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Persistent Winds Create Choppy Seas for Anglers, Low Counts of Wahoo, Dorado, Tuna ~ November 21, 2015


Anglers –
November 21, 2015

With all of the major local gamefish tournaments now over we will see the crowds of visiting anglers lighten up, as people are now preparing for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays which are rapidly approaching. The weather this week was dominated by the persistent northeast winds, which picked up at the start of the week and never really laid down all week. This created choppy seas and limited options for fleets launching out of San Jose del Cabo, though twenty miles to the south, out of Cabo San Lucas, the seas were much calmer, in areas which were more protected from north winds, though action was still sporadic.

Tropical Storm Rick developed more than several hundred miles off to the west of the Baja Peninsula and is forecast to stay far offshore and not cause any impact on land. Overall we are feeling a cooling trend, though daytime temperatures were reaching 85 degrees. Ocean temperatures dropped a couple of degrees as well, most areas are now averaging 82 degrees, some spots of 83/84 degrees, this trend should continue, maybe the cooling currents will help normalize pre-El Nino currents for bait and gamefish migrations.

Action proved to be more spread out and less productive this past week, there were some quality fish accounted for, though numbers were down, no particular place was hot, wind was a major factor on the grounds from the Gordo Banks and to the north. Schools of yellowfin tuna up to 100 pounds were seen surfacing while traveling with porpoise, but conditions were not favorable for chasing these rapidly moving schools and not many of these tuna were landed. A handful of fish in the 40 to 80 pounds were accounted for, some striking on strips of squids, other on live chihuil. Still no resource for sardinas, there have been caballito and ballyhoo available as other options. Perhaps cooling currents and less angling pressure will allow the sardinas to move within our range, which would be a great bait to have at this time.

The wahoo were not as active this past week either, though on Monday there was a 69 lb. wahoo landed out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, this trophy sized ‘hoo hit on a live skipjack, was part of an explosive double hook up, which resulted in one nice wahoo landed and another one lost. Wahoo were spread out throughout the area, though better chances still seem to be north of Punta Gorda. Dorado action slowed was down in recent days, though these fish are still in the area, the majority of charters finding maybe one or two, or at least having a chance or two.

Billfish was spread out, though there did seem to be increased numbers of striped marlin in local waters now, also some sailfish and at least one blue was landed for the panga fleet out of Puerto Los Cabos. When the wind does reside there should be better opportunities found.

More sierra are moving in with the cooling waters, these smaller sized gamefish will provide bonus inshore action, especially when we start seeing schools of sardinas move back into the region. It will not be long until the annual migration of whales arrive for their winter visit to their most southern calving and feeding grounds.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 138 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 blue marlin, 14 striped marlin, 12 sailfish, 66 yellowfin tuna, 13 wahoo, 96 dorado, 12 sierra, 14 rainbow runner, 76 misc. pargo species, 12 cabrilla, 14 bonito and 50 triggerfish

Good fishing, Eric

Crowded Times for Anglers Targeting Tuna, Wahoo & Dorado ~ November 14, 2015


Anglers –
November 14, 2015

Large crowds of visiting anglers continue to arrive in Los Cabos, as we now enter the second half of November, when the busy fall season comes to an end. Weather patterns are shifting to predominately northern winds, ranging up to 25 miles per hour mid-week and these winds were basically relentless for most of this past week. Skies were mostly clear, with high temperatures nearing 90 degrees, we do expect that we will be feeling cooler weather arrive by this coming week. Hard to say what these northern winds will do, normal pattern are several days of winds, then a couple calmer days, before repeating the same cycle. This does not mean that sportfishing operations come to halt, it does sometimes make for changing plans accordingly and trying to fish in areas more protected if possible. Ocean water temperatures are now at 84 degrees throughout the entire lower Baja zone, no real temperatures breaks found. Swells have been moderate, choppy ocean conditions found to the north due to gusting winds.

There are still no sardinas available locally, strips of squid continue to be used for targeting yellowfin tuna, ballyhoo are now being sold in the marina area, these have been working for dorado and chances at billfish or wahoo, also available have been live caballito. Other options when weather allowed was to try and catch your own chihuil off of the high spots. We expect to see schools of sardinas move back within range as water cools and heavy pressure resides.

The all-around fishing action was more limited this past week, mainly due to windy conditions which limited where charters could comfortably fish. The yellowfin tuna found associated with porpoise activity in the vicinity of and north of the Gordo Banks, became less frequent as to when and if at all the porpoise were even encountered, though some charters who concentrated on this and stuck with it did account for yellowfin tuna in the 40 to 70 lb. class, all of these fish hit on strips of squid. Other tuna action was found closer to shore, off of Punta Gorda and now in recent days reports of improved tuna action for a smaller grade of fish off of the Santa Maria area. All this action was also found using strips of squid, as there are no sardinas in the entire area now, with sardinas available this action would definitely be wide open.

Dorado action was producing nice quality fish in the 15 to 25 lb. range, some even larger. No huge numbers, but most charters were finding one or two, or as many as six, the majority were nice sized fish. Striking on various baits, particularly on rigged ballyhoo early in the day, as the sun rose, the action was more sporadic. Off of the Red Hill and Palmilla area there was good early morning action through most of the week, we heard of quality dorado action off of Cabo San Lucas as well. Also some reports of a handful of 200 lb. class yellowfin tuna being accounted for off of the Pacific banks, have not heard of any real large tuna off of the San Jose del Cabo grounds this past week.

There were some sailfish and striped marlin on the same grounds as were the dorado and tuna, no big numbers, but everyday some of these billfish were being hooked into. Wahoo action dropped off this past week, baitfish schools were more scattered after the choppy seas, Iman Bank had been where the wahoo were lurking, these fishing grounds were rough most of the week, hopefully conditions will settle down in time for this weekend’s annual wahoo event out of La Playita.

Bottom action included triggerfish, various pargo and snapper species, an occasional leopard grouper or rainbow runner.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 152 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 17 sailfish marlin, 18 striped marlin, 168 yellowfin tuna, 12 sierra, 14 rainbow runners, 15 huachinango (red snapper), 155 dorado, 18 wahoo, 16 yellow snapper, 95 triggerfish, 18 barred pargo, 8 bonito, 10 cabrilla and 6 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Dorado, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna all on Local Grounds ~ November 7, 2015

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Anglers –
November 7, 2015

The weather patterns finally are starting to feel like Fall, though daytime temperatures were still warm reaching up to 90 degree, early morning lows are about 65 degrees, ideal climate actually. One drawback is that we are also feeling the north winds in recent days for the first time this season, up to 20 mph, this has made for choppy conditions on fishing grounds north of Punta Gorda. Water temperatures are now in the 84 degree range, no distinct area of a drastic temperature break. Swells have been moderate and early in the day most days ocean conditions were nice. Crowds are heavy this week, with the Won Tuna Jackpot Tournament having over 150 teams participating, this is the season’s final high stakes event.

There continue to be no sardinas available, baitfish supplies now consist of caballito, squid on most days, also ballyhoo starting to be available, some charters are looking for chihuil for use as trolling baits. Seems like during these big tournament events the bait situation becomes more limited, lots of hoarding going on.

Fleets out of San Jose del Cabo have been concentrating their efforts from the Gordo Banks to Vinorama, the action that had been productive for several weeks close off of Punta Gorda slacked up and the grounds towards Cardon, La Fortuna, Iman and Desteladera started to show more activity. Yellowfin tuna were being found moving with porpoise and were hitting on strips of squid, though this action was unpredictable as where and when the porpoise and in turn the yellowfin, would be encountered, more often late in the morning. The tuna being caught were mostly in the 40 to 65 lb. class, no big numbers, but quality grade of fish, some tuna much larger were also hooked into, but most were eventually lost due to lighter 50 lb. leaders that were being used to entice the line shy yellowfin.

Dorado and wahoo were also being found on these same grounds, better bite was first part of the week, before north winds played havoc. Wahoo were striking best on various baits, such as chihuil, caballito or rigged ballyhoo, also a percentage hit on trolling lures, sizes ranged up to 54 lb., most fish were in the 15 to 30 lb. range, charters landed as many as five wahoo per morning, though most anglers were fortunate to land one or two of these prized sought after gamefish. Finally we are seeing some nicer sized mature dorado, it has been a long time, still no significant numbers, but chances of finding two, three, maybe four of these fish, same grounds as where the wahoo and tuna have been encountered.

Billfishing was mainly for scattered action on sailfish and striped marlin, some marlin hooked into were unusually small, in the 20 to 30 lb. class, not often do we such juvenile sized billfish, others were of normal size.

Not much inshore or bottom action now, though we did see some red snapper action off of the San Luis Bank, closer to shore there were triggerfish, some yellow snapper, pompano, bonito and barred pargo.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 149 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 12 striped marlin, 14 sailfish, 185 yellowfin tuna, 8 sierra, 10 rainbow runners, 18 huachinango (red snapper), 66 dorado, 48 wahoo, 14 pompano, 18 yellow snapper, 75 triggerfish, 12 barred pargo, 16 white skipjack, 3 surgeonfish, 18 bonito and 5 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric