domingo, abril 21, 2024

All That’s Fishy – September 2020




A monthly Baja fishing report by Gary Graham -That Baja Guy

Bisbee’s 2020 East Cape Offshore Tournament Smashes RecordsFrom around the world, 72-teams came to compete in Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore three-day event on the fertile Sea of Cortez for a record jackpot of over $1,100,000, breaking three of its records. The Bisbee’s Organization began the 2020 Season during the world-wide COVID-19 Pandemic with the event’s largest turnout, the first time the prize money cracked the million-dollar mark, and the largest blue marlin ever caught in the 21-year history of the East Cape Offshore.As a result of the pandemic, Baja Sur’s Sportfishing authorities established a protocol dictating adjustments to the event’s format.
Only a few weeks earlier, the event was waiting for approval and the teams were unsure that it would even take place – so they gratefully accepted the new rules.
The Bisbee group and team participants were unaware that they would be part of a historic event that would soon shatter three significant records. A link to a Captains’ Meeting video, in both English and Spanish, was sent to every team member, every captain, and every crew member, covering all the information that would have been covered live at past events.
Face masks were to always be worn and social distancing of six feet of spacing between every person was to be in place throughout the event. Only the angler and their catch could come to the scale, eliminating team photos!Day One was dominated by 62 billfish released. In the gamefish categories, there were hard-luck stories! But one of the most disappointing was Buena Vista Oceanfront & Thermal Resort’s Team Member Esaul Valdez. Valdez battled his dorado for well over an hour before losing what he described as a winner, weighing well over the qualifying weight of 30-pounds!
Day Two, Team Keep It Reel, Oscar Romero released a blue marlin after a grueling three-hour battle; Scott Kays released a striped marlin and Manuel Perlata released a blue marlin aboard “Alegria” owned by Buena Vista Oceanfront & Thermal Resort.
Team Big Oh with angler Greg Kelc weighed their 39.9-pound dorado that took only 15 minutes to boat, ultimately capturing the heaviest dorado of the tournament and $60,170.00 and prizes
In the yellowfin tuna division, Team Fin & Tonic with angler James Brodsky weighed in a tuna at 41.4-pounds. He also enjoyed the benefits of there not being a qualifying a tuna on the first day, allowing them to receive an incredible $82,695.00 for a fish just 1.4-pounds over the minimum weight on Day Two. How’s that for a feel-good story for them?Speaking of “feel good,” Team True Grit’s owner and angler, Jim Putman weighed a black marlin that exceeded the 300-pound minimum weight by a mere six pounds, earning their team a whopping $559,870 (since there were no billfish weighed on Day One the daily purses were doubled on Day Two).
There were two blue marlin weighed on Day Three, the final day. The first was Team Dos Tejas, Mike Darden with a 386-pound blue marlin that briefly was the heaviest billfish of the day. A bit later, local Team Chachalacos with Captain Carlos Almanza relied on their accumulated knowledge from the past three generations arrived with a huge blue marlin that weighed 704-pounds, the largest ever weighed during the 21-year history in the Bisbee East Cape Offshore.

To begin with, the amount of various baitfish, both large and small, being reported from Loreto to Baja’s tip has been impressive. Cindy Kirkwood, East Cape Tackle owner, observed recently, “If the bait arrives, the larger fish soon follow.”Offshore, sportfishing boats targeting striped marlin from Cabo San Lucas up into the Sea of Cortez are finding large groups and, in some cases, they report double-digit releases. There are already a few larger blue and black marlin arriving on the various banks.This is great news for the Bisbee East Cape Offshore Tournament (August 4-8) hosted by the Valdez family at Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort.On the banks off of Los Cabos marina, as well as on the Pacific side, in addition to the marlin, the boats have been catching 20- to over 100-pound yellowfin tuna.This is great news for the Bisbee East Cape Offshore Tournament (August 4-8) hosted by the Valdez family at Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort.On the banks off of Los Cabos marina, as well as on the Pacific side, in addition to the marlin, the boats have been catching 20- to over 100-pound yellowfin tuna.

Photo By: Mario Banaga
The Van Wormer Properties hosted the “16th Dorado Shootout” at East Cape, which attracted 108 teams.Raul Medina and his team, Offshore Life- style’s, entered across the board in the three cash optionals and sped 61 miles off East Cape to their hot spot to win the one-day dorado tourney at Hotel Pal- mas De Cortez. They landed a 54.9-pound dorado earning them a new VW, V6 four-door truck, an Amarok along with the $130,000 op- tional money.At Muertos Bay, the roosterfish season is currently underway and by reports from both local Captains and the fewer than normal anglers fishing, the quantity of larger roosters (from 30 to over 100 pounds) is already in the double-digit range on light, medium, and heavy tackle along with spin and fly rods.There are similar reports of off-the-chart rooster fishing on the Baja Sur beaches from Loreto to the Baja tip and up the Pacific side – the best in many seasons.

Photo By: Fernando Cavalin
In the oddity column, a 20-foot deep-sea oarfish was recently discovered washed up on Pichilingue, inside La Paz Bay, BCS by Fernando Cavalin, Tito Taylor, and Laura Lafont.Often found in temperate to tropical oceans, the oarfish family contains three species in two genera. One of these, the giant oarfish, is the longest, most bony fish alive growing to 8m in length. They’re rarely encountered except when sick, dead, or dying, and then they are found on the beaches.The excellent sportfishing enjoyed by the few anglers fishing is expected to continue throughout the summer and into the fall. Local sportfishing operations report that their business is ramping up slowly which is good news for anglers arriving this month.

COVID-19 RULES FOR SPORTFISHING IN BAJA SUR.Load capacity will be limited to 50% to provide sufficient social distancing.Advanced disinfecting and sanitizing of boats and equipment. Daily record of employee temperatures. Face masks must be worn at all times.

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