This week we had Trevor from New York and Austin from Texas who both had been here at least once before. Joining them were Scott, Justin, Al, Jim, Mike, Taro, and Mark. For all of them, it was their first trip and we sure hope not their last!
Starting off the trip, we all headed out to fish Vaca as we normally do on the first day of a new trip. Some of us split off to bait city while the rest continued to the rocks. Bait was a bit tough to start and we were only able to get one small trevally. Heading just outside vaca appeared to be the ticket as we were quickly able to find lots of bonitos. Most of the anglers started slow trolling around Rooster City, 40ft Reef, and around the bonito schools outside Vaca. It did not take long to get some action as the cuberas started tearing up the bonitos one after the other. They were eluding the hooks per usual but that was soon to change… Much of the action the first day was on the deep divers and xps jig as some anglers were able to get some big jack crevalles and snapper to warm up. Weather was awesome and everyone was able to understand the geography of our fishery and get after it the coming days.
Taro, Justin and Scott headed west to fish Corto and Punta Blanca (one of our other mother-shipping locations) with Darret and Captain Pio. The rest of the crew paddled with Adam out to Vaca. It doesn’t take long before Adam’s crew hears some chatter over the radio. It is hard to understand but they knew they heard the words Rooster AND Cubera. They check in to get the scoop and confirm Taro had landed both a roosterfish and a cubera snapper.
Not much later we hear “SOMEONE IS IN THE WATER…”. Later we find out that Scott had hooked into a massive roosterfish. It had towed him all over the bay near Corto and he had reeled it all the way up to his boat. Scott had been using the Shimano Baitrunner, a reel we sometimes use for live baiting when anglers prefer spinning reels over conventional (though we urge the use of conventional). Scott had the huge roosterfish boat side and flipped his reel into “baitrunner mode.” However, it failed to engage fully and stayed on heavy drag. Scott placed his rod in the rod holder as we always recommend and began reaching for the leader. It was at this moment that the roosterfish surged away from the kayak. As the rod was in the rod holder, drag on full, and with Scott already leaning the direction of the fish plus the added pressure of the fish trying to get away, flipped the kayak right over. The line ended up breaking and the roosterfish was gone… Scott was able to get right back into the kayak but his hunt for the roosterfish still had to continue…
Back at Vaca Adam’s crew was jigging some of the deeper spots in about 150 ft of water and they were able to pick up a solid roosterfish. It had hit the jig all the way on the bottom, and after about a minute fight it spit the hook. While retrieving the jig, almost about to bring it out of the water, the roosterfish came back and slammed it just inches from the surface and the fight was on. It battled about 5 minutes and Mark was victorious in bringing it to the surface.
Day 3: Marlin on!
Day three was another epic day that will go down in Los Buzos history! Several of the guys headed out in two boats to wahoo rock while only Scott, Adam, Justin, and Mark stayed back at Vaca. The guys paddling out with Adam stopped at a spot between the S-Curve and Vaca where bait and snapper generally like to congregate and were able to get on the bite quickly. Almost everyone landed some snappers all ranging from 4 to 6 pounds. Mostly yellow snappers but also some rock snapper and spotted rose snapper. Not long after the start of the snapper bite a school of African pompano showed up and they all started hooking up. After moving on from this spot to target some fish further offshore Adam receives a message on the Garmin InReach. The message read… ” MARLIN ON!” The guys at wahoo rock were hooked up big!
After dropping the kayaks in the water the pangas started running around catching bonitos for the anglers to troll as live bait. There were some massive schools so it did not take long and everyone was looking good with some perfect live bait. Jim and Mike were in one of the pangas with Darret so they decided to put two live bonitos out as well. Everyone was pretty close to eachother near the spot so the panga slowly started to pull away from the kayaks as to not get crowded. Just at this moment there was a huge explosion behind the boat. The marlin had smashed one of the bonitos and line was ripping from the reel. Just a few seconds later the bonito goes flying and the fish was off. Seconds later the marlin is seen racing across the surface in the direction of the other bait. It seemed dead set on smashing this bait and nothing was going to stop it. Just like that it slammed the other bonito and the fight was on. For a second we thought it had hit Taro’s bonito who was in a kayak because it was so close and the fish was jumping just feet from his kayak. Quickly we confirmed though that it was the boat that was on again as the Fury 600 started screaming in the rod holder… THIS TIME IT WAS HOOKED!
This fish stared out completely full of energy and made several amazing jumps. Luckily Denes was in the other panga and was quickly able to get some great shots before returning to watch over the kayakers still in the water. For the remaider of the fight the fish was sounding and just refusing to jump. The rod was passed around to almost everyone so they could have a taste of fighting the beast. After a few hours they brought the beast to the surface and were able to grab some amazing pictures. We estimate the fish to be between 350 and 400 pounds! An absolutely amazing catch!
After the epic day of catching the marlin, everyone wanted their shot and all of us headed back out to wahoo rock. It did not take long for us to locate the bait as they were showing themselves all over the surface. We were quickly able to find some bonitas and blue runners and get all the anglers hooked up with live bait. In no time everyone started getting hits. Cuberas, roosterfish, and monster almaco jacks were chewing like CRAZY! We were catching bait almost every cast and still could almost not catch them fast enough to pass out. We must have hooked at least 30 cubera snapper and countless roosters and mystery fish. The full moon bite at wahoo rock can be epic and this day it sure was. Every bait (live or dead) was getting hit and even the jigs were getting smashed. The boat was racing around snapping pictures constantly in this period of chaos. The majority of the cuberas were escaping capture but several were brought to the surface. Trevor was even able to catch one of our rarest fish, a huge mullet snapper! Just as the day was about to end we started putting kayaks in the boat. Adam looked up and saw that Trevor was the last kayak still on the water. Trevor looked like he was focused so everyone on the panga sat quietly and watched. Seconds later Trevor’s rod doubles over and he’s on again! Everyone on the boat starts cheering and Trevor reels up his first ever cubera snapper. What a way to end the day!
Since the bite was apparently best at Wahoo rock we all went back yet again. It was not much different as we found the fish right away. We were locating the bait under massive schools of Palomettas. This day it was mostly blue runners (our favorite bait). They were getting smashed yet again and the action was as hot as before. Adding a second hook to our standard 80lb fluorocarbon rig seemed to be the ticket and more and more fish were being hooked and landed. However some still were eluding us, and Scott still had not gotten redemption after losing that first huge roosterfish. About halfway through the day Justin comes over the radio that he is hooked up. The panga races over to him and were able to watch as he takes an epic sleigh ride and brings a beautiful roosterfish to the surface. We were taking some pictures and were about to release the fish as we see Scott in the background get tight on a fish and start on a sleigh ride of his own. He’s on again! We release Justin’s fish and motor over to Scott incase he needed assistance. He appeared to be hooked up to a large roosterfish and was being very cautious. He was fighting it easy and not forcing it in, doing a perfect job. As this was the last day and possibly his last chance at a roosterfish, he was taking no chances. He asked if the boat could assist with landing it and Adam happily obliged. Slowly Moises on the motor, they crept up to Scotts kayak. The roosterfish was still full of energy so Scott held on a little longer to wear it out a bit more so it would be easier to handle. Once we decided it was time, the panga crept up close, but the rooster sensed the boat and took off on one last run directly towards the boat! In just seconds Moises lifted the motor so the line would not catch and the fish darted under the boat. It was a close one and we were praying this would not be yet another lost rooster! Luckily Scott was able to bring the fish back to the kayak and under control. The panga was able to get along side him and he grabbed the fish and hoisted it into the kayak. He did it! Just about every kayak was close by and saw it all go down. Everyone was thrilled and rooting for Scott. What an awesome spectacle it was to watch him get redemption on the last day. Sometimes that’s how it goes… and we love it! It is always and interesting and thrilling week when fishing a week with us. Come join us!