Yellowfin Tuna become more sporadic as winds reside ~ December 24, 2016


Anglers –
December 24, 2016


Crowds of vacationers were arriving throughout the week in the Los Cabos area to enjoy the Holiday Season south of the border. Many were doing so to escape the frigid cold temperatures sweeping across northern territories. Weather conditions were definitely cooperating, as the persistent northern winds finally calmed down, clear sunny skies, with daytime highs in the 80s, feeling more like spring time than winter. The area was bustling with tourists and many families were reserving sportfishing charters as one of their preferred activities.

Ocean water temperatures were holding in the 74 to 76 degree range, still warmer than usual for this time frame, with the winds residing for a few days now, this has given the chance for clarity to improve and blue water was being found fairly close to shore. Bait supplies remained steady for caballito and strips of squid continue to be used for drift fishing, while targeting the yellowfin tuna action. The majority of the charters launching out of San Jose del Cabo area were fishing areas from Punta Gorda, Gordo Banks, Cardon and Iman Bank. Through much of the week the most productive place proved to be close to shore off of Punta Gorda.

All around action was a bit spotty, some days the bite would be early, some days late. Most common species caught was yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 30 lb. class, no huge numbers, but some charters were fortunate to land five or more tuna per trip. Caballito and the strips of squid was the main method that showed best results. There were a few larger yellowfin tuna still lurking late into the season around the Gordo Banks, but these fish were more finicky than the tuna found closer to shore. Not a tremendous variety of species now, only a few dorado being found, most of these closer to shore as well, the majority smaller size, though we saw a handful of dorado in the 20 lb. range. Wahoo are still hanging around the region, though not many were being landed, they did not seem eager to strike on the normal type of lures or trap hooked baits, though many anglers told stories of having wahoo cut lines that were rigged with lighter mono leaders, which were needed to entice the line shy yellowfin.

Where the tuna action was centered close to shore there were various species of pargo and snapper mixed in, as well as the ever present triggerfish. The commercial fleet were doing well targeting the red snapper with fresh shrimp heads that were able to obtain from shrimp trawlers which were passing through the area while on their way back to their home ports.

While we heard of more striped marlin action being found on the Pacific Banks, we did not see much action for billfish off of San Jose del Cabo, only an occasional striper of sailfish. No signs of any sardina schools and this seems to be hurting any inshore fishing opportunities for sierra or roosterfish. Though a few decent sized roosterfish were hooked into off the beach stretches while trolling with caballito.

After seeing whales earlier in the month starting to appear, recently they have been very few and far between, late to arrive for their annual migration.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 105 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 235 yellowfin tuna, 26 dorado, 6 wahoo, 12 bonito, 3 grouper, 3 pompano, 32 yellow snapper, 8 leopard grouper, 140 huachinango, 35 tijareta, 12 sierra, 8 rainbow runner, 4 barred pargo, 16 roosterfish and 160 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna, Red Snapper Keep Anglers Busy ~ December 17, 2016


Anglers –
December 17, 2016

We are now seeing light crowds of tourists visiting, this is always the pattern during the couple of weeks before the Christmas Holiday. People are busy with preparations now, this slack time gives us all a little more freedom to take care of personal agendas, actually a relief to have a lighter schedule in order to catch up on other things that have been put aside through the busy fall season. Winds were much lighter this past week, though it was cooler early in the morning, temperatures down in the 50s, though daytime highs did reach up near 80 degrees. While most of the U.S. and Canada are enduring frigid conditions, we are enjoying the great Southern Baja climate.

There are now large concentrations of mackerel, with sardineta mixed in, being found several miles off of the San Jose del Cabo hotel zone, this is always a favorable sign that this food source will attract more gamefish, most notably striped marlin and dorado. So far we have seen a few dorado and marlin in this area, but no significant numbers. We are also coming off of a bright full moon, which can cause feeding habits of gamefish to change. Ocean water temperature has been averaging in the 75 to 77 degree range, which is still a few degrees higher than normal for this time frame. Water clarity was greenish on the grounds north of Punta Gorda, depending from day to day where you were, some areas were off colored, though blue water was also found near these same grounds, currents moving through, changing daily, a lot depends on how persistent the north winds is. The annual whale migration is behind schedule this season, same thing happened last year, we do expect to start seeing more numbers of both humpback and gray whales soon.

Anglers were using strips of squid to target the yellowfin tuna, Punta Gorda continued to be one of the more productive areas, yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 30 lb. range were schooling on these grounds. Some days the fish would not bite until later in the day. There were porpoise found a bit further from shore that were holding yellowfin tuna as well, charters were chasing these schools down and dropped strips of squid and hooked similar size tuna. There were some much larger tuna, to over 150 lb. still holding on the Gordo Banks, though the only fish that were being hooked were by local anglers fishing the twilight bite, as the sun was setting, one local panga came in with three tuna in the 150 lb. class on Thursday evening.

This week there was good action on red snapper (huahinango), found close to shore off of Punta Gorda, same place where the yellowfin tuna bite was, the snapper were hitting on the strips of squid and ranging from 4 to 10 lb., mixed in were some triggerfish to 8 lb. as well as a locally rare sheepshead of about 24 lb. A few scattered wahoo on these same grounds, though not many are being landed, an occasional fish to 40 lb. As the moon darkens and if conditions remain calm enough, we do expect for the wahoo to go on another bite.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 71 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 285 yellowfin tuna, 19 dorado, 9 wahoo, 1 sheepshead, 6 pompano, 18 yellow snapper, 4 leopard grouper, 290 huachinango, 13 sierra, 3 barred pargo, 1 mako shark, and 180 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Wind Patterns Persist, up and down Tuna and Wahoo Action ~ December 10, 2016


Anglers –
December 10, 2016

Though overall we are presently not seeing any significant numbers of tourists, we actually saw quite a few anglers appearing, most of them spur of the moment, ready to try their luck and brave the elements. The most common gamefish being encountered off of the San Jose del Cabo region and towards Los Frailes has continued to be yellowfin tuna, with other species in the mix, including some lightning fast wahoo action found on Tuesday and Wednesday near Vinorama, which was on the two days when the north winds did finally lay down, enabling some local charters to reach these more distant grounds. Weather patterns definitely cooled off this week, we felt l\early morning low temperatures of 50 degrees early in the week daytime time into the 70’s, very persistent north winds, which in turn contributed to a cooling trend of the ocean water temperatures, down in the 75 to 77 degree range, with warmer currents of 80 degrees further offshore. If these north winds slack up some, we could see fall type gamefish action into the New Year, though if winds become too relentless we will certainly see species such as dorado, yellowfin tuna and wahoo vanish in the direction temperature southern waters. Spots of green water moving in were also reported, a pattern we do see during cooling times. So we are in the midst of another transitions period, waiting to see what exactly unfolds.

Anglers had choices for bait, slabs of squid, caballito and ballyhoo, we expect we will soon find some sardineta and mackerel. Wind from the north played a factor to where fleets were able to fish in reasonable comfort, most charters concentrated on grounds from the Gordo Banks to Vinorama. Yellowfin tuna were being accounted for while drift fishing with strips of squid over high spots, such as Iman, close to shore off Punta Gorda as well. Some of the more productive yellowfin action was encountered associated with fast moving porpoise, with the tuna hitting on strips of squid drifted near the concentrations of the porpoise. The tuna this past week were most commonly in the 15 to 30 lb. range. We did see one 150 lb. tuna caught mid-week from a private boat from off the Gordo Banks.

Dorado became more scattered by the day, not seeing any numbers, an occasional report of a couple of dorado here or there, more often in the direction of Cabo San Lucas, heard of at least one 25 lb. bull. On Tuesday the wahoo went on a frenzy feeding mood near Vinorama, first opportunity in a week or so that charters were able to scout out these further grounds. Slow trolling with trap hooked baits enticed most strikes, though anglers also had hook ups on trolled lures and while casting yo-yo jigs. This action really only lasted two days, as on Thursday the north winds picked up nasty once again. Wahoo ranged in sizes to 45 lb.

Billfish action was slow off of our local grounds, though early in the week we did hear of a black marlin being hooked into off of the Gordo Banks, estimated to be in the 400 lb. class, the fish eventually broke the 100 lb. leader. Should start to see some numbers of striped marlin move in as water cools and food sources such as mackerel appear.

Not much going off the bottom, particularly with the winds creating choppy conditions. Mostly picking away at some shallow water structure species, such as triggerfish, yellow snapper, pompano, bared pargo, cabrilla and a few rainbow runner.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 87 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 260 yellowfin tuna, 9 dorado, 49 wahoo, 12 pompano, 2 amberjack, 11 yellow snapper, 5 leopard grouper, 8 huachinango, 9 sierra, 6 rainbow runner, 8 barred pargo and 170 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric