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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 ant 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

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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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Yellowfin Tuna Wide Open, Hurricane Odile Moving our Direction ~ September 13, 2014

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September 13, 2014
Anglers –

For the past month we have watched Tropical Storm systems develop on a weekly basis.
After enjoying clear and calm conditions ever since the passing of Hurricane Norbert, at the present time we are watching the development of Tropical Storm Odile, moving at a mere two miles per hour, some 250 miles south of Manzanillo. Forecasters have been more cautious in predicting exactly what this storm will do. It looks like the Southern Baja Peninsula might become lucky one more time, if Odile does follow a more northwesterly track as it gains strength to category two or higher before weakening over cooler waters.
Either way we do expect to see Red Flag closed Port conditions on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, surely more rain, hopefully no high winds.

Crowds of visitors continued to be moderate, as many people have stayed away due to frequent stormy forecasts. This is how the month of September goes, very tropical time of year and unpredictable from day to day.

Anglers were enjoying great wide open yellowfin tuna action since ocean conditions have calmed down. Sardinas continue to school near the rocks of the marina jetty and this has been the bait of choice for getting into the hot tuna action, hard to say how long this resource will remain plentiful.

Yellowfin tuna are now being found in various locations, over structure, such as La Fortuna, Iman and the Gordo Banks. The fish are coming up feeding on the sardinas, ranging in weights from 10 to 25 lb, to 40 to 80 lb and on up to 300 pounds. All sizes of yellowfin tuna in the area, most common catches were in the 15 to 60 pound range. The best chance at the hooking into a monster cow still seemed to be around the Gordo Banks, on Thursday a trio of local La Playita pangeros went on an afternoon trip and landed a 298 pound yellowfin while using 60 pound gear, so these cows are definitely lurking, just not in the numbers of the other smaller grade of tuna near La Fortuna or Iman Banks.

Several varieties of skipjack are now in the mix with the yellowfin tuna, also good numbers of wahoo on these same fishing grounds. Most of the wahoo landed were in the 10 to 30 pounds class, a few larger. Many hook ups were lost, as anglers were having wahoo strikes while they were using mono leaders targeting tuna. The wahoo were striking trolled Rapalas or skirted lures as well, just unpredictable as to when or where you might take a ‘hoo strike. Dorado were scattered and when found they were more often juvenile sized

An occasional sailfish of striped or blue marlin were hooked while anglers were on the tuna grounds, no large concentrations of billfish being seen. Plenty of food fish in the area now, so you figure there would be some large gamefish predators nearby. Not much bottom fishing being attempted now, with the surface action being so productive. One commercial pangeros out of La Playita did haul in two gulf groupers one day while using heavy hand line, both fish weighed over 120 lbs. Lots of triggerfish and an occasional dogtooth snapper. With water temperatures now in the upper 80s, many species that live near rocky structure will head deeper to find cooler and richer in oxygen habitat.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 58 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
8 sailfish, 620 yellowfin tuna, 450 skipjack, 36 dorado, 6 dogtooth snapper, 8 rainbow runners, 12 cabrilla, 15 wahoo and 8 dogtooth snapper.

Good fishing, Eric