East Cape, Mexico



July 12, 2007, Torrance Eddy, Buena Vista, Baja California Sur, Mexico:

It was one of the one of the most difficult fishing days I've had on the water in Baja. I trolled from Buena Vista to Punta Pescadero. Then from 3 miles directly east of Punta Pescadero to just off La Ribera and from there to Rancho Leonero.

This distance of nearly 30 miles in a 13.5-foot boat powered by 5 horse power was done without a single strike. And I didn't see any fish either. And that is difficult on a hot day.

Then, while heading toward Buena Vista from Leonero, I spotted what looked like tuna feeding about half-a-mile away. I was trolling 200 feet back a blue-silver 4.5 Rebel Fastrac lure and a black-silver Fastrac.

By that time, I was so desperate that I was also trolling a 7.5-inch green-yellow lure that would best be described as a very big hoochie, skimming on and under the surface perhaps 40 feet behind the boat.

There was another boat out there with me, I believe a private, non-chartered cruiser, who was not far when we both spotted the boiling. We both worked the area, staying not closer than 100 yards for 20 minutes before I observed much splashing behind my boat right where my lures were.

We were fishing off the Baja coast perhaps two-thirds of a mile off La Capilla, about 2.5 miles from Verdugo's, where the water depth was not more than 40 feet.

Almost simultaneously, one of my rigs went off. The fish went down, so my first thought was, "Oh no, not another toro." At first color, I still thought it was a toro but I had my doubts because there was some gold tint. Shortly thereafter, I could tell it was some kind of tuna, probably a skipjack because of my location. But soon I was delighted by the definite identification of a yellowfin tuna.

I boated and bled the fish. While waiting for the bleeding to be complete, I untangled everything and prepared to commence trolling home. I was really tired.

Not 2 minutes into the next troll, I was looking forward when the big hoochie sent my reel screaming. By the time I turned around the dorado was 75 yards back, 5 feet in the air, and spitting my hook back at me.

Five minutes after that, a Rebel Fastrac went off. And another tuna in the boat.

Not long after that, I had another strike but lost a Fastrac to a failed, my fault, steel cable.

But I wasn't done yet.

I replaced the Rebel Factrac with a blue-white mackerel Rapala 14, but this was only to prove an advertising day for Fastracs because my remaining rig with the Fastrac went off again resulting in another tuna.

On Wednesday, the East Cape fishing area had a high air temperature of about 90 degrees and after 6 hours on the water, my ice was running as thin as was I.

I couldn't catch more fish without compromising the cooling of the fish I already had. Frankly, I was so tired, I was thankful for the excuse. I didn't even let my lines out going home. While cruising home I saw 2 or 3 pods of dorado with the tops of their heads above the water just casually swimming slowly in fairly tight groups. I have never seen that before.

The first, and the biggest tuna weighed in at 16 pounds. The second was 10 pounds and the third and smallest was not weighed before my giving it to my next door neighbor, Calos Del Monte. I would guess the smallest weighed between 5 and 7 pounds. Yum Sushi.

In summary, successful fishing requires as much as anything else, time on the water. And as often as not the rewards come near the end of the day. It saddens me to see boats that have been chartered for well over $300 return to the dock after 3 or 4 hours on the water.

I have an idea. Given that we catch so many fish on the Fastracs, do you think Rebel would entertain a "Fastrac Plus" lure with heavier hooks and rings? These dorado, toro, tuna, and sometimes even sierra do quite a number on the thin gauge steel hooks on the Fastrac 4.5's.