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Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo and Billfish Keep Action Interesting, Hurricane Marie Brewing ~ August 24, 2014


August 24, 2014
Anglers –

For adventurous travelers who enjoy humid tropical weather conditions, this is a great time to visit the Southern Baja Peninsula. Daily forecasts have called for chances of scattered thunder showers, which has been the pattern throughout August, though most of the rainfall recoded, fell over the mountainous regions and the majority of the time in the direction to the north of San Jose del Cabo. Conditions can change rapidly, this past week there were threatening skies at times, but only isolated showers, winds were light and ocean conditions were comfortable. Moderate swells at the present time, though early next week a large storm swell is predicted to impact the area and waves could be as big as twenty feet. This storm surge is being produced by Tropical Storm Marie, which is now positioned to the southwest, rapidly gaining strength and will be passing close by, offshore of Cabo San Lucas. High chances of rainfall in the coming days as well, be prepared to button down the hatches, because this is the time of year that when it does rain, it can really pour.

Good news that more schooling sardinas have been appearing, smaller sized baitfish were being found around the marina jetty, now larger sized sardinas are schooling inshore off of Red Hill, it has been a long time since these baitfish have even been found in local waters. It is hard to say what the arrival of the big swell will do, likely scatter these baitfish. Water clarity has been clear and blue, this will likely become stirred up closer to shore. Ocean temperatures are ranging from 84 to 88 degrees, warmest zone towards Los Frailes.

Sportfishing fleets have been only moderately busy, as the epic bite off of Southern California is keeping anglers busy. This past week there were a variety of gamefish encountered, most common targeted species were yellowfin tuna, dorado, billfish, snapper and wahoo. With the availability of live sardinas this opened up more options for finding cooperative schools of yellowfin tuna, anglers found the most consistent grounds to be off of Palmilla and Red Hill, though sometimes these schools of tuna would sleep in and only bite mid day, Santa Maria and the Gordo Banks also were holding yellowfin tuna. Fly lining sardinas on lighter tackle was the best method to entice action. The majority of these yellowfin tuna were of the football sized variety, 5 to 12 lb., though there was a larger grade of 40 to 55 lb. tuna being found on the Gordo Banks, though this bite was even more unpredictable and the fish became even increasingly shy as more and more dive boat operators are chartering group tours that anchor and concentrate on these already heavily pressured fragile fishing grounds.

Dorado action was more concentrated to the north of Punta Gorda, small to medium sized fish, striking baitfish and trolled lures. Wahoo became a bit more active in this same region, even though water temperatures are higher than their preferred preference. Wahoo in the 20 to 40 pound class were striking on rigged ballyhoo, as well as trolled Rapalas, no big numbers, but a couple of charters did account for up to a pair of nice wahoo, that is always a bonus.

Best bottom action recently has been for the chance at hooking into a heavy dogtooth snapper, now holding on the shallow to medium depth rocky high spots, including the Gordo Banks, Iman and La Fortuna. Currents have been swift, which does make this style of drift fishing more difficult.

There has been a variety of billfish now found in local waters, namely striped, blue and black marlin, as well as sailfish. Some offshore charters had as mainly as three of four fish, striped marlin and sailfish being the most common, but also some blues and blacks lurking, this is the time of year when some of the biggest marlin are encountered. As anglers Vern and Gerry Eickhorn, from Canada, will attest to. The Eickhorn’s were fishing aboard the super panga “Killer II” with skipper Chame Pino, when they were trolling a live skipjack on the Gordo Banks around 10 a.m., they hooked into a huge black marlin that they battled, along with other additional back up help for some 12 hours while using 80 pound tackle, the group was never able to get the giant fish alongside the boat, it would stay just far enough away for anyone to be able to grab the 20 foot leader. This was one of those gladiator battles, addition supplies were dropping off, water, food, etc…none of it mattered, as the fish eventually broke the line and gained its freedom. Sure made for a good fish story though and some video footage helped verify that the marlin was estimated to weigh in the 800 pound range.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 70 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
5 striped marlin, 12 sailfish, 280 yellowfin tuna, 9 cabrilla, 84 dorado, 15 wahoo, 15 dogtooth snapper and 4 amberjack.

Good fishing, Eric




Yellowfin tuna, Dorado and a few Wahoo Keep Anglers Interested ~ August 16, 2014


August 16, 2014

Light crowds of visitors this past week, as many families are now busy preparing for the start of fall school semesters. Another factor for the limited crowds of anglers is that Southern California is now enjoying an epic El Nino season, where they are catching yellowfin and bluefin tuna, dorado and yellowtail, all in local waters. Weather patterns in Southern Baja continues to be unpredictable, forecasts have called for scattered thundershowers for much of the past two weeks, most of this activity has been over the mountain regions in the afternoon and not on the coastline, though there were isolated heavy showers over the coastal stretches as well. Ocean conditions have varied from day to day, swirling seas with increased swells, breezes from the north, east and south, then the next day would be calm. Charter fleets were able to launch every day, though on certain days it was wise to stay in closer proximately in case the weather turned unfavorable. There is a newly formed Tropical Storm Karina, now heading westward and far away from having any impact on land.

Ocean temperatures ranged from 82 to 88 degrees through most of the area, clean blue water was found within one mile of shore, lots of schooling skipjack now on the fishing grounds, sardinas are now being netted from the Puerto Los Cabos Marina Jetty area, very small in size. This has been the bait of choice for enticing the schooling football sized yellowfin tuna off of Palmilla Point, the tuna are also now found schooling off of Punta Gorda and La Fortuna, the key is obtaining the sardinas, this is a limited resource that really needs to see Government restrictions enforced in order to maintain a sustainable fishery.

This week local San Jose del Cabo fleets found action close by, with Palmilla Point being one of the more productive spots, anglers were fly lining live sardinas for yellowfin tuna in the 6 to 14 lb. class., some days there were quite a few skipjack to deal with, other times smaller sized schools of dorado would appear and to keep things interesting there were chances at hooking into a wahoo, striped marlin of sailfish. Hard to predict the exact time of day that this inshore action would be best, one morning it would be very early when the fish were most active, then the very next day they would not get going until 11 a.m., who’s to figure why?, current, tides, barometer, full moon, a lot of factors involved.

The Gordo Banks is starting to come alive, with cow sized yellowfin tuna making an appearance, but not in the biting mood yet, another grade of tuna in the 40 to 60 lb. range was also holding on these grounds and several of these were landed, early in the day striking on chunked skipjack or sardinas for bait. A handful of wahoo strikes off of these banks as well and at times the dogtooth snapper were in the mix. These grounds are coming alive, anything could happen on any given day. A black marlin estimated to be in the 450 lb. range was battled for two hours from a local panga, only to have the hook pull free as the fish was near the boat.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 69 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
2 striped marlin, 8 sailfish, 320 yellowfin tuna, 5 cabrilla, 8 jack crevalle, 66 dorado, 7 wahoo, 12 dogtooth snapper, 18 red snapper, 150 skipjack and 6 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric




Tropical Weather Continues, Sardinas Appear in Local Waters, Football Yellowfin Bite ~ August 10, 2014


August 10, 2014

Southern Baja California official kicks off Tournament season with the Bisbee event out of East Cape now going on. Weather patterns remain very tropical, no new storm systems threatening at this time, though forecasts have anticipated scattered thundershowers throughout this week, so far we have seen little moisture fall near the the coast, though over the mountainous terrain they have received more and at times some serious hard rainfall with lightning and thunder, though in isolated areas. Very warm temperatures persist, though we have felt slight relief with increased cloudiness and breezes from the south, off the Pacific.

Swells increased some and then dropped off just as quickly. Ocean water temperatures are now averaging in the upper 80’s throughout the region. Water clarity varied, southern breezes will push in off colored currents, though for the most part blue water has been found within a few miles of shore, which is normal for the summer season.

Bait situation has consisted of limited amounts of sardinas, these schooling baitfish are just moving back in to the Puerto Los Cabos Marina jetty area, small juvenile sized, but have been the ticket to getting into a local yellowfin tuna bite that has developed off of Red Hill and Palmilla, football sized tuna, found close to shore, striking on the live fly lined baits. Hard to say how long this bait resource will hold up, they should actually close this zone from commercial netting of these baitfish, in order to give them a chance to mature, spawn and reproduce, a lot easier said than done, when anglers are relying on these baitfish to provide them action for larger gamefish and particularly when these inshore tuna do want to hit on any other offering besides these small sardinas..

The bite for the larger grade of yellowfin tuna continues far to the north, near Los Frailes, not within range of a normal charter from San Jose del Cabo, actually closer for the East Cape fleets, though a handful of charters from the San Jose are making the long trek, be prepared for gas surcharges if wanting to fish those grounds, where tuna ranging up to 50 pounds have been accounted for. Limited sardinas being offered and more charters were looking for slabs of giant squid, sold at times in local super markets.

Dorado schools were scattered, mostly small sized fish, lots of females, good practice to always release these juvenile dorado to give them a chance to mature, reportedly these popular gamefish are one of the more rapidly growing fish, gaining five pounds per month.
This past week these fish became scarcer, though at times were found in schools, striking on lures and various baits. Wahoo remain in the area, though often become more sluggish in such warm ocean conditions, every day we are seeing one or two of these speedsters mixed in the fish counts. Trolled lures accounted for more of the wahoo strikes, though a handful were hooked into for anglers using chunk or whole baits.

Bottom action remain slow, an occasional snapper, cabrilla, amberjack, with more triggerfish than anything else. A few dogtooth snapper found off the rock piles, deep water grouper and snapper keeping commercial fleet busy, rapid currents making this a tough option for drift fishing. Best chance at hooking into fish while using yo-yo style jigs has been very early in the morning, after the sun comes up this action completely comes to a standstill.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 69 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
1 blue marlin, 6 striped marlin, 9 sailfish, 175 yellowfin tuna, 6 cabrilla, 12 jack crevalle, 36 dorado, 11 wahoo, 3 dogtooth snapper, 11 red snapper, 4 amberjack,10 bonito and 2 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric