Posted by: socalsalty | May 16, 2012

Trip Report – Day 2 East Cape With 976-Tuna

Deep Fried Dorado…decadence

We had a Taco Tuesday group dinner.  It felt great to see everyone enjoy the 2 dorados I caught :-)…especially after feasting on Don’s mako shark the night before.  Palmas De Cortez made a nice spread for us and served us on the outdoor patio of the cantina overlooking the beach and Sea of Cortez.  What a great setting!  I called it a night fairly early though because I was going to be back out on the water and I had a mission…get that striped marlin and complete my made up Salty Slam for the trip (striped marlin, bull dorado, roosterfish).

Dawn over the Sea of Cortez

Being a superstitious fisherman type, I followed the same routine the next morning.  Get up at 5:30.  Hit breakfast at 6.  Grab my gear and make the boat at 7.  It was nice to fish with Israel a second day in a row.  We got to know each other and worked together really well on Day 1.

Despite finding a good rhythm between us though, the fish didn’t want to cooperate.  We started out the day following the same routine…picking up ballyhoo by the launch, then heading north to get the live sardinas.  I found out the previous night that many of the anglers didn’t make the long ride up.  Since the fish were being finicky…the live, smaller sardinas made a big difference in how the day went.


So we gave it a go…trolling the sardinas, looking for pargo and roosters.  Other than ladyfish and needlefish though we didn’t catch.  It was frustrating too because I observed and felt my baits getting attention, but either the bite didn’t materialize or my bait got stolen.  I could tell Israel was getting frustrated too.  He threw a lot more sardinas to try and spark the bite, but it just wasn’t working for us.  The only highlight of the morning was this pretty little hawkfish that I kept.  Israel asked if I was ready to go for marlin (mar-leen’ as he said it).  Vamos!

We pushed a bit further south, mostly fishing in front of another little fishing town called Punto Pescadero that was roughly halfway between our hotel and Punto Perico.  The previous day we observed a few marlin, lazing around, swimming slowly on the surface (called ‘tailing’) on our way home through this area.  But it was 11:30 now and we’d seen nothing.  Israel tried a new tactic.  We pulled all the lures out of the water, slowed the boat way down and trolled 3 ballyhoo.  Finally, around 11:45 we saw a free jumper about 200 yds. away, but too far to be actionable for us.  At 12:30, he switched it up again.  This time I let him pick whatever lures he wanted to use.  As he was switching them all out, I took the wheel of the boat and screamed as I practically ran over a tailing marlin!  We circled around to see if we could bring him up, but again, nothing.  More trolling.  More frustration.  Every 20 minutes or so he’d change out one of the lures just to shake things up.

The day wraps at 3pm.  With 2 hours left, I was starting to think it might be a skunk.  Oh well, I had a really good day the previous day.  We ran up on a shark buoy, and started doing a wide circle around it.  All of a sudden, around 1:30 we got some action in the spread.  There was a bright orange/yellow lure on the starboard pole and something hit it.  I jumped up to grab it, and saw a bright blue object below the surface.  Dorado!  As I was reeling, I noticed another one just behind the one I had on the line.  Otro mas!  Otro mas!  Israel grabbed another pole, but needed time to bait it.  I stopped reeling and just kept pressure on my fish.  Alla!  I shouted and pointed just behind my fish.  He put the bait in its face and it bit.  Nice job!  Boated the first dodo and grabbed the pole on the second.  Got him onboard and we high fived each other.  It was now after 2pm.  Time to start heading back.  At least we got dinner.

Winner winner…dodo dinner!

I asked Israel to put the Gaji’s back on and he humored me.  Not 10 min later, a marlin came into the spread and bit.  Oh yeah, it was on.  The fish was strong.  I saw him about 20-30 yds away from the boat to our starboard side when he launched himself out of the water for a multiple jump display.  Wow!  Awesome.  The fish rushed the boat and I reeled as fast as I could to take up the slack in the line.  Caught up with him about 10 yds from the boat.  He took me from the starboard to the port side.  Then he went down and doubled over the pole as I wedged myself against the rail to keep the pressure on.  Muy fuerte!  I got him to the surface and after another brief struggle I got him boatside.

Thanks Israel!

Israel got his hand on the bill…officially a catch 🙂  He heaved him up into the boat and I grabbed it and laid him across my lap for the shot.  We got the shot and released him. I was slimy, bloody and spent…but oh so happy.  Time to head home.  We did it.  Such a tough day, but we hung in there.  When we finally got our opportunities, we capitalized on them.  Thanks so much to Captain Israel and the rest of the Palmas de Cortez staff.  Thank you to 976-Tuna for putting the trip together.  Thank you to my sponsors…AFTCO/Guy Harvey, Costa Sunglasses, and Gaji Lures.  I felt like the trip could not have been as successful without each of your contributions to the effort.  I can’t wait to come back.  Tight lines!




  1. You do realize there is such a thing as a … I don’t know, CAPTAIN’S LICENSE!!!!!!!!

    • Haha, It was only the 2 of us buddy. Just lending a hand.

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