Halloween is just around the corner, and the marlin seem to have disappeared. Have they flown south for the winter, or are they just waiting to jump out and scare unsuspecting anglers? Stick around and find out – it’s the Fishing News!
(cue theme music – and evil laugh)
Remember my analogy about marlin fishing being like microwave popcorn? Well, I’m afraid we’re down to the last few kernels and are wondering if it’s time to turn off the microwave. Our last release report came on the 23rd, and while there were a few hooked here and there, I heard of no successful releases over the weekend.
What makes it really interesting is that I’m not convinced the lack of releases has anything to do with the marlin themselves. This is late in the marlin season; anglers interests have turned elsewhere. Hunting season has opened in many places, and a number of anglers have winterized their trolling rods and reached for their 12-gauge. A number of other boats have headed south to Cedros Island and beyond to Bahia Magdelena for the amazing fishing that happens there. Those few striped marlin still roaming our area may have simply gotten off lucky.
Just because there are no marlin being caught doesn’t mean an end of pelagics, however. Amazingly enough, wahoo continue to be found in our waters, and don’t even evoke a second glance when they hit the docks. Yellowfin tuna and dorado continue to be caught at the inner banks from the 267 south through the 9-Mile Bank, as evidenced by this shot of Ali Hussainy’s well-stuffed cockpit. You may know Ali as the proprietor of that little website down the coast …
If anything were to concern me at this point, it would be the water temperature. It’s still unseasonably warm, but it’s finally dropping – 71 degrees in many areas around the Catalina Bight. I didn’t run a fresh SST chart this week, but you can start to see the 68-degree isobar sneaking into the frame, so you know it’s just a matter of time.
No blood, lots of fish
Goddamn Giants. That is all …
The Bisbee’s Black and Blue marlin tournament is know for having the biggest winnings of any tournament. There are those who would say it’s right up there on the drama as well – and this year was certainly no exception.
When last we visited the lovely waters of Cabo San Lucas, two days of fishing were in the books, and Team Casa Hogar was in the lead with their 394-lb Day 2 marlin. Turns out, however, that an even larger marlin had been caught back on Day 1 – a 394-lb blue marlin brought to the scales by Dan Tosczak fishing on DANITO Y CARLITO. The locals all saw the fish, the internet heard about the fish – there were even pictures of it on the B & B website. But by the end of the day, it was as if the fish did not exist. The pictures were purges, the catch log sanitized – all record of the catch was removed. Rumor has it that the crew determined after the fact that they’d violated some IGFA rule and self-disqualified the fish. That still doesn’t explain the cloak and dagger nature of the deal – they’d have removed all evidence of the fish, had they not missed one place …
Meanwhile, Day 3 saw the last chance anyone had to take down Casa Hogar – and that’s they all took their shots. After the final gun was sounded and the final fish tallied, Omar Castaneda’s Day 2 385-lb blue marlin held up and took first place. They received a check for $258,325 – and promptly donated the entire thing to local charities.
If you follow big money tourneys, you know that the biggest fish isn’t always the big winner, and that was the case here. The second place fish, a 337-lb blue marlin caught on Day 3 by Carlos Cervontes of Team SPORTY GAME, was in all the pots and reaped the benefit – to the tune of $1,682,612! It takes money to make money, and a willingness to lay that money on the line. SPORTY GAME did just that, and it paid off in a big way.
All of the placing fish were blue marlin this year. Third place was Dennis Bartos of Team Survivor with his 328-lber, fourth was Nathan Visser of Team Baja Banditos with his 320-lber and fifth was Salvador Padilla of Team Tepecayos with the 304-lber we discussed in the last report.
In the release division, the placings came down to who release their fish first. Team Mobius took first and a check for $49,725. Second was Tteam Suzuka A and third was Team Los Tapatios. For the three days of fishing, a total of 60 blue and 6 black marlin were caught.
I mentioned that many anglers are finding other things to do and, truth be told, I’m one of them. I’m leaving tomorrow for annual conference of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in Scottsdale, an area not well known for marlin fishing. As a result, there’ll be no report on Thursday. We’ll be back Monday if there’s anything to report, or shortly thereafter with a season wrap if circumstances warrant.