This is the best mustache of the week! Don Slaiman and Captain Pancho from our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet bust out the big smiles with two nice bull dorado on the beach.
Chris Chang owns an organic nursery in Canada and had never fished in Mexico before, but fishing with Tailhunters got plenty of dorado and, on his last day, a huge 300 pound blue marlin north of La Paz that he fought on a Penn 6/0 reel with 60 pound test and put in the boat in only about an hour. The gut hooked fish inhaled the green and orange lure all the way down it’s gullet. He was fishing with popular Captain Rogelio “Jolly Roger” Camacho.
There’s a zillion good things going on in this photo of Tyler Emard from Fullerton CA. Fishing with Captain Rogelio from our Taihunter La Paz fleet, Tyler fought this dorado…his first and biggest…for 20 minutes on light tackle…no belt…all arms and shoulders! He’s headed to the University of Arizona in a few weeks! Great colors on this photo!
The skies went from clear to this…as a wave or darkness hits the beach at Bahia de Los Muertos. There had been absolutely nothing on the advisories or radar about this. That’s why they are called “toritos.” (little bulls). These storms come out of nowhere with thunder, lightning, wind and rain and it’s almost like a baby hurricane. Ominous. The pangas had to scramble back to the beach for cover.
Seven minutes after the first photo, here’s what the beach looked like at Bahia de Los Muertos…a malestrom! Thirty minutes later, the sun was out…
Las Arenas provided some good action this week for Tailhunter clients including Steve Holguin from Los Angeles and his son, Marcos who is attending college in New York as the pair show off a set of dorado standing on the beach at Bahia de los Muertos with Captain Jorge of the Tailhunter fleet.
Susie Waters had never fished La Paz or ocean-fished before, but broke into it big time with a couple of days on the water with our Tailhunter La Paz fleet. This is just a super photo of her hanging the fish all by herself with big smiles.
Long Beach fishing veteran, Zach Linden, raced down for a last-minute trip this week and a couple of days of fishing. The fish gods smiled and Zach did some great action on ultralight tackle including this pair of La Paz dorado.
Rebecca Kendrick got into the thick of the dorado action with this nice bull mahi fishing with Captain Alfredo and deckie Blas. She had always wanted to fish Mexico and salt water and had a great first experience with a number of nice fish over several days of fishing.
It’s got a little sand on the forehead, but a great photo of Peter Knapp and Captain Pancho on the beach at Las Arenas with this nice-sized bull.
Grant Stark and Levi Fadoul put the wood to this thick bull dorado fishing north of La Paz last week. These two guys had too much fun all week. Always seemed to be cracking up!
UNPREDICTABLE EL NINO CONDITIONS AFFECT FISHING BUT DORADO DO THEIR BEST
La Paz – Las Arenas Fishing Report for Week of July 20-27, 2014
With the exception of another of those surprise “torito” (little bull) storms that popped up on Thursday, it was a pretty good week of fishing for the most part.
This time of year, waters are extremely warm…actually, warmer than usual…as a result of the “el nino” situation. This has given rise to rapidly forming storms that are not shown on weather advisories in the morning. However, out of seemingly clear skies, huge thunderheads suddenly build and the skies grow dark within minutes. Winds start whipping and wave emerge from calm seas turning the ocean into churning froth. Wind-driven rain doesn’t fall so much as it shoots sideways from the gusts. It’s time to get the heck off the water!
Several weeks ago, one of these storms turned into a huge waterspout between Cerralvo Island and El Sargento and Las Arenas. We didn’t quite get that this week, but in the span of about 10 minutes clear skies went dark and the oceans got treacherous. The pangas had barely been on the water, but found themselves racing back to the beach made more perilous by waves now pounding the sands where the pangas had to land. Lighting strikes illuminated everyone scrambling around for shelter. Cell phone and electrical power gets cut off.
As the rains hit and everyone hunkers down….that’s pretty much all you can do. There’s a reason they call these “little bulls.” Within an hour or two…sometimes in the span of minutes…it’s over. The sun blazes back out. The winds turn off. The skies go clear and flat. Except for puddles of water, there’s no trace.
And that’s what happened Thursday morning.
But, the rest of the week was pretty grand!
Fishing definitely improved over the week before. Again, dorado were center stage, but there were fewer punk 5 pound dorado and more respectable 10-20 pounders and all willing to charge pretty much water was in the water. Some boats did better than others, but then the next day the boat that did poorly would be the big boy boat. Consistently , ever panga we put on the water caught fish…or had opportunities to catch fish. One of the big problems is that the baits we have tend to be large. Hence, it takes longer than normal for the fish to really chomp the bait and get a hook down in their mouths. Anxious anglers would often tell me they pulled the trigger too soon before the dorado could eat and they would lose the hook-set and half-a-bait would come flying back to the boat…sans dorado!
Still our most consistent area. Our La Paz boats rocked some really nice 20-40 pound fish this week as they have now since June. The fish extend right from La Paz Bay towards Espirito Santo Island then around the corner to about El Rosario/ Las Cruces where the larger bulls seem to have taken residence not too far from the beach. Co-incidentally, that’s where large schools of baitfish have been seen. We also got some roosterfish off the beaches.
The bigger news is the increased incidence of hookups with billfish including larger-than-normal sailfish and even some blue marlin. I don’t remember seeing so many hookups on blue marlin as I have the past two or three weeks. Most of the sails and marlin are getting released, but one fish that couldn’t be released was a hefty 300-pound blue.
El Nino effects keep coming. Days can start out with bright brilliant sunshine but by afternoon, the clouds roll in and we get tropical storms that can be pretty crazy. It can rain in one place and 100 yards away, it’s bone dry! And the rain can last 5 minutes of an hour. Then the sun comes blazing out. But, there’s some predictions of more afternoon rain this week.
Our amigo, Raul Chollet, here in La Paz just recently started fishing only about 2 years ago and has the “fishing bug” big time! He’s since gotten his first marlin, roosterfish, sierra and here, his biggest dorado. It was a slow day but they got a few and this nice dorado with our Tailhunter La Paz fleet. That day, some boats did OK and others, like Raul’s , had a bit more trouble locating the bite.
Jeanette Carroll from New Mexico with Captain Victor just south of Bahia de Los Muertos caught and released this hefty 40-45 pound roosterfish on a live bait. It was her biggest and “bigger than my husband’s rooster!”
Phil Matteson was on his 2nd trip to La Paz this week and told me they had winter in Montana that was 40 degrees below zero! Weather was’t so great in La Paz this week either as we got clouds and wind, but at least it was a tad warmer than Montana. First day out, Phil nailed this big boy bull dorado with our Tailhunter La Paz fleet.
John Kennedy, our amigo from Auburn CA, had to postpone his yearly trip earlier in the year for an injury, but came roaring back with a great week of fishing topped off his last day with this nice sailfish caught and released, as well as a box of dorado, pargo, cabrilla and triggerfish releasing many.
Dick Carroll and his wife came to visit us again this year from New Mexico and couldn’t have been a more fun couple. Both of them got roosterfish with our Las Arenas fleet on the same day including this one that Dick quickly released.
Mark Martis from Redondo Beach CA has been fishing with us at Tailhunter since the early days in the mid-90’s. Under grey skies he still put the wood to this nice big bull dorado near Espirto Santo Island.
Air Dorado taking off! Great shot taken by Phil Matteson of a 40-pound bull dorado ripping off line and grabbing air. As anyone knows who has tried to take one of these shots, it’s a difficult shot to take. The dorado are moving up to 30 mph!
Happy Gal! Becky Munos from Arizona on her first day fishing and first time to La Paz just could not get enough of the fishing and beaches of La Paz. Fishing just off the beach at La Ventana, she put this nice little bull in the box. They released or donated all the the fish they caught!
Josh Matteson on his first time ever salt water fishing is from Cascade, Montana. His first cast, he nails a 40 pound dorado….among others. The next day he battles this nice striped marlin and released it after taking this great photo with Captain Pancho. They were fishing with our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet.
He’s just about to “heave-ho” this roostefish over the side to release it, but a good fish just-the-same, for amigo Jack Young from Arizona on his first trip with Tailhunters. He had a good week of fishing with both our La Paz and Las Arenas fleet. The roosterfish was caught his first day just off El Sargento.
Wayne Moss, has been my Canadian amigo for many many years and is a commercial pilot in the Maldive Islands. He’s also one of the better fishermen I know. I love the look on his face here wondering if this big bull dorado is gonna make one more attempt to get back in the water! Great colors. Nice fish!
DIFFICULT WEEK STILL HAD SOME GOOD HIGHLIGHTS
La Paz – Las Arenas Fishing Report for Week of July 14-20
It was a hard week to put my finger on. With the exception of flyfishermen, everyone got fish, but where you fished and how you fished made a huge difference. If you took our advice and did what we or the captains told you to do, you got fish and there were some nice ones to be had! Overall, I would have to say this week was slower. Last week we had the huge full moon and fishing was much better. Last week we had rainy weather and fishing was better. This week the moon was better and the weather was generally better and fishing was a bit more complicated.
Here’s the breakdown:
The week started OK. We got some roosters. There were small to medium dorado around. There were some billfish, pargo and cabrilla. Not spectacular fishing, but it was OK. We even had bait. But, as the week went on, we had some of the worst fishing we’ve seen all season with our Las Arenas fleet.
On the surface, I could say it was the lack of baits. That includes ballyhoo, sardines and mackerel that we usually use for most of the gamefish. But, the sabalo…the big ladyfish…that we use for the bigger roosters also got hard to find. So, naturally, lack of bait had something to do with it.
Likewise, later in the week we had some tropical storm cells pass through. This made for some rougher and windier waters. It got choppy. The skies were gray. There were little flurries of rain here and there locally. We almost had another water spout form up one afternoon near Cerralvo Island prompting the panga fleets to head for the beach.
So, all that would have or could have affected fishing. I’ve seen similar situations where we had all those conditions and we still got fish.
But beyond that, there were some other variables as well which, contributed to the lack of scores on the fish.
Later in the week we had folks specifically going for “home run” fish. Those are fish that you either get ‘em…or you don’t. Instead of going for “action” they went for the top-shelf bad boys. They are trophy fish for a reason. For instance, going for wahoo. You either get-em..or you don’t. You can be the king of, if nothing is there, then you have a good shot of not coming back with any fish at all because you have to concentrate on the wahoo.
Same for the rooster fish. First, you have to spend the time trying to catch the better live bait…mullet or ladyfish. That can take time. If the baits aren’t there or are hard to come by…that’s a whole lot of time spent. Then, actually chasing the roosters takes time as well. Again, there’s alot of focus and energy on them. If they aren’t there or not biting, then you stand a good chance of getting goose-egged. That’s what happened quite often towards the end of the week.
Frustrated anglers who came back with nothing. But that’s what happens when you swing for the fences! I applaud the effort. It’s awesome. I like that kind of fishing myself. But, sometimes the big hitters strike out. Part of fishing. Part of the game. You have to be ready for disappointment. And there were some disappointed anglers this week. Who got no fish!
About the flyfishing…Frankly, it’s been tough. I’ve been singing that tune all season.
No one in Baja seems to have bait for chum for the flyfishermen. This El Nino has not been good to the flyfishers. Normally, we have sardines to toss out and get the fish going. The sardines are non-existent.
We have larger baits…caballito and mackerel, but you can’t chum with that.
The flyfishers who have been coming down and willing to be flexible and do some conventional fishing are all getting fish. Everyone is catching fish. The ones who are strictly flyfishing are not doing well. The operators here in La Paz that are strictly flyfishers have had a terrible year because they have no other avenues to catch fish. They are strictly flyfishing. I did have 4 guys who just left this morning that were strictly flyfishing.
I kept offering to switch them to fish with my La Paz fleet where we are catching fish, but they insisted on staying with my Las Arenas fleet where they has been no bait…they caught pretty much zero fish for 3 days and left pretty frustrated and angry with us. They could have switched to bait or at least fished with my La Paz fleet and done quite well…even had a shot on the flyrod, but they were stubborn. I wish I could have gotten them some fish. See below…we did find some roosters. The bonito were huge and would have been awesome on the flyrod. They could have gotten the dorado going on the bait then tossed a flyrod into the boils. These were all good guys and experienced fishermen, but I was as frustrated as them.They left for Loreto where I hear it’s been tough as well, but I hope they do better.
I feel for all the flyfishers I’ve seen here this year…lots of them fishing with our competitors. I meet alot of them at our restaurant and hear the stories. That’s fishing this year. As I said at the beginning…it depends on where you fish and how you fish.
La Paz, while not as good as last week, was still very productive. There were some slow spots…but everyone got fish every day. Some of our pangas would do really well one day and others not so good, but the next day the panga that did poorly would find fish and the other would have a slower day. But the dorado were very cooperative with fish in the 5-40 pound class and some HUGE 12-15 pound dynamite bonito that put some guys on light tackle on their knees! As well, we had several marlin and sailfish hooked up and either lost or released…even a few rooster fish…plus some nice pargo and cabrilla.
The difference is that we had more live bait…caballitos and mackerel. Still a bit big to chum, but the baits brought the fish to the boat. You could even catch a bonito and then chop it up and use it for chum and then that would bring even more fish to the boat.
The one drawback with the larger caballito and mackerel is that they are well…large! One big mistake is that anglers would think they had a hookup and swing to early. There’s alot of smaller fish out there or larger fish that eat slowly! Swinging too early and the bait would literally get yanked out of the fish’s mouths or resulted in alot of short bites too where the gamefish only bit off the back half of the big bait. We missed alot of fish that way. Some of the more experienced anglers increased their hook-up to catch ratio by tying trailer/ trap hooks onto the main rig so that there would be a second hook dangling at the back-end of the baits.
But, overall, the La Paz fishing took care of everyone and got fish in the boat!
One of the nice thing about having our two fleets is that as Las Arenas fishing got slower or more frustrating, or the weather got more unpredictable, we could offer to have our folks fish with our La Paz fleet and get into the fish. That made all the difference between big smiles or frowns!
Normally, this time of year, there’s not much to say about the weather. The sun comes up. The sun goes down. It’s hot and sunny. End of story.
However, this year, with El Nino, we’re seeing alot of variations. Not only is the water warmer, but the tropical humidity and conditions are tangible. The air is generally heavier and muggier. We’re seeing afternoon tropical rain showers come through and sometimes drop considerable rain for a few minutes then move on and the ground steams dry. We see electrical heat storms and lightning in the afternoons, evening and early morning hours when it’s still dark. This is more like September and October weather. Other days, there’s no rain, but it’s cloudy most days. Almost like the “June gloom” seen along Southern California beaches where a marine layer moves in and everything is grey until the sun burns through in the afternoons. Crazy. That being said, it’s still 95-100 degrees every day with cooler evenings in the 70’s.
That’s the way to do it! Our Captain Eddy Carballo helps 13-year-old Luke Fregoso from Agoura Hills with his biggest dorado. The 40-pound class bull was hooked north of La Paz and Luke fought it solo all the way to the boat. He also had a fish estimated at 50 pounds on for awhile.
Yes! There was some crazy weather this past week. Here’s a shot taken from the beach of the giant waterspout that popped up in the channel between Cerralvo Island, La Ventana and Las Arenas. No one has ever seen one this big out there.
Fortunately, this didn’t affect the fishing! But, it was pretty fascinating to watch!
Sam Sybesma (right) and Landon Tilema (left) have a handful of bull dorado here on the beach at Balandra after another good day of fishing with our Tailhunter La Paz fleet.
Debbie White , our amiga from Tualatin OR, spends several weeks a year with husband, Don, with us in La Paz getting in some great fishing and always taking big fish like Debbie’s massively huge bull dorado here just outside of Bahia de los Muertos!
Wayne Moss has been my friend for many years and an exellent fisherman. He is a commercial pilot in the Maldives but took a few days to visit us and got a nice catch-and-release roosterfish just outside of Las Arenas.
Dick Carroll and his wife, Jeanette come to us from New Mexico and pose with a really nice Las Arenas bull dorado on the beach at Bahia de los Muertos.
Norm and Dorothy Fulco have known me since I ran JNJ Fishing Tackle in Rosemead CA some 20 years ago! The usually come to visit in July for Dorothy’s birthday and like fishing with Captain Pancho.
“Big Fish” Don White and an incredibly-colored blue bull dorado! Don is from Tualatin, Oregon near Portland.
Rob is looking pretty serious here but had to be one of the funniest guys this week. He took a day to give pargo fishing a shot and, while they lost several large models to the rocks, did manage this smaller one to bring back and add to the box of dorado!
Syd De Vries from Ripon CA and Captain Rogelio put another dorado in the boat. Yes, Rogelio is shorter than Syd! They were fishing north of La Paz near Espirito Santo Island.
Not as many whalesharks around these days, but there’s a few around. This “baby” 12 footer came up in the middle of the fishing boats to check out the action.
FULL MOON – TROPICAL RAINS – WATERSPOUTS AND DORADO!
La Paz – Las Arenas Fishing Report for Week of July 6-13, 2014
It was another one of crazy weeks. The fish were here but the weather was crazy funky. We had afternoon tropical storms that brought some heavy thunderstorms at times and flooding. The nutty thing was that it would rain for 10 minutes here…but not there…30 minutes in one area and 2 blocks away, it would be totally dry. This is normally the kind of weather we get in the fall, but El Nino conditions seem to have changed the game a bit. Thankfully, no hurricanes and no serious damage from the flooding, but out-of-the-blue mid-week, we actually had some pretty intense water-spouts show up between El Sargento, Las Arenas and Cerralvo Island. They looked like water tornados like the kind that would pick up your house and send you off to the Land of Oz! Incredible to watch.
Here’s what we saw this week:
Our Tailhunter fleet at Las Arenas again found lots of action on the smaller school-sized dorado in the 5-8 pound range. They are like little squirrels all over the place. The larger models were harder to find, but the few we got were trophy 30-40 pound slugs. Dorado made up 80% of our Las Arenas catch.
Other species included some marlin and sailfish and roosters along the beach. Live bait continues to be problematic, but we’re still getting fish. No wahoo this week, but that’s because no one was really fishing for them. However, divers say the skinnies are still out by the island.
La Paz fishing has been our “cooler-filler” action. The dorado have been 10-40 pounds regularly with a number of fish in the great 15-20 pound category. Lots of fun. Plenty strong without destroying anyone! I think the fact that we have move live bait in our La Paz area has made a difference. In addition to the dorado we are getting hookups with striped marlin and sails as well. We did some schools of roosters along the beaches and some of our guys that went after pargo and cabrilla got schooled on some big fish that took them to the rocks!
This is the “OH NO” moment when your reel is screeching…your arms are aching…your rod is bent when you see the big monster 45-pound dorado and you realize you only have 30-pound equipment! Becky Csutoras took this great shot of her dad’s fish as it made that big jump. Yes, he did get the fish. See the tired angler below…he fought it for 45 minutes!
Don White always does well. He was just off Punta Perico with Captain Pancho when he tied into this baby blue marlin. Happily released! Check out the video below of the unceremonious, but successful release. The marlin was not complaining. Congrats to our amigo, Don, who visits from Oregeon each year!
Becky Csutoras, is normally travellng all over the country as an accountant, but she takes some time each year to get in some fishing with us at Tailhunters. She has to be one of the happiest fisher people we ever see. Every day is a “GREAT DAY!” Check our this fine dorado she caught off Las Arenas! She did well all week!
Start ‘em young! Six-year-old Roman, gets a hand from his grandma, Kelly Jimenez, with a nice bull dorado standing on the beach at Bahia de Los Muertos. “Romo” had himself a great time all week helping grandma and grandpa to fish!
John Russell told me, “They fight harder than salmon!” He used to be a salmon fishing guide. Visiting us from Milpitas CA, he put the hurt on this colorful big bull dorado fishing near Espirito Santo Island north of La Paz. Great colors…big fish!
My old classmate from law school, Skip Coomber in the center with friends and family got out for a day even during the ugly cloudy weather and got a few dorado. Skips daughter, Amelia, in the gray t-shirt is with her girlfriends Haleigh and Isabella…all 3 girls on a last hurrah before staring their respective college careers in several weeks!
She never fails to get big fish! Oregon in the house, Debbie White in flat water with another big dorado on her scoreboard! Punta Arenas in the background. Each year, Debbie makes us the best homemade moonshine “Apple Pie” for our Oregon show.
John Gothie had just a few days to spend with us, but made the most of it with a nice wahoo plus some fun dorado while fishing with Captain Adolfo and our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet.
Another youngster headed to college for the first time…Brian Russell will be headed to Arizona State in just a few weeks, but got his first striped marlin here with our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet.
TROPICAL STORM DROPS SOME RAIN AND DAMPENS FISHING
La Paz – Las Arenas Fishing Report for Week of June 30-July 6, 2014
Rain cells moving through the area and bringing a mix of some thundershowers, drizzle, wave surge and winds marred some of the fishing. Fortunately, it wasn’t a hurricane, but just some tropical storms. In most cases, the rain didn’t get anyone wet until the afternoons when the fishermen were already back and it really cooled things off, but it did rob sunshine from vacationers looking for more sunshine than we got this week.
It was very tropical. It could rain for 5 minutes or two hours. It could rain on one spot but then 200 yards away, it would be bone dry. An hour later, it would change again. Or not rain at all until the next day.
Again, the most cooperative species were the dorado. Both our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet and our Tailhunter La Paz fleet had some good results that differed from day-to-day and boat-to-boat.
At Las Arenas, there was again, no shortage of little firecracker 3-10 pound dorado. Some days, all you wanted. There were some billfish hooked and we did get a few wahoo and pargo. The big roosterfish are still around, but most of the focus has been on the bluewater species.
The week started OK, but then the skies would darken and each day, the winds and waters got a little rougher as we got the tail end of the storm and the periphery of the rain. At least, there wasn’t alot of wind, but it still wasn’t real comfortable towards the end of the week. We actually, had most of our fishermen move over to fish with our La Paz fleet where the fish were at least a big larger.
For our Tailhunter La Paz fleet, the dorado were a bit bigger and went normally 10-30 pounds and were in areas scattered around Espirito Santo Island and the western side of Cerralvo Island. After the storm clouds moved off, waters went back to calm and flat pretty quickly. We did get some dorado up to the 40-pound class and other large ones lost. Billfish were also in the area with most fish getting released. Decent live caballitos for bait.
Keep an eye out. There’s alot of sealife out. Turtles…manta rays…whale sharks…blue whales were all seen this week! Water’s 85 degrees. Jump in!
According to the forecast, we’re gonna get a little more rain at times at least through next week. But, every day the forecast changes. As of writing this, there’s not a cloud in the sky and it’s brilliant sunshine and now they are saying no rain! Just come fish!
Long time amigo, Rick Kasper, went fishing with his son, Kasey and friend Mario from Texas and had a pretty good day with some nice dorado and a striped marlin they were unable to release after it swallowed the lure. Both marlin, sailfish and dorado were good bets this past week.
From Arizona, Jolly Jaeger and husband Dwight came down this week and took some of the nice bull dorado that have been showing up recently.
Johnny Enright brought grandson Dawson down for 3 days of fishing and show off a trophy dorado and some others on the rack. However, check out the big pompano also on the rack. It’s our first of the season!
Every year, Don and Debbie White from Oregon come spend a few weeks with us and always catch fish! This particular day, they not only got dorado you see here, but also caught and released a blue marlin estimated at about 120 pounds.
Three years ago when he was 9 years-old, Garrett Santana came down to fish with us and got into some nice dorado. He came to visit us again this past week and not only caught a mess of dorado, but also put the wood to this huge sailfish all by himself and refused any help! Captain Raul helps out. Nicely done, youngster!
Rex Smith from Phoenix, Arizona has been visiting us for years. As usual, he caught lots of dorado, but over the years had never caught a pargo…until this past week! He took this tasty pargo mulato (barred pargo) fishing withour Tailhunter La Paz Fleet.
Our wine-making friends from Yakima, Washington, Chuck and Claudia Fiola had fun with the dorado and fishing with our Tailhunter La Paz fleet last week.
Big smile from our Captain Victor as he hoists up Jolly Jaeger’s bull dorado. Check out the video below of her pulling in the fish. Well done!
Our Captain Boli has a funny face for the camera, but it’s all smiles for Carson Vincent who had never gotten a dorado before and was brought down by dad to give it a go! Dad got some video of Carson pulling in the nice fish below. Check it out. Well done, Carson!
DORADO KEEP RODS BENT FOR THE WEEK RAIN ON THE WAY?
La Paz – Las Arenas Fishing Report for Week of June 22-29, 2014
It wasn’t a bad week of fishing. It was a “mixed” week of fishing. Dorado surely did their part and kept everyone smiling, but things seemed to change from Las Arenas to La Paz and from day-to-day and indeed from one pangs-to-the-next!
TAILHUNTER LAS ARENAS FLEET
We sort of re-bounded from last week when fishing was sluggish and all we had were some more of those pesky mosquito-size dorado everywhere. It might have been a combination of lack of bait coupled with the fact that last week there were SOOOO many boats out there on the fishing grounds the fish just got lock jawed!
This week was much better. The biggest news was a splash of tuna…yes 15-40 pound yellowfin tuna that made their first appearance off Cerralvo Island and several boats got into them. Usually, these fish are moving too fast and no one can get into them, but we also had a school of 50 pounders that went crashing by some shocked fishermen at the north end of the island as well. So, the fish are around and hopefully, we’ll see more of them because in subsequent days, our recon trips to look for the school went for nothing.
However, the dorado were surely more cooperative. Some larger fish in the 20-40 pound class were taken, plus more billfish including some blue marlin we hooked and either lost or released.
Other species: cabrilla, jack crevalle, bonito, pargo, pompano…we had several wahoo bite off, but no fish boated
TAILHUNTER LA PAZ FLEET
Much better for quality and quantity this week for dorado. Fish ran 10-40 pounds and limits were common with many fish lost and many released. We do have live bait in the form of caballitos and mackerel, but a big error with the fishermen is not letting the dorado really chomp down on the baits and giving the dorado enough time to get the hooks in their mouths. These dorado are so voracious that even small dorado will charge baits that areas big as them making you wonder how they even get an 8 inch bait into their little mouths. But, they will hit it so you just have to be patient before pulling the trigger and setting the hooks.
The fish are around Espirito Santo Island and as close as right in La Paz Bay, but the larger fish are all the way around the corner around Las Cruces, El Rosario and Punta Gorda. It takes while to get there, but it’s worth it and the fish can be as close as just a few yards off the beach in the calm protected waters near those areas.
We are also getting some good bites on sailfish and marlin as well in the same areas.
OTHER SPECIES: Since everyone is concentrating on the blue water species like dorado, we’ve found some spots holding some BIG cabrilla and pargo that are willing to bite, but getting these beasts out’ve the rocks once you hook them is the trick and the fish usually wins!
Usually not much to say. It’s sunny today. It was sunny yesterday. It will be sunny tomorrow. Water about 84 degrees. Nights about 72. Yawn…
Seriously, it’s been a tad humid and in the mid 90’s, but this week the forecast is showing some afternoon thundershowers coming our way. Very tropical. I don’t think it will affect our fishermen very much and, as of the time of this writing, these are not hurricanes, but merely some rain cells moving our way. We’ll keep an eye out! Might actually be very refreshing!
From Ontario, Oregon, Bob Chadwick was able to tick “roosterfish” off his bucket list with this outstanding rooster caught on a live ladyfish and released just outside of Bahia de Los Muertos with Captain Armando.
Florida in the house! Captain Victor gives Beth Nichols a hand with another nice bull dorado. Cerralvo Island in the background.
Amy Kasper by way of Wyoming hits a pose after another good day of fishing with her husband, Rick and Captain Jorge at Las Arenas. They got nice limits of dorado.
When she’s not vacationing, Katie Nichols from Florida actually skippers a commercial fishing boat in Florida for her family getting lobster and crab! She’s pretty good with roosterfish too! She caught and released this fish near Punta Perrico.
The ladies were on fire this week with the fishing! Patti Buffington lives up in California wine country and had a nice day on the water with her husband and Captain Adolfo catching and releasing a trophy rooster.
CRAZY WEEK OF FISHING – 2014 PANGA SLAM EVENT FINDS BIGGER DORADO
La Paz – Las Arenas Fishing Report for Week of Jun3 16-22, 2014
Good fish to be caught, but overall, an erratic week of fishing. It was hard to describe this week. There were definitely some great fish to be caught and good fishing to be had, but the “what…where…why…and how” aspects of the fishing equation threw so many variables into the mix that there’s no way to completely get a fix on what happened.
Let’s get right to it…everyone caught fish! No one who wanted fish went home empty-handed so let’s put that to rest right now! But, let me break it down for you by our two areas of fishing:
TAILHUNTER LAS ARENAS FLEET:
Tougher fishing this past week and I attribute it to several things. The lack of live bait doesn’t make it easy. There is “some” live bait, but mostly, we were using a combination of some live bait with a bigger mix of dead frozen ballyhoo, chunked and stripped bonito as well as caballitos. They all worked, but not as well as live bait.
The bait situation is a bit dire to begin with, as I have often described. All of the Baja is hurting. Much of it is due to the cyclical “El Nino” situations we’re experiencing with extremely warm waters hurting the bait stocks.
Secondly, I don’t know what it was this week, but I can’t remember when I’ve ever seen so many pangas on the water. We had several vans of our own full of fishermen each day , but it was just an incredibly busy week out there. Our competitors also had a van or two. Visiting guide services also had a van or two. There were alot of independent fishermen in their own boats. There were scores of commercial fishermen. There were alot of free diving spear fishermen in the water as well (not exactly the best mix when there are fishermen in the same areas as the divers!). It looked like a freeway out there!
Everyone needs bait. So, that meant that the bait was truly depleted. Additionally, so much traffic on the water didn’t do the fishing any favors.
We only had a few wahoo hook-ups this week. The billfish bite wasn’t as hearty although there were a few stripers hooked and one blue estimated at over 400 pounds . The rooster fish were a bit more scarce as well. About the only thing really going on were the tons of 3-5 pound “mini-dorado” all over the place. But that gets pretty old after awhile hooking trout-sized dorado!
So, maybe this upcoming week will be lighter and things will turn around. There were a few cabrilla and pargo in the mix and some large bonito.
TAILHUNTER LA PAZ FLEET
We fared much better with our La Paz fleet this week. And the big difference…LIVE BAIT! We had caballitos, big sardines and, and mackerel. And that makes all the difference in the world.
Working the island as well as around the corner around El Rosario, Las Cruces and Punta Gorda some nice quietly 20-40 pound dorado were common. There weren’t many of them, but each panga was getting 4-6 of the nicer sized ones and throwing back many smaller. The big ticket is letting the fish “eat” the bait and waiting until it really has the bait down it’s throat. The baits are bigger than we normally have so give the fish time to really chew-down on the bait before setting the hook. So many fish were lost because anxious anglers pulled the trigger too fast and the bait right out’ve the fish’s mouths!
Sidebar: Some nice roosters along the beaches…amberjack…cabrilla and pargo.
2014 PANGA SLAM – FISHING AND PARTY FUN!
The “Rogues Gallery” group portrait day 3 Panga Slam 2014 at Balandra Bay with some of the catch of big dorado! Great time and great way to end the event!
Money shot for Angela! This fish was worth about 500 bucks to Angela Farrell from Oceanside CA who has fished with us many times and always does well. This 20-pound-bill was big enough to take first place on the 2nd day of fishing at the Panga Slam! She almost won the 3rd day as well with a fish that was barely one pound lighter than the winner!
One the 3rd and last day, the fish got bigger with many fish between 20 and 25 pounds! However, the big winner was this 30.5 pound bull dorado for Christian Regan who took the fish on a live caballito!
Shaking it loose on the Tailhunter dance floor!
The gang gives a shout-out from the 2nd floor terrace at Tailhunter Restaurant!
Kudos to Tim Farrell who tagged two roosterfish for the Roosterfish Foundation and released them swimming strongly. One of the fish might have potential as an IGFA world-record release fish!
Benny wails and make his guitar talk! Gary and Michele party up on the dance floor!
Show me the money! Christian Regan shows off his winnings for the 3rd day of fishing. Dad Randy is gonna hit him up to pay off the beer tab!
Always in the fish! Verda Boyd and her guy…Captain Jorge…fishing just off El Sargento/ La Ventana found one of the larger bull dorado cruising the area the last few days. She and husband Tim, always hit the fish! Nice flat water too!
Jilly and Michele funning on the Tailhunter 3rd floor! Pat in the back showing the size of the fish that got away!
Tim Zimmer, our recently -retired amigo from the Bay Area of California put this colorful bull dorado in the boat after the 3rd day of fishing out’ve La Paz.
Our first annual 2014 Panga Slam co-hosted by Western Outdoor News and sponsored by Costa Sunglasses, Tro-kar Hooks, Suffix Line, Okuma Reels and Turners Outdoors, was a grand success with lots of old and new friends and even a few nice fish thrown in!
Everyone got right into it after checking into their rooms at La Concha Beach Resort. Margaritas and cold beers quickly hit the tables and master of ceremonies Pat McDonell kicked things off and photographer and famous outdoor author Gary Graham was taking photos and a huge buffet dinner on the beach was served by the hotel with lots of great giveaways from our sponsors.
First day was a non-tournament day but everyone headed to Bahia de Los Muertos for the initial day. Lots of small dorado…a few medium ones…some jacks and bonito and a marlin were all tallied for the day then we all retreated back to La Paz for an all-you-can-eat taco feed at Tailhunter Restaurant and live reggae music from the Stamina band and some good dancing on the 2nd and 3rd floor!
Day two had us all heading back out to Las Arenas for more small dorado action…some nice roosterfish and a jackpot dorado from Angela “The Poster Girl” Zapien who nailed it with a 20 pound bull that put $550 dollars in her pocket from the pot. That night, it was a free night but a big group of us went for clams, shrimp and lobster to Pichilingue restaurant on the beach. Toes-in-the-sand and cold beers under a palapa roof to watch the sunset.
Our 3rd and last day, we changed tactics and had everyone got out to fish at La Paz north out’ve the bay. Big difference! Big fish showed up with every boat taking 18-30 pound big bulls! It was a great way to top out the 3 days and the day’s jackpot going to Christian Regan who edged out some other big fish with a 30.5 pound big bull dorado. That night, a big awards dinner and more party time at Tailhunters where we hosted an all-you-can-eat Hawaiian rib dinner and more dancing on the 3rd deck to the classic rock of “Benny and the Sons of the Beaches.” All-in-all, just a great time with so many good friends! Thanks to all, but especially, Pat McDonell and Western Outdoor News and their staff and Gary Graham for above-and-beyond being a good-guy to us.
WHOAAA!!!! That’s a big fat rooster! Captain Jorge helps out Robert Rost who was fishing with us for his first time from Boise, Idaho! Robert had super week topped by this huge rooster they caught and released near Punta Arenas!
That’s a big wahoo for Ty Mitchell from Washington on his 2nd trip with us. He got this trophy off Cerralvo Island fishing with our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet!
Captain “Fettucine” Alfredo from our Tailhunter La Paz fleet photobombs deckhand Blas posing with our amigos from Colorado Doc Art Flippin and son-in-law Mike Shepherd!
Tiffany FLOYD could NOT have been a more fun person to come down to fish! I don’t think she ever stopped laughing or smiling and this big sailfish with Captain Joel put a big smile on her face. She was down celebrating her anniversary and she caught this just outside La Paz Bay!
OH the joy! This is just pure ecstasy! Mike Shepherd had a great week with us, but a big dorado eluded him all week. But at the last hour with almost his last bait on the last day, he finally put the wood to this nice bull dorado! Great facial expression, Mike! CLASSIC!
I think this should be their new 2014 Christmas card photo! The Nichols family run a big time fishing operation out’ve Florida and came down for a few days to visit. They all got and released their first roosterfish plus some nice dorado including this trophy bull that ended up for dinner at Tailhunter Restaurant!
Dennis Cudal knew this one was headed to the grill when he stuck this nice big barred pargo around Espirito Santo Island.
Check this off the bucket list! Nothing like an exotic roosterfish on the line! Jeff FLOYD from Idaho, was fishing with Captain Pancho literally just a few yards from the beach at Las Arenas and caught and released this big time rooster!
An extended Father’s Day Week plus graduation present for Craig and Ashley Sanford from the Phoenix AZ area where they show off quite a variety of fish they caught with our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet including cabrilla, bonito, triggerfish and dorado!
Great story. Mike Shepherd was trolling a big bait in the shallow waters near Punta Perrico when his rod went off and all heck broke loose. He started yelling, “MARLIN! MARLIN!” Captain Jorge was tying up some lines and not looking and said, “There’s no marlin here!” Until he looked up! MIke had on a fish estimated at well over 200 pounds! Unfortunately, only 30 pound test so they hung on as best as they could while wife, Candi snapped photos! Folks ask all the time for “bigger boats” so they can go out further and catch “bigger fish!” Well, as you can see, we don’t have to go far and our pangas do just fine!
Our good amigo, Don Busse, always does well and he put this big pargo on board at Las Arenas and ended up bringing it to our Tailhunter Restaurant for dinner!
It was a good week for big barred pargo! Al Nojadera has been fishing with us for alot of years and shows off one of his big pargo.
Gary Pilkington is from Northern Cal and fished with Captain Pancho. Gary was on his 2nd visit with us and wanted to get a rooster! Mission accomplished with this caught-and-released trophy!
Luke Appel from Malibu took a nice picture and a great photo of this barred pargo in full raging colors! These are tough tough fish when hooked and fight like beasts!
This is our rockstar, Rick Kasper, who always gets fish with us. Rick has a place our there near La Paz now and spends several weeks hanging out and fishing!
Captain Adolfo and Megan Kennedy with another colorful rooster onboard and flat blue waters behind! The fish was caught and released. Megan was on her first trip and came down with dad.
This is just a super fun photo! One on board and another on the rod for Tiffany and Jeff Floyd celebrating their 19th anniversary with a trip to La Paz!
ROOSTERS DORADO LIGHT IT UP WITH THE FULL MOON…AND ANOTHER MISSED HURRICANE!
La Paz – Las Arenas Fishing Report for Week of June 8-15 2014
Another fairly solid week of fishing even with the full moon…even with another hurricane missing us and blowing out to sea (Christina!)… but the difference between our anglers who fished with our Las Arenas fleet and those who fished with our La Paz fleet was like night and day…in a good way! Fortunately, for us, our clients get to fish both sides if they so choose!
For Las Arenas, at times, the winds plus the big swell generated by hurricane Cristina far to the south had to be contended with and made for some bouncy days, especially towards the end of the week. The hurricane was up to a category 4 with winds up to 170 mph, but thankfully banked out to the west before it got up to the Baja.
However, it still pushed residual winds and waves our way and up the Sea of Cortez. The surfers at Land’s End by Cabo and also around Todos Santos were loving the big waves with the thick lips!
But, at Las Arenas, we continued with swarms of little dorado. So many that some of the anglers are calling it “the nursery” where it was not uncommon to hook and release a dozen or more dorado in short order of fish no bigger than 3-5 pounds! Great light tackle action, but very few fish larger than that. The good thing is that the way dorado grow, in just a few months, these fish will be 15-20 pounders! So, it’s good that many are getting released.
The better action was on the wahoo, especially earlier in the week when that area south of Cerralvo Island kicked out another nice jag of 20-40 pound speedsters on trolled lures like the Rapala X-Raps and Yo-Zuri Magnums. For every fish taken, at least 2 more were lost so there’s some fish out there.
The other part of Las Arenas were the big roosters that seemed to pop up again with a vengeance. We had several days mid-week when, as one angler said, “Every bait thrown in the water generated an immediate hammer from a big rooster!” The fish this week were as “small” as 35-40 pounds, but we had some larger estimated in the 60-85 pound class (by the captains!).
For La Paz anglers, it was a completely different story altogether! The dorado were bigger. They were more abundant and they really bent rods and went 15-40 pounds with some larger ones lost. The bonus was the many of the best bites were literally right in La Paz Bay or just outside without having to go very far. As well, where the smaller dorado were found, marlin and sailfish were in the same areas either eating the same baits or else feeding on the small dorado themselves.