May 6, 2017
New month, this week we have the traditional holiday of Cinco de Mayo, not really a day they celebrate much in Baja, though local schools were out for the day, Southern California is the place that take this day seriously. Anyway, crowds of tourists were moderate, weather continues to warm up and most of the windy days are now past. Ocean conditions were very pleasant, southern swells were starting to increase, as they normally do this time of year. Water temperatures are averaging 75 degrees or more in the direction of San Jose del Cabo, while the Pacific remains cooler.
Supplies of sardinas off of the north side of the marina jetty are starting to thin out, also higher surf made it trickier for the netters. This is now the normal time when sardinas start to vanish and we see larger baitfish move in, such as moonfish, mullet and caballito, also should start to find bolito and more skipjack appearing on the offshore fishing grounds. Still in the midst of transition period, moving from spring to summer. Dictated by weather patterns, a lot can happen from day to day, week to week during this month.
Last week the exciting new action that developed was for roosterfish, fish to 30 lb. were found schooling off local beach stretches and were readily striking on slowly trolled baitfish. This was during a time when it was a bit windy out of the south and that made offshore opportunities tough, so it was good timing. Of course many people and charter operators themselves are killing way too many of these roosterfish, instead of practicing catch and release, this species is not known for their eating qualities, but instead for their beauty and fighting stamina, please remember to try and release them unharmed when you do have the opportunity. By this week this action had tapered way off, but surely should rebound as we near the month of June, which is peak season for roosterfish in our area.
Offshore billfish remained very spotty, though a few striped marlin are being found, also a handful of stories about blue marlin strikes being lost. This is the month when we normally see wide open action for striped marlin, so we are anticipating for this bite to improve very soon. A few stray wahoo were hooked into offshore on the marlin grounds, also at least one dorado we saw landed, so hopefully this is a sign that we will see more pelagic species arriving with the warming currents.
The yellowfin tuna action had faded out, but this week this action once again rebounded off of the northern grounds near Vinorama, within a mile or two of shore, drift fishing with sardinas was the most productive method, we did hear of some fish also taken on strips of squid. The bite was not off the map, but decent for this time of year, we saw boats catch from one or two yellowfin, up to ten fish per morning, sizes ranged from smaller footballs, up to over 40 lb., a lot of fish in the 30 lb. class. The problem towards the later part of the week was finding enough of the live sardinas to supply the entire fleet, the word had gotten out and everyone wanted to chase these tuna, since offshore was not all that productive.
Bottom action produced a mix of snapper, pargo, bonito, cabrilla and some amberjack to 30 lb., using both bait and yo-yo or butterfly type jigs, not huge numbers, but a few nice eating fish accounted for. Of course there were more triggerfish than anything else off of the shallow water rock piles, though we did have a few exotics, African pompano and island jack, which are some of the best eating fish available in these parts.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 78 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, 1 dorado, 210 yellowfin tuna, 15 amberjack, 26 yellow snapper, 5 barred pargo, 18 leopard grouper, 9 island jack, 4 African pompano, 18 huachinango, 130 roosterfish, 35 sierra, 12 bonito and 150 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric