Video Clip: A short video clip of Chuck Eaves’ big tuna being pulled from the panga. My video camera went on the fritz right after this or I would have had more video footage of all the tuna we got!
FLURRY OF NICE TUNA HIGHLIGHT OTHERWISE UNUSUALLY SLOW WEEK!
La Paz/ Las Arenas Fishing Report for Week of May 20-27, 2012
This past week was perhaps the strangest week of the season. Maybe it was a continuation of last week. In word, maybe “strange” wasn’t strong enough…it stunk! We have jokingly been blaming the eclipse and big waves generated from the hurricane hundreds of miles to the south, but nothing adds up. More likely, it’s been a combination of a number of factors.
It would seem the conditions are all good. Water temps are in the low to mid 80’s and air temperatures have been in the mid-80’s to mid-90’s. Perfect vacation weather! But you really have to look closer at what the satellite readings are telling us about the surface temperatures.
Around our Las Arenas/ Cerralvo Island areas, the surface water temps are in the 80’s. Good warm water for species like dorado, wahoo, billfish, etc. But north of La Paz around Espiritu Santo Island, the water temperatures are around the mid-70’s! Those are more like cooler spring-time temperatures that produce yellowtail, pargo, cabrilla, sierra, and more inshore fishing. But…75-80 degree difference… That’s quite a change. Plus there are fingers of warm water in the cold areas and fingers of cold water in the warm areas. I can only speculate what it’s like UNDER the surface!
So, I think the fish are all messed up! I think they are ready to take off and go, but we’re just going through a really rough transition time between our spring and summer conditions. Add to that the fact that there’s a huge bank of cold water down as cold as the mid-60’s hovering off Cabo San Lucas and the East Cape to our south that’s really hurting those areas AND threatening to move up into our area and we end up with a real “chop suey” of conditions!
So, not only are the fish confused, but moreso, it has affected our bait situation. Some days bait is almost impossible to get. This is mostly with our Las Arenas fleet which has resorted to using frozen ballyhoo, cut squid, live pilot fish, caballito jacks and liso (mullet). It’s pretty hard to chum with these species and I especially feel badly for many of the flyfishers who come to La Paz this time of year when normally we have tons of sardines to chum up the fish for them.
For our La Paz fleet, the bait has been a little easier, but still tougher than normal. We’re getting some sardines but supplementing that with mackerel and caballitos.
Bottom line is that there’s not many bullets for the guns!
But, we are getting some fish…
For our La Paz fleet, we have been surprised by the re-emergence of yellowtail again. We had a great bite going for 3 months that just simply fell off the boards about a month ago. Then, with the re-emergence of cold water, we suddenly have yellowtail biting again as well as pargo, cabrilla and little flurries of dorado and marlin in the warmer areas.
For our Las Arenas fleet, with even tougher bait stocks, the fishing was reduced to some bonito, some roosters and the occasional pargo and cabrilla. I mean, “STINK” doesn’t even begin to describe it! There were some nice amberjack at the north end of Cerralvo but then that was it! Guys were really working hard and our captains were even staying extra hours on the water to do their best to get fish for the clients! (But hat’s off to the fishermen who really put in the time and kept up the good attitudes and kept smiling through it all without a whole lot of whining. Good sports! Honestly, many of our clients the past week or so are regulars so they know how goood the fishing can be and are as perplexed as we are about the lack of bite!)
But then the highlight of the week, on Friday off the south end of Cerralvo Island…
… a big school of moving dolphin came through. A few of our boats chased them and got immediate hook ups on slugger-sized yellowfin tuna. Other boats joined in. Instead of moving off with the dolphin, the tuna stayed…and bit! And for a few great hours guys had bent rods on 40-100 pound yellowfin that just spanked the guys! All our pangas got 1-4 fish each but all of them lost 2-5 other nice tuna as well. They were pretty tired at the end of the day but these were feisty hard-charging fish.
The next day, most of the guys didn’t want to chase tuna as they were pretty beat up so it’s hard to know if the tuna stayed around, but inshore, the guys found roosters between 10 and 70 pounds as well as some small dorado and a few marlin and sailfish hookups that were either lost or released. All roosters were also released.
So…I don’t know where that leaves us, but I’m encouraged by what we saw at the end of the week and hope things settle down!
Happy Memorial Day week and weekend everyone! God bless all you vets for your service!
That’s our story!
Jonathan and Jilly
Jonathan Roldan’s Tailhunter International Website: www.tailhunter-international.com U.S. Office: 3319 White Cloud Drive, Suite A, Hacienda Hts. CA 91745 Mexico Office: 755 Paseo Obregon, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico Phones: from USA : 626-638-3383 from Mexico: 044-612-14-17863
Tailhunter Weekly Fishing Report: http://www.tailhunter-international.com/fishreport.htm Tailhunter YouTube Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/pangapirate
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