Spring Like Weather, Dorado most Common Species, Chance of Wahoo ~ January 26, 2014


January 26, 2014
Anglers –

Natural instincts are sending people traveling in southern direction during this winter season and in turn bringing many visitors to Los Cabos. Local weather conditions have been great, some scattered cloud cover, burring off normally by mid day and high temperatures reaching into the low 80s. This week we actually felt spring like weather patterns, it was feeling like the days will only become nicer in the coming weeks, though we all know that the month of February can be unpredictable. North winds have been persistent this year, though now seem to have tapered off and not so relentless, perhaps the worst is past and we will now see more stable patterns.

Water temperatures are holding in the 70/74 degree range, fluctuating currents and overall the clarity has improved, with clean water found in close proximity to shore. Baitfish schools continue to be scattered. Anglers found limited options now available, primarily caballito, moonfish, ballyhoo or skipjack. Mackerel and sardinas have not been regularly obtainable.

Sportfishing fleets have spread out in all directions, more concentrations of striped marlin on the Pacific, though we have also seen the billfish shifting in the direction of Sea of Cortez as well, with the baitfish being scattered, so have been the fish. Most of the marlin being seen now have been in the 80 to 120 pound range, striking on deep drifted baits, as well as on the surface lures and rigged ballyhoo.

Dorado are being found in limited numbers, as this is never the peak season for these gamefish. They have been found throughout the zone, inshore to offshore, the majority have been juvenile sized fish, there were some reports of larger bulls to 25 pounds being accounted for. Still some late season wahoo hanging around, most of them encountered closer to shore, a handful were landed, striking on various baits, yo-yo’s or trolled lures, ranged in sizes up to 40 pounds.

Yellowfin tuna have been seen in different locations, some traveling with porpoise 20 or more miles offshore of Cabo San Lucas. Though the high spots from La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis Bank also were holding yellowfin, only a few are actually being hooked, some on trolled hoochies or yo-yo jigs, ranging to 20 pounds, without sardinas it is hard to entice these schooling tuna.

Bottom fishing has produced more numbers of bonita than any other species, striking on yo-yo jigs, an occasional pargo, cabrilla or amberjack in the mix. This is now the season when we should start to see a greater variety of fish congregated over the rocky structure.

We are still seeing lots of whale activity, as well as manta rays, sea lions and some turtles for added entertainment.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 12 striped marlin, 7 wahoo, 16 yellowfin tuna, 165 bonito, 34 sierra, 8 roosterfish, 82 dorado, 4 amberjack,14 pargo and 35 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

North Winds Persist, Dorado Found in Limited Numbers Highlight Catches~ January 18, 2014


January 18, 2014
Anglers –

Visitors to Los Cabos are finding the weather to be warm and very pleasant, while much of the U.S. has been freezing over, locally we have seen high temperatures in the 80s. Crowds of tourists are moderate now, this is common after the holiday season, we should see more snow birds from the north starting to arrive, seeking out warmer surroundings. Winds have been gusting persistently from the north and this has slowed down fishing action in that direction. The warmer and clearer ocean conditions have been found in the direction of Cabo San Lucas, water temperatures are now ranging from 70/74 degrees.

Baitifsh remain scattered, limited supplies of mackerel on the Pacific and out of San Jose del Cabo the fleets are relying on caballito and ballyhoo, early in the week there were minimal supplies of sardinas obtained, but with persistent north winds this option was shut down. Large concentrations of skipjack, mixed with some bonito were found on the Gordo Banks and other offshore grounds.

There has not been any consistent action being found bottom fishing, most charters are targeting what available action can be found relatively close to the shore, mainly on the surface, while trolling a variety of lures and available bait. Scattered numbers of dorado are being encountered, most of these in small schools, with average sizes of 5 to 15 pounds. No big numbers, with one to three fish per boat being the average. Same areas are holding an occasional wahoo, most of these taken on trolled rapala type lures, these ‘hoo were in the 15 to 25 pound class, about time these fish head south and seek out more temperate zones.

Striped marlin were still concentrated on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, most of these fish were striking on bait down deep off of the Old Light House, though this action has tapered down to an average of about one marlin per boat, some marlin are also being found scattered on the surface, but this was hit or miss, no concentration of baitfish now to create any feeding frenzy. The billfish action has been behind schedule this season, as has about everything else. With the lack of sardinas this has hurt options close to shore for sierra and roosterfish, as well as shallow structure species. Hard to say what has happened to the normal migration of sardinas this year, combination of factors has them off course, though heavy commercial pressure is surely partially responsible.

There are a few reports of yellowfin tuna, some of these have been 20 to 40 offshore traveling with porpoise, other schooling yellowfin were hooked on yo-yo jigs off of San Luis and Iman Banks, but just a couple of fish here or there, though if weather and bait supplies of sardinas improved we could still some late season tuna action. Most of the tuna we have seen in recent days were in the 10 to 15 lb. class. There have been aggressive and very hungry sea lions hanging around all of the normal fishing grounds, apparently having trouble catching their own food and readily attacking any hooked fish they can easily grab off of an angler’s line. This situation compounded with lack of sardinas and gusting winds has made for tough angling all around. This is the time of year, when conditions can determine where you can comfortably fish and bait supplies can limit options as well. Though comparatively the local weather is great for winter time and there is a variety of species being accounted for.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 68 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, 23 yellowfin tuna, 105 bonito, 28 sierra, 14 roosterfish, 76 dorado, 2 mako shark, 3 hammerhead,13 pargo and 22 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Great Winter Fishing Conditions, Variety of Action ~ Jan. 11, 2014


January 11, 2014
Anglers –

The Holiday Season has come to an end, school’s are back in session, work schedules are set and it is now time to start the New Year. Also a great time to start thinking about planning another adventure south of the border, where there is plenty of warm sunshine and activities to enjoy. While there was an Arctic freeze that swept through much of the United States this past week, Southern Baja was basking in balmy winter weather conditions, sunny days with highs of 75 to 80 degrees. Winds were blowing predominately out of the north, but not overly strong and anglers enjoyed comfortable ocean conditions most days. Water temperatures ranged from 72 to 75 degrees, warmest areas located 30 to 40 miles offshore, in the direction of the Sea of Cortez.

Sportfishing fleets found action for striped marlin on the Pacific, close to shore near the Old Light House, where concentrations of baitfish schooled. On the outside of Cabo San Lucas, 30 miles of more offshore, charters were finding action for yellowfin tuna which were associated with moving porpoise, many of these yellowfin were of the football sized, several days there were tuna close to the 100 pound class being accounted for while trolling lures in the area where porpoise were working. Still no source for sardinas, which would help start up a consistent bite for schooling tuna. Though one local pangero that acquired sardinas from a boat that netted them near Vinorama on Friday, landed a 80 lb. yellowfin tuna on a dead sardina while drift fishing the San Luis Bank. There good numbers of tuna on these grounds, though you need the correct baitfish to entice them, we are hoping the sardina situation becomes a more reliable consistent source. There have been caballito and ballyhoo available most days, skipjack and bolito have also been found on the fishing grounds, a good option for cut baits.

Inshore action was just starting to pick up on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, lots of good sized sierra were being hooked into while trolling with hoochies. Though we have now heard of reported commercial gill net activity on these same stretches of beaches, these nets are set in the evening and hauled out early in the day in hopes of being more discrete, though the damage is blatantly evident, these pirate coop operations never seem to get much bad publicity until whales or porpoise become entangled, this form of fishing is absolutely indiscriminate, trapping any species that happens to swim through the particular set zone, including fish, turtles and mammals. New sanctions are definitely in order to help protect this fragile inshore ecosystem from complete collapse, this unique diverse fishery is such a valuable natural resource and can be sustained for future generations if managed properly.

San Jose del Cabo fleets are now working areas from Santa Maria to the Gordo Banks and north to San Luis, ocean conditions were greenish as a result of the cooler north winds, though a few dorado and an occasional wahoo are still being encountered while trolling surface lures or rigged baits, though no significant numbers for these fish, these pelagic species are migrating south now, following their preferred temperate currents and food sources. Anglers have been finding good action on bonito while jigging yo-yo’s or trolling smaller sized rapalas, these fish averaged from 4 to 8 pounds. There were a handful of smaller sized yellowfin tuna being hooked into on the yo-yo jigs where the concentrations of bonito are. A few cabrilla, pargo and triggerfish were also in the mix.

Scattered billfish action off of the San Jose del Cabo, quite a few mako sharks in this region now, some even struck on high speed lures and many were hooked into on various baits, most resulting in cut lines. These sharks always seem prefer these cooling currents, usually a sign that mackerel schools are not far away.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 85 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, 16 yellowfin tuna, 315 bonito, 14 sierra, 10 roosterfish, 88 dorado, 8 mako shark, 2 grouper, 18 pargo and 40 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric