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Yellowfin Once Again Highlight Catches ~ May 20,2017

Anglers –
May 20, 2017

Late spring now, this past week was fairly quiet for the amount of visiting anglers we would expect to normally see, who knows what is creating the slack in tourism, we should see more activity the end of this month. Winds were finally weakening, after a couple of weeks of persistent south winds, as well as northerly’s at the same time, definitely still in the midst of crazy transition period. We need a couple weeks of hot and calm weather to get the fishing back on track. Recently the climate has been on the cool side, with highs of 95 degrees, lows about 65 degrees, very ideal, comfortable climate for this time of year, surely it will become much warmer soon enough.

Ocean water temperatures have ranged from 70 degrees on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, to 76 degrees off of San Jose del Cabo and to the north, actually a couple of degrees warmer closer to shore than it is further offshore. Sardinas supplies are becoming more limited, even surf conditions have been light, this is normal for this time of so far. Sometimes patterns can be later than normal, this appears to be what is happening this season.

The striped marlin bite has never really become red hot this year, normally the month of May is the peak season for stripers off of San Jose del Cabo. At this time they are finding limited numbers of marlin scattered anywhere from four or five, to fifteen or more miles offshore. Anglers are finding occasional tailing fish that will readily take larger baitfish once encountered, some boats are having multiple chances per day. Only a rare report of any dorado strikes, should be soon that we start to see some nice dorado move into the area. Wahoo very and far between as well, an occasional strike reported, most of them incidental and not being successful for actually landing the fish.

Highlight this past week out of San Jose del Cabo was looking for the regenerated yellowfin tuna action between Iman Bank and Vinorama. Anglers were using what available sardinas they could obtain and some people were using chuck bait from skipjack with success as well. The bite was sporadic, most days the best chances were found early in the day, daily totals ranged from one or two fish per charter, up to a half of dozen, sizes were ranging from 15 lb. to 45 lb.., average size fish in the 30 to 40 lb. class, nice grade fish for this early in the season. Lots of yellowfin tuna are now on these grounds, but are finicky as they often can be, gorging on the available natural food source, also a problem with too many aggressive black skipjack and of course the ever present sea lions can be a factor as well.

Not all that much action reported off the bottom structure, a few leopard grouper, amberjack, yellow snapper and barred pargo, more triggerfish than anything else, a few pushing up to 8 lb. Inshore the hot roosterfish action tapered way down, but we should see it redevelop on any given day, also sierra are still patrolling the shore, now in the later part of their preferred winter colder water season.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 59 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 1 wahoo, 96 yellowfin tuna, 5 amberjack, 13 yellow snapper, 8 barred pargo, 10 leopard grouper, 3 island jack, 8 huachinango, 1 dogtooth snapper, 1 surgeonfish,18 roosterfish, 38 sierra and 80 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Cooler Choppy Conditions Affect Action, Mainly Bottom Species ~ May 13, 2017

Anglers –
May 13, 2017

We are progressing steadily towards summer now, crowds of visiting tourists have been light, many families are now busy with finishing off school semesters, should see more numbers of people in the coming weeks when school sessions finish. The all-around climate has been nice, very comfortable, cool southern breezes have keep temperatures mild, highs near 85 degrees, lows down to 62 degrees, chilly for this time of year. The main factor this past week was the wind from the south, actually closing the Cabo San Lucas port on certain days, out of San Jose del Cabo conditions were calmer, though on the fishing grounds to the north, where the yellowfin tuna action was found the previous week, near Vinorama and Iman Banks, there were also gusty northerly winds creating rough conditions and currents were swift. So it was kind of like the washing machine effect, choppy from all different directions. These type of weather patterns keep the climate nice, but never help the fishing action to get on the right track. Another factor this week was also the full moon phase.

Offshore action remained slow, though this past week there was improved reports for striped marlin, from the 1150 spots to straight out from San Jose del Cabo and outside of the Gordo Bank’s. No significant numbers, but more activity than in the past couple of week. The month of May is usually one of the best times to find striped marlin on these local fishing grounds, so far this season this action has behind schedule to develop. Normally we see a flurry of wahoo action the first part of May, that has not happened yet either, only a few scattered wahoo were reported this past week, from the Gordo Banks to Iman Bank, these were taken while trolling Rapalas and other traditional skirted lures. Ocean temperatures are ranging 74 to 76 degrees throughout most of the zone, even the Pacific is warming back up, so as these recent swirling winds settle down and the moon darkens, we expect the action to improve. The clarity of the water actually improved in recent days, cleaner blue water was found within several miles of shore. We heard of some decent wahoo and yellowfin tuna action towards Los Frailes, still out of range for a normal day charter, boats from the East Cape were traveling a long ways south to get into some of that action.

Supplies of sardinas are diminishing, though they are still able to net some of these, the other type of clear sardinas are now more prevalent, they are not the same, do not stay alive in bait wells and are a lot softer, very hard to keep on a hook. Other bait sources included limited supplies of mullet and caballito.

Most charters this week were scratching out a few inshore species such as sierra, roosterfish and working bottom rock piles for some triggerfish, barred pargo, amberjack and cabrilla. One nice yellowtail was taken on a yo-yo jig off of the Gordo Banks. Slim fish counts overall. The yellowfin tuna action was put on hold due to the ocean conditions, a handful of tuna were landed, up to 35 lb. off of Iman Banks, but these fish were few and far between, the conditions made it very tough to affectively drift fish, the yellowfin are still in the area, at times they were seen up and feeding and then would disappear just as fast. A lot can happen from week to week, we expect as weather settles the action will definitely improve accordingly.

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: 3 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, 1 yellowtail, 18 yellowfin tuna, 22 amberjack, 24 yellow snapper, 14 barred pargo, 12 leopard grouper, 6 island jack, 12 mojarra, 2 African pompano, 10 huachinango, 16 roosterfish, 42 sierra, 5 bonito and 90 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Warmer Weather Helps Improve Action ~ May 6, 2017

Anglers –
May 6, 2017

New month, this week we have the traditional holiday of Cinco de Mayo, not really a day they celebrate much in Baja, though local schools were out for the day, Southern California is the place that take this day seriously. Anyway, crowds of tourists were moderate, weather continues to warm up and most of the windy days are now past. Ocean conditions were very pleasant, southern swells were starting to increase, as they normally do this time of year. Water temperatures are averaging 75 degrees or more in the direction of San Jose del Cabo, while the Pacific remains cooler.

Supplies of sardinas off of the north side of the marina jetty are starting to thin out, also higher surf made it trickier for the netters. This is now the normal time when sardinas start to vanish and we see larger baitfish move in, such as moonfish, mullet and caballito, also should start to find bolito and more skipjack appearing on the offshore fishing grounds. Still in the midst of transition period, moving from spring to summer. Dictated by weather patterns, a lot can happen from day to day, week to week during this month.

Last week the exciting new action that developed was for roosterfish, fish to 30 lb. were found schooling off local beach stretches and were readily striking on slowly trolled baitfish. This was during a time when it was a bit windy out of the south and that made offshore opportunities tough, so it was good timing. Of course many people and charter operators themselves are killing way too many of these roosterfish, instead of practicing catch and release, this species is not known for their eating qualities, but instead for their beauty and fighting stamina, please remember to try and release them unharmed when you do have the opportunity. By this week this action had tapered way off, but surely should rebound as we near the month of June, which is peak season for roosterfish in our area.

Offshore billfish remained very spotty, though a few striped marlin are being found, also a handful of stories about blue marlin strikes being lost. This is the month when we normally see wide open action for striped marlin, so we are anticipating for this bite to improve very soon. A few stray wahoo were hooked into offshore on the marlin grounds, also at least one dorado we saw landed, so hopefully this is a sign that we will see more pelagic species arriving with the warming currents.

The yellowfin tuna action had faded out, but this week this action once again rebounded off of the northern grounds near Vinorama, within a mile or two of shore, drift fishing with sardinas was the most productive method, we did hear of some fish also taken on strips of squid. The bite was not off the map, but decent for this time of year, we saw boats catch from one or two yellowfin, up to ten fish per morning, sizes ranged from smaller footballs, up to over 40 lb., a lot of fish in the 30 lb. class. The problem towards the later part of the week was finding enough of the live sardinas to supply the entire fleet, the word had gotten out and everyone wanted to chase these tuna, since offshore was not all that productive.

Bottom action produced a mix of snapper, pargo, bonito, cabrilla and some amberjack to 30 lb., using both bait and yo-yo or butterfly type jigs, not huge numbers, but a few nice eating fish accounted for. Of course there were more triggerfish than anything else off of the shallow water rock piles, though we did have a few exotics, African pompano and island jack, which are some of the best eating fish available in these parts.

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: 4 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, 1 dorado, 210 yellowfin tuna, 15 amberjack, 26 yellow snapper, 5 barred pargo, 18 leopard grouper, 9 island jack, 4 African pompano, 18 huachinango, 130 roosterfish, 35 sierra, 12 bonito and 150 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric