As I write I can see at least 15 boats off Punta Ballena stretched out at varying distances up to 5 miles, the sunrise is glinting off windshields of the far ones. So, the radio reports yesterday must have been true, marlin had rounded the corner from the Pacific and taken up residence here off the Point a couple miles east of the Arch.
We fished with clients only three days this week (typical mid-December lull) and spent those days to the east of SJD, mainly right off Punta Gorda and one day, further out towards Iman Bank. As it turned out we needn’t go any further than Gorda because as we trolled east looking for pockets of fish (our usual MO) we’d end up doing big, lazy circles between the huge arroyo just west of the Point and the Point itself and I’ll tell you why.
Earlier in the week we had a couple of consecutive days off (first time since September) and I took advantage of those days with some intensive therapy which I sometimes do, namely fishing a couple of hours by myself. Yes, alone, absolutely alone.
The first day was pouring rain… big time rain. I was having coffee here on my patio at about 7am and feeling a little squirrely (probably mixed the coffee too strong) and ran down to the marina for a quick check on the bilge pumps. Turned out to be a great excuse to get off my behind and on the water for a few minutes. Anyhow, I motored alone out of the marina and dropped three lures behind the boat literally yards from the breakwater.
I could only work two or three miles down the beach in the next hour because by then it was time to come home, I had my limit of decent dorado… 20-25 lbs. No peanuts. So, the next day I was off again and just had to see if it was a fluke or maybe the rain that had turned on the bite. Went back out, identical situation except no rain, just cloudy and I had figured to release what I caught so that I could fish longer this time.
In a little under three hours I had released three dorado again, nice fish, no peanuts, and watched as a couple of fish struck short as well. The fishing was not exactly on fire but pretty good for three lures.
Heading home trolling, halfway back from Punta Gorda (which was as far east as I got) and trolling the same get up, mostly dark colored 8 to 10-inch plastics and one marauder, all with cable leaders because I was hoping for a wahoo, I finally found my target.
You can pretty much tell if the first run takes more than 10 seconds and 100 yards of line, it’s probably a wahoo. I slowed the boat but left both motors in gear and walked towards the offending rod when the other side went off… even stronger. We’ll at that point I chose to get the rod I was already heading toward and work it in. With eyes on the other rod, I worked Fish #1 towards the boat and in a couple minutes gaffed a 20# wahoo and threw her in the cooler. The other rod had a nice steady bend with no serious acrobatics, the fish had calmed… I thought.
As I took the reins on Fish #2 it was immediately apparent that I would need one of the motors out of gear, this fish would not budge. Shortly, I was back working the fish and making a little headway when something pissed her off again. Run #2 was wicked. Ugly. Mean. Rude. And worst of all, it is also when she came unbuttoned… sigh.
Can’t complain though, I had what I had come for but I sure would have liked to at least seen #2. Plus, I had the intel I need for the next day’s client trip. Glass is half full, right!
Synopsis. Still good to very good dorado. Good wahoo at times (meaning actually targeting them), fair at other times (meaning getting them as a by-product). Marlin are now closer to our side and we can get in easier on the good bite our San Lucas pals have been enjoying for the last month. And yes, although we didn’t try, there ARE still big tuna at Outer Gordo Bank.
Please excuse my ramblings but thought it a nice little break in the strict reporting of late… coinciding with the break in clients. We’ll be back up to speed after X-mas with a good, solid late Dec and Jan on the books already.
Sorry, no photos yet this week, they're still on the camera...