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Billfish Action Rebounds Strong off of San Jose del Cabo ~ April 12, 2012


April 12, 2014
Anglers –

This past weekend Southern Baja time zone moved clocks back one hour, we are now accustoming to this new schedule, days are rapidly lengthening as spring season progresses. Ideal all around climate now, last weekend a front with cooler cloud cover swept through and this week we have seen warmer clear sunny skies, high temperatures around 85 degrees, with lows of about 62 degrees, winds were lighter, more predominate from the south now, picking up later in the day. Ocean water temperatures ranged from 72 degrees on the Pacific’s Golden Gate Bank, to an average of 75/76 degrees off of San Jose del Cabo and towards Los Frailes.

After going slack, the billfish action rebounded off of San Jose del Cabo, anglers found great action for striped marlin, with a few sailfish also reported, the majority of the action was found 10 to 20 miles offshore, though on other days these fish were encountered within several miles of shore, as their food source moves, they move accordingly. Not a lot of surface baitfish activity seen and fish seem to be gorging on smaller sized squid, which apparently were now plentiful in local waters. The billfish were striking on rigged ballyhoo most often, though live caballito and trolled lures also took their share of strikes. Only an occasional dorado found in the mix offshore, more dorado were found nearer to shore, where concentrations of half beak baitfish were schooling. Anglers were fortunate to find one or two dorado in their catch, just no big numbers of these fish now, though with these water conditions, anything could happen at any time.

It has continued to be an unusual season, with both warm water species and other fish that prefer cooler currents, all in the region at the same time. Look at the wahoo for example, they never even migrated out of the area this winter, as they normally do every year, these pelagic gamefish have been hanging around, not that many are actually being landed, action has been sporadic, though most everyday a handful are being hooked into, with the majority of this action coming from the La Fortuna to Vinorama grounds. Some of the wahoo landed were nicer sized 40 to 50 pound fish. No yellowfin tuna have been seen to speak of, though on Wednesday a pair of local La Playita pangeros hauled in a yellowfin that tipped the scales at 198 lb. This was just one fish, though is maybe a sign of something to develop, this would normally be the season when we start to see more porpoise activity offshore, which can attract schools of tuna. Time will tell, with water temperature warmer than normal, things are more unpredictable.

Local panga fleets are departing at first light to take advantage of the early morning action for bottom dwellers, most productive spot was the San Luis Bank, while using yo-yo jigs and caballito batfish anglers accounted for bonito, cabrilla, huachinango (red snapper), amberjack, yellowtail and barred pargo. Early in the morning when the larger more exotic fish were taken, no huge numbers, but some quality fish to over 30 pounds were landed, as the sun came up the action shifted to mainly the Eastern Pacific bonito.

Close along the beach stretches north of Puerto Los Cabos charters found good opportunities for roosterfish up to 15 pounds, while trolling live caballito, there were reports of rigged ballyhoo also working, there were jack crevalle and sierra also mixed in, at times the baits available proved a bit large for the smaller jacks.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 91 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 52 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 5 wahoo, 3 yellowfin tuna, 8 yellowtail, 25 amberjack, 44 dorado, 14 sierra, 45 roosterfish, 550 bonito, 17 cabrilla, 40 triggerfish and 56 hauchinango.

Good fishing, Eric

Inshore and Bottom Structure Produces Mixed Bag, Stripers Offshore ~ April 5, 2014


April 5, 2014
Anglers –

Spring break tourist activity seemed to have slowed some, even though the actual local Easter Holiday week does not begin until mid month. Weather has been nearly perfect, highs in the low 80s, there has been scattered cloud cover, burning off as the days progressed. Winds were moderate, mostly from the east and switching from the south, ocean temperature now averaged in the 70 to 75 degree range, a slight drop from last week, but still warmer than normal for early April. Quite a few whale sightings continue, despite this now being late season for these mammals, the majority have already began their northern migration.

Offshore , anglers found hit or miss action for the billfish, spread out, no concentrations of baitfish to attract any big numbers of striped marlin, fish were found further offshore some days and then as close as two miles to shore on others, clarity of water varied with the flowing currents. Dorado were found every day, though only in small groups, more of these fish were within several miles of shore, this is where half beak schools (ballyhoo) have been schooling. Weights averaged 10 to 15 pounds.

No yellowfin tuna to speak of, except an odd fish up to 30 pounds, being hooked into while working high spots with yo-yo jigs, from Iman to San Luis Bank. The most common catch were the Eastern Pacific bonito, striking readily on the iron jigs, ranging 3 to 10 lb. There was more porpoise activity now being seen offshore, though not many yellowfin were being reported. Early morning proved to be the best time for fishing over the rock piles, mixed in with the feisty bonito, were a handful of quality snapper, amberjack and cabrilla. Yellowtail action has been very spotty, most of the fish we have seen were nice 25 to 35 lb. A couple of these hogs were even hooked into while drifting live baits just outside of the Marina Jetty entrance.

This whole year has been abnormal, with warmer winter weather and ocean water temperature, enough so, where tropical pelagic species such as wahoo and dorado have remained in local waters throughout the winter and into the spring. Everyday there have been reports of wahoo being either hooked into, seen free swimming, or actually landed, most of this wahoo action was found from Punta Gorda and north along the ledges, towards Vinormama. A couple of fifty pound plus wahoo were accounted for, most of the ‘hoo landed were in the 20 to 30 pound class.

Close to shore there were lots of powerful jack crevalle moving in, also some juvenile sized roosterfish and sierra. This action could be wide open with sardinas, but none of these smaller baitfish have been available in recent months, with the main bait source now being either live caballito or rigged ballyhoo. We did see one 12 pound snook caught right off of the panga dock area, this fish hit on a live bait.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 84 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 6 striped marlin, 9 wahoo, 6 yellowfin tuna, 8 yellowtail, 17 amberjack, 80 dorado, 28 jack crevalle, 48 sierra, 22 roosterfish, 580 bonito, 15 cabrilla and 32 misc. pargo.

Good fishing, Eric

Warming Conditions, Variety of Options, Spring Break ~ March 29, 2014


March 29, 2014
Anglers –

Vacationing tourists continue to arrive in soaring numbers, as spring break season is now in full swing. Weather has been very pleasant, prevalent winds were gusting early in the week, with ocean conditions being quite comfortable late week. Ocean water temperatures were ranging in the upper 70s towards the Gordo Banks and further north, while currents were in the lower 70s on the Pacific grounds. Day time highs were in the low 80s, feeling a bit more like summer than spring. Whales are vanishing from the area rapidly, headed on their long migration towards the rich feeding grounds of the Bering Sea.

The striped marlin action off of the San Jose del Cabo area started back up with a flurry, feeding marlin were seen in concentrations, anywhere from 2 to 8 miles from shore, moving quickly at times, seen free jumping and tailing on the surface as well. Striking on lures as well as live caballito or rigged ballyhoo, many charters reported having multiple chances for stripers per outing. With inshore and bottom action being sporadic, much of the week anglers found that there was actually a better chance at finding marlin than any of the other smaller gamefish closer to shore.

There was a variety of other species now in local water, though it seemed that none of them were really abundant, or consistently biting on a day to day basis. Yellowtail were occasionally being hooked into on the various rocky high spots, some of these jacks were found close to shore on the ordinary roosterfish and sierra grounds. Yellows were holding on the Outer Gordo Bank, though only handful of people are landing them, all nicer sized 30 to 35 lb. fish, just no consistent action and many hammerhead sharks to sort through. Rounding out the fish counts were, cabrilla, pargo, amberjack, bonito, dorado, sierra and wahoo, all being reported daily in limited numbers.

Wahoo are being seen in schools off of Punta Gordo and to La Fortuna, though are finicky, striking baits, yo-yo’s and trolled jigs when they became aggressively in the mood for striking, strange do even have these fish hanging around at this time of year, this is a result of the warmer than usual water temperatures. Dorado are being encountered in smaller sized schools, the majority of this action closer to shore, rather than on the offshore grounds, sizes averaged 5 to 20 pounds.

Bottom action has never really turned into a steady productive option this season, the action for surface species proved more consistent than were the reef dwellers. We would normally expect to see a trend develop in the coming weeks, of less wind, warming days and more options for anglers off the structure and inshore stretches. Nice time of year coming, ideal weather, not too warm and not too cool.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 91 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 33 striped marlin, 17 wahoo, 3 mako shark, 4 yellowfin tuna, 12 yellowtail, 15 amberjack, 84 dorado, 15 jack crevalle, 28 sierra, 42 roosterfish, 95 bonito, 18 cabrilla and 14 hammerhead sharks (released).

Good fishing, Eric