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Cabo San Lucas striped marlin bite drops off, now only fair

December 14, 2009 |  8:07 am


So much for the wide-open marlin bite off Cabo San Lucas. Captain George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing, in a report issued today, referred to last week's bite as a "two-day wonder" and says fishing for billfish has tapered off. Here is Landrum's report (edited and abbreviated):

BILLFISH: I did not hear of any blue or black marlin being caught this week, even though the water temperature is fine for them. The striped marlin bite we had at the tail end of last week was a two-day wonder, lasting Sunday and Monday. Since then the better catches have been topping off at three fish per boat, but the average is probably less than one release per boat per trip. More have been seen on the Pacific side than on the Cortez side, and the ones that are being caught show a preference for artificial lures over Caballito, and for mackerel over artificial lures. There have been some very small fish in the releases, but the average seems to be staying around the 100- to 110-pound mark, with an occasional fish in the 160-pound range.

YELLOWFIN TUNA: Still a slow bite on yellowfin, with a few fish being found on the Golden Gate Bank every few days, as well as off Palmilla on the Cortez side. A few boats have been going as far out as 50 miles to the south and west with little luck, and the fish they have found have mostly been football-size.

DORADO: The water temperature across the area warmed back up and dorado have remained in the area, but the bite has been slower than it was last month. This week was a repeat of last week as boats were averaging four to eight fish per trip, with an occasional limit. The fish were averaging 12 pounds with a few large fish in the pick but no big numbers of them. Live bait seemed to do the trick this week, slow trolled in areas where frigate birds were seen to be working. The fish were spread across the area, but the best results seemed to be close to the shoreline and close to Cabo.

WAHOO: The full moon has gone, and the wahoo bite disappeared as well. There was still an occasional bite but not nearly the numbers we were seeing during the full moon phase. Once again, the shallower waters near steep drops and around rocky points supplied what little action there was.

INSHORE: A repeat of last week. Inshore has been a decent mix of sierra, small roosterfish and dorado.  Most of the activity has been taking place on the Pacific side of the Cape, and you did not have to go very far to get into the action.

WEATHER: Lows around 61-63 degrees and highs around 89 degrees. We had partly to mostly cloudy skies at the beginning of the week that slowly developed into clear skies at the end of the week. We had afternoon winds from the west and southwest through Thursday but then they switched and came from the northwest.

WATER: Surface conditions on the Pacific were very nice in the mornings with swells building during the week but spaced far enough apart that they gave the surfers a great time but did not really affect the fishing boats. In the afternoons there was a bit of chop, but the water was still very fishable. On the Cortez side of the Cape we had smaller surf and less chop. Across the area from the Golden Gate on the Pacific to the Punta Gorda area on the Cortez side, the water was almost an even 80 degrees.

BAIT: Almost all the bait this week was Caballito; the moon was coming off of full, and the bait guys had no problem getting these in the early morning. Mackerel were scarce, but there were some available, and I hear that there were still some Sardinas to be had up around Puerto Los Cabos.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: A striped marlin on the hook takes flight near the Golden Gate area north of Cabo San Lucas. Credit: Chic McSherry