We have seen crowds of tourists drop off this past week, this is the usual scenario during the time frame immediately after the Thanksgiving vacation and before the Christmas and New Year Holiday season. Families have other priorities now, as they prepare for upcoming events. This is a great time to visit now, with light crowds, this means minimal fishing pressure, weather is ideal, lows around 60 degrees and highs in the low 80s. Mostly clear sunny skies, winds have been light to moderate recently and anglers enjoyed comfortable ocean conditions.
Ocean water temperatures ranged from 78 to 81 throughout the region and outside of Cabo San Lucas currents were warmer at 82 degrees. This trend is holding at least several degrees higher than what would be normal for this time period, could mean that this might be another warm water winter, which in turn can keep pelagic gamefish species hanging around local fishing grounds throughout the winter. Global weather patterns are not easy to predict, will be crazy if the wahoo do not migrate south for a second year in a row.
Supplies of sardinas are more scattered now, being found schooling near Cerro Colorado and towards Los Frailes, pangeros are netting these baitfish close to shore and supplying sportfishing charters with sufficient supplies of these preferred baitfish.
Most common species now being successfully targeted, have been yellowfin tuna and white skipjack, also called white tuna and the scientific name is Katsuwonus Pelamis. These fish are excellent fighters, highly sought after for their flesh and normally range from 8 to 15 lb., with the IGFA record listed at 41 pounds. Somewhat rare species and not often are they found any further north of Southern Baja. Anglers have found that the action has been shifting from area to area almost on a daily basis, with one area being red hot one day and then producing little activity the next and in recent days the action has moved from where it had been on the Gordo Banks and closer to shore off of Punta Gorda, to areas further north near Vinorama. Yellowfin tuna have averaged 10 to 25 lb. and are striking on both dead and live sardinas, skipjack of the black and white varieties are mixed in with the schooling yellowfin. Some days anglers had to scratch to land three or four tuna and on other days easy limits were accounted for.
There is still a chance at hooking into a cow sized tuna on the Gordo Banks, mid-week there were a couple of yellowfin tuna weighing over 150 lbs. landed, but there are only a handful of the larger tuna being hooked into by anglers specifically targeting these fish. With warmer currents holding steady we might see cows caught as late as the New Year.
Dorado have been hard to find on a consistent basis, scattered in small schools, most of these fish weighing 10 to 20 pounds, anglers were fortunate to land a couple of these gamesters, about equal chances using various baits or on trolled lures. Wahoo action slowed down, not they these fish have left the area, they just have become more elusive, their preferred bait source of live chihuil have become harder to catch. Plenty of pesky sea lions causing havoc as well, making these baitfish very skittish.
Quite a few sierra now being found close to shore, a few roosterfish, bottom action has been limited, more triggerfish than anything else, a few pompano, pargo and cabrilla in the mix.
A few sailfish and striped marlin scattered offshore, no concentrations of billfish, though later this month we do expect to see the season’s first influx from the north, of migrating striped marlin, following their food source, typically this action first starts on the Pacific Banks, before shifting in the direction of the Sea of Cortez.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 76 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of:4 sailfish, 5 striped marlin, 215 yellowfin tuna, 240 white skipjack, 12 wahoo,12 roosterfish, 15 jack crevalle, 80 sierra, 16 bonito, 3 amberjack, 9 pompano, 19 pargo,18 cabrilla and 35 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric