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Red Snapper Highlight Bite on Gordo Banks ~ February 25, 2017

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Anglers –
February 25, 2017

There did seem to be larger crowds of tourists in town this past week, enjoying the spring like weather conditions, though not many anglers are in these numbers of people, as amount of charters are slower, not that unusual for this time frame though, this is never considered to peak season for any of the more glamorous gamefish species. We did have a day of rainfall last weekend, isolated showers that really did not amount to much, also more winds, both from the south and then returning from out of the north, this combined to slow down the all-around fishing action. Water temperature has been averaging about 69 to 70 degrees through most of the region, currents have been strong at times and swells also increased during the previous week, before residing back down. Crazy weather this time of year, as we begin to transition from winter to spring.

Bait netters are finding sardinas still near Palmilla and towards Regina Resort, other options have been strips of squid and we are starting to use some yo-yo jigs more as well. The tuna action has been centered near the Iman Bank, where fish up to 60 lb. were landed, though the past week this action did slow way down, with anglers very fortunate to land one or two of these yellowfin, which were most of the time averaging 20 to 30 lb. More charters are also starting to work the bottom for various pargo, snapper, amberjack, cabrilla, bonito, yellowtail and other species. You have to have calmer conditions to be able to really have good chances for this type of action. Lots of sea lions to contend with as well, getting more than their share of the catch.

There has been a great bite for huachinango (red snapper) on the Outer Gordo Bank, not many people even knew about this. There was an unusual run of larger size reddish crabs drifting to the surface, averaging two to three inches in size, much larger than the more common pelagic red crabs that we see this time of year, these crabs found in recent days are a much rarer occurrence. The deal was to cruise around these grounds and net what crabs you could and then rig them up with sinkers and drop towards the bottom. The few charters that did try this did very well on quality snapper up to 14 lb. Though they also had to battle the sea lions, who also knew about these schooling snappers and were waiting for their chance at easy pickings of hooked up fish. Big numbers of humpback whales also still congregating on these same popular fishing grounds.

There were some smaller sized yellowtail, most in the 4 to 8 lb. class off of Palmilla, still waiting for larger fish to move in. Also some amberjack in the 5 to 25 lb. class, an occasional leopard grouper or yellow snapper, of course many triggerfish in the mix as well. Not much going on for inshore action, only a few boats even trying, mainly for limited numbers of smaller sized sierra.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 63 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 striped marlin, 29 yellowfin tuna, 10 bonito, 14 yellow snapper, 13 leopard grouper, 165 huachinango, 18 sierra, 12 yellowtail, 26 amberjack and 55 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Red Snapper, Yellowfin and more Keep Anglers Busy ~ February 18, 2017

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Anglers –
February 18, 2017

We are now in the middle of the unpredictable month of February, last week weather patterns felt more like late springtime, this week conditions were cooler, more typical to what they usually would feel like, with low temperatures close to 50 degrees and highs in the mid-70s, still very pleasant conditions compared to areas across North America. Winds this past week were mild, though later in the week the ocean swells increased and this made it hard for the bait netters to reach areas where the schooling sardinas were holding. The sardinas had been found off of the Melia to Chileno beach stretches, but a new resource of larger sized sardinas had been found to the north, off of San Luis, which is directly inshore of the preferred fishing grounds.

So now we will be waiting for surf conditions to reside some so the bait can be netted again, in the meantime anglers were relying on what bait was available, some caballito and squid. Also it was time to start using yo-yo style jigs off of the bottom structure. With ocean temperatures now in the 69 to 71 degree range, it is the season where charters are commonly targeting a variety of good eating bottom species and this is what is going on now. We are seeing better catches of red snapper, yellow snapper, amberjack, yellowtail, cabrilla, triggerfish and bonito. Still a little up and down from day to day, though this fishery is showing promise of getting on track, after not showing much activity through last month. Fishing grounds from Palmilla, La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis all had better signs of action recently.

The yellowtail that have been found have been smaller sized, most of them under five pounds, though at least we are seeing them showing up and we are optimistic that lager sized fish will move in soon. A mix of leopard grouper, red and yellow snapper, amberjack, bonito and triggerfish has rounded out the bottom action, many of these fish are striking on yo-yo jigs and others on various whole and cut baits. One amberjack of 80 lb. was reported, though most of the ones we saw were more in the 10 to 15 lb. class.

With the billfish bite being very limited now off of the San Jose del Cabo area and the dorado bite being dead as well, the highlight for any surface action has continued to be the yellowfin tuna. Last week the tuna were found off the Cabo San Lucas arches, this week the local sportfishing charters have been concentrated back on their normal grounds to the north of Punta Gorda, with the Iman and San Luis Banks being the better options. Yellowfin tuna up to 50 lb. were accounted for, though the average size of the yellowfin were more in the 15 to 25 lb. class. These fish were striking on sardinas, when they were available, also on strips of squid and the yo-yo jigs. Catches ranged from one or two fish, up to five or sox, not off the map wide open, but nevertheless good for this time of year, when we often do not even see any tuna. A few wahoo were seen free swimming and were also hooked into, resulting in cut lines, a bit surprising to see these fish still hanging around in the cooler water, most of them would be in southern waters at this time.

Not much action close to sore now, this is the time for sierra, so far just a few here and there, most charters have been out trying for the tuna or bottom species. Cooler water now for roosterfish, though there is always a chance. Considering the water temperature, the conditions have showed cleaner bluish water through much of the area, spots of greener currents in places.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 78 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 striped marlin, 160 yellowfin tuna, 1 wahoo, 32 bonito, 18 yellow snapper, 17 leopard grouper, 82 huachinango, 32 sierra, 18 yellowtail, 22 amberjack and 90 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna off Cabo Arches ~ February 11, 2017

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Anglers –
February 11, 2017

This past week we saw moderate crowds of anglers visiting and they were enjoying what felt more like spring time weather patterns, ideal climate now, clear sunny skies with 80 degree temperatures. Lighter winds compared to previous weeks, ocean temperatures were in the 70 to 71 degree range, light swells and water clarity was clean and blue within a couple of miles from shore. Very favorable signs for this early in the season.

Schooling sardinas continue to be found, though the baitfish are now moving further south off of Chileno, they had been near Palmilla. The main fishing action found this week was for yellowfin tuna off of the Cabo San Lucas arches, without sardinas you did not have much of a chance, the bite was on and off, lots of boat pressure after the word got out, this being the best option going on. Also there was the problem with sea lions, tuna were seen in big numbers on the surface, but proved to be very finicky, some days anglers were lucky to catch one fish, other days average catches were up to five or six tuna. Sizes ranged to over 30 lb., average fish more in the 15 to 25 lb. class.

Most charters were opting to fish in the direction of Cabo San Lucas, since this is where the sardinas were being found, very long back tracking run to travel to where the sardinas were and then return back to Iman Bank where yellowfin were also being found. Same situation on Iman, lots of tuna were seen in the area, but getting them to bite was another problem, often they would not want to strike anything until later in the day. Some of the tuna off of these grounds were as large as 45 lb., but anglers were fortunate to land one or two fish. Not much going on off the bottom, an occasional leopard grouper or amberjack. Off of the Santa Maria area there were some smaller sized yellowtail being found, most of these in the 3 to 5 pound range, striking best on sardinas close to shore, similar to where sierra and smaller sized roosterfish were found. There were reports of yellowtail off of the Pacific grounds as well, so this is encouraging news, we are hoping to see some larger sized yellowtail show soon, this is the time of year for these popular gamefish, it has been a few years now since we have seen any significant numbers of these fish.

Still good numbers of whales in the area, by the end of this month these mammals will begin to move back on their northern migration. The way the climate has been recently, it appears that spring will be arriving early this year. Great time to visit Los Cabos, perfect weather and crowds are light.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 65 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 striped marlin, 136 yellowfin tuna, 5 dorado, 12 bonito, 14 yellow snapper, 8 leopard grouper, 10 huachinango, 15 misc. pargo, 48 sierra, 8 roosterfish, 15 yellowtail, 4 amberjack and 35 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric