Another year has gone by and it seems like every year the sailfish population, which is the bread and butter of the fleet here, seems to dwindle. I remember fishing between 1998 and 2005 when it was not uncommon, after releasing a fish, to hookup again and having been underway for only a hundred yards. We left the drags a bit loose in order to get the second bait in the water and then it would be a double. I remember days of as many as 5 hookups, with only 4 people on the boat, including me as the captain.
The big news is two days ago (Tuesday) a boat had 122 raised sailfish in the spread, 118 strikes, and 73 caught and released. The bad news is it happened in Guatemala. But, the good news is with that many fish in one day and with only one boat, the sailfish population can’t be too decimated.
So why aren’t we getting our share? Long lines have taken their toll, and maybe the fish, due to the relative nearness of the long lines to shore, are migrating further out to sea than historically in the past. And, currents are changing, especially this last couple of years with El Niño. This could also be pushing them further out. Whatever the reason, they do not seem to be stopping much in Colima or Zihuatanejo, which historically are layover feeding grounds on their way to the terminus of their migration in Central America.
And, a good argument for this is the 73 released fish were taken in early January, which should be prime time in Zihuatanejo, with February and March being prime time in Guatemala. It appears they just blew right past us. No wonder they were hungry for that lucky boat.
|The three lower Back Bart lures are my favorites. The motor oil (brown,|
orange, and a bit of black) is great for blue and black marlin. The next
down is the yellowfin tuna, and then a great dorado lure.
Offshore (average) surface water temperature - Includes from the 5-6 mile mark at the 100 fathom line, on out to about 50 miles with the 1,000 fathom line being at 32 miles: 83°
Inshore (average) surface temperature. From the beach to about 5 miles: 82°
|Really effective here in Zihuat for sailfish and dorado|
Blue water: Clean water, but not blue, for miles and miles. (Chlorophyll amounts and surface temps from Terrafin SST)
Offshore- Still holding at only a couple of sailfish per boat per day, and a few large dorado are mixed in. The yellowfin tuna are hit and miss again.
Inshore: Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos, has been working the areas up north near the Ranch for the last two weeks. He told me “mucho, mucho gallos. Mucho, mucho jurel, y mucho sierras grande.” Translation: lots and lots of roosterfish, lots and lots of jack crevalle, and a lot of the large (and excellent eating) Spanish mackerel.
The areas to the south have been too clear for decent fishing. The fish are spooky in the clear water. Also, there has been a lot of the pelagic red crabs to the south, with the gamefish gorging on them.
(Director of the Roosterfish Foundation, IGFA Representative)