February 2, 2013
Winter time weather has persuaded more people to pack their bags and head south, travel in the direction of warm sunshine, more numbers of tourists are now arriving in the Los Cabos area. This week started off with warmer days, then a cool front swept in from the north, gusty winds, to over 20 miles per hour, tapering off by the weekend. This is the time of year we see rapidly changing weather patterns, daytime temperatures ranged from 68 to 82 degrees, lows to 56. Northern winds were persistent, creating choppy ocean conditions through most of the week, strong currents with very high tidal changes coinciding with the full moon all contributed to more difficult challenges for anglers. Ocean water temperatures ranged from 69 to 74 degrees, warmest zones found outside of the Cabo San Lucas area.
Despite not having ideal conditions, charter fleets did manage to find a variety of action for their anglers. Fleets were searching in all different directions, some days they stayed close to shore, in more protected areas, this was an option when offshore conditions were just too rough to be comfortable. Sierra were the most common fish schooling along the beach stretches, anglers found best success using live sardinas for bait, these baitfish were being netted daily by the commercial pangeros near Vinorama, most of the days they would deliver the bait to off of Cardon, this is where charters were finding very good action on the sierra, weighing to 4 lb. Same spot produced a handful of dorado, but dorado numbers are much lower due to cooler currents.
The water clarity seemed to improve later in the week, cleaner blue water was reported on the La Fortuna and Iman Banks. This is where yellowfin tuna were encountered in limited numbers, up to 20 pounds, striking on sardinas, windy weather limited this action, but this proved that there were still yellowfin in the area and the weather patterns in the coming weeks will dictate what happens with these fish. If ocean currents remain stable these yellowfin might just stay in the region through the winter.
Bottom action has begun to be another available option, but this action is greatly dependent on the ocean conditions and proves very difficult in high winds. We should see more consistent action off the rock piles in the coming weeks. Yellowtail should be moving into the area soon, snapper, cabrilla, grouper, pargo, amberjack and bonito can all be found on these same grounds, there can be a smorgasbord of quality eating fish. Recent catches have included pargo and leopard groupers, striking on whole baits and yo-yo style jigs, most of these fish are in the 10 to 15 pound range, some to 30 lb. and other much heavier fish were hooked and lost to the rocks in short notice.
Schooling mackerel and sardinetas are still abundant on the bait grounds off of San Jose del Cabo, same areas where commercial shrimp trawlers operate with drag nets during the winter months. With all of this food source on the local grounds, certainly this should attract more gamefish into the region. At this time the striped marlin action has been much more consistent for the boats launching out of Cabo San Lucas, but with the quantity of baitfish holding off of San Jose del Cabo, it will be only a matter of time for the billfish bite to break wide open, perhaps just as the ocean clarity improves slightly, could happen overnight.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, sent out approximately 58 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 1 sailfish, 7 striped marlin, 12 yellowfin tuna, 68 dorado, 36 roosterfish,
1 yellowtail, 26 cabrilla, 136 pargo (various species) and 330 sierra.
Good Fishing, Eric