BAJA SUR WORKING TO ESTABLISH PROTECTION FOR SPORTFISHING IN MEXICO
Jan. 18, 2007, Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg, Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico:
This past week, despite colder than normal weather in this part of Mexico we saw excellent fishing in the Cabo San Lucas vacation area.
Every Pisces Fleet charter boat out caught fish this week, except one boat whose anglers were seasick and turned around after 15 minutes.
The majority of Cabo San Lucas sportfishing charters caught striped marlin at the Golden Gate Bank this week, leading to a 91 percent catch rate for billfish.
At the start of this fishing period, when the moon was bigger, Pisces Fleet boats averaged one to three marlin, but as the week progressed we saw some double-digit catches, such as 15 hooked with 11 released on "El Gallo" on January 17th for a group from El Paso, Texas consisting of Frank Caldera, Charles Gawell, Matthew Neesen, Scott Asbury and Brian Lane. They also released a hammerhead shark.
The Pisces Fleet boats "Andrea" and "Adriana" released six striped marlin each for groups from Billings, Montana, and Crystal Lake, Illinois.
The boat "C-Rod" had a seven marlin day plus a dorado, for Danny and Stu Cirulnick from Potomac, Maryland.
The "Tracy Ann" outdid themselves with nine releases and a dorado for John Evis, Gabriel Kirkberker and Paul Kloestma, all from Ontario, Canada.
Other Pisces boats did very well, but to get a mention this week, it had to be six or more fish.
Pisces Fleet anglers caught a total of 149 billfish at Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of Baja this week, consisting of 147 striped marlin and two sailfish, all released. The average weight on the marlin was 130 pounds.
On a different note we are thrilled to report that the governor of our state of Baja California Sur, Mexico, Narciso Agundez, met with us last week to hear our proposal, presented by Tracy Ehrenberg and Minerva Smith from the sportfishing union, to ask for the non-commercialization of marlin and sailfish.
If approved this measure would mean that it would be illegal to sell marlin and sailfish anywhere in Mexico. If there are no buyers, then there will be no sellers. This means commercial fisherman will stop targeting our game fish, which they can now legally sell as "incidental" by catch.
Governor Agundez met with the head of Mexico's fisheries, Cardenas Jimenez, and they agreed to establish a common front to work together and unite with those who depend on sportfishing for their livelihoods, with the purpose of guaranteeing the non-commercialization of marlin and sailfish which are species reserved for sportfishing.
Governor Agundez also asked that a 50-mile exclusion zone be considered for the areas where sportfishing is practiced. There is currently a 50-mile zone reserved for sportfishing but commercial boats fishing for shark are allowed within this zone and end up with huge by-catches. By asking for an exclusion zone, due to the importance of tourism in our state, it would mean no commercial fishing could take place where sportfishing boats concentrate.
After striped marlin, dorado were the next most abundant fish caught at Cabo San Lucas this week, with 44 percent of Pisces Fleet charters catching between two and four dorado, and the average catch being two fish in the 15 to 25 pound class.
Most of the dorado were caught mixed in with the striped marlin on, or on the way to, the Golden Gate Bank.
Yellowfin tuna catches were very slow at Cabo San Lucas this week. Only 5 percent of Pisces charters saw tuna.
The Pisces charter boat "Valerie" hit the jackpot on January 18th with 22 tuna between 15 and 25 pounds, caught while fishing 22 miles straight out from Land's End. The Valerie also released a striped marlin for Mike Kennedy from Mendota Heights, Minnesota.
A couple of wahoo were caught, nothing exciting, 15 and 37 pounds.
Inshore fishing by the pangas produced roosterfish, sierra, and a few red snappers.
Cabo San Lucas vacation fishing area weather was mostly overcast, with seas calm, and the water temperature 71 degrees at the Golden Gate Bank.