Just spent a few days in San Jose Del Cabo. Weather was outstanding. Spent some time sea kayaking, wandering the streets and enjoying the good food and friendly people.
Sunday we booked with Mucho Loco charters. Left the dock at 630, bought live bait from some local fisherman, stopped at the famous arch for pictures and then we were off. About 10 miles out a Marlin jumped just off the bow, the boat idled back and a live bait rig was cast to the area the fish surfaced. A few minutes passed, we moved on.
The Sea of Cortez is warm compared to the Pacific Ocean, and has one of the worlds healthiest populations of striped Marlin. This day we targeted Marlin, and Dorado. Dolphins kept pace with the boat, as close as 10 meters, a large stingray surfaced, then the Marlin started to jump. One rolled near a bait, just behind the boat.
We trolled a mix of large hoochies and cut bait just behind the boat, from 8 to 15 meters back. Finally a strike, a Marlin hit a lure and tripped the release. It was there and gone. Half an hour passed, then another hit, the big fish rolled on top again tripping the release, but didn't hook up.
Looking out across the water Marlin were jumping everywhere, four feet in the air. Another strike, this time the rod bent over, and a big striped Marlin tail walked out behind the boat. We quickly moved to the fighting chair, I anchored the base of the rod. The line peeled off the reel, then it turned and ran at the boat. The fish dove deep, then just sulked down there awhile, I'd gain a little then it would all be stripped away again in seconds. 10 minutes down in the deep, then a huge run, it broke the surface and walked sideways across the water. From just back of the boat to 100 metres in just a blink, now I started again inches of line then a foot. And so it went for 30 minutes.
Our captain, his decades of experience so apparent, maneuvering the boat effortlessly, never a mistake, he positioned it perfectly, into reverse when my line tangled, positioning the boat in the swells so the fish was always right off the back of the boat, the crew offered suggestions, and quietly stood by in case I needed anything.
Last edited by firetiger; 04-28-2015 at 04:30 PM.
Soon after we stopped the boat another rod bent over, my wife sat in the chair beside me and fought a big shark that picked up one of the baits that drifted out from the boat. This double header only lasted a few minutes, and after some thrashing and churning it bit through the line. A live bait dropped off the front of the boat produced a smaller shark, it was quickly released.
I steadily gained on the Marlin, and as it neared the boat was asked if it was to be released or kept. I had already made arrangements to donate any fish to help people in the local community who could use it.
As we idled through the harbour a seal named Poncho popped up on the swim grid looking for a handout. We hand fed him our remaining bait before calling it a day.
the fish was as long as the back of the 31 foot boat was wide.
Last edited by firetiger; 04-29-2015 at 12:49 PM.
We kept some of the fish and had it cooked at the resort, the rest was distributed among some people who really needed a bit of help. I have to tell you, this was the worst fish I've ever eaten. Not sure what could be done to this fish to make it better. If you are looking for fish to eat, these are not your best choice. Best to tip them back into the sea, for someone else to catch another day and chase tuna or dorado instead.
I will fish for Marlin again, what a blast, however, I won't keep another one.
I've had marlin in the past.
And was pretty good.
A light teriyaki marinade.
A more meaty texture than most fish but it's not one I'd go out of my way for.
Thanks for the write up.
Money talks. Unfortunately... Mine says: "Good-Bye"
Personally i'm not a big fan of Marlin unless it's smoked. A great catch and release fish. Caught quite a few.
Give me Yellowfin Tuna anytime....oh that's right i brought home a cooler full, lol.
Do blue or black marlin taste different than the striped variety.
Last edited by firetiger; 07-15-2015 at 08:02 PM.
Nice to hear you enjoyed your trip. I ventured out with a guide in Cabo in 2013 and was rewarded with several species on the fly. Managed two Roosters and a mahi mahi although released everything. Didn't see any sails or marlin although the skipper had me practice casting a 10wt when the mahi mahi hit. I can't imagine what a marlin on the fly would have been like.
I have caught salmon and a 19 pound char on a 9 wt. I haven't experienced anything near this big before let alone on a fly rod. My fear would be needing to play it to long and the fish being to tired for release if that was the desired outcome. I had my hands full with a stout rod and penn reel with the butt of the rod anchored to the chair. You certainly would need alot of backing to attempt this with a fly rod. They are powerful, heavy fish.
This fish acted like a larger rainbow does when hooked, holding deep to rest then hard runs. It took a lot of line extremely fast, and was out of the water very much like a rainbow trout. Initially when hooked it completely cleared the water, then thrashed on top before running hard. The second time it decided to play on top it came out of the water shaking its head, and tail walking after a 100 metre run. It likely came out of the water 4 or 5 times on this second run. It was well over 100 metres out when it stopped. This went on for 40 minutes although the top water action was only in the first 15 or 20 minutes, but it kept taking line off and on for over half an hour.
Last edited by firetiger; 04-30-2015 at 02:27 AM.
No didn't try any shark, but there is always next time.
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