Pisces Fleet Fish Report March 15-21, 2024

Overall Catch Success Rate, All Species Combined 95.45%

Billfish Catch Success Rate, Billfish, 42.42%% Dorado 59.09% Tuna 22.73% Other Species 30.30%

Our 12th week of 2024 began with clear skies and calm seas, as predicted. However, the winds were a bit stronger and were in the 8 to 12-foot range at times, with 5 to 6-foot waves mid-day and sea temps at 66 degrees.  

Although some boats did score in the striped marlin category, like last week, fewer boats targeted the striped marlin as they were scattered on various banks because of the weather conditions.

Fortunately, the cooler water didn’t seem to affect the other species. The dorado, which were smaller, were replaced with larger ones that seemed more aggressive. However, there are still some small ones mixed in, and if you do find one of the smaller schools, release them and keep the larger ones.  

In addition, there have been yellowfin, roosterfish, grouper, sheepshead, sierra, skipjack, triggerfish, red snapper, and ladyfish to fill in the blanks on the slow days.

“CHASIN TAIL,” a 62-foot Viking, run by Captain Pepe and mates Ulises and Ramon, were joined by clients Jim and Ann Anderson from Reno, Nevada, who fished at Farito and landed two dorado weighing 12 and 20 pounds on lures, and three sierra in the 2 to 3-pound class on Cuchi. Then, to finish the day off, they bottom-fished and landed two grouper weighing four and five pounds and 13 red snappers weighing a couple of pounds each.

“SPEEDWELL,”  38-foot Mediterranean with Captain Victor Sandez Cota at the helm, who describes fishing as his greatest passion. Captain Victor has fished for 30 years and is from an extensive line of fishermen. His favorite fish to catch and release are marlin. Captain Victor discussed the prospects for the day with clients Chris Dunkley, Susan Dunkley, Frank Marino, Michelle Marino, and Steve Hall. They decided to head out toward the Los Arcos and Margarita Banks, where one of the Pisces crews had spotted some striped marlin and dorado the day before.

When they arrived, conditions seemed favorable. And it didn’t take long before a fish appeared behind one of the trolled lures. Miguel quickly dropped a live caballito back into the wake, and a distinctive golden dorado flashed on the bubbling lure and was instantly airborne.

After a brief battle, the 25-pound fish was in the fish sack. Back to trolling, they spotted several stripers in the pattern before one came streaking across the wake, inhaling the large lure in the wake, and headed for the horizon with the “SPEEDWELL” in pursuit. Finally, they caught up with the exhausted 100-pound striper and released it.

Captain Ricardo, along with Mate Yahoo Jose Escamilla, welcomed the group Douglas Tom,  Samantha Tom, Alexandra Tom, Justin Howley, Shoshana Howley, Ryan Ellazar, and Zachary Link, all from  Webster Groves, Missouri, aboard the “YAHOO,” a 42-foot Bertram. After a brief discussion, the group of anglers decided they were eager to target striped marlin. Captain Ricardo decided to check out the La Brecha Bank, which had been active earlier in the month. His hunch paid off. When they arrived, there was good bird life, indicating ample baitfish that usually attract the fish. After spotting several leaping stripers, he was sure of it! The weather was ideal.

It wasn’t long before the first marlin appeared behind one of the lures trolled several boat links behind the immaculately maintained “Yahoo.”  The colorful fish was gone, however, before they could drop back a cocinero (fresh bait) to entice the fish. Several tries later, it was “fish on!” The angler played the fish perfectly, and soon, it was alongside the boat with the hook removed. Within a few minutes, the gleaming striped billfish, estimated to weigh one hundred pounds, was revived and disappeared beneath the surface with a flip of its huge tail.   

By early afternoon, the anglers had released another striper and caught a small skipjack.

“RUTHLESS,” a 31-foot Bertram, with Captain Beto Lira and Mate Chuy Romero, plus a group from Washington including Jennifer Elder, Megan James, Tanner Haynes, and Thomas James. Fishing on the Gaspareno Bank had a mixed bag consisting of one released striped marlin weighing an estimated 130 pounds on a cocinero, plus a 25-pound dorado that ate a ballyhoo and a 4-pound skipjack, which finished off the day.

Captain Rosendo, Mate Gomez Carlos Santos also took Barbara Weber, Debbie Bizal, John Bizal, and Michael Weber aboard  the “TIBURON,” a 31-foot Bertram, chose the “Gaspareño.” Where they found a hungry striped marlin estimated to weigh about 80 pounds that went for a cocinero (bait) and put up quite a show greyhounding across the stern!  Some hungry dorado also ate the ballyhoo offered to them, which added to the excitement. Their total for that species was five, weighing 15 to 20 pounds. But the day wasn’t over! A school of small sierra mackerel breezed by and added another six fish to the count. When the surface action slowed, the gang tried bottom fishing and scored a red snapper.

“TRACY ANN,” a 31-foot Bertram run by Captain Julio Castro and Mate Mario J, had several good days! Their best trip accounted for two striped marlin in the 100 to 120-pound class on the  Gaspareño Bank that couldn’t resist a lively caballito flung at them.
When the action slowed, the captain picked up and ran to Migraino Bank, where one of the other Pisces Fleet boats had found a large school of dorado. There, they were also in a biting mood. The run paid off! By the time the dorado went down, the team had boated TEN! With a bit of time left, they found a few sierra and several roosterfish to pull on. Davis Sawyer and Sandra Montague from Denver, Colorado, couldn’t stop talking about their day.

Speaking of memorable trips, “KARINA,” a 30-foot Bertram with Captain Orlando Murillo at the helm and Mate Jorge Velez overseeing the cockpit late in the week, ran out to Gaspareño, where they found some hungry dorado. Before it was over, they caught and released 16 dorado on lures and bait, plus one striped marlin weighing approximately 100 pounds. All the anglers aboard, including Connor Obrien, Jackson Lutton, Logan Morel, and Mike Rutherford, agreed, that this was a trip they would be talking about for many years!

For a week that didn’t seem to hold much promise at the beginning because of the weather. The outcome underscored the value of the Pisces fleet size and the crew’s willingness to share their daily observations among the team. Offering an extraordinary opportunity to showcase the amazing sportfishing offered at Baja’s Los Cabos year-round.

LOCATION: Los Arcos, Magrino, Pozo Cota, Farito, La Brecha, Margarita, and Gaspareno Bank,
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Some medium sized waves, moderate winds midday – between 5 and 11 kts.
AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 66-71
BEST LURES: Mackerel, Ballyhoo and Cocinero, Cedar Plugs. and marlin lures
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