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Roosterfish Highlight Action ~ June 18, 2016

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Anglers –
June 18, 2016

Crowds are only moderate now, with weather conditions still bearable, as we are starting to feel the heat of oncoming seasonal changes. This weekend we will celebrate Father’s Day and then also in the coming days the summer season will officially begin on June 20, which also happens to be the day of the full moon, this is a rare occurrence, when the day of the Summer Solstice and the full moon fall on the same date, actually this has not happened since 1948, some 68 years ago. The climate has progressively felt more humid throughout this week, as a tropical depression was slowly moving off to the southwest of the lower Baja Peninsula about 300 miles off of land, does not impose any threat, only slightly increased swell activity and the higher humidity. Also a few more tropical clouds forming, though more than enough warm sunshine.

A lot can happen in a matter of one week, after last week’s big blow from out of the south pushed in cold Pacific currents to Punta Colorado, patterns have since stabilized and now warm waters near 80 degrees have pushed back in, from Cabo San Lucas and in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, though on the Pacific side of Cabo the water temperatures are still in the lower 70s. All this current flow has made the inshore waters, up to about five miles offshore, a little off colored and greenish. As we near the month of July we usually see that the blue water comes very close to shore as weather patterns increasingly warm.

This week we saw a huge influx of schooling mullet move into the San Jose del Cabo region, have not seen this much mullet activity in this area for at least several years. With all of this baitfish activity we have also seen the larger sized roosterfish arrive in substantial numbers. Reports of great roosterfish action on fish to over fifty pounds along the entire coastal stretches, though one particular local hot spot were the stretches from La Fortuna to north of Vinorama. Along with the roosterfish also came the hog sized jack crevalle and some dogtooth snapper action is also starting to be seen, if you can find a spot where the jacks will leave you alone long enough in order to give the snapper a chance. Sharks were moving closer to shore, the pilot sharks have been thick offshore for several months now, but we are now seeing more hammerhead as well, these sharks are congregating on the same bottom structure areas where we commonly target species such as cabrilla, amberjack, pargo and others, the sharks can become too numerous at times to be able to really have much a chance at catching the preferred species. Sharks our presently out of season, not legal to retain, though we always prefer to release them anyway. Anglers should also remember to release all roosterfish with care when possible, these fish are a prized for their fighting stamina, not eating quality, these gamefish can grow to weights of over one hundred pounds and also have a very limited habitat that should be protected, only existing worldwide from Southern Baja to Costa Rica.

Fleets were finding the best all-around action now on the grounds near La Fortuna to just north of Vinorama, lots of quality trophy sized roosterfish, jack crevalle, a few dogtooth snapper and amberjack to fifty pounds lurking around shallow water rock piles. Also decent numbers of yellow snapper, a handful of leopard grouper, at least one which was of the golden phased variety. A few late season sierra in the mix.

Offshore action included striped marlin and dorado, scattered with mixed results, some charters accounting for multiple marlin and dorado days. Dorado up to 25 lb., stripers averaging 90 to 130 lb. Many fish were just encountered by taking blind strikes on lures or on rigged baits such as ballyhoo or mullet. Caballito became scarcer, more mullet available this week compared to any other baitfish. Strips of squid are still be used for chunk fishing on the grounds from the Iman to Vinorama Banks. No significant numbers of yellowfin tuna, but charters that did target this action with persistence accounted for one, two or three tuna that averaged 25 to 30 lb. Only a couple wahoo reportedly landed recently, others were seen free swimming, so they are definitely in the area, these fish always seem to be elusive, until conditions are to their liking and they decide to go on the bite.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 80 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 wahoo, 13 striped marlin, 7 dogtooth snapper, 36 yellowfin tuna, 29 bonito, 14 dorado, 15 amberjack,15 leopard grouper (cabrilla), 34 yellow snapper, 8 sierra, 14 barred pargo, 55 jack crevalle, 105 roosterfish and 90 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

South Winds means Cold Water, Scattered Action ~ June 11, 2016


Anglers –
June 11, 2016

This past week was dominated by the weather conditions, more than by the light crowds of anglers getting into some fast and furious fishing action. After last Sunday being a great day, as forecast, we saw high pressure systems from the north, coinciding with low pressure areas from the south created the perfect environment for the south wind to develop and be persistent for four straight days, finally residing by Friday. Winds blew steady at 20 to 25 mph, with gusts to over 30 mph, rare to have so many days in a row of this strong of wind from that direction. After enduring the season’s first major heat wave the previous week, we saw temperature cool off back to late winter type conditions, lows in the 60 and highs in the upper 70s. The main impact the south wind had for anglers, besides keeping most charters tied to the dock through Thursday, was how the water clarity became turned over, Pacific currents pushed cold and dirty water into the Sea of Cortez, reaching all the way to north of Los Frailes, this dropped ocean temperatures from the 78/80 degree range down to a chilly 67/68 degrees. This is a drastic change overnight, now the weather has settled down, but this will take some time for conditions to rebound to how they were, offshore from San Jose del Cabo there are now areas where water is 72/74 degrees, a few nice days of calmer weather and we should see water temperatures back into the mid-70s.

The rapid change in conditions put a halt to any consistent fishing action that had been happening prior to the south winds. There had been good marlin action offshore, also a mix of dorado, wahoo and yellowfin tuna to round out the surface action. Also we were seeing better quality off the bottom structure, namely for amberjack and a few dogtooth snapper, both of which prefer warm water conditions. So now with the colder water we heard of a few striped marlin being encountered outside of the Gordo Banks and towards Iman Bank. Most panga charters were concentrating efforts near San Luis Bank and off of Cardon and La Fortuna, where they found some of the Eastern Pacific bonito, yellow snapper, leopard grouper and triggerfish

The only thing good to say about the conditions this past week, is that the climate was comfortable as far as temperature was, a relief from the hot weather and most likely the last cold wave of the season we will feel, with the major heat of the summer season just waiting for us in the very near future.

Cold water seemed to even scatter the available baitfish, pangeros were now working overtime to find jurelito, caballito and some moonfish, of course there are still some ballyhoo and squid slabs also being offered.

For the few days that charter fleets were even able to operate this week, the most consistent action was found closer to shore, either slow trolling or drift fishing baits and also some action found on yo-yo style jigs. A lot of changes surely will happen in the coming weeks and conditions do warm back up to the normal patterns.

Just prior to the water turning over due to persistent south winds, we saw some decent roosterfish action accounted for off of inshore grounds, San Luis and the San Jose del Cabo Hotel zone both produced roosterfish in decent number, fish to 25 pounds were landed.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 42 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 9 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 3 dogtooth snapper, 5 yellowfin tuna, 90 bonito, 4 dorado, 6 amberjack,11 leopard grouper (cabrilla), 2 pompano, 32 yellow snapper, 4 sierra, 8 barred pargo, 22 roosterfish and 75 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Anglers find Amberjack, Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo on San Luis Bank ~ June 4, 2016


Anglers –
June 4, 2016

With the official start of the summer still a couple of weeks away, the weather conditions are steadily warming and becoming more humid. Scattered morning clouds, burning off quickly as the day progresses. Wind patterns have been mainly from the south, 10 to 20 mph, generally calm early in the day, with more breeze later in the afternoon. Swells increased some this past week and there were strong currents, so swimmers need to be aware and use extra caution. Ocean water temperatures was in the lower 70’s on the Pacific, off of San Jose del Cabo it averaged 78 degrees and towards Los Frailes it was in the 80 degree range.

The local bait situation remains the same, anglers are using strips of squid, ballyhoo, caballito, jurelito and moonfish. Though this should be the season where we are finding bolito and smaller skipjack on the offshore grounds, so far we have seen very little of this activity, same goes for the inshore mullet migration, we have yet to see any of these schooling baitfish either, this being one of the reasons that not much inshore fishing action has been encountered, normally this is time when the annual roosterfish run starts to really take off, so far this action has been very spotty, a handful of larger grade roosterfish were caught and released from the offshore structure areas, where tuna, pargo and amberjack were also being targeted. This has been a trend in recent years for the roosterfish, normally an inshore species, though with the lack of inshore baitfish these gamefish are roaming further offshore to find food.

The main concentration of striped marlin is now being found from 15 to 20 miles offshore, besides striped marlin, a few sailfish in the mix, plenty of pilot sharks as well, with many of these sharks even striking on higher speed trolling lures, not only bait, an occasional wahoo on these same grounds as well, including a 75 lb. wahoo taken mid-week. Some of the stripers recently have been larger sized, up to 150 lb., we usually do see some of the bigger stripers towards the end of the main season. Not many wahoo were reported this past week, though we are seeing at least a couple per day in the overall fish count, no particular spot has been best for this, either out on the marlin ground, or closer to shore..

Amberjack are in the area, though the bite has moved around from day to day, some of these jacks have been found close to the marina entrance, off of the San Jose Estuary and off of Palmilla Point, as well as on the San Luis Bank. Many of these ambers were weighing in the 20 to 40 lb. range. The amberjack were striking best on the live baits, either caballito or moonfish. A couple of dogtooth snapper were also reported, this is the time we should see more of these largest of the pargo species moving into local waters. Besides finding plenty of triggerfish, though now mostly smaller size, not as large as we were seeing earlier in the spring, we are seeing a mix of some barred pargo and yellow snapper, both being quality eating species and scrappy fighters.

Yellowfin tuna has been hit or miss, but in recent days we are seeing an improvement, smaller grade yellowfin striking on smaller trolled hoochies from Red Hill to Chileno Bay and north between Iman and Vinorama anglers found tuna up to 40 pounds on high sots while drift fishing strips of squid or slow trolling surf with caballito or moonfish. Once again the lack of sardina we are not having as easy of time enticing these yellowfin tuna into surface feeding frenzies.

Dorado were starting to be found in greater number, but anglers were still lucky to land a couple of these fish, with most of these being smaller in size, only a handful of fish up to 20 lb. accounted for.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 73 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 sailfish, 5 dogtooth snapper, 25 striped marlin, 18 wahoo, 105 yellowfin tuna, 22 bonito, 58 dorado, 32 amberjack, 13 leopard grouper (cabrilla), 55 yellow snapper, 15 sierra, 14 barred, 18 huachinango (red snapper), 10 roosterfish and 160 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric