January 5, 2013
As the annual Holiday Season now winds down, there are many groups of families in Los Cabos enjoying their final days in the warm sunshine of Southern Baja before returning home to their normal daily routines. As the winter season has now officially started, local weather has been unbeatable, sunny days with high temperatures averaging 75 degrees. As is the normal pattern for this time of year, there have been persistent northerly winds developing; this contributes to a rapid cooling trend of ocean waters. Currents sweeping in from the north are now averaging in the 72/73 degree range from Los Frailes to Chileno, while offshore of San Jose del Cabo and south towards Cabo San Lucas, on the fishing grounds of the 95 and 1150 areas, there is warmer 75/76 degree waters found.
Conditions are changing now, cooler waters moving in, unpredictable baitfish migrations, currents and winds also running strong. This is the normal pattern during winter time, lasts through March and then slowly begins the spring time warming trend, another transition period. Every year there are unpredictable trends which constantly change what exactly happens. So far this year seems to be following on a normal track.
While yellowfin tuna have become harder to find for the past few weeks, some tuna are being found further offshore with porpoise, though choppy seas made this hit or miss, still an odd yellowfin being landed off the Gordo Banks, but we have seen this bite fade out now for the past month. In the mean time there have been good numbers of striped marlin, a few late season sailfish, dorado and wahoo keeping anglers occupied. Inshore there are now more sierra appearing, these fast fish are readily striking sardinas, hoochies and rapalas. Some juvenile sized roosterfish scattered along the beach stretches, along with some jack crevalle.
There had been great marlin action off of San Jose del Cabo, this was prior to the most recent full moon, when there had been concentrations of schooling mackerel and sardinetas holding a few miles from shore. This action has faded for the time being and now the better billfish action has been found off of the Pacific grounds and around the 95 and 1150 spots, when weather conditions allowed. Stripers were striking best on cast or dropped back baits, with most marlin weighing in the 80 to 120 pound class, surprisingly a few sailfish also hanging around in the cooling waters.
Dorado are still being found in respectable numbers, most of these fish weighed 5 to 15 lb., a few larger bulls mixed in, these gamefish were found throughout the region, from close to shoe to the offshore marlin grounds. From Punta Gorda, Cardon and La Fortuna, this was perhaps the most productive area in recent days, protected from the northern winds, dorado were found while trolling both lures and bait. Wahoo made a strong showing on these same grounds, most of these fish were relatively small sized, 8 to 15 lb., but there were a handful of respectable 30 to 40 lb. wahoo mixed in with the same juvenile schools. The ‘hoo hit on a wide variety of lures and baitfish, including cast and retrieving jigs, slow trolling with small sardina baits, as well as on rapalas and ballyhoo. With the rapid cooling trend of northern currents, this could be the final bite for these pelagic, which do prefer currents closer to 80 degrees, not 70.
We do expect that there will be more bottom action taking place, as well as increased inshore surface action for the coming months. Striped marlin is always the main offshore target species, now through April. Global weather is increasingly more unpredictable, who knows, maybe another el Nino current could develop at any time. Be it offshore, inshore of off the bottom, there is always a variety of action to be found during the winter months for anglers wishing to get out of the snow and feel some warm sunshine.
The combined panga fleets out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, sent out approximately 98 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
5 sailfish, 11 striped marlin, 116 wahoo, 6 yellowtail, 374 dorado, 13 yellowfin tuna, 115 sierra, 32 roosterfish, 18 bonito, 18 jack crevalle
Good Fishing, Eric