They're back! Yellowtail hit at the north end of Isla San Marcos over the weekend, and they are good size on fish, just in time for the island's up-and-coming Yellowtail ShootOut fishing tournament this week!
The weather in the Santa Rosalia fishing area is getting hot, with highs in the 80s during the daylight hours, but still with somewhat cool mornings in the mid 60s, requiring maybe a light jacket for us locals. Santa Rosalia had only one day of wind, out of the north, putting a little bump on the water, but still fishable. Water temperatures in our Santa Rosalia fishing area are hanging around 72-73 degrees inshore, and a few degrees warmer offshore. Visibility is real nice around the isla, with 40 feet or so, and super clear offshore with over 60 feet.
On Monday and Tuesday, I fished off Santa Rosalia with Randy Reddingius and Walter Cox, both of Encinitas, Calif. We started with making bait at 0-dark-thirty, and then headed out to see what was cooking on the bajos of San Marcos island. As of last week, it wasn't not much.
We made a few drifts over the deeper panga bajo and, hello, caught a pair of strange 15-pound yellowtail. I say strange because I rarely see this size of fish here. The next couple of fish proved to be the normal Isla San Marcos size 25 pounders, and the one that got away we'll never know ha-ha.
With one nice yellowtail and two shorts on the boat, we took a run offshore in pursuit of dorado (also mahi-mahi or dolphinfish). At about 15 miles out from the island, we started trolling, and after a short while had our first jig stop, a nice little bull dorado of about 15 pounds.
Then I saw it. Birds working. Bobbies diving in small groups. We changed to live bait and it was all you could catch! We took our limits and headed for the barn.
On the second day, the weather at Santa Rosalia was breezy, with gusts out of the northwest that made reef fishing hard to stay on the spot. We still got one nice yellowtail. Offshore it was even harder to see current breaks and weeds, and no birds where around. We trolled up three dorado to about 17 pounds and released a small one.
I pretty much sat out the rest of the week to get geared up for the flood of people descending on me this coming week.
However, I made a run today with one of our administration directors and some visiting businessmen from Mexico City. I and Jesus Ramirez of Toluca, Mexico, his partner Ruben Rivera of Mexico City, and along for the ride, our very own Carlos Garces.
We decided to fish the local water with the option to run offshore if no action was at hand. The word of the week was that some large yellowtail where being caught, or lost, at the west lighthouse.
I started there and found a bad drift direction and not much else. We picked it up and moved to the place I last caught fish on the island, the panga bajo. It took about a minute to find out. Yes, there where fish there! Big ones too.
The first fish to hit the deck was real close to 30 pounds, and after a while we had one to 34 pounds. On the last pass over the reef before going in, a big boil of yellowtail on the surface exploded right off my bow! We caught another three off a triple hookup, bringing our count to 7 yellowtail. All fish where caught by slider sinker, flylined bait, except for one on iron.
Next week will be crazy with the fish here at Santa Rosalia again and big! The action for the Yellowtail ShootOut fishing tournament should be about the same as last year.