September 8, 2012

September 8, 2012
Anglers –

This week started off with thundershowers on Monday, this squall developed from a local disturbance, shifting in from the east and joining forces with the outer bands of Tropical Storm John, red flag conditions throughout the area, ports were closed, winds to 30/40 mph, swells increased to 4/5 meters, before resided that same afternoon, a bit unusual to see such a swell weaken so quickly. On Tuesday skies were clear and ocean conditions nice, though for some reason local Port Authorities left the red flag flying until later in the day, which meant morning charters were canceled, at least this was the situation for Puerto Los Cabos Marina. There has been a calming trend all week, the satellite map is the clearest it has been for weeks, no area of low pressure at this time, of course this is still the peak season when tropical storms can develop virtually overnight. In the meantime the Atlantic has two named storms brewing, Hurricanes Leslie and Michael. The next Eastern Pacific system will be named Kristy, hopefully she stays clear of Baja, because local cleanup crews are already working overtime, tackling the mess left by flooding rainfall. We can say that the desperate local drought situation is now officially over.

We are starting to feel that first sign of cooler early morning fall airflow, though by mid day the humidity is off the charters, September is always a humid time of year, as days progressively shorten, in another few weeks weather will really transition. Ocean currents are following unpredictable patterns, raging shift one day and slacking off the next, normally summertime has slower drifts, water temperatures are now in the 85/87 degree range. Inshore waters have been murky from recent runoffs, but are now clearing daily, as surf conditions are weakening.

Crowds of anglers are light, ocean conditions are ideal, it is the perfect time to try your luck fishing on the many local hot spots. In recent days there has been encouraging signs, with large concentrations of skipjack found on the fishing grounds, sardinas are once again available, being netted off the Vinorama stretch and caballito is the common baitfish near the marinas.

Yellowfin tuna have been slow to move in this summer, no real consistent action throughout the summer, just in recent weeks there has been more tuna activity being reported, most commonly smaller football sized, but there is another grade of 100/200 lb. yellowfin in the area, a handful have been landed. Everything appears to be gearing up for the action to bust loose at any time. Though there is one discouraging note, that many commercial tuna seiners are also now present in the area, just like clockwork, as soon as the season’s first tuna are appearing within the range of local charter fleets, now we have this armada of commercial vessels, equipped with helicopters on board that are able to pinpoint the schooling yellowfin, they rarely miss when they set their gear. Taking every last fish there is, It is a big ocean, these operators can go elsewhere to fill their quotas, would be hopeful to see enforcement of particular zones, designated for commercial of sportfishing, very hard to maintain a sustainable fishery how the situation is now managed.

Dorado remain the most common species being encountered by charter fleets, the majority of the fish have been small to medium, 5 to 15 lb., though there has been a fair share of larger specimens mixed in. Limits have been the rule, remember to release as many females as possible, they have the smaller rounded off forehead, the males have the squared off front.

Bottom action remained a productive option for early bird specials, as these fish were only really striking on the yo-yo jigs early in the day. The San Luis Bank was the spot for red snapper (huachinango), amberjack, cabrilla and even a few yellowtail were rounding out this action. Of course plenty of triggerfish for the asking, they hold in that shallower 30 to 100 ft. inshore zone.

Striped marlin and sailfish continue to be the more common billfish encountered off of San Jose del Cabo grounds, we do expect to hear new reports about more black and blues being hooked into. Recalling that during this same period last year there was action on the Gordo Banks. More tournament teams will now start to scout out and prefish the grounds, preparing to gain an local edge for the upcoming high stake tournaments.

The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 36 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 striped marlin, 8 sailfish, 184 dorado, 12 yellowfin tuna, 8 cabrilla, 17 amberjack, 2 dogtooth snapper, 2 yellowtail, 28 huachinango, 18 white skipjack, 8 bonito and 6 hammerhead sharks.

Good Fishing, Eric

September 1, 2012

September 1, 2012
Anglers –

Lush tropical desert landscape is now greeting light crowds of late summer tourists to Los Cabos, recent rains have transformed the region, the desert is looking more like a jungle, humidity levels raise this time of year and we can also start to feel a hint of fall air conditions in the early morning. Presently the Los Cabos area is feeling the side bands of Hurricane Ileana, which is following a northwesterly path, keeping a distance of three hundred miles from Cabo San Lucas. Wednesday evening and through Thursday there were scattered thundershowers throughout the area, at times quite significant, thunder and lightning accompanied the show. Sportfishing operations were closed Thursday, back in operation Friday. This is the now time of year that can be very unpredictable, the rest of September will most likely be similiar, ocean temperatures are averaging 85 degrees, plenty warm to fuel any tropical storms that develop nearby.

Fleets have spread out looking for action, no particular hot spot now, there is an abundance of skipjack of all sizes on the local fishing grounds, as well as flying fish and bolito. From the marina there have been supplies of caballito and jurelito, with small sardinas found some days. Larger sized sardinas had been schooling north, near Vinorama, but higher surf conditions recently has shut this down, over the weekend forecasts call for residing swells, so sardinas should be in the mix again.

Dorado were the most common fish being found, trolling with lures and then fishing bait has been a productive way to go, sometimes associated with floating debris fields, while other times found near food sources, from close to shore to farther offshore, more of the larger bulls were being found in deeper water. Average dorado was ranging 5 to 12 lb., with a percentage up to 20 lb. or heavier. Limits were the rule, trying to release the smaller fish, looking to keep larger fish for table fare. Only an occasional wahoo encounter being reported, we look for these fish to become more active in the coming weeks.

Bottom action had been for the commercial style extra early departure to catch the first light red snapper bite on San Luis Bank, though this is tapering off now and with the weather patterns has been on hold this week. Triggerfish are thick, but other species, such as amberjack, pargo, pompano, grouper and cabrilla have been tougher to find. A fast current is still running rampant on most days, making bottom drifting more of a chore.

Gordo Banks has been slow to get going this summer, some billfish and dorado hanging around, but in recent days there been reports of yellowfin tuna, these were smaller sized tuna, but at least a sign that they were showing on the grounds. Slow trolling skipjack baits produced some dorado, sailfish and striped marlin strikes, also a handful of black and blue marlin have s reportedly come up on these same baits.

Local surf anglers reported a couple of snook off of the San Jose Estuary, jacks and pompano have worked for baits, anglers put in long hours, many factors are involved, being at the right place, with the preferred bait and on a favorable tide, can produce trophy sized snook to over 30 pounds, with late summer being the peak season for this fishery.

The combined panga fleet out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 42 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of:
3 sailfish, 7 striped marlin, 210 dorado, 18 yellowfin, 8 amberjack, 3 grouper, 13 cabrilla, 36 huachinango (red snapper), 28 pargo and 12 bonito.

Good fishing, Eric