterfish and bait do not like it either. Under these conditions, having live bait on board can make the day. The schooled bait moves out a couple of hundred yards from the shore line, and the game fish follow. We managed to pick up several with our popper spin rigs when we saw breaking fish about 300 yards off the beach, but we were lucky. When there is high surf and no breaking fish on bait, trolling a live bait is very effective, and one of the few instances I would say it would out produce the surface popper method.
When roosters and jack crevalle are in the 8 to 12 foot deep zone, and just at the back edge of the breaking waves, they are there for a single purpose. They are actively feeding. When they have their fill, they head back out for the safety of 30 to 100 foot deeper water. A boat cannot troll a live bait in the active feeding zone, but casting a popper 60-80 yards with a spin rod can reach them, and will outperform live bait.