July 26, 2014
We are now in the later part of the month of July, this is always a warm time of year, very humid, muggy, days are long and tropical weather can rapidly change overnight. Crowds are a bit below average this month, perhaps the great fishing now being found off of Sothern California is a factor, as many anglers are taking advantage of their local bite, where yellowtail, bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and yellowtail are all providing epic action.
This past week the highlight for the San Jose del Cabo sportfishing fleet was the yellowfin tuna bite that developed north of Vinormama, some 20 to 25 miles north of Puerto Los Cabos Marina, a bit further than what normal panga or local cruiser charters travel on a regular basis. We could see fuel surcharges soon, if this continues. This is the same fishing grounds where the East Cape fleet has been concentrated on and they are located closer to these grounds than Cabo fleets. The key has been the availability of live sardinas, which are being found schooling near Los Frailes. Anglers were drift fishing with these baits and hooking into yellowfin tuna in the 25 to 45 lb. class. This area where the fleet is finding these fish is very close to shore, so close that triggerfish are thick and skipjack are also out numbering the tuna. With persistence and the proper baitfish, charters were able to land, one to five of these yellowfin per morning. Rigging with forty pound main line spliced to 40 or 50 lb. fluorocarbon leader material has been the most productive technique.
Dorado have been found more spread out, the majority being juvenile sized fish, but there are some much larger fish mixed in, bulls weighing up to 50 lb. were reported, though no big numbers, trolling larger baitfish such as bolito was one method than was producing a larger grade of dorado.
Open water trolling saw a mix of billfish, actually last week there was sailfish, striped, black and blue marlin caught from local waters, again no big numbers, but these gamefish are present and an offshore grand slam could happen on any given day.
Ocean conditions are very warm, averaging 85 to 87 degrees, even warmer further offshore, this is the time of year where charters do not need to travel very far offshore to find pelagic gamefish species. Winds were relatively mild most days, with the exception of Thursday, when a tropical squall flared up, moving in from the east and closing charter operations for the morning, not before many charters had already launching into what appeared to be moderate conditions, only to have the breeze switch and turn this squall into a major situation for an hour or two, all boats had to return as quickly as possible to the Marina, but seas became extremely rough quickly, wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph, accompanied by driving tropical storm force thunder showers. Everyone did return safely, storm system passed on through and by mid day, skies were sunny again. Lengthy local power outages, wind and minor flood damage was reported. The landscape will surely turn tropical green from this deluge.
Not much bottom action reported some early morning pargo, bonito, cabrilla action on yo-yo jigs, but nothing red hot. Only an occasional roosterfish or jack crevalle found along the shoreline, no signs of much mullet activity to attract the inshore gamefish, getting late in the season now, it appears that we might not see the large schools of mullet as we would normally expect. Last season we witnessed one of the best roosterfish bites on record and this season has been the complete reverse.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 63 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
1 black marlin, 2 blue marlin, 4 striped marlin, 8 sailfish, 48 yellowfin tuna, 6 amberjack, 5 cabrilla, 4 jack crevalle, 58 dorado, 3 wahoo,1 dogtooth snapper, 10 bonito, 230 black skipjack and 2 roosterfish.
Good fishing, Eric