Tropical Storm Juliette Brings More Rain, Cow Sized Tuna on the Gordo Banks ~ August 31, 2013


August 31, 2013
Anglers –

This past week we witnessed how late summer tropical climate patterns can change within a matter of hours. After enjoying relatively stable conditions for a couple of weeks, this all changed on Wednesday afternoon, as a disorganized low pressure system all of a sudden developed into Tropical Storm Juliette. Within 12 hours this storm passed directly over Cab San Lucas and continued towards central Baja. TS Juliette traveling at a rapid pace, 30 mph hour, not giving much of a chance to gain more strength, this was fortunate, as not a lot of damage was reports, normal low land flooding and some moderate wind damage, as gusts of 45 mph were steady and even higher winds of 75 mph were recorded in isolated areas.

Sportfishing fleet were shut down for last Friday and Saturday due to high swells and rain caused by TS Ivo and once again there were closed port red flag conditions on this Thursday, before reopening for Friday morning, as ocean settled down and skies cleared. The next few weeks is always a time when weather forecasts are monitored closely.

Most consistent fishing action recently has been for dorado, found scattered throughout the region, traveling in schools of various sized fish, the majority of which have been juvenile sized, though there is a percentage of much larger dorado mixed in. There have been increasing numbers of wahoo being reported, striking mainly on lures, over the traditional high spots, as well as in the open blue water. This is favorable sigh to see this many wahoo so easy in the season, as they normally become more active later on in the fall.

There was excitement on the Gordo Banks, as the season’s first large sized yellowfin tuna are moving on to these grounds. On Tuesday there were several big tuna landed, up to 250 pounds, many other hook ups were lost while battling huge tuna on heavy gear, the word traveled quickly, on Wednesday there were heavy boat pressure and the big tuna did not want to cooperate, though some of these cows were seen briefly feeding on surface. Anglers have been using various baitfish, bolito, skipjack yellowfin, chihuil and strips of fresh squid. As weather settles down we anticipate this action will only improve, everyone is tuning up their heavy gear, so that can be best prepared to battle these giants. There are football sized yellowfin tuna being found throughout the zone, sometimes they have been associated with porpoise, but often just encountered by blind strikes while trolling hoochie type lures and cedar plugs.

Inshore action has really come to a standstill, this is normal during this period of higher swell conditions, which also scatter inshore baitfish schools. Not much bottom action now due to the continued strong current, a handful of red snapper found alongside the anchored commercial fleet. Most consistent fishing has found near the surface, charters are using a combination of lures and the available baitfish. Anglers now have a chance offshore of hooking into a grand slam of billfish, as there are striped, blue and black marlin, as well as sailfish all present on the offshore grounds.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 45 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 blue marlin, 2 black marlin, 8 striped marlin, 5 sailfish, 84 yellowfin tuna, 162 dorado, 4 wahoo and 18 huachinango (red snapper).

Good fishing, Eric

Offshore Action on Hold due to Tropical Storm IVO ~ August 24, 2013


August 24, 2013

Anglers –

For the past couple of weeks the weather was relatively calm, hot and humid, with some afternoon breezes. At this time we are bracing for a weekend of thunderstorms, forecasters predict rainfall of six inches possible over the Southern Baja. High swells to 15 feet, with winds of 30 knots will shut down sportfishing operations through the weekend. This storm, now named Tropical Storm IVO, is predicted to follow a path well to the west of the Baja Peninsula, the system is expansive, several separate areas of disturbance are joining forces, slow moving and holding a lot of moisture.

Ocean conditions had settled, we enjoyed calm weather patterns, offshore fishing action was improving steadily. Dorado were the most common catch, with large schools of smaller grade fish now present, there were still some nicer bull dorado to 30 pounds or more accounted for, lot of juveniles to deal with, these should be released to mature and reproduce, dorado are one of the fastest growing species, studies say they grow five pounds per month. Best practice is to release all of the smaller dorado and if interested in capturing your limit of two dorado for personally consumption, choose a pair of the larger catches. Anglers have been finding easy limits for dorado, anglers found these fish from within one mile of shore, to the offshore grounds, these gamefish have been readily striking a wide variety of trolled lures and baits.

Football sized yellowfin tuna have been consistently found in recent weeks, these fish were found closer to shore and not associated with porpoise, schooling on the Iman and San Luis Banks, as well on the Gordo Banks, mixed in with skipjack, finicky to bite at times, striking on strips of squid and trolled hoochies, anglers were fortunate to land several of these small tuna, some anglers did find fast limits. On Tuesday, Gordo Banks Pangas skipper Chame Pino, with angler Dave Martin, visiting from Colorado, while trolling a live bolito on the San Luis Bank hooked into what would be the season’s first La Playita Cow Tuna. While using 80 pound tackle, Dave and Chame teamed to subdue this giant tuna in under two and a half hours.. Commercial pangeros targeting huachinango on this these same grounds had reported that they had seen large tuna feeding on these grounds the previous afternoon, apparently the larger grade yellowfin are now moving into the area, right on schedule.

Billfish action has been steady, lots of striped marlin, some sailfish and good numbers of larger sized blue marlin were reported, many blues were caught and released from anglers on sportfishers. A group of local La Playita pangeros teamed up to land a black marlin that was estimated at easily over 500 lb., hooked while trolling a small yellowfin tuna on the Gordo Banks. The season is showing encouraging prospects for an excellent fall season to come. Wahoo were also more active this past week, despite warm water temperatures near 85 degrees, wahoo to 50 pounds were landed while trolling the blue water ledges, no great numbers, but good for this time of year.

No inshore action now, a few late season roosterfish by the PLC Marina entrance, bottom bite was off due to the persistent strong currents. Red snapper (huachinango are being found in good numbers by the commercial fleet, they have been anchoring on deeper areas and using cut squid. Giant squid are being found in big numbers off of the Los Frailes and East Cape area, small sized giants, under two feet in length, same food source that attracts big fish.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 65 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 blue marlin, 1 black marlin, 23 striped marlin, 6 sailfish, 115 yellowfin tuna, 250 dorado, 13 wahoo,16 roosterfish, 38 huachinango (red snapper) and 7 cabrilla.

Good fishing, Eric




Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado and Marlin Keep Anglers Busy ~ August 17, 2013


August 17, 2013

Anglers –

Despite this time of year traditionally be known as the off season tourists visiting Southern Baja, this summer there have been quite a few people arriving. We are now in the midst of the most tropical period, which normally lasts for the next four or five weeks. On Monday there was a storm front that swept in from the east, lightening, thunder, some scattered rain, sportfishing fleets canceled early morning charters, by 9 a.m. the front had passed and some charters did launch later. This is local tropical weather forming offshore, chance of isolated rain showers and more rain over the weekend. Though there are new tropical storms that are forming to the south, with ocean water temperature now 85 degrees or warmer the environment is ripe for quick storm develop, heat index has been over 100 degrees, very high humidity and forecasts will be monitored closely.

With the warming tropical weather, light winds, ocean temperatures have risen and the all around offshore fishing action has improved. Clean blue water is now close to shore, concentrations of bolito, skipjack and football sized yellowfin tuna are on the fishing grounds, attracting a variety of gamefish, catches have included, sailfish, blue marlin, striped marlin, dorado, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and skipjack. Inshore there are still decent numbers of late season roosterfish hanging around the Puerto Los Cabos Marina Jetty area.

Not much bottom action now available, swift currents make it more difficult for drift fishing over the structure. The commercial panga fleet coming from the Los Frailes direction have been setting anchors on the San Luis Bank and hauling in big numbers of huachinango, the true red snapper, valuable commercial catch, averaging 6 to 12 pounds. Some of the charter boats are now getting into this action, drift fishing with pieces of fresh giant squid. The squid are being caught off Los Frailes in quantity, can be purchased from this panga fleet, $10 buys you a lot of squid, this is something that has just developed this week, it has been working though.

Still no supplies of sardinas, these baitfish would work great for chumming the yellowfin tuna into a surface feeding frenzy, it is time the local bait supplying pangeros should starting to scout out this bait source. In the mean time they are still finding plentiful caballito, mullet and moonfish. Surf conditions are moderate now, takes one group to start chasing the sardinas, then the rest will follow.

Dorado have been the most numerous gamefish being found, ranging in all sizes, up to 45 lb., offshore and inshore, throughout the blue water, striking a wide variety of lures and baits, blind strikes and found on set buoys or other debris. Many dorado are be released, the limit on these fish is two per license, best to release the juveniles and only bag the larger specimens. More wahoo were accounted for off the high spots north of Punta Gorda, most of these fish hit on trolled lures and ranged in the 25 to 50 lb. class. Wahoo are normally not that active when the water temperatures get so warm, but these fish are elusive and will feed when they feel like it.

Striped marlin have been hanging around, despite the warm currents, while most of the stripers would now be found in cooler Pacific waters, there are significant numbers of these fish still in the area, at times found in grounds of five or six, tailing on the surface, often proving to be finicky and not interested, other times readily striking lures and trolled baits. Everyday we are hearing stories of blue marlin strikes and an occasional black marlin encounter, we expect to see more of this action, as this is now the time, with the conditions ideal and the food prevalent, big fish will be lurking.

Yellowfin tuna action has been found from Iman to San Luis Bank, trolling hoochie type lures or drift fishing with strips of fresh squid, the action has been sporadic, feeding on their particular schedule, some charter would have 5 to 10 tuna in the box, though most anglers were fortunate to catch one or two. Sizes have averaged 8 to 15 pounds.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 78 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 blue marlin, 38 striped marlin, 8 sailfish, 124 yellowfin tuna, 215 dorado, 12 wahoo, 30 roosterfish, 14 jack crevalle, 45 huachinango (red snapper) and 11 cabrilla.

Good fishing, Eric