It was a bit of an up and down week this report; the fish had moved on, giving up residence of the 11.50 spot, the most popular location for marlin for over a month. It took skippers a couple of days to re-locate them, as they were following warmer water and had moved further up into the Sea of Cortez to Destiladeras. This pattern was reflected in our daily fish reports, with quite a lot of boats “skunked” at the beginning of this period, and then catches gradually increased as the week went on.
This week was an exciting and active week in Cabo, with lots of international visitors in town. Before the week for the IGFA World Offshore Championship kicked off, we began hosting a group from Holland who decided to have fun competing against each other aboard pangas and now this week they will go on to use 31ft Bertrams in their informal event. The IGFA tournament kicked off on Monday with 48 teams signed up from all over the world.
This week we had very good marlin catches, making it the number one fish in Cabo. Close to seventy percent of our charters caught striped marlin between 120 and 180 lbs with catches ranging from one to six fish per boat per day. This is quite surprising as the weather has been rather windy and very breezy on the Pacific; however the catches have all be on the Cortez side with the 11.50 spot still the best place for a marlin encounter.
Marlin were about the only game in town this week and with few anglers and few boats going out, the catch rates hovered at sixty percent. The weather has not stabilized, meaning some days it would be baking hot, then the next breezy and fresh, which caused the water temperature to drop several degrees this week. Catches of striped marlin remained consistent up until the 19thk when they dropped considerably, with the only remarkable catch taking place on that day, for “Tracy Ann” who did remarkably well to release five striped marlin ranging in size from 100 to 150 lbs for John Staub, Ed Cain, John Courson, Mogen Smeel and Jack Matthews, a group of guys from Arizona, Texas, Illnois and Calgary.
The week started out on the slow side, but as the moon began to decrease in size the marlin catches started to come back. Starting out the report was “Tracy Ann” with two striped marlin released for Riley and Drew Walker from Lakeville, Minnesota, at the 11.50 spot on live jurelito, aboard “Tracy Ann”.
This week we had really good fishing up until the moon got big, then the fish dispersed and the hot spot at Punta Gorda went flat and we had a couple of days of slim pickings. Boats that had steadily caught marlin all week went to the usual place and came up blank, whereas a few other boats ventured into the rougher Pacific and found some odd billfish off of the Old Lighthouse.
We are in March, traditionally a slow month for marlin, not necessarily because they are not here but getting them to bite is hard. Scientists think that this time of year may be when they are breeding and spawning and as such feeding is less important to them at this time. Added to this are the blustery winds on the Pacific making it hard for boats to fish and lower water temperatures all contributing factors to lower catch rates this week.
This week we had some really fantastic catches and then other days where many boat caught nothing. Top catch of the week was by Al Monte from Sutton, Massachusetts, for his 391 lb swordfish caught aboard “Tracy Ann”, whilst fishing with his two sons, they also released two striped marlin and boated six yellow fin tuna, just six miles off of the Old Lighthouse on the Pacific side.