Tag Archives: fly fishing Baja

Pacific Jack Crevalle Saves the Day

Granny and I woke up at our beautiful campsite on a remote Baja beach with high hopes of her landing a roosterfish today. Maybe even a big one. But as we finished off breakfast during sunrise the wind started. And this wind would be more serious than yesterdays.

There were a few roosters around. I spotted her several before noon. Granny got down in the surf and did the best she could to present a fly. She made good casts but roosters aren’t only hard to reach with a cast from the beach, but also finicky. Granny had a monster fish follow her fly to the rod tip but didn’t eat. It was no doubt the most exciting fish follow of her life.

By noon the wind was so horrendous Granny decided to chill out again like yesterday afternoon. The rooster seeing went down the tubes. From noon till 2 not a one. The sand pelting wind began to settle by 3 but still no roosters. About that time a bait ball appeared and without thinking twice I ripped a Jason Burris popper over the top. That crazy looking fly, originally designed for a 2008 taimen trip, was soon zipping out to sea.

I was pretty sure what lifted from the bait ball was a Pacific jack crevalle. Roosterfish usually show their combs when they eat a popper and also at the beginning of every fight. This fish took off light lightening for the deep blue and it was all I could do to wrench him back in on my 9-weight Winston.

It’s amazing what you can do with 25lb SA Fluorocarbon tippet. I heaved on this fish with all my might for the better part of five minutes and soon had Mr. Crevalle on the beach. This species of fish doesn’t get the respect they deserve. I love them and always have. Today this big boy made the day!

It was another one fish day for us and today not even a rooster. But anytime you pull a 20lb fish off the beach with a fly is a good day. Once again Granny made magic food from nothing and we sipped beers around the campfire. A full moon rose tonight. Life doesn’t get any better than this.

We will fish this beach hard again tomorrow.

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

Escape from the Pacific Side Cold

We headed out for three nights of fishing and camping today but we relaxed at Sammy’s condo in the morning and left around noon.  It was a matter of taking the time to be properly organized for camping on the beach.  Also, we suffered through an 18 inning Cubs loss last night that kept us out late.  I think my World Series hangover is coming back!

 

It was nice to head out to the East side of Baja again because the Pacific side continues to be freezing cold for this time of year.  Once more, the fog came in and blocked out the sunrise and temps were in the high 50°s.  The East Cape and Sea of Cortez are always warmer so we left town with a smile.

 

We took our time enjoying the pretty sights of Southern Baja.  When in the mountains crossing from the Pacific to the East Cape its real Mexico.  It’s beautiful and the folks are so nice and a bit curious.  They are also so laid back in makes me jealous.

 

We arrived in Los Barriles around 2 PM.  To our surprise, it was cool here and mostly cloudy.  Spotting roosterfish was out so we went to the same rocks where I caught my clown hawkfish the other day.  Right off the bat I nailed this gorgeous flag cabrilla.

 

Bringing the footwear for dancing on slippery rocks has paid off.  Today I made Granny saddle up and fish from the rocks as well.  We tossed my 9-weight Jungle Winston with a Sea Habit fly, one of my old standbys for saltwater.

 

 

I can’t believe it but Granny walked right out there and caught our second clown hawkfish of the week.  Remember, this is a species of fish that has eluded me for over 20 years.  Now in a few days’ time we’ve caught two.

 

 

 

 

Our action from the rocks was far better than the other day.  Perhaps it was the overcast.  Perhaps it was because it was calmer.  I’m not sure but in saltwater, it’s important to take note of everything from tides, weather and other conditions when things are good.  I ended our session with this unusual finescale triggerfish.

 

We set up camp in Los Barriles tonight then walked to Smokey’s for dinner and beers with Grant Hartman and his clients.  It was an interesting night as this week Grants client is the owner of Nature Nates.  He and his crew were really fun to party down with.

 

Off to the beach boonies tomorrow to begin a serious hunt for roosterfish. . . .

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

A Morning Species Hunt from the Rocks

blog-May-18-2016-1-flyfishing-for-grouperYou’d suspect a fast trip back to the roosterfish beach after Sammy’s catch yesterday afternoon, but to keep fishing interesting we went on a morning side trip first.  I’ve always wanted to catch a giant hawkfish.  He’s not a big fish by any means but he’s gorgeous and he lives in BajaGrant took us for the rocks to prowl with Clouser’s and try to catch one.

 

blog-May-18-2016-2-jeff-currier-cabrilla-bajaThe rocks rarely get targeted by fly fishers in Baja.  It’s either roosters off the beach or get a boat and go for the dorado and marlin.  All I can say is I’ve taken some amazing snappers, cabrilla, jacks and oddball fish exploring where others don’t.  Ten casts from the car I caught my first spotted cabrilla (Epinephelus analogus) on fly.  I’ve caught plenty of the flag cabrilla but this spotted is a new one for the species list.

 

blog-May-18-2016-3-grasby-fishingFrom there the terrain got more rugged but the fishing got interesting.  Sammy landed a spotted cabrilla for himself and we both caught a heap of smaller flag cabrilla, Pacific jack crevalle and I caught yet another of the rarely caught from shore, mullet snapper.  But the prettiest of all were these colorful Panama grasby we I’ve taken here before.

 

blog-May-18-2016-4-flyfishing-for-snapperAfter a couple hours of rock hopping we were empty handed on the hawkfish.  You can’t win them all.  At noon we packed it up and drove back to the rooster beach where Sammy succeeded yesterday.  The high sun was perfect for spotting and the dropping tide usually gets the mullet moving which in turn puts the roosters on the feed.

 

blog-May-18-2016-5-roosterfishWe saw a lot of roosters – I mean more than I’m used to seeing.  I got a cast within a minute of our arrival and the persnickety rooster chased my fly to the beach raising his comb and nearly spraying me with a “rooster tail” on his way back out.  It was thrilling and disheartening all in one.  I’d also get two more similar shots at roosters and Sammy had a couple as well.  But in the end the roosters won.  Roosterfish off the beach on fly is a tough, tough sport!  Hopefully manana.

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

The Roosterfish of a Lifetime

blog-May-17-2016-1-bauer-reels-jeff-currierI had a good hunch about the place I fished yesterday.  Twice I came close to connecting to proper roosterfish but it didn’t quite happen.  Today I had Grant and Sammy drop me off on the same beach.  In my experience great catches come after a few close calls.  The pursuit builds up then happens.

 

blog-May-17-2016-2-flyfishing-for-ladyfishTurns out I was wrong about my gut feeling.  I made one cast to a roosterfish all day without success.  Today is a prime example of how unpredictable roosterfish behavior is and how tough roosters off the beach on a fly can be.  Of course I took advantage of a couple other meandering fish and caught a pufferfish and this handsome ladyfish.  Anyone who comes to Baja should enjoy some ladyfish action because for their size the jump filled fight is incredible.

 

Grant and Sammy checked on me every couple hours.  They brought me cold beer and tried to persuade me to join them.  They weren’t seeing roosters either so I stayed stubborn and remained on my beach.  But when they arrived at around 3 PM, they were glowing with excitement.

 

blog-May-17-2016-3-sam-vigneri-roosterfishingSammy caught the biggest roosterfish of Grants entire guide season!  Sammy executed a long cast and the fish tracked his mullet imitating fly immediately.  The rooster didn’t gulp the fly right up though.  He chased it all the way to the beach and ate it with his belly rubbing on the sand and inches from the leader entering the rod!

 

Congrats to Sammy and Grant for catching what most fly fisherman will only dream about their entire lives!  WOW!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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