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Cooling Currents Change Action For Anglers ~ February 28, 2015

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Anglers –

February 28, 2015

As the month of February comes to an end we have seen unpredictable crazy weather patterns continue. This week has been more like we would expect at this time, cooler currents, off colored ocean conditions, variable winds, predominately from the north. Though the climate has been very comfortable, lows in the mid-50s and high temperatures about 80 degrees, with plenty of sunshine. Whale watching is now at its peak, as scores of whale sightings are being spotting on any given day throughout the region.

Anglers encountered changing conditions and this meant tough times when looking for yellowfin tuna or dorado, those species have scattered and now we are finding more of the cooler water species as we would expect during the winter season. Catches have included bonito, sierra, roosterfish, pargo, red snapper, cabrilla, grouper, yellowtail, skipjack, triggerfish and others. The Eastern Pacific bonito has been one of the more abundant fish, striking off the high spots north of Punta Gorda on both sardinas and yo-yo jigs, average size is about 5 lb, some going as large as 12 lb. Good fighting fish and excellent eating, similar to tuna or even albacore. Supplies of sardinas were a bit harder to find, mainly because of the early low tides and the rocky areas where the schools of baitfish are now concentrated. They are finding some live sardinas, but supplies are not what they have been as in previous weeks.

A handful of nice yellowtail are just starting to show up, all of the fish landed have been in the 25 to 30 lb. class, from the Gordo Banks to San Luis Bank, these jacks should start showing in greater numbers. Live bait off the bottom and yo-yo jigs have both worked. A few sharks on the same grounds to deal with. Also the ongoing sea lion problem. The all-around bottom action is improving, we are now seeing red snapper (huchinango), barred pargo, yellow snapper, leopard grouper, pinta cabrilla, flag cabrilla, bonito and triggerfish.

Sierra have continued to be the main species running close to shore, most of these fish are averaging in the 2 to 5 pound range, though we saw one 15 lb. trophy brought in this week, also a couple of others near the ten pound mark. A few roosterfish in the mix, mostly smaller sized juvenile fish. Slow trolling with sardinas have proved the best bet for these fish.

Billfish action has been slow, a few scattered striped marlin, no feeding frenzies, as offshore bait schools have been hard to find, no concentrations, we expect the coming months will bring more consistent offshore action. There has been a lack of mackerel this season so far.

We have seen significant progress on rebuilding efforts of the panga dock area in Puerto Los Cabos Marina, in another month or so we are hoping things will be much improved. Local road crews in La Playita had dug up and closed the main access road, beginning work on the final long overdue pavement section from the Marine Group to Hotel El Ganzo, planned to install new drainage, water pipe work etc… Though the crew completely abandoned all efforts of this project and have left us with an embarrassing mess. Someone has got to step in and fix this situation. Another disaster is the gill and drift net operations going on in local waters, reports of netters filling pangas with thousands of pounds of so called protected species such as juvenile roosterfish, this just does not make any sense at all, where are the authority’s priorities, is there any thought at all about the state of the future fishery?

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 96 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 striped marlin, 5 yellowtail, 18 dorado, 1 yellowfin tuna, 235 sierra, 310 Eastern Pacific bonito, 9 amberjack, 55 cabrilla, 58 huachiango, 12 roosterfish, 35 yellow snapper, 12 hammerhead shark and 80 skipjack.

Good fishing, Eric

 

Feels Like Spring, Yellowfin Tuna Biting ~ February 22, 2015

 

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Anglers –

February 22, 2015

Last weekend a weather front sept in from the south, on Friday there were scattered thunderstorms through the afternoon, though nothing really developed from this system, after forecasts were calling for rain through Monday, it never happened, mainly just cloud cover and winds, which created choppy ocean conditions. Water temperatures are ranging from 72 to 75 degrees, slightly higher than what we usually see this time of year. Fishing action slowed over the weekend, mainly due to the weather condition factor.

The new week started off great, with increased numbers of anglers enjoying the weather as it settled down, with clear skies and high temperatures in the upper 80s. Calm ocean conditions and immediately the fishing action picked back up. Anglers were finding decent supplies of live sardinas from the commercial fleet near Vinorama. Center of the most consistent bite was found near La Fortuna and the Iman Bank. This is where yellowfin tuna, averaging 15 to 30 lb. were found schooling, a bit line shy and finicky, striking best on lighter size leaders on fly lined baits. Mixed in with the yellowfin were black skipjack, white tuna and Eastern Pacific Bonito. A handful of larger tuna from 75 lb. to 100 lb. were also reported. This has been an incredible bonus for anglers visiting during the month of February, normally a tough time to find any tuna action locally.

Dorado were still more numerous on the Pacific grounds, though they have been found closer to shore at times off of San Jose del Cabo grounds. A few nicer sized dorado to over 20 pounds were weighed in. A few wahoo were landed as well, blind strikes on lures, as well as on baits being targeted for the tuna action. Strange season, anything could happen on any day. Bottom action has been slow to pick up and become consistent, a lot has depended on the current, some days it has been just too swift to even get down and hold the bottom, but at times when currents did slack there were some nice fish found, including cabrilla, grouper, snapper, pargo, amberjack and bonito. We saw one 50 lb. amberjack, a couple of yellowtail, but still no numbers on these jacks. Anglers were using yo-yo jigs and various whole and cut baits for the bottom action, which has been found on the same fishing grounds as where the yellowfin tuna action is.

Billfish action was slow, scattered fish being encountered anywhere from three to twenty miles offshore, no concentrations or feeding frenzies to speak of. There were reports of swordfish sightings off of the 1150 spot, so these prized gladiators will be sought after for serious offshore enthusiasts.

Great time for whale watching now, with both humpbacks and grays in the area, there were also whale shark sightings reported.

Sierra have continue to dominate the inshore action, averaging 2 to 4 pounds, sardinas have been the bait of choice for this early morning bite.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 91 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 2 yellowtail, 385 yellowfin tuna, 4 wahoo, 88 dorado, 145 sierra, 56 bonito, 18 white tuna, 19 amberjack, 26 cabrilla, 35 huachiango, 30 yellow snapper and 450 skipjack.

Good fishing, Eric

 

Weather Patterns Stir Conditions, Inshore and Rock Piles Producing ~ February 15, 2015

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Anglers –

February 15, 2015

Weather patterns continue to vary greatly, we had felt the first signs of spring, with nearly 90 degree sunny days, now as the weekend arrives we are dealing with a storm front blowing in from the south that is forecast to bring scattered thundershowers possibly through Monday. We do not expect any significant measurable rainfall, but nevertheless this will make the roads slippery and put a hamper on planned outdoor activities.

Ocean water temperatures have been in the 72 to 75 degree range throughout most of the region. Winds have been swirling from the north and then shifting from the south, averaging 10 to 20 mph. These conditions have been a factor for where charters could practical fish on any given day. Recently the most consistent local fishing grounds have been found north of Punta Gorda, Cardon, La Fortuna to Iman. Anglers have been obtaining sufficient supplies of sardinas from bait boats that have been netting the schooling baitfish near Vinorama and hauling them back towards the same grounds where the fleet has been concentrated.

Early in the week some decent yellowfin tuna in the 15 to 30 lb. class were being landed, at a ratio of anywhere from 2 to 6 per boat, not bad for the heart of winter, this is normally not even yellowfin tuna season, the fish were striking on sardinas while using lighter leaders, they would bite in flurries, becoming quite finicky and not whiling to compete with the skipjack and bonito at times. As the weather deteriorated, so did this tuna action. Hopefully after this system passes through and as conditions settle back down, the action will rebound. While good numbers of dorado continue to be found on the Pacific, these fish have been more elusive in the directions of San Jose del Cabo, though actually a few more dorado were being found in recent days, often very close to shore, practically where the sierra bite has been happening, dorado sizes improved some, a handful of bulls up to 20 pounds or more were accounted for.

Bottom action was sporadic, quite a variety of species in the area, but no consistency or big numbers of any given species. A few yellowtail are starting to show up on the various rock piles, most of the yellows that were caught have hit on yo-yo style jigs and have been quality fish in the 25 to 35 lb. range. We will be anticipating more of these powerful jacks to arrive in the coming months, as this is the time when these fish migrate through the Southern Baja region. A handful of pargo, cabrilla, bonito, triggerfish and white tuna have been rounding out the action over the rocky structure.

Sierra have been the dominate fish found close to shore, also a few snapper, roosterfish and other jacks. Two separate incidents of whales being trapped in commercial net gear were reported from areas north of San Jose del Cabo, never did we hear what became of any rescue attempt, though hopefully this puts increased pressure on these bands of reckless commercial co-ops to relocate back to their mainland headquarters. Overall we have not been seeing as many whales as would be expected, maybe more are still on their way south, or have decided to stay on the Pacific side of the Peninsula.

Not much in the way of billfish activity being reported, though we have heard that striped marlin are being encountered in spread out numbers offshore, searching for their food source, this has been mainly 5 to 10 miles from shore, but still no large concentrations, they are on the move now, looking for schooling baitfish.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 69 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 striped marlin, 6 yellowtail, 47 yellowfin tuna, 82 dorado, 110 sierra, 8 roosterfish, 44 bonito, 22 white tuna, 20 cabrilla, 10 huachiango, 16 yellow snapper, 14 mojarra, and 160 skipjack.

Good fishing, Eric