Spring Like Conditions Boost All Around Fishing Action ~ February 23, 2014

217_David Cortland

February 23, 2014
Anglers –

The month of February is known for crazy unpredictable weather patterns, this week we witnessed some cooler morning conditions and high temperatures up to 85 degrees, feeling more like late spring instead of winter time. We also felt more wind, predominately from the north, but then swirling from out of the east and south as well, but overall the climate was ideal and anglers found comfortable ocean conditions and great all around action

With the warmer ocean temperatures of up to 75 degrees now pushing in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and towards the La Fortuna and San Luis Banks, this is where the sportfishing fleets are concentrating, even boats from Cabo San Lucas are making the long runs north to get into this more consistent fishing action. Pacific side water temperatures have dropped into the upper 60’s. Mackerel schools continued to be scarce, ballyhoo supplies were plentiful and there have been options for a variety of gamefish, caballito baitfish have been obtainable most mornings as well, fresh bags of brined sardinas are being sold at the panga dock area on a limited first come, first serve basis.

Considering the time of year, anglers have been enjoying quality action for dorado, some wahoo and even yellowfin tuna showing in the fish counts. Billfish have been more scattered since the recent full moon, no concentrations of baitfish offshore, beside schooling skipjack. Though in recent days we have seen more striped marlin appearing again, anywhere from one or two miles from shore and on out to 20 miles. Even a couple of sailfish were reportedly hooked into, crazy times in February.

Yellowfin tuna are holding over the structure from La Fortuna, Iman and to San Luis Bank, the key factor was obtaining a supply of sardinas, which have been scarce all year, fresh dead sardinas were now available early morning at the panga dock area, though in limited supply and a few charters were more fortunate when they were able to purchase live sardinas from commercial pangeros from northern camps. A handful of mostly panga charters got into this yellowfin tuna action while drift fishing with sardinas and using light leaders, landing up to five, six, seven or eight fish, ranging in weights of 10 to 20 lb.

Dorado were being found in smaller sized groups spread throughout the inshore and offshore grounds, sizes averaged 5 to 15 lb., a few fishing pushing the 20 to 25 lb. mark, still impressive for mid winter season. Wahoo action continues to be an added bonus, normally not a common catch during this month, though the bite did taper off compared to how it had broke wide open late last week. In recent days a handful of charters did land up to three or four wahoo in their combined daily catch. These fish hit on trolled lures, various baits and on yo-yo style casting jigs. Best areas were close to shore off of Punta Gorda to La Fortuna. Sizes on the wahoo averaged 15 to 20 pounds, though there were some quality sized fish up to 40 pounds also accounted for.

Bottom action has never really started this season, with warmer ocean temperatures, winds and currents all contributing to no consistent structure action. At least not yet, we are still not into March or spring time. This is always the time of year when we start to see the arrival of yellowtail in local waters, so far only a scattering of these powerful jacks have been found. Though just in recent days there have been more encounters with these popular gamefish. Anglers who were jigging for what was great action on hog sized skipjack and Eastern Pacific Bonito also hooked into a few yellowtail, fish to 25 lb. were landed, others lost to cut lines, encouraging signs of a developing bite. We did hear of at least one nice yellowtail being caught by a beach fishing angler on a splashier hoochie combination.

Sierras are patrolling the shorelines, a few nicer sized fish to 8 pounds were seen, a mix of jack crevalle and juvenile sized roosterfish in the same stretches, these fish were hitting on trolled baits, hoochies or rapalas. Whales were still being seen spouting in all directions, these mammals have not headed north yet, next month is normally when they will start the northern migration.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 76 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 6 striped marlin, 21 wahoo, 49 yellowfin tuna, 6 yellowtail, 145 bonito, 4 amberjack, 11 jack crevalle, 78 sierra, 234 dorado, 14 roosterfish, 14 yellow tail snapper, 15 misc. shark and 12 cabrilla.

Good fishing, Eric

Dorado and Wahoo Surprise Anglers, Fall Like Action During Winter ~ February 15, 2014


February 15, 2014
Anglers –

With freezing conditions persisting throughout much of the United States we have seen more crowds of tourists arriving in Los Cabos. Travelers have been greeted with pristine winter time weather conditions, sunny days, with high temperatures close to 80 degrees. Winds continued to be a bit unpredictable, at times from the north, switching out of the south, though they were moderate and anglers found great ocean conditions most days.

Ocean temperatures ranged from 70 to 76 degrees, higher than normal for this month, clarity was clean, even very close to shore. Baitfish have been scattered, no live sardinas, few mackerel or caballito, with ballyhoo proving to be one of the better trolling baits and as another option there were also a mix of jacks and moonfish being used.

Depending on what fishing grounds anglers targeted, there was a variety of species being found. Striped marlin were now shifting in the direction of the San Jose del Cabo grounds, from the 1150 spot, to off of the hotel zone and towards Punta Gorda, some success was found trolling lures, casting baits to tailing fish and soaking baits down deep, the striped marlin especially were attracted to moonfish this past week, it was more productive early in the week, later in the week the full moon seemed to affect the bite, fish were more finicky..

For the local panga fleet, the most productive action was found within a couple of miles of shore, from right off Punta Gorda, to Cardon and La Fortuna. Dorado and wahoo were the main species striking, ballyhoo, moonfish, jacks, rapalas and even casting jigs. This seemed more like fall action, crazy to see this type of action in mid February, it doesn’t happen every year, with water temperatures holding higher than normal and the clarity of the water, these fish have decided to hang around and not migrate to southern waters, at least for the time being. There were more numbers of dorado caught than wahoo, though on Thursday and Friday many boats did have multiple wahoo days, one charter had eight wahoo on Friday. Sizes ranged up to 40 pounds. Hard to say how long this action will last, would be something if this lasted throughout the month and into March.

Not much action off the bottom, strong currents and warmer water temperatures have been more suited for surface action. A few yellowtail were reported, no pargo bite at this time. Sierra have dominated inshore action, though dorado are being found very close to shore as well, there were large concentrations of half beaks (ballyhoo) moving along the beaches areas, this can bring gamefish very close in. A few jack crevalle and smaller sized roosterfish in the mix.

Still peak season for whale activity, though with waters warming, these mammals will most likely start migrating north soon.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 90 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
18 striped marlin, 37 wahoo, 8 yellowfin tuna, 3 yellowtail, 48 bonito, 18 jack crevalle, 68 sierra, 265 dorado,18 roosterfish and 12 cabrilla.

Good fishing, Eric

Dorado, Striped Marlin and sierra Provide Winter Action~February 8, 2014


February 7, 2014
Anglers –

The month of February can be quite unpredictable, locals have a saying, Febreo loco y Marzo otro poco, conditions can feel like spring time one day, but then cooler weather fronts can swept back through, feeling more wintry. Last week we had temperatures reach the mid 80s, though this week it felt more like winter, with cooler mornings, down to 55 degrees and on a couple of days the high temperatures only reached in the low 70s. Despite this trend, there were mostly clear sunny skies and it felt like paradise compared to the freezing cold temperatures that has swept once again across the United States. Ocean water temperatures actually warmed up some, now ranging from 70 degrees on the Pacific to 75/76 offshore of San Jose del Cabo. More north winds this past week and this contributed to stirring up the clarity, anglers reported finding mixed up conditions, swift currents pushed in greenish water, but in other areas the water remained clear and blue, seemed to vary each day.

Baitfish remained scattered, as were most of the gamefish, though in recent days baitfish schools have begun to congregate on the traditional grounds off of the San Jose del Cabo’s Hotel Zone, two or three miles offshore, mainly sardinetas now, with a few mackerel mixed in. This a favorable sign, hopefully this will continue to develop, should start seeing more striped marlin on these same grounds. Anglers found porpoise activity offshore, hit or miss for smaller sized yellowfin tuna, most of these fish were found 20 plus miles outside of Cabo San Lucas, at other times jack crevalle and hog sized black skipjack dominated the offshore bite.

Dorado action has been good this winter season, though this past week the bite dropped off, some charters had trouble finding even one dorado, while others were more fortunate and accounted for up to a half of dozen, these fish are scattered from inshore to offshore and running in small schools, most of the fish were in the 5 to 15 pound class. Striking on trolled lures and rigged ballyhoo baits. Earlier in the week a few wahoo were found, though this is not the normal season where you would expect to catch these elusive gamefish, there is still a chance at hooking into one of these prized eating fish. A handful of football sized yellowfin tuna were landed while drift fishing on the Iman Bank, fresh dead sardinas was to key to this action, these baits were sold in limited quantities at the dock area, then you had to try to stay away from the skipjack, bonito and pesky sea lions, another factor were the gusting northern winds, making it almost impossible on certain days.

Sierra continued to dominate the inshore action, striking on various whole and cut baits, as well as hoochies and small rapalas, which all worked for these fish, average sizes ranged 2 to 4 pounds. Some jack crevalle and juvenile sized roosterfish were also encountered. Surf fishermen reported catching a few much larger sierra taken at first light, this is always the time when these members of the mackerel family are more aggressive.

Bottom action produced mainly Eastern Pacific Bonito, a handful of pargo, cabrilla and triggerfish rounding out this action. Should be the time when we start to see some yellowtail showing up in the fish counts. There were a couple of nice grouper landed off of the Palmilla Point area, this is the time frame when these rock piles start to hold more of the structure species.

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: 6 striped marlin, 4 wahoo, 21 yellowfin tuna, 135 bonito, 14 jack crevalle, 115 sierra, 76 dorado,12 roosterfish,18 pargo, 28 triggerfish, 90 black skipjack, 2 grouper and 10 cabrilla.

Good fishing, Eric