East Cape advice - April

TJ33

The tug is the drug
Jul 23, 2020
26
26
25
San Francisco
Name
Tom
Boat
Grady White 226
The family is getting vaccinated and we’re all headed down to Hotel Palmas de Cortez on the east cape the first week of April. Not everyone will be fishing, but I sure will be. I know it’s the end of the windsurfing season and north winds may be an issue, but weather pending, I’ll be on a panga most days, maybe a cruiser if the family wants to try and tag team a billfish offshore.

I’ve never fished down there this early in the year, I’m normally a July - October guy fishing out of Rancho Leonero. So, what’s the word on the fishing in early April? I can’t imagine the water will be too warm or blue. Is it mostly an inshore game with YT and school sized dorado? Any chance at tuna or wahoo? Any worth in spending money on a cruiser to look for billfish?

Has anyone stayed at the hotel Palmas de Cortez? Do the captains there let you keep fish, bleed fish, ice fish down? Can I fillet my own fish at the hotel or is there a service for that and is there a freezer I can use for my catch? These are all things I’m used to at Rancho. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Also if you have recommendations on captains/boats I’d be happy to hear them.

Thank you
 
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plowking

Newbie
Mar 31, 2017
17
11
47
Seattle
Name
Scott
Boat
Nada
I've stayed at Palmas. It's a nice, comfortable place and you can walk into town (which you can't really do from Leonero). I enjoyed the restaurants in Los Barriles much, much more than the locked-in food at Leonero. The beach isn't as nice as Leonero's, in my opinion, because the boats all park there and there's a ton of diesel in the water. Unless things have changed, fish all are sent to the Los Barriles smokehouse for processing. That's by far the best quality processing I've experienced in maybe a dozen Cabo-region trips.
 
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plowking

Newbie
Mar 31, 2017
17
11
47
Seattle
Name
Scott
Boat
Nada
Oh, the Palmas boats and captains I experienced weren't great. Could be the luck of the draw. The cruiser we took out one day was a little better than the antiques at Leonero. We hired on our own guide as a ride-along to bring better gear and be sort of a fishing translator with the boat crew. Given that additional expense on top of the cost of the boat and crew ... I won't do it again. Which probably means I won't take a boat out of Palmas again, since the gear seemed about as sketchy as the crap I experienced at Leonero (such as reels with completely broken drag and a trip one day where the captain ran out of HOOKS). We took out a panga the next day and that was a better setup - though still with our ride-along guide and his better gear. The panga captain gave up by about 1:00 in the afternoon. Just parked on the reef just off the beach, put on some tunes and had us cast around. We decided to leave a day early and fish an additional day with the amazing Jaime in Cabo.
 
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TJ33

The tug is the drug
Jul 23, 2020
26
26
25
San Francisco
Name
Tom
Boat
Grady White 226
Good intel, I hear you with the old senator reels with bad drag and quarter filled spools on those boats - I’ll be bringing my own two speeds, rods, and a few boxes of lures, hooks, swivels, crimps, fluoro etc.

is the smokehouse where they process and store fish for me, then I can take it home at the end of my trip? Or is it more of a situation where I can eat my fish fresh for free that day, and they take the rest for their restaurants?
 
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plowking

Newbie
Mar 31, 2017
17
11
47
Seattle
Name
Scott
Boat
Nada
Smokehouse will do whatever you ask, so far as I recall. They'll vacuum seal and deep freeze it. Or smoke and vac seal and deep freeze it. If you want to take some fresh fish to a local restaurant, I bet your deck hand would clean for you on the boat or the dock. I recall Palmas arranging to have our fish boxes ready at the hotel for checkout. We didn't have to stop by the smokehouse to get them. (Three guys ended up with 200lbs of yellowfin steaks among them. All from one school on one day.)
 
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TJ33

The tug is the drug
Jul 23, 2020
26
26
25
San Francisco
Name
Tom
Boat
Grady White 226
Sounds like a stellar operation. Thanks for sharing all the intel. Can’t imagine we’ll run into many tuna if any, but fingers are crossed.
 
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Panga dude

Newbie
Jul 4, 2016
26
38
58
Fresno, CA
Name
Craig
Boat
Skiff
Why stay at the Palmas when you can rent a nice condo at the Villas de Cortez and still use the facilities of the Palmas? You can find some units for rent on VRBO. You could then have Norma come and cook for your family. She also can get you a panga with better equipment. Her future son-in-law (Berna) is a commercial fisherman and charter fisherman out of El Cardinal. Her uncle (Ramon) has been chartering out of La Ribera with his panga for probably 30 years. Both have nice boats and good equipment, Berna is a very hard working young man that has lots of current knowledge from commercial fishing and Ramon has all those years of knowledge.

If you are interested please contact Norma at [email protected]
 
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Fish Scorpion & El Regalo

Advertiser
Advertiser
Mar 3, 2015
89
153
43
Buena Vista, BCS
www.scorpionsportfishing.com
Name
Matthew Clifton
Boat
35' Cabo "El Regalo" and 26' "Scorpion"
We are happy to help you arrange your East Cape trip and get you on the fish.

Yellowfin tuna are already starting to show up. Dorado and marlin are being caught. We saw 4 tailing marlin on the way home from Isla Cerralvo the other day but they weren't in the mood with the extremely calm conditions. Reports of wahoo offshore right now as well. If the wind holds off for a couple of days, you should be able to get into some good action.

You can leave all the equipment and home when you fish with Scorpion Sportfishing. We have all Shimano reels, Yozuri leaders, Owner hooks and fish hard. Visit our site or drop us a line if you need anything [email protected].
 
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calbrewguy

Member
Jul 12, 2006
713
299
69
Costa Mesa
Name
Randy
Boat
None
When we fished out of Palmas for four days, we had break downs on two days. One on a super panga and one on the replacement cruiser. The office was very reluctant to give us anything to make amends for lost fishing time. Food and room were adequate. It was funny, on the panga, I drove the boat more than the skipper (which I didn't mind). It was like I was taking him fishing. Backing in to the shark buoy to make bait was interesting. All in all it was a fun trip, but I'll shop around a little before the next trip. One other thing- dont use the pay phones to call state side. BIG rip off, like $35 for 3 mins.
 
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plowking

Newbie
Mar 31, 2017
17
11
47
Seattle
Name
Scott
Boat
Nada
The captains drive those cruisers HARD. Makes sense. They are paid something like $25/day by the resort and the rest is tips. So if they hear the tuna are 50 miles out and tuna is what you want, they're gonna gun it out there to the very edge of fuel range. The downside is some really beat-up, noisy, hot-running, smoky boats. A guide in the area told us about a cruiser that tore open its bow smashing through chop and another that ran out of diesel a few miles out. If I ever return to any of the "inclusive" resorts on the East Cape I'll make my own charter arrangements.
 
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Tar Pit

I Should Upgrade My Account
  • Mar 7, 2006
    1,291
    846
    Reno NV
    Name
    Friend of Bucko Shaw
    Boat
    None.
    Wow. A lot of negative comments about the fishing operations.
     
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    TJ33

    The tug is the drug
    Jul 23, 2020
    26
    26
    25
    San Francisco
    Name
    Tom
    Boat
    Grady White 226
    In my experience, the boats and gear have always been a bit beaten up if not booking a third party operation, but it’s never stopped me from having some of the best days of my life. I always bring some of my own toys to limit the risk of losing fish, so that’s not an issue. As a guy who’s been a deckhand in the USA making most his money on tips, I know being generous is the best way to entice a crew to go the extra mile.

    Glad to hear the smokehouse is there for processing. Even more glad to hear tuna dorado wahoo and marlin are all in the mix this early. Excited to say the least. Thank you all for your comments. Keep them coming if you have something to add
     
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    tecateando

    Member
    Jan 11, 2009
    484
    46
    Ensenada, BC, MX
    Name
    Forrest
    Boat
    Parker 1801 CC, "La Mañanera"
    there are a number of excellent pangas. i would recommend puma and coyuyo. they have basically new boats, nice gear, and go the distance to always catch fish (i live right next to the ramp and hassle them for a fish report every day haha). we are out of town this week but it sounds like things are starting to switch up from winter to spring fishing already. shoot me a pm if you want an up to date report when you come down.
     
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    Tahoewahoo

    Newbie
    Aug 18, 2020
    7
    10
    60
    Nevada
    Name
    Thorolf Teigen
    Boat
    Big
    The family is getting vaccinated and we’re all headed down to Hotel Palmas de Cortez on the east cape the first week of April. Not everyone will be fishing, but I sure will be. I know it’s the end of the windsurfing season and north winds may be an issue, but weather pending, I’ll be on a panga most days, maybe a cruiser if the family wants to try and tag team a billfish offshore.

    I’ve never fished down there this early in the year, I’m normally a July - October guy fishing out of Rancho Leonero. So, what’s the word on the fishing in early April? I can’t imagine the water will be too warm or blue. Is it mostly an inshore game with YT and school sized dorado? Any chance at tuna or wahoo? Any worth in spending money on a cruiser to look for billfish?

    Has anyone stayed at the hotel Palmas de Cortez? Do the captains there let you keep fish, bleed fish, ice fish down? Can I fillet my own fish at the hotel or is there a service for that and is there a freezer I can use for my catch? These are all things I’m used to at Rancho. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Also if you have recommendations on captains/boats I’d be happy to hear them.

    Thank you
    April is always a mixed bag. Water temps are rising and the pelagic species are just moving in. Yellowtail are not common out of Palmas area unless you take a long boat ride north of Isla Cerralvo in the direction of La Paz. Check with Jonathan at Tailhunter Sportshfishing in La Paz. He puts out the most reliable fish report for that area. You may want to drive to Bahia de Los Muertos and go out on one of his pangas. Closer to those fishing grounds. Noe from the Smokehouse will meet you on the dock at Palmas at the end of the day and take your fish to be vacuum packed and flash frozen. They do a fantastic job processing it and will have it ready to go on the morning of your departure. Expect about 1/2 to 2/3 shrinkage. If you want a good panga out of Palmas try to book Jesus on Rude Baby. For cruisers I have several successful outings on Marlin Magic with Capitan Martin. A bit more pricey but you will have the best gear and at the end of the day the results are worth the extra expense. Good luck. Please post your results. I am headed to Los B in May.
     
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    TJ33
    I’ve contacted a handful of third party charters to take us out to minimize the need to bring down our own rods and reels. Unless you think Jesus on Rude Baby has decent rods and reels, I’ll probably stick with who I have. With that said, I also have a party of five adults going together one day, and the hotel won’t put all five of us on one of their super cruisers (4 max) such as marlin magic.
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    crackers1

    Newbie
    Jul 27, 2020
    12
    5
    21
    New York
    Name
    Max Marcus
    Boat
    NA
    Call Cuyoyo. He is hands down the best and reasonable priced as well. All quality equipment. He will pick you up from any hotel in the Los barilles la ribera area.
     

    1morefishwy

    Newbie
    Dec 20, 2011
    21
    7
    Casper, WY USA
    Name
    Steve
    Boat
    Ranger
    I have fished in April with some great days and some slow. I Agree with all the previous posts, lots of good advice on this forum. Just to add some more options for you, I have fished with many Palmas de Cortez boats with mixed results, some are really good, some not so much. I now usually use outside charters. Top boats in the area that I have used include:
    All of the Jen Wren boats are 1st class. Top quality boats, crew and gear. The owner, Mark, is a self proclaimed gear junkie and has the best equipment money can buy, and he is fanatical about the boats upkeep. https://www.teamjenwren.com/
    Julio Cota on the Thresher runs a super clean Black fin cruiser with top of the line gear. They fish in Cabo in winter, so not sure if he will be up there yet or not. I have fished with him in Cabo and East cape and highly recommend. contact at: https://dosamigossportfishing.com/east-cape-fishing-charters.html

    Nic, with https://www.losbarrilessportfishing.com/ has an awesome newer super panga and tackle and a super good captain, Captain Carlos; they can get you on some underutilized light tackle, inshore species like Pargo and cabrilla, as well as the usual dorado, roosters and so forth.
    For a cruiser on a budget I went with Eduard Verdugos operation, (boat name escapes me) when it was just me and my wife but the tuna were biting 50 miles out. (we got limits) he has 2 boats, I fished on his smaller boat and the crew were great, (a bit older boat if I recall) but clean enough. I heard his big boat is a bit slow. https://www.facebook.com/anzuelossportfishing

    Scorpion/Regallo operation looks great, but I have not used them.
    I can say I have seen, but not used, the Rude baby panga, and the boat looked clean to me.
    I have used other good boats, but the names escape me. I myself will be booking the Panga at www.losbarrilessportfishing.com this year. Have fun and good luck!
     

    Nic D

    Living life in Baja
    Oct 10, 2008
    1,361
    230
    Los Barriles, Baja California Sur
    www.losbarrilessportfishing.com
    Name
    Nic
    Boat
    2018 26' Pelagic Hybrid Super Panga in the East Cape
    Thank you for the kind words Steve. We really try to bring US customer service to Baja by way of Los Barriles Sportfishing. Our sled is a 2018 26' Imemsa super panga built in Florida and the entire deck is covered in Seadek. I rigged the panga like I was the one fishing every day. We are sponsored by Okuma, Tuffline, Seadek, Owner, Canyon Coolers and more great companies and do our best to keep the gear in top condition. I'll be heading up to Ontario (Okuma Headquarters) in a couple of weeks to restock the quiver for this summer. If you should have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. You can read the weekly fish report without the rainbows and unicorns, it's posted on the website every Sunday morning.

    Tight lines,

    Nic
     
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