Mission Yellowtail Beaten by Lobsters

February 4, 2011

Sammy and I must be nuts because we were anxious to head back out on Magdalena Bay to try for yellowtail again. The temperature was even colder than yesterday, the wind was still strong and we left much earlier. We were on a mission to catch a big yellowtail on the fly.

The temptation was because of the two close calls we had yesterday. Sammy had two monster 40lbers right behind his fly, literally nipping at the tail and I raised a pair of 20lbers from the deep that just followed my fly for a look. Then Grant landed a beast on a spin rod by jigging a massive Krocodile lure down deep. The fish were there now we just had to have some luck on our side.

Despite the cold this week, every day has been sunny and today was no exception. Although we took another beating from the waves, the long boat ride to the ocean side of Magdalena Island was gorgeous. Today there were even more gray whales around as well as sea lions. One would only think there would be more feeding yellowtail as well.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. When we finally arrived at the yellowtail area, all the bird activity was in one spot close to the rocks of the Magdalena Island. They were feeding on what appeared to be an incredible spiny lobster hatch (If anyone can confirm this by the picture of the one we snagged I would appreciate it!). We drove to the birds and the ocean blue turned red. In all my life on the ocean, I have never seen such a phenomenon. These baby lobsters are bright red like a cooked lobster. They’re only about the size of a quarter but there are millions of them. Literally layers upon layers. Once we stopped the boat on top of the red glow I looked over the side and I witnessed the millions upon millions of these incredible little creatures. I was amazed at how fast and well they swam out there in the open ocean.

As amazing as the lobster hatch was, it was not good for our fishing. There was no doubt that all fish were feasting on the lobsters or even worse, were already full. This was a gift from Mother Nature for saltwater fish like a salmon fly hatch is to the trout back home. We didn’t have a chance!

Naturally we tried though. Sammy and I started dredging the deep where we left off yesterday. We even made Grant jig with the spin rod but he couldn’t roust up a strike either. It was useless. No birds and no yellowtails chasing bait.

At 2 PM we decided to give up on the yellowtail. Octavio took us in to the rocks where we cast to structure hoping to nail a snapper or a grouper of some sort but even against the rocks were heaps of baby lobsters. Even the fish of the rocks were full of the precious treat. I managed to squeak out on miracle fish, a non glamorous Pacific barracuda. At 3PM we packed it up and made our grueling trip in.

Tonight we are in La Paz. Today was our last day of fishing and we fly home tomorrow. We chowed another great meal at the the Buffalo Bar-B-Q restaurant like we did the first night and chatted about our trip. This was a tough one to say the least. Abnormal cold and consistent wind slowed us down. Nonetheless, it was a great time well spent with good friends. The last part of our conversation tonight was about our next trip. We just may be back for big roosters in May. That sounds ok with me!

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