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North Wind Slows Action Considerably ~ February 6, 2016

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Anglers –
February 6, 2016

The first week of February brought light crowds of tourists, the all-around climate was very pleasant considering this is the midst of winter time and daytime highs were reaching 85 degrees. The period started out with calmer days, but quickly these calm ocean conditions deteriorated, as the north winds picked up to near gale force, on Wednesday it blew 30 mph, with even higher gusts, then weakened later in the week to about 15 to 20 miles mph., this continued through into the weekend. As a result we saw ocean water temperatures drop suddenly into the 74 degree range and it appears this cooling trend might continue.

This sudden change did not help the fishing action at all, in fact not many charters were even braving the elements. Bait fish became scattered, though local bait vendors did make the extra effort to travel to the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas at night where they found good numbers of schooling mackerel, though with the stirred up conditions anglers did not find much with these lively bait fish. There were limited supplies of caballito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid also available.

No particular species of fish was very active at all this week, even the triggerfish were not eager to eat. Yellowfin tuna were still hanging around the Iman Bank, but not many were landed, these grounds were practically unreachable for several days and the hungry sea lions were more aggressive than ever. The tuna that were landed ranged up to 25 lb., striking on strips of squid. A handful of yellowfin also were taken from other areas. Dorado became even scarcer than they had been, the few that were accoutered for were in the 10 lb. range.

Striped marlin action slowed compared to last week, though these billfish are still being found in varying numbers throughout the region. The ocean clarity is still good and these marlin to not mind cooler currents, they just need to have their steady food supply.

Wahoo became more finicky with cooling waters, also the word was now out, as to where most of these wahoo were hanging out off of Punta Gorda and the pressure was heavier on these grounds. Too many spear fishermen these days, not easy to fish where there are also people spear fishing. Many of the wahoo they hit with spears end up ripping free, only to die of their injuries and this makes the entire school of wahoo even that much spookier. The large needlefish have returned in force, striking on trolled baits and making a mess of things as they like to do.

Bottom action was showing improvement last week, before this latest blow, maybe cooling waters will get some yellowtail action going. Inshore there were some sierra caught, trolling baits and lures, hard to really get these fish going without the sardinas available.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 38 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 11 wahoo, 18 yellowfin tuna, 8 dorado, 18 rainbow runner, 4 amberjack, 6 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 17 huachinango, 26 other pargo/snapper species, 8 bonito, 9 sierra and 12 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Warm Water Continues, Wahoo, Tuna, Dorado Bite ~ January 30, 2016

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Anglers –
January 30, 2016

We are seeing fewer visiting anglers arriving during the past couple of weeks, this is not unusual, as this is never peak season for any particular gamefish species on our local grounds. Weather patterns remain much the same, mostly sunny days, some marine layer cloud cover, winds still predominately from the north, varying up to 20 mph or stronger on some days, high daytime temperatures have been reaching into the lower 80s. These winds can limit on where fleets can fish comfortably. Ocean temperatures are averaging 76 degrees and clean blue water is being found within one mile of shore. Anglers have been using a mix of caballito, striped squid and ballyhoo for bait, no reports of any sardinas being located within local range, nor has any consistent offshore baitfish source been happening. There were reports of large concentrations of flying fish being seen, with fish spotted chasing these flyers, acquiring a taste for them and not too aggressive for other offerings.

Local sportfishing fleets were scouting out fishing grounds in all of the normal directions, most productive grounds recently were from Santa Maria, Palmilla, Punta Gorda, La Fortuna and Iman Bank. Yellowfin action was reported on the more distant Pacific Banks for a larger grade of yellowfin. The Iman Bank was producing tuna to over 30 lb., though with the northern winds and sea lion presence, this was a tough bite for the past five days or so, need calmer conditions to effectively drift fish these grounds.

Wahoo have been playing elusive hide and seek games as usual, though actual these fish have become more active in recent days, found close to shore, trolling lures and baits, best bet early in the morning, but there were chances at all hours of the day, you have to just be in the right place at the precise time when these finicky feeders decide to strike. The wahoo now being landed have been in the 15 to 40 lb. range. Anglers reported wahoo action off of Santa Maria, Palmilla, Punta Gorda and Iman Bank. With water temperature still temperate, we expect these ‘hoo to stay in the area into February. Remember last season, some of our best wahoo action was found mid-February.

Striped marlin action improved this past week, decent number of stripers were found straight outside the Puerto Los Cabos Marina, anywhere from one to four miles from shore, most strikes were on caballito, soaking down deep, slow trolling baits on the surface, or occasional gun and run to feeding fish.

Not much going on for sierra or roosterfish, sporadic action found, though some dorado were encountered very close to shore, attracted by available baitfish, more dorado this week than last, sizes ranged up to 20 lb. Anglers were fortunate to find one or two, no big numbers of any particular species now.

Bottom action was tough, mainly due to the windy days, hard to reach the more productive areas to the north, closer inshore, where it was more protected from gusty winds, most common catches were for triggerfish, a handful of snapper, bonito and cabrilla.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 61 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 22 striped marlin, 19 wahoo, 38 yellowfin tuna, 19 dorado, 8 rainbow runner, 9 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 8 huachinango, 14 yellow snapper,10 bonito, 2 sierra and 80 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Improved Action for Tuna and Wahoo ~ January 23, 2016

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Anglers –
January 23, 2016

We are seeing increased crowds of visitors, though not that high of percentage of these visitors are serious salt water anglers. Many people are escaping the winter chill and heading south, we expect this will continue, as the eastern section of United States are in the midst of a serious blizzard now, many flights are being canceled, though expect people will be ready to get out of town when they are able to. Local weather has been cooler in the early morning, down around the 50 degree mark, though days have been clear and sunny, with high temperatures reaching up to 85 degrees. Winds continue to blow predominately from the north, 10 to 20 mph, switching to the south on some days. Ocean temperatures are avenging 76 degrees throughout Southern Baja region, swells have been moderate, fluctuating currents, quite swift at times.

The local bait situation remains much the same, slabs of squid, ballyhoo, caballito and just in recent days some charters found schooling sardinetas offshore. With ocean temperatures now being about 4 degrees higher than normal, hard to predict what might happen with fish migrations this winter season. Plenty of whales now in the area, also more than enough hungry sea lions, creating even more competition for anglers.

Sportfishing fleets were spread out in all directions, we heard reports of larger cow sized yellowfin tuna being encountered traveling with porpoise on the outside of the Pacific Banks, marlin were scattered, some days charters could find one or two striped marlin, while on others days there were none to be found, as more concentrations of baitfish move in we do expect to see more billfish activity. Some stripers were even striking on the stripped squid that anglers used for targeting tuna on the grounds from Punta Gorda to Iman Bank. This action was on and off, wind was a problem on the grounds further to the north, sizes of the yellowfin averaged in the 15 to 50 lb. range, for the most part there were np significant numbers, anglers did well accounting for two or three tuna in their combined morning catch.

Dorado action dropped way off on the grounds off of San Jose del Cabo, we did hear of more do-dos being found on the Pacific, these pelagic fish are just now returning from Southern California, where they had followed the warm El Nino current this past summer and fall. So we do expect to see more dorado appearing in the next month, especially if this warm water situation continues. Wahoo did become more active in the past week, especially early in the week, there was good early morning action found close off of Punta Gorda by anglers trolling both lures and trap hooked larger batfish, sizes ranged up to 40 lb. This bite became more sporadic as the week progressed, though these elusive gamefish are definitely still holding in the temperate conditions and we expect continued action for these fish until water temperatures become too cool for their liking.

More bottom activity being found now, rock piles north of Punta Gorda were producing leopard grouper (cabrilla), yellow and red snapper, rainbow runner, bonito, amberjack and triggerfish. No really big numbers, but more than we have seen so far this season, anglers had success on yo-yo jigs, as well as on whole or strip baits.

Not much reported along the shore, no sierra to speak of, a few roosterfish north of the marina jetty, the majority being smaller sized fish which should always be released with care.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 57 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 6 striped marlin, 26 wahoo, 144 yellowfin tuna, 6 dorado, 21 rainbow runner, 22 cabrilla, 35 huachinango, 16 yellow snapper, 4 amberjack, 14 bonito, 2 roosterfish and 110 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric