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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

 

 

 

Hurricane Norbert Passes Closely, Shuts Down Port Operations, Flooding ~ September 6, 2014

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September 6, 2014
Anglers –

Last week we saw the nearby passing of Hurricane Marie and then conditions settled down very nice for one week, before this latest storm Hurricane Norbert formed. This newest system is slower moving and has followed a path bringing it much closer to the Southern Baja Peninsula. Heavy storm swells pushing 20 feet high have once again shut down all Port activity, Red Flag most likely until at least Sunday morning. Marie was a monster storm of category five strength, fortunately staying further offshore, while Norbert is presently a category one Hurricane, packing 90 mph sustained winds. Expected to parallel the Pacific coast, just offshore and follow a northerly track. Flood damage and related wind damage has been the main consequences felt from this latest storm. This is the time of year that we do frequently see these tropical storm systems develop, we have had enough rain for now, everyone is ready for Norbert to pass and have conditions dry out.

Hard to say what will happen with the fishing action, after Hurricane Marie passed, the fishing picked up strongly, with sardinas being available for bait, found around the Marina Jetty, anglers found good action for yellowfin tuna, ranging in sizes to over 60 pounds. The fishing grounds from the Gordo Banks to Iman all producing action. Dorado were more scattered, small schools encountered sporadically. Most of the dorado found were smaller in size.

A few wahoo were also in the mix, weighing up to 40 pounds, found on the same local grounds. Incredible reports of one 50 pound wahoo being landed off of Orange County, Southern California, this is one crazy season. This could be one of those seasons that the Los Cabos area enjoys incredible fall and winter action. In the mean time we are dealing with back to back storm conditions, which is unfortunate for vacationers caught in the midst of storm conditions.

Not much bottom action now, a handful of dogtooth snapper, some rainbow runners, a lone yellowtail, a few cabrilla and various skipjack and bonito species. Scattered billfish action as well, more sailfish than anything else, a few black and blue marlin hook ups reported.

We are looking forward to calmer conditions and getting back to normal operations. The next few weeks can be a very unpredictable time, tropical weather patterns can develop quickly. Following forecast closely and taking precaution to protect personal interests.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 40 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
2 blue marlin, 9 sailfish, 215 yellowfin tuna, 250 skipjack,1 yellowtail, 15 rainbow runners,
7 cabrilla, 46 dorado, 7 wahoo and 8 dogtooth snapper.

Good fishing, Eric

 

 

 

Hurricane Passes off to the West, Closing Port for Three Days, Cow Sized Yellowfin Arrive ~ Aug. 29, 2014

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August 29, 2014
Anglers –

The week started off with weather changes on Sunday, the arrival of high swells created by Hurricane Marie, this forced closure of all water activities for three days. Swells generated by this powerful category five hurricane reached its peak on Sunday evening and through Monday, nearing 20 ft. high, causing some erosion problems, but overall everyone felt fortunate that this storm system stayed several hundred miles off to the west and did not cause much damage. Isolated thundershowers were recorded, heavy downpours at times, lightening strikes, with some power outages. Schools were all closed on Monday as a precaution

Skies are now clear and sportfishing fleets are back in operation. Just before the swell arrived, on Saturday, the fishing action had improved and the season’s first super cow sized yellowfin tuna was weighed in late that same day, just before the Port was closed the following morning. The tuna was caught by a group of three La Playita pangeros, they were trolling a larger sized live skipjack for bait on the Outer Gordo Bank and after a two hour battle landed the monster, which officially weighed in at 335 lb. So the cows have returned and since the reopening of the port there have been several more landed, mainly by the hard core La Playita pangeros, several very large fish were lost after extended battles. Sardinas were found schooling again around the Puerto Los Cabos Marina Jetty and these baitfish were the bait of choice for the better chances of all around action.

Fleets reported finding mixed sizes of yellowfin tuna off of Santa Maria, Red Hill, Gordo Banks and Iman. The Iman was producing football sized yellowfin and another grade of tuna in the 40 to 70 pound class, a bit finicky, hitting best on lighter tackle, then the problem is fighting heavier fish that are hooked on too light of tackle. The chance at the cows has been on the Gordo Banks, with fish reportedly holding on both the Inner and Outer Gordo Banks. Heavy dive boat pressure has been a negative factor on the Gordo Banks.

The majority of the dorado that are now being encountered are smaller juvenile sized fish, most of them females, which should actually be released and given a chance to mature and spawn in order to help maintain a quality fishery. A major problem is getting the people interested in thinking about the future, instead of the mentality of what they can get for today. Officials would be smart to enforce a temporary closure of all dorado fishing until a later date in the Fall.

An occasional wahoo being reported, but there was more activity from these fish before the recent storm passed through. Billfish action has been spread out as well. Best bet has been to target the yellowfin of varying sizes. Not much reported off the bottom, an occasional dogtooth snapper or cabrilla. No inshore action to speak of, as is normal for late summer.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 47 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
1 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 170 yellowfin tuna, 20 bonito, 8 cabrilla, 76 dorado, 2 wahoo and 4 dogtooth snapper.

Good fishing, Eric