Friday, October 19, 2012

Z Fish Report (10/19/12)



I apologize for the delay with the report, but there were just too many things happening this week needing more time to get the information and confirmation of other items. However, everything had a great ending.

The first concern was a panga, which embarks from the beach on Playa Principal and is one of the night fishing fleet, did not come back one morning. A search party was set up with about 10 boats, an airplane from the Navy, and of course the fishermen who had clients were advised to keep their eyes open. After two days they were found 28 miles off Puerto Vicente Guerrero. They had engine problems. Of course they had no radio with them, which would have simplified things, but they were found by a text message they sent to their father. At least they are alive and well.

The second action has been developing for a few weeks now and this week saw it working in full force. The local Navy has finally agreed, and is now enforcing the existing laws to wipe out the long line fishery here. This does not seem to be a short term “show”, but an honest effort to reestablish the fishery here and bring back tourism as a world class fishing destination. A very special “Thanks for doing a great job” needs to be given to Santiago Valdovinos Olea (of the super panga Gitana fame), who spearheaded the movement, getting a lot of help from other captains. Plus, always afraid of retaliation by the long liners, he had to spend many a night in his boat to keep it protected, even on the nights it rained.

I also wonder how much indirect help Santiago had from American Vince Radice from up in San Carlos, Sonora. They have never met, but Vince took a 3 month leave from his work for the sole purpose of stopping long lines for sailfish and dorado. He encountered 150 long lines in Manzanillo and made a video. His meeting with CONPESCA was huge, and to their embarrassment, it was recorded by Vince. Shortly thereafter, CONPESCA actually started confiscating long lines in Manzanillo. Another thanks to another person who wants to save the fishery of Mexico.

The final thing I need to report is the actual fishing report. The fishing is fantastic. It is the best I have ever seen it in an October. And not a single captain saw a long line this week.

The 86° blue water is just off the beach, and according to the Terrafin Satellite photos, the only discolored water is from the heavy releases from the dam on the Rio Balsas up at Lazaro Cardenas.


The sailfish action has exploded. The first indication I had of that was when, early in the week, Mike Bulkly emailed me this: The Sailfish are back. On Monday, Capt. Francisco on the Huntress II released 5 sails between the 18 and 25 mile line on a short charter and had two other hits. The Sails were on the small side, about 15 to 25 kilos, but are very aggressive, often hitting the teaser before switching off to the natural baits. The water is very clean and blue. There is an abundance of forage food in the water and during one of the rain showers; we had small squid, about an inch long, actually jumping in the boat. If you like light tackle sail fishing, now would be a good time to come on down. Another bit of good news is the total absence of long lines. We have seen none in two trips out to the 30 mile line.

And then Adolfo, on the panga Dos Hermanos got in on the action with the first day (Tuesday) basically locating the fish and taking a break from the roosterfish action. They got three sailfish and one 25 pound dorado. Then, on Thursday they went back to the sailfish and released 7 sailfish. I called Adolfo again on Friday morning and he told me to call back later as they were fighting a sailfish, so that answered that question. I wasn’t sure if they went back out today for roosters or not.

Adolfo is fishing with Stan Hootman of Pasadena, Texas for 5 days straight. The two days they fished for roosters they got 18 on Monday and then on Wednesday they got 5 roosters and 8 large jack crevalle. (No wonder they took a break and fished for sailfish; sails do not fight nearly as hard as a big rooster or jack).

Talking to Stan this afternoon at the pier, he told me he also caught a few black skipjack tuna this week, making for a 100 fish week. He said this was one of his best fishing trips ever.

Ed Kunze (IGFA Representative)

For a better understanding of our seasons and species of fish here in Ixtapa /Zihuatanejo, please click on this link: http://calendarforfishing.blogspot.mx/