November 23, 2012
Crowds of visitors tapered off this past week, compared to earlier in the month, the majority of United States residents stay on home ground for the Thanksgiving holiday. There were many adventurous family groups that headed south in search of warm sunshine. While much of the U.S. is now feeling the chill factor of winter settling in, the Southern Baja Peninsula has felt very pleasant warm sunny conditions, with high temperatures reaching the mid 80s. Variable winds are becoming more persistent from the north, ranging from 10 to 15 mph, this is the normal pattern throughout the fall and winter months. From Cabo San Lucas to Los Frailes ocean currents have been ranging 82/83 degrees, not much in the way of temperature breaks. Water has been exceptionally clear, sport divers reportedly were able to see the bottom structure of the Gordo Banks sea mount, where the pinnacle rises to within 110 feet of the surface.
The week began with stiffer winds from the north, before settling down mid week. On certain days this limited where charters were able to comfortably fish, when offshore grounds were too rough, there were opportunities in calmer areas closer to shore that were producing catches of yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, sailfish and even a few striped marlin. Finding sufficient supplies of live bait was more time consuming and require long travel distances at times for minimal supplies, it is the period when schooling sardinas begin to migrate further into the Sea of the Cortez. These migratory patterns are now more unpredictable perhaps with the warmer than usual ocean temperatures. Still plenty of skipjack on the fishing grounds, no squid being reportedly encountered in the area.
The yellowfin tuna action on the Gordo Banks slowed way down, though a few of the larger sized tuna were accounted for, there was not much other action reported from thee banks, nor were the fish seen surfacing. There has been no drastic change of conditions and there is plenty of baitfish on these grounds, so we expect the yellowfin are still lurking in the vicinity. The tuna schooling on Iman Bank recently have averaged in the 10 to 20 pound class, mixed with aggressive skipjack, have have become very finicky, yellowfin were seen feeding on the surface, but were very shy towards striking baits with hooks, light leaders proved beneficial in hooking up, catches would vary from one or two fish per boat, to as many as a dozen. Dorado were spread out, most of the time single fish were coming into the chum line, mixed sizes, a handful of nice size bulls were accounted for. There continue to be reports of larger quantities of dorado being found on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, same areas that are also producing some good numbers for striped marlin.
Wahoo became more active this week, anglers trolling chihuil and ballyhoo baits reported strikes, rapalas produced strikes as well, a larger grade of wahoo were appearing, not as many as the small juveniles, one 70 pound class wahoo was accounted for and many others in the 20 to 45 pounds range, still no big numbers, but anglers were reporting multiple opportunities per trip. The area of La Fortuna to Iman Banks was where the majority of the wahoo strikes were taken. Things are shaping up for a good late season bite for these elusive wahoo, boat pressure, water temperature, food source and clarity are all key factors as to when these fish really become the most active, we are anticipating wahoo action through the month of December.
Sierras are being found along the beach stretches now, most of these fish have been smaller sized, just the beginning of the season for this cooler water species. Not much consistent action was found off the bottom, though a few impressive specimens of dogtooth snapper, amberjack, yellowtail and cabrilla were taken.
The combined panga fleets out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, sent out approximately 182 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
3 striped marlin, 36 wahoo, 12 sailfish, 2 yellowtail, 96 dorado, 375 yellowfin tuna, 14 amberjack, 10 cabrilla, 70 sierra, 5 dogtooth snapper, 24 misc. pargo, 16 rainbow runners and 400 skipjack .
Good Fishing, Eric