No: There is absolutely nothing wrong with anglers taking home fish to eat, at least not as far as I'm concerned. I wanted to put that out there right up front. Now I'll explain it. A longtime public stand favoring releasing game fish, from seatrout on quiet grassy flats all the way to big (brood-stock) marlin in big-money tournaments, apparently has some thinking that Sport Fishing's politically correct stance these days suggests no fish should ever be killed.
Three circumstances conspired to prompt this editorial. First, we received a letter from a reader regarding an assault in Belize; second, we decided to pull from the last issue a feature we'd scheduled on great sailfishing in the Middle East; and, third, this is our travel-theme issue. Anglers seek some of the best fishing in the world in some of the most distant and remote places. Besides offering unspoiled fishing, such trips reward anglers with the chance to experience people, cultures and landscapes often much different from their own.
Don't feel guilty about keeping fish you're going to use.
While it's true that sails do please anglers around the world, some places offer a whole lot better action than others and, for sailfish enthusiasts, prove more desirable.
Doug Olander explains how aquaculture is helping destroy the oceans' fish.
Don't sweat the small stuff: The East Cape's Dog-Day marlin fishing promises big blues and blacks
More and more fly-rod enthusiasts are realizing what an ideal setting the East Cape, particularly from late spring through early fall, offers for their sport. The variety keeps fly-fishermen on their toes, with roosters, snapper, grouper, trevallies, sierra and other species just off the beaches and rocky headlands in calm seas. Travel a bit farther out and expect dorado, yellowfin, sails and striped marlin. The Hotel Buenavista has become something of a headquarters for many Baja fly anglers, working with Baja on the Fly, as specialized as its name suggests.
"A horrifying experience with heat stroke happened to me at the East Cape. I became dehydrated, and the heat stroke almost killed me," says Michael Fowlkes of Inside Sportfishing. "My temperature reached 105, and I'd been in and out of a coma for 36 hours. An American doctor who'd been helping a friend build a house in the East Cape area saved my life.
Getting ThereYou can drive the nearly 1,000 miles from Southern California, allowing two or three days to do so, but it's not an easy drive (over narrow two-lane roads with livestock wandering about, especially at night). A better option for most: Fly from a number of U.S. cities into La Paz or, by far the most common route, Los Cabos. The drive up from Cabo takes about an hour, the taxi costing $50 to $150 or so, depending upon the number of passengers and other, often-arcane factors.
Here you can read the most current editorial from Sport Fishing magazine.