Anglers Keep Busy on Tuna and Dorado, Wahoo in the Mix ~ Sept. 28 ,2013


September 28, 2013
Anglers –

With the fall season now officially here we have seen a substantial increase in anglers arriving in the Los Cabos area. After the near miss of Hurricane Manuel last week conditions have now settled down, though still very tropical, high humidity and scattered cloud cover threatening rain squalls at times, it is that time of year when we see local tropical weather patterns develop in the afternoon, often raining in areas north of the airport, while the rest the region just swelters in the muggy conditions. Despite the day time temperatures being in the 90s the early mornings are now cooler and some north winds are starting to make their presence felt.

Strong ocean currents persist, predominately from the south, water temperatures have ranged from the upper 70s on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas to an average of 85/86 degrees in the direction of the Sea of Cortez and towards Los Frailes. The majority of the sportfishing fleets have been concentrating efforts on the fishing grounds where the warmer water is present. Large schools of baitfish are spread out on the offshore grounds, plenty of food sources for attracting gamefish. Commercial bait supplies were scrambling to find new resources, as during recent storm activity and full moon phase the bait became scarcer. In recent days pangeros were traveling as far as La Ribera to obtain sardinas for the fleet, selling fresh dead bait and limited supplies of live sardinas. Squid were no longer being found in local waters, but were plentiful off the East Cape region. Some anglers are finding some early morning action for bolito, which are making great trolling baits, though have not been easy to catch once the sun rises.

The most consistent action recently has been found from La Fortuna, Iman, San Luis and Vinorama, this is where anglers have been drift fishing with strips of squid and either live or dead sardinas, catching good numbers of yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 15 pound class, anglers have had better success using sardinas in recent days, compared to the squid. These is a lot of pressure on these grounds now, increased local crowds, as well as the East Cape Fleets were traveling the long run to get into this same action, where their abundant supplies of live sardinas have been enticing the tuna into a feeding frenzy. Using lighter leaders of 25/30 lb. has resulted in greater number of strikes.

The larger yellowfin tuna are still lurking on the Gordo Banks, though this past week for anglers did try to hook into a cow, they did not have success, we only heard of one yellowfin of 120 pounds being taken off the Gordo, this was on Thursday, trolling alive bolito. There were many sailfish and a few striped marlin, but the tuna did not want to cooperate, with the swift current and concentrations of bait on these grounds, these tuna have plenty to eat, hard to say what is going on, though the tuna are not seen feeding on the surface either, perhaps hanging deeper, escaping the currents and preferred cooler depths. We are anticipating seeing these giants become more active soon.

Dorado have been found in good numbers, though most of them are smaller fish and only a small percentage are topping the 15 pound mark, remember to release as many of these juvenile fish as possible so that they can have the chance to mature and reproduce.

Still no consistent action for wahoo, these elusive fish are in the area though, normally they become more active as water temperature lower into the 78/80 degree range. A handful of wahoo in the 25 to 35 lb. class were landed, many of these were taken incidentally while drift fishing for tuna on straight mono leader, though when anglers added wire leader then these fish would not strike the same baits.

Rounding out the action were limited numbers of bottom structure species, including amberjack, grouper, barred pargo, bonito and dogtooth snapper, not many of these fish were encountered in the strong currents, though some impressive specimens were accounted for. Also some rainbow runners being found, these jacks congregate on the high spots and prefer the warmer water temperatures, scrappy fighters and good eating, ranging up to 15 pounds.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 126 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 18 sailfish, 8 wahoo, 9 amberjack,18 rainbow runners, 15 bonito, 3 dogtooth snapper, 8 barred pargo, 6 grouper, 715 yellowfin tuna and 320 dorado.

Good fishing, Eric

Hurricane Manuel Passes Offshore, Spares Los Cabos, Super Cow Tuna Landed ~ Sept. 21, 2013


September 21, 2013
Anglers –

Crowds of tourists visiting Los Cabos were relatively light this past week, this is the normal pattern for the later part of September, though with the fall season just about ready to start in earnest, surely there will be a flood of visitors swarm the area in the coming weeks, as this is always one of the busiest times of the year. The great all around fishing action and ideal weather conditions, along with world famous high stake fishing tournaments attract people from all over the world. Another reason for limited numbers of tourists this past week was the highly publicized forecast of the most recent Tropical Storm Manuel, which first struck the southern mainland near Acapulco and cause disastrous flood damage, resulted in many deaths, the system was downgraded to a depression after making landfall but then regenerated strength once getting back over the warm ocean waters and heading in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, forecasters were unsure of its erratic path, with water temperatures near 90 degrees Manuel did reach category one hurricane status and ended up making landfall in Sinaloa, where it again caused major flood damage.

The Southern Baja region was bracing for probable impact, though they were spared any major damage, on Wednesday afternoon there was wide spread lightening, thunder and rain squalls, but there were not any reports of high winds or heavy ocean storm conditions developing. Local ports were closed for both Wednesday and Thursday, reopening for Friday morning. As a precaution the government also closed schools for the same two days, despite clear calm conditions on Thursday, this seemed a bit over overcautious, as there are already so many holiday vacation days scheduled.

Building up to this latest storm, anglers reported the most consistent fishing action for dorado and yellowfin tuna. The majority of the dorado were now juvenile sized, with a small percentage of these fish going over 15 pounds, scattered throughout the area in medium sized schools, striking on lures and various baits. Baitfish were scarcer during this period, as bait suppliers were finding it harder to jig up caballito during the dark hours and the squid that had been in the area the past couple of weeks had all but vanished, the commercial fleet is now scouting out new bait sources. The East Cape had been finding good supplies of sardinas, but apparently these schools were scattered from higher surf conditions that struck this area with the passing of TS Manuel.

The best action for the yellowfin tuna was found from Iman to San Luis Bank, anglers were using strips of squid to entice tuna up to 25 lb., while fly lining these baits on the surface they could find limits of five fish per license. Then when the source of fresh squid disappeared anglers had to rely again on trolling hoochies, smaller feathers or cedar plugs and the numbers of yellowfin were not as high. East Cape boats had been making the long run south to these same fishing grounds and with live sardinas they were having a field day for the yellowfin tuna, but now they are scrambling for bait as well. With the weather once again settled down we expect the bait situation to improve, even though we are also now dealing with the full moon phase, which never seems to help the abundance of bait sources. We do expect to see sardinas moving into local waters very soon, as this is the annual migration pattern.

On Friday, the first day that the port reopened after Hurricane Manuel, a group of three local La Playita pangeros hooked into a super cow sized yellowfin tuna while trolling a live bolito on the Gordo Banks from a 22 ft. panga, after a two and a half hour battle they were able to bring the fish to gaff, back at the docks the yellowfin was weighed in at 367 pounds, largest tuna reportedly caught this season, a definite tournament jackpot contender.

There has been limited bottom fishing opportunities due to very persistent strong currents, almost unprecedented, we do expect with weather patterns now transitioning that this current will reside and will open new option for anglers.

With the arrival of fall, we see the water temperatures start to fall and with this species such as wahoo normally become more active, so are all anticipating this, as well as improved bait resources. Though this is now always the period when we feel high humidity, the worst of the summer heat is past and we will now be enjoying ideal weather in the coming months.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 48 charters for this storm shortened week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 2 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 4 wahoo, 2 amberjack, 4 dogtooth snapper, 225 yellowfin tuna and 160 dorado.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado and Wahoo Highlight Local Action ~ Sept. 14, 2013


September 14, 2013
Anglers –

Local weather has settled down this past week, this has given the area a chance to dry out after all of the recent rainfall. The desert landscape has transformed to a lush green color, days remain warm, with scattered tropical cloud cover and high humidity. With each passing day we are starting to feel a hint of fall in the air, particularly early morning. There is now a low pressure system developing off of the Southern Mexico mainland coast and we will be monitoring its progress closely, as this is the time when the local environment is favorable for tropical storms to form rapidly.

Crowds of tourists are light now, this is the time when family priorities shift towards starting the new school year. It will be soon enough when the busy fall fishing season is in full swing. For the anglers that are making the trip they have enjoyed great fishing action in recent days. Most consistent bite has been found on the areas north of Punta Gorda, from La Fortuna to San Luis Bank, for yellowfin tuna and dorado. Ocean current has been swift from the south, this has made any bottom fishing that much more difficult. Water temperatures are in the 84 to 87 degree range, clear blue conditions are found within a couple of miles from shore.

Squid has been the best bait for the yellowfin tuna, the giant squid are being jigging up by the commercial fleet in dark hours and sold to charter boats in the morning, there are also limited supplies of caballito, still no sardinas available. Drift fishing with strips of squid on light tackle has been the best bet for catching limits of yellowfin tuna, the fish were now larger than in previous weeks, averaging 15 to 20 pounds. The larger cow sized tuna that were starting to show up on the Gordo Banks have not been active this past week, though surely they are still in the area, we expect these cows to become more active soon.

Dorado schools have been spread throughout the area, found by trolling lures and baitfish. The majority of the fish have been smaller sized, though with patience anglers have been able to find some larger sized dorado mixed in. Limit on these fish is two per license and the inspectors are enforcing these regulations. Only a few wahoo being accounted for, they become sluggish in the warmer water, we expect that these speedsters will become more active as fall conditions transition in the coming weeks.

Billfish have slowed this past week out of San Jose del Cabo, only scattered reports of mostly smaller sized striped marlin, surely there are black and blue marlin lurking on the grounds, they just are not readily striking lately, the way the conditions are anything could happen on any given day.

No inshore action being reported, bottom action was limited to a handful of amberjack, pargo and grouper, though no numbers to speak of, though a few impressive fish were accounted for, amberjack up to 78 lb. and one grouper over 100 pounds landed by a La Playita commercial pangero, current has been relentless, hard to effectively drift fish the bottom structure when moving so fast.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 75 charters this past week with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 8 wahoo, 5 amberjack, 2 grouper, 16 red snapper, 300 black skipjack, 415 yellowfin tuna and 550 dorado (many released).

Good fishing, Eric