November 24,2012

November 23, 2012
Anglers –

Crowds of visitors tapered off this past week, compared to earlier in the month, the majority of United States residents stay on home ground for the Thanksgiving holiday. There were many adventurous family groups that headed south in search of warm sunshine. While much of the U.S. is now feeling the chill factor of winter settling in, the Southern Baja Peninsula has felt very pleasant warm sunny conditions, with high temperatures reaching the mid 80s. Variable winds are becoming more persistent from the north, ranging from 10 to 15 mph, this is the normal pattern throughout the fall and winter months. From Cabo San Lucas to Los Frailes ocean currents have been ranging 82/83 degrees, not much in the way of temperature breaks. Water has been exceptionally clear, sport divers reportedly were able to see the bottom structure of the Gordo Banks sea mount, where the pinnacle rises to within 110 feet of the surface.

The week began with stiffer winds from the north, before settling down mid week. On certain days this limited where charters were able to comfortably fish, when offshore grounds were too rough, there were opportunities in calmer areas closer to shore that were producing catches of yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, sailfish and even a few striped marlin. Finding sufficient supplies of live bait was more time consuming and require long travel distances at times for minimal supplies, it is the period when schooling sardinas begin to migrate further into the Sea of the Cortez. These migratory patterns are now more unpredictable perhaps with the warmer than usual ocean temperatures. Still plenty of skipjack on the fishing grounds, no squid being reportedly encountered in the area.

The yellowfin tuna action on the Gordo Banks slowed way down, though a few of the larger sized tuna were accounted for, there was not much other action reported from thee banks, nor were the fish seen surfacing. There has been no drastic change of conditions and there is plenty of baitfish on these grounds, so we expect the yellowfin are still lurking in the vicinity. The tuna schooling on Iman Bank recently have averaged in the 10 to 20 pound class, mixed with aggressive skipjack, have have become very finicky, yellowfin were seen feeding on the surface, but were very shy towards striking baits with hooks, light leaders proved beneficial in hooking up, catches would vary from one or two fish per boat, to as many as a dozen. Dorado were spread out, most of the time single fish were coming into the chum line, mixed sizes, a handful of nice size bulls were accounted for. There continue to be reports of larger quantities of dorado being found on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, same areas that are also producing some good numbers for striped marlin.

Wahoo became more active this week, anglers trolling chihuil and ballyhoo baits reported strikes, rapalas produced strikes as well, a larger grade of wahoo were appearing, not as many as the small juveniles, one 70 pound class wahoo was accounted for and many others in the 20 to 45 pounds range, still no big numbers, but anglers were reporting multiple opportunities per trip. The area of La Fortuna to Iman Banks was where the majority of the wahoo strikes were taken. Things are shaping up for a good late season bite for these elusive wahoo, boat pressure, water temperature, food source and clarity are all key factors as to when these fish really become the most active, we are anticipating wahoo action through the month of December.

Sierras are being found along the beach stretches now, most of these fish have been smaller sized, just the beginning of the season for this cooler water species. Not much consistent action was found off the bottom, though a few impressive specimens of dogtooth snapper, amberjack, yellowtail and cabrilla were taken.

The combined panga fleets out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, sent out approximately 182 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
3 striped marlin, 36 wahoo, 12 sailfish, 2 yellowtail, 96 dorado, 375 yellowfin tuna, 14 amberjack, 10 cabrilla, 70 sierra, 5 dogtooth snapper, 24 misc. pargo, 16 rainbow runners and 400 skipjack .

Good Fishing, Eric

November 17, 2012

November 17, 2012
Anglers –

Ideal weather patterns continue to attract crowds of anglers in the direction of Southern Baja California. Warm sunny skies with temperatures reaching into the 80s, variable winds, more predominate from out of the north. Ocean swells were minimal, tidal swings are high now and water temperatures are ranging from 80 to 84 degrees. Currents are appearing favorable for an extended fall season, possible into the new year.

Last week WON held their annual Tuna Jackpot Tournament, this event is the highest stake tuna tournament in the world and definitely lived up to its billing once again. The majority of the 121 teams concentrated their efforts on the Gordo Banks, as these fishing grounds had been the only place where larger yellowfin had been consistently found for the past month. Local knowledge would definitely be imperative, knowing exactly how to fish these particular grounds is an art passed down through the generations. In a story book ending, the local La Playita team aboard the custom sportfisher “Estrella del Norte” pulled off first place honors with an incredible super cow that weighed in at 372 pounds, walking away with a check for $223 thousand dollars. Great achievement for these local anglers, big congratulations goes out to team members James Rosenwald, Donald Luhita, Carlos and Eduardo Beltran.

There is only one drawback to this tournament being held during the busy fall season, as this puts tremendous pressure on the inshore bait source, namely sardinas, as scores of these teams spend days gathering as many freshly brined sardinas as possible in order to have the steady chum to give them the possible edge needed to hook that winning fish. We have noticed for the past several seasons that immediately following this event there has been a significant shortage of baitfish available to supply the busy charter fleets, commercial netters are scrambling to find sufficient sources. There is a combined factor that these same baitfish follow migratory patterns, but there is the issue of relentless pressure on the available source that should be addressed and there should be set limits of how much of a certain bait source a team can acquire.

Charter fleets have been fishing in areas where they have been able secure baitfish, some days near Santa Maria and once again they are finding batfish inshore near Vinorama, either spot has been a long run for boats departing out of Puerto Los Cabos Marina. Punta Gorda and Iman Bank has been producing action on yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 18 pound range, mixed with skipjack and at times the fish are just coming to the surface in brief periods of flurries. Some charters scratched to get three or four tuna and others had their limits per angler. The larger sized yellowfin remain on the Gordo Bank, but have become more elusive, heavy yacht pressure on the Outer Banks does not make it easy for the normal day charter boats to be able to drift fish how they normally prefer to do. Every day we are still seeing a few fish in the 100 to 200 pound class being accounted for, but this is for quite few boats, not a lot of hook ups considering how many lines are in the water. We expect these yellowfin tuna to continue to hold around the Gordo Banks as long as these conditions remain to their liking.

Wahoo have seemed to have had lockjaw this past week, there were scattered reports of lines being cut off and baits sliced in half, but very few wahoo have actually been brought in to the docks and this is the time of year when we expect to see more activity for these prized gamefish. Perhaps we will benefit from late season action, since water temperatures are still holding a bit higher than normal.

The combined panga fleets out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, sent out approximately 215 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
4 striped marlin, 12 wahoo, 9 sailfish, 3 yellowtail, 105 dorado, 955 yellowfin tuna,
8 amberjack, 16 cabrilla, 45 sierra, 16 pargo, 22 rainbow runners and 850 skipjack .

Good Fishing, Eric

November 10, 2012

November 10, 2012
Anglers –

This time period always is one of the busiest of the year for the Los Cabos area, no exception this season, as anglers from across the globe are arriving by the plane load, with high expectations of fun times to be had by all. The weather has been ideal, sunny skies, with highs in the lower 80s. Some moderate winds blowing out of the north, but for the most part anglers enjoyed comfortable ocean conditions. The last event of this season’s high stake fishing tournaments is being held at this time, this is the WON Tuna Jackpot, with some 120 teams participating this year, surely there will be some monster fish stories developing.

Ocean currents are remaining a bit warmer than usual for this time period, temperatures have ranged 82/84 degrees throughout most of the region. Clean blue water is now moving right in close to the shoreline. Supplies of sardinas also become scarcer during these high pressure times, just too many charters to supply live bait to, the resource can be limited and these baitfish also have their migratory patterns. Waiting for bait was worth the time if you were after the fast action for the 10 to 20 pound yellowfin tuna, which were found within a mile of shore, several spots were holding schooling tuna, area off of Punta Gorda was one of the most productive, also the Iman Bank had good numbers.

The majority of charters out of San Jose del Cabo were concentrating on the inshore grounds, where the yellowfin tuna dominated the action, lots of skipjack were mixed in and there were scattered small schools of dorado. Wahoo were showing more signs of activity, The Iman Bank early in the morning was one of the reefs where these fish are now being encountered, many juvenile sized wahoo in the area, a few wahoo in the 40 to 50 pound class were landed. Slow trolling trap rigged larger baitfish or higher speed troll with Rapalas, purple once again has been the hot pattern.

The only place where anyone has heard about seeing or catching larger sized yellowfin tuna in the Southern Baja region has been on the Gordo Banks, this action has been going on for the last month, tuna to over 300 pounds have been taken, with scores of fish in the 150 to 250 pound class accounted for. Heavy pressure on these yellowfin makes them even more finicky. All of these tuna are striking on various baits, chunk, strip, whole baits, dead and live, active chumming necessary to entice the fish to feed. The panga fleets did account for several fish over 200 pounds this past week, the way the conditions seem now, this bite could last through the next month.

Only limited action being found off the bottom now, with a handful of amberjack, snapper and cabrilla being the most common species, most of these fish were in the 5 to 15 pound class. A few early season sierra are starting to patrol inshore waters.

The combined panga fleets out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, sent out approximately 245 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
16 wahoo, 7 sailfish, 405 dorado, 1580 yellowfin tuna, 13 amberjack, 5 dogtooth snapper, 22 cabrilla, 22 sierra, 8 roosterfish, 20 pargo and 1250 skipjack .

Good Fishing, Eric