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Yellowfin Tuna Dominate, Wahoo and Dorado also Bite ~ August 29, 2015

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Anglers –
August 29, 2015

Now into the final month of the summer season and weather patterns have remained calm off of the Southern Baja Peninsula, at this time there is Hurricane Jimena now gaining strength, positioned over 1000 miles to the west of Cabo San Lucas, this system is nearing major hurricane status and we are all fortunate that it is heading in a direction far from land. Crowds of tourists remained light, though vacationers are enjoying the clear and calm conditions, though it is very tropical, warm and humid now, need to remember to stay hydrated. We are seeing some afternoon thundershowers over the mountains to the north, though not as concentrated as in past weeks. We will be following weather forecasts very closely for the next month, this is historically when storm systems can develop rapidly.

Water temperatures have ranged from 84 degrees on the Pacific, to an average of 87 degrees in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. Swells have been light for this time of year, strong currents on occasions and calm seas early in the day, with breezes picking up in the afternoon, but no heavy winds to report. Overall the ocean water conditions have steadily improved throughout the week, no more greenish water to report, clarity is clean and blue to within a mile of shore. With these improving conditions we have seen more numbers of dorado, wahoo and even bottom species biting. Most fleets have been finding the most consistent action from the Gordo to the Iman Banks.

Bait supplies near the marina consisted of sardinas and caballito, sardinas were plentiful, but often were not able to be netted until about 7 a.m. when schools moved close to shore. On the fishing offshore grounds there have been chihuil, bolito, skipjack and small sized yellowfin tuna, all of which can be used for bait targeting larger gamefish. Strips of giant squid also remained an option, found in some of the local super markets. Yellowfin tuna have been found in a wide range of sizes, from 5 lb. to over 300 lb. Best chances for the largest yellowfin tuna has been mainly around the Gordo Banks, no big numbers, but this is the best it has been so far this summer, while Iman Bank has produced greater numbers of fish in the football to 60 pound size. This is also where dorado action has come alive in recent days, most do-do’s weighed under 15 lb. Wahoo action has really come to life with the cleaner inshore ocean conditions, hot spot just to the north of Punta Gorda. Several anglers reported having up to a half dozen solid wahoo strikes while trolling Rapalas and other favored lures, sizes were in the 20 to 40 lb. class, bite was not only early in the morning, some days best action was encountered late morning.

Anglers found mixed success off of the bottom structure, there were dogtooth up to 55 lb. landed, amberjack to 50 lb., a few yellowtail to 35 lb., grouper to 40 lb., barred pargo to 15 lb., quality yellow snapper as well, surgeonfish and rainbow runner. Great variety for quality species, no significant numbers, but great to have this option, all in the same area as where the other highly sought after surface fish were being found.

Billfish are hanging around large concentrations of baitfish, chances at a offshore grand slam now, with sailfish, striped, blue and black marlin all being hooked into on any given day, something you do have to target and put some time into, but the opportunities are definitely there.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 50 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 6 striped marlin, 3 blue marlin, 3 black marlin, 9 sailfish, 17 wahoo, 58 dorado, 530 yellowfin tuna, 7 dogtooth snapper, 6 amberjack, 3 yellowtail, 9 cabrilla, 2 broomtail grouper, 15 bonito, 18 rainbow runners, 13 yellow snapper, 16 barred pargo and 2 surgeonfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Cows are Biting on the Gordo Banks ~ August 22, 2015

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Anglers –
August 22, 2015

Tropical Storm activity remains calm in the Eastern Pacific, last week there was a substantial southern swell, this has now weakened and ocean conditions have been calm in recent days. We are seeing typical summer time tropical weather patterns, practically every afternoon there have been local thundershowers developing over the mountainous area to the north of San Jose del Cabo, rarely do these squalls ever reach the coastline. Always a bit unpredictable this time of year, we need to monitor all weather forecasts closely. With no new storms presently seen on the horizon it appears that this coming week should be favorable.

With reports coming out of Cabo San Lucas and the East Cape region, apparently the most consistent fishing action has been centered on the grounds from the Gordo Banks to Iman Bank. With the ocean swell residing, the commercial fleet was able to find better supplies of sardinas, these have been the preferred baitfish available for targeting the yellowfin tuna action, the tuna have dominated all of the activity recently. On the Gordo Banks is where the largest sized yellowfin have been lurking, though this action has been hit or miss, with only a few of these tuna actually being landed. The area where greater numbers of the yellowfin are being accounted for, is on the Iman Bank, situated north of the Gordo Banks and within several miles of shore. Water temperatures have been in the 86/88 degree range and clarity has improved since the passing of the swells. Currents remain strong at times. Anglers had good success while drift fishing with sardinas, strips of squid and on cut bolito or skipjack. Most of the tuna on the Iman Bank were in the 8 to 15 lb. class, but there have been some 40, 50 and to over 70 pound fish mixed in. Also some Eastern Pacific Bonito, also referred to as white tuna and are normally a cold water species reaching to over 15 pounds.

Dorado action remained at a standstill, but actually for the past couple of days now we have finally seen a few numbers of medium sized fish accounted for, these fish were accounted for on the same grounds as were the tuna. Billfish action is scattered now, you could have multiple chances per day or not even have a hook up, depending on which grounds being targeted on a given day. It is the time of year that sailfish, striped, blue and black marlin are all found on the same traditional grounds. Wahoo were being found sporadically on trolled lures, more often closer to shore, from La Laguna to La Fortuna not many were landed, more often missed strikes, damaging skirted lures, not many anglers actually targeting wahoo now, these fish are known to become less active in very warm currents, they are also one of the more unpredictable fish, so you can never tell when they might become aggressively active.

Off the bottom structure, there have not been any big numbers of a particular species, though there have been some quality catches accounted for, even a couple of yellowtail off of the Gordo Banks, as well as amberjack, cabrilla, grouper, dogtooth snapper, bonito, yellow snapper and red snapper (huachinango).

Light crowds of tourists and visiting anglers this summer, as long as the weather holds, it is the perfect time to try to land a personal best super cow yellowfin tuna.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 54 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 7 sailfish, 8 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 1 black marlin, 11 dorado, 385 yellowfin tuna, 5 dogtooth snapper, 3 amberjack, 4 wahoo, 2 yellowtail, 11 cabrilla, 1 broomtail grouper, 34 bonito, 22 rainbow runners, 14 yellow snapper, 6 barred pargo and 18 huachinango.

Good fishing, Eric

Super Cow Sized Yellowfin on the Gordo Banks ~ August 15, 2015

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Anglers –
August 15, 2015

With summer progressing the weather has remained calm for the Los Cabos region, recent storm development has seen tropical systems following tracks heading far off to the west. Presently there is a low pressure area off of mainland Mexico that appears favorable for further tropical formation, with forecasts having this system follow a path paralleling the Baja Peninsula, several hundred miles from any impact on land. The next six weeks are historically the period when the highest numbers of hurricanes have impacted the Southern Baja area, so we will be following weather updates closely.

With Southern California now experienced epic, almost unprecedented action for tuna, yellowtail, dorado, striped marlin and other gamefish, local sportfishing fleets are seeing lighter crowds than during previous summers. The main species now being targeting locally has been the yellowfin tuna, supplies of sardinas are now becoming more scarce and with surf conditions now increasing and coinciding with early morning low tides, we expect this bait resource will become even more scattered in the coming weeks. Many anglers are searching out other bait options, local super markets have been selling slabs of giant squid and this has been one of the more productive options available for drift fishing the tuna. The consistent tuna bite on the Iman Bank has continued, in recent days the action turned on best later in the morning, most of the yellowfin caught off of these grounds were ranging in the 6 lb. to 50 lb. class. The spot where a handful of very very large yellowfin tuna have been lurking is on the Gordo Banks, with three more tuna of 300 lb. or more landed this past week. Not any significant numbers yet for these larger cows and the bite for the smaller grade tuna also becoming a little less productive, this area has had heavy pressure now for three weeks, also water clarity has been greenish due to Pacific currents pushing this direction and this seems to have slowed the action. Ocean temperatures remains in the 86/87 degree range, chances are that it will stay in the upper 80’s until the early fall season.

Billfish have been scattered, trolling available larger baitfish around the Gordo Banks has been one of the best techniques for having chances at sailfish, striped, blue and black marlin or the cow sized tuna, which are now all hanging around these grounds, so you never know what you might hook into on any given day. Trolling with skipjack, bolito and small yellowfin tuna are all proven big gamefish producers, though this is the type of fishing where a lot of patience is needed. With hook ups on these fish being few and far between, more charters have been concentrating around the Iman Bank, where there has been better chances at catching more numbers. East Cape charters continue to make the long run south to these same grounds, must mean that they do not have much going on off of their more local fishing grounds.

No really consistent bottom action going on now, a handful of snapper/pargo species, an occasional amberjack, dogtooth snapper, cabrilla or grouper, strong currents has made this structure action more difficult and at times even when the currents slacked, the fish just did not seem to be very active.

We expect that the coming weeks will bring even more reports of monster yellowfin tuna or larger sized marlin, as this is always known as the time when big fish are hanging around on local grounds, attracted by the huge concentrations of natural food sources.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 58 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 9 sailfish, 7 striped marlin, 188 yellowfin tuna, 3 dogtooth snapper, 4 amberjack, 6 cabrilla, 2 broomtail grouper, 18 bonito, 18 rainbow runners and 27 mixed pargo species.

Good fishing, Eric