It is Baja in July! most folks seem to fear the heat, but normally it is cooler than other times of the year, and normally less chance of a chubasco or hurricane. And most years July means big fish! After three El Ninos in a row, and the one that just ended being the strongest, our small bait, flat iron herring, or sardinas, are not here. I think it is a cyclic pattern and they will return with “normal” cooler water winters. Who knows how climate change will play into all this?. Even our “backup” small bait is gone-the California halfbeak. But we have schools of mackerel, lady fish inshore and bullet tuna offshore. That means that the large rooster fish that this area is famous for are here. Water temps in the past few weeks have fluctuated by ten degrees, but they don’t seem to care. Wahoo and marlin do seem to care and have become scarce with the most recent upwelling. So the daily plan is catch lady fish, jacks and whatever is around on the fly, and then see if we can entice these big roosters to come up on a trolled ladyfish. If trying with a fly, we use a hookless ladyfish. we wait flyrod in hand and do the old bait and switch technique. Very challenging-and so far this week, no success. If we want to increase our chances, we use a hooked ladyfish and with good fortune and skill actually land one of these magnificent animals, which are running forty to sixty pounds on average!
Roosters are not the only big animals around. Today we struggled with pacific jack crevalle on the fly. Yesterday the largest dog snapper I have ever seen was landed- and we are seeing some blue marlin that will make you quiver with the thought of hooking one. Big challenges is what Baja is all about.