June 26, 2011


June 24, 2011

Strange week, the first week of summer felt more like winter or early spring. Persistent cold winds from the south swept in cooler currents, dropping water temperatures to 68 to 72 degrees through much of the Southern Baja coastal stretches. Murky green conditions were spread out to over 20 miles offshore, though the dirty current did not reach past Los Frailes. The season’s second Hurricane, Beatriz, developed off Southern Mexico, this system weakened over land, before encountering cooler waters and dissipating as fast as it had developed. Beatriz was located several hundred miles south of Cabo San Lucas and was packing sustained winds up to 90 mph, creating larger swells that did pound Southern Baja beaches for several days. Now, we patiently wait, It is only matter of time before the conditions turn back around, but it is hard to say exactly when this will happen. Over the weekend conditions have stabilized, winds resided, cool Pacific air relenting to summer heat once again.

As conditions drastically changed, the week started off with a wide spread die off of fish being reported. Innicially observed north of Punta Gorda, swifting in the direction of Palmilla and Cabo San Lucas. Masses of mostly smaller sized snapper species, one pound or less, deeper water specimens, a few larger fish, no dead pelagic species reported. When talking with local residents they cannot remember ever witnessing a similar incident of this scale. These fish were found floundering on the surface, gasping, eyes and bladders burst, barely alive, before drifting onto the beaches.

Of course many theories have surfaced as to what might have caused this event, among the speculations, by catch from commercial netting, poison red tide, natural occurrence, nuclear fallout from Japan, drastic current/temperature change, air bladder rupture, limited oxygen levels and terrorist poison attack. Biologists have collected specimens for study, but we have not yet heard any reports as to a confirmed cause. The die off occurred for the first part of the week and seems to have abated.

Anyway, we do know that we had an extreme current and temperature change in a matter of 24 hours, water temperature had been in the 81 to 83 degree range and when this south westerly current swept in the water temp dropped to a chilly 68 degrees, also turned over to a dirty murky green color. So we are just passing around many theories, waiting to hear any information from the biologists. Most logically reason points to something to do with such a drastic change, deep current lacking sufficient oxygen.

Anglers found extremely difficult fishing this past week, southern winds were persistent, at times gusting to 30 mph in the afternoon. Finding clean water was the main problem, high surf conditions stirred up the inshore action even more. Larger baitfish were available from the commercial fleet, such as jurelito, mullet and caballito, but finding any hungry fish to hit the bait was the hard game. A few roosterfish, jack crevalle, snapper or skipjack provided what little action was found, more numbers of roosters were found north of Vinorama, which is twenty plus miles from the Puerto Los Cabos Marina. Local panga fleets did not find any wahoo, dorado or tuna where they had the previous week. Charters that ventured 20 to 30 miles offshore did report scattered action on some football sized yellowfin tuna and an occasional dorado or marlin, but with choppy seas you were wise to be on a larger sized sportfisher to venture that far out.

Striped marlin were scattered throughout the area, as water cleans we expect them to be very hungry. On Thursday there was an encouraging report from a sportfisher that caught and released half dozen stripers from the Gordo Banks area, they found this action after having retuned from as far as 30 miles offshore, where they had seen no signs of life.

The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 51 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 3 dorado, 7 yellowfin tuna, 6 amberjack, 3 yellowtail, 18 pargo, 44 roosterfish, 32 jack crevalle, 17 cabrilla, 22 skipjack and 5 sierra.

Good fishing, Eric

June 18, 2011


Gordo Banks Pangas

San Jose del Cabo

June 18, 2011

This past week local weather patterns varied greatly, the period started with sweltering temperatures in upper 90s, clear skies and light winds. Then by later in the week, on Thursday, a front system moved in from the south, hazy marine layer, wind gusts to 30 mph made for uncomfortable wet conditions. This cooled water temperatures, ocean currents had been averaging 80 to 83 degrees, now it has dropped to 70 to 77 degrees, with 80 degree water found on the outside of Gordo Banks. A persistent swell, combined with the southern winds has pushed in murky cooler water. This in turn scatters baitfish and gamefish alike.

The good news is that significant numbers of quality gamefish are now schooling on local fishing grounds. Incredible how fast the weather can turn around during late spring, with summer season just starting, it is a matter of days or perhaps a week or two, but conditions will eventually stabilize and then it will be angler’s time for battle.

Striped marlin continue to be found in good numbers, but not as wide open as they had been, once again more prevalent further offshore, scattered through the area, the 950 and 1150 high spots were holding larger concentrations. Dorado were found spread out, most often just one or two fish, some nicer sized bulls to forty pounds were accounted for. This bite should come on strong as summer arrives. Wahoo were in the area, anglers were hooking into a few of these speedsters north of Punta Gorda while trolling with Rapala X Rap, of the handful of wahoo that were landed they were quality fish to 60 pounds.

Local panga fleets encountered the most productive action on the grounds from Iman to San Luis Banks. A mix of fish were found, snapper, yellowtail, amberjack, cabrilla and others, found over rocky bottom, the surface was dominated by tuna, with an occasional dorado, wahoo or marlin passing through. The main target species were these yellowfin tuna, ranging in sizes from 20 pounds on up to over 200 pounds. Early in the week there was a day when the La Playita panga fleet accounted for some 15 yellowfin tuna that weighed 100 pounds or more. The largest yellowfin tuna in recent days was a 218 pound fish that was landed off of the panga “Killer” with skipper Javier, the incredible part of that story was they landed the fish on 40 lb. line with 60 lb. leader.. Other impressive catches included a 180 pound tuna that was landed Thursday, during near gale like conditions, by angler David Goddard, from the Santa Cruz area, he was fishing on the “Killer II” with skipper Chame Pino, they landed this fish in less than an hour, fortunate that the fish hit the 100 pound outfit. The majority of these yellowfin were striking on live jurelito baitfish, slowly trolled or drifting. The tuna were at times striking rapalas and cedar plugs, most of these fish were 20 to 35 pounds, as the larger tuna seemed to prefer the live bait. One local pangero landed a 168 pound tuna that hit on a yo-yo jig over a rock pile where a few yellowtail to 30 pounds were hitting.

Larger sized schools of mullet did finally show up this past week, this has attracted more jack crevalle and roosterfish. There were good supplies of larger baitfish, but no source for the smaller sized sardinas, this is the normal situation as southern swells become persistent. Save

The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 83 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 sailfish, 18 striped marlin, 24 dorado, 86 yellowfin tuna, 25 amberjack, 13 yellowtail, 7 dogtooth snapper, 28 red snapper, 9 wahoo, 85 roosterfish, 64 jack crevalle, 14 cabrilla, 8 pompano, 22 bonito and 5 sierra.

Good fishing, Eric

June 11, 2011


June 10, 2011

Tropical storm season is now officially on track, before summer has even started. Some 500 miles south of Cabo San Lucas Hurricane Adrian quickly developed over warm waters and strengthening to a category four storm, the system was following a more northwesterly course, keeping it distant from land. It does not appear that Southern Baja will receive any much needed rainfall from Adrian, most likely all that will be felt, is increased humidity and larger ocean swells through the weekend.

Weather conditions for late spring were ideal, very few clouds in the sky, high temperatures close to 90 degrees, variable breezes from the Pacific were keeping things comfortable. A marine layer has been hanging over coastal stretches, spots of occasional fog. Strong ocean currents were sweeping in murky water closer to shore, though clear blue water has been found within five miles of shore. Ocean temperatures are mostly in the 78 to 80 degrees range. More flying fish spotted offshore, as well as schools of skipjack and bolito. The annual migration of schooling mullet has been late to arrive this season, but in recent days there has been an increase in activity. Anglers have hooked into roosterfish to forty pounds in recent days, though roosters in the 10 to 15 pound range have been more common. We expect to see the peak run of larger sized roosterfish to appear within the next few weeks, should be exciting. It is also the time when dogtooth snapper and amberjack follow bait schools close to shore.

Anglers can find a variety of options now, offshore looking for striped marlin, dorado and yellowfin tuna, to trolling over the ledges for the elusive wahoo, taking a look off the rock piles for snapper, amberjack or grouper, then there is the option of slow trolling live baits over the inshore rocky outcroppings for a chance battle with a bruiser of a dogtooth. In recent days there has been a great variety of fish encountered, though none of these species, with the exception of huachinango (red snapper) were found in great number.

The grounds near La Fortuna to Iman Bank were attracting schools of red snapper (huachinango), perhaps the small jelly fish bloom in the same region has brought these fish here. At times the ocean surface would turn red as the snapper came up to feed. Anglers were landing easy limits of five fish per person, for snapper that ranged 5 to 10 pounds, they were readily striking on yo-yo style jigs throughout the water column. A handful of yellowtail to 30 pounds were also landed, there were increasing numbers now for amberjack, including quality sized specimens of fish to 60 or 80 pounds. These fish were hitting on both yo-yo jigs and drifted baits.

Last weekend we saw more dorado in the counts, fish up to 40 pounds, throughout the week, variable currents have scattered the dorado, only an occasional fish or two being found, as conditions settle we expect to see more of these fish. Same deal for wahoo, everyday there are reports of a few fish landed and others lost, wahoo to 68 pounds were weighed in this past week, many others up to fifty. Encouraging to see such quality this early in the season.

Striped marlin action, which has been off the map for almost a month now, has tapered off this past week. Further offshore once again in cleaner waters, charters reported as many as five releases, others had one or two. The stripers were hitting trolled lures and dropped back live baits, mullet, caballito or jurelito, some larger stripers to 160 pounds were landed.

Yellowfin tuna are in the area, but have been difficult to entice on a daily basis and in any quantity. Though the quality was there, as at least several yellowfin over 100 pounds were brought into the La Playita panga docking facility in recent days. These tuna were found moving with small pods of larger sized dark porpoise, on the areas north of Punta Gorda to San Luis. There had been action for anglers on schooling sized tuna up to 20 pounds off of the Chileno area, but this action came to a standstill as the water became off colored in that area.

The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 104 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of:

5 sailfish, 29 striped marlin, 42 dorado, 20 yellowfin tuna, 46 amberjack, 9 yellowtail, 6 dogtooth snapper, 566 red snapper, 15 wahoo, 62 roosterfish, 24 jack crevalle, 16 cabrilla, 7 pompano, 28 bointo and 8 sierra.

Good fishing, Eric