The water has cooled down 2 to 4 degrees F in most areas. A bit strange that the water temperature begins to cool this early as it usually starts in mid April. Water has been crystal blue and seas have been flat to glass calm for the past week. While the striped marlin action has been below average the blue marlin seemed to be migrating through. Blues tend to come in waves and there are weeks we seem to raise more blues than others.
March 18, 2012– the Big Fish did a few hours of afternoon bottom fishing 20 minutes from port on one of our favorite grouper reefs in 110 feet of water. Just the crew and myself went out for a few hours of fun. It did not take long before we got into some nice Galapagos groupers ranging from 5 to 12 lbs the ones we caught. Some very powerful bites took our lines into the bottom and could not get those fish out. Besides marlin the Galapagos have very good bottom fishing.
Pete Santini onboard the Vertigo reported raising 4 sriped marlin and a blue with 1 stripey release while fishing 88 Bank.
March 19, 2012– the Big Fish headed with Byron and Anne Johnson to 0-30 Bank. There were a few birds, dolphins and sea lions on the bank as well as plenty of tuna. Not long after trolling teaser with fly fishing for marlin our objective we saw a nice stripey jump about 300 yards. Circling the area we had a powerful teaser bite that seemed like a marlin but could not be confirmed. As the day went on we tried unsuccessfully to tease tunas to try to get a bite on fly.
Pete Santini reported seeing a few tailers on 88 Bank onboard the Vertigo but no bites.
March 20, 2012– we headed out to Bank 88 onboard the Big Fish with the Johnsons. Conditions were perfect with fat seas adn blue water. Sea surface temp was 75 F in the AM and warmed up to about 77 late in the day. We saw several tailers and balls of bait on the surface. We made a pass with the teasers and two stripeys came into teh spread quite aggressively. Byron was able to cast his fly at one fish but it refused the fly. We teased the second fish with a ballyhoo on a casting rod but it also refused the fly. Late in the day another stripey was raised on the teasers but did not tease in all the way.
Pete Santini on the Vertigo fishing next to us pulling lures raised 6 fish had 4 bites and released 2.
March 21, 2012– we ran to 88 Bank on the Big Fish with the Johnsons again to fly fish. The day was perfect and calm. Sunny with water temp 74.8-76 F in the AM. We managed to raise 3 stripeys and get a bite out of the first one on fly. Unfortunately it spit the fly after windshield whipping for about a minute.
Pete Santini onboard the Vertigo raised 3 stripeys and had 1 bite. On the way to 88 Bank they saw a large blue estimated over 800# tailing in the flat waters 16 miles off of Punta Pitt.
March 22, 2012– was the last day for Byron Johnson onboard the Big Fish. We decided to change course and head for the banks off of Espanola. Captain Ronnie had been given a report by local fishermen that they had seen tailers 2 days before in the area. However after about 2 hours of working the banks we decided to run to La Entrada. La Entrada is a bank near the famous Rosa Blanca mounds.
Once we arrived on La Entrada we saw dolphins, birds and sea lions but raised no marlin. We then ran to the Honey Hole. Not long after arriving Ronnie spotted a large marlin tail swimming down-sea. We made 6 passes at the marlin and noticed it was about a 400# blue. The fish would swim into the spread chase the white water from the engines and play around the spread without showing any aggression. This went on for a good 10 minutes until we no longer saw the blue.
Later in the day we raised in 1300 feet and a mile from the Honey Hole another blue around 300#. This time the fish teased angrily to the boat and Byron cast his Cam Sigler fly. The fish made a move underneath as to eat the fly but then passed. I quickly cats a ballyhoo on the spinning rod and got the fish to bite and chase it but it would not have anything to do with Byron’s fly.
Folks even as slow as the fishing has been lately we are still seeing marlin on every charter. Things should be changing for the better as La Nina effects fade out. There are a few slots still open for April, May and June if you wish to try your luck at marlin or anything else that swims these waters.