Team Owner Hooks showed up to fish our tuna bite this week. Popular fishing personality, Dennis Yamamoto of Owner Hooks (middle) brought all the guys down for 3 days and got into fish between 25-45 pounds fishing with our Tailhunter Las Fleet. We had a great time with them. From left to right: Maurice Nakagawa; Ken Imoto; Gerry Koyama; Randy Kanemaki; Dennis Yamamoto; Miles Nakahara; Clark Saito; Dennis Fong...thanks guys!
Our buddy, Dan McCormick, from Oregon escaped the OR rain this week and shows off the type of quality tuna we got off Las Arenas. Dan got 5 of these slugs this day.
Lots of our veteran anglers, many with lots of tuna experience, were telling us that "These tuna were fighting like fish alot bigger!" Jeff Brown (Minnesota) , Captain Jorge, and Rod Brown (Alaska), our amigos who visit us twice a year, fished an entire week with us and spent anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour or more on each hookup with yellowfin. We had some clients spent over 2 hours on their fish and lots of anglers commented that for some reason, these fish fought like tuna much much larger. It also didn't help that the fish preferred light tackle so 20-30 pound line got bit the most.
Just so you don't think we only caught tuna this week, Rich Miles from Utah justifiably shows off the beast of a bull dorado he caught north of La Paz with our Tailhunter La Paz fleet. We didn't catch as many dorado this week as in the past, but the quality seemed to make up for the loss of quantity with bigger and better fish like this beast.
Like I said, these fish were "beasts in battle." Check out our great friends, Jorge Romero and Bob Duncan from Santa Barbara. Look closely at Bob's mouth. He's holding the tip of his custom rod that got snapped off while fighting a tuna.
Roger Van Steenkiste is 84-years-old often comes to visit us in La Paz twice a year and usually outfishes and out-lasts all of his younger sons and friends. Here, he's showing off some dorado with our other amigo, Jerell Mulhollan from New Jersey.
Grandpa and grandson, Jeremy and Jim Reeves at Las Arenas with Jeremy's first tuna. No word on if Grandpa Jim made him eat the heart!
Our San Diego connection for the week, amigo Jock Argust, put this nice slug yellowfin tuna in the box. The bite was really strange this week. One day there would be 1-2 fish per boat. The next day the fish would come up boiling and produce 4-6 fish per boat.
VIDEO HIGHTLIGHTS FOR THE WEEK
Got some good stuff this week. Check out the images and video clips:
SCRAPPY TUNA AT LAS ARENAS PICKY BUT HIGHLIGHT THE WEEK!
La Paz/ Las Arenas Fishing Report for Week of Oct. 2-9, 2011
It’s a bit difficult to characterize the week. If you’re looking at sheer numbers, it wasn’t a very good week of fishing. I mean, 1-5 fish per panga/day doesn’t sound like much. And it’s not. You’d be right. Even the dorado, which had been our bread-and-butter fish, weren’t exactly cooperative.
However, the other side of the coin is that the fish we DID catch…they were generally bruisers! And one or two fish could fill a cooler.
For our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet, the tuna were anemic and picky but no doubt they were there. Early in the week it started with 25-30 pound fish. By the end of the week it was 30-45 pound fish with some 50’s, 60’s and even and estimated 140 pounder on the beach! The fish were selective and generally only hitting light tackle in the 20-40 pound lines so that meant long drawn out battles of 45, 60, 90 or even (in two cases)…almost 3 hours on fish. That’s a butt-kicker in the hot Baja sun.
So, when you look at the numbers, and that it takes that long to get a fish to the boat, not many fish show up in the counts. Also, take into effect that you could fight a fish for an hour or so…and then BOING…YOU LOSE IT! There goes an hour of fishing time. GONE! The school might be gone by then. You don’t get many shots. So, it’s a gamblers odds on putting fish in the panga. If you put 3, 4, or 5 of these sluggers in the boat, you’re both good AND lucky!
Some notes, often the tuna bite has been late in the day. Some days the fish are all over the waters and you can see them running under the boat. And they won’t eat a single bait. Also, the baits are incredibly small. I’ve never seen baits this small. I’m not kidding. Some of these baits are about 2-3 inches long!!! So, if you’re coming down, you want small strong hooks. We had Dennis Yamamoto and the Team from Owner hooks with us and all of them are experienced tuna fishermen and they were using flyline Owner hooks and 20-30 pound lines and even they lost some fish but still took home full coolers.
“These fish just seemed to fight larger than fish their size! I couldn’t believe it!” said one of our guys from Oregon
“After 3 days of fishing, not a single fish took less than an hour!” said another. “And these fish were mostly 25-35 pounds, but fought like 50 pounders. I do San Diego long range and have fished Baja before ,but these fish seemed like they were juiced or something!”
For some of our anglers, 1 or 2 of these beast tuna was enough for the day. “We decided to go fish for roosterfish after those first fish,” said one of our fishermen. “I really wanted to experience catching a tuna and now I know. Those things pull alot harder than salmon or halibut!”
Anyway, it was the same with many of our dorado as well. Fewer fish this week again. Normally, we’ve been catching limits or near limits for the entire summer. However, the last two weeks it’ dwindled to 2-6 dorado per boat. However, again, it’s quality over quantity. We’re seeing larger and stronger bulls in the mix. A number of fish were in the 25-30 pound class and 40 pounders were caught every day with one fish estimated at over 50 pounds taken as well.
Not sure what the next week will bring. It seems every week is a surprise.
That’s our story!
Jonathan and Jilly
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