Weather Heats Up, Marlin Move Close to Shore, Dorado Scattered ~ April 26, 2014


April 26, 2014
Anglers –

With spring break now officially over, crowds of visitors have lighted up, weather patterns have continued to warm, feeling increasingly tropical this past week, early morning clouds, then plenty of sunshine and high temperatures now into the upper 80s. Ocean water temperatures are ranging 76 to 79 degrees, from Cabo San Lucas to Loss Frailes, no significant temperature breaks seen. Winds have still been somewhat unpredictable, though this week has been much more settled than last, recent trend has been that the south winds are kicking up mid day, early mornings have been very comfortable.

No news of any new resources for sardinas, available baitfish have been moonfish, various jacks and fresh brined ballyhoo. There were reports of more flying fishing now being seen in the warming currents, always a favorable sign, water clarity has rapidly improved as well, clean blue water was now found within a half mile of shore.

Early in the week the billfish action was predominately found further offshore, though that quickly changed, as striped marlin moved in within less than one mile from shore, straight out in front of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina, these fish were readily striking on trolled ballyhoo and also hitting on live baits being drifted down deep. Most of these stripers were weighing in the 80 to 120 pound range. Locals are continuing to exploit these marlin, catching them as if they were just part of an hugely abundant, never ending resource and then selling them on the black market, as local authorities turn their heads the other direction, supposedly these billfish are a protected species, preserved for sport fishing, apparently there is no priority in enforcing such laws.

Dorado were spread out, more often in limited numbers, most anglers were fortunate to land one, occasional exceptions of schools of these fish encountered, sizes ranged up to 25 pounds, trolling various live or rigged baits was most productive. Wahoo were also in the area, but only a handful were actually landed each day, most of them from areas north of Punta Gorda, striking on various baitfish, more so than on artificial lures, sizes ranged to 35 pounds. With the way the ocean conditions are shaping up, anything could happen on any given day, as we are seeing optimal conditions now, favorable for a variety of gamefish.

Most of the local panga charters are either targeting the close by billfish action, or heading north towards the San Luis Bank, where they are targeting a variety of structure species, working yo-yo jigs off the high spots, as well as trolling surface baits or lures for dorado, or chance at a wahoo, marlin were on these grounds as well. We are not seeing any yellowfin tuna action to report. The closest we are really getting to tuna now is with the Eastern Pacific Bonito, which despite the warmer waters are still be caught in fair numbers, striking best early in the day, these bonito are showing signs of slowing down, they are more of a cold water species. Other bottom action included pargo (various species), amberjack and cabrilla. With the rapidly warming waters we have not seen much in the way of yellowtail. More amberjack arre starting to appear though. Sea lions continue to be aggressively feeding on these same fishing grounds, at times making it nearly impossible to land fish, these mammals know where the fish are schooling and they also know how much easier they are to catch when they are hooked on a line and be reeled towards the surface, this is like a game of cat and mouse for these sea lions.

Surprisingly there were still reports of some incredible whale activity, now well past due time that these mammals should be half way through their northern migration.

Inshore action included sierra, roosterfish and jack crevalle, though this action was a bit sporadic from day to day, surely would be better if there were sardinas available for chumming, especially for the sierra, which are proficient at slicing the larger bait fish in half.

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: 48 striped marlin, 13 wahoo, 15 amberjack, 23 huachinago, 24 cabrilla, 14 jack crevalle, 18 sierra, 47 dorado, 230 bonito and 26 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Action Scattered After Strong Southern Blow ~ April 19, 2014


April 19, 2014
Anglers –

Easter Week is attracting local families to all of the accessible beaches, as this is the traditional time to spend time with family and friends on the shoreline. Practically the whole city shuts down this weekend, as no one wants to miss out on any of the action. This is also transition time for the weather patterns, days are steadily warming, though there has been a mix of cloud cover and cooler Pacific breezes sweeping through actually the ideal climate now, with high temperatures into the 80s.

Many locals always say that the fish go on vacation as well over the holiday, with the recent full moon passing and choppy ocean conditions for a few days, we did see the water clarity become blotchy and the all around fishing action was more scattered. Striped marlin with some dorado mixed in has been the main deal offshore, varying from day to day, at times fish were found within several miles, other days out to 20 miles. There were reports of offshore porpoise activity, but no yellowfin tuna were associated. Anglers were trolling open water with lures and using either rigged ballyhoo or live caballito for bait. The live bait found inside the marina dock area did become scarcer during the moon as well.

Panga fleets looking for the best chances at action for a variety of more preferred good eating species were concentrating on the San Luis Bank. The Eastern Pacific bonito was the most prevalent catch, striking best on yo-yo jigs, though there was also a mix of snapper, cabrilla, amberjack and even an occasional yellowtail, though no real numbers of any of these species, except for the bonito, limits were standard for them. Though there was the ever increasing situation of problematic sea lions hanging around these same grounds, being aggressive and opportunistic of stealing angler’s catches, fifteen of these mammals were counted one day on these same banks, making it nearly impossible to actually reel a fish all the way to the boat.

Not as many wahoo stories being told in recent days, but with water temperatures of 75 degrees, these species are staying in the area. There were reports of increased activity of schooling flying fish offshore, this is usually a favorable sign of spring time and should attract more gamefish into the local waters. Thrasher sharks were also reported from the same billfish grounds.

Inshore action was spotty for sierra, roosterfish and jack crevalle. Quite a few sierra seen, but without sardinas it has not been easy to entice them, a few charters that somehow obtained some frozen sardinas, did well on these sierra. Some days the juvenile sized roosterfish were found just north of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina Jetty’s, these smaller fish were having trouble swallowing the larger sized live baits. Other days the roosters vanished, hard to predict these jacks, sometimes bite best early, other days late, tide can come in to play as when these fish become more active.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 73 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 1 thrasher shark, 1 sailfish, 29 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 6 yellowtail, 8 amberjack, 25 huachinago, 15 jack crevalle, 12 sierra, 36 dorado, 380 bonito and 16 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Billfish Action Rebounds Strong off of San Jose del Cabo ~ April 12, 2012


April 12, 2014
Anglers –

This past weekend Southern Baja time zone moved clocks back one hour, we are now accustoming to this new schedule, days are rapidly lengthening as spring season progresses. Ideal all around climate now, last weekend a front with cooler cloud cover swept through and this week we have seen warmer clear sunny skies, high temperatures around 85 degrees, with lows of about 62 degrees, winds were lighter, more predominate from the south now, picking up later in the day. Ocean water temperatures ranged from 72 degrees on the Pacific’s Golden Gate Bank, to an average of 75/76 degrees off of San Jose del Cabo and towards Los Frailes.

After going slack, the billfish action rebounded off of San Jose del Cabo, anglers found great action for striped marlin, with a few sailfish also reported, the majority of the action was found 10 to 20 miles offshore, though on other days these fish were encountered within several miles of shore, as their food source moves, they move accordingly. Not a lot of surface baitfish activity seen and fish seem to be gorging on smaller sized squid, which apparently were now plentiful in local waters. The billfish were striking on rigged ballyhoo most often, though live caballito and trolled lures also took their share of strikes. Only an occasional dorado found in the mix offshore, more dorado were found nearer to shore, where concentrations of half beak baitfish were schooling. Anglers were fortunate to find one or two dorado in their catch, just no big numbers of these fish now, though with these water conditions, anything could happen at any time.

It has continued to be an unusual season, with both warm water species and other fish that prefer cooler currents, all in the region at the same time. Look at the wahoo for example, they never even migrated out of the area this winter, as they normally do every year, these pelagic gamefish have been hanging around, not that many are actually being landed, action has been sporadic, though most everyday a handful are being hooked into, with the majority of this action coming from the La Fortuna to Vinorama grounds. Some of the wahoo landed were nicer sized 40 to 50 pound fish. No yellowfin tuna have been seen to speak of, though on Wednesday a pair of local La Playita pangeros hauled in a yellowfin that tipped the scales at 198 lb. This was just one fish, though is maybe a sign of something to develop, this would normally be the season when we start to see more porpoise activity offshore, which can attract schools of tuna. Time will tell, with water temperature warmer than normal, things are more unpredictable.

Local panga fleets are departing at first light to take advantage of the early morning action for bottom dwellers, most productive spot was the San Luis Bank, while using yo-yo jigs and caballito batfish anglers accounted for bonito, cabrilla, huachinango (red snapper), amberjack, yellowtail and barred pargo. Early in the morning when the larger more exotic fish were taken, no huge numbers, but some quality fish to over 30 pounds were landed, as the sun came up the action shifted to mainly the Eastern Pacific bonito.

Close along the beach stretches north of Puerto Los Cabos charters found good opportunities for roosterfish up to 15 pounds, while trolling live caballito, there were reports of rigged ballyhoo also working, there were jack crevalle and sierra also mixed in, at times the baits available proved a bit large for the smaller jacks.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 91 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 52 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 5 wahoo, 3 yellowfin tuna, 8 yellowtail, 25 amberjack, 44 dorado, 14 sierra, 45 roosterfish, 550 bonito, 17 cabrilla, 40 triggerfish and 56 hauchinango.

Good fishing, Eric