Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado, also Wahoo on Local Grounds ~ Dec. 7, 2013


December 7, 2013
Anglers –

Despite being the week after Thanksgiving there are still good numbers of tourists in town, many simply looking for the warmer weather, as much of the northern territories are now enduring icy wintry conditions. Local weather has been great, mostly sunny days, some scattered cloud cover, highs averaging 80 degrees. Winds were now predominately blowing from the north, this past week the breeze was moderate and anglers enjoyed nice ocean conditions, this is the time of year when there are cycles of gusty winds which last several days. Los Cabos is situated on the Southern Peninsula, when offshore fishing grounds are blown out from too much wind, there can be other options found in more protected areas.

Sportfishing fleets are now fishing all of the normal grounds in various directions, ocean temperature is now steady throughout the region, from the Pacific banks to Los Frailes, averaging in the 78/79 degree range, no great temperature break, conditions are a bit warmer than normal, though we do expect to see a cooling trend as days now progressively become shorter. Bait supplies have varied a bit from day to day, caballito and sardinas have been available recently on a regular basis, sardinas have been found towards Los Frailes and the commercial fleet has been delivering them to panga charters on Iman to Vinorama. Other bait options included ballyhoo, slabs of squid, chihuil and skipjack. Overall the bait situation has improved.

San Jose del Cabo fleets have been fishing mainly on the grounds from Santa Maria, where there has been steady action for striped marlin, with dorado and a few wahoo mixed in, more numbers of charters were now heading in the direction of the Iman Bank, where the odds of finding yellowfin tuna were best, anglers were drift fishing with striped squid or sardinas, the tuna were averaging 10 to 20 pounds, striking more readily on lighter leaders, catches varied from one or two per boat, up to 15 fish, matter of being in the right place when the fish were in the feeding mood. On Thursday there was one 100 pound class yellowfin tuna landed off the Gordo Banks, first larger grade tuna we have heard about for the past couple of weeks, maybe a chance still at a cow. Dorado were found on these same grounds and scattered throughout the area, smaller sized schools, most of the fish 10 pounds or less, though there were exceptions of larger bulls landed. Trolling medium sized lures or larger sized baitfish was a productive technique for finding the dorado.

Wahoo are doing what they commonly do, remain elusive even during the supposedly peak season. These fish are definitely in the area, there are hook ups being reported daily, just no huge numbers or with any consistency, holding on the ledges, along drop offs, over structure, normally encountered in water depths from 100 to 200 feet. Trolling with rapalas, skirted lead heads and with rigged larger sized baitfish are what these fish will commonly strike on, rapid strikes, like no other, many lost strikes, happen so fast, either on or off. With the water temperatures now in the preferred range for wahoo we are optimistic that on any given day these fish could become more increasingly active. Anglers recently have been fortunate to lane one or two of these fish, the wahoo being brought in have been averaging in the 20 to 40 pound range.

Off the bottom structure, across the Iman Bank, anglers reported more success while dropping larger baitfish, caballito, skipjack or chihuil, near the bottom, there were amberjack, grouper and dogtooth snapper accounted for, no big numbers, but quality fish in the 30 to 60 pound class. A couple of yellowtail were reported by the commercial fleets fishing in deeper waters for snapper, these yellows were over 30 pounds, home guard fish, holding in the cooler depths. Several nice sized sierra were taken on the offshore banks, a bit out of their normal habitat closer to shore. Quite a few bonito now on the same grounds, mixed with yellowfin tuna and black skipjack, this is normally a sign of cooling waters, as sierra become plentiful along the beaches.

Many whales now being spotted, these whales are just showing in greater numbers, arriving from their northern grounds, we are also seeing other sea life, including manta rays, sea lions, turtles and lots of birds.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 135 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 11 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 39 wahoo, 190 bonito, 15 cabrilla, 13 amberjack, 2 dogtooth snapper,45 sierra, 260 dorado and 445 yellowfin tuna.

Good fishing, Eric

Anglers Find Steady Action For Tuna on Iman Bank ~ Nov. 30, 2013


November 30, 2013
Anglers –

Thanksgiving vacationers visiting Los Cabos this week were greeted with pristine weather conditions. As much of the United States was being impacted by powerful storms, in Southern Baja the climate has been ideal, highs ranging 75/80 degrees, scattered early day cloud cover, with plenty of sunshine the rest of the day. Early in the week there were strong gusting winds whipping in from the north, this limited angler’s options for a few days, later in the week the winds resided and ocean conditions were much more comfortable.

Water temperatures were ranging from 76 degrees on the Pacific to 79/80 degrees off of San Jose del Cabo and towards Los Frailes. Live caballito and other jacks have been available, should not be long before we see schools of mackerel appearing on local grounds. Sardinas are starting to be found in closer proximity, but this is still a day to day situation on quantity and exactly where these baitfish are located. Squid and ballyhoo have been offered at the dock area, overall the bait situation has improved, with lighter pressure in coming weeks, this should give the resource a chance to rebound some.

The Iman Bank has been the most productive spot recently. There have been wahoo, dorado, yellowfin tuna and billfish all found on these banks. Most plentiful fish have been the tuna, these yellowfin are ranging from 10 to 20 pounds, anglers had best results while drift fishing with strips of cut squid or with sardinas, we are starting to see the commercial panga fleet from near Los Frailes traveling south to Iman Bank with supplies of freshly netted sardinas for sale, this proved to be the best bet for finding wide open surface action. Lots of bonito and skipjack were also schooling on the same local grounds. Roaming dorado were found scattered throughout the region, not in big numbers, most dorado were under 15 lb., though a handful of larger dorado were mixed in.

We are still in peak season for the elusive wahoo, so far these fish have not gone on any extended consistent wide open bite, though things appear to shaping up in the direction of some quality wahoo action in the coming weeks. Everyday these fish are being encountered in limited numbers, individual charters have landed up to several fish per morning, while loosing other strikes as well, most anglers were fortunate to land just one of these speedsters. Of the wahoo being brought in, weights have averaged 25 lb. to 45 lb. The majority of wahoo strikes recently have come on slow trolled baits, caballito or chihuil and there has been a recent trend of more wahoo hook ups being reported later in the morning, versus the traditional first daylight action.

Ocean temperatures have been on a slow cooling trend, we have seen conditions remain a couple of degrees warmer than would be expected during this time frame, we do expect to see temperatures continue to fall, as days are now progressively becoming shorter and with northerly winds becoming more frequent it will not be long before we experience transition time again. The annual migration of whales is now arriving in the first wave and will be peaking in the coming months, as these mammals arrive from their northern feeding grounds to give berth to their offspring in the subtropical waters of Southern Baja California.

With the offshore surface action continuing to be the most productive deal, we are not seeing much bottom action reported. Sierra action is now an inshore option for anglers having live sardinas.

Striped marlin action was wide open on certain areas, from the Pacific grounds, multiple catch days were common and also these schooling fish are now moving in the direction of San Jose del Cabo, marlin are being found within a couple miles of shore, striking on trolled lures and various baitfish, the late morning action has been most productive.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 138 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 23 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 47 wahoo, 140 bonito, 10 cabrilla, 7 amberjack, 28 pargo,
22 sierra, 110 dorado and 610 yellowfin tuna.

Good fishing, Eric