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Sea of Cortez Game Fish Types

This is only a sampling of the types of fish caught in the waters off Loreto. The water in this area is full of life and you are sure to catch your meal or a few photos if you decide to release. While out on your fishing excursion you will also often spot Whales, Dolphin, Manta Rays, and Sea Turtles.

Dorado

Dorado (Hawiian-mahimahi)
To 6 feet 9 inches and 87 pounds. Most average 2.5 - 4 feet and 10 - 30 pounds and are caught over deep water trenches. They like to linger under floating patches of seaweed (Sp. Sargasso) or any other floating object. Their curiosity also attracts their schools to boats, which often results in multiple hookups! Dorado are voracious eaters with keen eyesight, capable of swimming up to 40 m.p.h. to catch their prey. They are most often caught by trolling live mackerel. When they hit your bait, set the hook and be ready for the show! This fish is famous for its acrobatic leaps and long runs. When taken into the boat, its iridescent colors of green, blue, and gold soon fade. Its firm white meat makes excellent eating!


Striped Marlin


Striped Marlin
Leader length for lure fishing 12'-15' of 200# - 300# for striped marlin. 12'-15' of 100# to 150# for live bait for striped marlin and sailfish. The leader is usually tied to the main line with an albright.

Yellowfin Tuna


Yellowfin Tuna
Leader length of 8' of 80# for live bait or chunking for tuna over 100#. A swivel is optional for live bait, but mandatory for chunking. 5' of 50#-60# for trolling or bait for tuna over 40#; 20#-30# for smaller fish (usually no leader).Yellowfin Tuna (Sp. Atún): To six and one-half feet and 450 pounds. A beautiful fish with iridescent blue, gold, and yellow colorings. It is distinguished by long blue and yellow pectoral and second dorsal fins. They are caught offshore over deep water trenches on trolled live mackerel. Expect a strong strike followed by a long, hard deep water battle. This fish makes excellent eating.

Wahoo


Wahoo
Leader Length of 2'-3' of 60#-100# single strand wire for live bait and trolled lures, 40#-60# cable for iron (Hopkins, Tady, Salas, UFO, etc), and 250# cable for Marauders, Bonitas, etc., for Wahoo.
Sierra: Leader length of 5-7 feet with a swivel clipped to a CD4 Rapala.


Rooster Fish


Roosters & Pargo
Leader length of 3' of 30#-40# (green mono may work better than other colors) with a rubber core sinker for for Pargo.

 

Amberjack
Leader Length of 3' of 50#-80# with a dropper loop and whatever weight of torpedo sinker, usually 4-16 oz., is necessary to get to the bottom for Amberjack or Cabrilla and other things living in rock piles. Make the dropper with a spider hitch, with a 2' loop and 3' tag, with the hook on the loop and sinker on the tag, and with a half hitch in the tag near the sinker so it busts off first when you get hung in the rocks.



Sailfish
(Sp. Pez Vela)
To 10 feet, 9 inches and 180 pounds (average 7 ft., 100 pounds). Often found swimming among the Dorado, they swim with small groups of other sailfish over deep water. They can be caught by trolling live mackerel at the surface. When they strike, let them take bait for a few seconds then set the hook...hard! The sailfish will put on a dazzling acrobatic show, leaping out of the water and dancing on its tail at the surface. Make sure the fish is exhausted before bringing to the boat and carefully removing the hook. Sailfish should be released, but can taste goodwhen smoked.



Marlin


Marlin
In Loreto, Striped Marlin are caught. Individuals can get up to 13.5 feet and 692 pounds, but here they average 9 - 10 feet and 150 - 250 pounds. Marlin are the King of all fighting fish and can be taken in the same locations as Sailfish, but more often further offshore. They'll take a trolled live mackerel and strike hard, stripping yards of line instantly. Let them take bait for a five to ten count, then set the hook firmly and hang on! Your prized fish will instantly break water and tail dance at the surface while shaking its head from right to left to rid itself of the hook. If he heads for the deep, be prepared for a long, tedious battle. Stripers must be "dead tired" before boating because they can suddenly "come to life" making for a difficult situation--so be alert at this time. They make good eating when smoked. Catch and release is encouraged.

Grouper

Grouper
(Sp. Garropa)
The Gulf Grouper can get up to 6.5 feet and 200 pounds. They inhabit reefs and sea mounts just offshore and around islands. The 10 to 50 pounders are caught by jigging live or dead bait, leadhead jigs, or spoons at 10 to 40 feet deep, while the big ones can be had at depths of 100 to 200 feet. When they strike, their reaction is to dive down and head for the rocks. At this time you must turn them up towards the boat or you'll lose the fish. Once headed toward the boat, they feel heavy but don't give much of a fight. Their size is often impressive and their firm white meat makes outstanding eating.

Roosterfish

Roosterfish (Sp. Pez Gallo)
To 5 feet and 114 pounds, averaging 1 - 2 ft. and 15 - 30 pounds. The rooster-comblike dorsal fin and iridescent purple/black stripes on its pearly body easily distinguish this fish. It frequents sandy or cobblestone bottoms along beaches and around islands. When a school of Roosters feed on baitfish, their raised comblike dorsal fin makes the surface of the water appear as if it is boiling. They will take cast chrome spoons or weighted bait with a powerful strike. Roosters are strong fighters and will run hard and often. When brought to the boat, take your picture with it and set him free because although they're fun to catch, they're not fun to eat.

Jack Crevalle (Sp. Tana or Cavalla)
To four feet and 40 pounds. Found along gravel/cobblestone bottoms, they take trolled or drifted live baitfish, or cast chrome spoons. This tenacious Jack will run and run after a helacious strike. A 20 pounder can fight on light tackle for an hour. This pearly-grey fish has a compressed body and extremely tough meat so release him after bringing him to the boat.

Other Species: Among other types of fish you will find in the waters around Loreto are Finescale Trigger, Cabrilla, Sierra and Red Snapper which are all delicious, and Bonita and Amberjack which are not so delicious.

 


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