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Yellowfin Tuna Dominate Action, Tropical Conditions ~ September 24,2016

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Anglers –
September 25, 2016

Although we are now officially into the first week of the Fall season we are feeling very tropical weather in the Los Cabos area. This is always the time of year when weather patterns can be very unpredictable, as well as very humid. The landscape is now lush green from significant rainfall the past month. The most recent Tropical Storm Paine stayed far off to the west, paralleling the Pacific coast of Baja before it dissipated, there was no significant impact on land. Presently we are having some isolated local thunderstorms threaten, mainly in the afternoon, though this has not amounted to much of anything. We are also closely monitoring a new low pressure system developing off to the west, which is forecast to slowly gain strength, most likely become Tropical Storm Roslyn and move in the direction of Southern Baja, precise track is not yet determined.

On Monday the red flag was posted early in the morning, closing the Port, presumably as a precaution, even though the day turned out to be calm, with no rain or high swells at all. Most scheduled charters were forced to cancel this day, only after the Port reopened at about 10:00 a.m. did a handful of boats go out. The remainder of the week sportfishing fleets operated normally, seas were calm most days, late in the week we had some wind pick up later in the day, threatening tropical clouds, but did not rain on the fishing grounds. Ocean swells increased, but were moderate and overall conditions were very favorable considering what time of year it is. Most of the fishing action now is centered on the grounds from the Gordo Banks to San Luis.

The bait now be used consisted of caballito, slabs of squid and various skipjack, bolito and chihuil, which were being found on the fishing grounds themselves. The yellowfin tuna bite definitely improved, anglers found various grades of tuna, ranging from football sized, many fish in the 20 to 50 lb. class, a handful to over 100 lb. and even at least a couple of super cows of over 300 lb. that were caught by local anglers fishing on the Gordo Banks later in the day after the crowds lightened up. Drift fishing with strips and chunks of various baits was the technique now being used. Action came in spurts, sometimes early, other times late, lots of pressure on these areas now, since this is where the only real bite is now being found. Individual charters accounted for a couple of tuna per morning, up to ten or more.

Yellowfin tuna was definitely the most common species being targeted with success now, only a scattering of bottomfish, a few amberjack, grouper, rainbow runner, triggerfish and various snapper/pargo being encountered, this action is on the same grounds as are the tuna. Wahoo went on a limited bite earlier in the week on the grounds north of Punta Gorda, though these fish have not been very active overall. Dorado were found scattered throughout the same areas, though recently it has been rare to see a dorado over ten pounds.

There were reports of good billfish action off of the East Cape, lots of blue marlin. Off of our area the action was limited for a mix of striped, blue, black marlin and a few sailfish. Lots of natural food fish on the high spots now, so there is more than enough food for the largest of gamefish to feed on, makes it tough to get them to bite. Several stories of black marlin being hooked on lighter leaders that were targeting the more leader shy yellowfin tuna and resulted eventually in losing the marlin due to sawed off leaders.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 sailfish, 3 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 235 yellowfin tuna, 58 dorado, 7 wahoo, 7 yellow snapper, 1 gulf grouper, 9 leopard grouper, 12 bonito, 12 huachinango, 85 triggerfish, 2 surgeonfish, 5 amberjack and 12 rainbow runner.

Good fishing, Eric

Weather Settles, Tuna Action Improves ~ September 17, 2016

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Anglers –
September 17, 2016

As summer season now is entering its final week we continue to see light crowds of visitors, though our busy fall season will be upon us soon. We continue to follow weather forecast closely, this week there was Hurricane Orlene which headed far off to the west, making no impact at all on land, except for increasing the already high humidity. Now we are watching a newly forming low pressure system off of the mainland coast, they are forecasting this system to travel offshore, paralleling the west coast of Baja, far enough away to not cause any problems, hopefully this will be the case. Most of the area is now finishing up cleaning the debris and damage caused by Newton, though our local panga dock area will require more rebuilding than most areas, clean up has begun, but will be an ongoing process.

Ocean conditions are great now, practically no winds, light swells, clear blue water of about 85 degrees, lots of baitfish activity on the local fishing grounds. Anglers were fishing the spots from the Gordo Banks to San Luis, using strips of squid, some caballito, bolito, skipjack and chihuil for bait, finding a variety of species, but no great numbers of any particular fish at this time. Yellowfin tuna are being seen feeding and breezing on the surface, but with all of the natural food source available on the same grounds, they are tough to entice into striking. A handful of tuna in the 100 to 150 lb. class were accounted for and other yellowfin in the 10 to 60 lb. range, best bet has been on the Iman Bank, though the Gordo Banks is producing some fish as well. Most charters were fortunate to land one or two tuna in their overall catch.

Overall catches averaged a few fish per boat, tuna, dorado, snapper being the most common catch, a few billfish encountered as well. Large numbers of tuna are in the area, just a matter of them going on the bite, with so much food on the grounds, they are not that hungry to aggressively attack anglers offerings at this time, a lot can happen though from day to day, week to week.

Off the bottom there were yellow snapper, triggerfish, leopard grouper, barred pargo, amberjack and dogtooth snapper, though limited numbers, except for the triggerfish, which were plentiful as usual. Dorado were scattered, some fish up to 20 lb. landed. Wahoo were scarce, but one quality sized wahoo of 60 lb. was landed from a panga on Thursday on a lure near Punta Gorda.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 54 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 striped marlin, 57 yellowfin tuna, 17 dorado, 1 wahoo, 8 yellow snapper, 1 dogtooth snapper, 8 leopard grouper,55 triggerfish, 3 amberjack and 5 rainbow runner.

Good fishing, Eric

Hurricane Newton Slams Los Cabos ~ September 10, 2016

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Anglers –
September 10, 2016

At last report we were following forecasts of tropical storm develop off of mainland Mexico, this was all with good reason, as Hurricane Newton quickly formed and gained strength as it headed directly for the Southern Baja Peninsula and the resort towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, making direct impact on Monday night and causing widespread flooding and property damage. Newton hit land as a strong category one hurricane, packing sustained winds of 90 mph, with gusts to over 115 mph. Five crewmen aboard a shrimp trawler which had departed from Ensenada and was heading towards Mazatlán sank in local waters and all men drowned, No deaths were reported on land. Although the damage left behind was nothing compared to that of Hurricane Odile two years ago, nevertheless it was substantial. The panga dock area in Puerto Los Cabos Marina was hit particularly hard, having just been rebuilt after the devastation of Odile, now major work will be needed once again. This area needs to be re-engineered or this appears to be an ongoing problem we will see for any large storm that strikes this vulnerable docking area. Throughout the region there were no basic utilities for most of the week. So everyone will be in clean up and recovery process during the coming weeks, hoping that this is it for the season and that no other storms come our direction.

Before Newton hit, sportfishing charters were concentrating their efforts on the grounds from the Gordo Banks to as far north as Vinorama. Anglers were using baits such as caballito, strips of squids, as well as bolito and small skipjack which were found in large schools on the same fishing grounds. Water temperatures were 85 degrees or more, clear blue water being found close to shore. The Gordo Banks was the one area where larger sized yellowfin tuna were seen, though hooking into one was not a sure bet by any means, though fish of over 200 lbs. were spotted and another class of tuna in the 40 to 60 lb. range were breezing the surface. These medium grade yellowfin did bite sporadically, with some charters landing two or three, or even up to eight yellowfin tuna. Yellowfin tuna were also found on the normal grounds north of Gordo, Iman to San Luis, striking more often on strips of squid, though no huge numbers. Same areas produced some decent numbers of dorado up to 20 pounds.

Off of the offshore Banks there were a mix of striped, blue and black marlin being encountered, but again no big numbers, but everyday some billfish action was being found. We saw one black marlin of 380 lb. accounted for. A couple of wahoo reported, but these fish have been off the bite for the most part. Bottom action was spotty as well, though a few nice dogtooth snapper and amberjack were accounted for, more triggerfish than anything else off of the structure now. After the latest storm there could be many changes to which fish are biting best. So far in the first couple of days that the fleets have back in operation, the action has been slow, off colored water conditions, slowly improving each passing day. Yellowfin tuna of 30 lb. has been the common catch, a few scattered dorado, but only an average of a few fish per boat in combination. We do anticipate improved action in the coming week, as forecast looks favorable and will give the ocean conditions a chance to stabilize.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 44 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 black marlin, 1 striped marlin, 2 blue marlin, 36 yellowfin tuna, 15 dorado, 2 wahoo, 6 yellow snapper, 3 dogtooth snapper, 5 leopard grouper,38 triggerfish, 9 amberjack, 6 rainbow runner and 8 jack crevalle.

Good fishing, Eric