We won the Rescate Tournament!!!!!!

The ‘storm’ is over for the moment on the fishing front in San Carlos. We’ve had a few days of wind after the 11th Annual Rescate Fishing Tournament. The boats and fishermen should be rested up and headed back out there soon, if they didn’t have to head home. Many of the fish have probably surfed the waves to the south, but there are still plenty of billfish around. The dorado are out 15+ miles in the blue water, but there are some big ones out there. I’ve got my foot elevated at the moment trying to recover and heal from one bout with a big bull earlier in the week. I’m sure that Lisa will be stirring from her sleep long enough in the morning now to tell me to remember my shoes, along with the sunscreen.
We had beautiful conditions earlier in the week. The water warmed nicely into the low 80’s on the surface after the LIFT Tournament and the fish started biting. Bait is the call, but a few are being caugh on lures. We caught a couple of nice sailfish one day after plucking off and trying to avoid a plague of small dorado to 10#. There was some good seaweed patches and a dead turtle on some blue currents that brought in plenty of fish. Farther out they were finding bigger fish and I heard of very good reports from the other side. The fish started thinning out later in the week, but many of the fish were big bulls to 35#. You want to be careful when you pull these fellows into the boat!
The big news though for the week was the number of billfish out there. After boating a few nice dorado on Thursday we came back into the blue/green water break to find more billfish than most everyone has ever seen. You couldn’t go a minute without seeing a billfish jump from among a group of his friends in a different direction within a hundred yards. They were everywhere! They were mainly focused along the sharp color break though. They still weren’t biting good, even though some boats were catching and releasing 3-4/day. I was out with eight boys on Friday for a slow troll just past the Island where we caught a sail, several dorado to eat, some skipjack, and passed what seemed like over a hundred billfish. There were whales, dolphin, mantas, and sharks out there with lots of good bait. Things looked good for the tournament.
The tournament started off with beautiful glass calm conditions for 25 boats. Radio problems filled the airwaves at the start, but things slowly got worked out and boats quickly started seeing tailing billfish everywhere. They weren’t biting too well early on though. We painfully pulled farther offshore away from all the tailing fish to hopefully greater numbers. It seemed like we had made a mistake, with more fish being seen in close. Thankfully we were able to find some hungry ones, and they stayed with us all day. We switched positions with the majority of the fleet and kept catching fish in close in murky green water. Everyone else seemed to be passing pickier fish farther out, even though they were getting more and bigger dorado. The billfish are what earn the points though and get you the fillet mignon. Maybe it was our lucky day, they liked our naked-run ballyhoo on circle hooks, my captain Joel’s lucky orange shirt he wore for his birthday, or I just wasn’t messing around. I started hesitating though after my second marlin and fourth fish. My friend almost couldn’t bring in the first one due to his back problems, or being in the office too much. Anyhow, we were on fire and I’m sure the fleet would have been rejoicing after hearing that we lost our 8th and 9th fish after minute-long battles. Four or five boats were just behind us with 4 fish. A number of dorado were making the 18# minimum, but only a few went 25-31#. Too bad that we broke off a monster.
The second day saw the Northwest-winds blowing. Seas were rough and the fish seemed to be just holding on. Usually they bite better in the wind, but maybe they were losing sight of our bait in the waves and green water. I started off with one quick release of a sail to hold onto our hopefully ‘comfortable’ lead. We lost four more brief hook-ups throughout the day, along with the guys on the boat missing a few strikes. The fish were being seen, but they just weren’t biting. Even if they took the bait, they often dropped it. We weren’t too upset about the hot bite where leads can change quickly and held onto the victory. Team Telamon in first with eight releases, Kryptonite in second with six, Predator in third with five and a weighable dorado, Fun Ticket was fourth with five releases, and several other boats had five releases but later release times for their first fish caught. All in all it was a good tournament with some good money being raised for Rescate. For my first time in twenty years, I walked back into their clinic for treatment. My wife wasn’t going to let me fish of my swelling foot another minute!

Tight Lines,

Bryan

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