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East Cape, fished out?

For the last couple of weeks fishing has been the slowest all season. It seems whenever fishing slows down folks are always asking "has this place been fished out?"

I have spent more than a 100 days a year on East Cape waters for the last 21 years. I have no scientific data or access to any studies that have been made regarding this. What I do have is a memory like an elephant and can recall what I have personally observed.

My first visit to Los Cabos was in May of 1973 when my wife and I stayed at the Palmilla. My main objective was to catch my first marlin. At that time a single engine cruiser went for $100 a day. It seemed like a fortune but I ponied up for a days fishing with high expectations. At 2PM we had not had a strike and the skipper informed us it was time to head in. As he turned the boat that direction a marlin appeared in our lure pattern and I landed my first ever marlin.

Later in the 70's we returned to the Palmilla. I eeked out another marlin but never saw that wide open fishing others talk about.

My first visit to the East Cape was in 1986 and there after returned once or twice a year. During my visits I was always able to land a marlin and on some trips a dorado or tuna or two but never found that red hot bite.

In May of 1991 we moved to Buena Vista full time. Some times we would catch big fish and sometimes we would pay our dues. It wasn't until July of 91 we had a 5 billfish day. 2 strippers, 2 blues and a sailfish. We had 9 strikes that day and finally experienced that "WFO fishing".

Back then the fishing boats were very primitive. There were no GPS's and only the better equipped boats had VHF radios. Others used CB radios that would not reach out very far or had no radio at all. In those days there was only one telephone on the East Cape. Communication to the US was very limited and it was almost impossible to get timely fish reports. When reports did filter to an American fisherman the talk was always about the good days. That is what everybody wanted to hear about.

So back to the burning question. Has the place been fished out? No, it has not. We still have good days and slow days. It has been that way for the last 30 years. That's fishing! I am observing more vigilance than in the past. Catch and release is promoted more than ever before. The Sea of Cortez is one of the richest and also most resilient bodies of water on this planet. This slow period will end as fast as it came. Soon the fish will show in numbers one more time and it will be game on. In the mean time the real fisherman will keep trying and enjoy their experience on the water.

Posted are a few random images captured this season I have not had an opportunity to share.















Mark Rayor



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