Cabo fishing report!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Surf_Candy, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. As promised - here's a brief report from my first warm water adventure with a fly rod.

    Booked a day with Baja Anglers out of the marina at Cabo saturday. 20 mph winds and 10 foot seas and cloudy (of course the only day like that during my stay). Temp was in the 90's, fished 1-5 miles off the cape, just north of the arch.

    Landed 2 dorado - 15 and 10 pounds on a 10 wt using a 4" light blue/white surf candy on 2/0 hook. Had a smallish blue marlin behind the boat for a few minutes (150# range), but he managed to snag 2 of our baits before he saw my fly (a 12" baitfish that cast like a brick). My legs were wobbly as I stripped my fly past his nose and saw him light up like a neon sign, but did not take. Talk about a rush! Also hooked a few football sized bonito which put up a furious fight for a bit, especially when foul hooked.

    For anyone going down there, hook up with Grant Hartman and he will take care of you. His crew is amazing and they work very hard to tease the fish to casting range. Dorado are a blast on a fly rod and the action can be overwhelming when you see these fish charge in at 30 mph and the captain is screaming "cast!...cast again!" and then your rod is almost ripped from you hands when they hit.

    May is the best time to go, but fish are around all year. I had one fly stripped to the hook shank - epoxy, thread - just gone. There is a brief article on Grant participating in a heavy gear tournament with a flyrod in the lastest issue of Fly fishing in Saltwater. They are trying to get a 20# light tackle tournament going next May.

    If anyone needs more info, let me know. FYI - beaches at this time of year impossible to fish due to extreme surf.

    Jim W
  2. Excellent report. I have been wanting to do just that sort of trip. Thanks for the info!

    Genetic pollution damages wild
    stocks, bonk those Hatchery Zombies!
  3. Hey Jim, sounds like you had a great trip, but you found out what the trouble with Cabo is... Go north on the sea of cortez to the "East Cape". It's a completely different kind of fishing. Instead of teasing up Marlin (you can still do that if you want to) you cast to schools of Dorado and tuna, or you cruise the beaches blind or sight casting to Jacks, Roosters, etc. Small 20 to 22 foot open skiffs. Also the Beach fishing is Awesome, and doesn't have the big swell Cabo does.

    Try it next time if you can. It's a completely different world.
  4. Great report! I second Jim's endorsement of Baja Anglers. Grant and his team are top notch, and they have also benefited from Terry and Wendy Gunn's expertise, since they are partners in the business (or at least used to be I think). Have they started to do more catch and release? The last time I was there they were gaffing fish without even asking me, until I started shouting "no muerte" over and over again as I was reeling in the fish.

    They are not cheap, but all the captains and mates absolutely know what they are doing, and their boats are superb casting and fish fighting platforms. I got my first yellowfin on fly with them a few years ago. Try to go during December; if you can time it right (it was pure coincidence for me) you can find huge boiling schools of yellowfin and black skipjack (the fish that people call bonito in Mexico is actually a black skipjack tuna) right off the Arch in Cabo, sometimes less than a few hundred yards out of the harbor. I have also fished the East Cape, which can be great as well, but nothing compares to the size of the schools and the size of the tuna during that bite, which only lasts a few weeks or months. The currents that form there at the point of Baja are perfect for holding fish.

    I will never forget the size and speed of 150 lb yellowfin tuna boiling the surface right in front of our boat. I broke off a few fish after long sustained runs; I have always imagined that those were giant fish. The tuna under 40-50 pounds are landable, and any yellowfin or skipjack is fun, even the peanuts.

  5. Circlespey,
    You'll be pleased to note that the t-shirts they sell have a catch and release logo on them now.... They use landing nets and keep the fish in the water during un-hooking (a trick in rough seas) - a quick picture and they are back in the water.

    The captain Grant hired was a local who loves the light line and C&R - he actually flyfishes as well. I could not imagine tussling with a large tuna - must be an amazing experience - next time!

    We did the skipjack fishing by the arch and ended up with Dorado around the boat too.

    Philster - thanks for the info- I was hoping there was a way to explore more on my own next time, and in a more cost effective manner now that I have the very basics down.

  6. Cost effective? I'm going down in three weeks to Punta Colorada. I'll have 5 nights (all inclusive) and four days on the water in a super panga. It'll cost me $1400 and thats by myself, and one night is in a suite because that's all they had open. Double occupancy would cut the price almost in HALF! :EEK Room, board, and boat. Airfare is running me $310 roundtrip from SeaTac. It is simply the best deal going for "bluewater" fishing.

    Throw in pre-sun, and evening beach fishing... Heck, I probably won't want to fish again for a month after I get back... Naaaaaaah :THUMBSUP
  7. Jim,
    Which beaches did you try to fish while in Cabo? I'm headed down in a week and haven't experienced the surf problems you mentioned on my past October trips. I found that real earlier in the morning until about 11:00 that the swells were not bad at all.
    Glad you had a good trip.
  8. hey Brian,
    i stayed at the hacienda del mar - about 10 minutes towards the airport from Cabo san lucas. The beach looked very fishy, but 8-12 foot waves were common. I could imagine sneaking in between sets and casting, but during my stay the surf got much larger and there were actually 6 foot tall banks carved out of the sand the next morning at low tide, and the waves wiped out one of the bars on the beach - I watched more than a few people test the water and take a pounding with outgoing and incoming water. Not sure if it was a side affect of Ilsidore or not, but the surf got heavier as the week went on.

    For sure the pacific side was impossible - from the boat I could see the waves wash 100 feet up the very steep beaches.

    I did not feel adventurous enough to take a taxi further north towards San Jose (did not rent car, waws feeling a little "off" stomach wise), but did look at beaches as I headed back to the airport - they looked very fishable as you got further North into the sea of cortez.

    A day with baja anglers is $480 for the boat, $25 for a 13 weight rod rental if you want marlin/sail fish, $30-40 bucks for bait and then tip - for me it was worth it to discover the fun and have a crack at fish led by a great that I know a little more, I'll be ready to take a trip like Philster.

  9. oh man, now you have me thinking about December....hmmmmmm. How has your experience been with the panga guides and fly fishing?

    please let me know how you did...I'm going to do some surfing on Punta Colorado ASAP.

  10. Unless a hurricane is coming through the beach work on Punta Colorada is going to be good. It's a great beach fishing area. Season will determine prey. If you are going to be down there for other purposes, bring a 10 wt and a sinking, and intermediate line.

    Pangueros vary. See this for an example of a bad one :EEK

    If you stress you need a fly experienced guy, you may get one. Otherwise just tell them you want to fish inshore, and follow your instincts.

    December is a little late for awesome fishing, but you may luck into ladyfish and sierra off the beach.
  11. Jim,
    Thanks for the info. I'm trying to hook up with a fellow down in Cabo that does beach trips for $50.00 a bay. He picks you up at 5:00 AM to catch the early bite. I've got two days booked on the Panga "Cheers" run by a fellow named Ramone. I've fished with him the past four years. While he is not what I consider a fly fishing operation, he is a fun guy to fish with. He takes me to where I want to fish, lets me fish how I want to fish and I always catch lots of fish with him. I guess that is about all you can ask for. Three years ago I managed to catch 11 different species of fish over four days of fishing with him. He charges $180.00 a day for 6 to 7 hours of fishing.
    If the beaches are rough, I'll head out with him for more days in the panga.
    I'll post a report when I get back. Thanks again for the info.
  12. Keep it quiet Brian. It's hard to find anything for under $200.00 :WINK Seriously, that's a great price for the area. You usually have to go way North to find anything near that cheap!

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