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Billfish Bite Hot Offshore, Scattered Wahoo Dorado Closer to Shore ~ May 30, 2015

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Anglers –
May 30, 2015

Light crowds of tourists now, as school semester’s soon finish, we will see greater numbers of vacationers arrive. At this time the season’s first tropical storm has developed off of the coast of mainland Mexico, named Andres, this system is forecast to follow a more westerly path, keeping it well away from any impact with land. As Andres brewed some 500 miles to the south, the weather became more tropical, feeling like summer, warm and humid. We do expect to see higher ocean swells develop over the weekend. Water temperature temperatures have ranged from 72 degrees on the further Pacific banks, up to the 78/79 degrees in the vicinity of the Outer Gordo Banks.

There were variable gusty winds out of the north and switching from the south, on and off throughout the week, this made for unpredictable conditions offshore. Most consistent action found was for striped marlin, this action centered straight offshore from San Jose del Cabo, with more billfish being found from 10 to 15 miles from shore, though some stripers were encountered much closer in. Many charters were accounting for multiple billfish days, two, three or more marlin, striking on lures, as well as taking dropped back baits. Large number of sharks were encountered on these same grounds, to the point of being a nuisance, quite hefty, brown variety, strong fighters, taking up a lot of angler’s time.

Action for other species was limited, though some charters were able to land two or three wahoo while trolling lures, mainly Rapalas, off of the Red Hill area, some strikes were taken on rigged baits as well, most of these were smaller sized ‘hoo, up to 25 pounds. Dorado were few and far between, though on occasion a boat would come in with two or three fish, most of these under fifteen pounds.

Only a handful of yellowfin tuna were reported, a few larger tuna were hooked into on the Gordo Banks, fish were strong enough to break leaders, over one hundred pounds, these hook ups were lost for various reasons, so the tuna are in the area and with warmer tropical conditions forming, anything could happen on any given day.

With limited numbers of charters and breezy conditions, there was not much bottom action reported, even when weather cooperated there were just not many structure species accounted for, strong current was a contributing factor.

Close to shore anglers found action for roosterfish and jack crevalle, though this action was hit or miss, we have not seen many mullet moving into to local waters yet, this migration of baitfish is what normally brings in the big run of larger sized roosterfish. This is the time of year when we can see dogtooth snapper close to shore, we have not seen these powerful snapper yet, typically found near the rocky reefs.

Still no sign of a resource for sardinas, with higher surf conditions on the way, most likely the bait situation will remain the same, with caballito, moonfish and ballyhoo being offered inside the marina at launch time.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 52 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 38 striped marlin, 26 dorado, 6 yellowfin tuna, 24 wahoo, 4 amberjack, 3 pargo colorado, 18 huachinango,13 cabrilla, 12 yellow snapper, 10 jack crevalle, 18 roosterfish and 10 bonito.

Good fishing, Eric

Fish More Finicky, Scratchy Action ~ May 23, 2015

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Anglers –
May 23, 2015

Now starting the final week of the month of May, weather conditions continue to be very pleasant, warming days, highs around 85 degrees, moderate breezes and light swells, all combine to create comfortable ocean conditions for visiting anglers. Crowds are much lighter than we would expect for this time frame, many anglers who regularly fish out of the panga area of Puerto Los Cabos Marina are waiting for rebuilding efforts to be completed, progress is moving along, though priorities are not aimed towards repairing the damaged docks, so far crews are only working on all of the other surrounding infrastructure, people are having to park or be dropped off out on the far perimeter and carry supplies much longer distances than pre-Odile days.

There have not been any sardinas available for the past several weeks, anglers have been relying on what available baitfish that are being found in the marina area, mainly caballito and some moonfish, also ballyhoo. Other charters are spending time catching chihuil and some people had success on strips of giant squid that they purchased ahead of time from local super markets. Ocean temperatures has been ranging from 74 to 77 degrees and blue water is being found within several miles of shore.

Striped marlin has been the most common species found offshore, straight offshore of San Jose del Cabo, anywhere from 3 to 15 miles from shore, concentrations of stripers are being found, free jumping and at times feeding on balled up bait sources. At times the marlin proved very finicky, though with persistence anglers were hooking up, many boats accounted for one or two marlin, while other seen many fish, but could not entice any strikes, with so much food on the fishing grounds, the marlin would just not be hungry at times. Only an occasional dorado being encountered, this is the time where we do expect to start seeing more larger sized dorado move into the area.

Wahoo were fairly active throughout this past week, most of the time found near shore, off of Palmilla and north to Cardon and La Fortuna, anglers using lures and baits were accounted for as many as two or three wahoo in their combined catches, weights ranged up to 40 lb. Many wahoo could be seen following baits as they were being trolled slowly, but they would be shy at actually striking, lighter leaders proved to be an advantage. Encouraging to have so many wahoo being reportedly sighted, even though the numbers of fish actually landed have been limited. Something could happen at any time now to trigger a wide open bite for these fish.

Yellowfin tuna bite was limited to just one or two tuna here or there, many of these hit of strips of squid, some were hooked on small hoochies and other on chihuil or caballito, sizes averaged 20 to 40 lb. Lots of yellowfin in the area, but these fish are just not that eager to strike on what the anglers are able to offer.

After having some excellent bottom action last week, this week has been a different story, one factor being the swift current that has been running, this will put the fish off the bite faster than anything. A handful of amberjack, cabrilla, yellow snapper and triggerfish were accounted for, no significant numbers though, with the areas of La Fortuna and Iman being the best bet for this. If the currents slacks on any given day this action can produce some quality catches.

Along the shore only a few sierra being encountered, some larger sized roosterfish are now moving in, we saw roosterfish up to 40 lb. landed and of course there are jack crevalle in the mix as well. In the coming weeks we expect increased numbers of larger roosterfish to continue to move through our area, mid-June is normally the peak season for these prized gamefish.

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: 30 striped marlin, 14 yellowfin tuna, 27 wahoo, 18 dorado, 15 amberjack, 22 huachinango (red snapper), 15 cabrilla, 22 yellow snapper and 16 bonito.

Good fishing, Eric

Variety of Quality Species Keep Anglers Interested ~ May 16, 2015

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Anglers –
May 16, 2015

As summer season nears, we are started to feel progressively warmer days, actually the climate is ideal now, as evenings do still cool off comfortably and daytime highs are averaging about 85 degrees. Unpredictable winds blowing from the north and then switching from the south have stirred up conditions some and limited some of the options for anglers.

Swells have been higher once again, making surfers very happy, but not helping the bait netters any, as there are still no signs of any sardinas being found in local waters. There continue to be caballito and now moonfish are also appearing in the marina channel, ballyhoo has been another available bait option. Ocean temperature has been in the 74 to 76 degree range throughout most of the region. Currents have fluctuated, raging at times and completely slacking on other occasions. Hard to predict from day to day, as is normal for this time frame. Not much action being reported on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas or out of the East Cape, this is normally a good time for that area. Hard to say what factors might be causing this situation. Lack of sardinas is a normal scenario when southern swells arrive and it is normal to be relying on large sized baitfish at this time. In the coming weeks the fishing action will depend a lot on what weather patterns do.

Striped marlin has been really the only action found offshore, recently they have been found from 3 to 12 miles from shore. There are good numbers of these billfish now in the area, many can be seen free jumping, tailing on the surface and also feeding on balled up bait schools, including squid, which apparently are plentiful. The marlin are striking on rigged ballyhoo, caballito and other available baitfish. At times they have proved finicky, as they are filling up on natural bait sources and not much interested in anything else. Though with persistence many charters are reported one, two or three marlin per outing, best bite has been late morning and into the afternoon.

Dorado have continued to be scarce, only an occasional fish being encountered, no large schools of these fish now. Wahoo are holding on the ledges north or Punta Gorda, to Vinorama, these fish are striking best on slow trolled baits, most of these fish are ranging in sizes up to 30 pounds. Some charters accounted for up to five wahoo, though the majority were fortunate to land one or two of these elusive and tricky speedsters. Many yellowfin tuna could be seen breezing on these same fishing grounds, especially around the Iman Bank, but with no sardinas now available, these tuna have been hard to entice, a handful of yellowfin in the 25 to 40 lb. class were accounted for, these fish hit on live chihuil or caballito.

When the weather allowed, anglers found much improved action off of the bottom structure, from La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis Bank, a variety of quality species were taken, leopard grouper, including at least one of the rare golden phase variety, yellow snapper, bonito, huachinango (red snapper), grouper and amberjack. Grouper to 40 pounds and amberjack weighing to over 60 pounds were accounted for. Most of this bottom action was found in relatively shallow water and the fish hit on whole and cut baits, not much on yo-yo jigs recently.

With the recent larger swell activity there was not much going on close to shore recently, as swells reside we do expect to see more roosterfish activity, maybe even some dogtooth snapper will start to move in.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 60 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 18 striped marlin, 11 yellowfin tuna, 19 wahoo, 14 dorado, 24 amberjack, 16 huachinango (red snapper) , 23 cabrilla, 1 golden phased leopard grouper, 3 broomtail grouper, 2 gulf grouper, 48 yellow snapper, 18 bonito and 28 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric