Larger Tuna and Wahoo More Active North of Gordo Banks ~ October 31, 2015


Anglers –
October 31, 2015

It seems that our fall weather patterns have finally stabilized, no new late season tropical storms have developed since last week’s incredibly power Hurricane Patricia, which made land fall near Puerto Vallarta, surprisingly the damage was not too extensive. Ocean water temperatures have dropped a couple of degrees in recent days, now into the 84/85 degree range, this cooling trend should continue as days are becoming progressively shorter. Swells have been moderate, tides fairly extreme with passing of the full moon, winds increased from the south and north winds are starting to play havoc for the East Cape region. Daytime highs were still into the low 90s, but now it appears we will have more comfortable conditions in the mid 80s, with low of 65 degrees, time for long sleeve t-shirts, sweatshirts and wind breakers.

Sportfishing fleets continue to be busy, with the Bisbee Tournament now past, everyone is gearing up for the WON Tuna Jackpot scheduled for next week. In recent weeks all of the larger yellowfin tuna encountered were coming from the Pacific Banks, San Jaime or Golden Gate, just in recent days with the change in currents, there have been tuna to over 200 pounds found on the grounds off of San Jose del Cabo and to the north of the Gordo Banks. These larger grade of tuna were traveling with fast moving porpoise and were striking on strips of squid. Still no big numbers, but definitely a chance at hooking into a tournament winner, one panga charter lost an estimated 250 lb. tuna after a long battle, right as they were trying to gaff the fish, talk about a heartbreak.

The action close to shore off of Punta Gorda that has been going on for the past few weeks, continues, this is where tuna up to 40 lb. were sporadically biting, best action usually early, then becoming spottier throughout the day. Triggerfish, pompano and various pargo species rounded out that action off the point, overall this bite is starting to fade out and charters are now scouting out new grounds. Iman Bank is showing more activity for wahoo, as well as chances at tuna or dorado, again no big numbers, but with changing conditions, anything could happen on any given day. Wahoo were ranging from 15 lb. to over 50 lb., striking on Rapalas, skirted lead heads, as well as on chihuil or other rigged baits, including flying fish, if you were able to obtain them, as some skippers were able to a couple of weeks back when they ran into schools of these flyers in a spawning mode and were able to scoop them up with their bait nets by the dozens, of course this was a one day event.

Billfish has been mainly a mix of sailfish or striped marlin for San Jose fleets, with higher chances for blue marlin off of the Cabo San Lucas and Pacific grounds. Sailfish were found close to shore where the tuna action was. With ocean temperatures still warm, there could be blue or black marlin hooked late into the year, even early 2016.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 148 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 21 sailfish, 4 striped marlin, 370 yellowfin tuna, 12 rainbow runners, 2 amberjack, 18 dorado, 49 wahoo, 18 pompano, 16 yellow snapper, 145 triggerfish, 6 sierra, 19 barred pargo, 70 black skipjack, 14 surgeonfish, 16 roosterfish and 12 bonito.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna off Punta Gorda, Squid Strips for Bait ~ October 24, 2015


Anglers –
October 23, 2015

Now into the third week of October, only in the last couple of days we have felt cooler temperatures into the 60s during early morning hours. Quite pleasant conditions now, actually need a sweatshirt or light windbreaker. Most sunny skies, we are expecting some more scattered cloud cover from the distant bands of Hurricane Patricia. This latest storm is turning out to be the most powerful system every recorded in either the Pacific or Atlanta. Now situated offshore of the coast, between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, Patricia has reached category five status, has sustained winds of 200 mph and gusts to 245 mph, sounds like data from a tornado. This incredibly strong storm is following a path directly towards making landfall late Friday, sure hope everyone in the path has taken necessary precautions and evacuated to safer land.

Conditions have been fine locally in Los Cabos, only a few isolated rain squalls reported through the week. Light winds in the afternoon, more breeze and swells reported on the Pacific. Ocean temperatures are still higher than average, ranging from 84 degrees on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, to 87 degrees in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and the Sea of Cortez.

Some 121 teams participated in the world’s richest fishing tournament, the Bisbee’s Black and Blue. This season fish migration patterns are all confused, the unprecedented El Nino causing havoc. Fishing action has been far more spread out and limited, not what we would normally expect for this historically productive time frame. This year anything could happen, we might see cow sized yellowfin on the Gordo Banks during the winter time.

Local fleets have been concentrated close to shore off of Punta Gorda, with the lack of any resource for sardinas, anglers have been relying on using strips of giant squid for bait. Main species being encountered have been yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 40 lb. range. No wide open action, spotty most of the time, fish coming up in flurries, often early, then less often later on the morning. Drift fishing with the strip bait had been the most productive technique. Off the bottom in this area there was a mix of triggerfish, pompano, barred pargo and small snapper, though no significant numbers of these. An occasional dorado, wahoo, striped marlin or sailfish has rounded out the surface action.

Some charters scouted out other areas, inshore, offshore and further north, looking for possible wahoo action and others, most of these scouting trips did not produce and the best chance at getting a hook up was once again off of Punta Gorda. Most of the wahoo strikes reported in recent days were by anglers using the strips of squid off of Punta Gorda.

Blue marlin were scattered, no black marlin reported recently, a few stripers and fair numbers of sailfish, up to 100 lb. Despite limited options this past week, we do anticipate with the cooling weather patterns, that we will see water temperatures cool and a change in currents should help improve our all-around action, we look forward to a great late fall and winter season.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 128 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 14 sailfish, 260 yellowfin tuna, 18 dorado, 6 wahoo, 16 pompano, 18 yellow snapper, 65 triggerfish, 4 sierra, 8 cabrilla, 12 barred pargo, 180 black skipjack and 16 bonito.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna, Triggerfish, Pompano all Close to Shore ~ October 17, 2015


Anglers –
October 17, 2015

Fall Season seemed to arrive overnight, we are in the midst of the traditional busiest angling season. Tournaments are now underway and the largest event of all, the Bisbee’s Black and Blue is slated for next week, this is the event where teams compete for possible multimillion dollar payouts. Weather conditions have been stable since past weekend, still quite tropical for this late in the season, mornings are refreshing, though mid-day the heat index is high. Remember to bring your sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Ocean water temperature is ranging from 85 to 88 degrees, swells have been moderate, winds very light and all around conditions very favorable, with clean water found within a mile or two or shore.

Despite such great conditions, the fishing action was more sporadic, not as consistent as we would expect for this time of year, this powerful el Nino current has all normal patterns mixed up. Bait has been scattered as well, no significant resource for sardinas now, limited supplies, caballito and slabs of giant squid have been most common options.

For much of the past week local fleets found the best action to be within one mile of shore off of Punta Gorda. This area was attracting both panga and cruiser fleets, this is where everyone congregated. Main species being encountered was yellowfin tuna, most of these tuna were in the 15 to 35 lb. class. Striking on striped squid or sardinas, when available. The yellowfin would come up to feed in flurries, often early in the morning, then slowing down, maybe with a couple of other feeding frenzies later in the morning. The key was to be at the right place when they did go on the bite. Average catch ranged from one tuna, to four or five. Not everybody was catching the tuna every day, even top skippers had tough days. Though these were decent quality of yellowfin, considering they were found so close to shore. Heavy pressure, limited bait, etc..made this bite become tougher latter in the week and now boats were again searching out more distance grounds.

Very few dorado being found, to see a half dozen for the fleet for one day was average. No particular area to find these dorado now, best chance seemed to be on the same grounds as where the tuna action was. Only an occasional wahoo being landed, other lost strikes, but these fish have not been very active at all, most likely when we see water temperatures eventually drop closer to 80 degrees, these fish will wake up.

Bottom action consisted mainly for monster sized triggerfish and some rare pompano, these fish were striking just as were the tuna, while drift fishing close to shore off of Punta Gorda. We had not seen any of these African pompano recently, they used to bite more often in late spring, very scrappy fighters and excellent eaters. A handful of barred pargo, yellow snapper and cabrilla rounded out the structure action.

We heard of more billfish action on the Pacific, though no confirmed reports of wide open action. On local grounds off of San Jose del Cabo, there were sailfish and some striped marlin, a couple smaller sized blue marlin. No inshore action to speak of now, though a local shore fishermen landed a world class 44 lb. snook off of the La Playita, el Faro stretch.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 175 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 7 striped marlin, 3 blue marlin, 16 sailfish, 345 yellowfin tuna, 29 dorado, 5 wahoo, 23 white skipjack, 18 bonito, 2 dogtooth snapper, 26 yellow snapper, 220 triggerfish, 18 African pompano, 10 cabrilla and 24 barred pargo.

Good fishing, Eric