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Wahoo Bite Steady, Tuna Picky, Billfish Around, Difficult Work Conditions ~ October 31, 2014

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Anglers –

October 31, 2014

 

We are now in the peak Fall Season, normally a very bustling period for the Los Cabos area. This year the situation is much different, as many Resorts are still in the rebuilding stage and combined with changing airline schedules, has contributed to below normal capacity level crowds of tourists, as try to find available flights and accommodations. By the coming New Year we do expect to see many more resorts reopening their doors to tourists. For the time being we are seeing more visitors arrive, just not like we would normally expect to see.

 

The climate has been absolutely ideal, clear skies, slight chill early in the morning, warming up quickly to 90 degrees later in the day. Only a couple of days of north winds, mostly calm ocean conditions with minimal swell activity for anglers. Water temperatures are still averaging in the mid 80’s. Clear blue water is found close to shore now, most fishing activity has been taking place within 2 to 8 miles from shore.

 

Sardinas became  more scattered from where they had been school in the Puerto Los Cabos Marina jetty area, heavy pressure from the Bisbee tournament seems to hurt local bait supplies, teams pay big money to local pangeros to fill large ice chests with bait for chumming, this is a marlin tournament, why are so many sardinas needed, apparently to chum up more skipjack or smaller yellowfin to be used as baitfish for the billfish, it just seems there should be some control on this, sustainable bait populations are very fragile these days. Surely the upcoming WON Tuna Jackpot will put even more negative pressure on this local bait resource.

 

Dorado became more scarce this past week, we heard of more dorado being found on the Pacific fishing grounds, compared to in the direction of San Jose del Cabo. Wahoo were consistently being found in schools on the normal grounds north of Punta Gorda. Anglers were finding many opportunities at hooking into these speedsters, having five, six or seven strikes per morning was not uncommon. Strikes are coming on trolled Rapalas, skirted lead heads and slow trolling trap-hooked chihuil.Most of the wahoo being accounted for weighed in the 15 to 30 lb. class, though there were some fish up to 45 lb. landed.

 

Yellowfin tuna were a main targeted species on the La Fortuna to Iman Banks, the tuna schooling here were striking on sardinas, these fish were mixed with a variety of aggressive skipjack, weighing to 20 pounds, average catches ranged from 1 to 5 yellwofin per charter, many more skipjack than tuna were being hooked into. The chance of hooking into the larger cows sized yellowfin tuna still was concentrated around the Gordo Banks, yellowfin in the 50 to 300 pounds are holding on these grounds, though getting them to bite has been another story, everyday there are reports of maybe one or two nice fish being hooked into. This past week we weighed one tuna of 204 pounds in, one fish weighing close to 300 lb. was taken last Sunday, other large fish were lost and yellowfin tuna of 80 to 100 lb. were reported by anglers that were on scouting trips for next week’s Tuna Jackpot, surely this year’s event will have some very stiff competition.

 

Billfish action was spread out, though a few more blacks and blues were hooked in this past week, weighing up to 300 pounds plus. It is the time of year where an offshore grand slam could happen, there are sailfish, striped, blue and black marlin now in local waters.

Not much found off the bottom recently, most anglers are now targeting surface species.

 

Local La Playita panga fleet’s are back operating out of the panga basin of Puerto Local Cabo Marina, this particular area sustained heavy disastrous damage from Hurricane Odile. Work conditions continue to prove extremely challenging. Rebuilding progress for this facility is now frustratingly at a standstill, not even simple conveniences such as fresh running water, bathroom facilities, suitable parking, electricity for any form of lighting, or even an accessible boat ramp for making needed maintenance schedules, the only usable marina ramp now has a chain in place and fleet owners are required to pay high fees for the privilege of using it, the list could go on. These are simple conveniences which could all be addressed in timely fasion, though Marina Management has other priorities, no effort or expense has gone towards helping this panga area. Locals seem to be on their own in tackling the rebuilding undertaking. Waiting for Governmental help, funding for the necessary specialized equipment, appears to be on a long road ahead.

 

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 70  charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 sailfish, 2 blue marlin, 3 black marlin, 3 striped marlin, 78 wahoo, 82 yellowfin tuna, 9 dorado, 10 rainbow runners, 24 bonito, 320 skipjack, 14 cabrilla, 8 barred pargo and 20 triggerfish.

 

Good fishing, Eric

 

 

Back In Operation, Rebuilding Stage, Cow Sized Tuna ~ October 23, 2014

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October 23, 2014
Anglers –

We are now finally officially back in operation, as today we were connected once again to phone and Internet services. The long absence of not making any updates was all because we had no connection. We are now back operating fishing charters based out of the same panga area as before Hurricane Odile made a mess out of our marina basin. Work conditions are a bit rough, but we are making due and progress has been remarkable, as everyone is putting in extra efforts in this rebuilding phase. Limited numbers of charters have been departing, as flights from the U.S. have just resumed. Local infrastructure is making rapid advancements. Grocery stores are stocked, gasoline and diesel readily available, highways open, traffic signals working, Resorts are rebuilding, many have reopened already and most will be by the New Year.

Ocean conditions have been great, calm though most of the day. Mornings are now a little chilly, days are still warm and sunshine is intense, not many clouds in the sky. Perfect climate now, crowds are just returning now, great time to come visit and help support the local economy as they face this major rebuilding stage.

Live sardinas have been abundant around the marina channel area and the fishing grounds are holding large schools of skipjack and chihuil. Most action was taking place from the Gordo Banks to the Iman Bank towards the north. Catches were very impressive, wide variety of gamefish now on the grounds, on any given day anything could happen. Catches have included wahoo, dorado, yellowfin tuna, striped, blue & black marlin, as well as sailfish. Off the bottom structure there has been a chance at grouper or dogtooth snapper, no big numbers, but quality specimens.

Wahoo went on a good bite near Iman and La Fortuna, striking trolled chihuil, as well the normal array of lures. Several charters accounted for up to three wahoo, average weights were in the 20 to 40 pound range. Dorado were also found in smaller sized schools, in recent days some nicer sized bulls up to 30 pounds were accounted for on the offshore grounds.

Most of the yellowfin tuna found recently ranged in the 20 to 60 pound class. The action had been hit or miss, drift fishing various baits over the Gordo Banks and north towards Iman Bank, some days early, some days the fish would hit late, hard to predict. Today a cow yellowfin tuna was weighed in at La Playita, it was landed by Bob Deeter of Fort Brag, Ca., Fishing aboard his private 29 ft. Center Console “Reina de Wahoo”. The tuna hit on a trolled live skipjack on the Outer Gordo Bank, using 300 pound leader the crew took a couple of hours to land the cow and it weighed in officially at 278 pounds.

Good Fishing, Eric

Hurricane Odile Direct Hit

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

San jose del cabo

September 28, 2014

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Anglers –

After enduring numerous near misses from being directly hit by tropical storms this summer, the Los Cabos Area was not nearly as fortunate with Hurricane Odile, which made a direct hit on Cabos San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo on Sunday, September 14. After developing slowly off of mainland Mexico, this system quickly changed course from a westerly motion and veered back towards the Southern Baja Peninsula while rapidly gaining strength at the same time, reaching category four strength, with the eye of the storm striking Sunday night. Packing sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, with tornado like gusts closer to 180 mph. Twelve to fifteen inches of rainfall in a matter of hours, though it was the twister like winds and huge storm swells that caused much of the damage.

This is said to be a once in fifty year storm and the wide spread property damage witnessed has been devastating, unprecedented for Southern Baja, this entire area has been shut down, without any utility services and people are just in survival mode. We have been without outside communication and have not posted any reports because of this. Some areas have reported now have limited water services, only certain areas have had their electricity restored, mainly in the downtown San Jose del Cabo, still no telephone, cellular or Internet.

Help has arrived from all local agencies and mainland resources and clean up has begun, we do expect to have utilities back up and running within another two weeks, some areas sooner than others. Many tourists resorts have been completely devastated, the International Airport has been shut down to foreign flights. Though we are seeing impressive progress and people are really exerting exceptional effort to start the rebuilding process as quickly as possible.

Businesses are expecting to reopen quickly, as services are restored, though no specific dates has been set yet. Local Sportfishing operations do expect to open within a couple of weeks. The La Playita Panga Area in Puerto Los Cabos Marina suffered overwhelming damage and will need to be completely rebuilt. In the mean time plans are in place for the fleet to work from a provisional temporary area during this rebuilding project.

Gasoline stations are now back in operation and lines are not much more than normally would be expected. Groceries are still very limited, without refrigeration, just basic supplies. We will be anxiously anticipating return of electricity, telephone and Internet, all things that we take for granted and when without, we are completely out of touch. Next report will be as soon as possible. As we try to normalize our daily lives, this natural disaster will take years to recover from. We will keep you posted on our reopening date.

Sincerely, Eric Brictson

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