Spring Break, Busy Time in Los Cabos ~ March 26, 2016


Anglers –
March 26, 2016

The first official week of the Spring Season saw heavier crowds of vacationers arrive for the traditional holiday. Busy times in Los Cabos, weather was a bit unpredictable all week, started off with heavy winds from the south, pushing in cooler Pacific currents, which also created murky inshore conditions. By the later part of the week the conditions settled down and were once again on an improving trend. Ocean temperature ranged from 71 degrees on the Pacific to 73 degrees in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and Los Frailes.

Since last weekend through midweek we saw tough conditions, though now once again clarity is rebounding, combined factors such as, full moon, strong cool currents, high winds, choppy seas, all can add up to more difficult fishing. Though during this seasonal transition period, things can change very fast, conditions can predict what can happen on a given day. Bait availability has been mainly caballito, strips of squid and some ballyhoo. The baitfish such as sardineta and mackerel which had been found off of San Jose del Cabo have now all but vanished, so in turn the offshore action for billfish has been more scattered as well.

The majority of the charters are now concentrating on the grounds north of Punta Gorda, namely, La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis Banks. This is where the best opportunities for a variety of species has been found. Drift fishing over rocky structure has been the favored technique, using various baits and yo-yo jigs. Snapper, pargo, amberjack, cabrilla, triggerfish have been most common catches. No huge numbers, but some quality eating fish are being accounted for. We did see one 70 lb. class amberjack, the majority of the bottom species are in the 5 to 15 lb. class. We heard a report from Cabo San Lucas, that some larger charters venturing towards Todo Santos encountered schools of yellowtail on the surface traveling with porpoise and these boats were able to land up to a half dozen nice sized yellowtail while trolling marlin, tuna, dorado type surface lures, of course this was an isolated event, at least it was a sign that more numbers of yellowtail are heading our direction, so far this season these jacks have been almost nonexistent.

Action for dorado, wahoo or yellowfin tuna was very limited, only an occasional wahoo or dorado being reported. Tuna are still being found on the Iman Banks and towards Vinorama, drift fishing with strips of squid. This action was very hit or miss, though a handful of yellowfin were landed each day, including fish to over 70 lb., most common sized tuna was more in the 15 to 25 lb. range, anglers were fortunate to land one tuna in their combined catch. Best bet to catch fish was to try off the bottom.

Inshore there was some action on jack crevalle and roosterfish, limited as it was, we did hear of a couple of larger sized roosterfish hooked into off of the San Jose del Cabo hotel zone, still early in the season for these popular gamefish. Quite a few whales still being sighted, though this is usually now the tail end of the annual migration for these mammals, they well be heading back north soon.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 86 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 6 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 3 dorado, 29 yellowfin tuna, 5 pompano, 17 amberjack, 23 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 32 huachinango, 45 yellow snapper, 16 barred pargo, 9 island jack, 18 sierra, 16 jack crevalle,8 roosterfish, 8 bonito, 18 black skipjack and 95 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Spring Season Starts, Transition Time On Local Fishing Grounds ~ March 20, 2016


Anglers –
March 20, 2016

This is a busy time in Southern Baja, with the annual San Jose del Cabo traditional fiesta lasting throughout the week, Fishing Tournament from Puerto Los Cabos on March 19, then the Off Road racing classic on March 20, all during the same weekend when the spring season officially begins. Sunny days, with high temperatures into the 80s, ideal climate now, some unpredictable winds, blowing from the north and then gusting out of the south, common pattern this time of year.

Anglers have found a combination of surface action, inshore and bottom action. Striped marlin is the main species being targeted offshore, no big numbers, though there are good chances at having opportunities anywhere from 3 to 10 miles from shore, fish are spread out. Not many dorado being found, just an occasional fish. Same for wahoo, not really the season for these species, but they still are in the area, just not striking very often.

Most of the panga charters are now concentrating on the normal grounds to the north of Punta Gorda, La Fortuna Iman and San Luis Banks. There have been yellowfin tuna schooling here and anglers were hooking up while drift fishing with strips of squid, some charters accounted for five or six yellowfin, while others worked hard for one or two fish. Some days the winds made for tough fishing, other days proved to be nice. Sizes on these tuna averaged 15 to 25 lb. though there were larger fish in the mix, we weighed in one yellowfin at 87 lb., and several others in the 40 to 60 lb. were also accounted for.

The bait supply consisted mainly of caballito, ballyhoo, slabs of squid and some sardineta, these baitfish which had been holding off of San Jose del Cabo are now dispersing, with heavy pressure by porpoise a main factor on scattering these bait schools. We still have the ongoing problem of having to battle with the sea lions in order to land your hook ups.

On the same grounds where the yellowfin tuna were holding, there has been a variety of bottom species hooked into, common catches were pargo, of mixed varieties, leopard grouper, rainbow runner, skipjack, bonito, triggerfish, also chances at pompano and amberjack. There were reports of a couple of tiger sharks being hooked into as well. Many bottom fish were lost to cut lines as well, heavier fish that cut lines on the sharp rocks.

Not much going on close to shore now, sporadic action for smaller sized roosterfish and some early morning sierra. A few halibut have been landed by both shore and boat anglers, not a usual catch for us.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 66 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 8 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, 4 dorado, 106 yellowfin tuna, 2 halibut, 6 pompano, 11 amberjack, 19 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 14 huachinango, 30 yellow snapper, 9 barred pargo, 18 sierra, 9 roosterfish, 4 bonito and 42 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Crazy Conditions, More Bottom Action, Spotty on the Surface ~ February 12, 2016

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Anglers –
March 12, 2016

Just as the local saying goes, Febreo Loco y Marzo otro poco (Crazy February and March a little more), this proved to be the prefect summary for this past week’s weather. Daytime highs barely reached into the lower 70s for the first part of the week, south winds switched from out of the Northwest, gusts to over 30 mph, rain showers near La Paz, winds swirling from all directions, creating choppy ocean swells, causing the Ports of Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Los Cabos to be closed down for the day of Wednesday, even though Tuesday was the worst conditions, Port Authorities were being extra cautious. By Thursday morning the front had passed through, conditions warmed up, south winds remained steady though. Overall we are now back on a warming trend, during this seasonal transition period we can commonly witness srapidly changing conditions, remember last March, on the day of the annual off road races, we saw heavy tropical thunder storms, then hail and offshore water spouts, all on the same day, definitely can be crazy.

Ocean conditions became a bit more stirred up, areas of greener cooling currents, water temperatures varied from 71 degrees on the Pacific side to 76 degrees in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. Schools of baitfish continue to be found off of San Jose del Cabo, more sardineta than anything else, but also some mackerel. This is the same grounds where there has been good action for striped marlin, mainly while drift fishing baits down deeper, striped marlin up to 140 pounds were reported, these were larger striped marlin, compared to the smaller fish being found earlier. Fleets from Cabo San Lucas were also fishing this area, not much going on elsewhere. Not wide open action, but most charter were having opportunities at marlin. Live caballito were available from inside the marina on a limited basis.

For the La Playita panga fleets, the more productive action was coming off the bottom structure, high spots from Red Hill/Palmilla, north to San Luis Bank, produced a mix of species, while drift fishing with various baits and on yo-yo style jigs. Catches included amberjack, yellowtail, yellow snapper, huachinango, bonito, leopard grouper, barred pargo, triggerfish and others. All very good eating species. Though on windy days this type of fishing can prove to be difficult, creating too fast of a drift. We do anticipate some great bottom action as soon as we see more consistent calmer conditions.

Nor much to report in the way of dorado or wahoo, just an occasional specimen being accounted for. Yellowfin tuna was very limited as well, though these fish were hanging around the San Luis Bank and a few fish were landed, ranging up to 70 pounds, striking on strips of squid, early in the day seemed to be the best chance at enticing a strike, though this action was sporadic, there was also the ever present problem of sea lions waiting for their chances at stealing hooked fish.

Along the shoreline anglers have encountered increased numbers of sierra, striking on lures and strip baits. Some smaller sized roosterfish rounded out the inshore activity. The coming weeks should see improvement closer to shore, though this season the lack of the sardinas have made things more unpredictable.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 48 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 15 striped marlin, 3 yellowtail, 1 wahoo, 2 dorado, 19 yellowfin tuna, 16 amberjack, 34 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 12 huachinango, 22 yellow snapper, 6 barred pargo, 24 sierra, 12 roosterfish, 9 bonito and 38 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric