Overall catch success rate, all species combined: 71%
Numbers at a glance: Billfish 56%, Tuna 11%, Dorado 2%, other 11%.
Fishing this week has been slow compared to last week’s report. Not in the sense that we haven’t been catching fish, it’s just been harder to come by, with one day being particularly good, followed by the next day being a bit slow and really coming down to sheer luck. Anglers are spotting fish, just not finding hungry ones! On one day the captains’ comments included: “We had three marlin we saw and tried to bait, but they wouldn’t take” or, “Two marlins bit, but we lost them”. On another day anglers were hitting the dock having released 2 or 3 blue marlin or even landing a “Grand Slam” all before midday! All in all, it has been a week of consistent billfish catches, with boats landing just about the full range of billfish sought after in Baja: blue marlin, striped marlin, sailfish and black marlin. The crews and anglers have had to work hard at landing fish, and even coming back with only one billfish caught and released has been a highly rewarding experience. Some nice wahoo showed up, but the dorado and tuna have decreased significantly.
Our Grand Slam this week was achieved by anglers and crew aboard Pisces 42’ Hot Rod, who set out on August 13th, for just a half day of fishing. Who would have thought they would have managed to land the catch of their lives! 1 striped marlin, 1 sailfish and 1 blue marlin. The striped marlin and sailfish were about the same size, some 80 lbs, and were caught and released out at the 95 Spot on caballito. The blue, which also hit on live caballito (spotted on the surface) was just shy of 200 lbs. Anglers were James Nakfoor, John Mansour, Marshall Thurmond, Patrick Dowell and Austin Delarosa.
Grand Slam fishing for Hot Rod: Sailfish, Striped and Blue Marlin!
Pisces 55’ Flora T also had a great week, with two days of fishing totaling 6 billfish! On the first day it was 1 striped malrin of about 100 lbs landed out at the 11:50 Spot on caballito bait, which was released, and 2 blue marlin caught at the 11.50 and the 95 Spot. The blues, both released, were about 200 lbs and hit on a blue lure and a red/yellow lure. Anglers were the Folks and Males’ families from Lago Vista, Texas.
Next outing, the Flora T and the Palacios family from Monterrey caught three blue marlin! The marlin all hit on green lures at the 11.50 Spot . They ranged in size, weighing approximately 310, 280 and 200 lbs each. Two of the three were released, with the largest being kept by anglers.
Striped marlin released aboard Tracy Ann
Pisces 31’ Rebecca did well this week to catch 3 marlin as well, in this case, all were striped marlin between 120 and 150 lbs each. The fish hit on caballito bait on the Pacific side, at the Lobera area, and were released by anglers Kyle Barnard and Brandon Jackson.The next day, August 12th, the crew and anglers aboard Rebecca worked hard getting a 300 lbs blue marlin to the boat on 40 lbs test. Kevin and Rick Walsh fought the blue for about two and a half hours before they got it to the leader and it was released successfully. They also caught a striped marlin of about 130 lbs, also released. Both fish hit on caballito bait.
Pisces 35’ Valerie, was one of our most consistent boats this week, with blue marlin released almost daily. James Nordyke and Matthew Smith from Iowa, caught and released two blue sof about 200 and 230 lbs each our at the 11.50 Spot on Caballito bait. The next day John and Rachel Merino caught and released a 250 lbs blue aboard Valerie as well, which hit on a blue and grey lure out at Destiladeras.
Wahoo caught aboard Cabolero
The only wahoo this week were caught, again, aboard the 31’ Pisces Cabolero. These were landed at the Cerros de Arena area on the Pacific, and weighed about 30 lbs each.
Pisces 31’ Tracy Ann was one of the few boats to catch tuna this week, with 8 yellowfin tuna of about 10 lbs caught on cedar plug lures at the 11.50 Spot and 1 blue marlin of about 230 lbs released, hitting on a petrolero lure.
Mate Martin Gonzalez releases a nice blue marlin aboard Tracy Ann
And last but not least, Pisces 28’ Andrea was one of our top boats this week, with the only black marlin caught in the fleet, and some tuna catches as well. Captain Nicolas Winkler and mate Pablo Martinez were trolling the 11:50 Spot when the marlin hit a black and red lure. Angler Ian Heisler caught and released the almost 300 lbs fish successfully. Other top catches for Andrea included 1 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin and 1 yellowfin tuna. All fish were caught by angler Raymond Adcock from North Carolina. The striped marlin, of about 100 lbs, hit on caballito bait at the 11.50 Spot and was released. The blue marlin, of about 200 lbs, hit on a green and yellow lure and was also released. The yellowfin was small, only about 6 or 7 lbs. Raymond fished again the next day and had another good day, this time with slight variation in his catch; landing 1 striped marlin of about 170 lbs, 1 blue malrin of about 200 lbs and a silky shark of about 100 lbs. All fish were caught and released at the 11.50 Spot.
Yellowfin tuna caught aboard Pisces Reel Machine
LOCATION: 11:50 Spot, 95 Spot.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Mostly calm but some days with wind and chop.
AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 80 - 83 F.
BEST LURES: Caballito bait and varied lures.
Based on the catches of Pisces Sportfishing Fleet by Rebecca Ehrenberg