Red Crabs Enter Local Waters, a few Tuna also in Area ~ February 27, 2016


Anglers –
February 27, 2016

This past week conditions cooled off slightly over the previous week. Still plenty of warm sunshine for the moderate crowds of visitors, highs reaching into the mid 80’s, lows in the 50’s. North winds resided some, switched from the south at times. Currents were very strong at times, water was clear and blue within a mile of shore, water temperatures, ranged from 72 to 75 degrees, warmer currents found offshore.

Last weekend and through the start of this week we saw pelagic red crabs appear on the local fishing grounds, this created excitement, especially for the commercial fleets, these little crustaceans make excellent baits for red snapper, which is the bread and butter of the local commercial panga fleets. They were first seen on the Outer Gordo Bank, later on further north, but then current became swifter and these crabs did not come to the surface, which is the only way they can be caught, with nets when they are up top. So bottom action was the main deal this past week, even the sportfishing fleets were getting in on this action. A handful of nice amberjack to over 50 lb. were also accounted for, quite a few leopard group as well, a few of them over 20 lb. Many variety of snapper, the huachinango (true Pacific red snapper), yellow snapper, barred pargo, tijaretas, etc… Lots of triggerfish. Also one black sea bass of 45 b., a very rare catch for our area, this sea bass ate a red snapper that was being reeled in.

Very few dorado or wahoo, just an occasional fish or two being found. Inshore water where these fish had been holding cooled off, and we were dealing with a bright full moon. Striped marlin became very scattered, just a few fish being found, no larger concentrations. The schools of mackerel and sardinetas became more scattered this week as well. Most charters were using either strips of squid, caballito, ballyhoo, with some mackerel and sardinetas when available.

Little inshore action found, mainly smaller sized roosterfish and a few stray sierra. Not much inshore bait activity to attract numbers of gamefish at this time. Still no signs of any sardinas in the area.

Yellowfin tuna were limited to a few fish in the vicinity of Iman Bank or La Fortuna, these fish were hitting on striped squid, the ongoing sea lion problem continued, most of these inshore tuna were in the 15 to 25 lb. range, anglers were fortunate to land one or two. This whole winter we have had a bonus of finding yellowfin tuna, this during the season when we would normally not see many of these fish, this has been an odd year, with water temperatures being warmer than normal, has changed all of the normal migrations, even the whales are scarcer this season.

In recent days there have been a few yellowfin taken offshore of San Jose del Cabo, associated with rapidly moving schools of porpoise, these were a nicer grade of yellowfin, in the 100 to 150 lb. class, though only a few fish all together were landed, but it is encouraging that we are seeing this, could be the start of something more consistent.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 82 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 black sea bass, 4 striped marlin, 4 wahoo, 40 yellowfin tuna, 5 dorado, 9 amberjack, 35 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 185 huachinango, 56 yellow snapper, 12 barred pargo,7 sierra, 16 roosterfish, 12 rainbow runner,14 parrot fish, 12 bonito, 15 hammerhead shark (released) and 110 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Surface Action Slower, Good Mix of Bottom Species ~ February 20, 2016


Anglers –
February 20, 2016

Warm wintertime sunshine is now attracting more tourists and they are enjoying temperatures reaching close to 90 degrees, feels like spring already. Winds have continued to be unpredictable, mainly from the north, but also switching out of the southeast, not as strong as during weeks past. Strong currents have been an issue, but they now seem to be slacking way down.

Crazy season, even the whale migration seems off, not as many being seen off of the San Jose del Cabo area as would be normal for this time of year. Plenty of sea lions on the fishing grounds, awaiting their opportunity at an easy meal, grabbing fish that are hooked on angler’s lines. The bait situation remains the same, sardineta continue to school offshore and can be caught on sabiki rigs early in the morning, caballito, cocinero, squid strips and ballyhoo are also available, though we heard of no reports at all of any sardinas being found.

Ocean clarity became a bit more greenish close to shore, north to Los Frailes, water temperature was also coolest closer to shore, about 72/74 degrees on the average, while five or more miles offshore there was 75/76 degree water reported. All around the fishing action was more scattered this past week. Yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo action became very limited. A few tuna were being hooked, most of these found from La Fortuna to the Iman Bank, and best chances were early in the day, also getting a hooked yellowfin actually in the boat was a challenge with the ever present sea lions lurking nearby. Most of these tuna were in the 15 to 25 lb. range and anglers were fortunate to land one or two of these fish. Dorado were almost nonexistent, who knows where they have gone, wahoo were still around, but fewer were being hooked up, more action early in the week, with very few of these speedsters being reported later in the week. Water temperature cooled off where these wahoo had been schooling off of Punta Gorda, also a bit off colored, with winds settling down these fish could decide to become more active again as conditions improve.

Bottom action was spotty, most common catches being triggerfish and smaller sized snapper/pargo species, with a handful of cabrilla (leopard grouper) in the mix. More hammerhead moving in on the structure, where we commonly bottom fish, makes for an additional challenge. On at least a couple of occasions, anglers reported that something very large grabbed on to their hooked up tuna, only to head for the rocks and break the line, sounds like some grouper or dogtooth snapper are moving in.

The action for striped marlin continues off of San Jose del Cabo, mostly centered from 3 to 5 miles offshore, changing daily, most charters targeting these billfish are having chances, some several per day, majority of hook ups came while drift fishing with the available larger baits, sizes on the marlin ranged from 70 lb. to 120 lb.

Inshore there was some roosterfish and sierra action, a few nicer sized roosterfish were accounted for, up to 25 lb., impressive for this time of year. There was a reported 25 lb. class snook landed from a panga charter while trolling close to shore for roosterfish, off of the Estuary area, definitely an unusual catch.

A few more sierra in recent days, the lack of sardinas has really hurt the sierra season, fun fish on light tackle, scrappy and very fast fighters.

Just no big numbers of any particular species at this time, though spring is now right around the corner, transition time can be like this, but things can also change very fast.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 60 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 snook,18 striped marlin, 7 wahoo, 16 yellowfin tuna, 2 dorado, 6 amberjack, 8 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 16 huachinango, 22 yellow snapper, 15 sierra, 18 roosterfish, 12 parrot fish, 8 bonito, 10 hammerhead shark (released), 2 thrasher shark, and 28 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Weather Heats Up, Anglers Find Mixed Results ~ February 13, 2016


Anglers –
February 13, 2016

The month of February has always been thought of as unpredictable and a bit crazy, we have seen a bit of this already. Last week was cooler and windy, now we have seen a warmer trend like spring is already here, daytime highs reaching 90 degrees, plenty of clear skies and sunshine, the wind patterns and unusually swift currents still persist, but it does feel like days will only be getting warmer as we progress towards spring break. Ocean water temperatures are holding at 74 degrees throughout most of the region, warmer 76 degree water found outside of Cabo San Lucas and around the Gordo Banks.

The all-around fishing action remains scattered, a lot of variety in the area now, but no particular species is overly abundant. Clear blue water is being found within a few miles of shore, though there is greener conditions towards the north near Los Frailes. Schools of sardinetas are now congregated off of San Jose del Cabo, always a good sign that these will be attracting more gamefish, particularly striped marlin. Still no reports of the normal smaller sardinas being found, word has spread that this species will be under stricter regulations to help this stock rebound once the environmental conditions are to their liking so that they return to their normal migration patterns. With ocean temperatures remaining warmer than normal, this has contributed to changing oxygen levels and plankton growth, which these baitfish feed on, El Nino has all normal patterns all mixed up.

A sign that anything could happen on any given day was confirmed when local pangero legend Hugo Pino from La Playita landed a 350 lb. black marlin off of the Gordo Banks mid- week, Hugo was trolling a live caballito when the black struck. Very unusual to find black marlin hanging around these grounds during mid-February. On these same grounds there have been yellowfin tuna, some of these tuna are over the hundred pound mark, many have been seen of all sizes, feeding on what look like an abundance of flying fish, hard to entice them to strike on anything else, though a handful of these yellowfin to 120 lb. have been landed, some on normal morning charters, other on afternoon trips by the selective few commercial and private boats that do go out later in the day. Problem has been finding a calm enough afternoon, these anglers are stock piling slabs of squid as well, the more chum the better, to help entice these finicky tuna.

Not all that much going off the bottom, wind earlier in the week, combined with persistently stronger currents and then the ever present hungry sea lions, all has added up to few numbers of snapper, cabrilla and amberjack. There was a report of a couple of yellowtail, so maybe more of these popular jacks will move in. If conditions do continue to stabilize, we should see improved bottom action, anglers have been using whole and cut baits, as well as yo-yo jigs, some charters are starting to use down riggers.

Wahoo are hanging around into winter season again, though bite has been sporadic, more chances now there a favorite food source of sadinetas have showed up. Punta Gorda seems to be holding more numbers of the wahoo now, but the word has also spread, putting added pressure on these already elusive and shy fish.

Very few dorado being found, just a few single fish, no particular place better than the other. Inshore there were some roosterfish and a few sierra found, a few roosterfish to 20 lb., good sized for this time of year. With the warmer water and lack of sardinas for bait there have been no big numbers of sierra

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, 17 striped marlin, 14 wahoo, 35 yellowfin tuna, 11 dorado, 10 amberjack, 16 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 1 thrasher shark, 16 huachinango, 52 misc. pargo/snapper , 6 sierra, 24 roosterfish and 55 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric