Eastern Pacific’s First Hurricane of the Season, Anglers Find Mixed Bag ~ May 31, 2014


May 31, 2014
Anglers –

The Eastern Pacific Tropical Storm season officially began May 15 and this past week Hurricane Amanda formed off of mainland Mexico, rapidly becoming the most intense May cyclone ever recorded in the Eastern Pacific. Amanda was immense, almost reaching category five strength. Luckily this storm stayed south of the Baja Peninsula and weakened, it is now a remnant low. This system brought humid tropical conditions, much outer storm band cloud cover, some isolated showers, ocean swells were as high as 6 to 8 feet, but the main impact felt in the Los Cabos area was just the high humidity, warmer tropical weather. Winds were light and ocean conditions were very pleasant in recent days.

Ocean currents were averaging 76 to 80 degrees, with the warmer water now found in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, off of San Jose del Cabo and towards Los Frailes. There are reports of more skipjack and schooling bolito found on the offshore grounds, we have not seen the larger concentrations of mullet along the shoreline yet, we are now in the season where this inshore activity can break wide open on any given day. Moonfish, caballito and ballyhoo have been the most common baitfish available from local bait sources.

This weekend there is the traditional holiday of “Dia de la Marina” this has always been one of the grandest celebrated events for the locals of the La Playita community, this year’s event will include, the crowning of the princess, late night dances and fishing tournaments for off the shore anglers, as well as from boats. Good luck finding a parking spot though, continued development has made this small location much more congested.

Offshore action remained very good for striped marlin, the grounds straight off of San Jose del Cabo, from 10 to 17 miles has been the most productive zone recently, marlin were found tailing on the surface, free jumping and at times feeding, these fish have been feeding on squid and have been moving accordingly, following this abundant food source. Many charters accounted for multiple marlin days, stripers were weighing up to 140 pounds. Mixed in were thrasher sharks, readily striking on the same moonfish and jacks for bait, even on rigged ballyhoo, these sharks have made a strong showing this season, many were being hooked into on the same billfish grounds, most of them were weighing in the 80 to 120 pound range.

More dorado were appearing n the fish counts, some nicer sized fish up to 25 pounds, these fish were still scattered, some charters finding several fish and other never seeing one. Smaller schooling dorado were showing up on the banks to the north, small juvenile sized dorado that should be released with care so that they are able to reach maturity and maintain healthy fish stocks.

Yellowfin tuna have been reportedly seen in different areas, most of these were small to medium sized fish, but more often than not these fish were not eager to strike. Only a scattering of yellowfin tuna were being accounted for, most of these striking trolled rapalas or hoochies, weights ranged to 30 pounds, but this was just for one fish here or there. Same deal for wahoo, these elusive gamefish are in the area, but actually hooking and landing one is a harder proposition, most of the wahoo we heard about were from areas north of Punta Gorda, weights ranged to over 40 pounds.

Roosterfish dominated the inshore action, big roosters are now patrolling the shoreline, sizes to over 50 pounds were caught and released throughout this past week, no significant wide open numbers, but charters targeting these jacks reported having multiple chances at predominately larger size fish.

Anglers working the bottom structure had mixed success, accounting for limited numbers of amberjack, dogtooth snapper, cabrilla, grouper and bonito. A few nice snapper and ambers were landed, but these fish had to be worked for, many other stories of heavy fish that were lost after reaching the rocky outcroppings and cutting lines, no fooling around when hooking into one of these brutes, immediately the hook up turns into a tug of war battle.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 94 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
11 thrasher shark, 8 hammerhead shark, 34 yellowfin tuna, 41 striped marlin, 12 wahoo, 3 sailfish,24 amberjack,8 grouper,15 cabrilla, 6 sierra, 105 dorado, 9 dogtooth snapper, 40 bonito and 125 roosterfish.
Good fishing, Eric




Marlin now further Offshore, Yellowfin Tuna Still out of Range off Los Frailes ~ May 24, 2014


May 24, 2014
Anglers –

The month of May is always a great time, with an all around climate, steadily warming days, increasingly tropical feeling and many opportunities for anglers, from offshore, bottom structure to trolling close to shore. All this to take advantage of, crowds are now moderate, as people remain busy, finishing school semesters, graduations, not to mention that this is a very popular time for marriages. Perfect time to head south and visit the Los Cabos area, in another month the weather is much warmer and the humidity rises. Recent daytime highs have been hovering around 90 degrees, scattered cloud cover, at times quite tropical, on Thursday we even had some rainfall, did not amount to much, but this was unseasonable and combined with the gusty winds from the southwest, resulted in many anglers canceling charters for that morning, even though by mid morning the front had moved through and the conditions ended up just fine. Crazy weather patterns this whole year, seems like a possible El Nino current has been developing, ocean temperature are now in the 80 to 82 degree range off of San José del Cabo and towards Los Frailes, even warmer outside near the Cabrillo Seamount.

Bait sources remained as they have been, live moonfish and on some days limited caballito have been available, along with ballyhoo for rigging. On the fishing grounds more schools of skipjack and bolito were reported and this will be another option opening up for anglers targeting larger sized gamefish. This is also the time we should see migrations of mullet appearing in local waters. We have heard no good news on any resources of sardinas being found anywhere in the Southern Baja, will be interesting to see if we have a fall run for these sardina baitfish.

The steady bite for striped marlin which was within a couple of miles of the marina channel entrance, slowed way down, this is where the billfish were feeding on smaller sized squid, apparently this food source must have moved elsewhere. Now the main action for striped marlin was 15 to18 miles straight outside of San Jose del Cabo, in the vicinity of the 1150 Spot. Large concentrations of marlin were found, feeding, tailing, free jumping, striking more often on baitfish, either slow trolled, or drift, with sinkers down deep, or fly lining near the surface. Many charters Accounted for multiple billfish, even four, five or six stripers per day was not uncommon. Sizes ranged from 80 to 130 pounds. There were quite a few thrasher sharks on these same grounds, most weighing in the 70 to 150 lb. range and giving anglers their best workout for their money in battling these powerful fighters to boat side.

We have heard of the yellowfin tuna action that has developed in the Los Frailes area, tuna ranging to over 100 pounds were found associated with porpoise, finicky to bite at times, but consistent trolling has been producing decent numbers for charters based out of the East Cape. Though this action is still out of range for San Jose del Cabo charters, we are hoping this activity shifts towards the south, to our normal San Luis, Iman and Gordo Banks grounds. This is the time of year when anything could happen on any given day.

Dorado remain scattered, some days there have been a handful found on the same marlin grounds and to the north where panga fleets have been working the various high spots, there have been schooling dorado encountered, mostly smaller sized. Hard to say what is going on with the dorado, we have heard reports of larger concentrations found off the East Cape as well, this can be the typical pattern, then the action moves our direction. Some anglers found wahoo between San Luis and Vinorama, trolling ballyhoo and rapalas seem to have taken the majority of strikes, still lucky to get one of these elusive fish, sizes ranged from 15 to 40 lb. Several wahoo hit on yo-yo jigs while anglers were drifting over high spots, targeting amberjack, snapper and grouper, which proved very hit or miss, a handful of quality specimens were accounted for the anglers that were persistent.

Roosterfish action was found along the coastal inshore stretches, but with the lack of any concentrations of mullet, this meant that the roosters were scattered and the action varied from day to day where they could be found, most of the roosterfish that did strike on trolled baits weighed in the 20 to 40 pound class.

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: 7 thrasher shark, 4 yellowfin tuna, 52 striped marlin, 14 wahoo, 2 sailfish,12 amberjack,9 cabrilla, 4 jack crevalle, 8 sierra, 44 dorado, 2 dogtooth snapper, 75 bonito and 72 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Striped Marlin and Roosterfish Highlight Local Action ~ May 17, 2014


May 17, 2014
Anglers –

As we enter the later part of the spring season, we are enjoying the ideal weather conditions, still slightly cool in the evenings and early morning, though the days have been clear, with warm sunshine up near the 90 degree mark. Winds settled down this week, but continued to be somewhat unpredictable. Ocean temperature has been averaging in the upper 70s from Cabo San Lucas towards the East Cape. Clean blue water is now found within a mile or two of shore. Schools of bolito are showing on the fishing grounds towards the north of Punta Gorda, this is always a favorable sign to attract more gamefish into the area.

Though the fishing action has not been off the map red hot, there has been good variety and some quality species are being accounted for. Live bait remains limited, moonfish and limited caballito were available and ballyhoo has been another option. We expect to see more schooling mullet arriving anytime. Charters have been mixing things up with the various options now available, from inshore trolling, to working the bottom structure and then offshore, which has not meant having to travel very far out.

Inshore the roosterfish were dominating the action, with nicer sized fish to 30 and 40 pounds now being landed daily, while trolling live baits along the shore, just outside the surf zone, a few jack crevalle have also been hooked into, as well as a handful of late season sierra.

Striped marlin has been the main species found offshore, once again these fish were found very close in, within a mile or two, straight outside the Puerto Los Cabos Marina entrance. Anglers were drift fishing with the available live baits, fly ling and using sinkers to soak the baits deeper. In this same area some marlin could be seen free jumping and occasionally feeding on the surface. Striped marlin could be found throughout the region, certain grounds did have larger concentrations. There were a few marlin even hooked into while bottom fishing with yo-yo style jigs, not an everyday occurrence. Dorado were found sporadically, no hot spot to find them on a daily basis. More juvenile sized fish were now found north towards San Luis and Vinormama, lots of small females that should be released with care so that they are able to mature.

Wahoo remain on the fishing grounds, actually seen at times in fair sized schools, roaming the inshore structure, getting them to bite as always is another matter, a few were hooked on yo-yo jigs and others hit the trolled Rapalas, sizes ranged up to 35 pounds. A few more yellowfin tuna are now being accounted for, blind strikes on lures or ballyhoo on the grounds to the north, and also a few fish to 20 pounds were accounted for off of the Gordo Banks. There were sizable schools of tuna seen feeding on these same banks, but they would disappear as fast as they showed, feeding on the available food source and not much interested in anything else, the few yellowfin that were taken, hit on strips of squid.

Off the bottom there was a chance at variety, including bonito, amberjack, cabrilla, pargo, grouper and even a yellowtail or two. Though there were no big numbers of any particular species being accounted for. Amberjack to 70 pounds were landed, grouper to 40 pounds, yellowtail and dogtooth snapper to 30 pounds, all quality specimens, striking on baits or yo-yo jigs. One day a certain spot would produce action and then the next day the same spot could be dead, also sea lions continue to be present and are causing havoc for anglers.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 81 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 4 sailfish, 2 thrasher shark, 11 yellowfin tuna, 48 striped marlin, 9 wahoo, 4 yellowtail, 17 amberjack, 5 grouper, 13 cabrilla, 14 jack crevalle, 12 sierra, 29 dorado, 4 dogtooth snapper, 82 bonito and 45 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric