Our first group for the month is December has come and gone. Again we had some amazing people and incredible anglers, this time from Sweden, Texas and New York!
Upon arrival as always we welcomed their arrival from the bus at around 4:30pm and treated everyone to fresh piña coladas while they got settled. Some walked the beach and tested the water while others immediately started prepping their rods and reels. Most anglers rented our gear and as it was already set to go, they were able to relax. We pulled one of our Hobie Outback kayaks onto the display stand and gave the rundown on how everything works on the kayak. This includes how to use our Garmin Striker 4 fishfinder/GPS. This tool has proven essential to increasing chances at catching fish. We have our entire fishery marked with waypoints and explain what fish hang out at each spot and how to target each species. It takes some getting used to to figure out the machine but we explain it well and all the anglers get the hang of it quickly.
The first day we launched around 8:00am and the water was very calm. We navigated out of the main pass and went right to our main fishery south of “La Vaca”. Quickly the anglers were able to pick up some bonitos on the troll and we hooked them up for live bait. Gunnar soon after landed a large jack crevalle on the deep diver. We had a few cuberas bite the bonitos in half, even sometimes missing the back hook of the fluorocarbon stinger rig. A few big fish were biting artificial lures pitched against the rocks but most were broken off. Randy caught a large jack as well before we headed in for the day. The anglers now have a better idea of what to expect, got the lay of the land and were more ready for the next day.
Day two was even calmer than day 1. The water was almost like a lake and wind was minimal. Again we went out the main pass and started the hunt for live bait. Right away most anglers were able to find bonito and several brought up some snapper and mackerel on the troll while heading to Vaca. We rigged them up and started doing some passes over our spots like the 40ft reef and Rooster City. After some time with not getting many bites we decided to head out deeper to jig our bottom spots. While heading to a spot that frequently produces many fish, Darret came across some bottom structure that we had not found before. It appeared to be holding lots of fish. He radioed for some anglers to join him and Elvis was the first. After jigging for just a few minutes, both of them hooked up on solid broomtail grouper. Soon after they filled the cooler with all upper size spotted rose snappers. They were biting almost every drop. The other anglers got a few missed hookups with big roosters on live bait, a few more jacks were caught and several bluefin trevallies were landed as well as the biggest snapper of the day landed by Trevor.
Day three some guys decided to change it up and go to wahoo rock on the panga. This proved very successful especially for Randy and Austin. After finding some live bait Austin got a smoking run and ended up landing a massive rooster measuring 51.5 inches to the fork and Randy cranked up a trophy cubera snapper also measuring 49 inches total! These both were amazing catches and absolute trophies. Not long after the cubera, Randy started trolling the diver and picked up a nice yellowfin tuna! Back at La Vaca, Elvis, Denes, Gunnar, Daniel and Adam were fishing the bottom spot. After just a handful of drops with the jig Denes had landed a huge yellow snapper and solid broomtail grouper. This was a good sign and we knew larger fish were down there! A school of bonitos went by and Elvis, Daniel, and Adam all caught one. Elvis and Adam pedaled just past the spot and dropped the bonitos straight down on the live bait rod with no weight. The spot is about 150ft deep and a bonito hooked in the tail drops to the bottom head first relatively quickly. Just moments after his bait reached the bottom Adam calls out “here we go!” as he felt the bite of something large that took his bait. After feeding it about 5 seconds he felt safe setting the hook and the fight was on.
It is important to fight these bottom fish with as much drag as you feel comfortable with and to never give the fish any slack and never loose tension. If it is a grouper and they are able to turn their head down, many times they can swim to their rock and pull any drag out that you can put on them and it’s all over. Adam had the drag on full with his Accurate Fury 600 and had to hold the spool with his hand to make sure no line came out. It appeared to be a pretty even battle for the first minute or two but he was able to get the fish just off the bottom. Gunnar was right next to Adam and was up for the challenge so Adam called him over and Gunnar took over the fight. After a few minutes of some serious tug of war Gunnar brought the beast all the way up. We were all blown away by the size of the fish. It was a broomtail grouper well over 60lbs. The biggest caught at Los Buzos so far! With all the strength he had left, Gunnar hoisted the beast into his lap. It was by far the largest fish he had held in a kayak before. We always carry an IGFA certified measuring tape with us and we were able to measure the grouper and release it quickly. She swam right to the bottom to fight another day!
Day 4 everyone decided to head to wahoo rock all together. Again it was an amazing day with almost no wind and no swell. Bait was tough but some anglers caught a few new species like triggerfish, hogfish, hawk fish, hound fish, and several others. A school of mahi came through and Julie on the panga landed one about 20 pounds and two more close to 10! Daniel was also able to catch a small one and put it on for live bait as there were no other options. It did not take long for it to get slammed and he was rewarded by landing a beautiful Roosterfish. His first ever!
The last day everyone stayed in our backyard and fished around La Vaca. The water conditions had changed and crystal clear blue water had moved in. Adam decided to stay with Captain Pio and Julie in the help boat and right away headed down the coast to catch live bait for the kayakers. In no time they were able to fill the well with small jacks and moonfish. Upon arriving to the kayakers he handed them out to anglers in need and last in line was Trevor. However, only about 3 minutes went by before Trevor’s bait was engulfed by a roosterfish. It pulled him all around Rooster City and was a great fight to witness. He landed it and everyone was through the roof with excitement for him. Not long after that, Daniel was at the spot we had been catching grouper and landed two more stunning roosterfish on the Jig! That made three for him for the week! Darret was near him and also landed one on artificial, this time on the Lighthouse Lures Megabite jig.
Elvis had been trolling a moonfish on his live bait setup and later in the day it finally started singing. He waited over 15 seconds and got tight on the fish. It turned and headed straight for the kayak. As he quickly reeled to pick up the line the roosterfish shot right by him and went airborne! It jumped and thrashed two times and ended up throwing the hook. It was a heartbreaker but awesome to watch. Not much longer he was able to land a small mahi. Then moments later he hooked into a far larger mahi on the jig on his bait rod and went for a screaming run and also threw the hook. Several big mahi also ran up to the panga; one ate the live moonfish they were trolling and fought a few seconds before spitting the bait out. This was a great action packed day and a good way to end the trip. Back at the lodge Sophie cooked up an awesome meal of wahoo and tuna cakes followed up by her amazing flan. Gunnar shared some of his wine, Daniel poured shots, and most everyone took advantage of our all you can drink beer.
It is always tough to say goodbye to our new friends but we hope to see them again soon; either in our waters or theirs! Trevor and Austin are staying for the next group and Randy is taking a week off and coming back next. They know the area and are now pros. Stay tuned to see what else they get in the coming days!