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Fish Tales

 

The Cooke's Tour

 

IGFA representative Cooke Bausman III splits his time between those famous billfishing towns of Winthrop Harbor, IL and Lake Tomahawk,WI. Read about what happened when he recently led a group of novice fishermen to Baja's bountiful East Cape ...


Fishing Hot Spots, of Rhinelander,WI., brought 25 people to Rancho Leonero on the East Cape on March 22nd. Seventeen guys and girls fished for five days each spread out over seven days. Several of us stayed on until the 5th of April, and I fished for 14 days straight.

Starting on the 22nd, the weather was great, 78 to 84 degrees and mostly sunny, with a very slight wind from the south. I fished on board MARLIN INC.,a 30 foot Topaz with Capt. Congo Cosio, mate Hugo and my long time fishing partner Lorenzo Moron. Lorenzo is usually the lead captain of the Rancho Leonero fleet. This crew and I have fished together quite a lot, over 50 days in 1996.

At the start we fished south east of Los Frailes about 25 miles. We found the stripers right on the blue water line. Each of our first two days we caught five marlin and a few Dorados By the 24th the wind was from the north and fishing was tougher, so we tried inshore for roosters, and it was great! Within 100 yards of shore, between the lighthouse and El Rincon the roosterfish and sierra were everywhere. We caught and released five roosters, the largest weighing 37lbs on a hand scale.

On the 25th we left early at 6am to find blue water for the rest of our group of five boats. We found it 28.9 miles NE of Leonero, and the fish were there! We tagged four marlin by 10am, all larger than the ones earlier, in the 160 to 180 range. Many large dorado were mixed in, and we boated nine over 30lbs. Although we failed to hook it, we were thrilled to see, bait, and watch a broadbill in the same spot!

Fish were found every day through the 28th. All the Fishing Hot Spots guys caught marlin and dorado. Many of these guys were new to saltwater fishing and were awestruck. Our 17 guests caught and released 26 stripers and two were kept. Dr. Mark Carlson, from Rockford, Ill., Caught 3 marlin and seven large roosters!

On the 29th, while fishing with Bob Watson, owner of Eat Me Lures, I saw more striped marlin than I have ever seen in one day - 52!!! We were 21.5 miles off Leonero in the blue water. There were pods of up to six fish within 20 feet of each other! We had triple hookups twice!!

The 30th through the 4th was somewhat overcast and cooler, but the fishing was the same when you got into blue water. The crew of MARLIN INC. tagged 37 stripers and ate dorado every night. We caught 1 wahoo in all the time on the water. Marlin were caught on mackerel 60%, lures 40%. On a few days we had no live bait, dead bait worked if trolled at about 4kph. The lure colors that worked best were pink and white and bleeding mackerel (9 on the pink, 5 on the bleeder). Most dorado were caught on turbo jet head jigs, and the color didn't seem to matter. The key to the fishing on the East Cape was the blue water. It changed location by day depending on the wind, but was moving in from 30 miles out to just under 18. The blue water marked a change in water temperature from 68 inshore to 73 degrees.