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Windy Days, Lighter Crowds, Tuna Still Biting ~ December 3, 2016

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Anglers –
December 3, 2016

Easy to notice now that crowds of tourists have diminished since the passing of Thanksgiving. Normal situation for this time of year. Weather patterns have been on a general cooling trend, relentless north winds were hard to predict and eventually there will be some nicer conditions when the wind resides. Water temperature has also dropped into the 77 to 80 degree range, depending where you were, warmest areas in the direction of San Jose del Cabo.

With the weather not being favorable most days this past week we did see a decline in all around catches. Yellowfin tuna was the main species being found, various locations, early in the week the fleet found the best option to be off of Punta Gorda, within less than one mile from shore, the yellowfin were striking on strips of squid and ranged in sizes up to 30 lb. Later in the week some tuna action was found further offshore associated with fast moving porpoise, same deal with squid being the best bet. None of the large tuna were reported off of the Gordo Banks, changing conditions has put that bite to a standstill.

Dorado became very scarce once again, though we did continue to hear of more do’do’s being found on the Pacific, though with water temperatures dropping quickly in that direction we expect these fish will follow their prefer temperate currents. We were seeing only an occasional dorado for the charters based out of La Playita. Wahoo was the same story, only a fish or so per day being accounted for the combined fleet.

Billfish action was limited, a few striped marlin were reported off of the San Jose del Cabo region, where there were reports of some schooling sardineta and mackerel, also a indication of cooling currents. Most of the lingering black or blue marlin will soon be moving out of this area, searching for warmer waters. As we wait the arrival of the winter time billfish, the striped marlin.

Strong winds made it difficult to target any bottom action, though a handful of good eating pargo, triggerfish, pompano, cabrilla, amberjack and others were found, no big numbers though. A few sierra and roosterfish were scattered along the shoreline.

We are now seeing increasing numbers of whales started to arrive to their winter calving and feeding grounds, so still a bit early in the season, in another month or so we should be in peak season for seeing these mammals

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 85 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 245 yellowfin tuna, 13 dorado, 6 wahoo, 8 pompano, 4 amberjack, 18 yellow snapper, 8 leopard grouper, 14 huachinango, 4 roosterfish, 7 sierra, 8 rainbow runner, 8 barred pargo, 3 surgeonfish and 145 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric

Wahoo on Iman Bank, Tuna off Punta Gorda ~ November 26, 2016

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Anglers –
November 26, 2016

Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving Holiday. Crowds of families are now visiting the Los Cabos area, last holiday vacation period until the Christmas Season, so next week the fall season will be winding down, slight break, preparing for the rush of visitors during the last week of the year. The weather recently has been typical for fall, slight chill early in the morning, with lows in the upper 60s. Daytime highs are still reaching into the 80s. Mainly clear sunny skies, some afternoon scattered clouds, the past two weeks winds have been persistent and unpredictable, mostly out of the north, which is normal for this time of year. Winds blew for several days in a row, this limited what option were available for offshore anglers, then we saw winds lay down for a day or two, before picking back up. Ocean swells were moderate, water temperature did drop some with the north winds pushing in cooler currents and water is now averaged in the 80 to 82 degree range, still ideal for the more sought after gamefish species.

Anglers found the most common fish being encountered to be yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dorado, will a few billfish as well. Not much inshore now, though surprisingly there was some roosterfish being found off of the San Jose del Cabo hotel zone, slow trolling bait for fish up to 20 lb. A scattering of early season sierra also showed up, still no signs of any sardina schools moving into the region, this is always the preferred bait for the winter time inshore action. There was some mackerel found of the hotel zone of San Jose del Cabo, early in the season for the mackerel to arrive, maybe these is a sign that water temperatures will cooler off faster than we had thought, a lot will depend on just how persistent the north winds become. Bait suppliers out of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina have been offering live caballito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid. There are some skipjack and chihuil being found on the offshore high spots, but these baitfish are never a guarantee and even more sporadic if the wind is gusty.

The bite for larger grade yellowfin tuna on the Gordo Banks became tougher through the week, with only a few tuna over 100 lb. reported for the week, most of these caught by hard core anglers specifically targeting these fish. In recent days the best action for yellowfin was closer to shore off of Punta Gorda, drift fishing with strips of squid, also some pompano being hooked in the same area. These yellowfin were in the 10 to 25 lb. range. Often not biting much until late morning, even the wahoo action was better later in the day this past week, with the best area being from La Fortuna to the Iman Bank, Slow trolling caballito or chihuil if possible. Rigged ballyhoo were also working, and a smaller percentage of strikes came on trolled lures. Anglers were fortunate to land one wahoo, though others had as many as three, sizes ranged to 45 lb. We anticipate chances at good wahoo action through the month of December.

Dorado action was good to start the week off, many fish in the 10 to 20 lb. class were accounted for, many charter had their two fish per license limits, this was from Chileno to Iman, reports from the Pacific towards Pescadero, was that the dorado were thick, sounding like reports from years past, when there were so many dorado that it could be hard to catch any other types of fish.

A few black marlin still hanging around in the warmer water, at least a couple if blacks were brought in to the La Playita docks, one of them in the 400 lb. class. No big numbers of billfish now, though a few sailfish and striped marlin were also reported. Only a handful of bottom fish being accounted for an occasional amberjack, pompano, yellow snapper, cabrilla, bonito, huachinango, dogtooth snapper and triggerfish, though no significant numbers of any of these species.

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: 2 black marlin, 2 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 360 yellowfin tuna, 48 dorado, 82 wahoo, 14 pompano, 6 amberjack, 2 dogtooth snapper, 14 yellow snapper, 6 leopard grouper, 16 bonito, 18 huachinango, 18 roosterfish, 16 sierra, 10 rainbow runner, 4 barred pargo, 2 hogfish,8 surgeonfish and 75 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Wahoo and Yellowfin Tuna Keep Anglers Busy ~ November 19, 2016

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Anglers –
November 19, 2016

The fall season is now starting to wind down, still quite busy this past week, with visiting anglers and sun worshipers, though not quite as crowded as it was the previous weeks. With Thanksgiving Holiday scheduled this next week, we will see more families arriving, though many people do prefer to stay at home for these holidays and from now until Christmas Holidays we will see the normal slack period for tourists, this is just not the time frame that many people are traveling, as they are more preoccupied with the approaching holidays.

We felt strong north winds through the first half of the week, then we had a couple of very calm days, before the wind picked back up late in the week, crazy weather patterns, still quite warm, reaching near 90 degrees. Ideal temperatures actually, early morning lows averaging 70 degrees. Early week there was a late season Tropical Storm Tina which formed farther off to the southwest, as fast it had developed, it dissipated, as it moved over cooler water. All around the water temperatures from Cabo Sab Lucas towards Los Frailes has been ranging from 82 to 85 degrees, three or four degrees warmer than what would be normal for this time of year. This should prove favorable for fall type fishing action to last all the way through December.

Bait options continued the same, slabs of squid, caballito, ballyhoo available from bait vendors and opportunities to catch skipjack and chihuil on the offshore grounds, for use trolling live or drift fishing as. Combined factors of swells, strong northerly winds and the full moon phase, made for several tougher days, though anglers did catch some quality fish. Most productive areas were from Chileno, Gordo Banks, 1150 Spot and Iman Bank. Most common gamefish being encountered were yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dorado, and late season black and blue marlin.

Yellowfin tuna action was good to start off the week, increased wind made it tough to drift fish on the Outer Banks, but some quality sized tuna were accounted for, quite a few fish to 100 lb. and at least a half of dozen over 200 lb. Also there was good action found a couple of days for smaller tuna found traveling with porpoise, close to shore and moving fast, strips of squid was the main method of hooking up. The larger yellowfin were striking on baits such as skipjack or chihuil, either drifting or slow troll, in the vicinity of the Outer Gordo Banks. Same grounds have been producing some billfish strikes, both black and blue marlin were hooked into. One angler had quite a story of hooking into a 40 lb. plus yellowfin tuna, then during the fight a huge black marlin inhaled the hooked up tuna and the battle was on with the marlin, as the fish was spooling off hundreds of yards of line and being chasing down by the super panga skipper, after close to 30 minutes of that the marlin heading deep, line went slack and then heavy again, but now the marlin had spit out the three and a half foot tuna, which to their amazement was still alive and continued to fight until they brought it to gaff, this whole scene took over two hours.

Wahoo was the main species being targeting closer to shore, from Cardon to the Iman Bank, good numbers of these prized fighting fish were being accounted for. Trolling with live chihuil was the most productive, ballyhoo and caballito worked as well. Also limited numbers hit on trolled lures, though far more strikes were reported on bait, versus lures. Many fish were seen following baits, but were finicky at times, other times action was fast and furious, with wahoo fishing, a good average percentage seems to be about one fish actually landed for every three strikes, many things happen, very fast fish, with hard bony jaws, slashing at baits, not just strike and swallow like most fish. Many charters accounted for two, three and even up to five wahoo, sizes ranged from 20 to 45 lb.

Dorado numbers increased toward the end of the week out of San Jose del Cabo, still only a handful of these fish being found in this area, more number were reported from the Pacific, though reports were varied from different sources. We saw quite a few dorado in the 15 to 20 pound class, though we had more wahoo in the fish counts.

Bottom fishing was very limited, only an occasional snapper and triggerfish, wind made this even harder, water temperature still warm, more bottom action when currents cool some. Commercial pangeros did catch a few nice sized yellowtail off of the Gordo Banks, so that is encouraging, maybe something will happen on this. We do expect to be targeting the tuna, wahoo and dorado through this month and next. No inshore action to report, except for a few roosterfish and sierra.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 166 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 blue marlin, 4 black marlin, 4 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 320 yellowfin tuna, 46 dorado, 165 wahoo, 11 yellow snapper,4 leopard grouper, 12 bonito, 14 huachinango, 4 roosterfish, 14 sierra,14 rainbow runner, 6 surgeonfish and 45 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric