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Yellowfin Tuna Bite North of Vinorama, Tropical Squall Strikes Thursday ~ July 26, 2014

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July 26, 2014
Anglers –

We are now in the later part of the month of July, this is always a warm time of year, very humid, muggy, days are long and tropical weather can rapidly change overnight. Crowds are a bit below average this month, perhaps the great fishing now being found off of Sothern California is a factor, as many anglers are taking advantage of their local bite, where yellowtail, bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and yellowtail are all providing epic action.

This past week the highlight for the San Jose del Cabo sportfishing fleet was the yellowfin tuna bite that developed north of Vinormama, some 20 to 25 miles north of Puerto Los Cabos Marina, a bit further than what normal panga or local cruiser charters travel on a regular basis. We could see fuel surcharges soon, if this continues. This is the same fishing grounds where the East Cape fleet has been concentrated on and they are located closer to these grounds than Cabo fleets. The key has been the availability of live sardinas, which are being found schooling near Los Frailes. Anglers were drift fishing with these baits and hooking into yellowfin tuna in the 25 to 45 lb. class. This area where the fleet is finding these fish is very close to shore, so close that triggerfish are thick and skipjack are also out numbering the tuna. With persistence and the proper baitfish, charters were able to land, one to five of these yellowfin per morning. Rigging with forty pound main line spliced to 40 or 50 lb. fluorocarbon leader material has been the most productive technique.

Dorado have been found more spread out, the majority being juvenile sized fish, but there are some much larger fish mixed in, bulls weighing up to 50 lb. were reported, though no big numbers, trolling larger baitfish such as bolito was one method than was producing a larger grade of dorado.

Open water trolling saw a mix of billfish, actually last week there was sailfish, striped, black and blue marlin caught from local waters, again no big numbers, but these gamefish are present and an offshore grand slam could happen on any given day.

Ocean conditions are very warm, averaging 85 to 87 degrees, even warmer further offshore, this is the time of year where charters do not need to travel very far offshore to find pelagic gamefish species. Winds were relatively mild most days, with the exception of Thursday, when a tropical squall flared up, moving in from the east and closing charter operations for the morning, not before many charters had already launching into what appeared to be moderate conditions, only to have the breeze switch and turn this squall into a major situation for an hour or two, all boats had to return as quickly as possible to the Marina, but seas became extremely rough quickly, wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph, accompanied by driving tropical storm force thunder showers. Everyone did return safely, storm system passed on through and by mid day, skies were sunny again. Lengthy local power outages, wind and minor flood damage was reported. The landscape will surely turn tropical green from this deluge.

Not much bottom action reported some early morning pargo, bonito, cabrilla action on yo-yo jigs, but nothing red hot. Only an occasional roosterfish or jack crevalle found along the shoreline, no signs of much mullet activity to attract the inshore gamefish, getting late in the season now, it appears that we might not see the large schools of mullet as we would normally expect. Last season we witnessed one of the best roosterfish bites on record and this season has been the complete reverse.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 63 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
1 black marlin, 2 blue marlin, 4 striped marlin, 8 sailfish, 48 yellowfin tuna, 6 amberjack, 5 cabrilla, 4 jack crevalle, 58 dorado, 3 wahoo,1 dogtooth snapper, 10 bonito, 230 black skipjack and 2 roosterfish.
Good fishing, Eric

 

 

Tropcial Weather, Very Warm Ocean Temperatures, Scattered Action ~ July 19, 2014

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July 19, 2014
Anglers –

The summer season continues to progress along, crowds of visitors remain at moderate levels, weather patterns are becoming increasingly more humid and tropical, presently we have no new tropical storms that have developed off of mainland Mexico, where ocean water temperatures are ripe for development and we are seeing local thunderstorms arise practical each afternoon over the foothills and north of the International Airport.

Oceans swells have resided, winds have been variable, some days gusting from the east and then the south. Overall the fishing action was scattered and spotty from day to day. Very strong southern current sweeping through, this will put baitfish down and cause fish to go into the lock jaw mode. Water temperatures are ranging from 85 degrees and even warmer throughout the region, definitely no talk of the water being too cold now, in fact it is the opposite, warmer than what would be considered ideal.

San Jose del Cabo charters are finding the most productive grounds to be north of Punta Gorda, from Iman to Vinorama and further towards Los Frailes. In the Puerto Los Cabos Marina channel area los carnaderos (bait fishermen) are finding caballito and moonfish, ballyhoo have been another option. There have been schools of sardinas moving into the Los Frailes region the past couple of weeks and they are being vigilantly watched over by locals and authorities alike. Limited amounts of these prized evasive baitfish, which have been absent from local waters for over six months, are now being netted and hauled by commercial pangeros towards the Vinorama grounds, a handful of San Jose del Cabo charters have obtained these baits and are using them to entice the yellowfin tuna which have been schooling with black skipjack within a couple miles of shore north of Vinorama. The tuna are quality fish, averaging 30 to 40 pounds, these fish were coming up to chummed sardinas sporadically and there were many more skipjack than tuna being hooked into, in fact in these shallow waters the triggerfish were aggressive and had to be dealt with as well. This sardina situation is very limited and day to day as to when there might be a complete shut down by authorities. The handful of charters making the long run and being able to secure sardinas did accountant for one, two, three and in some cases even more of the yellowfin, having to battle a couple of dozen skipjack in the mean time.

There were several stories of large sized hammerhead sharks, up to ten feet long, having followed in hooked tuna and then taking advantage of an easy meal at the fishermen’s loss. Dorado were found on the same grounds as well, most of them were smaller sized, though a few larger bulls up to 40 lb. were mixed in. On occasion anglers ran across large schools of juvenile dorado, this would be great fly rod catch and release action.

Off the bottom, the strong current made for very fast drift fishing with limited results, only a few snapper, triggerfish, amberjack, bonito and cabrilla being accounted for, this was a early morning bite on yo-yo jigs and bait and dependant on fluctuating currents.

Billfish action included blue and striped marlin, as well as sailfish, no numbers to speak of, scattered action, found by trolling lures and bait, within several miles of shore, do not have to venture far offshore this time of year, though with swell and current activity, inshore clarity can become murky, usually within several miles anglers can find blue water conditions.

Inshore there was spotty action for roosterfish, jack crevalle and a few dogtooth snapper, though with the lack of schooling mullet along the shoreline, this bite has been sub par, considering this is peak season for these mentioned species.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 58 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
34 yellowfin tuna, 5 sailfish, 8 striped marlin, 8 amberjack, 9 cabrilla, 13 jack crevalle, 155 dorado, 2 dogtooth snapper, 16 bonito, 350 black skipjack and 6 roosterfish.
Good fishing, Eric

 

 

 

Cow Sized Yellowfin Tuna Start to Bite, Lots of Juvenile Sized Dorado ~ July 12, 2014

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GORDO BANKS PANGAS

San José Del Cabo

Anglers –

July 12, 2014

Light crowds of tourists have been enjoying recent tropical weather patterns, which are now the normal pattern for the rest of the summer. No new storm systems at this time, though there have been scattered tropical cloud formations and some isolated thunder showers in the foot hills, very humid, with light breezes this past week.

Ocean conditions became cloudy and off colored closer to shore due to prior swells that pushed through the region, now seas are settling down again and clarity has improved closer to shore. Anglers were finding a mix of caballito, moonfish, as well as ballyhoo available for bait. Another bait option in recent days were live sardinas being delivered to the fishing of San Luis and Vinormama, by commercial pangeros based out of Los Frailes, this is a great sign, as local fleets have not been able to obtain any sardinas for a long time, in fact for the entire 2014 season, up until this week. This is a limited resource and still a long distance to go for bait, who knows how long this will last, large swells will scatter inshore baitfish schools in a hurry.

San Jose del Cabo fleets have been concentrating their efforts on the grounds to the north of Punta Gorda, namely Iman, San Luis and Vinorama Banks, this is where they have found the most productive all around action. Early in the day anglers found decent action on species such as bonito, red snapper, skipjack, a few amberjack and cabrilla, yo-yo jigs and various baits all produced.

The same areas held schooling dorado, most of which were small juvenile sized fish, only an occasional bull to 15 pounds or more reported. Every few days we hear of someone having a wahoo strike, but definitely no numbers or particular spot. Yellowfin tuna are slowly moving into the region, sizes have ranged from footballs to Cows of over 200 pounds. With sardinas now being available, for the time being at least, there have been more chances at enticing the tuna, which are holding on the grounds from Iman to Vinormama. So far just a handful are being caught , most are nice fish though of 20 to 40 lb., the larger Cow sized tuna are striking on slow trolled bolito, which are being jigged up early in the day on the same banks. More large tuna were hooked and lost than actually landed, So far the largest brought into La Playita was a 230 pound fish last weekend in the inaugural Hook Up Tournament.

There has been a mix of sailfish, striped and blue marlin, again no big numbers, but these billfish are present and being hooked into everyday. The way the conditions are shaping up, warm blue water in the 80s, with congregations of bolito and flying fish being reported offshore, this is always a favorable sign that anything could happen on any given day.

Inshore action was more limited, scattered action on roosterfish to 40 lb., though only a fish or two here or there, more jack crevalle than roosters, nothing like the numbers we witnessed last season. A handful of dogtooth snapper have been hanging around the rock outcroppings, these fish will test the stoutest tackle to the limits.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 60  charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 7 sailfish, 2 blue marlin, 9 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 14 yellowfin tuna, 174 dorado, 38 pargo (red snapper), 12 cabrilla, 8 amberjack, 26 jack crevalle, 16 roosterfish, 3 dogtooth snapper, 34 bonito and 22 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric