Fishing Reports

10 reports totalpages: 1 2 Next >>
Cabo San Lucas - April 17th, 2014
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 85 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great
I recently went down to sunny Cabo San Lucas to fly fish for Marlin with my good friend Grant Hartman, who owns Baja Anglers. Baja Anglers are the best fly fishing & light tackle guide service in Cabo. If you want to experience some of the most exciting fly fishing in the world, give grant a call and get ready for some fun.
    Marlin fishing on the fly, no matter what your expectations, can sometimes be a long day trolling around the seemingly endless ocean trying to tease up a Marlin that on some days, never happens. Those days are still fun, being out on the water with friends and experiencing the scenic beauty, but at the end of the day, it's still a long boat ride.
    As it turned out, my days on the water during this trip were anything but a long boat ride. Just prior to my arrival in Cabo, there were a good number of Striped Marlin in the area, but Grant & Arturo (our Captain) wanted to go miles out on the pacific side and look for Marlin hanging off an offshore submerged mountain range. After a bumpy ride fighting the onshore swells all the way we finally arrived at the spot Grant had marked on his GPS and dropped the teasers in behind the boat. Grants decision to make the long trek to this spot in the ocean was the best call of the day. We didn't have the teasers in the water for more than a few minutes before we had our first Marlin behind the boat. This would be the first a dozen decent shots I would have at these big beautiful fish in just the first day. Not the mention the small groups of free swimming Marlin that were eating baitfish off the surface like a trout taking a fly off the surface of a lake. You would see birds all of a sudden diving to eat the baitfish being forced to the surface, then two foot long bills followed by a large Marlin heads would emerge as they ate the exhausted baitfish in what seemed like slow motion. If you were fast enough, you could race over and cast your fly into the malay hoping the excited predator would make a mistake. It's pretty exhilarating to hook a free swimming Marlin by casting and stripping without any teasing techniques.
    The following days on the water were just as action packed, as we found the fish there every day. Marlin will stay in a location like this for days feeding on the abundant baitfish that are attracted to this underwater structure. When the bait are gone or the current changes, the Marlin will move on to the next feeding station.
    The first day, the Marlin weren't that aggressive and would sometimes just come up and smack you fly with its bill and swim away or just turn off at the last second, but after that first day, they were eating the fly. Normally you have to tease them up and bait & switch them, but on our second day, we teased a big Marlin in on the left just like it's suppose to happen and I made my cast. Unfortunately, instead of casting to the right as required, my cast blew over too far left just as Arturo pulled the teaser from the water and the teaser caught my line. The Marlin didn't care about the tangle we had just created and ate my fly anyway. I did the best I could trying to set the hook as grant was yelling for someone to cut the teaser line realizing the disaster about to unfold if the Marlin went on a run with the lines tangled. Just as the Marlin started to take line, the fly fell out of his mouth and he swam off. I shouted that the fish was off and not to cut the teaser line, just pull my line in and untangle the teaser. As we sat there talking about that last fish, Grant was working on freeing the teaser from the middle of my fly line and my fly just sitting dead in the water ten feet behind the boat, all of a sudden I noticed a movement in the water out of the corner of my eye. I look down behind the boat and a 130 lbs Marlin comes up from the depths, smacks my fly with his bill and then eats it, Right Behind The Boat! Arturo shouts for me to set the hook, but Grant still has my line in his hand. As I was yelling at Grant to hurry up, he made two more flips with the teaser and it cleared my line. Grant dropped my fly line in the water behind the boat and it took me three long strips to come tight with the fish which amazingly still behind the boat with my in his mouth not feeling the hooks yet. I set up with three hard strikes and the gig was up, and this big fish didn't like it, as he bolted peeling hundreds of line off my reel in just seconds. After an hour of giving and taking line (not really sure who was giving or taking more), I felt that he was getting tired and I was making headway, line was coming easier and I thought I had him beat. That dream was shattered as this still fresh, hot and chrome bright Marlin shot from the water like a missile 100 yards from the boat and covered another 150 yards across the ocean, spending half the time in the air. I knew I was in trouble! 40 minutes later I had fly line on the reel and again felt as if I had a good chance to land this fish. I never should have let that thought cross my mind, because seconds later the fly pulled from his mouth and he was free. You would think that you would be disappointed in losing a fish like that, and to some extent I was, but after close to two hours of fighting one of the biggest fish in the ocean, your body screams " thank god it's over!". Unfortunately for your body, your mind soon takes over and says " Yeah Baby! Lets Do That Again!".
    I use these trips to hands on test new equipment, products and flies to provide the best products and knowledge for customers planning future trips to far away places. I continue to put the test to my trusted Tibor Gulfstream reel which has delivered dependable performance in the most challenging conditions with virtually no maintenance besides regular washing with fresh water. The Patagonia light weight Torrenshell Jacket gets an A+ for use as an early morning off shore jacket when  pounding the onshore swells or for that early morning run to the flats where the weather is warm, but it can often be a wet ride. This jacket is super lightweight, packable, has a functional hood and pit zips for great air flow in tropical climates.
    Overall I had a great time on this trip with fantastic fishing, great weather and good times with friends. I'm already looking forward to the next trip to the warm waters of Mexico. Maybe giant Roosterfish off the east cape beaches this summer????

Peter Bowers

 
Cabo San Lucas - January 14th, 2013
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 67 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great

Just got back from a trip down to sunny Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It actually wasn’t as sunny and warm as usual with the tail of the cold front that swept across the west coast passing over the Baja peninsula. It was still a lot warmer than at home, but a jacket was needed during the chilly early morning hours of fishing out on the boat. I went down to chase Marlin on the fly and test out some new gear with Grant Hartman and his experienced crew of Baja Anglers.

Timing was good for the trip with a favorable moon phase, good water conditions and light winds, but the cold front made marlin fishing on the fly a little tougher as it tends to keep Marlin down and not as accessible to the fly.

When fly-fishing for Marlin, we normally troll a spread of hookless teasers on top of the water behind the boat that imitates a small school of fish with the hopes of bringing a Marlin up from the depths thinking he’s found something to eat. Once the Marlin shows himself and tries to eat one of the teasers, we pull it away from him and reel the teaser in quickly trying to lure the fish closer to the boat. They normally don’t like loosing their free lunch, so they chase it down rocketing toward the boat half out of the water like a torpedo trying to catch their meal that got away. When the teaser and the following Marlin are brought to within 20 yards of the boat, the teaser is pulled from the water at the same time a cast is made with the fly. If all things work as planned, the Marlin stops when his lunch (the teaser) is pulled from the water and then attacks the fly when it hits the water thinking it was the lunch he just lost. Then all hell breaks loose when you set the hook and all you can do is hang on and hope he doesn’t take all your line or break you off since Marlin leaders are normally made with 20-pound line. Then it’s just you and one of the biggest fish in the ocean in the ultimate game of tug of war.

As it turned out, we only saw and got shots at three Marlin during the trip. The first was a Marlin we spotted cruising on top, but had no interest in anything we had to offer as far as teasers were concerned and casually swam off. The second Marlin we encountered came in on the teasers and Captain Alex did a great job teasing him in for a shot. I made the cast and the marlin shot across to my fly and wacked it with his bill, but didn’t eat it and swam away. Alex immediately grabbed a pitch bait teaser and cast it out to try and bring the Marlin back to the boat. The Marlin jumped on the pitch bait and chased it back in for another bait & switch cast, but again turning away from the fly at the last second. Alex skillfully brought that fish back to the boat seven times for cast attempts, but results were the same, he just wasn’t lit-up enough to commit to the fly and we were once again searching millions of gallons of water for another fish.

Later in the day, “Third time’s the charm” was all I could think of as another Marlin crushed the farthest teaser back and wouldn’t let go of it. Captain Alex grabbed the teaser rod and fought to rip the hookless teaser bait from the Marlins mouth. Once Alex tore the bait free and quickly reeled it back to the boat, the Marlin exploded from the water racing with half it’s body out of the water trying to reclaim it’s prize. This Striped Marlin was hot and lit-up and the fish you’re looking for when casting a fly. Alex pulled the teaser just as I made the needed cast, placing the fly just to the right of the incoming Marlin. I made one strip popping the fly on the surface and this big beautiful fish turned and shot over and hammered my fly. I set-up on him making sure I had a good solid hook-up and with line screaming from my reel the Marlin started the first of three long runs. He leapt and bound across the ocean surface like a jet ski until he was just small splashes on the horizon taking a most of my 800 yards of backing with him. After 45 minutes of fighting him back to the boat, I finally could see my fly line again and right when you start thinking you’ve got him beat, a heavy head shake indicated the start of another blistering run taking another 300 yards of my line back out into the blue. After fighting him back in, he made one last short halfhearted run and I knew he was tired I had him beat. After an hour and a half on the rod, I was glad when Alex finally got hold of his bill and we boated the Marlin for a quick picture and release.

With my arms feeling like rubber bands after achieving my goal of catching a Marlin on the fly during this trip, we decided to fish the inshore and had a blast casting to Roosterfish, Jack Crevalle, Green Jacks, Yellow Tail and Sierra right along the beach.

I hadn’t been down to Cabo for about a year and as I was taking my seat on the plane for the flight home, I wondered why. With great people, great food and great fishing, it’s hard to not have a great time!

 

The Patient Angler

Peter Bowers


 
Cabo San Lucas - June 19th, 2011
  • Recorded:
  • Sunny
  • 95 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
            Just got back from our annual Roosterfish trip to sunny Cabo San Lucas. Pete, Doug & Ray joined me for a week of fishing for inshore game fish in the waters surrounding the tip of Baja. As always we fished with my good friend Grant Hartman and his hard working crew of Baja Anglers.

            The weather was great with much needed sunny skies and daytime temperatures ranging from 95 to 100 degrees each day with a nice breeze to help things feel a little cooler.  It’s been a long spring for us in Central Oregon, and I was really looking forward to the warmer weather.  

            We had six days of fishing booked with Baja Anglers, so we boarded one of their custom 26ft Glacier Bay boats and headed out to the East Cape for our first day on the water. As we ran to our fishing grounds, I ran through the teasing techniques the Captain & Mate would be using to bring the fish up, the basics of the bait & switch and the cast they would need to make to catch the amazing fish found in these waters. Easier said, than done, especially when you are new to this type of fishing. You think you’re all cool, calm & collected until the first time you see a school of Roosterfish chasing the teaser to the boat like a pack of wild dogs. Then add to the adrenalin rush a rocking boat for a casting platform, a 10mph wind in your face, and a five inch fly and it all of a sudden becomes a little harder to make the accurate cast needed to be successful with the bait & switch. At first, the guys all had their share of bad casts and missed opportunities, but it didn’t take long for them to get in the swing of things, making accurate casts and hooking fish.

            The fishing was actually a lot slower than normal for this time of year. The mass quantities of small baitfish that are normally found on the East Cape just weren’t there. But even with the missing baitfish, we still managed to find a number of willing fish each day. The numbers of fish we saw each day as well as the number of different species we encountered seemed to increase as the week went on. The fishing got better with each day and the guys hookup to land ratio increased as they improved their skills. By day three, everybody was relaxed and having a lot of fun, giving each other a hard time whenever someone would miss a cast or lift their rod tip on a take or forget to strip-strike to set the hook. 

            The prized Roosterfish was the target fish of our trip, and by far the fish we caught most often, but the guys also hooked-up with Jack Crevalle, Big Amber Jacks, a couple of Dorado and had some shots at Wahoo, Snapper & Yellow Tail.

For a change of pace, we took the guys out to fish offshore for Marlin and Dorado. It wasn’t the best time to fish for marlin because the moon was almost full, and when there is a full moon the Marlin tend to eat more at night making them not as hungry during the day. But we thought we would give it the old college try and set out for deeper waters. We troll for Marlin dragging hook less teasers behind the boat and when one is teased up, we bring him in close to the boat for the bait & switch with the fly. I ran through the drill on how to hook Marlin on the fly and about an hour into our day we had our first Marlin behind the boat. Our Captain Alex did a good job teasing this fish to the back of the boat, but the Marlin wasn’t really lit-up or excited so he just looked at the fly that Doug presented him, turned away and disappeared. Not too long after, we got another Marlin up behind the boat and Pete was on the rod. With a great show of expertise, Alex teased in the marlin and this one looked like he was in the mood to eat. Pete made the cast and the fish turned the right way, but Pete’s cast was just a little off the mark and landed on the head of the marlin instead of in front of him and the Marlin either didn’t see it or just missed the fly. It was still very exciting for everyone as it is quite a sight to see one of the biggest and most beautiful creatures in the ocean, right behind the boat. We gave the Marlin fishing another hour or so and then we headed back to the inshore for more action with Roosters and Jacks. Doug & Pete were so impressed with the potential of Marlin on the fly, they are already making plans to go back down to fish in the fall during prime time.

            The Baja trip was a great success and everyone had a good time, which is not hard to do when you’re in one of the most beautiful places on earth, in great weather, eating great food and catching some of the most impressive fish in the world on the fly.

 

The Patient Angler                patientangler.com

Peter Bowers

            

 
Cabo San Lucas - February 24th, 2011
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 80 ° F 
  • Fishing: Fair
  I finally have a chance to sit down and write a report about my trip to Mexico last week. I met Kevin, a friend   and business colleague of mine, in Cabo San Lucas to talk business, take in some much needed sun, test some new gear and see if we could catch a few Marlin on the fly.  

   Unfortunately, we arrived at the end of a cold front that had passed through the area and the air temperature was a cool 65 degrees. Warmer than home for sure, but not really what I was hoping for. The good thing was that the forecast was looking better for the coming week with lots of sun and warmer temperatures. The water conditions and fishing reports were not great when we first arrived either. Because of the ever changing ocean currents during the winter months, the blue water was 50 some miles offshore and those who made the long trip weren’t seeing very many Marlin around when they got there. The blue water is the warmer ocean water where you find Marlin, Tuna and Dorado traveling and feeding. We decided to put off the Marlin fishing for a few days and see if conditions would improve.

  We hooked up with Grant Hartman of Baja Anglers and his highly trained fly-fishing guides, and spent a couple of days fishing the inshore on the pacific side, chasing Roosterfish, Jacks, Snapper and Sierra. Despite the green water (cold water) inshore, which is not usually very conducive to getting fish on the fly, we were still able to get some takers. We caught some good size Sierras and a few small Roosters and Jacks, but we had to work pretty hard for the few fish we did catch. The fishing got better as the weather warmed, and it now felt like we were really in Mexico with the temps around 80 degrees. I landed a personal record Roosterfish on the fly during our second day on the water. Well, it wasn’t personal best; it was actually the smallest Roosterfish I have ever caught and the only Roosterfish I’ve ever caught that I could hold with one hand. After a quick picture with my mini-me Roosterfish, I whispered to him as I released him, to come back and see me when he gained 40 lbs. Even with the fishing being a little on the slow side, Kevin and I were having a great time enjoying the warm days on the water and taking in the magnificent sight of whales in every direction. Every year, Humpback and Grey whales make the long migration from up north to the warm waters of Baja to calve their young. Occasionally we would stop the boat to watch and take pictures, because at times we would be surrounded by pods of whales, sometimes as close as a few yards from us.

 

  We decided on our last fishing day to give the offshore fishing a shot. The blue water was still out 50+ miles so conditions weren’t the best, but we thought we would give the Marlin fishing the old college try. We left the marina and ran out for about five miles before slowing to trolling speed and putting out a teaser spread. We ran Kevin through the drill of how we tease in and cast to Marlin with a fly and then settled in for a day of trying to spot Marlin on the surface and waiting for the ensuing Chinese fire drill that happens when a Marlin comes up from the depths and crashes a teaser.

  We had high hopes, but low expectations, which soon changed when I spotted our first Marlin of the day.  This Marlin, as we expected because of the water conditions, was not very aggressive and was not interested in what we had to offer, but the day was off to a good start with one Marlin up in the first hour. All we needed now was to find a big fish that wanted to eat.  We didn’t have to wait very long before another Marlin came up and crashed a teaser behind the boat. The fire drill was on as I ran to my rod to prepare for the cast, the captain & mate brought in the loose teasers and Grant grabbed the teaser rod with the Marlin on it and rapidly brought the chasing Marlin closer to the boat. This was the aggressive eater we were looking for, half out of the water chasing the teaser with it’s long bill slashing back and forth trying to capture his prey. Marlin that are excited and all lit up give you the best shot of hooking them on the fly.  Grant did a great job teasing this long line fish back to the boat, but just as I was making my cast for the bait & switch, the Marlin shot forward and grabbed the teaser.  This was not the end of the world; in fact, sometimes it works to your benefit. The Marlin gets a taste of his potential meal and then you take it away because the teaser has no hooks so you can pull it from their mouth, they then sometimes go ballistic trying to reacquire there meal and will be more aggressive to the fly. The success of the whole operation sometimes comes down to which way the Marlin turns when he gets to the back of the boat. One way, the flies in his face and the other way, there’s just open ocean in front of him and he could loose interest. The later was the case for us, as the Marlin never found my fly and he disappeared just as fast as he showed up.  With adrenalin still pumping through our veins and the excitement of so much unexpected action in the first couple of hours, the boys quickly put the teasers back in the water in search of another big fish.

  We continued to see action throughout the day with some Dorado crashing the teasers on Kevin’s next turn up, a large Mako shark that I had a great shot at but inadvertently pulled the fly from his mouth and three more marlin that we had behind the boat. A lot more action than we had ever expected, but because of the water conditions, most of our shots were to half-hearted fish that weren’t really on the bite. It was a great day to end our trip on, but during the ride back to the marina with a cold beer in your hand, all you can think about is selling your soul to the devil for another day on the water chasing billfish on the fly.   

The Patient Angler           patientangler.com

Peter Bowers
 
Cabo San Lucas - December 3rd, 2009
  • Recorded:
  • Mostly sunny
  • 80 ° F 
  • Fishing: Good
   I hadn’t been down to Cabo to fish for a while and I had some new saltwater products I needed to test out, so Thu and I decided to go down over the Thanksgiving holiday and get a few days on the water.

  The weather was great with temperatures around 80 degrees, which was really nice, compared to the 40 degree weather we left at home. The ocean conditions were good with blue water just a few miles off shore and good numbers of Marlin and Dorado in the area.  The only down side was that our trip was during the full moon which sometime slows the Marlin fishing during the day, as they are able to feed all night. We found this to be the case for us, as we came across six Marlin while on the water, with only one showing any interest at all and wouldn’t come to the fly.  

  The Dorado fishing was a lot better for us with consistent action and pretty aggressive fish. We mostly came across single fish which you sometimes have to work harder with teasers to get them to take a fly. When you come across a school of them, it’s often easer to catch them because of their natural instinct to compete for the available food. They tend to get excited during a feeding frenzy and make more mistakes in their rush to get the food before someone else does.

  Thu had not fished for Dorado, so on the first day we put her on deck first and within 30 minutes she had her first Dorado chasing teasers behind the boat. If you have never fished for Dorado before, it’s quite a sight to see these lit-up neon gold, blue and green torpedoes slashing through the water at 40mph looking for something to eat, and when you hook one, that’s when the fireworks begin.  Anyway, Thu did a great job casting to this beautiful 25lb electrified fish-eating machine that was following the teaser to the boat, landing her fly just in front of the teaser for a perfect bait-and-switch and the Dorado crushed her fly. The Dorado immediately took off ripping line from her reel jumping and cart wheeling across the ocean. Unfortunately, this beautiful fish came unbuttoned during one of its jumps, but it gives you a great feeling for the day when you get action right out of the gate.  Thu’s second opportunity came just 15 minutes later when a 20lb bull Dorado busted the teasers and came to Thu’s fly like it hadn’t eaten in weeks. This fish took a lot of line on the series of acrobatic runs, but Thu stuck with it and slowly fought this nice fish back to the boat where she landed her first Dorado on the fly. We teased in and had shots at about ten Dorado that day and caught a half dozen of them. A good day on the fly by any measure and made possible by the expertise of the captains and mates of Baja Anglers. The most important thing you can do when preparing for a “productive” saltwater fly fishing trip is making sure you find a good guide or outfitter that has good equipment, knows the water and has the knowledge & skills to bring fish to your fly.

   I tested a new Loop Opti Big large arbor reel on this trip.  I had hoped to fight a Marlin or two on it, but since that wasn’t happening for us, we used it on some of the Dorado we caught. It preformed well with a smooth clean drag and the super large arbor came in handy for quicker line pickup. We fished 10 and 12 wt rods for Dorado and a 13 wt to cast the big flies for the Marlin.

   It was a Quick trip, but certainly worth the effort just to have my toes in the warm sand of lands end.

The Patient Angler             patientangler.com

Peter Bowers
 
Cabo San Lucas - August 27th, 2009
  • Recorded:
  • Hot
  • 97 ° F 
  • Fishing: Great
This report was written by my 9 year old god daughter Louise, who lives in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

 

Hi, My name is Louise and my Daddy Grant took us fishing this morning.  My Cousin Emilio went too.  We  both had a great time

fishing!

 

We both catch 3 dorado, 1 skipjack and we catch 3 sailfish at the same time.

 

This was Emilio, first time fishing and we both are 9 years old.

He learn to fish too fast as he caught a big, big, sailfish.

Than My mom, Gisel hook one at the same time and there was

one for me too! The fish was to big and I was a little bit scared.

 

I couldn’t believe how big they were and when we were fighting

our sailfish My Daddy was going crazy, he couldn’t

stop laughing and screaming.

 

But  the first one to catch a fish  was me!  I caught a skip jack,

than Emilio caught a Dorado. He’s first Dorado.

 

Than it was my turn and I caught a dorado.....again.

and Emilio caught the last dorado. We were so tired after fighting

each fish my mom took care of us and poor cold water in our heads.

 

We love fishing with my Daddy today. My Daddy said the he’s going to make fish tacos at home and have my family over so they can

have fish too. Thank you so much Daddy....

Louise.

P.S. my Mom helped me write this.
 


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