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April 7, 2012
This week is the official spring break locally, schools are out of session and as tradition follows, thousands of families are heading on extended camping trips along the many beaches. Crowds of tourists are moderate, though some resorts are reporting 100 % occupancy, while many other cannot say the same. Weather is ideal, sunny skies, with high temperatures in the low 80s, winds have been light and swells have resided compared to earlier in the week. Ocean currents are now on a gradual warming trend, averaging 67 off of Cabo San Lucas, up to 73 and even 75 degrees offshore of San Jose del Cabo, clean blue water was found within close proximity of shore. In early spring conditions change rapidly, historically the warmer currents push into the East Cape area first and then swift in the direction of Los Cabos by late spring.
With increased swells this past week, the commercial bait netters had to work harder to find available sources, in recent days the area of Cabo Real has been where more concentrations of sardinas were found. This was a long back track for Puerto Los Cabos Marina charters, if they planned on fishing in the direction of Iman or San Luis. So the majority of the charters who traveled to where the sardinas were now schooling, also ended up fishing in this same direction, off of Chileno to Red Hill. There were caballito available from the marina areas and on the offshore fishing grounds there were skipjack, which some anglers used for marlin or grouper bait. Fresh frozen ballyhoo where being rigged for trolling on the offshore grounds, mainly for either striped marlin or dorado. Lots of marlin now off of the San Jose del Cabo region, 5 to 20 miles offshore, these fish became more finicky with the full moon, the stripers were seen lazily tailing on the surface, but often were not interested in striking on any of the angler’s offerings. We expect with the waning moon these billfish will again bite like they did last week, ocean conditions are favorable, cleaner warm currents with quite a few flying fish starting to appear, this is always a favorable sign.
Dorado has been found in very limited numbers, most of the time just single fish, striking lures or bait, encountered on the same grounds as where the striped marlin were found. Of the few dorado accounted for, several were over 30 pounds, the next several months is normally when we find larger sized dorado, not as numerous as the schoolies can be during the summer months, but this can be the time to land a trophy sized bull. No wahoo being talked about in recent days, though with warming weather patterns prevailing we do expect that these sought migratory pelagics, will start to make their presence along the inshore drop offs.
Anglers found that sierra were the most common inshore species, ranged to five pounds, also a mix of roosterfish, most of these under ten pounds, a few jack crevalle pushing twenty pounds, these freight trains will definitely test your light tackle skills. Bottom action has not producing big consistent catches, most of the time just a mix of smaller sized pargo, cabrilla and bonito, but there were a few big grouper in the mix, most of these being hooked into around the Iman Bank by serious anglers using whole skipjack for bait, commercial style, using extra heavy weight gear in order to have a chance at battling these brutes away from the sharp rocky reefs. We are still seeing an occasional yellowtail from these same San Jose areas, though more numbers of yellows continue to be caught off of the East Cape grounds, as well as around the corner off of the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas.
Only an occasional encounter with yellowfin tuna being reported, at times encountered traveling with porpoise, a few nice tuna up to 100 pounds were landed this way and another few fish were hooked into around the Iman area while drift fishing with sardinas, these yellowfin ranged in the 30 to 70 pound class, pangeros reported seeing the tuna come up sporadically, disappearing fast and rarely interested in biting, surely they have acquired a taste for red crabs that are holding deeper, along with the full moon, not an easy target species at this time.Quite a few sharks throughout the area now, thrashers and makos offshore and hammerhead and reef sharks off of the structure, this makes bottom fishing more challenging. Outside of the Gordo Banks anglers reported seeing many thrashers free jumping, a few anglers were successfully hooked up while drifting baits down deep, landing sharks to 140 pounds.
The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 66 charters this past week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 6 mako shark, 4 thresher shark, 14 hammerhead shark, 16 striped marlin, 4 yellowfin tuna, 20 bonito, 8 pompano, 16 jack crevalle, 32 pargo, 56 roosterfish, 10 grouper, 28 cabrilla, 4 yellowtail and 365 sierra.
Good fishing, Eric