SurfFishDan

Mexican Pacific coast surf fishing - swimming plugs??

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Hi,

 

I know my first post is not very original as I am sure (I know) this topic was used many times, but I'll give it a try anyway.

 

Some friends and I are trying to plan a trip to Cabo San Lucas and surf fish the Pacific coast for a week early next June. I know some people here went there and I'd like to hear your thoughts on gear, but also lures.

Exchanged a couple of emails with the very friendly Stephen Jansen but, I still have questions... We will be aiming for whatever species we can get.

For me, I'll bring 2 combos that I already have:

 

-Rapala Baja Magnum Surf 11'6'' 3/4-4oz paired with a Tica Scepter GX9000 (45'' line retreive) spooled with 30lbs 8-strand braid

-Penn Carnage II 10' 1-5oz paired with a Penn Clash 6000 (41'' line retreive) also spooled with 30lbs 8-strand braid

I'm bringing various leaders 30lbs, 50lbs, 80lbs and a bunch of Tactical Anglers clips 75lbs and 125lbs

 

So about the lures, I know topwater is a big thing and I will bring many poppers from 120mm to 160mm. I will bring tins 1 to 3oz and a couple of bucktails 1.5 to 2oz.

Will bring a couple of sinking pencil lure, such as Sébile Stick Shadd.

 

But what about swimming plugs? Rapala X-Rap 120mm and 140mm? Yo-Zuri Mag darter 125mm and 165mm and Hydro minnow LC 150mm and 170mm? Daiwa SP minnow 150mm and 170mm?

I know that the undertow is strong and present so the plug need to be able to swim properly when retreived fast in ''fast'' moving water. Don't want it to turn into a topwater lure.

Also, I don't know what type of depth to anticipate at high or low tide, but these plugs can reach between 3 to 8' deep and I don't want to be draggin bottom.

 

Was also thinking of Super Strike Little neck swimmer and Zig Zag Darter but water is very clear... Also the fast retreive might not work with them...

 

Anyway, I'll start with this and keep going if this thread evolves. I'll try to make my next post about Striped Bass!

Also keep in mind that I'm from Montréal, Québec, Canada so I don't surf fish as much as most of you guys. But I'm completly in love with the sport and the gear.

Edited by SurfFishDan

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Additional swim baits to consider Sebile Stick Shad -sinking, and Savage Gear Freestyler.  If you haven't already, look up Wesley Brough - CaboSurfcaster.  He guides surf fishing there and has a very active internet presence.   GT Ice Creams are also some very popular surface lures.  But the surface lures are generally geared toward seeking Roosters and they are seasonal.  So check the seasons and of course match your gear and expectations acordingly.  Between Wesley Brough and Stephen Jansen they should know the most about that area.

Edited by RKG1

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Definitely bring some sp minnows.  They work just fine down there.  If I were you, i’d reach out to Wes and book a morning with him- preferably the first day or 2 you’ll be down there.  It’s short money and you’ll see some great beaches.

 

June is good for roosters and jacks, and i’m not sure if Seirra Macs will still be there.  If Macs are are around, it wouldn’t hurt to bring some #3 deadly dicks and large size hogy epoxy minnows (not the heavy ones).  

 

All of the times i’ve been down there were february or April.  I’d love to go down in June or September... one day.

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Thanks guys! Yes I did email Wesley a little while ago about a possible trip down there and wanted to know how much he charged. Think it was 120$ USD per person for a morning (6 till 10AM). All the gear included. Think I'll try to convince the guys I'll be traveling with to book a morning in the beginning of our trip.

 

Yes we will be fishing for Roosterfish since it will be the season, late May trough early July according to Stephen Jansen. He made it pretty clear that I needed a high speed reel and a long rod (suggested a minimum of 12'). But I want to try the gear I already own, so I'll give the combos mentionned above a go for this time.

 

 And if Jack Crevalle are around, I hope to catch a big one too! I think Sierra Macks are around earlier in the year (January, February, March). I'm sure there is the potential of catching other species too which is part of the fun.

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Don't underestimate the need for high speed retrieve when targeting Roosters - 45"+. I don't know what retrieve speed your existing stuff has, but if you want to add a very good, inexpensive reel that has great retrieve speed look at the Daiwa BG 5000 at 48".  Or if your rods can handle it the Daiwa BG 8000 at 53".  Both can be had just above or below $100 if you watch for the deals.   After the trip list them for sale here and get back most of your money.

 

Another option to look at for surf rods is I see Stephen Jansen sells a 13' surf rod pretty cheap.  I know nothing about it though.  Buy one and tell us!

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I hear ya. Like I said, I'll be bringing my Tica Scepter GX9000 spooled with 30lbs braid (45'' of line per crank) matched to a 11'6'' Rapala Magnum Baja (3/4-4oz) and as a second combo, my Penn Clash 6000 spooled with 30lbs braid (41'' of line per crank) matched to a 10' Penn Carnage 2 (1-5oz)

 

My buddy angler will have his Penn Fierce II 6000 (41'' of line per crank) with carbontex upgraded drag washers and the same 10' Penn Carnage 2 surf rod as me.

My step father will be joining us and since he had nothing but a Penn Pursuit II 6000 (only 27'' of line per crank!),I ordered him a Daiwa BG 5000 (47.8'' per crank)with 30lbs braid. He will also have a 10' surf rod rated 1-5oz.

 

I asked Stephen Jansen and he says 41'' is good enough. Some blogs mention a minimum of 40'' per crank, some 42'', etc.

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2 hours ago, RKG1 said:

Don't underestimate the need for high speed retrieve when targeting Roosters - 45"+. I don't know what retrieve speed your existing stuff has, but if you want to add a very good, inexpensive reel that has great retrieve speed look at the Daiwa BG 5000 at 48".  Or if your rods can handle it the Daiwa BG 8000 at 53".  Both can be had just above or below $100 if you watch for the deals.   After the trip list them for sale here and get back most of your money.

 

Another option to look at for surf rods is I see Stephen Jansen sells a 13' surf rod pretty cheap.  I know nothing about it though.  Buy one and tell us!

The BG is too heavy to deal with. I bought two of them and this year they stay home.

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I agree with levari on that one. Above the 5000 size, which is suppose to be 22.6oz, the Daiwa BG is too heavy to cast again and again.

According to the website the 6500 is 29.5oz and the 8000 is 30oz. These numbers make no sense, but anyway... I'm sure they weigh more than 25-27oz

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On 2/23/2019 at 0:44 PM, SurfFishDan said:

I agree with levari on that one. Above the 5000 size, which is suppose to be 22.6oz, the Daiwa BG is too heavy to cast again and again.

According to the website the 6500 is 29.5oz and the 8000 is 30oz. These numbers make no sense, but anyway... I'm sure they weigh more than 25-27oz

Have a BG 5000 and BG 6500 and the 5000 is just about right weight and capacity for an 11-13' surf spinning rod.   The reel could be a bit faster to use for roosters, though.   A good cheap rod to match it with is the Daiwa Emcast "A" 11' 2-6oz rod, or 12' 3-8 oz Emcast "A".   The entire set up with the BG 5000 is under $200 including a spool of braid.  A Shimano Tiralejo 11' or 12' rod is about the same for distance (maybe a bit better) but 2-3x more expensive.

 

The 6500 is a beast.  So is the 8000 - which is same reel body but with a different spool (slightly larger diameter and .5 oz heavier; that's why the numbers are so weird).   The capacity of the spool on the BG 8000 (or even the 6500) is also way overkill, IMO, unless you are using 60+lb braid.

 

The tradeoff is weight vs. retrieve speed.  53" is certainly better than 48" for roosters but I agree that the weight difference of the 6500/8000 is incapacitating after a full day of casting.

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So I tought I should give you guys some feedback on my surf fishing trip to Cabo San Lucas. We stayed at the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica resort for the first week of June. That made it really easy for us to wake up, fish, have breakfast, fish, late lunch have Tequila and a couple of beers, fish and have a late dinner.

 

So we ended up, all three of us, catching close to 20 fish.

7-8 nice big Pacific Jack Crevalle, came close to land a couple more

6 nice Roosterfish, all around 50'', came close to land a couple more 

2 Red snappers or Colorado snappers (around 30'')

1 Sierra Mackerel

1 Pacific Snook (35'')

1 Ray that almost drained all the energy from my buddy right on is first hookup

 

There was also a lot of fast blowups behind our lures that will make you shake and curse and hurry for the next cast.

 

Is was nice to test our gear with these strong fish.

 

Gear Feedback.

Like mentioned earlier in this post, I used the following combos:

 

10' Penn Carnage II medium-heavy 1-5oz surf rod matched with my Penn Clash 6000 - I only got one wind knot ...and a weird tangle in the handle that made me loose the only Cabo Killer I had just bought. Also had a premature bail closure with I think is my fault from lifting it in that wrong spot where the bail does not click all the way back...

This rod performed very well, but you don't want to me trowing anything less than 2oz. Caught most of my fish with this combo.

 

The other combo was a 11'6'' Rapala Magnum Baja Tropical Surf Series 4 piece travel rod matched with a Tica Scepter GX10000 (removed the bail closure mechanism). Had 1 or 2 windknots.

Only caught 2 fish with this, the Sierra Mack and a big Jack. The rod is rated for 3/4 to 4oz, but I wouldn't want to throw bigger than 3oz.

 

My 2 buddy also had the same Carnage 10' but one with a Penn Fierce II 6000 (with the upgraded carbonated drag and bail closure mechanism removed) and a Daiwa BG 5000.

 

We all used the same braided line, which was...    get ready for it...   30lbs Kastking Mega 8

And it held up perfectly well attached to a 50, 60 or 80 lbs leader using an Albright knot with a TA clip at the end. We used both the 75 and 125lbs clips.

About that Kastking Mega 8... At certain points of roosterfish initial runs, I tough my reel was going to explode, it's crazy! Never heard that sound before. The line held up! After we landed a fish we always checked how much we have tighten the drag during the fight, just to see, and some times it was tighter than we would've wished. It held up perfectly. Other than bleeding it's green color, and a little thicker than the advertised diameter, it is a perfectly good braid in my opinion. Smooth and quiet.

 

My 2 buddies were complete newbies to surf fishing and casting far on a beach with a ''bigger'' rod. I actually practiced with them in local soccer fields after the snow melted here in Quebec. They did not have any windknot (even the guys casting 80-100yds with is Penn Fierce) or any gear failure. I have some experience, and I got 2-3 wind knots, had to cut some line on one of them, lost a 3oz Sebile Stick Shadd on a premature bail closure (which I blame myself) and a 3oz Cabo Killer on that goofy weird tangle that caught my handle and the but of my reel (wind) ... it was pretty windy. Sand was exfaulyating our calves.

 

And the lures! The lures that caught fish!

-GT Ice Cream Needle Nose, 2oz green and 3oz yellow (thanks RKG1 for the recommendation)

- 3oz Cabo Killer from Jansen

- 3oz Ballyhoo XL from Jansen

-Yo Zuri Hydro Minnow LC 2oz

-a random sinking pencil stickball that looks like a Stick Shad

-a 3oz jig head with a big Storm 360 paddle tail

-3oz wooden pencil popper (Tsunami ??) Did not land any of the 3 fish that hit this plug.

 

There was so much wind that only the heavy long casting surface skipping lures would get out there most of the time.

 

Anyway, I'm going back. We are all going back.

Meanwhile I'll plan a 4 day trip on the north east coast to get my surf fishing fix this Fall, like early October on some beach.

 

Cheers,

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SFD, thanks for that detailed report.  I would love to try the Cabo area some time.  6 50" Roosters?! Wow!  Those are nice fish.

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On 6/11/2019 at 10:00 PM, SurfFishDan said:

So I tought I should give you guys some feedback on my surf fishing trip to Cabo San Lucas. We stayed at the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica resort for the first week of June. That made it really easy for us to wake up, fish, have breakfast, fish, late lunch have Tequila and a couple of beers, fish and have a late dinner.

 

So we ended up, all three of us, catching close to 20 fish.

7-8 nice big Pacific Jack Crevalle, came close to land a couple more

6 nice Roosterfish, all around 50'', came close to land a couple more 

2 Red snappers or Colorado snappers (around 30'')

1 Sierra Mackerel

1 Pacific Snook (35'')

1 Ray that almost drained all the energy from my buddy right on is first hookup

 

There was also a lot of fast blowups behind our lures that will make you shake and curse and hurry for the next cast.

 

Is was nice to test our gear with these strong fish.

 

Gear Feedback.

Like mentioned earlier in this post, I used the following combos:

 

10' Penn Carnage II medium-heavy 1-5oz surf rod matched with my Penn Clash 6000 - I only got one wind knot ...and a weird tangle in the handle that made me loose the only Cabo Killer I had just bought. Also had a premature bail closure with I think is my fault from lifting it in that wrong spot where the bail does not click all the way back...

This rod performed very well, but you don't want to me trowing anything less than 2oz. Caught most of my fish with this combo.

 

The other combo was a 11'6'' Rapala Magnum Baja Tropical Surf Series 4 piece travel rod matched with a Tica Scepter GX10000 (removed the bail closure mechanism). Had 1 or 2 windknots.

Only caught 2 fish with this, the Sierra Mack and a big Jack. The rod is rated for 3/4 to 4oz, but I wouldn't want to throw bigger than 3oz.

 

My 2 buddy also had the same Carnage 10' but one with a Penn Fierce II 6000 (with the upgraded carbonated drag and bail closure mechanism removed) and a Daiwa BG 5000.

 

We all used the same braided line, which was...    get ready for it...   30lbs Kastking Mega 8

And it held up perfectly well attached to a 50, 60 or 80 lbs leader using an Albright knot with a TA clip at the end. We used both the 75 and 125lbs clips.

About that Kastking Mega 8... At certain points of roosterfish initial runs, I tough my reel was going to explode, it's crazy! Never heard that sound before. The line held up! After we landed a fish we always checked how much we have tighten the drag during the fight, just to see, and some times it was tighter than we would've wished. It held up perfectly. Other than bleeding it's green color, and a little thicker than the advertised diameter, it is a perfectly good braid in my opinion. Smooth and quiet.

 

My 2 buddies were complete newbies to surf fishing and casting far on a beach with a ''bigger'' rod. I actually practiced with them in local soccer fields after the snow melted here in Quebec. They did not have any windknot (even the guys casting 80-100yds with is Penn Fierce) or any gear failure. I have some experience, and I got 2-3 wind knots, had to cut some line on one of them, lost a 3oz Sebile Stick Shadd on a premature bail closure (which I blame myself) and a 3oz Cabo Killer on that goofy weird tangle that caught my handle and the but of my reel (wind) ... it was pretty windy. Sand was exfaulyating our calves.

 

And the lures! The lures that caught fish!

-GT Ice Cream Needle Nose, 2oz green and 3oz yellow (thanks RKG1 for the recommendation)

- 3oz Cabo Killer from Jansen

- 3oz Ballyhoo XL from Jansen

-Yo Zuri Hydro Minnow LC 2oz

-a random sinking pencil stickball that looks like a Stick Shad

-a 3oz jig head with a big Storm 360 paddle tail

-3oz wooden pencil popper (Tsunami ??) Did not land any of the 3 fish that hit this plug.

 

There was so much wind that only the heavy long casting surface skipping lures would get out there most of the time.

 

Anyway, I'm going back. We are all going back.

Meanwhile I'll plan a 4 day trip on the north east coast to get my surf fishing fix this Fall, like early October on some beach.

 

Cheers,

Where did you fish? In front of the resort ?

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