Wind Settles, Marlin Action Good, also Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo ~ December 26, 2015

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Anglers –
December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to everyone

Many tourists have been arriving in Los Cabos this holiday season, compared to last year, when the majority of local resorts were still closed and in the process of rebuilding from the devastation caused by Hurricane Odile. The relentless north winds finally resided mid-week and conditions were feeling more like fall than winter. Warm sunny days, with calm seas, ideal time for anglers to take advantage of the opportunities at billfish, yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, roosterfish and other available species.

Ocean temperatures have ranged from 75 degrees from Iman Bank to Los Frailes to as warm as 79 degrees straight outside of Cabo San Lucas. Ideal conditions now, if the winds stay moderate we do expect to enjoy excellent fishing action into the coming new year. With the lack of sardinas available, anglers have been relying on caballito, slabs of squid and various artificial lures to entice the variety of gamefish now in the area.

San Jose del Cabo fleets were having to travel all the way to the Cabo arches to find sporadic action for yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 15 pound class, some boats catching six or seven fish, other none, lots of pressure by the whole fleet, as well as hungry seas lions on this spot. Chance at a single dorado or wahoo off of the Chileno, Santa Maria and Red Hill areas. Though this action was very hit or miss. So we are glad that the wind has diminished for the time being and this has opened up our normal fishing grounds from the Gordo Banks to the Iman Bank. Crazy that black marlin and larger grade of yellowfin tuna have been holding around the Gordo Banks, in recent days the tuna action on these ground was very dead in the morning hours, but would come alive in the afternoon, so some locals have been packing 20 or more pounds of squid slabs and heading out for this late afternoon action, tuna to 140 lb. were landed, many other even larger yellowfin were lost, sea lions were a pesky problem on these grounds as well. This action should last in to January, any day these yellowfin could bite earlier in the day, full moon phase has feeding patterns mixed up as well.

Iman Bank was holding tuna in the 20 to 40 lb. range, though without sufficient chum and dealing with swifter cooler currents put this bite off later in the week. Dorado continue to be scattered, but actually in recent days we are seeing more of these fish than during the past week or two. Same for wahoo, not many being landed, but they are in the area, with conditions being as favorable as they are, anything could happen, these elusive and highly sought after gamefish are definitely still around and we expect them to become more active in the coming weeks.

This is the time when striped marlin appear on the grounds off of San Jose del Cabo and this has been the case this week, straight outside of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina, anywhere from two to four miles offshore, this is where fleets are now concentrated, chasing feeding marlin and drift fishing with baits down deep has produced good action on the striped marlin, averaging 80 to 120 lb., with some sailfish are still hanging late into the season.

Good numbers of smaller to medium sized roosterfish are now being encountered closer to shore, anglers have been using live caballito to slow troll for this action, not many sierra yet, the lack of sardinas will make this a tough season for the sierra. Bottom action has showed improvement recently, deeper water species around the Gordo Banks and other high spots.Various snappers, cabrilla, grouper, triggerfish, rainbow runner and bonito.

Whales are now appearing in greater numbers every day and will soon be peaking for their annual winter migration to Southern Baja California.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 84 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 sailfish, 2 black marlin, 38 striped marlin, 115 yellowfin tuna, 22 dorado, 11 wahoo, 14 cabrilla, 14 huachinango, 22 yellow snapper, 18 bulleye snapper, 3 amberjack, 12 rainbow runner, 24 bonito, 8 white skipjack, 55 roosterfish and 30 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

North Winds Limit Action, Tuna off of Cabo Arches ~ December 19, 2015

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Anglers –
December 19, 2015

Holiday crowds have started to arrive in greater numbers this past week and it appears that it will be busy during this year’s festive times. Weather has been a been a bit crazy, relentless winds from the north much of the week, before laying down for the weekend and actually feeling once again almost like late summer, instead of winter. Whales are also being sighted more frequently now, as this is just the start of the annual migration for these mammals.

Ocean swells have been minimal, water temperatures have ranged from 76 degrees in the direction of Los Frailes and 79 degrees off of Cabo San Lucas. Anglers have been relying on caballito or squid slabs for baits, still no reports of anyone finding any schooling sardinas, hard to say what will happen with this, we do believe that when water does eventually cool off, that we will see these preferred baitfish return within our range.

The week started off with the most consistent action being found off the areas of the Cabo San Lucas Arches to Sol Mar, within one mile or less of shore, this is where there was a good bite going on for yellowfin tuna while drift fishing with strips of squid. These ranged from 8 to 15 lb., some of these fish also hit on caballito. The bite was sporadic, but many charters did account for their limits, there was a good chance at losing a percentage of your hook ups to hungry sea lions that were patrolling this same area. Lots of pressure on these grounds, since this was around the only productive spot through most of the week, as north winds made it almost impossible to fish on the grounds to the north. But over the weekend as conditions changed from nearly gale conditions to flat calm, this had charters heading north again and they did have encouraging reports, especially considering all the wind, water clarity was surprisingly good. Yellowfin tuna starting biting again on the Iman Bank, nicer sized fish to 30 lb.

Not much going on for dorado and wahoo, only an occasional fish being landed, other strikes lost, but just no significant numbers of either of these species. Nothing much going on around the Gordo Banks, but maybe the calmer conditions will get this area back on track, as lots of skipjack and other baitfish activity was reported. Also at least one 200 lb. class black marlin was landed, another black, estimated to weigh close to 500 lb. was hooked on a trolled caballito, only to be lost near the boat as the fish got its head down, gaining momentum and heading deep and breaking the lighter 130 lb. leader which had been intended for a cow yellowfin tuna, not a late season el Nino black marlin.

Inshore there was some good action for smaller sized roosterfish off of the San Jose del Cabo Hotel area, particularly near Holiday Inn and the Estuary. Very little bottom fishing was going on now, more triggerfish than anything else, we expect to start seeing more variety start to move in off of the structure. Marlin action was scattered as well, a few striped marlin and then the chance at a larger marlin around the Gordo Banks, no big numbers though of any of these billfish. Will be interesting to see if there is a good run or mackerel and in turn striped marlin his season, this is the month when this normally occurs, starting on the Pacific Banks, before shifting in the direction of the Sea of Cortez.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 black marlin, 8 striped marlin, 285 yellowfin tuna, 16 dorado, 5 wahoo, 4 cabrilla, 22 pargo, 8 bonito, 35 roosterfish and 18 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Early Bite on Dorado, Chances at Tuna, Wahoo ~ December 12, 2015


Anglers –
December 12, 2015

Another quiet week for numbers of visitors arriving in the Los Cabos area, another ten days or so we should see more holiday travelers. Weather patterns were more like typical late fall season patterns, cooler mornings, predominate north winds, relentless for days, before diminishing for a period and then repeating the cycle. Air temperatures in the mid-80s and the strength of the sunshine has felt surprisingly intense for mid-December. Scattered clouds most days, threatening light rain later in the week. Lighter winds early in the week, increasing by week’s end. Ocean temperatures are ranging from 78 to 82 degrees, warmest currents being reported straight outside of Cabo San Lucas and towards the Pacific Banks. Overall ocean conditions are considerably warmer than what they normally would be for this time of year, definitely results from El Nino.

Local fishing grounds are still attracting pelagic gamefish such as yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, skipjack, sailfish, striped and blue marlin. We are anticipating on having summer and fall type fishing action lasting into this winter season, this as a result of warmer than usual ocean conditions. There are some cooler water species like sierra now appearing along beach stretches and bonito off the structure. No reports of any new resource for sardinas, we expect as the ocean temps eventually cool, schools of sardinas will return, hard to predict what is going on with these baitfish migrations, many factors involved. Whales are now arriving on their annual migration, numerous sightings, this activity should only increase in the next couple of months.

San Jose del Cabo fleets concentrated most of their efforts on the grounds from the Gordo Banks to Iman Bank. Action was somewhat sporadic, no great numbers of any particular fish, though there were some quality fish being accounted for every day, again the pressure was light due to minimal crowds of anglers at this time. There was good dorado action found early in the day, straight out front of Puerto Los Cabos Marina, 2 to 4 miles out, slow trolling caballito was the best producer, though some dorado also hit on trolled lures or ballyhoo, for anglers that were able to find any of these rigging baits. Most dorado were weighing in the 12 to 25 lb. range, nice sized fish, charters accounted for anywhere from one or two, up to four or five fish per day. On these same ground there were billfish, this past week anglers hooked into sailfish, striped and black and blue marlin. There was a story of a black marlin hooked later in the day anglers battled this fish until 8 p.m. before breaking it off, no moon at all and the crew did not seem to be making any headway.

Yellowfin tuna was a bit spottier, though in recent days this action did show signs of improvement. The key to this action was finding sufficient supplies of squid slabs, drift fishing while chumming was the method that was working. Both Inner and Outer Gordo Banks were holding yellowfin of 40 to 100 pound class, most likely much larger, most of the fish being landed from these grounds were in the 60 to 80 lb., we heard of a local pangeros last week who caught a tuna that went 180 lb. Other heavy hook ups were lost, included more than one big fish lost to cut lines, suspected that some lost commercial set gear could be the problem. Anglers were lucky to land one or two of these tuna and had to be specifically targeting these fish. The Iman Bank produced a grade of tuna in the 15 to 35 lb. range, also nice fish and chance at more numbers, some charters had as many as 5 to 8 of these yellowfin. These were the same grounds where wahoo have been holding, the bite has been on and off, mainly on trolled baits, caballito, skipjack or chihuil, not much reported on trolled lures recently, of course more anglers are fishing the bait, compared to trolling lures.

Some sierra now mixed with mostly smaller sized roosterfish found close to shore, inside the marina area locals are having a field day with the wide open barracuda bite. Bottom action consisted mostly for smaller sized pargo and triggerfish, a few bonito and cabrilla.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 56 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 11 sailfish 1 blue marlin, 17 striped marlin, 66 yellowfin tuna, 85 dorado, 18 wahoo, 4 sierra, 28 pargo, 1 pompano, 10 cabrilla, 16 white skipjack, 8 bonito, 12 rainbow runner, 14 roosterfish, 4 surgeonfish and 20 triggerfish

Good fishing, Eric