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Here come da judge

In shore along the beaches of Buena Vista the action has exploded. There is a huge abundance of bait right now which on calm days is bringing game fish within range of beach fishermen. Sierra mackerel, pompano and quality sized roosterfish are all on the feed. Just a few miles off shore dorado, striped marlin and sailfish have provided the few anglers fishing excellent action.

We had an outstanding week fishing with old friends and making new ones as well. Early in the week new found friends Ray Hafsten and retired federal judge Bob Bayt traveled all the way from Indiana to fish Jen Wren III.

The first couple days of Ray and Bob's visit we encountered the normal north winds of this time of year but it didn't slow them down a bit. The boys landed a limit of dorado and a few nice sierra mackerel to boot. On their last day the wind subsided. They released 4 sailfish and left a dorado for us because their cooler was already full.

It was interesting for me to watch how much conditions changed this week and how it effected the billfish bite. In one day the water temp dropped from 76 to 72 degrees and the color changed from blue-ish to kind of an ugly green. For several weeks the most effective way to catch marlin and sailfish had been to slow troll small bonita. When the water changed this method seemed to stop working. We trolled several hours without a smell and the fish just seemed to disappear.

Ready to give up on the area I remebered something Jack Nilsen told me. It was "keep em honest". What he ment was don't let the fish out smart you and give up on an area without giving it a fair shot if you believe they are there. With that thought I put on a planer and started slow trolling a mackerel down deep. Yep, in just a few minutes we were bit. With that we just started drifting and soaking mackerel. That turned out to be the ticket and once again with a different technique the bite was WFO again.

Being out there everyday we experience a lot of strange things and saw a good one with Ray and Bob. Soaking mackerel both boys got bit at the same time. One was using a circle hook and had the bait bridled, the other was using a J hook with the bait hooked in the dorsal fin. When the lines went tight both sailfish jumped simultaneously. The battle was on! One fish went north and the other south which made for some good excitement. Ray was able to bring his fish to leader first. Wiring the fish I discovered it had been lassoed around the bill and was never hooked. We don't see that often but once in a while an angler gets lucky and it happens. Here is where the story gets really strange. Upon leadering Bob's fish I discovered it had also been lassoed around the bill and was not hooked either. I guess the fish gods looked down on us and said this is going to be your day.

It was good to see old friend Herb Lamb and his wife Jennifer. They had outstanding luck with the weather and good luck fishing with double limits of dorado and a nice sierra for ceviche as well.


Dorado showed up late this year but are giving anglers action now


Bob boats a nice dorado


Ray battles a sailfish


Double sailfish hook up!


December is late for sailfish on the East Cape but we are not complaining



Bob gets a photo before the release


How lucky can you be? Two sails lassoed at the same time


Thier luck continued.


Look at that pond. Herb picked the right day.


Mark Rayor



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