Palapas La Ventana. 2023

Palapas La Ventana has established itself as a popular choice for fly fishing enthusiasts. The resort has hosted various fly fishing clubs from California and has become a favorite spot for staging unforgettable fly fishing trips. Flyfishing Icons  like Gary Bulla and Glen Ueda annually fish here for  Rooster Fish and Dorado and this location is quickly becoming one of the best flyfishing destination for Dorado and Rooster Fish in the world  thanks to the excellent fly fishing guides available at the lodge and in the area.

Ten years ago, Palapas was primarily known as a bucket-list destination for spearfishing. Many world-record fish were caught in the area, with a particular abundance of large Grouper and Cabrilla. At that time, Palapas was the go-to place for experiencing world-class spearfishing right in its backyard.  However, in recent years, kite surfing has gained popularity in the town of La Ventana. The area is known for predictable 20mph winds that create ideal conditions for kiteboarding. As a result, fly fishing has taken a backseat in terms of popularity compared to spearfishing and kiteboarding in the area.

I booked this trip at the Pleasanton Fly Show this year as an opportunity to fish with my cousin and his two boys.   I tried to get my son to join us but he now has “Doctor’s Hours” and it was impossible to get away the week before July 4th.    My Nephews have evolved into formidable FlyFishermen.  No longer are they kids as I remember and I really enjoyed there adult company this trip.    Great parenting Wayne!    My partner on this trip was Jerry Wang now in his 70’s.   We have fished destinations together for over 40 years.    He is like a brother to me and we have fished for Dorado in the past.    It’s always great fishing with him with his endless enthusiasm plus we are both feeling our ages a bit more these days and help each other.  Thank you again Jerry for sharing this GREAT trip with us.

La Ventana is a small fishing village on the shore of La Ventana Bay south of La Paz on the eastern side of the Baja California peninsula in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. The village was founded in the early 1940s by the La Paz pearl diver Salome Leon. When pearl diving became unprofitable, Salome brought his family over the mountains from La Paz to La Ventana Bay to found the village. Many of his descendants continue to live, fish, and work in the village

The area was first inhabited by Neolithic hunter-gatherers at least 10,000 years ago who left traces of their existence in the form of rock paintings near the city and throughout the Baja California Peninsula. Hernán Cortés sailed into Bahía de La Paz on May 3, 1535. He attempted to start a colony but abandoned his efforts after several years.  Sebastián Vizcaíno arrived in 1596 as part of a pearl-fishing expedition on the western shore of the Gulf of California. He sailed on to La Paz after attempts to pacify the area were rebuffed. The first permanent settlement in Baja California was not formed until 1695 further north in Lorreto.


Traveling Day

Our direct flights to Cabo from San Jose  were  scheduled with Alaska Air departing at 9:00 AM, so we arrived at the airport at 7:30 AM.   Alaska Airlines bag weight limit for Mexico was 50 lbs.   Jerry and I  planned to bring back fish, so we decided to use a rolled-up Yeti Panga 75 Duffle and thermal bubble wrap as an improvised ice chest. This seemed like a convenient alternative to checking in an empty cooler for 45 bucks.  Wayne opted to bring a small cooler.  We both brought back 50 lbs of fish that remained frozen on the 9 hour journey back to San Jose. The check-in process at the airport went smoothly, and although you had premium seats, no food was served during the 2.5-hour flight.  Upon arrival in Cabo, we found that AT&T had good coverage in the area as did Verizon.

The lodge arranged a van transfer for our group of 5.   Each person was charged $45 for the 2.5-hour drive and those fees were added to our tab at Palapas.  I recommend bringing water and snacks for the journey since the afternoon van ride was hot.  The Van had air conditioning but the journey is not on the main highway and it is long and winds.  We tipped the driver $5 a piece.  Anna greeted us upon arrival and facilitated the check-in process.   After we checked in , our luggage was taken to our cabanas which were spacious – three soft  beds, a walk in shower and  bathroom,  high ceilings for storing fishing rods, several circulating fans, and an excellent air conditioner.  Feeling tired and hungry from the journey, we headed to the kitchen where we ordered some delicious fish tacos and ceviche (added to our tab).  Albert met up with us before dinner and briefed us on the weeks fishing schedule.

Day One

Carlos was our first guide.   He is probably the newest guide  but he has been a fisherman his whole life.  Carlos spoke English so we had no problems communicating.    It was suggested by Alberto the activities coordinator that we consider buying bait instead of netting it which would give us extra time fishing .   We decided to try this and after meeting for breakfast at 6:00 which consisted of an assortment of Fruits and yogurt, coffee, eggs any style and bacon or ham,   and of course some refried beans.

They launch the boats and pull them out every day with a tractor.  A short walk to the beach and its on the PANGAS  and off to the fishing grounds.    La Ventana is unique because of the Island of Cerralvo located 10 miles across from La Ventana.   The island creates the Straits of Cerralvo.   At times this island shelters the winds and creates  and open ended bay that has an abundance of fish .     Plus the coastline of the island is perfect habitat for bait, Rooster fish  and Dorado.  The Island is private  but has public fishing camps on its coast where some fisherman spend the night  and fish for a couple days.  There is a large population of wild goats on the island as well as freshwater.  One one end of the island there is a light house but other than that,  I did not see any manmade structures on the island and its basically uninhabited. 

The morning was calm and sunrise was amazing as the sun popped over the Island of Cerralvo .  We launched at 6:30 and met up with the Bait Monger who sold us for $40  three buckets of 3-5 inch Sardina to fill our live wells .   Most anglers, especially bait fishermen,  have the guide catch bait in the shallows with a throw net,   but we figured buying bait would get us on the prime spots earlier.  Bait is a very important element of Flyfishing success here as it is in most of Baha.    Our boats pulled up on the first spot  and we peered  into the blue water to see squadrons of Dorado cruising around the boat to get a look see.    We hadn’t even thrown any bait and there was no grass anywhere.     As we rigged up poppers and crease flies , Carlos started broadcasting  Sardinas across the horizon and all hell broke loose.  We started casting into the “Sardina Massacre Blender” and hooked fish at will.   The hot action cooled down after about 20 fish and the fish became very selective about flies and even bait with hooks.  I was thinking they might communicate like the Borg (Star Trek)  as a collective.    As easy as they are to catch when they are blitzing,  they are equally selective  and spooked by divers and boat engines at times.   I had some fly changing sessions trying to get them to eat without chumming and once in awhile,  a type of fly would work better than others during these selective moments.    Jerry and I landed 20 fish together but half of them were on bait on the first day.   We thought it was pretty great Dorado fishing.  We had no idea what was to come.   As the day went on,   The fish were still eating thrown bait but became very selective on flies.  Seems that they get smart as the day went on and as the wind builds.      I made lots of fly changes trying to crack the code.   Was it color, size,  or action? I put a live sardine on a fly and it was refused!    I put a dead bait on the bait caster and it was also refused. Who knew that fishing in the ocean for 10-15 lb fish that were pounding sardines an hour ago would suddenly be so selective to artificial flies and even lures.  For a short time,  Jerry had a fly that seemed to really work better than anything else,   He gave me one to tie on and we casts to the same boils.   Jerry caught more fish with his fly than mine and they were identical so I thought.   On close examination,  the only difference was that Jerry’s fly had a Softex  coating and mine did not.  It could have pushed water differently but I think it was the sound that the fly makes when it hits the water. When it comes to fly recommendations for Dorado,  anything will get hits when they are blitzing.   But when it gets tough and the fish get selective and start hitting light.   In my opinion ,  Smaller Crease Flies and sparser smaller baitfish flies (size 1 hooks) tend  to hook and hold more fish and get as much attention as larger flies when fish are picky.  The ten wgt fly rods were getting a workout.   I don’t remember the last time I corked a 10 wt till today.

Wayne and the boys had an epic day fishing mainly bait for the larger fish. They got into some decent sized rooster fish close to the resort.  We ran out of bait and were unable to net any in the shallows at around 10:00 so we decided to blind cast for Roosters next to Wayne and the Boys which was futile in the pitching ocean .  We managed to catch 4 small Jacks that we killed for dinner so not a total loss.       

We went in early to try to prepare better for the next day and besides, these two old men were cramping up from dehydration .   The first day was just trying to get into the pace of things.  That shower and nap that we took was spectacular and  Jerry and I were feeing more refreshed for dinner.   For dinner we had fresh Mahi Sashimi that was fantastic with a bit of lime juice and they fried the Jacks up for us whole fish style.   They were a bit dry but tasty.    Also they prepared some Mahi Fish Sticks for us that we dipped in sauce and ate like French fries.

Day Two

I think the last time I went Dorado fishing was nearly 20 years ago in Loretto.      I do remember some amazing things about those trips.  Dorado jump and pull hard.  Today I was introduced to that again, accept now I’m old and its even more challenging than I imagined .

Our guide today was Yoni Cabrera.  I was told my friend Waymun  who has been to La Ventanna over 7 times,  that he was one of the best fly fishing guides at Papalas.    He wasn’t  kidding.   The plan today was to  fish yesterdays spots but then cross to the Isla Cerralvo where Yoni had some “lucky buoy spots” that he has surgically placed all around the island.   Buoys always attract bait and where there is bait there are fish.   Unlike Loretto,  the strategy is not to look for Saragosa grass patches and throw bait,  although we did try that with no luck.     We bought bait from one of his friends in the morning and headed to yesterdays spot for a look see.    It was even harder than yesterday to get them on flies this time probably because we were late to the party and other boats had already pounded it.     I was prepared for some picky fish  but didn’t hook a single fish in the hour we fished while Jerry landed 4 on bait.    I even casted a Rapala which was refused by the dorado but pounded by the Jacks.

The second spot we tried close by had a great vibe with three huge stone crosses overlooking the bluff facing ofshore.    Yoni told us that we were targeting snappers and groupers here.    I hooked and landed  two perfect dinner size duck snappers for dinner.  Praise God who watches over fishermen.

The next spot was probably the best Dorado fishing I have every experienced.    We crossed the channel  which took about 30 minutes.   As we pulled up to the Buoy,  I could see so many dorado around that it reminded me of looking at Sperm under a microscope in school.    Wayne and the boys were also there.  As soon as the guides threw the first sardina, the water errupted  and soon all five of us were hooked into 10-15 lb  dorado at the same time.    The next hour was a blur,   So many fish were hooked that I lost count.   On some casts,  I would hook a fish and play it for 10 minutes before coming unbuttoned and as I stripped my fly in I would hook up again and loose another fish and so on.      I started landing them like I do Stripers at San Luis Reservoir  so that I could catch more.  I quickly started to feel my age and was glad I was protecting my hands.   Every fish seemed to sound and at times even the smaller ten pounders were in total control swimming around and under the boat.    They were not the one run and done stripers I was use to  although once I got them on top, facing skyward,  and close enough to hand line them, they came out of the water easily with 40 lb leader.   If you are going to land your own fish,  cover your left hand fingers and glove up.   the technique works well for sub 20 lb Dorado but I cant imagine doing that with a big one.  Fluorocarbon leaders are preferred since there are lots of pesky needlefish  sabotaging your leader without you knowing it.  It is always good to check your leaders for nicks with every fish.   A good long nosed plier and a belt rod holder will help with not breaking any rods.     

The spots on the island are a long boat ride  from the resort (30 minutes) but like the run to the trash racks at San  Luis,   it’s worth the ride for a chance at crazy good fishing.   Also it seems less crowded over there.   It was amazing to constantly see all 4 of us hooked up on fish almost all the time for two hours with fish hitting flies the second they hit the water.  The action is so fast at times that even the smallest line wrap or tangle can lead to lost or broken equipment.   Not stripping enough line out of your rod when the guide is netting or gaffing also breaks rods.     After we caught our fill of Dorado and used up all our bait.    Yoni took us close to shore and showed us his amazing throw netting skills.      We quickly filled up the bait tank with only three throws of Yoni’s net and went hunting for the elusive rooster fish.    There were three spots off the island that Yoni wanted to try.     The strategy was to putt  around throwing bait and watch.    Once a rooster would show,  he would throw bait bringing them closer as we cast to them all while keeping the boat in gear.  We tried all the spots but didn’t see even one Rooster bust a bait.      With so much bait in the well,  we decided to try a couple of the mornings Dorado spots on the way in. By noon the wind was up and  to my surprise,  all the morning spots were devoid of any Dorado in the afternoon. With the wind up and the Dorado on break, we decided to call it at 1:00 and went in for a shower and rest.

I caught a Trigger fish today which the resort chef served up as ceviche for dinner.   It was so good that I thought of targeting them tomorrow for a repeat.    We also requested three plates of Mahi Sashimi which was inhaled.   The fried fish was again very tasty but a bit dry.

Day Three

Still haven’t gotten rooster.   Apparently they are way harder to get on flies than I had believed.    They still need to be chummed.  So the plan for the day was to go back with the other boat to the Epic Buoy off the island first thing in the morning and get some drone shots of the two boats.    In the afternoon we would concentrate on Roosters.

Everyday I tried to learn some more about our guide Yoni Cabrera.   Yoni is a class act.   Always polite, friendly, and laughing.     I watched him around the other captains and he is highly respected.   Yoni is in his early 40s and comes from three generations of professional fishermen.  He has been guiding as an contractor for Palapas for 16 years.  He has his own operation with 4 captains and he owns his own boat -the Nubia (Panga with a 90hp Honda).  He is a family man married with two fishing sons and another son due next month.   You can tell much about the quality of a Captain in Baha by the way he throws a net for bait.    Yoni throws a big net and seems to catch more bait than any other captain out there that Ive seen.    Plus he seems to know all the bait boats out there and he has a large web of friends.  He seems to be very informed about what eveyone is seeing out there,  what the divers are reporting,  what the bait mongers are seeing and how well all the boats are doing,   even those not with Palapas.    He has all the talents you would expect from a top guide with an great personality ,  perfect english,  and cheerful disposition.

We decided to go further north up the coast to find a friend of his that would give us more bait.   I think it was a wise choice to spring for 40 bucks of bait every morning so we didn’t have to burn an hour of fishing netting bait. Wayne was contemplating getting 80 bucks of bait but we weren’t sure the bait would survive.    40 bucks gets you three big buckets of bait .   The bait are sardines (sardnina) about 3 to 4 inches long.     The sardines have a black\grey top with blue and yellow highlights in the top third  with silver bodies.    I don’t really understand why people tie dorado and rooster flies with any other colors than Sardina colors.

After the bait,  our two boat guides -Yoni and Chui collaborated and decided both to head directly to the “epic buoy”  for a repeat of yesterday success. We arrived at the epic spot to find two dive boats around it .   We fished despite the divers and the guides worked the Dorado into a blitz with Sardinas as we hooked and landed fish as fast as they guides could land them for about half an hour when the action suddenly stopped and fish started ignoring our flies all together.    After a ton of fly changes, pulse discs, and fancy retrieves.   It was apparent that the fish just stopped eating artificial flies.   They would continue to eat chummed bait but would even refuse a sardine with a hook in its nose.  Very Strange.   The guide said that Dorado are very intelligent and learn quickly.   Yoni attributed the sudden cease fire to the fact that the divers were swimming up to our boats while we were attracting fish  and spooking them which made more sense to me.

This new buoy was phenomenal again and I got some great Drone video.   I could not just throw all that footage on the editing floor so I made a 20 minute meditation video out of it..   It actually puts me to sleep pretty fast.     There were so many hungry dorado around us that our two  boats had numerous quadruple hookups and almost always had doubles.  The sheer numbers of Dorado here is mind blowing and can be seen all around the boat 100s of feet out.      The guides say that this is the off season and that the prime time for big Dorado is in October when the Bulls our out.  “The Running of the Bulls” has new meaning for me now.   Yoni told me that it’s just like this but all the fish are a couple feet longer.   Unimaginable.

After we tired ourselves out fishing for Dorado,    Yoni suggests we try for a rooster fish.     Rooster fish on a fly is almost as hard as permit.  But roosters on bait is almost a sure thing for most of us.  Both Jerry and I managed to hook and loose a rooster fish today,    We are still Zero on roosters.

Throughout the day we also caught a couple jacks and snappers by accident fishing for roosters.    We had the lodge cook them up for us Mexican Fried style but again a bit overcooked

Day 4

We bought bait this morning at the island after the crossing  which  was a good move because the channel was calm and we got over there quick.     We both got bait and posted around the Epic Buoy.   Toady the blitz seemed to go on forever.  We only stopped catching fish because we were running out of bait and  we were exhausted.    Jerry and I were still beat up from yesterday so we decided try to catch a skipjack or a grouper at this reef in the middle of the ocean.     When we got there we caught three big skipjack which is not resting and almost more work than fun.  As we were trolling for Skip Jack,   a couple of huge Mahi started chasing bait  in the distance.   Yoni saw them and got the boat over to them and I hooked one of them.   After three magnificent jumps I lost it.   The guide estimated it at 40 lbs.    There were two other 40+ lb dorado in the area and as I was landing mine,  Yoni was concentrating on getting Jerry hooked to one as well.    I ended up unbuttoning on that fish but it scared me pretty good.  I hope the next time I cast to something that size,  I will have a 12 wgt in my hand.  Prime time for big dorado s October according to Yoni.

Wayne had to switch guides today and their guide wasn’t as skilled as Chewy.    They ran out of bait early and came in.   Also Michael  lost a backlashed bait caster rod and reel that got jerked out of his hands.  A good rule is never work on your gear with a bait of fly in the water.  If it backlashes after the cast,  try to get you bait out of the water before you work on it.  Its never safe out there.         

Day 5

I woke up early and took some  pics of the sunrise.    There was a Tropical Storm coming into Cabo  the following week.  Today was the first time I noticed some clouds and overcast.  The skies were overcast but the oceans were unusually still.    We had our regular breakfast of two eggs, bacon and coffee before making the block long walk from our small round Cabana.

The Cabanas were comfortable.   Three single beds with a walk in shower and bathroom.   The air conditioning was a little hit or miss but most of the time we kept are room very cold.    Cold enough to fog your glasses when you walked out of the  room into the Baha heat.    It wasn’t particularly hot.  In the 80-90s with some humidity  but you really appreciated shade.   It was easy to work up a sweat in less than a minutes outside.    The tiny Infinity pool in the back of the resort is nice place for a quick cooldown.    The best internet was at the dinning hall  and patio .   Room internet was spotty but most of the time good enough to text.   At&T cellular had three bars  of LTE most of the time but also was good enough to text but not to stream anything.   Most days we would come in from fishing around 12-2:00.  Which gave us some time to relax and recover before dinner a  6:00.   The rooms have nice water dispensers for drinking and brushing teeth.   Don’t drink the tap water.  

Yoni told us when we got into the boat that we would not be able to buy bait today.   It was a Friday and I guess that’s their day off.  It seemed a little more crowded on the water today.  The strategy for the day was to catch bait and fish the Dorado Blitzes until the wind picked up.   It’s hard to stand in the boats when the ocean gets a 1-2 foot chop.    Luckily. The Palapas boats are the only ones that have a metal H structure at the bow that lets you keep you balance while standing and fly casting.   Even so,  Jerry decided he would still be more stable in the back of the boat  and he had no problems fishing there all 5 days.     

We threw a 10 foot net for sardines . And headed out to the nearest buoy to fish.   There is a network of about 20 buoys that Yoni said he put out .   These buoys collect seaweed  and create some cover that attracts bait.   Unlike in the past were we use to hunt for Dorado around  Saragossa weed patches in  Loretto.   It’s much easier to make the rounds around the buoys in search of schools of Dorado.    We actually found some buoys with tons of bait around them without a single Dorado. No matter how slow the fly fishing may get,  they will always hit live bait so when the bait gets lean,  its best to fish with bait if you want more action.    It is best to match the size of a bait hook to the size of the Sardines since Dorado are sometime picky about how a bait looks and swims with a hook in it.

Dorado are perhaps the most perfect fly rod targets that exist on earth.  These beautiful strong, aerobatic and abundant fish  will strike fly with such ferocity and force that you best prepare yourself before you cast.       

No two Dorado have the same colors,  The combination of blue yellow green and silver gives these fish the most beautiful coat in the pacific.    The sunlight changes the colors of these fish and when they are in the water, they light up like neon sign.    The 40+ lbr that I lost yesterday first went aerial when hooked close to the boat.  What seemed like a 10 foot jump,  it launched into the air and froze in my memory for an eternity.  It was chrome white but for its blue back and fins with no typical yellow. It was as surreal as it was unforgettable.    It myst be fate that I would farm the biggest dorado of my life on this trip basically necessitating a return trip.

In my opinion,  there are very few fish in the world that pull as hard as Dorado on a fly rod.   The average fish we were hooking were 10-20 lbs and the minimum weight rod to land these brutes is a 10 wgt.    Armed with 10, 11, and 12 weights,   I believe the 10 weight is the best rod because I am old and it casts easier however you also need the 10 wft to have as stiff a butt section as possible  – like a Helios III, a Winston Boron, or a Hardy.   You need this because they also sound and you need it to stay away from the edge and lift.   The quantity of fish you catch in a day is purely related to how fast you can land  a 10-20 pound Dorado.   Typically the guides use gaffs and nets.     I released my own fish so I can catch more but that’s is dangerous business,   We broke three rods on this trip just on unavoidable line wraps and soundings.    Yoni was joking that if a Dorado sounds ,  he sits down and pours himself some coffee for a break.   Don’t let them turn downwards if you want to land them quickly. To add insult to exhaustion,  dorado position themselves with there flat side 90 degrees to you pull when sounding and you can see there huge reflective sides really well when they are deep.     All week I was constantly being pinned to the gunnel with line ripping out of my Mako reel (set on 15 lbs ) while a relatively small 10 lb  Dorado was ripping 100 feet of line out straight down and around the front of the boat.    If your rod is fully loaded  straight down in the water and it touches the gunnel,  they will sometimes snap,  so dancing around the front of the boat is a dance step you need to learn quick as well as putting a fully bent rod deep into the water when they decide to visit the ocean on the other side  under the boat.

We released all non gut hooked fish  and I landed all my Dorado myself using the method I use in San Luis Reservoir for stripers but scaled up 10 lbs.    I could land most of the dorado after the first 3-5 jumps and first two long runs  by getting their heads out of the water near the boat and grabbing the leader.   Then lifting them into the boat and tailing them to unhook .  They lift into the boat easily .  Best to use two hands and have gloves on to do this or you will get line cuts.   I use a rod clip on my belt to clip in my rod while I’m hoisting the fish with both hands.   Luckily I have never dropped a hooked fish back into the water with the  rod clipped in.  That would be interesting getting yanked into the water by the hip.      At times they would throw the hook while in the boat and start flapping around creating a bloody mess.    One deep hooked fished threw so much blood that it looked like a slasher homicide on the front deck .   The Captain wasn’t as concerned about it as much as I was since I hate cleaning but I did bring a wash towel  to clean up the mess .   The lodge will probably charge me for destroying  a wash towel.  The best way to stop them from flapping on the deck  is to get on your knees and  put your hand over them and press them to the deck and grab them by the tail.  Holding them upside down sometimes calms them down as well.    Bring pliers (long nose preferably).    I  think heavy duty hemostats would also do the trick since they sometimes inhale flies deeply.  These fish use there flat broad profile to there best advantage when fighting you,  but with their head out of the water,  they are very easy to lift out of the water by the leader with one hand.     Use 40 straight leader.   It is not overkill with respect to landing fish and being ready for the 40 lbr that can come from anywhere.  Yoni sais always be ready with 40 lb leaders.  Plus there are tons of needle fish that peck at your fly and leader that will turn 40lb into 20 lb without you knowing it.    If you see a needle fish near your fly,   alway check your leader and keep a spool and nippers handy for quick leader changes.    Wayne was using 40lb mono for the week and kept complaining of busted off fish especially while the guide was landing them by the leader.   We were using fluorocarbon  and had very little problems with break offs.

Other than a tarpon,   there are no more aerobatic fish than a Dorado. The 40 lbr I hooked jumped as high as any tarpon Ive seen.   Every dorado we hooked jumped 2-10 times.    Some jumped and hit the boat,    One almost jumped into another hooked dorado in the air.   We had double triple, and quadruple  hook ups  all jumping at the same time like the ocean was boiling.   Some days we had 3 to 4 hour long blitzes,  limited only to how much bait you had left to throw  and how much strength you had left in your arms to pump and reel.      

When the Dorado are at the boat blitzing,  your whole focus in on the 30 feet around the boat.   As I studied recorded drone footage,  I noticed thats fish were spread out far from the boat and the that once they sense bait in the water,  fish from as far as 100 yards converged on the boat.  It only appears that all the fish are concentrate around the boats.  At least on this trip,  the dorado move in schools the size of a football field. The quantity of fish out there is mind blowing.    Yoni said it’s like this all year round in terms of quantity and blitzes but in October,  the average fish is 10 lbs bigger.    The thought of that scares me a bit.    Ive never had so many fish in a day  take me out for long runs as with Dorado,    Bonefish are a distant second place even when you can get lots of them .   Also,  I use 8 weights on Bonefish.   For Dorado,   you would blow an 8 wgt up on the first day.   

One of the most amazing things about  the way dorado strike a fly is how vicious they are.   Dorado are far from subtle when it comes to attacking (not eating) a crease fly or baitfish Sardina pattern.   Most of the hook ups occur before the first two strips  even if you may not be casting directly at a blitz.     They definitely prefer moving flies to sitting ones.    After watching Dorado chase Sardina in open water,  you start rooting for the Sardine as they accelerate and jump across the water trying to escape a Dorado on their tail.   Kind of like when Mavrick in Top Gun was trying to out maneuver a bigger , faster more sophisticated fighter jet.   But the Sardine always looses because Dorado are relentless in there pursuit.    The sardines  we saw dorado feeding on were from 2 inches to 4 inches.  The first day I was convinced that traditional crease flies were the ticket but on the final day,  I had my best luck and highest percentages of solid hookups with a sparsely tied  Sardina colored baitfish fly.    It was sparse because it got ripped to shreds after a few dorado shredded it.   It seemed to hook fish better because it was smaller (size 1 hook)  and it was narrower.   I felt it gave the fish a smaller target and the gape of the fly was more exposed which resulted in hight percentage hookups.   Also it was missing eyes which didn’t seem to make a difference,   Jerry also had a similar situation with a shredded fly  which worked better than the virgin complete one.    It was the last day of five days and our boxes were getting worked over pretty good.  I was going through 4-5 flies  of the same patterns  a day.   Yoni told me he prefers smaller crease flies vs the larger because they hook better on the fast takes.   Over the week,  My fishing style evolved.   I stopped making long casts because I didn’t want to reel in even more line.   I also prepared to move the fly as soon as it hit the water since most of our hookups were within seconds of the fly hitting or on the first 2-3 strips,     One technique Im calling the “Shake and Bake” was to cast a short line straight cast to the target and start shaking the rod horizontally putting a sine wave in the line before it hits the water.  If the fish are blitzing,  the dorado will strike, run and the hook will be set the instant the fish straightens the line on your 15 lbs of drag,    Make sure you lock your drag down after you strip out line for your casts.


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