Dorado are a great eating fish and a lively fighting fish. A fisherman’s fish, they are renowned as aggressive feeders. Dorado are among the fastest growing fish in the sea. They are carnivorous and feed on everything from sardines and mackerel to squid and crabs. They even eat plankton and small crustaceans. They are caught on lures, flies, and live bait. Catches average from 15 to 29 pounds. Dorado of 40 pounds are sometimes had in local waters. Hesitate a moment before setting the hook and keep the line taut. The high season for Dorado fishing is from June through October, but they are caught all year round.
Sailfish are a highly prized game fish. They are known for their incredible jumps and great speed. The Pacific sailfish grows quickly, reaching 3’ to 5’ in length in a single year. Sailfish feed on the surface and at middle depths on fish and squid. Individual sailfish have been clocked at speeds up to 68 mph. This makes the sailfish achieving one of the highest speeds reliably reported of any fish species. Sailfish range up to 200 pounds and nine feet in length. The sail is normally kept folded when swimming. When excited the sail becomes erect, making a sailfish look larger than it actually is. This tactic is frequently observed during feeding. Sailfish use their sails to "herd" bait fish and squid.
The yellowfin tuna is among the largest of the tuna species. They are an outstanding game fish, and they taste great too. Yellowfin weigh in at up to 350 pounds. Of course, the Pacific Bluefin tuna can tip the scales at an impressive 1,000 pounds. The pectoral fins are longer than Bluefin tuna, but not as long as those of albacore. In 2010, a 405-pound yellowfin was caught just off the Baja Peninsula. Although mainly found in deep offshore waters, yellowfin approach shore when suitable conditions exist. They typically travel in schools with similarly sized companions. Sometimes they school with other tuna species. Mixed schools of small yellowfin, and skipjack tuna are commonplace. Yellowfins are strong swimmers reaching speeds of 50 miles per hour.
Marlin are generally considered the top game fish for trophy hunters. There are ten known species of marlin, but three are routinely found in the lower Sea of Cortez. These are Striped marlin, the most prevalent in our area, Blue marlin, and Black marlin. Marlin, like sailfish, tuna, and dorado, are fast swimmers, reaching speeds of about fifty miles per hour. Marlin fishing (also called bill-fishing) is considered by many to be the pinnacle of offshore game fishing due to the size and power of the marlin species and their relative rareness. In order to preserve the fishing industry and marlin in particular, we consider marlin a catch, photograph, and release fish.
Yellowtail are a great sports fish. They make excellent eating, and provide an exciting fishing experience. Yellowtail are most common in local waters in spring after the water has cooled through the winter months and before the summer comes into full swing. Yellowtail are typically twenty plus pounds, but can weigh in as much as ninety pounds. They are a hard fighting fish and great to catch. Yellowtail find their way in to local restaurants almost year-round.
Wahoo is a highly prized tropical, and sub-tropical game fish. It is strong, fast, and an excellent eating fish. Wahoo have been clocked at up to seventy miles per hour. They can grow to 8’ in length, and some have tipped the scales at up to a hundred and eighty pounds. What’s not to like? Premier eating, and a fast and furious sports fish. Although a cousin to the tuna, they look and act much like barracuda, and they have the teeth to match. Wahoo is fished with a wire leader.
Roosterfish can reach over 5’ in length and weigh in at over one hundred pounds. The weight of the average fish hooked is about twenty pounds. A member of the Jack family, this fish is aggressive. Life bait over sandy bottoms seem to be the best strategy, but roosterfish will hit almost anything. The roosterfish is another popular game fish, but they are not considered a good eating fish. Catch, photograph, and release, is strongly recommended.
Grouper are not built for long-distance travel; nor are they fast swimmers. However, they can be quite large, with lengths of over 3’. They prefer cold water so fishing is best during cold water periods. Fish of two hundred pounds are not uncommon. They swallow prey rather than biting off pieces. They do not have many teeth, but they have heavy crushing tooth plates. Grouper eat all kinds of fish, octopus, and crustaceans of every ilk. Grouper is a good eating fish.
There are a number of varieties of sea bass in local waters. These fish are usually included along with grouper as the white and black sea bass are technically grouper, but Calicos and a host of other fish make for a fun day of fishing and they are all good-eating fish. Sea bass are typically bottom-dwellers prevalent around underwater structures, and they are found close by both coral and rock reefs. Wherever sea plants thrive, there are always some sort of bass close by.
Six variety of snapper live in the waters just out of La Paz. All of these are good eating and fun to catch. Snapper is a bottom fish. It is usually caught just above a rocky bottom. They normally range from two to twenty pounds, with an occasional lunker coming up closer to fifty pounds. Snapper stay put and seldom range far from home. They are a great table fish.
Skipjack is a tuna. It is not a jack. Skipjack tuna are found in tropical waters the world over and constitute the largest tuna species used in aquaculture. It is a fast moving, streamlined, game fish. It is much smaller than the larger tunas, but catches can average close to twenty pounds. Some skipjack have been taken up to seventy-five pounds. This is the tuna variety most often found in canned tuna.
The Crevalle Jack is a common species of large marine fish classified within the jack family. The name is frequently reversed to Jack Crevalle. Some call the Crevalle Jack a Common Jack. The crevalle jack is distributed across tropical and temperate waters. It inhabits both inshore and offshore seas, typically over reefs, bays, lagoons and occasionally estuaries. The crevalle jack is a powerful, predatory fish. It is also a revered gamefish, taken by both lures and bait. This fish species is considered fair to good as table fare, but particularly fun to catch.
Triggerfish are had year-round in the tropics worldwide. There are about thirty-six varieties. They have strong teeth, as their diet consists of coral and rock, from which they glean nutrients saturated within. They are good eating if prepared the same day caught. They have an oval-shaped, highly compressed body. The head is large, terminating in a small but strong- jawed mouth with teeth adapted for crushing shells. The eyes are small, set far back from the mouth, at the top of the head.