BIG ROOSTERFISH SHOW UP AT LAS ARENAS BEACH!
La Paz – Las Arenas Fishing Report for May 12, 2007
PHOTO 1: Pam Kenneally of Quartz Hills had some kind of day. First time fishing Baja and first time fishing La Paz as well as her first day of fishing, she and her husband and friend got 4 huge roosters on bait near the Las Arenas lighthouse. Pam got two of them herself. They took great pains to release and revive each fish except this one which had swallowed the hook. Meat was donated.
PHOTO 2: Dave Manning of N. California took a gamble and had Captain Yofo take him outside to the buoys where some dorado had started to show up this past week. It paid off with one of the nicer and larger bull dorado of the early season. Capt. Yofo is behind him.
Photo 3 : Bob Hughes is a professor at Oregon State University. He came for some sun and fish this past week and got a number of nice pargo including this slugger “barred pargo” aka “pargo mulatto.” Great eats and highly prized!
Photo 4: He wanted his first rooster and Ray Laney of Palmdale CA took this one mere yards off the Las Arenas beach as it exploded through a school of big jacks (see photo below!). Ray and his friends released a number of big fish.
PHOTO 4 : They may not taste great, but no one seems to argue that it’s a tough combatant on rod and reel. Shane Vroman of Quartz Hills was on his first trip to La Paz and a huge school of jacks was terrorizing a bait school right in the surf near the Arenas lighthouse. Over a few days, Ray got mega bent on these jack crevalle and big-eyed-jack. This fish was released. They don’t taste too good, but make up for it with attitude.
PHOTO 6 : More than a decade ago, Tom Mooney of Fresno was one of my first customers. This past week he returned to La Paz and fished a couple of days with us. Check out this nice fat cabrilla. He was fishing north of La Paz around Espiritu Santo Island.
PHOTO 7 : Talk about variety! That’s what it was like this week with fishing with our Las Arenas fleet more productive than fishing out of La Paz. Ray Laney (Left from Palmdale) and Shane Vroman (right from Quartz Hills) show off their first day catch consisting of big eye jacks, cabrilla, pargo and roosters. They released just as many as they took.
What a rocking fun week! I was on the water myself a few days and, for the most part, it was just one of those killer blast weeks when the sun shone, the waves flattened and the fish bit. We never knew WHAT was going to bite, but doggone…it was fun.
Let’s start at the top! Take a look at this week’s photos!
Yea…the pez gallo finally came out to play at Las Arenas. They’ve been teasing the last few weeks, but the fish that put Las Arenas on many fishing maps decided to do some rod bending! For those of us who fished this week, it was easy to see why the call Las Arenas, arguably the roosterfish capital of the world!
If you were over at Cerralvo Island where we had to get most of our bait, there were little coves almost teaming with small roosters. I wouldn’t even call these punk fish! I was out one day with Jeff and Kim Howard from Portland and we must have hooked ten 2-4 pound fish in minutes. It seemed some of the baits were larger than the fish. But boy…were they voracious! It was great fun on light tackle and we released all of the fish.
Over towards the lighthouse, between the lighthouse and the old Las Arenas Hotel (which by the way just got some new owners!), and right up in the surf, if you stood on the bow of the panga, you could see the dark schools moving in and out. Another day, I was with Shane Vroman and Ray Laney (see their photos above) and was up pointing out fish from the bow. The dark shapes held a combination of roosters, jack crevalle and big-eyed jacks. They could sure tear it up. Any member of the jack family has so much attitude that even smaller ones came to the boat stubbornly. There were so many fish inside that another of my friend, Jay Mirakoshi, who guides flyfishermen was fishing from the beach and suddenly I saw him doing twirls in the knee deep water as he was trying to cast.
Actually, he had his flylines wrapped around his legs! A school of jacks was swimming all around him and through his legs causing him to twirl until he was tangled! You could stay out in this area all day and keep fairly hooked up all day. The fish would eat flies, live sardines, slow trolled spoons and fast-trolled smaller rapalas.
But…the big boys were on the OTHER side of the lighthouse!
Again, standing on the bow spotting fish, the crystal waters would be empty until dark shapes started to move around and they would almost go right for whatever baits you were slow trolling. Sometimes they were jacks or smaller roosters, other times, these huge combs would suddenly emerge behind the boat and slash the baits and make your toes curl. Early in the week when I was with Shane and Ray, they guys had their lines dragging behind the boat when the back of a rooster big enough to put a saddle on and take a ride suddenly rolled up on Shane’s bait like the Loch Ness monster.
Now, get this…we’re only in about 6 feet of water! The comb stood a good 18 inches out of the water! It startled the hell out’ve all of us including Shane who gut-reacted and literally yanked the bait away from the fish in surprise almost like he didn’t want the fish to get it. (Shane’s actually a good fisherman!…but the surprise factor just had such an unnerving effect!). I try to explain this to anglers all the time about how big these fish are and how close to shore they can be!
Well, he more than made up for it. Next day, Ray and Shane and his wife Pam went back to hunt the big PG’s and got 4 big boys in the 30-50 pound class (Pam got 2!) including a bunch of jacks. This time, they took the time to go get the big 18 inch ladyfish to use as bait. You can imagine that any fish that can wrap it’s choppers around an 18 inch bait is gonna be a slugger!
All the big PG’s were released and they spent tons of time reviving each one, except the one in the photo above which swallowed the hook. (The meat was donated to the pueblo).
But their experiences were not unusual. Other anglers from our fleet and others hit into the jacks, sierra, and roosters as well.
In addtion, there are still good number of pargo lisa, dog tooth and paro mulatto (barred pargo) along the rocks at Punte Perrico and the SE end of Cerralvo Island although as the saying goes…”many are hooked…few are landed!”
As for the wahoo…yup…they are still here! Early in the week one of the pangas found a dead whale floating and nailed 10 wahoo and 2 tuna. The skipper (who used to work for me!) didn’t bother to radio in anyone else and his fellow skippers jumped his butt when he got back to shore. Next day, everyone went looking and found nothing. What a few of them DID find were dorado!!! Yea…they’re starting to show up too. Not many, but we know this is the vanguard for the body of fish.
But, back to the wahoo. I’ve had boats trolling the big rapalas back and forth early in the morning off the south end of Cerralvo. Most are getting bit and will show you the teeth marks on their lures. But for whatever reason, nothing is sticking! But no doubt…the teeth marks on these lures are the signature bite of Mr. Hoo!
One boat encountered a big school of porpoise and ran around it trying to hook tuna. Nothing happened until a bait was dropped over the side. Zzzzzzzztttttttttt….wham! Something hit the line and went straight down and down…and down until the line broke. I think it was a BIG tuna.
Marlin are around too. We got a few. Hooked a few. Lost others. Many are still not eating quite yet. One of my good amigos here, Robert Hefner said, “one day it looked like there were HUNDREDS of them on the surface!” (his words not mine!). Even if Bob was exagerrating by a little bit…that’s ALOT of billfish no matter how you look at it!
Honestly…most of the better fishing has been around Las Arenas this past week. It’s still a tad windy around the La Paz side but the deciding factor is just that the fishing has been more consistent around Las Arenas. Since I have my fleet on both sides, we’re flexible enough this time of year to be able to move folks where the fishing is better. That’s not to say there aren’t fish on the La Paz side. Our boats that have gone out are finding some great cabrilla and pargo fishing. It’s just a matter of time before La Paz opens up too!
I think the ticket here right now is to realize that things are variable. Conditions change weekly and daily. You have to fish for what’s there. Some species have a higher probability of being caught. If you gamble on some species, you could hit the jackpot or you could get a goose-egg. If you fish for what’s biting, you’ll get better results. And anything can happen!
HEADS UP – BITS and PIECES
1. For those of you who keep track of such things and for some reason do not like Mexican beer, the bar at Los Arcos Hotel now serves Heineken, Bud, Bud light, and a few other foreign beers! Cheers!
2. Bring a hat and the heavy sunscreen. It’s already HOT!
3. Restaurant Wars!!! For those of you carnivores who love to eat at the Buffalo Barbecue but sometimes find that it’s gotten so popular that you need reservations, there’s a new place called “Tres Virgines.” (Three Virgins). They built it across the street and about 40 yards down the road from the Buffalo Grill. It’s got a brick courtyard and big fireplace. Tons of ambience and a more variety on their menu than the Buffalo. I’m still a big fan of the BB, but this new place is pretty nice too. Just one more choice! The Buffalo is not standing still. Report have it that Chef Carlos is building a pasta house across the street from the Buffalo too!
4. The charming garden restaurant on the malecon waterfront known for years for it’s live jazz music and varied menu known as “The Oasis” has changed. It’s now called “The Jungle” as in “Welcome to the…” and is now an outdoor drinking bar and nightclub. Will miss the Oasis.
That’s my story!
Phone: (626) 333-3355
FAX: (626) 333-0115
U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Dr., Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745
Mexico Office: Carr. a Pichilingue KM 5, Numero 205, La Paz, Baja Cal Sur, Mexico
“When your life finally flashes before your eyes, you will have only moments to regret all the things in life you never had the courage to try.”
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