Looks like things are moving in a more positive direction, with good to great fishing inshore and offshore, depending on target species. The weather has been just fabulous, cool mornings in the high 60s to low 70s, afternoons in the mid to high 80s. Sea conditions are flat like a mill pond, hardly any breezes, absolute perfection for boats of all sizes. Water is good and clean with 35-70 feet of vis, temps still in the low 80s.
It looks and feels like fall, sun lower and farther to the south, air a little more crisp in the early hours of the morning. Even in town it's noticeable by the types of fruit being sold by street vendors, like dried dates and figs, and fresh pitahaya cactus fruit. The long doldrums of late summer fishing have passed.
Numbers of fishermen have returned to the Santa Rosalia area and are presently camped at the local trailer parks, taking full advantage of the great fishing that has once again returned to our area as it does every autumn.
I'll start with the Santa Rosalia inshore fishing report. Jim Mori and his wife Glenna have arrived for a prolonged stay and already sampled some of the long awaited fall fishing this place is known for. They fished the famous waters off the Haystack north of San Lucas Cove, to find excellent sierra and small dorado willing to bite trolled plugs and feathers, as did many other boats once the word was out.
Isla San Marcos and the bajos have also woken from a long slumber.
I got to fish, sadly, only once this week, due to being busy using my much needed chef skills for some visiting people from Mexico City in the past few days, plus I have a real full slate this coming week.
The day I did get to fish was kind of a test. So off I go with the usual zero-dark-thirty bait run, which of late has been kind of spotty or should I say starts biting too late in the morning.
It's like this run up to the cliffs north of the haystack, where the bait won't start biting out in 170 feet of water until just before sunrise, or run the extra 5 miles north to Santa Rosalia marina and make them in the dark. Take your pick. Mine was the extra five miles. Caught a good mix of bigeyes and mackerel and made for the bajos of Isla San Marcos.
Started fishing the deeper spots first, with nothing much doing other than some bonita and one pesky little hammerhead shark. Moved in more toward the west side of the island to another favorite fall haunt. Tried iron first and started pulling nice fat goldspotted bass hand over fist. That's fine. They work out good for the butter-fried breaded part of the main course I needed, After a few more bass, got hit on the sink but, this was no bass, medium size yellowtail.
A couple of hours passed and I had five yellowtail, dozen bass and one 8-pound cabrilla. Not wanting to go in just yet, I doubled back to the deep water spots I'd tried earlier in the morning. The reason for doing this is that after years of fishing here I've found that sometimes those deep places when fishing on the bottom don't work out until the sun's higher in the sky. Maybe the fish don't see too well, don't know. Anyway, dropped a large bigeye down by way of dropper loop with 80-pound string and...got ripped! Lost the whole rig. Wasn't ready or more likely got caught snoozing. Tied up another rig and right back down, this time frosty, bit! Hard battle ensued, 25-pound class yellowtail on the deck. There's my grilled fish part for the main course. Fished a bit more and don't ask, but missed two more good bites, then this bull seal shows up and crashed my party.
Overall, a lot better than it's been out there. Other boats had mixed results fishing around the island, a few stray dorado. One 38-pound fish did come in at San Lucas Cove today, and a small tin boat couple caught a nice 25-pound gulf grouper jigging iron tipped with a slab of sierra during the middle of the week. Talk about lucky!
At Tortuga Island, after the past few weeks of me reporting on the good numbers of sailfish out there, people decided to take a shot during this nice stretch of weather. Three boats on two different days made the run.
Midweek run, Wednesday, saw Bill Hamel and Bonnie on there boat the Bonnie Glen, "Wild Bill" and Julie Westendorff on Wild Bill, the last couple Jim and Marika on the Moo Sea boat. All ran for Tortuga and all caught and released multiple sailfish, slow trolling live bait at the southern end of the island.
Today's trip had Dave and Martha Hughes along with Alan Lewis, boat has no name, Jim and Marika on Moo sea again, "Wild Bill and Julie too. The boats fished the same southern waters of the island, produced the same results as earlier in the week, with some dorado bonus to boot.
Great week of fishing. Alan Lewis of San Lucas Cove has informed me that 3 new groups of fisherman have shown up at the camp ready to fish the coming week. Looks like where in for a classic October, the way it hasn't been in the past years. Good fishing to all.