What Date Will the Dorado Show Up?
Originally Published the Week of April 25, 2017 in Western Outdoor News
So, can you tell me what date the dorado will show up?
I don’t know.
Fishing is not an exact science.
Dorado don’t participate on social media. No Facebook. No Instagram. No cute dorado tweets.
They don’t answer my text messages either. Party foul. Just rude.
Come to think of it, the tuna, marlin, wahoo and yellowtail don’t respond to me either. Yes, there are days when I take that personally, especially when I have fishing clients here ready to burst.
Or they’re trying to make travel reservations and want to know specifically when to book their airlines.
“C’mon, Man! You’re supposed to know stuff like that, Jonathan! “
Right. Right. Right. I’m the “expert.”
Honestly, however, most times, it’s said with a smile. I’m never afraid to say that I don’t know something.
And the questions are good honest intelligent questions from fishermen who are just enthusiastic and want to get as much of an edge as possible. I get it. I’m the same way. Especially with fish.
But, there are some things that are just not controllable. If I was as good as some guys think I am, then I’d be able to wave my rod over the water and the fish would just jump in the boat.
I don’t have those Biblical abilities yet. That one is right up there with the miracle of loaves and fishes or parting the Red Sea. Nope. That’s up a few levels…actually a lot of levels…above me!
So, let’s work with what we have. If you’re simply going to use the calendar, let’s just say it’s a start.
There’s so much more that will allow you to fine tune things.
A calendar is just a bunch of numbers on a page. The fish don’t get calendars. They don’t know that your yearly vacation starts June 1st.
They don’t care about Christmas, Memorial Weekend or that you always fish on your birthday in November. They could care less that you always caught yellowtail in March or that on your last three Baja trips the tuna were great in August.
So, don’t curse the fish or the fish gods if things don’t always go as planned. If you fish by the calendar, you take your chances for better or worse. Go fish. Have a good time. It’s still better than working!
What the calendar can tell you is about the seasons. Don’t look at it as specific dates. Look at the calendar to tell you if it’s winter, spring, summer or fall because “generally speaking” certain fish usually show up during certain seasons.
For example, sierra, yellowtail and pargo in the later winter winter and spring. Dorado and billfish show up when waters are warmer. And so on. Like I said, it’s a start.
What fish do care about is food. Big fish. Small fish. All fish. They gotta eat. And they will go where the food is located and show up when and where the food can be found.
If you want to track food, track the water temperatures because even “food fish” have to eat as well. So, don’t watch the calendar. Track the water temperatures instead.
Even a few degrees can make all the difference. Warmer water is bluer. Colder water is darker, greener and cloudier. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It depends on what species you’re hunting and several different water temperatures can be found in the same areas. And that’s not unusual.
So, if you’re hunting yellowtail or amberjack, you’re looking for cooler waters. Billfish or dorado? The warmer waters are where you want to be fishing. Tuna? Well, that depends. What kind of tuna? Yellowfin tuna like warmer waters. Bluefin and albacore like the cooler end of the blue water.
And that’s just the surface temperature!
Below the surface, there are thermoclines where water temperatures also vary. The surface temperature can say 80 degrees, but 30 feet below that it’s only 70 degrees!
Confused? Too much to wrap your brain around?
Might as well put technology to work.
That’s where I take my personal fishing to the next level beyond just looking at the calendar. Veteran fishermen will back me up.
Websites and services such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has excellent satellite images of surface temperatures put out the by the U.S. government.
Here’s a sample: www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/contour/gulfcalf.cf.gifTerrafin has been online for years and is a awesome resource (www.terrafin.com) and specifically directed at fishermen up and down the Pacific Coast.
Another fine service is Fish Dope put out by Bloody Decks (www.fishdope.com) that not only has water temperatures specific to certain fishing areas, but also various other fish finding services. It’s well worth it to check out before you go fishing or setting up a trip.
It’s all in the details and a degree or two in water temperatures can make all the difference in the world.
Still waiting for the fish to answer my text messages. Until then, I guess I’m stuck with the technology at hand!
That’s my story!
Jonathan Roldan has been writing the Baja Column in Western Outdoor News since 2004. Along with his wife and fishing buddy, Jilly, they own and run the Tailhunter International Fishing Fleet in La Paz, Baja, Mexico www.tailhunter-international.com. They also run their Tailhunter Restaurant Bar on the famous La Paz malecon waterfront. If you’d like to contact him directly, his e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or drop by the restaurant to say hi. It’s right on the La Paz waterfront!
U.S. Office: 8030 La Mesa, Suite #178, La Mesa CA 91942
from USA : 626-638-3383
from Mexico: 044-612-53311
Tailhunter YouTube Videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLvdHL_p4-OAu3HfiVzW0g
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