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Schooling Sardinas Appear off Palmilla Point, Tuna and Snapper Bite ~ January 14, 2017

63_ericchen

Anglers –
January 14, 2017

As we progress into the New Year we have seen many tourists arriving, most of them to escape frigid northern winter season temperatures and to relax in Los Cabos’s pleasant climate. With daytime highs nearing 80 degrees and mostly sunny skies, this is a great choice for a quick getaway trip. Not many anglers in town now, though often these vacationers are looking for outdoor activities and many do decide to go fishing on late notice. With the annual whale migration now peaking, this is also another reason to get out on the water and see what the area has to offer.

The north winds were light throughout the week, swells were minimal, though there were strong currents running, pushing in cooler water temperatures, as currents are now in the 70 to 74 degree range, we expect this cooling trend to continue throughout the next month. Sportfishing fleets are fishing in different directions now, trying to find the best possible all around action. We finally can say that some schools of sardinas are appearing off of Palmilla Point in recent days, this is favorable news, these baitfish have been absent from local waters for over one year, we hope that this is sign that we will see this bait source rebound, fragile fishery that needs to be cautiously protected. Lots of mackerel also being found on the normal bait grounds, mixed with sardinetas. Slabs of squid and caballito are also being offered by commercial bait vendors, so the overall bait situation is better at this time, hopefully this will be a trend throughout the season.

This is another transition period, where we see warmer water species start to move out of the area and others that prefer cooler waters begin to move in. It appears that the El Nino current of the past couple of years is vanishing and we will see more normal patterns for the coming months. In recent days we have seen sporadic action for a variety of fish, many of them smaller sized structure species, being found in the same area where anglers are still targeting yellowfin tuna, most consistent places have been off of Punta Gorda to the Iman Bank, though things have changed from day to day, cooler waters, strong currents, off colored greenish at times, all normal patterns for this time of year. Some day’s action was early, other days late, and on other days the fish did not seem to cooperate at all. Most of the yellowfin tuna landed were in the 15 to 30 lb. range, we heard of the big cow sized yellowfin landed off of the Finger Bank on the Pacific last week, but that is a long range charter in order to reach those grounds.

Dorado were a bit more numerous this past week, though the majority of them were smaller sized female fish that in reality should be released to help this species have a chance to rebound. We are heard reports about an occasional dorado to 20 lb., but these were an exception. Wahoo were almost nonexistent this past week, a few reported lost strikes, but did not see any landed, these fish will be heading south soon, if most of them have not already done so.

Best bottom action now was for red snapper (huachinango), with Punta Gorda being the most productive spot for this action. Snapper up to ten pounds were striking on various baits near the same place where late season tuna were schooling. Only a few leopard grouper, yellow snapper or other pargo species in the mix. Of course there have been decent numbers of triggerfish.

Billfish are mainly on the Pacific Banks now, even though we are seeing congregations of mackerel off of San Jose del Cabo, very few striped marlin have moved in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. With the food source at hand, anything could happen on any given day. With sardinas now appearing we are hoping to have chances at having a good season for inshore sierra as well. Roosterfish action seems to come to a halt with the cooling waters.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 68 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 64 yellowfin tuna, 32 dorado, 6 bonito, 16 yellow snapper,11 leopard grouper, 150 huachinango, 25 tijareta, 16 sierra, 2 yellowtail, 1 sheepshead, 2 amberjack and 80 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Cooler Conditions, Tuna Still in Local waters ~ January 7, 2017

64_marshallAnglers –

January 7, 2017

We are now settling into the New Year, the large crowds of visiting tourists have lighten up and normal routine continue. A very controversial newly instigated 20% fuel hike is causing uproar throughout Mexico and people are anxious over this ongoing situation. Weather patterns cooled off over the previous week, as winds from the north continue to prevail. Ocean swells were minimal, water temperatures are now holding in the 73 to 74 degree range, with greenish water being found pushing into certain areas. Whale migration now seems to be in full swing, after having been late to appear in significant numbers, these mammals are now in local waters for their winter migration.

Anglers were using strips of squid, caballito and some mackerel to target a variety of gamefish Still no big marlin bite going on, despite mackerel moving in. Best chances to find the striped marlin now has been on the Pacific, only a scattering of billfish found in the direction of San Jose del Cabo now. Most local fleets have been fishing the grounds from straight off of San Jose Estuary, to Punta Gorda and north to the Iman Bank. Most common species has been the yellowfin tuna, which has been somewhat of a bonus for this late in the season. No huge numbers, but charters have accounted for one or two, or even up to six yellowfin per outing. Average sizes were in the 15 to 30 lb. class, but also quite a few tuna to 50 lb. are being accounted for. There was a recent trend for the yellowfin to strike more readily on either mackerel or caballito, instead of exclusively on strips of squid like during previous months. Either drift fishing or slow trolling the live bait has proved to be most successful technique recently.

Dorado continue to be quite scarce, only an occasional single fish, we saw a couple of dorado as large fifteen lb. More dorado were actually found closer to shore than further out, also later in the day, nothing much early. Wahoo have been very quiet for a few weeks now, though late this week we saw a few of the wahoo up to 45 lb. landed, these were found near the Iman Bank, so we are hopefully with the moon phase being favorable in the coming days that the wahoo will become more active, Water temperature surely will cool off more as winter season progresses, this normally sends wahoo on a southern migration.

Roosterfish action became very quiet this past week as well, a few sierra were found, no numbers though, also some jack crevalle. Bottom action was limited to mainly triggerfish and a mix of smaller pargo and snapper species. No grouper, amberjack or yellowtail to speak of.

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: 2 striped marlin, 168 yellowfin tuna, 9 dorado, 5 wahoo, 15 bonito, 5 pompano, 15 yellow snapper, 12 leopard grouper, 28 huachinango, 22 tijareta, 32 sierra, 6 rainbow runner, 5 barred pargo and 90 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna Action Bring in the New Year ~ January 1, 2017

65_richardson

Anglers –
January 1, 2017

Happy New Year’s !

The end of the year has brought many families visiting Southern Baja, ideal vacation spot to pass the holiday season and bring in the New Year. Busy times now, as everyone is actively preparing for annual festivals. Weather was a bit unusual, very windy from the north through the week, laying down on Friday for the weekend, warmer temperatures, highs near 90 degrees late in the week and early morning lows were a balmy 65 to 80 degrees, warm north wind was blowing. Ocean swells were minimal, though water temperature was cooling into the lower to mid-70 degree range, also green water splotchy throughout the inshore zones. Still decent conditions to hold a variety of pelagic gamefish late into the season.

Schooling mackerel are moving into the region, off of the Pacific Banks and off of the normal grounds off of San Jose del Cabo. This has been attracting more striped marlin, though still in limited numbers, we except for the action to become wide open in coming months. Dorado continue to be scarce, only an occasional fish, most of them small in size. Same deal with wahoo, only a handful of these fish were landed in the past week, though we do believe that many are still remaining in the area, has not become so cold yet to send them migrating south. Early week there was a blue marlin in the 250 lb. class landed from a charter out of La Playita, hooked on a trolled caballito, two hour battle to bring the fish to gaff.

Yellowfin tuna remains one of the main species being successfully targeting, Best action through the first part of the week, as wind shut down the northern grounds, was right near the arches off of Cabo San Lucas, yellowfin to 30 lb. were striking the drifted strips of squid, lots of sea lions to deal with in this area, though boats accounted for up to six yellowfin per outing. Then the action switched back to Punta Gorda, where using the same techniques, anglers found yellowfin ranging up to 50 lb. close off of the point, within one mile. No huge numbers, but charters accounted for one to five fish. Bottom action on the same grounds produced red snapper, triggerfish and a few pargo or pompano. We did hear of one report of a monster yellowfin tuna of over 300 lb. landed off of a larger sportfishing, not sure exactly where the cow was landed. The were 100 lb. plus tuna being seen surfacing on the Gordo Banks, but very few were actually hooked into, Dave Asher visiting from the East Coast did hook up with a very large yellowfin tuna on the Outer Gordo Bank, only to lose the fish after a grueling two hour battle. So it does appear that there will be a chance at these larger grade of yellowfin in to the first part of the New Year.

Live caballito were tougher to obtain early in the week, rebounding later, squid supplies remain sufficient and now the mackerel appear to be picking back up, of course still no reports at all of sardinas being located anywhere in the vicinity. More whales are arriving, after a lull in activity, the mammals now seem to being spotted more frequently.

Close to shore there was roosterfish, jack crevalle and sierra, we did have one super panga catch a release a roosterfish that was estimated near 40 lb., impressive size considering this is not peak season now for the roosters. Most of the sierra we saw were on the small side, Red Hill had a decent bite early in the morning for sierra for anglers trolling small Rapalas and hoochies.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 136 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 sailfish, 1 blue marlin, 13 striped marlin, 195 yellowfin tuna, 14 dorado, 3 wahoo, 8 bonito, 5 pompano, 2 island jack, 22 yellow snapper, 9 leopard grouper, 88 huachinango, 32 tijareta, 34 sierra, 12 rainbow runner, 12 barred pargo, 22 roosterfish and 140 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric