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Bite Switches towards Iman Bank for Dogtooth Snapper, Yellowfin Tuna

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Anglers –
August 1, 2015

As we start a new month there are no new storm systems on the horizon that are forecast to affect Southern Baja. At this time Hurricane Guillermo is far off to west, following a path towards Hawaii, but is supposed to weaken before impact the island chain. Locally the weather has been very warm and humid, though skies have been clear, none of the afternoon thunder storms since last weekend. Ocean swells have been moderate, with water temperatures holding in the 86/87 degree range. Light afternoon breezes made for very comfortable conditions for anglers.

The action on the Gordo Banks for past couple of weeks, which had been for mostly very small sized yellowfin tuna, has now faded out, still a few marlin being hooked into from these grounds, both black and blue marlin, a handful of striped marlin and sailfish. This past week there were marlin to over 300 lb. landed, these fish were striking on trolled skipjack or tuna.

With supplies of sardinas still maintaining fleets in the vicinity of the marina jetty the action now has switched north to the Iman Bank, using the small sized sardina baitfish anglers were finding a grade of yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 50 lb. class. No significant numbers, but most charters were accounting for two, three, four of five tuna per morning. Off the bottom this area produced some huachinango, dogtooth snapper, cabrilla and triggerfish, again no big numbers, but a few quality fish were reported.

Dorado continue to virtually nonexistent, a combination of factors likely the cause for this. Finding any action while surface trolling open waters was difficult, more action was accounted for while using baitfish, drift fishing over the structure where fish were concentrated. Just a handful of wahoo were found, most of these while trolling early in the day with Rapalas.

No inshore action to speak of either, just a few roosterfish hanging around, the season for this gamefish is nearing the end. Though there is always a chance at finding a roosterfish lingering around the marina jetty where there are concentrations of various baitfish.

Eastern Pacific appears to be on track of having a strong el Niño warm water phenomena that can cause havoc on normal fish migrations patterns. We still have over two months of tropical storm season to deal with, so we will monitored weather forecasts frequently.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 66 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 black marlin, 1 yellowtail, 5 sailfish, 4 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 2 wahoo, 190 yellowfin tuna, 13 dogtooth snapper, 1 gulf grouper, 4 amberjack, 8 cabrilla, 1 surgeonfish, 22 white skipjack tuna, 4 roosterfish and 32 huachinango (red snapper).

Good fishing, Eric

Super Cow Yellowfin Landed on Gordo Banks ~ July 25, 2015


Anglers –
July 25, 2015

Last week Hurricane Dolores threatened to impact the Southern Baja region, but never amounted to much at all, as the system veered further west. Keeping it far enough away to cause any damage at all, actually very little rainfall was accounted for, the system dumped more rainfall in Southern California than it did in Los Cabos. Port closure was lifted on Saturday and conditions have been improving every day since. Ocean swells have diminished to moderate levels, mid-week we had six foot swells for a day or so, but this swell has weakened once again. Even though forecasts have called for variable percentages of rainfall every day, it has been mostly dry on the coast, with the exception of very limited isolated showers quickly moving through. In the mountainous area north of the airport and to La Paz, they reported greater measurable rainfall. We had been monitoring recent development of Tropical Storm Felicia, but this storm moved far to the west and quickly downgraded to a depression, causing no impact at all locally, except for increasing tropical humid conditions. Slight breezes in the afternoon have helped to keep conditions bearable.

Ocean temperatures are now reaching the upper 80 degree levels, with most of the area now being in the 86/87 degree range, slightly cooler on the Pacific side of the peninsula. Water clarity quickly rebounded with calmer seas, blue water was found close to shore. Billfish activity has been centered around the 1150 and 95 spots, as well as on the Gordo Banks. Charters have been finding mixed success while trolling lures and various rigged baitfish, with more numbers of blue marlin starting to move in, as well as some lingering striped marlin and a few sailfish. Many charters were accounted for multiple billfish days, while others told stories of large fish being hooked, only to be lost.

The most consistent bite for the local panga fleet has been on the Gordo Banks for smaller grade of yellowfin tuna, these fish were striking best on sardinas, which remained available near the marina jetty in the early morning, these fish ranged up to 10 lb., mixed in with white and black skipjack. There are a few big yellowfin moving on to these same grounds and early in the week we saw the first super cow of the season landed, this tuna was hooked from a 22 ft. panga while soaking a bolito for bait on the Inner Gordo, the fish took two hours to land on 60 lb. tackle with use of a 80 lb. leader, the yellowfin was weighed in at a whopping 331 lb. Quite an achievement on a set up that was being rigged up for targeting dogtooth snapper, which have also been lurking on the Inner Gordo Bank. Several dogtooth snapper were being hooked into each day from this spot, with many of these hook ups lost due to broken off leaders. The dogtooth that were actually landed were weighing in the 30 to 55 lb class.

Dorado continue to be very scarce, just not many being found, who knows what is going on to cause this lack of these normallyy abundant summer season species., most likely these fish are searching out cooler Pacific currents and different food sources. Wahoo were not being found either, not really surprising, as these fish become sluggish in such warm waters. Roosterfish action along the coastal stretches faded out, though an occasional roosterfish was being found, some of these were up to 40 lb.

Still plenty of sharks being hooked into, they seemed to quiet down immediately after the high swells passed, but in recent days they have become a nuisance once again. Off the bottom a few cabrilla, amberjack, yellowtail snapper, huachinango were rounding out catches. One 30 lb. yellowtail was landed, not an everyday catch in 86 degree water, as these jacks prefer cooler currents.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 68 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 yellowtail, 8 sailfish, 7 striped marlin, 4 blue marlin, 8 dorado, 430 yellowfin tuna, 12 dogtooth snapper, 6 amberjack, 5 cabrilla, 15 yellow snapper, 11 jack crevalle, 120 white skipjack tuna, 14 bonito, 7 roosterfish and 14 huachinango (red snapper).

Good fishing, Eric

Near Miss by Hurricane Dolores, Ports Reopen ~ July 18, 2015

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Anglers –
July `18, 2015

After a quiet few weeks of calm weather with no tropical storm activity, things became busy once again in the Eastern Pacific. With two named systems developing quickly early in the week, Hurricane Dolores and Tropical Storm Enrique, of which only Dolores moved close enough to impact Southern Baja, this storm reached category four strength at one point while churning over warm waters some 200 plus miles west of Cabo San Lucas, we all felt fortunate that this storm stayed far enough from land to not cause any devastating damage. The main impact we felt was that all ocean activities were halted on Tuesday, as the Ports of Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Los Cabos were closed with posted Red Flag conditions. There was only scattered rainfall felt, more of this towards Todo Santos, with winds to 30 mph, ocean swells peaked close to 15 feet high on Thursday. We do expect that the Ports will reopen over the weekend sometime and sportfishing charters and other outdoor activities will resume.

Prior to the stormy ocean conditions forcing port closures we were seeing improved action for yellowfin tuna and dorado. Dorado were just making more of a presence before the latest storm system, weights up to 20 lb. Most of the yellowfin were smaller 5 to 10 lb. fish, though there were some larger tuna in the area. Skipper Chame Pino on the super panga “Killer II” out of La Playita landed a 140 pound yellowfin tuna off of the Gordo Banks while using a fresh lively bolito for bait. This area has been plagued with sharks recently, making it hard to keep a bait in the water long enough without having a shark grab onto it, before any other gamefish has a chance. Hopefully these pesky sharks move elsewhere soon so that anglers have more opportunities. Ocean temperatures were nearing the 85 degree range in some areas, likely that currents have cooled slightly with choppy seas through much of the week, clarity will be stirred up for a bit as conditions take time to rebound.

Live bait sources remained much the same, with caballito and a mix of some moonfish being available. Only limited supplies of sardinas were found for a few days before the storm, now bait suppliers will need to search all over again for possible resources.

Roosterfish had become much more scattered during the past week, most productive reports came from areas near Vinorama, where good numbers of quality sized roosterfish were encountered. Only a handful of dogtooth snappers were reported, most of these were seen very briefly, as they engulfed slow trolled bait and immediately headed for the nearest rock outcropping to cut the leader. Time we should see these big snapper showing up on the offshore banks.

There continued to be chances at early morning action off of San Luis Bank for red snapper (huachinango) while working yo-yo jigs, with some of these fish nearing 15 lb., though this action was showing signs of slowing down in the rapidly warming waters.

Billfish action was scattered, no particular hot spot, warmer currents had the main migration of striped marlin moving towards Southern California. Sailfish were encountered in limited numbers, as we near August we expect more black and blue marlin to arrive on the local fishing grounds. With all of the smaller sized yellowfin tuna now present, these are a favored food source for big gamefish.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 21 charters for storm shortened week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 26 dorado, 2 wahoo, 78 yellowfin tuna, 1 dogtooth snapper, 7 yellow snapper, 6 jack crevalle, 9 bonito, 16 roosterfish and 18 huachinango (red snapper).

Good fishing, Eric