PANGA FISHING FOR DORADO OUT OF LA RIBERA
Nov. 13, 2006, Steve Gruenwald, La Ribera, Baja Sur, Mexico:
I just got back from a week at La Ribera, Nov. 11th-23th, where I spent some time visiting friends and working on improvements on a couple of building lots I own in town.
Of course I had time to wet a line during the week, as the north winds were not bad at East Cape except for a couple of days.
The big story down at East Cape right now is the late season dorado bite, which has been very good the last couple of weeks.
We fished from La Ribera, launching off the beach at 6:00 each morning. We would go meet the sardine netters first thing and buy 20 bucks worth of live bait, then head out about two miles off the lighthouse to quickly catch a couple of giant Humboldt squid for backup bait.
On the first morning of fishing, football yellowfin tuna were feeding at the squid spot, so we chummed and drifted sardines and chunked squid, managing to pick up a couple before they stopped feeding. The tuna stuck around for a few days at the same spot, but they were not feeding in great numbers and were a bit line shy. We used 25 pound fluorocarbon leaders about 5 feet long, small hooks, and black swivels to better our odds, but still had a tough time, as did most other East Cape fishing boats that we could see.
After the brief tuna bite each morning, we would rig up 4 trolling rigs, usually two with 4 to 5 inch hoochies in blue, purple, black-white combos, which seemed to be the best colors, and two rods with either squid strips 6 to 8 inches long or the biggest live sardine we could find in the live well, then troll at 3 to 4 m.p.h. to hunt for dorado.
Over three days of fishing at East Cape, we managed to double up only once, as the fish seem to be spread out and running in singles; most of the dorado were bulls in the 25 to 35 pound range, which were great fish for this time of year, but we did release several that were less than 24 inches in length.
The biggest bull dorado for the trip measured just under 5 feet long.
The fish were not far out, all inside 1 mile in the stretch of water on both sides of the lighthouse.
Lots of sierra were reportedly in the same East Cape fishing area on the days prior to our arrival, but we did not manage to hook any this trip. I would have liked to, as I have never caught a sierra and my friend Victor says they rival dorado for eating quality.
I managed to get business cards for my two favorite Mexican fishing guides in La Ribera:
--Capt. Victor Garciglia, phone from USA is 011 52 624 1300 080, cell phone is 01 624 107 9648. Victor has a great boat, charges $240 per day including excellent gear, and can fish 3 customers on his boat provided they aren't rookies and know how to help with rods and lines. He wants fish on the boat more than his customers do.
--Capt. Rigoberto "Rigo" Sandez Cota, phone 01 624 13 00 161. Rigo has two boats, the Patricia and the Patricia II. Rigo farms organic vegetables in the La Ribera area, and was busy planting tomatoes on this trip down, so I visited him a few times but did not have the chance to fish with him or his son this trip. Rigo also owns his own boats, and last time charged $200-220 per boat, also fishing 3 men if they know how to fish. His gear is not as good, but he's a very good fisherman and will stay out all day to get you into the fish. I brought him a bunch of new hooks and hoochies this trip down.
I try to use these two guys when in town instead of booking out of the hotels. Out of the typical $250 you pay the hotel, the captain gets $25 plus tips, which in my opinion is a rip-off, even if the hotel buys the fuel.
(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from East Cape and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for East Cape may be found at Mexfish.com's main East Cape page.