July 28, 2012
Anglers –

This week we saw varying summer weather patterns, started with calm days, warm and humid days, highs of 95 degrees, clear blue ocean water was found close to shore, then later in the week, gusty afternoon breezes from the south attributed to churning seas, pushing in greenish water and now we wait for conditions to return to how they had been, and at this time of year this can happen within a day. Presently the ocean temperatures are ranging from 80 degrees near Cabo San Lucas, up to 86 degrees towards Los Frailes. To the south, there is no Tropical Cyclone activity at this time, sunny skies with some intermittent scattered clouds and at times there was a cooling afternoon breeze from the Pacific that helped give welcome relief to the sticky weather.

This week officially marks beginning of the summer/fall Southern Baja Tournament Season, as the Bisbee’s East Cape event is being held, with some sixty teams participating for a share of the prize money. Should be a fun time for everyone involved, this tournament is a warm up event, preparing for the even larger stake tournaments coming in the Fall.

Sportfishing fleets were covering a wide area in search of the best opportunities, from the Pacific, where there were reports of tuna, dorado and billfish, much of this was close to 20 miles from shore, in the vicinity of Jaime Bank, but the majority of charters were heading in the direction of the fishing grounds such as the 950 & 1150 spots, to the Gordo Banks, San Luis and Desteladera. San Luis Bank was holding more schools of bolito baitfish, which were being caught and used for slow trolling on the surface for a variety of gamefish. Although at this time there were not large numbers of any particular species being found, there was definitely a variety of quality fish being encountered. Everyday this week we have been hearing reports of large yellowfin tuna being hooked into, in the 150 to 200 plus pound class, these fish were striking on live bolito in and around the Iman to San Luis Bank, so for a handful of these fish have been landed, specimens of 150 and 213 lb. in the past few days, but many other stories were told of massive missed strikes or big fish being lost for various reasons after long battles. There was a grand slam mix of sailfish, striped marlin, blue and black marlin on these same grounds, all hitting on the same baits. Several marlin in the 300 pound class were caught and released from charters based out of Puerto Los Cabos Marina.

Live caballito and mullet were available from the marina area, but these baits were not what the offshore species preferred at this time, anglers reported much more success using the freshly caught lively bolito. This is now the style of fishing where you need patience while trolling around waiting for strikes, most boats were averaging several chances on big fish each day. There was no particular spot where a lot of numbers of smaller sized fish were found, so it is basically the same chance at hooking into a larger of smaller fish. Though if specifically targeting larger fish, you do need to be using gear that is capable of having the chance at actually landing the fish. Dorado are very spread out, bulls up to 40 pounds were accounted for, though no numbers and the majority of the do-do s found were medium sized. Trolling with bolito is a very good method for finding big bull dorado.

Early in the week there were schools of smaller sized yellowfin found on San Luis Bank, they hit on hoochies, as well as other small lures and for the few charters that were able to purchase live sardinas from commercial pangeros that had come from the north near Los Frailes, they really did well on these yellowfin. Then this action faded and larger tuna all of sudden made a presence, apparently attracted to the large concentrations of food, particularly their favored bolito.

Bottom action was not consistent, though there continued to be an productive early morning bite happening for huachinango, the true Pacific red snapper, this action was found at first light on the San Luis Bank and these fish were only striking on yo-yo style jigs, weighing up to 12 pounds, and excellent eating. There was only an odd amberjack or grouper being found, more triggerfish that any other species now being found off of the shallow rock piles. This is the time when larger grouper move onto the shallow water structure to feed on the abundant food available and anglers use larger whole baits for drift fishing over these rocky areas, hoping to hook into a monster that will truly test their skill in trying to win the battle of not being broke off in the rocks.

Roosterfish are still patrolling the shoreline, but not as numerous as they had been off of San Jose del Cabo and to the north, there were reports of wide open roosterfish action found out of the East Cape, though most charters from this area are having to traveling further south than Los Frailes in order to find any offshore action.

The combined panga fleet out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 48 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of:
8 striped marlin, 6 sailfish, 1 black marlin, 1 blue marlin, 38 dorado, 26 yellowfin, 12 amberjack, 9 grouper, 14 cabrilla, 16 roosterfish, 44 huachinango (red snapper) and 24 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

July 21, 2012
Anglers –

We are now into the heat of the summer, there was never any rainfall felt in the lowlands of Los Cabos from recent tropical activity, north of the International airport there was some significant rain accumulations, enough water that even the San Jose Arroyo ran off towards the ocean, under the new bridge leading to Puerto Los Cabos Marina, slight as this was, any little bit to help water tables, since there has not been much rain water seen in recent years due to extended drought conditions. Days are now mostly clear, though it is the time of year that afternoon tropical clouds develop over the mountains. At this time there are no new tropical storm systems developing to the south, conditions have settled down, warm days with little wind, many surfers in town now taking advantage of ideal surf conditions. Offshore ocean conditions really came into shape this past week, progressively clearing, clean blue water can now be found close to shore, from Cabo San Lucas towards Los Frailes water temperatures are averaging 82 to 85 degrees. Ocean currents continue to be strong, but have shown signs of weakening some.

There was an abundant supply of caballito and mullet, but no sardinas were now available south of Los Frailes. Good news was that schooling bolito were now being encountered on the local fishing grounds, these are always one of the preferred and most productive baitfish during the warm water months. This season has been plagued with swift currents, rapidly changing, at times very dirty water, green and sometimes brownish, but we do finally have blue water now and we are optimistic that this will help the fishing action to get back on track and up to Cabo standards.

There were good numbers of striped marlin now being found throughout the area and not too far offshore, trolling lures anglers have been taking strikes, as well as casting baits to tailing fish, the majority of the stripers recently have been of smaller sized, 50 to 100 pounds. Some sailfish were following warm currents into the area, as they were now found feeding on the same marlin grounds.

Counts of dorado were down this past week, not being found on the buoys as they were, most of the dorado caught in recent days were closer to shore in the Chileno to Santa Maria and were smaller in size, striking on a variety of trolled lures. On the marlin ground there was an occasional larger bull dorado being landed. Same area was producing scattered action for football sized yellowfin tuna, also striking on medium sized lures. No porpoise activity here, minimal bird activity, a few flying fish, basically just blind strikes while trolling, when schools were found it was common to have multiple hook ups. Catches were still hit or miss, day to day, charters accounted for varying numbers of fish, from one or two, up to ten or more in combination. There were reports of yellowfin tuna once again schooling in the area just to south of Los Frailes, this spot is out of range of smaller daily charters, mainly grounds where private sportfishers are able to reach when launching out of Puerto Los Cabos Marina.

The huachinango (red snapper) bite is going strong on the San Luis Bank. These prized snapper are striking on yo-yo jigs, anchovy style working best, fish are weighing in the 8 to 12 pound range. The deal is that these fish are only striking very early, so this has been more of an option for the commercial fleet, they have been departing as early as 4:30 to 5 a.m. Some sportfishing charters are also getting in on this action, you need to obtain your fishing license in advance though, but local officials who sell licenses normally do not arrive before 6:00 a.m.

Along the shoreline there have been roosterfish found, but not in as large as numbers as in previous weeks. Some amberjack are hanging around the PLC Marina jetty entrance and there is a chance at hooking a nice sized fish in this area where baitfish congregate, drifting with live caballito or moonfish has been the ticket for this, also slow trolling on the surface, even though that is a better way to entice a roosterfish. A few nice dogtooth snapper were also muscled away from the inshore rock outcroppings north of Punta Gorda, at least one specimen was over 50 pounds, up until now there has not been much of a season for the dogtooth, this is the time when we normally see these largest of snapper species start to swift locations, from close to shore to the offshore rock piles, this migration is matter of following their preferred food source.

The combined panga fleet out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 56 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 9 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 45 dorado, 36 yellowfin, 24 amberjack, 12 grouper, 16 cabrilla, 10 jack crevalle, 22 roosterfish, 15 yellow snapper, 5 bonito, 48 huachinango (red snapper), 3 dogtooth snapper and 20 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

July 14, 2012

July 14, 2012
Anglers –

Summertime weather patterns have definitely arrived in Southern Baja. This past week was very tropical, first real heat wave of the season, humidity steadily increased as three storms developed to the south and all followed similar westerly paths, staying well clear of any landfall. First there was Dennis, then Emilia, which did become a major Hurricane and now there is TS Fabio which is still gaining strength as it follows a more northwesterly track. No local rainfall to date, forecasts are predicting a chance of precipitation this weekend. So far the only impact for the Los Cabos area has been the muggy humid conditions and higher ocean swells, up to eight feet, some rainfall would be welcome, as the landscape is parched due to an extended drought.

Crowds of anglers remained light as fishing action has not been up to normal Cabo standards, main reason being the unusual weather patterns, rapidly changing ocean currents. This week started out with settled calmer conditions, blue water was even being reported for the first time in what seems like months now, water temperatures averaged 83/84 degrees to about 20 miles offshore, where it dropped into the 80 degree range. As the week progressed seas became more unpredictable due to the trio of storms brewing to the south, even though these systems were some 500 miles distant, they were powerful enough to create rough conditions on local fishing grounds.

The dorado action around the commercial set buoys north of San Luis Bank which had been the main option for San Jose del Cabo fleets last week came to a standstill, the charters that did make the 25 to 35 mile run to these buoys reported that no dorado were found congregating there anymore. So fleets spread out looking for other options, as choppy offshore conditions developed and strong currents limited what could be found.

One productive option for anglers was to depart very early and head to San Luis Bank and use yo-yo style jigs to target huachinango (red snapper), these true Pacific snapper were hitting well early on the jigs, weighing to 12 lb., mixed in were some amberjack in the 5 to 30 pound class, a few cabrilla and grouper to 30 lb. and even a couple of yellowtail to 30 lb.This bite held up strong until midweek when weather put a damper on things and the current became so swift that anglers could hardly get their five ounce jigs to sink.

In the mean time other charters scouted further offshore and found scattered action around the Gordo Banks area for sailfish, striped marlin and dorado, no significant numbers, but a few quality fish were accounted for, including bull dorado up to fifty pounds. A few missed wahoo strikes were reported, determined by the telltale cut lines and lure skirts.

Yellowfin tuna were making an appearance now in the daily fish counts, most of the time they were found not associated with porpoise activity, they were encountered 30 to 40 miles from launching area, not the normal traveling distance for day charters. More concentrations were located off of Los Frailes, but tuna were also now being found off of Cabo San Lucas and offshore of Chileno. Once the tuna schools were found anglers could troll virtually any type of lure and catch quick limits on yellowfin tuna that averaged 10 to 20 pounds, but went up to 40 lb. We do expect this type of action to continue and move within more reasonable range as summer ocean conditions stabilize

Inshore action consisted mainly of slow trolling caballito of mullet baits for roosterfish, bite was a bit slower with higher surf conditions, sometimes best early and on other days later in the morning, there were some impressive roosterfish to fifty pounds landed. The only sardinas now being found, have been north of Los Frailes, Los Cabos fleets have had caballito, mullet, moonfish or jurelito.

The combined panga fleet out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 67 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 18 dorado, 85 yellowfin, 28 amberjack, 2 yelowtail, 9 grouper, 17 cabrilla, 6 jack crevalle, 34 roosterfish, 18 yellow snapper, 10 bonito, 115 huachinango (red snapper) and 28 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric