Loreto, Mexico 2007

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Loreto, Mexico 2007
The Upper Hand
PAC 9000
Maintenance Kit

Finding Dorado
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Loreto, Mexico 2007 Trip Report
Catching Dorado - Loreto, MX 06/30/07

This year sixteen of us Americanos in a group hosted by The Fly Fishing Shop, with the support of the Baja Big Fish Company landed in Loreto, Mexico, June 24.  We fished together until July 1. Then the main group went home and Patty and I stayed another five days.  This trip was a lot different than last year, which was during the dark of the moon and was accompanied by legions of very large dorado.  This year was bright of the moon and the fish weren't as numerous, nor as large.  In fact it wasn't until after the moon had changed to half and the main group had gone home that the dorado fishing actually picked up to last year's numbers.  Even then the fish only averaged around 8-10 pounds with an occasional dorado over twenty.  Each year is different from the rest.

Could have been a world record with the right class tippet...

This year's weather pattern produced enough wind and rough water to keep the big fish down much of the time. Even though, things started out pretty easy for Patty and me.  Our first stop the first the first morning, fifteen miles off-shore yielded a dozen 5 to 10-pound dorado apiece. Later in the day there were a number of billfish basking on the surface.  Three stayed up long enough to cast to, but none were facing the right direction for productive shots and none were hooked. In the ensuing days after that we only hooked one billfish.  Patty hooked it while

trolling.  It was a striped marlin of around 125-pounds.  It came off after a half hour fight. The second day the wind was blowing at the start.  After running out at least thirty miles, we headed back in-shore early and fished the the shoreline of Isla Corinado for pargo and cabrilla in order to get a few fillets for our communal dinner in the evening.  The third morning Patty landed

what might have been the women's world record bonito of about twelve pounds, but her leader wasn't IGFA regulation so that fish is still swimming around in the Sea of Cortez.  We landed multi-dozens of dorado nearly every day we fished for them, but most of them were under eight pounds.  My biggest dorado this year was about twenty five pounds, Patty's largest around fifteen.  By the looks of the pictures collected from the group, the largest dorado landed by any of our clients was under 35-pounds.  Don't get me wrong, every one of our guests caught

22-pound dorado

Patty & Pargo Snapper...

fish, nearly every day.  It just wasn't as easy as we had hoped.  Next year's trip will be scheduled for a darker moon phase.  Several key components help salvage a fishing trip to the Loreto area during a bad weather pattern like the one we had to deal with on this trip.  One component is the vastness of the fishery with many square miles of not only deep water fishing for pelagic species such as dorado and billfish, but also the many miles of shoreline with many shallow water species such as rooster fish, pargo

snappers, jacks, lady fish and cabrilla just to name a few. One day Patty and I each caught a dozen rooster fish apiece. Many other anglers reported similar success. Granted the largest landed for the group was under seven pounds, but it looks like the rooster fish population in the Loreto area is about ready to make a big jump. Bruce Hampton, of our group, hooked and lost a large rooster of over forty pounds after an extended battle. Rooster fish are now a protected specie within the Loreto Marine Park. 

Hawk Fish...

Our last day fishing; July 5 was by far our best, with Patty and I landing over three dozen dorado apiece.  These fish ranged from 7-20 pounds and came in unending numbers. When we left the dorado were still on the surface and on the bite, but we were both too tired to continue. One thing that all anglers that we encountered while in Loreto this year, whether with our group or with other outfitter; the Mark's Sardina fly was the by far the best pattern for all species other than billfish.

Jon Loen and a Pacific Bonito.
Jon Loen and a Pacific Bonito.
Ray Loen and a Dorado.
Ray Loen and a Dorado.
The whole group at the evening sea food dinner.
The whole group at the evening sea food dinner.
Don DeFreese and a Dorado.
Don DeFreese and a Dorado.
Rob Sosby and possibly the largest Dorado for the group...
Rob Sosby and possibly the largest Dorado...
Ken Leslie and a Dorado.
Ken Leslie and a Dorado.
Eric Gunter with a Rooster Fish.
Eric Gunter with a Rooster Fish.
Tim Kirby with a Rooster Fish.
Tim Kirby with a Rooster Fish.

Maintaining The Upper Hand
An extended fore-grip gives you mor leverage... Fish of this size can pull hard for an extended period of time...

Ever wonder why many twelve weight rods come with long handles or an upper fore-grip? Being able to position your strong hand further from the rod butt gives you better leverage while playing heavy fish, which increases your endurance dramatically.  Increased leverage really comes into play when fish weigh over 100-pounds.  This extra leverage is also very handy when large numbers of smaller fish are encountered.  You can appreciate the extra mechanical advantage of an extended fore grip when experiencing a full-on dorado bite.

Outcast PAC 9000 Pontoon Boat

Outcast Sporting Gear
Pontoon Boat Accessories
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Outcast PAC 9000 Pontoon Boat
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Read Test Report On This Boat

The PAC 9000 has all the ideas and features you can pack into one boat. Each 9' pontoon consists of two side-by-side, full- length air chambers so it actually rides on four separate pontoons. If one tube were to fail (highly unlikely, of course) your boat will still ride level and be completely maneuverable. The frame is secured with air pressure from within...no straps and no d-rings! The craft rides higher in shallow water situation making it easier to spin and get into tighter spots. The 10" low profile tubes make the PAC 9000 much better in windy conditions on both still and moving water than other pontoon boats.
FREE: Custom 12-pound River Anchor Delivered With This Boat.

Always wear a life jacket on uncertain water!
The PAC 9000 performs well in rough water...

The PAC 9000 was designed to be an extremely shallow draft boat. Because four pontoons are twice as much labor & time to build as two pontoons the PAC 9000 is expensive to build.  The cost of the PAC 9000 kept me from close investigation because I couldn't see an added advantage from the added expense...that is before I rowed a PAC 9000 down the Clackamas River in June 2007.  The PAC 9000 is a very safe, practical, agile craft on moving water.  The twin pontoon designed in a boat this size has some extreme advantages over regular single round pontoons. It draws less than half the water that a conventional pontoon boat does. This makes the PAC 9000 one of the most fun boats that I have ever rowed because you can explore places in this boat you can only dream about getting into with a conventional pontoon boat or raft. I am so impressed with this boat that tests will continue over an extended period of time.

Marcy Stone shows how much clearance the PAC 9000 provides. The PAC 9000 is very compact and lightweight.
The twin pontoon design, powder coated aluminum frame and internal anchor system have been perfected over a period of years. John Covich demonstrates that the PAC 9000 is very safe in rough water.

Inflated Size

Tube Dia.



Anchor System

108" X 60"

Dual 10"

400 lbs.

68 lb.


Item Description Price To Top
200-000440 Outcast PAC 9000 pontoon Boat, color red $1,799

200-000450 Outcast PAC 9000 pontoon Boat, color green $1,799


Traveling Anglers' Maintenance Kit
Accidents do happen.. Put a tube of Zap-A-Gap in your repair kit...

I always marvel at anglers who travel to "big-fish" saltwater destination fisheries and only carry one fly rod/reel outfit with them.  I guess they don't fish as hard as we do, are more careful or are luckier than we are.  We use the most durable fly rods and reels that are made on this planet.  Still tackle gets broke or wears out.  For instance during the saltwater trip described above, we broke two twelve weight rods and had to replace the tip-top on a third. Fortunately one of the rods waited until the last day to come apart when a medium size dorado ran under the boat bringing the middle of the rod down hard against the unyielding gunnel of the boat..."kersnap". On this trip we brought four twelve weights, a ten weight and a nine weight.  We found little use for the nine weight rod and it stayed in the hotel room most of the trip. When the handle got broke on my lucky Abel Super-11 reel, fortunately we had the means to repair it; a bottle of Zap-A-Gap Super Glue. When you travel, be sure to carry a screw driver set that fits all screws on your reels.  Carry extra tip-tops that fit your rods and heat glue to install them. Be sure to carry a couple of larger ones in case you lose several inches from a rod tip.  Be sure to carry a bottle of fly line cleaner.  Clean your fly lines every day.  You will appreciate the extra performance that clean fly lines produce over dirty ones.

Finding Dorado
Sargasso mat... eggs pulled from a Sargasso mat...

They say gold is where you find it.  Dorado, the golden fish of the Sea of Cortez are not to be found everywhere.  In fact there is a lot of water that that seems to hold very few Dorado.  But, usually when you find one Dorado you will find several.  I'm sure there are a lot of things that I will never get to know about Dorado behavior.  However, on our most recent trip for Dorado an interesting link to them being found around patches of Sargasso Sea Weed was revealed. Sargasso is defined as a brown algae, which has rounded bladders that allows it to float. It grows along the rocks and at time breaks loose to form floating mats.   These floating mats are a favorite food for Sea Turtles and many feeding turtles were observed while we were fishing this year. It also seems that these mats are a favored place for flying fish to spawn.  They actually attach their eggs to the Sargasso.  Flying fish are a favorite food for Dorado. Several times as we approached larger mats of Sargasso, we observed flying fish in large numbers.  On examination, some Sargasso mats were heavily covered with masses of eggs that were firmly glued to the weed.  Seems reasonable that Dorado hang around the Sargasso mats because it brings them food.

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Fish long & prosper,
Mark & Patty


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