Gordo Banks Pangas
San Jose del Cabo
September 25, 2010
The Southern Baja region had been waiting patiently for the season’s first measureable rainfall and that did finally happen earlier this week. The low pressure system that had been threatening to develop off of Manzanillo for several days, did quickly gather strength over warmer currents on Monday evening, becoming Tropical Storm Georgette, passing almost directly over Cabo San Lucas, raining on and off all day Tuesday, accompanied by wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour, before quickly following a course towards San Carlos, La Paz and then towards Loreto, then downgraded to a depression into the Sea of Cortez. Georgette dumped four or more inches of rainfall locally and made a mess of the roads, a few landslides and moderate flooding, but no major disasters were reported. The long summer is finally officially over and we are all looking forward to a great Fall Season.
Before the storm hit anglers were reporting very consistent fishing action, as well as greater variety, particularly on the fishing grounds from the Gordo Banks, then north towards La Fortuna and Iman Bank. Most charter fleets shut down for both Tuesday and Wednesday and were all back operating on Thursday. Water conditions changed dramatically after the storm, water temperatures plummeted into the lower 70s in some areas, particularly closer to shore, along with these cooler currents were greenish colored waters. At this time water conditions are most favorable in the vicinity of the Inner and Outer Gordo Banks, where cleaner waters of 80 to 82 degrees are being encountered.
Always after a system like this the ocean conditions become stirred up and can take a few days to rebound. Anglers did report some quality dorado action out of Cabo San Lucas, with some bulls up to 45 pounds being accounted for. In the direction of San Jose del Cabo the dorado action has been scattered, only an occasional fish being found and most of them juvenile sized. Wahoo action slowed down compared to pre storm numbers, but a few of these elusive fish were reportedly hooked in around the Inner Gordo Bank and La Fortuna areas on Thursday, so we expect as conditions improve these fish will become more active again, as they do prefer the cooling trend of fall conditions.
The yellowfin tuna action around the Iman Banks slowed almost to a standstill, with only a few small footballs being found, this situation will certainly improve as waters warm back up and stabilize. Good news was found on the Gordo Banks, where the better water conditions were more prevalent. On Thursday there were two cows reported, a 261 lb. and 206 lb. yellowfin tuna accounted for, both were hooking into on bolito. These baitfish were found closer to shore on small hoochies and then used further out on the banks. A couple of other tuna in the 130 to 140 pound range were also taken the same day, all this for a handful of boats. These were the larger grade of tuna that were being seen breezing on the banks before the rainfall hit, but were not on the bite, they had been feeding on small squid and mini sardinas, perhaps this food source moved on and now they are hungrier for the larger offerings. These cow sized tuna hit on both live and dead bolito, did not really care, it was just a matter of having the bait in the right place when they came up. An estimated 450 pound black marlin was battled for several hours on Thursday as well, from a 23 ft. super panga, before breaking the line as it was nearing the boat.
Some larger amberjack up to 75 pounds had hit the decks before the storm and a few nice dogtooth snapper as well, this action slowed due to the off colored waters and strong currents, should pick back up as currents settle back down.
Thursday was a day off for local La Playita pangeros and many of them decided to try fishing off of their own docking area and they ended up getting into some epic action. The key was to first catch the Pacific moonfish for bait and then fly line them out into the channel, main catch was for roosterfish, ranging up to 45 pounds, also two tripletail were landed, a few nice snapper, barracuda, but the most incredible fish tale was of the possible new all tackle world record snook that spit the hook after being battled by a local angler who had managed to work the fish back out of the mooring structure into open water and had the fish inching up to gaff before it spit the hook. This fish was estimated to be as large as 80 pounds and everyone who saw it jumping said that it easily was over 60 pounds, the existing record is listed at 58 pounds, this means it well only grow larger now.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 43 charters for this shortened week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 2 striped marlin, 1 black marlin, 3 blue marlin, 1 sailfish, 16 wahoo, 18 dorado, 89 yellowfin tuna, 14 bonito, 6 cabrilla, 2 grouper, 7 huachinango, 6 dogtooth snapper and 12 amberjack..
Good Fishing, Eric