October 16, 2010



October 15, 2010

Just like clockwork the busy fall season has now started, with the first of the annual series of high stake billfish tournaments now just completed, the grandest event of all, the Black and Blue Bisbee is slated for next week. The local San Jose del Cabo Team on the 35 ft. Cabo “Fishermen” has officially won the overall jackpot for the largest Black Marlin of the event, the black was subdued in only 32 minutes and weighed in at 713 pounds, the same team also accounted for the only other black marlin on the final day of the tournament, it weighed in at 466 pounds. One 629 pound blue marlin was also weighed in on the first day by the team aboard the “Sneak Attack” and on the last day a 465 blue marlin was weighed in by the team on the “Rum Runin”. The weather conditions are what you would call just about perfect now, no late season storms on the horizon, which did happen during this same time frame last year, mostly clear skies, some scattered clouds, light breezes, minimal swells, water temperatures averaging 84 to 86 degrees, evenings and early mornings are just beginning to cool off to the point where light wind breakers might be needed, all around excellent fishing conditions for anglers. The Southern Baja landscape is now green after the rains from a couple of weeks ago, but surely will dry out quickly if the region does not receive additional rainfall soon.


Fleets have been fishing in all different directions, but the majority of the most consistent action was now being found from Santa Maria to Iman areas. Sardinas are being netted off of the Palmilla Point area, small to medium sized, they have bait the bait of choice for enticing the football sized yellowfin tuna to bite. The action was a bit up and down, with lots of skipjack mixed in, most charters are finding limits of the yellowfin for their anglers. A few dorado mixed in, though most of them were juvenile sized, only an occasional bull topping the 20 pound mark.


Wahoo were being caught in limited numbers every day, on the same fishing rounds as where the tuna and dorado were, striking on trolled lures, as well on larger baitfish for the few anglers that did try that. The area of La Fortuna produced perhaps the best action on the wahoo, particularly earlier in the day, the sizes of the ‘hoo ranged up to 50 pounds. We do expect the wahoo bite to become more consistent as the water temperatures drops more into their preferred range near 80 degrees.


Anglers out of La Playita on the panga fleets have had the option of jigging moonfish on sabiki rigs right in the marina channel and using them for live baits off of the bottom structure. These baits were particularly productive on the Iman Bank in recent days for amberjack, which have been weighing an average of 30 to 60 pounds, though on Friday a monster 97 pound amberjack was landed. Some grouper and dogtooth snapper have also been accounted for, but amberjack have been the most numerous bottom species, many boats are accounting for two to six ambers, all of which are of quality size. The same time anglers are drifting these larger baits near the bottom there are yellowfin tuna being found on the surface, which have preferred the live sardinas.


The bite for the larger grade of yellowfin tuna on the Gordo Banks continued to be very slow for the second consecutive week, though a handful of tuna in the 50 to 70 pound range were landed, most of these fish were landed by the commercial panga fleet which were fishing later in the afternoon when these tuna were becoming more active.


I was called down to the dock Friday at 10 a.m. to weigh in a large yellowfin tuna. It officially weighed 335.5 pounds. It was caught on rod and reel by a group of local La Playita pangeros, headed by Sergio Carillo. They hooked it on a small dead sardina on the Inner Gordo Bank, using 80 pound main line with a 60 pound fluorocarbon leader and landed it in one and a half hours, it became tail wrapped and was brought up dead from the depths. So another super cow has been accounted for from the Gordo Banks as we build up towards the WON Tuna Jackpot Tournament.


A few sierra are now showing up near the shoreline, early in the season, especially consider the warm water temperature, as sierra do prefer much cooler conditions.


Billfish are scattered throughout the zone in limited numbers, though there is a chance at a variety, with striped, blue and black marlin in the area, as well as some sailfish.


The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 101 charters for the week, with anglers accounted for: 3 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 19 wahoo, 42 dorado, 695 yellowfin tuna, 9 dogtooth snapper, 9 barred pargo, 116 amberjack, 7 grouper, 4 rainbow runner, 12 sierra and 6 cabrilla. 


Good fishing, Eric



October 9, 2010





October 9, 2010

Nice time of year to now visit the Los Cabos region, kind of like the lull before the storm, ideal weather, with moderate crowds, only a week or two away from when capacity filling crowds will arrive for the peak tournament time season. Cooler mornings now, but daytime temperatures and humidity are still running high. No storm systems are on the horizon at this time, there have been clear sunny skies, with light winds and ocean swells. Water temperatures from Cabo San Lucas and in the direction of the Sea of Cortez are averaging 85 to 87 degrees. Clear blue currents are being found very close to shore, so most of the fishing action now has been taking place within five miles of land, often times much closer.


Live sardinas are now migrating inshore off of the Palmilla Point area and this has given anglers another option, besides buying the fresh dead brined sardinas. In the Puerto Los Cabos Marina channel some pangeros are jigging up Pacific moonfish with sabiki rigs and these small pompano like baitfish are being used as live baits as well.  


The action on the Gordo Banks for the larger grade of yellowfin tuna came almost to a standstill, as only a handful of yellowfin in the 40 to 100 pound class were reported taken on these banks this past week. Hard to say if these tuna have moved out of the area or if they are just feeding deep on the available food sources. Conditions have remained favorable so we are optimistic that this bite will pick back up before long.


Everyday a few wahoo are being hooked into on these same banks, particularly early in the morning before boat pressure becomes a factor. A handful of larger black and blue marlin also were hooked into while trolling larger live baits such as skipjack, cocinero jacks or chihuil, but the majority of these marlin were lost due to the lighter leaders that were being used while targeting the more line shy yellowfin.


The fleet has been finding good numbers of schooling football sized yellowfin tuna on the Iman Bank, though some days there were too many skipjack beating the tuna to the sardinas. These tuna were readily striking the fresh dead bait, but in the past couple of days have once again started to have a preference for the live sardinas, which only recently have become available. The same area of Iman has produced a variety of species, included some wahoo and dorado on the surface, as well as a mix of quality bottom dwellers, namely dogtooth snapper, amberjack and grouper, most of these fish are striking on larger baitfish and some specimens weighed in the 60 to 85 pound class. This type of bottom fishing takes more experience than many anglers realize, even for the most skillful local skippers, it proves a real challenge to be able to hook these powerful fish and turn them away from the rock piles before they are able to cut off even your heavier eighty pound tackle.


As daytime temperature begin to cool with the progressively shortening fall days, the water temperature will drop more closer to the 80 degree range, with is ideal for triggering a more active wahoo bite. These fish are now definitely in the area and have been striking both lures and baits, but surely as the conditions become more favorable anglers could find themselves in some truly epic wahoo action this fall season.


The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 68 charters, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 4 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 3 sailfish, 19 wahoo, 123 dorado, 324 yellowfin tuna, 20 bonito, 14 cabrilla, 8 grouper, 14 dogtooth snapper and 26 amberjack.. 


Good Fishing, Eric



October 2, 2010




Gordo Banks Pangas 

  San Jose del Cabo


October 2, 2010


The start of the fall season was greeted with clear sunny skies, after last week’s rainfall from T.S. Georgette the parched Baja landscape has rapidly turned lush green. Crowds of tourists are now light, but within a couple of weeks that will certainly change as the big money tournament events are slated to take place. The weather warmed up dramatically during the later part of this week, as the record heat wave that swept through Southern California seems to have drifted south. Light winds have kept ocean conditions very calm and with water temperatures now averaging 85 degrees or higher throughout the region, this has made for warm fishing days, be sure to bring lots of beverages in order to stay hydrated.


The La Playita panga fleets have been fishing mainly from the Gordo Banks to La Fortuna and Iman. Most common species being targeting were yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo. The bite has been up and down, as to where and when the best action was encountered on any particular day. Bait supplies continue to be the fresh dead brined sardinas, with some live sardinas now being found in closer proximity, off of the Palmilla area. Also there have been jacks, small tuna, bolito and skipjack which were caught on the fishing grounds themselves and used as trolling baits.


Yellowfin tuna continued to be found on both the Inner and Outer Gordo Banks, these fish were striking on dead sardinas that were near the high spots. The yellowfin were finicky as to when they became more aggressive, apparently they were content to feed on the natural baits sources that are on the banks at this time and not always interested in taking the sardinas. Though most charters averaged one to three fish per day while targeting this area, these tuna were ranging in sizes from 30 to upwards of 200 pounds, with even larger super cow sized fish being reportedly lost after being battled on heavy tackle for three, four or five hours. Anglers have most commonly been using main line of 60 to 80 lb. with fluorocarbon leader of 60 to 90 lb.


Palmilla became a spot where smaller football sized tuna and medium sized dorado were being found, live sardinas were now available near this area and proved to be a good options for finding plenty of action on medium sized fish, instead of going for the one or two big fish further offshore.


Wahoo were spread throughout the zone, the Gordo Banks, La Fortuna to Vinorama all produced strikes for anglers trolling Rapalas and skirted lead or jet heads, a bit sluggish in the warmer waters, but some anglers accounted for as many as three wahoo in the box per morning, with other short strikes lost. The wahoo were ranging in sizes from 20 to 45 pounds.


Dorado action was much the same, more juvenile sized fish found in the direction of the Sea of Cortez and lager sized bulls found further offshore and on the Pacific. Charters were accounting for an average of 2 to 6 dorado per boat.


Billfish tapered off a bit over the previous couple of weeks, but there still were some larger sized black and blue marlin being hooked into, in the past couple of days there were several blacks that were hooking into on the Gordo Banks while trolling with larger live baits, which more often than not was either a skipjack or cocinero (jack) in recent days.


Other catches include a mix of grouper, dogtooth snapper and amberjack, despite the calm surface, there still was a swift current on most days and this made it more difficult to concentrate on the bottom.


The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 61 charters for this week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 1 striped marlin, 1 black marlin, 2 blue marlin, 2 sailfish, 14 wahoo, 122 dorado, 154 yellowfin tuna, 18 bonito, 8 cabrilla, 2 grouper, 7 dogtooth snapper and 10 amberjack..


Good Fishing, Eric