Whale of a Week
No surprises here at East Cape! You can expect some sun, some wind and most importantly, enough fish to keep things exciting.
As long as the sardina remains along the shore the jacks, sierra and even roosterfish can be in your catch of the day and you don't even have to set foot on a boat. However if you do and find one of the few pangueros selling bait, ask them where they are catching it. That is the best way to figure out where to fish on the windy days.
The skipjack/bonito bite continues to offer some non-stop action throughout Palmas Bay… just watch for fish feeding on the surface and even better yet, frigates swooping down on it from high in the sky.
Head up to the north, which I might add is a good direction to head. Then when the north wind blasts in mid morning your ride back to the hotel is much more user-friendly.
Outside of Punta Pescadero there is enough dorado action to satisfy most. Nothing huge but plenty of tugs from these much sought after gamefish.
Farther offshore when the wind remains reasonable there are a few confused billfish still lurking about. Nothing to write home about but you can't catch-em if you aren't among-em.
Current East Cape Weather http://tiny.cc/EastCapeWeather303
Magdalena Bay, Baja Mexico
Seasonal whale watching is dominating the on the water activity throughout Magdalena Bay.
January through March, hundreds of gray whales mate and bear their young in these protected waters after traveling over 5000 miles from the Bering Strait.
The bay sheltered from the Pacific Ocean by a barrier of desert islands offers the ideal conditions observe the gray whales and their newly born calves up close from the safety of motorized skiffs in the deeper parts of the bay, where friendly whales swim up to the skiffs for a head rub! Breaching, spy-hopping and fluking, the whales will captivating with their behavior.
Current Magdalena Bay Weather http://tiny.cc/MagBayWeather150
Zihuatanejo, Mainland Mexico
With cooler 77º water pushing down from the north, the fishing is remaining steady in the clean water, with most of the action taking place only a mile off the beach. The boats heading out to the 6-12 mile areas are running past the actively feeding fish, and averaging only 1 or 2 sailfish a day. Boats working the inshore areas are getting between 3 to even, as the El Renee did, up to six sailfish a day.
The reason for the near shore action is the water is a couple of degrees warmer than further out. The captains are all saying there are lots of sailfish out there, but they are lethargic and not willing to bite. The close in water is also producing a few dorado. They are only averaging about 12 to 15 pounds, but there are enough of them to help keep things exciting.
Plus, for a regular visitor here at this time of the year, which is the peak of the sailfish season, would find it incredible there are so few boats going out. We would normally have about 15 to 18 cruisers and about 25 to 30 pangas fishing every day. The pangas would be stacked up side to side 6 deep waiting to pick up their clients. Yesterday, only about 10 pangas and 8 cruisers had clients. The only "stacking" that occurred was when Cheva called out and asked me to get him a cup of coffee. Francisco, on the super panga Huntress, was at the pickup point getting a block of ice and loading the rods and gear. Cheva then brought the Dos Hermanos II over alongside and Francisco passed the coffee off to him.
Gary Meger of Toronto is here for his annual 6 week vacation to escape the harsh winters of Canada, and will be fly fishing several times during this period. Yesterday, fishing with Cheva, they only had one sailfish come to the boat, but got a hook set. Gary fought the fish for about 15 minutes, and the hooks pulled. We'll call it a long release.
Adolfo on the panga Dos Hermanos, is continually proving me wrong about the roosterfish action here this last month. Fishing his 19th day straight, of a total of 25 days, with his French man and wife team they really found the roosters up north again.
Using spin rods with surface poppers and live bait, they came back to port with 10 roosterfish flags flying.
Inshore action has been very good for light line conventional gear fishermen, with a variety of sierras, black skipjack, and medium sized jack crevalle..Ed Kunze
Current Zihuatanejo Weather http://tiny.cc/zihuatanejo582
Cabo San Lucas
So far the January billfish bonanza that has occurred for the past several years has not materialized. Hopefully, the show is just late getting started, but as each day passes hope is replaced with disappointment.
There are fish out there, but they don't want to bite. A few boats released fish or two, but they were few and far between. For the most part, seeing the fish was the best anglers could do. Most of the fish were in the cold water on the Pacific side, or just along the temperature break on the east side of the cold water plume.
Yellowfin tuna fishing continues to be a hit-or-miss proposition. The most consistent action was close to shore between the Palmilla resort and the Inman Bank for boats that slow-trolled live bait or chummed with sardina. Most of the fish were small but there were two or three fish to 35 pounds. Offshore, the white-bellied porpoise was key…there were very few fish found that were not associated with them. One of the largest groups of porpoise seen in a very long time showed up 30 miles to the south. There were porpoise to the horizon as well, and a mix of yellowfin with them, bigger fish in one spot, smaller fish in another.
Dorado are also among the missing forcing many boats to find other alternatives. There are still fish out there as many boats have shown this week, but there are no consistent concentrations. A few boats came in with catches, some with four of five fish to 30 pounds, some with just a couple, but most of the boats did not get any at all.
Lots of sierra biting inshore and always the 'go to' if the yellowtail and amberjack aren't biting. Even some of the cruisers are stopping for sierra, just to make sure their clients catch something!.…George and Mary Landrum
Current Cabo Weather http://tiny.cc/cabo191
About The Author: Captain Gary Graham
Company: Baja On The Fly
Area Reporting: Below the Border
Bio: In 1978 Gary Graham, in his 23' skiff, battled 13 hours to catch a 209 lb. broadbill swordfish. This experience made him a fisherman for life. Gary then set world bluewater records with light lines and collected fishing honors: the L.A. Billfish Club award for proficiency with light tackle, first places in billfish tournaments and the 1987 California billfish championship. He was also executive director of the National Coalition for Marine Conservation. In 1988 Motor Yacht magazine pronounced Gary one of the top 10 anglers in the U.S. About this time Gary also "converted" his considerable fishing talents to fly angling. In 1989 Gary and his wife Yvonne began their lifelong dream of near full-time residence in Baja's famed East Cape fishing region. The duo started Baja's first Orvis endorsed fly fishing guide and instruction operation. Today "Baja On The Fly" is a pioneer in saltwater fly angling in the fish-rich waters of Southern Baja. These days Gary guides fly anglers, represents Baja to the International Game Fish Association and speaks on the lure of Baja saltwater fly fishing at numerous classes, seminars and workshops. As if to complete the circle from record-setting, bluewater angler to flyfishing expert, Gary recently set a fly fishing world record in Baja, while fishing from the beach, right in front of his home!