August 24, 2014
For adventurous travelers who enjoy humid tropical weather conditions, this is a great time to visit the Southern Baja Peninsula. Daily forecasts have called for chances of scattered thunder showers, which has been the pattern throughout August, though most of the rainfall recoded, fell over the mountainous regions and the majority of the time in the direction to the north of San Jose del Cabo. Conditions can change rapidly, this past week there were threatening skies at times, but only isolated showers, winds were light and ocean conditions were comfortable. Moderate swells at the present time, though early next week a large storm swell is predicted to impact the area and waves could be as big as twenty feet. This storm surge is being produced by Tropical Storm Marie, which is now positioned to the southwest, rapidly gaining strength and will be passing close by, offshore of Cabo San Lucas. High chances of rainfall in the coming days as well, be prepared to button down the hatches, because this is the time of year that when it does rain, it can really pour.
Good news that more schooling sardinas have been appearing, smaller sized baitfish were being found around the marina jetty, now larger sized sardinas are schooling inshore off of Red Hill, it has been a long time since these baitfish have even been found in local waters. It is hard to say what the arrival of the big swell will do, likely scatter these baitfish. Water clarity has been clear and blue, this will likely become stirred up closer to shore. Ocean temperatures are ranging from 84 to 88 degrees, warmest zone towards Los Frailes.
Sportfishing fleets have been only moderately busy, as the epic bite off of Southern California is keeping anglers busy. This past week there were a variety of gamefish encountered, most common targeted species were yellowfin tuna, dorado, billfish, snapper and wahoo. With the availability of live sardinas this opened up more options for finding cooperative schools of yellowfin tuna, anglers found the most consistent grounds to be off of Palmilla and Red Hill, though sometimes these schools of tuna would sleep in and only bite mid day, Santa Maria and the Gordo Banks also were holding yellowfin tuna. Fly lining sardinas on lighter tackle was the best method to entice action. The majority of these yellowfin tuna were of the football sized variety, 5 to 12 lb., though there was a larger grade of 40 to 55 lb. tuna being found on the Gordo Banks, though this bite was even more unpredictable and the fish became even increasingly shy as more and more dive boat operators are chartering group tours that anchor and concentrate on these already heavily pressured fragile fishing grounds.
Dorado action was more concentrated to the north of Punta Gorda, small to medium sized fish, striking baitfish and trolled lures. Wahoo became a bit more active in this same region, even though water temperatures are higher than their preferred preference. Wahoo in the 20 to 40 pound class were striking on rigged ballyhoo, as well as trolled Rapalas, no big numbers, but a couple of charters did account for up to a pair of nice wahoo, that is always a bonus.
Best bottom action recently has been for the chance at hooking into a heavy dogtooth snapper, now holding on the shallow to medium depth rocky high spots, including the Gordo Banks, Iman and La Fortuna. Currents have been swift, which does make this style of drift fishing more difficult.
There has been a variety of billfish now found in local waters, namely striped, blue and black marlin, as well as sailfish. Some offshore charters had as mainly as three of four fish, striped marlin and sailfish being the most common, but also some blues and blacks lurking, this is the time of year when some of the biggest marlin are encountered. As anglers Vern and Gerry Eickhorn, from Canada, will attest to. The Eickhorn’s were fishing aboard the super panga “Killer II” with skipper Chame Pino, when they were trolling a live skipjack on the Gordo Banks around 10 a.m., they hooked into a huge black marlin that they battled, along with other additional back up help for some 12 hours while using 80 pound tackle, the group was never able to get the giant fish alongside the boat, it would stay just far enough away for anyone to be able to grab the 20 foot leader. This was one of those gladiator battles, addition supplies were dropping off, water, food, etc…none of it mattered, as the fish eventually broke the line and gained its freedom. Sure made for a good fish story though and some video footage helped verify that the marlin was estimated to weigh in the 800 pound range.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 70 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
5 striped marlin, 12 sailfish, 280 yellowfin tuna, 9 cabrilla, 84 dorado, 15 wahoo, 15 dogtooth snapper and 4 amberjack.
Good fishing, Eric