Anyone Fly fished for yellowtail?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Tom Arroll, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. Tom Arroll

    Tom Arroll Member

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    Hi,

    I am heading to Loreto Baja with my wife and 3 month old boy in January for our annual "escape the rain trip". Based on what I have learned from my previous trips to Baja Yellowtail is the main sportfishing species around in the winter. Most folks fish for them using traditional gear because they run deep in the winter. Anyone tried to fish for Yellowtail via fly? Do you suppose it is even worth trying via fly in the winter? I have read thar they do come to the surface more in the spring but that does not help me in January. Any other thoughts about fish to target via fly in Loreto at this time of year? Sierra? Roosterfish?

    Thanks,

    Tomfish
     
  2. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

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    Tomfish, I was in Zihaut in August on a family vacation and took a panga out one morning. The yellowtail were in the harbor. I started stripping line as we pulled away from the dock. I was fishing my 12 weight Sage with a large chartreuse half and half. Not two minutes from the dock I hooked up and landed a 30# yellowtail. The guide put out a rapala on his gear rod and hooked up a clone. I landed another 20# yellowtail about thirty minutes later. There were probably 15 boats trolling around the mouth of the marina and people hooking up regularly.

    It was a great trip with skipjack, jacks, dorado all day until my arms were tired. We spotted some roosterfish near the breaking waves but could never hook up.

    I'm sorry I can't help more on other locations. S
     
  3. Tom Arroll

    Tom Arroll Member

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    Hi Steve,

    I tried to talk the wife into Zihuat for this trip but she though that it might be a bit touristy for her taste. How did you like it? Is this area densely developed or are there some places nearby to get away from the masses? Sounds like the fishing was great. Zihuat appears to one of the better areas for winter fishing. Perhaps next year!

    Tomfish
     
  4. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Yup. Hard to beat Loreto for a great shot at the big ones. They are seriously tough fish, and if they are deep they are tough to hook. They do come up to spawn, and they can often be found around pinnacles even if the majority of them are super deep. Like momma said. Structure can matter... A 30 lber will pull hard. Bigger ones will bust tackle from time to time. Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish is someone to get in contact with. Her prices have been going up for the last decade, but she's a class operation and you will have a captain who will work with you. The good news is that not many folks target them, so it isn't the circle jerk Dorado fishing in Loreto has become. She remembered me at least 7 years after the fact as "That crazy dude who only wanted to fish for Yellowtail all those times" It's was a nice lonely quest. I would definitely have some tungsten conehead deceiver type flies and t14 heads with me if I was going. Lead eyes and LC13 and LC15 were all I had access to. On the surface (top 15 feet) the usual sea of cortez patterns. Down deep black and white, black, fluorescents... Did I mention they're REALLY tough...
     
  5. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Even up top they can be picky bastards at times. One time I had my fly dangling in the water off the corner of the transom while we were bait & switching them, and looked down and saw 3 yellowtail surrounding my fly just looking at it. I gave it a little twitch and they all bolted. The few big ones we teased with a popper wouldn't eat the fly either.
     
  6. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    My best move up top was long casts, I mean LONG casts across current and two handed stripping the SHIT out of it. and if anbody was following a quick hip twist to add a little zip would once in awhile just make them pounce. Even though sardina were the chum, big 6 to 14 inch Mackerel pattern were often the winners. My pangero had never seen a cotton candy before. He thought it was so cool...
     
  7. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Yeah, that's what I meant by tough. When I said that down deep they are tough to hook I meant getting a good hookset 70 feet down, with mono in your hand is one of the hardest to accomplish hooksets in fishing you will ever encounter... Everything is sooooo spongey...
     
  8. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Your only problem will be wind. If the wind is up they won't go out. The north wind is a killer. Literally. if it's glassy, which it can be in Jan. You can expect lots of great inshore action. Sierra, Jacks, pargo. Don't underestimate pargo. Nobody has pictures of themselves holding pargo in magazines. They should. Mas fuerte! See if you can become one of the few who have scored a snook. Or better yet a bonefish... Yellowtail can be had up top in january. Usually around the island. Good news is that fishing the lee of the island can be productive if the wind isn't too bad to get out. Call Pam. She won't send you out if there are no fish to catch or if it's dangerous. Definitely request a lifepreserver. The wind can come up fast and they aren't standard equipment.
     
  9. Tom Arroll

    Tom Arroll Member

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    Hey Philster,

    Thanks for the great info, I am feeling a bit more optomistic about Yellowtail on the fly. I will bring my 10 wt with T14 heads and tie up some heavy dark Deceivers and Half and Half Clousers. I found Pam's website last week and emailed her about my quest but I have not heard back yet. I am all too familiar with the El Nortes, we went to the Yucatan 2 winters ago and it blew 20+ knots for a 1 1/2 weeks so fly fishing sucked. We did a 1 week yak trip around Isla Espiritu Santos last Christmas break and it was glassy calm most of the trip:thumb: . We heard from the folks who rented us the yaks that a few weeks earlier a group tried to kayak from Isla Carmen back to Loreto in a gale and one of the members of the party got separated from the group and dumped out of her yak. She had a handheld VHF and was in contact with potential rescuers for many hours but perished before anyone could find her in the big swell. I will definitely be bringing my own PFD and VHF. I concur about the Pargo, I think they are awsome fish to catch on the fly and are great fried or in Cebiche to boot. When we were on Isla Espiritu Santos the Pargo where feeding on the surface en masse at dusk and dawn and took flies quite aggresively.
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    I would love to catch some Black Snook (Robalo). The only ones I have seen in Mexico and Central America have been in the Mangroves. I know that Muleje used to be epic for for huge Robalo but it sounds like they are no longer prevelent due to siltation of the river and pollution. Are there any Mangrove areas aroung Loreto that you know of or areas in salt where Robalo might roam? Man I can't wait to get down there!

    Cheers :beer2:,

    Tomfish
     
  10. fish-on

    fish-on Waters haunt me....

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    Philster nailed it, My experience in Yellowtail fishing is that you have to strip like there's no tomorrow. I learned this when I used to gear fish for them with TADY lures. The lure has to keep on moving for the fish to even pay attention to it and when they grab and miss, don't stop or even slow down- you have to crank the lure even faster like baitfish trying to swim away. It's a lot harder with flies since you really need to be stripping with both hands and then some. Just remember you can never outrun them if they want what you are offering.

    I normally catch them on top while chumming them out of the Kelp beds using sardines or anchovies and then tossing my flies at the feeding/boiling fish. Pretty intelligent creatures. I always think of them as having one eye looking at my fly and the other eye looking at any cover/obstruction that they can break me off. A 30 lber will hurt you pretty good with a10 wt especially if you are fishing close to cover.

    Tight lines

    John

    Tight lines
     
  11. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Wish I could help on the snook. Only seen one with me own peepers. Cruising through the face of a curling wave. Am told they also like rocks so rip rap can hold them. Again, this is just something I've been told. I don't stand behind it if I haven't experienced it myself. I envy you. Enjoy your time there!