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First of all many thanks for all the useful advice given on this site during the preparatory stages of my trip. Spent a week at Las Palmas de Cortez Hotel (on the web under Van Wormer resorts) on the northern end of the Bay of Palms on the East Cape of Baja California. A very slick outfit run by Americans. Airport pick-up on time, boat left the dock each day at 7 a.m. sharp, pangas waiting to supply live bait (difficult at times as the sardines had moved well out) but ballyhoo and mackerel available.

Average daily temperatures between 92° and 100°F but no humidity and always a pleasant breeze. Water temperature 79°F. Wind speeds max. 2-3frequently windstill. Mainly 30lb stand-up tackle with a 100lb nylon rubbing tippet. Both boats I was on used size 8/0 to 10/0 Mustad circle hoks.

Day 1: First striped marlin raised within an hour and a half of leaving the quay. Bait casting is the name of the game in this area. A ballyhoo was swiftly hooked and cast but the striper was too clever. Action then came thick and fast with a total of 10 raised, 4 hooked and 2 brought to the boat (estimated at 150 and 120 lbs). Both released.

Day 2: Six stripers raised, three hooked, one of about 80lbs brought to the boat and released. Unusual sight at mid-day: A swordfish surfaced to have a closer look at the teasers. Couldn't get him interested in the live mackerel but the sight of this beautiful animal lit up in all shades of purple, violet and blue like a Christmas tree was something I won't forget in a hurry. :clap3:

Day 3: Not quite such a good day, almost no wind. Raised five stripers but only hooked one which I dropped due to sheer stupidity (turned my back on the fish to answer the skipper's question on how to use my camera to take some shots of the striper's tail-walking antics)... lost direct contact and that was that. Compensation: Caught a couple of bonitos and saw a lot of porpoises, seals and a hammerhead shark.

Day 4: None of the 18 boats in the hotel fleet had bothered to go looking for yellowfin tuna previously as a a commercial boat had been netting the area (allegedly illegally, as their permits or for the Pacific only but where is the border-line between and Pacific and Sea of Cortez?) However, word was out that a boat had seen a huge school of porpoises about 42 miles out so everyone shot off eastwards. An incredible sight - hundreds of porpoises big and small hunting the sardines and the tuna underneath these huge bait shoals. Caught 8 yellowfin but nothing huge, all in the tasty 8 to 20 lb range. Great fun on a 12lb outfit and muppet. (Live sardines, had they been available, would certainly have provided better results. Got a good view of a grey whale on the way back. Evidently they come down from the Arctic to mate in the Sea of Cortez.

Day 5: Skipper saw a whale-shark in the distance and attracted it to the boat by throwing handfuls of the smallest sardines on board in its direction. Swallowed hard when it gracefully swam underneath the boat - the size of this magnificent creature estimated at over 30 feet was amazing. When asked if I would like to swim alomgside it I almost said yes before remembering the hammer-head shark seen earlier!:unsure:

Day 6: The day started well with two stripers hooked simultaneously within an hour. Both estimated at about 120lbs. One released itself by winding the trace around the prop shaft while we were getting the other one on board (it had taken the bait too deep and was bleeding profusely from the gills so it was best to despatch it. It is illegal to sell marlin in Mexico, and we were indeed checked over by a Navy boat once during the week, but in such cases the skipper may take dead fish home for family consumption).

I asked for a bit of inshore fishing to finish the trip. On the way back in a Crevalle Jack hit one of the outrigged muppets with a tremendous whack. It weighed around 25lbs. Nobody knew what had hit the lure until much later. Shortly afterwards a brightly lit-up dorado (mahi mahi) attacked a lure in a blaze of gold, blue and green. It swiftly devoured a large sardine cast at it and put up a great fight. It was hen fish of about 25lbs.
Fishing over some rocks close to the beach using free-lined chunks of sardine and mackerel I caught two red snappers of 4 and 6lb respectively and lost a better fish which used its needle-sharp teeth to chew through the leader.

Definitely the best week's fishing I have ever had. The hotel is frequented mainly by Americans and most of them were repeat visitors "who had never skunked there" (i.e. caught nothing). All of them advised against fishing from the popular resort of Cabo San Lucas at Land's End. Wise advice indeed. We spent the second week in beach resort there and all the fishermen I talked to were less than impressed. One thing in their favour: Hundreds of boats joined to protest against the tuna netting going on in the area and proposed legislation which might make life even easier for the commercial lads.

Mike
 

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Hi Mike
A tremendous report, and it certainly sounded a great trip - apart from the Marlin you seemed to get some others species 'under your belt'. And although most people would want to focus purely on the Marlin I bet you had great fun with the Jack Crevalle and the Dorado - both strong fish, and the Dorado's reasonably acrobatic. Also see that Whale Shark and a 'day time' Broadbill must have been great.

Apart from the 'accident' did you (or the skipper) get any other shots on your camera? I'm sure everyone would like to see them.
Dave
 

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Great stuff Mike, glad you had a good trip!! Sadly it sounds like the problems with the commercial fishermen are about to get a whole lot worse due to a change in legislation... Sorry you didn't get into any roosters, but they can be very finicky fish!

As Dave says, get some pics up!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not quite sure how to go about this but here is my first attempt at uploading some pics. It would appear I will have to downscale the file size first.

Thanks again for your interest!:notworthy
Mike
 

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Nice pics Mike! Congrats on the stripies - I'm hoping for one this year as I've never caught one, only sails last year... Really hoping for a Jack Crevalle on fly as well. From what I can gather they pull like stink?!
 

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Well it hit with such speed that nobody saw it coming. The line snapped out of the outrigger clip with such a crack that I thought a large striper had taken the squid lure. Obviously it hooked itself and there was no need to strile and it really put up a tremendous fight (even on the 30lb tackle). The locals don't really like them as they are no good to eat, they say! No arguments on release!

The day before a young lad fishing from the short pier had his sardine snaffled by a Jack Crevalle of about the same size. Great fun and games trying to keep it away from the structure! Here again the fish put up a terrific fight. Picture attached.

I'm sure you'll have great fun with them and keep a look out for the roosterfish which I was told are even tougher guys! Saw one estimated at 40 lbs hit a ball of fry no more than six feet from the beach. Talk about speed, incredible.

Nice pics Mike! Congrats on the stripies - I'm hoping for one this year as I've never caught one, only sails last year... Really hoping for a Jack Crevalle on fly as well. From what I can gather they pull like stink?!
 

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Nice jack!! Really chunky fish! A big rooster is top of my 'wish list'... And a big one on fly is right at the top of my lifetime 'wish list'. I've heard several reports recently of big (30-60lb) roosters being caught in the area we're going to, including some really nice fish on fly. One boat had a double header of a 50lb and 40lb rooster on fly last week! Caught some small ones last year in Loreto and they absolutely hammer in at the bait/fly.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Might I enquire where exactly you will be fishing in Mexico and whether you will be posting a new thread when you get back? This really is one of the most exciting locations I have ever visited and am sure evrybody else would like to know how you got one with your fly-fishing...
Mike
Nice jack!! Really chunky fish! A big rooster is top of my 'wish list'... And a big one on fly is right at the top of my lifetime 'wish list'. I've heard several reports recently of big (30-60lb) roosters being caught in the area we're going to, including some really nice fish on fly. One boat had a double header of a 50lb and 40lb rooster on fly last week! Caught some small ones last year in Loreto and they absolutely hammer in at the bait/fly.
 

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Mike, I'm off to La Ventana, which is the northern part of the East Cape area. Opposite Isla Cerralvo. I'm definitely going to be posting a trip report up on here! We're taking conventional tackle as well as I'm not just a fly angler. Got two sets of 20lb gear and a set of 30lb gear to take.

Just got a report from a friend of mine who's out there at the moment and they've had some nice black skipjack to 15lb on fly, plus one of them lost a big jack of about 40lb. Plus the bait fishers are getting plenty of wahoo still...
 
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