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Rare albino sailfish caught off Cabo San Lucas

November 30, 2009 |  8:03 am

Angler Matt Dye (right) of Alexandria, Va., displays albino sailfish caught Saturday off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

*Updated with photo

Outposts received an interesting fishing report this morning from Pisces Sportfishing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, regarding a charter group that caught and released an albino sailfish. Here's the description from fleet general manager Tracy Ehrenberg:

"This Saturday, November 28th, I received a phone call from our dockmaster, Mario, around 8 a.m. to tell me that our 54-foot Bertram 'Get Over It' was hooked up to a very weird fish and they asked, 'What should we do?' I immediately got on the phone with the captain Jobe Villavicencio to see what was going on. Jobe was very excited saying they were hooked up to a sailfish that was completely white.

"Incredulous I got on the internet and found that a couple of 'albino' sailfish had been caught before, one aboard a commercial boat in Manzanillo, Mexico and another in Guatemala. The captain wanted to know if he should boat the fish or release it. This put us in a bit of a dilemma; knowing how rare this fish was, we knew that it would be very valuable to local scientists, however we had paying clients on board and the decision had to be theirs, when you charter a boat from Pisces you get to call the shots, it is  your boat for the day. 

"The angler, Matt Dye from Alexandria, Virginia, decided to release this, his first every sailfish and a weird one at that. and we were happy with his decision. Captain Jobe told me that they were fishing 14 miles off of the Old Lighthouse on the Pacific when they saw the fish jumping they quickly cast a live caballito to it, which it immediately took. He said the way the fish took the bait was very odd. It didn’t run or jump, he could not express very well what he meant but said it was just strange. It took them 15 minutes to bring to the boat on 20-pound test and weighed approximately 110 pounds.

"From what I read these fish are white due to a lack of melanin, but cannot be considered truly albino unless they have pink eyes.  Due to the excitement the pictures taken were not the best and there is quite a bit of shadow on the fish making it look darker. I asked the captain about the eyes and he said they were really beautiful, pink with a brown tinge, which is not appreciated in the photographs.

"Jobe always seems to be in the news, but then again he is a great captain. Both he and brother Cubi (Javier) the mate were named World Offshore Champions, competing against 30 countries, in the IGFA World Offshore Championship held here in Cabo just a few weeks ago."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Angler Matt Dye (right) of Alexandria, Va., displays albino sailfish caught Saturday off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Credit: Pisces Sportfishing