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Los Cabos Escapes TS Norma, Fall Season Begins ~ September 23, 2017

Anglers –
September 23, 2017

Last week we were preoccupied following Tropical Storm Norma, local Ports were shut down for three days, Saturday thru Monday, due to higher storm swells, though the storm stalled and veered further off to the west and never did impact land. Hardly any rainfall at all was reported in Los Cabos and we felt 30 mph wind gusts, but basically we dodged a bullet this time. We have now officially started the fall season, though with the high humidity it still feels more like summer. Light crowds the past couple of weeks, with people being more nervous about traveling during possibility of storms moving through the area.

Fishing action has been mainly centered on the Gordo Banks and north to Iman Bank. Early in the week water clarity was greenish near Iman and the better action was found on the Gordo Banks, most common catches were for yellowfin tuna in the 50 to 100 lb. class, drift fishing with strips of sardinas, no big numbers of tuna being landed, though at times lots of yellowfin could be seen breezing the surface, just very finicky in striking the baits that had hooks in them. Anglers were doing well to land one or two of these quality tuna. Later in the week bait suppliers found some sardinas off the beach stretches further to the north and with the water cleaning up on the Iman Bank the medium sized tuna in the 5 lb. to 30 lb. range bit well there. Also some dorado in the mix, but most all under ten pounds and not nearly as numerous as before the most recent storm system passed by.

Some days the yellowfin tuna were more active early in the day, especially on the Gordo Banks, but then things switched around and more action on these grounds was found later in the day. Tuna of 170 lb. and another close to 300 lb. were accounted for by groups of local anglers, specifically targeting these larger tuna, putting in long extra hours and bringing ample supplies of slabs of squid to continue chumming throughout the day.

Anglers using yo-yo style jigs had mixed success on various red snapper, pargo and amberjack, no big numbers, but a few nice fish accounted for, a handful of nice yellowfin were also hooked into on these jigs.

Not much billfish action reported, though this week most anglers were targeting the tuna or dorado action. There was a lack of skipjack and other baitfish on the grounds early in the week, but as the week progressed and water conditions stabilized, there was more bait schools being reported.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 46 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 wahoo, 44 dorado, 1 blue marlin, 3 rainbow runner, 9 amberjack, 144 yellowfin tuna, 4 yellow snapper, 25 huachinango and 85 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Hurricane Norma Nears Los Cabos ~ September 16, 2017

Anglers –
September 16, 2017

Now in the final weeks of the summer season, we are seeing lighter crowds of tourists, as families are now getting settled into the start of the new Fall School semester. This is now peak time for tropical storms to develop and potentially strike the Los Cabos area, this week is the three year anniversary of the incredibly destructive Hurricane Odile. Two weeks ago we felt the impact of a direct hit by TS Lidia, clean up and rebuilding is an ongoing process. This week we have been following three separate tropical systems off to the south of Southern Baja, Hurricane Max is now dissipating as it made landfall in Southern Mexico, the other low pressure area off to the west is not doing much, weakening and is circling far away from land. The storm we are now carefully watching is Tropical Storm Norma, forecast to reach category 1 hurricane status over the weekend. This system is presently moving very slowly and gaining strength, latest forecast has showed it veering further off the west, off of Todo Santos, but ii is unpredictable exactly what path Norma will follow. So precautious preparations are necessary, we are expecting storm surf surges to increase as large as 15 ft. to 20 ft. on Sunday, hopefully not too high of winds and surely we will have rainfall, hopefully nothing like the 27 plus inches we endured from TS Lidia.

Calm conditions prevailed this past week, light winds in the afternoons, mostly clear skies, very high humidity, slightly cooler temperatures at night, with daytime heat index averaging 100 degrees. Ocean water temperature has cooled slightly over the past couple of weeks, now averaging 84 to 86 degrees. Off colored greenish currents are swirling throughout the region, varied clarity in certain areas from day to day. Most of the floating debris from the storm wash out has now dissipated. The fishing has been on and off ever since the passing of Lidia, there were good numbers of dorado found, though the majority were juvenile sized, an occasional fish over 15 lb. Dorado were found in schools throughout the region while trolling medium sized lures. Also they world readily strike on a variety of bait.

Bait suppliers were able to find sardinas near shore early in the week and along with strips of squid, these were the main bait options available. We expect sardinas will not be obtainable over the weekend with high storm swells, but as those reside hopefully sardina supplies will return and remain steady. Yellowfin tuna were being found from the Gordo Banks and towards the Iman Bank, action was sporadic, from scratchy to wide open, depended a lot on clarity and currents that were running at a given time. Often the yellowfin tuna were seen boiling on the surface, but they proved to be finicky, some days biting right off the bat early, then slim pickings, coming back up late, hard to predict. Average size tuna was in the 10 to 15 lb. class, yellowfin tuna to over 50 lb. were accounted for, though numbers were limited. Reports of tuna to 100 lb. seen in the mix, though the larger grade of tuna have not been striking much. The majority of all tuna action was found while drift fishing with strips of squid or sardinas.

Only a handful of wahoo strikes reported, more of them lost than actually landed. We expect when the water temperatures cool off a bit more and we see cleaner blue water back close to shore, that wahoo activity will improve. Billfish were scattered, a few sailfish, striped, blue and black marlin hook ups reported, though we only had limited numbers of angler visiting now and most of these were preferring to target species such as tuna and dorado. No bottom or inshore action to really report on, besides a few red snapper and triggerfish.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 49 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 black marlin, 6 sailfish, 12 white skipjack, 155 dorado, 3 wahoo, 170 yellowfin tuna, 5 yellow snapper, 14 huachinango and 42 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Lidia Cleanup Continues, Super Cow Tuna Landed ~ September 9, 2017

Anglers –
September 9, 2017

The cleanup from the devastating flood damage produced by Tropical Storm Lidia last week continues. Most of the region has now had power, water and telephone services restored. Though many areas will never be the same after this event and recovery work will continue for months to come. So far the month of September has started off predictably unforgiving, historically always being the most vulnerable to strikes from Tropical Storm systems. Not many tourists in town this week, as local airport had been closed and many others canceled their planned trips due to concerns over conditions, others canceled because of damage to particular hotels. Weather has stabilized in recent days, though tropical cloud formations are present and have produced isolated rain showers. Ocean has been calm and sportfishing fleets resumed operations with not many charters launching because of light numbers of anglers. Good news is that no new storms are heading our way at this time.

Bait options were more limited, no sardinas so far this week, bait vendors remained local, involved in clean up operations, not enough action for them to travel long distances to scout out new resources of sardinas, with so few charters boats going out to make it profitable for them. Reports from the East Cape were that they had plenty of schooling sardinas in their area, but not many charters going out either. Local charters relied mainly on slabs of squid for bait, this seemed to work fine for the yellowfin tuna action. Trolling lures produced dorado and scattered wahoo action. Water clarity was stirred up, lots of current moving around as well. Early in the week much of the inshore zone was very dirty and green, conditions cleared rapidly, though lots of debris is spread throughout the entire region, so caution was needed when motoring about in order to avoid any collision with heavier objects.

The most consistent action found was for yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 15 lb. class near Iman Bank, drift fishing with strips of squid is what the tuna were striking on. On Tuesday there was one monster yellowfin tuna landed from a super panga while fishing on the Gordo Banks, the fish hit later in the late morning on a strip of squid and weighed in at a whopping 314 lb., making it the first official super cow landed this season for the local panga fleet out of La Playita. Other action on these same grounds produced a handful of wahoo and marlin strikes, the big tuna are definitely in the area, they had been late to show up this summer, but are lurking on these banks now.
Dorado were found in good numbers, mainly by trolling medium sized lures, once the schools were found they would readily hit bait. Sizes varied up to 20 lb., though the majority were smaller in size. Remember the limit on dorado is two fish per license, so it is always better to try and release the small fish, especially the females and hold out to try to fill your limit on a couple of better size specimens.

We did not try any inshore action this week, not really the time of year for that now. Not much bottom action found either, strong currents made that option tougher, plus just mot many charter boats were going out, most all of these were looking for species such as yellowfin tuna and dorado.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 24 charters for the storm shortened week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 striped marlin, 22 white skipjack, 82 dorado, 5 wahoo, 120 yellowfin tuna and 15 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric