May 26, 2012

May 26, 2012

Anglers –

The month of May continues to produce variable weather patterns, this week began with wind out of the southwest, pushing in cooler Pacific air, even some marine fog, sweeping cold ocean currents in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. Water temperatures varied from a chilly 58 degrees on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, to an average of 64/66 degrees off of the San Jose del Cabo region, while north of Los Frailes, where this Pacific current terminates, here the ocean temperatures are holding in the 76 to 78 degree range. This is a twenty degree variance in water conditions within a fifty mile stretch of coastline.

While anglers have had to work harder and have more patience in the cooler waters, surfers put on their wet suits and were eagerly awaiting the larger swells that were being generated by Hurricane Bud, the season’s second named storm, which is now some 100 miles south of Manzanillo and predicted to leave 10 to 20 inches of rainfall in areas of the state of Jalisco, before pulling a u-turn and slowly heading back west, well south of any impact with the Southern Baja Peninsula.

Green off colored water is normally associated with colder currents, migrating pelagic gamefish seek out more favorable habitat and anglers have to have patience waiting for conditions to recover, sometimes this can happen overnight, other times the turnaround can take weeks, currents do need to shift back from the north, in order so the warmer currents off of the East Cape region can shift back in the direction of Los Cabos.

Striped marlin has been the main attraction found offshore, fish have been more scattered with recent conditions, but most charters are having opportunities, no great numbers now, but catches of one or two marlin were not uncommon. The billfish were striking on live caballito and lures, often encountered tailing on the surface, hitting dropped back bait, most of the time 5 to 20 miles offshore. Very few dorado talked about this past week, will most likely be the same scenario until waters warm back into the mid 70s.

Increased swells made it tough for the pangeros to net sardinas, supplies of caballito have remained steady. As conditions stabilize we do expect to see larger concentrations of bolito and skipjack surface on the fishing grounds. In the mean time we wait for a warming trend.

While there were no tuna, dorado or exotic wahoo frenzies to report, anglers did find some mixed inshore action, along the shoreline and off the rocky high spots. This option was not consistent from day to day, certain spots produced well one day, then the next day slowed to a standstill, while reports of great action came in from other areas, hard to try everywhere in one morning. The week started off with great yellowtail and mixed cabrilla, grouper action found off of Palmilla to Red Hill, in 100 to 150 feet of water. The yellowtail were striking on yo-yo’s, surface trolling bait, down rigger baits, rapalas and even on surface trolled marlin type lures. Nice grade of fish, averaging 20 to 30 pounds. A few amberjack mixed in, with leopard grouper to 15 pounds and gulf grouper to 30 pounds rounding out catches. Yellowtail at times were seen cruising in the swells, as do marlin, these fish appear to be on the move, unsettled ocean conditions have them scattering in new directions.

Roosterfish provided steady action for anglers while trolling live baits close to the shoreline, more of the roosters were less than 15 pounds, but there are some impressive size fish to over 50 pounds also starting to appear, the next several weeks is when we normally see the bigger roosterfish start patrolling local beach stretches, cold currents has set their schedule back.

This next week local residents are gearing up for the traditional national holiday of the “Dia de la Marina”. In La Playita there is always heavy anticipation for celebrating this event, with three days of activities, including late night dances, carnival rides, parades, horse match races, off road vehicle races and of course more than enough cerveza (beer).

The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 82 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 3 dorado, 18 amberjack, 4 dogtooth snapper, 88 various pargo species,78 roosterfish, 19 jack crevalle, 26 cabrilla, 8 pompano, 56 yellowtail and 16 sierra.

Good fishing, Eric



May 19, 2012

May 19, 2012
Anglers –

The weather is often unpredictable during the late spring season. Normal patterns for the Los Cabos area, is that we see the ocean water temperature hold on a steady warming trend through the month of April and through the first half of the month of May, then as winds and currents shift, there is cold water that sweeps in from the Pacific, within a day water temperatures can drop by fifteen degrees. This current typically does not reach any further than Los Frailes. With the IGFA Tournament being held this week we did notice an increase of visitors. During the first two days of the tournament anglers witnessed near record paced striped marlin action, teams faced much tougher conditions on the third and fourth day, though many marlin were still tagged. Weather patterns changed on Wednesday, relentless winds from the west, shifting to the south and persisting through the week. Overnight the ocean water temperatures dropped from being in the upper 70’s to a chilly 60 degrees off of Cabo San Lucas, off San Jose del Cabo the water is now in the 65 degree range. Marine fog also moved in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, had previously been hanging over the Pacific. Some thirty miles offshore, near the Cabrillo Seamount the water temp is now about 72 degrees. Anglers will need patience for patterns to stabilize and wait for the ocean to warm back up. Could be a matter of days or weeks, hard to predict, but things can change rapidly during transition periods, we must remain optimistic.

Before the mid week weather change it was feeling more like summer, air temperatures into the 90’s, clean blue current in the 75 to 80 degree range found within miles of shore. We were starting to see a few wahoo showing, even some action for yellowfin tuna was encountered, along with some great variety off of the bottom spots and continued wide open marlin action on the offshore fishing grounds. On Thursday the wind gusted from the south and this made for a tough day with limited options. Most charters ended up trolling close to shore, where most found wide open roosterfish action, some larger sized roosters were accounted for, including one 60 pound specimen landed and released by John Hefty of Cabo San Lucas while fishing with skipper Chame Pino. Trolling with caballito was the most consistent deal for the inshore action. Sardinas had been available again, but with increasing southern swells this is a day to day situation, as to if the live sardinas will be available.

Early in the week there was great striped marlin action encountered off of the San Jose del Cabo grounds, fish were striking on practically anything, lures, ballyhoo, caballito, bolito and skipjack, multiple catches were common. Only an occasional dorado was found, a few wahoo strikes were being reported, as these elusive speedsters were becoming more active in the warmer waters. Several groups of a half dozen or more wahoo were seen slowing swimming on the surface, in shallow waters off of Cardon, these fish would not strike on anything presented to them, but one resourceful pangero rigged up a small treble hook from a yo-yo jig and successfully snagged two wahoo, we won’t mention any names, this technique of hooking a fish might not be legal, but it sure made for an exciting story.

Early in the week anglers reported tuna strikes while trolling with live bolito outside of San Luis, these yellowfin were found traveling with larger sized porpoise and were in the 70 to 100 pound class, limited numbers were landed, but other fish were lost and many strikes were missed, it was encouraging news, but now we will play the waiting game for conditions to become favorable again.

The Gordo Banks were really showing a lot of early in the week, tons of baitfish on the surface, red crabs and whale sharks cruising about, not many gamefish caught, besides striped marlin later in the day, but sure was a promising sign.

Construction on the new hotel in La Playita continues at a rapid pace, apparently no problem with funding here. We have heard it is going to be a Four Seasons Resort, do not see their sign up yet. Apparently some eighty rooms, three to four stories, all are overlooking the Puerto Los Cabos Marina.

Local Marina officials have become stricter with the commercial pangeros bait sellers, now enforcing that no netting or selling be done inside the boundary set near the channel entrance. These local are not easy to persuade into conforming to new rules, kind of like the Wild West was..

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 77 charters for the week with anglers reporting a fish count of: 28 striped marlin, 7 yellowfin tuna, 15 dorado, 2 wahoo, 28 cabrilla, 85 various pargo species, 14 jack crevalle, 2 yellowtail, 19 amberjack, 135 roosterfish, 12 pompano, 8 bonito and 14 sierra.

Good Fishing, Eric

May 12, 2012

May 12, 2012
Anglers –

Springtime weather in Southern Baja is starting to feel more like summer, as high temperatures were reaching 90 degrees, though early in the morning there was still a slight chill inthe air, in reality the climate now is ideal, with variable breezes later in the day helping to keep conditions comfortable. Ocean currents are now coolest on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, where it is averaging 68 to 69 degrees, in the direction of the Gordo Banks anglers are finding warmer water of 74 to 76 degrees. Early in the week there was a day when we felt serious thunder with lightning strikes throughout the area, only scattered reports of actually rainfall, but where it did rain, the drops were large, very tropical and unusual for this time of year. The majority of the sportfishing fleets were fishing on the grounds off of Chileno to the 1150 spot, the Gordo Banks and north towards Iman, Desteladera and San Luis Banks.

Live bait options remained plentiful for caballito and after becoming scarce for a couple of weeks, nice sized sardinas were once again available, pangeros found schools of these baitfish inshore near San Luis, with calmer surf conditions, this gave the netters opportunities to reach the baitfish. There was also the option of purchasing bags of fresh dead sardinas from the dock area and they were being used mainly for chumming over shallow rocky areas for catching a mix of bottom species. Larger concentrations of bolito are now schooling on the fishing grounds, being caught early in the day for use as trolling baits on the same grounds.

The red hot striped marlin action encountered last week off of San Jose del Cabo tapered off for several days during the recent moon period. In the past day or so the action seems to be rebounding, many stripers were seen tailing on the surface, a percentage of these were striking lures or bait, while many showed no interest. The area from the Gordo Banks to the 1150 spot seemed to have the larger concentration of billfish. There were fewer dorado encounters this past week, only a scattering of mostly single fish found. There were reports of schooling dorado found near shark buoys north of Gordo, but these do-dos apparently had lock jaw and would not hit on anything.

Yellowfin tuna were not found with any consistency, some days anglers did find larger sized yellowfin of 100 pounds plus, breezing in the same area with porpoise, these fish would come up and feed on chummed sardinas, but just would not strike any baits with hooks with them, strange to see tuna act in this manner, but it is not all that uncommon, with the abundance of natural food source on the banks these fish can become obsessed with feeding on a particular resource on their own schedule. There were a handful of medium sized tuna hooked into while trolling Rapalas near the Iman to San Luis area, but still hit or miss.

More reports now heard of seeing free swimming wahoo and occasional hook ups, despite limited numbers, still very encouraging to see these pelagic becoming more active, it seems that they always prefer water temperature in the mid to upper 70s. The wahoo being hooked now have ranged from 10 to 70 pounds, the larger specimens were landed on the marlin grounds on trolled bolito, though more numbers of the ‘hoo were encountered closer to shore, north of Punta Gorda, striking sardinas, yo-yo’s and Rapalas.

With offshore fishing action still producing limited options, many panga charter charters are fishing closer to shore over the rocky structure for a quality mix of great eating species, most of these fish are striking on caballito or sardinas, with some mixed success had on yo-yo jigs as well. Amberjack up to 60 pounds were accounted for, with a few yellowtail of 10 to 30 pounds in the mix, yellow snapper, barred pargo, huachinango, leopard grouper and pompano rounded out the action. In the past couple of days anglers enjoyed the seasons first consistent action for quality and quantity of pompano, these jacks were averaging ten pounds, striking on live bait close to shore two miles north of Puerto Los Cabos, off of La Salinas. These are some of the finest eating fish found in local waters and that includes a smorgasbord list of others.

Trolling the beach stretches has produced sierra, jack crevalle and roosterfish. There were reports of dogtooth snapper starting to show up as well, time to break out the stout tackle for these brutes.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 62 charters this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 21 striped marlin, 7 wahoo, 14 dorado, 8 yellowfin tuna, 34 barred pargo, 65 yellow snapper, 18 sierra, 27 amberjack, 8 yellowtail, 27 cabrilla, 28 roosterfish, 98 pompano, 8 mako shark and 16 hammerhead sharks.

Good Fishing, Eric