Kurt Shipley from Oklahoma spent all week on the 88 spot for a shot at one of the big tuna and on his last day got his wish! This fish could only be estimated at about 175 pounds and took two hours. The fishing on the 88 spot near Cerralvo was sporadic to spectacular all week. Some days there were no fish. Other days there were only "smaller" 40 pounders. The next day the fish were all beasts over 100 pounds! Some days there were very few boats and other days, it was a freeway! It has been a long time since we've seen this kind of quality.
She refused any assistance and put this 110-pound monster in the boat all by herself! Mary Wehner poses with Captain Pancho and her big fish that she took on a mini-3-foot Whopper Stopper rod on the 88 spot. Mary is always doing stuff like that every time she visits. Last year, it was a big blue marlin!
Norm Whittlesey is tough-as-nails. He grew up on a dairy farm. Worked in a coal mine and was part of the 101'st Airborne Divison then went back to school to become a college professor! He still has time to tend 60 acres in Washington and after every day of fishing, he would actually go work out for an hour at the hotel gym! He rocks and had a fantastic week of fishing including some of the largest dorado of the week fishing with our Tailhunter La Paz fleet then some of the huge tuna with our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet.
Another massive beast on the beach. Scott Burmeister from New Mexico isn't sure he wanted to do anymore tuna fishing after this fish estimated at over 150 pounds tore into his rig off Cerralvo Island. Anglers were battling these fish from 1-4 hours with the fish winning more often than not. Some days, the fish would only eat light line so anglers were already at a disadvantage!
Some great stories this week! Johan Coetzee took three days to travel from South Africa where he is a university professor so that he and his friend could spend 10 days spearfishing with us. He had hoped to get a roosterfish in those 10 days but on his very first day, shot this trophy rooster off Las Arenas. Up to the day of me writing this report, they had also gotten amberjack, big cabrilla, yellowtail and snapper. They commented that they are amazed at how strong our Baja fish are! One 20 pound amberjack bent the steel shaft of his spear. Another rooster larger than this could not be stopped even with the spearshaft firmly embedded! (Spearfishing in Mexico is done without tanks and these guys are incredible atheletes able to hold their breaths and dive to great depths to hunt on a single lungful of air!)
Like I said...a week of great (and often funny!) stories....If you're been following the reports all week, the big tuna went "on the chew" off Cerralvo Island this week with fish up to 200 pounds tearing up anglers and lots of gear. The problem is that some of these big fish would ONLY eat 40 pound test! Some of the battles lasted 1, 2, 3 or more hours with the fish usually winning over the exhausted anglers. So...take a look at this picture of our good buddies Darrell George (holding the rod) and Bo Herrera (trying to hang onto an exhausted Darrell). These guys took alot of flack for this photo they were showing around the restaurant last night and was snapped by a laughing Captain Victor! I guess you could write your own funny caption! However, the truth is that they had a fish of about 100 pounds on the line and only 40 pound test. It was whupping them when the force of the fish broke the handle off the reel! Bo stepped right up (what are buddies for?) to help hold onto Darrell and they tag-teamed to hand-line in the big fish! (The guys are great sports about the funny picture not realizing that Captain Victor was taking photos with THEIR camera!). They just went back to New Mexico today with over 250 pounds of dorado, snapper and tuna fillets after a great week!
Steve's got a nice pargo liso! Many anglers aren't out here looking for pargo this time of year as they're interested in the pelagic species like tuna, dorado, wahoo and billfish. But that makes this an ideal time to chase pargo since there's not much pressure on the fish! It doesn't make them any easier to catch. They'll bite, but then they go quickly back to the rocks and cut you off! Check out this nice pargo liso (mullet snapper).
I almost forgot...we got at least one or two marlin or sailfish biters every day this week. Most of the fish were released. This is Dan Bernardo's first marlin and they were unable to release it after it swallowed the hook. Dan is from Washington State and had a banner week with tuna, dorado and his first marlin. Most of the billfish were found in the channel between Cerralvo and Espirito Santo Islands.
Phil Okamoto from Los Angeles gets and assist from Captain Pancho on his first pargo. Phil also got his first marlin and some big dorado this week.
High school football coach Randy Strange got a mess of dorado after a good week of dorado fishing with out Tailhunter La Paz fleet including this decent-sized bull. Randy is from the Ventura CA area.
Troy Coffey keeps coming down to fish and NEVER got in the fish report! Well, this time YOU MADE IT TROY! Good job! Troy got into that dorado bite we've had out've La Paz. He had a few rough days, but finally got into the bite. The fish are scattered but if you find the spot, it can be rodeo on you.
Like I said...lots of funny stories this week. Coach Don Rea from Ventura is the BRAVEST MAN I KNOW! He has been coming to see us for years...several times a year. He is a huge fan of catching dorado and racing so he spent the week chasing mahi mahi and taking a day to watch the popular Coyote 300 off -road race here in La Paz. This man is fearless. In order to be here, he skipped his 43rd wedding anniversary; 2 birthdays; 1 graduation and Father's Day! His photos has been in our fishing report so often I thought he's enjoy seeing his photo at the race instead! Note the carefully placed "hover hands!" In all honesty, Don's wife, Cathie is a great sport and avid fishermen herself and let him come down with his buddy. But he is bringing Cathie to La Paz next month.
The Week in Review Tailhunter Video Clip:
Got some great stuff this week. Check it out. Click the link!
BIG TUNA STORM BACK DORADO STEADY BUT NOT ALL DAYS GOOD IN ALL PLACES!
La Paz/ Las Arenas Fishing Report for Week of June 19-26, 2011
It’s hard to put a finger on this last week of
fishing. I sort of depended where you fished and what day you
fished. Fortunately, almost everyone was fishing the whole week so even
if there was an off-day, the next day seemed to make up for it. Or, at the
end of 3, 4 or 5 days on the water, they still had a chest full of fillets to
bring home. The bottom line is that it required being at the right place
at the right time! For some, they got some of the biggest fish of their
lives! For others, they LOST the biggest fish of their lives…whether a
big tuna or a big dorado or marlin!
For our Las Arenas fleet, the focus is either the big tuna
and free-swimmer bull dorado outside Cerralvo Island at the 88 spot or
inshore for the roosters, pargo and smaller dorado. At the “tuna
honey hole” earlier in the week it was rough and the fishing was less than
steller. A few fish taken, but mostly in the 30-50 pound range. A
nice grade of fish but if you lost your fish or didn’t even get bit, it was a
long way to run. Later in the week the spot blew up again and produced
the century slugger 100-pounders to 200 pound “cows.” We lost a few, but took more than we
lost. As one of our anglers put it, “I always wanted one of those
big fish, but when you’re fighting it after an hour-or-so in the sun, you start
to regret what you asked for and torture yourself about the knot you tied and
the type of hook you used and all the little variables!”
Another of our guys said, “It was like a disease
wanting a big tuna. Now that I got one…been there…done that. I
don’t need that kind of pain ever again!” (I know he’ll be back
again!). Some of the problem was that these fish were picky. One day they ate live bait. The next day the fish were hooked on
slow-trolled Rapalas! One day they would
eat line the size of rope. The next, you
were using 30 and 40 pound test to get bit!
(That’s a bit like being a one-legged man at a butt-kicking
contest…you’re already at a serious disadvantage.)
Some of these battles
raged 1, 2, 3 or more hours and the longer the battle the greater the chance
you’re gonna get spanked badly and lose the fish…or even if you get the fish,
you’ll feel like you went 10 rounds in the ring with the champ. I kid you not. Some of the anglers came back from “the
zone” very quiet. Exhausted. Shuffling their feet. Unable to lift their arms. Coated in salt, sweat and fish scum. Glassy-eyed and de-hydrated! Be careful what you ask for!
If you’re coming out to try for the tuna (not sure how long
they will be here)…one day the fish bite on live bait (sardines). The
next day it’s feathers or Rapalas so be prepared. We did get a few
billfish hooked and released this week that bit Rapalas and Yo-Zuri’s that were
being trolled for tuna. Even got an amberjack on one as well. I
didn’t think they swam fast enough to catch a trolled Rapala!
Inshore at Las Arenas, the nice roosterfish are still
cruising the beaches. Our largest fish of the week were in that 40-60
pound range, but there’s also schoolie-sized pez gallos in the 5-10 pound class
that are fun on the light tackle and spinning or fly rods. As well,
there’s schools of smaller dorado shallow near the drop-offs close to the
beaches and larger dorado models if you go hopping around the buoys outside.
Another little tip…bring some sabiki-style bait rigs to catch some caballito,
mackerel or pilot fish that make great bigger live baits!
For our La Paz fleet, the week started slower than normal as
we were hampered by wind and swells left over from Hurricane Beatriz that
passed far to the south of us. However, as the week went on, we fell back
into the swing of it with nice catches of 5-15 pound schooling dorado and
larger 20-40 pound bulls. They’re in several spots. You just have
to find them, but multiple hook-ups are not unusual. Live sardines or
caballitos or mackerel work well as does slow trolling big strips of fresh
bonito or skipjack. If you have a temp guage on your boat, there’s
pockets of warm water and lines of temperature currents. Find some floating
sargasso weeds or debri and fish the warmer side of the line for a better shot
at finding the dorado. Just keep an eye
on the wind. Some days are really breezy
and rough. Others go completely flat.
Every day is different!
That’s our story!
Jonathan and Jilly
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