May 29, 2011


May 29, 2011

There was a noticeable increase in crowds of tourists this past week, as southern swells attracted surfers and warming ocean currents brought in sought after gamefish, giving anglers a wide variety of options to choose from. The large swell has resided from last week’s peak, but lingering waves are still providing fun sport. Water temperatures are now up into the 80 degree range, clarity has fluctuated, blue water shifting closer and further from day to day, conditions are steadily stabilizing and anglers are anticipating wide open action on the horizon

The swell activity last week had a negative impact on the fishing action, scattered inshore bait schools and pushed in off colored currents, but now this cycle has reversed, as schools of mullet and other baitfish are appearing in greater numbers close to shore, this has attracted larger sized roosterfish, jack crevalle, sierra, pompano, dogtooth snapper, grouper and amberjack. In recent days there was one roosterfish weighed in at 84 pounds, landed from a 22 ft. panga out of La Playita, it was hooked into off of the La Laguna area. Many jack crevalle in the 20 pound plus range were seen chasing bait schools and dogtooth snapper are starting to move into the shallow rocky reefs, looking to ambush their prey. Remember to bring your heavy tackle if interested in targeting and actually landing one of these king of the snapper species, they average about 30 pounds and can reach 80 pounds or more. These same areas can also produce grouper, amberjack and pompano during late spring. Slow trolling with larger sized live baits seems to be the most productive technique for this style of inshore world class action. Surf anglers have had reports of catching roosterfish, pargo, sierra, yellowtail, jack crevalle and even at least one snook was reportedly landed off of the San Jose Estuary area, this action should begin to peak in the coming weeks.

Warming waters have brought in more exotic species, such as dorado and wahoo, still no significant numbers, but daily these fish are being found, trolling lures and drift fishing with baits both produced action. A few wahoo were taken on rapalas, others on sardinas and yo-yo’s, many lines were cut. Wahoo were weighing 30 to 50 pounds. Most of the dorado now being encountered were quality sized, in the 15 to 30 pound class, a few larger bulls mixed in. Exciting to see these fish in local waters, it has been a while, should be here to stay through the fall, as days will only become progressively warmer.

Striped marlin were being found in big numbers, anywhere from 2 to 15 miles from shore, hot spot in recent days has been off of San Jose del Cabo, more often than not mid day has been best, these billfish are aggressively striking lures and readily taking dropped back baits, at other times they would act like they were not interested, apparently preferring to gorge on the available natural food supply. The majority of these stripers have been in the 80 to 120 pound range.

Yellowfin tuna has been a main target species, as fish ranging from 15 to 250 pounds have been found, schooling on the San Luis Bank and encountered associated with porpoise further offshore. There had not been any live sardinas available during last week’s high swell, but in recent days there has been a new source for anglers out of San Jose, as commercial pangeros are making the long round trip run to La Ribera and back to supply sardinas to local sport charters. This has been the bait of choice for drifting over the banks, besides the yellowfin tuna, there have been dorado, wahoo and an occasional billfish encounter.

Keith Maurer’s group from New Jersey was fishing on Monday with La Playita skipper Chame Pino when they first caught a 90 pound class tuna, which there were very pleased with and rightfully so. This proved to be just a warm up, the next fish they hooked into really tested their endurance, after a three hour marathon battle on stout sixty pound tackle they finally brought to gaff a monster cow sized yellowfin tuna of 250 pounds. This cow had hit on a live jack, which was being soaking underneath a large bait ball. Massive bait schools are now spread throughout the area and things are really shaping up to bust wide open. The fish are here now, a little finicky at times, no huge numbers, but quality is definitely there for the taking, would not be surprised to see the season’s first 300 pound super cow be brought in to the La Playita weigh stations in the near future. Most everyday now we have been seeing yellowfin to 80 or 100 pounds, other monsters have been hooked and lost. There are still more tuna of 15 to 30 pounds being hooked on the sardinas, while the best chance of hooking into a cow has been on larger live baits.

This nest week local residents are gearing up for the traditional national holiday of the “Dia de la Marina”. In La Playita they have always taken this fiesta seriously, celebrating with three days of activities, including all night dances, carnival rides, parades, horse races and of course plenty of cerveza (beer). There will be the annual dorado, wahoo, tuna tournament. Organizers have scheduled an off road race that will be circuited through La Playtita, then into the hills, before returning to finish in La Playita, should be exciting, to say the least, to witness Baja Trophy Trucks thundering through local roads.

The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 80 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of:

3 sailfish, 39 striped marlin, 57 dorado, 86 yellowfin tuna, 24 amberjack, 7 dogtooth snapper, 58 various pargo species,12 wahoo, 55 roosterfish,88 jack crevalle, 11 cabrilla, 9 pompano, 8 hammerhead shark and 18 sierra.

Good fishing, Eric

May 22, 2011


May 20, 2011

Anglers –

The season’s first southern hemisphere swell arrived early in the week and waves ranging up to ten feet high were keeping crowds of surfers happy. This swell had been anticipated and surfers were arriving from across the globe. Ocean conditions became stirred up closer to shore, high surf conditions made it too dangerous for cast netters to net sardinas, the last few days there have not been live sardinas available. There has been a mix of live moonfish, caballito or mullet, as well as fresh dead ballyhoo or brined sardinas. Local water temperatures ranged from 72 to 77 degrees, warmer areas being found in the direction of the Gordo Banks to Los Frailes.

This recent full moon period saw the all around fishing action slow down, several coinciding factors, including high swells, no live sardinas and unpredictable winds swirling from all directions. This time period always seem to produce rapidly changing weather patterns from day to day and anglers find that the action can vary accordingly, both favorably and negatively..

Striped marlin action has been the most consistent bite for offshore charters. The marlin are being found throughout the region, seem to be more concentrated from Chileno to the Gordo Banks, weeks past most marlin were found 15 or more miles from shore, recently they are being encountered with several miles of shore. Action became more scattered in recent days and winds created choppy conditions the later part of the week. The billfish were striking on trolled lures, live baits and rigged ballyhoo, crews were crisscrossing areas where free jumpers and feeders were spotted. Most of these stripers have ranged from 80 to 120 pounds.

Dorado counts are slowly increasing, mainly found in ones and twos, though there were several reports of anglers finding larger sized schools, so that is encouraging. Late spring to early summer as a rule is the time of year when we see the largest sized dorado on the local fishing grounds. Often not in huge numbers, but most all of the fish encountered are larger sized, then as the summer progresses we see increasing numbers of schoolie sized dorado.

Yellowfin tuna are now schooling over various high spots, stirred up conditions and lack of live sardinas in recent days halted this action, but should rebound as the swells and winds reside again. Yellow fin ranging in size from ten to two hundred pounds were reported this past week. Trolling larger baifish, particularly bolito, accounted for majority of the biggest tuna. Most of the yellowfin being landed by sport fishing charters were in the 10 to 50 pound range. They were also found traveling with porpoise further offshore, it was matter of being in the right place with the correct offering.

During this same time frame in 2010 we had great wahoo action develop along the coastal stretches from Cabo San Luis towards Los Frailes, so far we have only had a taste of these fish becoming active. We will keep our fingers crossed that last year’s history repeats itself. With all of the baitfish now schooling offshore on the various banks we do have high expectations for coming weeks.

Inshore there were reports of larger sized roosterfish up to 40 pounds caught and released while trolling larger live baits (mullet, caballito or moonfish) along the beaches north of La Playita. We have also noticed increased numbers of mullet moving in. Some dogtooth action was also encountered north of Punta Gorda, though this time the fish won and the anglers lost the battles due to cut off lines on nearby reefs. A handful of amberjack were also found closer to shore on larger live bait trolled on the surface, exciting way to fish for these jacks, a couple of specimens recently topped fifty pounds.

There was not much bottom action found this last week, even though most charters were targeting surface species, the anglers that did try the bottom action reported limited success for various pargos, cabrilla and amberjack. We did see a few nice grouper brought in by the La Playita commercial panga fleet, so maybe we will see more opportunities as the weather stabilizes. This is also time we start to see more pompano in the area, they sure are fun sport and great eating.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 57 charters for the week with anglers reporting a fish count of: 21 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 8 hammerhead shark, 45 yellowfin tuna, 29 dorado, 8 cabrilla, 39 various pargo species, 24 jack crevalle, 6 yellowtail, 16 amberjack, 48 roosterfish, 6 pompano, 18 sierra and 3 wahoo.

Good Fishing, Eric

May 15, 2011


May 15, 2011

Anglers –

This is the occasion to visit the Southern Baja California area, the weather is practically perfect, highs near 85 and nights are still pleasantly cool. Winds remain a bit unpredictable, but for the most part anglers have enjoyed very comfortable ocean conditions. Despite such favorable conditions the crowds of tourists have remained substantially below normal numbers for this time of year.

Sportfishing charters are covering a wide area searching for the most productive action, typically this is the period when more consistent action is found in the direction of the Sea of Cortez and off of San Jose del Cabo. Warmer water currents were pushing in, with the areas north of the Gordo Banks averaging 75 to 80 degrees. Large concentrations of baitfish are congregating on the local fishing grounds and offshore action has started to heat up. There continue to be sardinas available of Palmilla Point, also a mix of caballito, moonfish and mullet. This is the time when we see large size schools of mullet migrating into the region, this attracts the dogtooth snapper and big roosterfish, the coming weeks will see many options open up.

Yellowfin tuna action slowed down near the San Luis Bank, north winds were a factor for a couple of days, on other days lots of tuna were seen breezing the surface, but very few were hooked. One 200 pound class yellowfin was landed late last week by local La Playita pangero Sergio Carillo while trolling with a live bolito near San Luis. We anticipate that this action will become more consistent as the weather stabilizes and continues to warm up. Schools of yellowfin were found spread out from Palmilla towards Santa Maria, anglers had blind strikes on rapalas and hoochies type lures, most of these yellowfin were in the 10 to 15 pounds class and this action was scattered day to day. The larger sized tuna were found among the dark colored porpoise that are feeding on the same fishing grounds, they have been moving fast and were finicky, but a few have been hooked and on any given day these fish could become more cooperative.

This week we have finally started to see dorado in the daily fish counts, found offshore with striped marlin and also now following baitfish closer to shore. Dorado to 30 pounds were accounted for, this is the time of year when we see big bulls move in. No significant numbers now, but it has been a long time since we have seen any dorado at all, so just hearing about them now is exciting.

Not many wahoo talked about this week, the previous week had showed signs of more activity. Surely the ideal conditions and abundant food supply will trigger more action by these wahoo in the near future.

Bottom fishing produced limited action for amberjack, yellowtail, snapper, cabrilla and grouper. Even though it was not wide open, it was worth breaking up the morning of surface trolling with a drop or two off of the rock piles, you never know what you might catch while working a yo-yo jig of drifting with bait.

Striped marlin action moved closer to shore off of San Jose del Cabo, being encountered anywhere from five miles on out, anglers found feeders, as well as free jumpers and had multiple chances per day at hook ups. The stripers were coming up and striking on lures, consistently being hooked on dropped back baits. A few sailfish were also moving into the warmer waters.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 56 charters this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of 3 sailfish, 19 striped marlin, 4 wahoo, 16 dorado, 57 yellowfin tuna, 18 bonito, 24 pargo, 28 sierra, 15 amberjack, 11 yellowtail, 17 cabrilla, 62 roosterfish, 6 pompano and 12 hammerhead sharks.

Good Fishing, Eric