Wednesday, November 30, 2011

End of Summer on the World's Aquarium

Well, maybe not quite the end of summer in some parts of North America, but October is pretty much the last chance at the pelagic species out of San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico on the magnificent Sea of Cortez.  The Flat Seas crew made it  down for a week of fishing mid-month, and we were greeted by perfect weather and glass flat water to get things started. 

The week started with two absolutely picture perfect days of great fishing aboard Shodai, our diesel powered Carolina Classic 25.  We started out nailing some really nice bull dorado for the dinner table.  They were hitting ballyhoo skirted with Jr. Ilander lures, and seemed to be preferring black with red or orange. 

Once again, the water was literally boiling with sardines, and this is the reason that I think yellowfin tuna were also holding in the area.  While we didn't find any tuna early on the week, we managed to catch some nice 40-50 pound fish later in the week aboard another boat.  There were a lot of good sized tuna caught over the week by the fleet, so it is hopefully a sign of things to come!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer time on the Sea of Cortez

The earlier trips this year were not exactly filled with tons of fish, however, there were immense concentrations of bait.  Based on this, there were big expectations for a great summer and it has been nothing less than spectacular so far.  We were able to get down for a trip the first week of July, and the dorado were thick throughout the waters out of San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico.

We managed to connect with a few decent sized fish mixed in with some of the "medium" sizes that make great table fare.  We kept the bulls up to our limits on a couple of the good days, and let the females go back to fight another day.  There were some billfish around, but we only managed to release a couple sailfish, probably because we were so busy shaking off me its not a bad problem to have!

We had mixed results on ballyhoo vs. lures, but the most productive lines were the usually the ones fitted with skirted ballyhoo.  I have a couple reels that are not Avet's, and all I can say is that after this trip I'm planning to change out the last couple of reels and run only Avet Pro's (30's).  We simply were not missing anything on these reels, while there were a couple of "issues" with some of the other (non-USA made) brands.  We run these reels with Seeker Black Classic rods and Momoi's mono topshots, quite possibly the perfect setups for the Sea of Cortez. Ultimately, we ended up with a cooler full of frozen fish to enjoy until the next trip...and a couple of great videos.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spooktacular Halloween Fishing

When the fishing Gods are upon you, you know it, and that's exactly what happened on our end of the season trip to once again fish on the incredible Sea of Cortez.  We were welcomed by flat seas, fair winds, warm sunshine, and some of the best fishing we have ever had.  On top of the perfect conditions, the people of Mexico were as warm and wonderful as always, making for the perfect trip.

We started out the week with four days of hard fishing offshore, filled with not only numerous dorado, but good sized fish.  We limited out a couple of days, keeping only the bigger bulls and letting females and smaller fish go, and managed to fill our cooler for the trip back to the big city.  There were also a lot of billfish around, and although they were also a bit shy, we managed to release some nice fish.  The highlight was a spectacle that I've heard and read about, but never witnessed.  Late on one afternoon we ran into a school of sailfish that were literally spread all around us.  After the first hookup and release, we literally would drop a lure back (yes, any lure) and get hooked up again.  We did this until our arms were numb, and then headed back with huge smiles and sore bones, knowing we had just been part of something truly special. 

We ran into some wind for a couple of days that kept us from heading offshore, but the advantage of this time of year is that the new season is slowly working its way into the fold.  That said, we were able to fish inshore and even caught some yellowtail and bonita to round out the dinner table.

On this trip we didn't have any ballyhoo, so it was a good opportunity to really dig deep into our lure arsenal.  The fish were a little shy offshore, so the lures rigged with Yo-Zuri fluorocarbon seemed to get bit the most, and anything in blue and white seemed to be the ticket.  Inshore, we fished with Rapala Magnums, Yo-Zuri Hydro Magnums, and Sumo Jigs.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tournament Time

As the summer winds down, the tournament season continues to HEAT UP, so make sure you GEAR UP!

In order to preserve billfish populations, many tournaments have moved away from the traditional "kill" rules for large fish to the 100% release only format.  On top of saving these beautiful creatures to fight another day, these formats are providing an additional element of challenge that requires the entire crew to be on top of their game.  Instead of a gaff, cameras are the only endgame that billfish are facing. 

In order to minimize the damage of released fish even further, many of these tournaments are requiring inline circle hooks like the ones made by Eagle Claw and Owner.  Rigged properly on a good pitch rod like the Seeker IGFA Marlin Casting Rod or Light Roller Seeker Black Classic, a ballyhoo on a tournament legal circle hook will absolutely satisfy the most demanding marlin or sailfish appetite.  That is, of course, after being teased into a frenzy by a hookless lure spread. 

Make sure you check the rules and help support this growing trend in sportfishing conservation by participating in these events.  Further, make sure you actually follow the rules to keep things fair and save fish, and don't get caught without the proper tournament approved saltwater fishing tackle at your disposal.  Good luck!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The beasts were active on the Sea of Cortez!

Was fortunate to have a week to get away for some fishing on the Sea of Cortez in late July.  The week prior, the weather had been very hot and so was the water.  Upon arrival, however, storms began rolling through and they kept ashore the first three days.  When we finally did get out, the surface temperature had cooled down to the mid 80's, and the fishing was fantastic.

I have never seen as many flying fish in the area before, and as a result it seemed like blue and white were the hot colors for us, definitely a good time to have Z-Man FlyerZ in your saltwater lure arsenal. We also had good action on ballyhoo with Sumo Jetheads in the Blue Dorado pattern as well as our normal "go to" patterns in mid-day like Mexican Flag and Rainbow. There were a lot of small marlin in the area to keep us busy, and we also had an interesting release of a sailfish with a broken bill. Further, there were some yellowfin tuna in the area that some boats hit the jackpot on, but we weren't successful in crossing paths this trip.

On top of billfish, the action for dorado was fast and fierce, we ended up losing what we anticipate was the biggest of the bunch right next to the boat early on one of the days. This was the same day I had to hop in the water with a knife at about 26 miles offshore in pitching seas to cut out a line that was wrapped in the prop while landing a dorado. All ended well, and we came home with a cooler full of fish and great memories.