Well, I was hoping this would be all about insane roosterfish action from the beach but, alas, they were not "at home", at least in our part of the Baja East Cape this past week. The great thing about this area is the Blue Water starts within a mile or so of the beach - you can actually see the drop-off from shore and at that point anything is possible
The best Rooster action is July/August in this particular area.
Flyfishing overall was tough. Inshore there was plenty of fun to be had with small Jacks, snapper type fish and the exotic but slimy cornetfish. In a blue water situation you either get lucky and encounter a mega blitz or its a slog and hard work with live chum until you locate schools of migrating fish. Our week started off pretty good but things got progressively slower each day. Even the long range cruisers captains were scratching their heads by the end of the week. I did have a few exiting moments though.
On the second morning I was feeling a bit hung-over from one too many celebratory margaritas having landed my first ever billfish the day before - sadly not on a fly - but more about that later.
We were greeted with busting skipjack tuna and I hooked up on a small sardina pattern within a couple of casts. After the first blistering run, it did as all Tuna do, went deep and. having 600 or more feet to play, with it took full advantage. Cut a long story short, the tip of my 12wt exploded into four pieces with a bang so loud the guys fishing 100 yards away heard it! I handlined the fish in but no-one was there to capture the moment. After that it was just sporadic surface action and the occaisional big needlefish but nothing else for the fly rod. I am thinking about a new design for Blue Water kayak fly rods - conventional 9 footers just dont cut when you are so close to the water and the 14wt got to be very heavy after a while.
And so it was on the first day, I finally had enough of thrashing the surface to foam and relented to the force of the "dark-side".
Armed with a live-lined mackeral, I paddled around for about 40 minutes with no action at all. In fact we were just about to call it a day when I had a short hit on the reel. I stopped paddling and grabbed the rod. I could feel the mackeral was still there - in fact it felt very agitated. Another gentle tap and then nothing. Then a more solid hit and the drag was buzzing. I lifted the rod and sixty yards away I was greeted by the sight of my first sailfish going airborne. Believe me, this gives a whole new meaning to the term "sleigh-ride"
After the first couple of jumps, the fish decided to slug it out sub-surface.
About half an hour later, the fish visibly tired and with an assist from Jim Sammons the trip organizer, we pulled the sail across the bows for photo ops. This was shortly followed by a successful release. The pictures below don't really do it justice since the entire sail area was lit up with a vivid neon purple glow - I've never seen anything so incredible. Marlin must be something else - but that will have to wait for another trip.