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Dorado / Bill Fish Numbers  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Jul 10th, 2017 06:19 pm
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Catch-22
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I came Across these Labor Day Tournament results Starting in 1984,  These Results Suggest trends in Dorado,  Bill fish Numbers Continue to get better ,  Not Necessarily Declines for Dorado.  
Yes Vince it only Goes Back 33 Years so is not 100% Scientific..
 Dorado ( Over the 15 Pound Min) ,
 1984 & 1985  -  0   ( Nada) 
1986    - 14,
 1987-1994  -   29 , 
1995-1997  -   56,  
  1998-1999 - 5, 
2000-2004 -  119 , 
2005-2010 -   34,  
2011-2016  - 19 ,
  
Looks Like 2000-2004 were the best years, 1995-1997- second best as well it trends up and down 



Billfish 
1984-1993   - 186     10 years  Average 18.6 per year, 
 1994-2007   -  636    14 years  Average  45.5 per year, 
 2008- 2016  -  427     9 years    Average  47.4 per year ,  

I wanted to look at Tuna as well but its off the Chart,  When there here we Catch Tons  of them 1991 was great, 2001 was good,  Some years ok other years Nada 



As well not Sure when it changed But Earlier Tournaments were Changed from a 3 Day event  to a 2 Day Event.  



Game on 

Steve

Last edited on Mon Jul 10th, 2017 07:03 pm by Catch-22

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 Posted: Mon Jul 10th, 2017 07:08 pm
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Ian948
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If of help here is the tabulation:

http://www.sancarlosfishingtournaments.com/hammer-down-/tournament-history-r1_2017a.pdf

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 Posted: Wed Jul 12th, 2017 02:33 am
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Hook
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By the numbers...........and very dorado-centric, as I tend to be.

If my calculations are correct, from 2004 through 2016 there were about 254 boats fishing for about 176 hours total. I have taken into account the days lost to weather and assumed a fishing day was 8 hours and the tournament was two days per year. So, 22 days x 8 hours/day = 176 hours of fishing since (including) 2004.

That produced 52 weighable dorado;  and that by persons who are probably better than the average fisherman. Or, about one dorado for every 3.38 hours the "fleet", IN TOTAL, fished. That's an average of 20 boats per year, fishing 3.38 hours before a weighable dorado was landed and another 3.38 hours after that. On average, three boats per year, TOTAL, caught a weighable dorado in 16 hours of fishing and, on average, 17 boats caught none, over the last 13 years.

Aside from the probability that dorado numbers are sliding, it should be pointed out that dorado aren't a targeted fish in this tournament because you cant win a tournament catching dorado. So, lures more suited to billfish are used. AND the hours spent leadering a billfish takes away from hours where dorado could potentially be caught. So, the total number of hours fishing for dorado are less but this IS an indicator at the drop in dorado numbers and how long it takes to catch a weighable one these days. By better than the average fisherman, in all likelihood.

Is the Labor day tournament a bait tournament, BTW?

Of note, the number of boats entering in the last six years represents the lowest totals of boats since the first three years of the tournament. 

The Ladies tournament has results posted on the wall in Club Deportivo. I believe the drop in dorado numbers is somewhat close to this.  Around 2004 was when the dorado numbers just fell off the map. 

Then, there's all the poor dorado numbers up and down the Sea of Cortez over the last four years (maybe longer; just cant remember). Some of those are dorado-only tournaments. 

It jives with my experiences, too. Most of those experiences were over on the other side between Mulege and Loreto in the 80s and 90s and early 2000s. I cant ever recall a trip where we got skunked on fish over 12#, unless weather sent us back in early. Every season, I could point to landing SEVERAL dorado  between 20-35 lbs.

************

The irony of ironies?  The Mexican government is now engaged in a last-ditch, too-little, too-late campaign to try and save the vaquita from extinction. They've been convinced to do this by outside international conservancy groups. Probably some money changed hands. Well intended, to be sure. Who wants to see ANYTHING become extinct? But the vaquita is not a linchpin of the ecosystem and has never had any appeal in attracting tourist dollars. 

The dorado, on the other hand, is the fish of choice for so many anglers that the number of dollars spent on pursuing it are incalculable. And it occupies an important place in the ecosystem as a food source for many other fish. People come to Mexico just to catch a dorado. Spectacular fight, spectacular looking, spectacular eating. It really is THE fish that got me hooked on fishing in Mexico. I had caught YT and tunas off SoCal and down the Baja coast on long-range boats........but the dorado was a relatively rare species up there.

The Mexican government would put more money in the average Mexican's pocket if it would just truly protect the dorado, instead of (or in addition to) the ill-fated vaquita.  

But Mexico has always been about big money into fewer hands (commercial fishermen and payoffs to look the other way) than to spread it around (charter boats, hotels, ground transportation, restaurants,) etc. Why let a little thing like a law against commercial fishing of dorado get in the way of all that graft? 

And if one brings up how poorly they manage their oceans resources, they will point to the vaquita campaign as an indicator of their unassailable conservation ethic. 

In this case, it's a pink dolphin instead of a red herring.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 12th, 2017 02:55 pm
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Bullshipper
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Thanks for putting this together Steve, it really helps to quantify.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 12th, 2017 03:15 pm
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repsilon
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The government, besides trying to maintain some PR, is probably getting flooded with wealthy U.S. environmental donations, trying to get their own cut off the cartel, and preventing any major skirmishes. I saw them fly by one day on wave runners loaded with artillery and their new fast warship. If the cartel fractioned up there things could get bad. The totuava bladders sound like the highest priced drug in the world. 
Another report of the dorado at 30. 210-220.
A cold fishless 78 and green in Los Cabos a friend said.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 12th, 2017 03:41 pm
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Bavardia
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Would be worth crunching the numbers to try and put an accurate $ amount on what the sport fishing industry brings into a single town like SC. Gas, marina, food, lodging, guides, etc. I'm sure the chamber of commerce has a number greatly deflated from the reality. It is also going to show more dollars per fish than the commercial fishing is bringing in, their profit margin is based on spending a little money as possible per fish. 
It's sad but the dorado doesn't have any human worth until you attach a dollar amount to it.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 12th, 2017 10:50 pm
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Bullshipper
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Bavardia wrote: Would be worth crunching the numbers to try and put an accurate $ amount on what the sport fishing industry brings into a single town like SC. Gas, marina, food, lodging, guides, etc. I'm sure the chamber of commerce has a number greatly deflated from the reality. It is also going to show more dollars per fish than the commercial fishing is bringing in, their profit margin is based on spending a little money as possible per fish. 
It's sad but the dorado doesn't have any human worth until you attach a dollar amount to it.

I agree with Hook in that dorado is really the bread and butter summer fish that brings in the younger tourists with money to spend. If they go down, SC is small potatoes, but the Mexican torist traffic that dominates in the summer will take a hit everywhere, including the Mega resorts like Penasco, Mazatlan, PV, Barra, Cabos, Loreto, Mulege, Manzanillo, Zihuataneo, Hautulco, Alcapulco, etc. These resorts represent some big money and a lot of jobs that are put more at risk if some pressure on the resource is not taken off.
The tournament numbers show what the most sophisticated sportfishers are doing now with good daily fish reports through a network of friends, satellite reports, fads, high decks with gyro steadied binoculars or high powered radars to spot birds, imported ballyhoo, using pro captains; where before you simply threw a feather overboard and trolled a weed line close to the coast a short distance for multiple schools of larger fish caught out of a skiff.

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 Posted: Thu Jul 13th, 2017 12:51 am
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repsilon
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Well, when they cut the water Memorial Weekend you can see how much they care about us. The loss of a few gringos fisherman is 10-15% at best of the summer gringo tourism. We are probably less than 25% of the overall summer tourism. Unless we were to put money directly into their pockets, they aren't going to shut down the commercial industry here that barely affects the macro pelagic nature of these fish. 
 I think weed lines of large fish in close is a bit of selective memory. I remember from our photos one day like that 35 years ago inside the Reef. 
  The water stayed cool on the other side, so we could start seeing some winter patches with fish. I've seen good winter patches from our side a few miles out lately, with nada. I started to see small scattered weeds on the end of the Reef today with small orange bait, that probably came from the other side. Caught two small ones inside today, so I also think we will start to see those small mid-summer dorado showing up. A lot of eggs on the seaweed.

Last edited on Thu Jul 13th, 2017 12:55 am by repsilon

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 Posted: Thu Jul 13th, 2017 11:10 pm
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Bullshipper
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Unless I was on another boat to Tortuga, I never went past the island or the reef in the 70's, 80's, and 90's fishing in SC every other weekend to catch all I needed, so perhaps you should not question what you've never seen.
Finding lots of good sized dorado from May 15th-October was never near the chore it has been the last 4 years, even in a small low 17' bay that didn't venture far from shore to limit out on +20+ pounders consistently.

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 Posted: Thu Jul 13th, 2017 11:39 pm
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repsilon
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O.k. I guess we and the other fishermen we saw (from '80 on) weren't that good then.

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 Posted: Fri Jul 14th, 2017 01:00 am
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Bullshipper
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Brian, if you didn't catch lots of nice dorado within 13 miles in the 80's then you are not the fisherman you are today. Sorry.

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 Posted: Fri Jul 14th, 2017 01:17 am
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repsilon
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I'll have to ask my father. We had a few good days. Maybe we didn't take many photos back then.

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 Posted: Sat Jul 15th, 2017 12:55 am
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Dickrep
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Yes, we caught lots of larger dorado in close ( e g within 15 miles of Doble). However, my recollection is that all dorado we caught were associated with large weed patches and/or current lines that included weed patches. Without the weeds and the bait they supported, the dorado were much fewer and far between.
Dick

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 Posted: Fri Sep 22nd, 2017 07:21 pm
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DiveUrge
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My thoughts - Comparing 1 tournament year to year to year... is kind of useful but it's not good enough. Because these are migratory pelagics and they don't move with the calendar, rather water temps and baitfish etc we would need all tournaments and add by year. For Dorado my recollection is the LIFT tournament usually had the best numbers of the year. But even then the bulk of the migration could occur earlier or later. So add the entire tournament totals for each year to look for a trend.

I say the trend is DOWN. I also concur that early 2000s were the best, but my experience in late '90s doesn't line up with the hammer-down totals table, those years were good o outstanding for me too...

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