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Weather Warms, Anglers Find Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo ~ March 17, 2018

Anglers –
March 17, 2018

With the official start to the spring season not set until next week, the weather is already feeling much warmer, more like mid to late spring. Mostly clear sunny skies, with high temperatures up to 87 degrees. Winds were moderate, with most of the winter north winds now over with, lows in the morning not so chilly in recent days, a jacket is barely needed. The ocean water temperature is averaging in the 73 to 75 degree range and is very clean and blue within a couple of miles of shore. Waves of spring breakers are arriving, especially on the beach resorts of Cabo San Lucas, but other groups of families are making efforts to at least try their luck fishing for a day or two.

This will be the final period for the annual whale migration, as with this warming trend these mammals will now begin their venture to their northern feeding grounds. Anglers found a wide variety of fish available, but catching was not always a guarantee, the yellowfin tuna action was very limited, they were seeing good numbers of the tuna come up to free chummed sardinas on the La Fortuna Bank, though lots of bait was needed to get these fish into a big enough frenzy that they would bite a baited hook. Going down to as light as 30 lb. leader was necessary. The yellowfin that were landed weighed in the 20 to 45 lb. range. Supplies of sardinas were more limited, as these schools dispersed from the Palmilla area and now being found schooling north near San Luis. More boat pressure and not as much bait available made the bite tougher.

The early part of the week started off with good numbers of dorado, though only a small percentage of these fish were over ten pounds. This action slowed down later in the week, as did the tuna action as well. Over last week and through the first part of the week we saw a wahoo bite develop, most of these fish being found close off of Punta Gorda. Of course there are no secrets these days, and word on this unseasonable action spread like wild flies. Even 100 ft. yachts were trying to get in on the action. The problem is this one particular area is very vulnerable and fragile to excess boat activity. The spear fishermen arrived in numbers as well, we heard of several afternoon trips going out with spear fishermen and killing eight or more wahoo in one outing, a bit of an over kill, too bad the local authorities are not making any effort to deter this exploitation. Just no room for the increased number of rod and reel charters, as well as so many boats now with spear fishermen.

This week there was increased striped marlin activity encountered off of the Gordo Banks region and towards Desteladera. With some balls of mackerel and chihuil baitfish being found on these same grounds, as well as trolling with ballyhoo and artificial lures, decent action for marlin now, with average fish seen being in the 90 to 120 lb. range. With the tuna action being much slower now we expect more anglers might being targeting these billfish.

The bottom action continued to be sporadic, some days decant numbers of mostly smaller snapper, pargo leopard grouper, an occasional amberjack, but with strong currents running, most days this opportunity proved not an easy task and with limited productivity.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 79 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 16 wahoo, 25 yellowfin tuna, 11 striped marlin, 132 dorado, 13 yellow snapper, 11 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 24 huachinango (red snapper), 35 bonito, 3 amberjack, 6 barred pargo, 21 sierra and 70 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Tuna Action Scarce, more Dorado and Bottom Mix ~ March 10, 2018

Anglers –
March 10, 2018

We are seeing moderate crowds of anglers, as we near the spring season and continue to see varying weather patterns. The week started off with cooler days and more north wind, but by late week the ocean settled down as wind resided and also daytime temperatures warmed into the upper 70s. Not as many whales are being sighted recently, this could mean that these mammals are beginning their northern migration as they can feel the seasonal changes approaching. Ocean temperatures have ranged from 70 to 73 degrees, greener currents are working south from Los Frailes, near the Gordo Banks at this time.

The main bait source continues to be sardinas, main concentrations now schooling near Cabo Real, also on the beaches north of San Luis, but that area has been more susceptible to increased swells and this made it harder for the bait netters to work that area. Supplies have been sufficient, though patience has been necessary in the morning, as these baitfish are netted each morning and not stored in a large receiver in advance. Offshore, near the Gordo Banks, there were reports of balls of baitfish being encountered, mackerel and chihuil and some of these have been caught on sabiki rigs.

The yellowfin tuna action progressively came to a standstill thorough the week, early in the week there was wind to deal with where the yellowfin were being found near the Iman Bank and La Fortuna, but a handful of tuna in the 20 to 50 lb. were still being accounted for. By late week the tuna developed lock jaw, they could be seen coming up and feeding on free swimming chummed baitfish, but were extremely finicky in striking any offerings, even when going down to 20 lb. leader. With the entire fleet only accounting for a few fish per day in recent days.

Dorado bite had become very slow as well, until later in the week when they rebounded strongly. Most of this action was near La Fortuna while slow trolling or drift fishing with sardinas. Sizes were mixed, with the largest dorado seen being near 15 lb. Many small juveniles being hooked into, remember to practice catch and release on these fish, let them mature and spawn in order to help retain healthy stocks for the future. Despite the cooling waters there were several reports of wahoo being seen swimming in small schools on the same dorado and tuna grounds, though they proved elusive and would not strike.

Bottom action showed better sighs by later in the week, as more anglers were now trying this option since the tuna bite slowed way down. One yellowtail of over 30 lb. was landed off of the same tuna grounds while drift fishing with a live sardina. Also decent numbers of leopard grouper, yellow snapper, a few amberjack and of course triggerfish. We are being optimistic that we will be seeing more consistent action off the bottom rock piles in the coming months, this is the time of year now for that. No signs of red crab activity, but that could happen any time as well, and this could really open up the red snapper action..

Only limited numbers of sierra found close to shore and a few very small roosterfish. A few pompano, surgeon fish, bonito are rounding out the shallow reef species.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 22 yellowfin tuna, 164 dorado, 4 striped marlin, 1 broomtail grouper, 34 yellow snapper, 28 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 24 huachinango (red snapper), 1 wahoo, 11 bonito, 1 yellowtail, 4 amberjack, 2 pompano, 4 surgeon fish, 31 sierra and 70 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Weather Shuts Down Tuna Bite, Then Rebounds Over Weekend ~ March 3, 2018

Anglers –
March 3, 2018

Well the unpredictable month of February is now finally over, we anticipate that the new month will bring more stable conditions, as it normally does, warmer days should be arriving soon. Though the start of this week we saw a cold wave sweep in from the north, gusty winds mid-week which finally resided for the weekend. High temperatures were barely reaching up to 70 to 74 degree mark, early mornings were chilly, down in the 50s. Crowds of tourists appeared to be lighter than usual, with Spring Break just around the corner we should see more people arriving.

Ocean temperatures were ranging from 70 to 74 degrees, with the warmest area now being around the Jaime Banks off of Cabo San Lucas. Off of San Jose del Cabo and to Los Frailes the water averaged 70 degrees, despite strong north winds earlier in the week the water still was fairly clean. We are now also in the full moon phase and this can often impact feeding habits of certain species of gamefish. The main baitfish now being used has been sardinas, the bait netters had been finding these off of the stretches near San Luis, but higher swells made this tougher and once again the majority of the bait is being found along the rocky shore line from Palmilla to Cabo Real, but they took longer than usual to obtain enough bait to supply the fleet sufficiently, but it was worth the wait, because these sardinas are what the yellowfin tuna are hitting on.

The bite for the tuna has mainly been off of Vinorama, some fish were also found on San Luis Bank and near Iman. Last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the action was good for fish averaging 20 to 50 lb., with one yellowfin tuna of 93 lb. weighed in. Fish were finicky and line shy at times, anglers were using 30 to 40 lb. line with best success, sporting tackle for tuna of this grade. The gusty weather shut the action completely down on Wednesday and Thursday, before the bite rebounded on Friday, with charters averaging two five tuna each. Considering this is now off season for yellowfin tuna this action has been a welcome bonus.

Billfish action was limited to sporadic action on the Pacific, no striped marlin now on the grounds off of San Jose del Cabo. Dorado continued to be found daily, though in fewer numbers and most of these fish are small juveniles in the five pound range, with a rare ten pounder mixed in. When the ocean temperature dips down near the 70 degree range species such as dorado generally head on a southern migration, following the wahoo, which have already moved out of the area.

With most charters waiting longer time in order to obtain sardinas and then heading far north towards Vinorama to target the tuna, there was not a whole lot of bottom action even being targeted. Though we did see a mix of yellow snapper, huachinango, leopard grouper, even a couple of broomtails and of course a few bonito and triggerfish. No yellowtail or amberjack reported, nor did anyone report seeing pelagic red crabs, so the red snapper bite was very limited, just one or two fish here or there.

There were some sierra found along inshore beaches from Palmilla to Chileno, but not in the numbers we would expect considering that this is now their peak season. With the colder water we did not find any roosterfish or jack crevalle either. Still plenty of whales in the region, they should be around all of this month.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 105 yellowfin tuna, 112 dorado, 1 wahoo, 2 broomtail grouper, 16 yellow snapper, 19 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 26 huachinango (red snapper), 16 bonito, 32 sierra and 26 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric