Warming Days, Mixed and Surface Success ~ April 9, 2016


Anglers –
April 9, 2016

Despite spring break now being over we are still seeing good numbers of vacationers arriving in Los Cabos. Weather patterns are progressively feeling more tropical, though temperatures are actually now ideal, low temperatures averaging in the mid to upper 60s, with daytime highs near 85 degrees. Scattered cloud cover, burning off as sun warms up, moderate winds predominately from the southeast, calmer in the morning, increased later in the afternoon. Overall, very comfortable conditions for anglers.

Ocean swells have been slight, clean blue water now found close to shore, water temperatures have been near 70 degrees off of Cabo San Lucas and on the Pacific, with warmer 74 degree currents found off of San Jose del Cabo and towards Los Frailes. Most fleets are now concentrating their efforts in the direction of the warmer water. This seasonal transition period can see rapid changes, last week had several days when the pelagic red crabs were found drifting to the surface on the fishing grounds of the Gordo Banks, this provided excellent opportunities at catching quality red snapper. Now we are not seeing any more of these red crabs, who knows when they will come back up, very hard to predict. There have been supplies of caballito, but heavier pressure has been a factor of having enough to supply all charters on some days. Strips of squid are also being used and there have been ballyhoo available as well, still no signs of sardinas, we have now gone the entire winter season and into spring without having any resource for these preferred all around baitfish.

Offshore action has consisted mainly for scattered striped marlin, no large concentrations, but there have been decent numbers of marlin found, often within two, three or four miles from shore, striking best on baitfish, they have been encountered tailing on the surface and anglers have been hooking up while drift fishing with baits down deeper. Dorado action has been almost nonexistent, only an occasional single fish being reported. There have been some wahoo in the area, but getting them to bite is another deal, on Monday there was some good wahoo activity found north of San Luis Bank, but since this action has been very spotty. With clean blue water, warming days, darkening moon, these elusive fish could go on the bite on any given day.

Most charters are fishing off of the structure for a combination of snapper, pargo and cabrilla species, with an occasional amberjack accounted for. The same grounds of La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis Banks have been holding schools of yellowfin tuna, the bite has been on and off, but actually this past week we saw more tuna in the 20 to 50 lb. class and a few others near 100 lb. All of these yellowfin have been hooked into while drift fishing with strips of squid. The aggressive sea lions continue to be an ongoing issue, not much can be done, they are hanging out on these same fishing grounds, waiting for their chance at both the snapper and tuna, getting more than their share. No yellowtail action to report, a handful of amberjack, main species being smaller sized snapper, pargo, triggerfish and bonito.

Whales seem to have started to head back on their northern migration, as fewer of these mammals have been sighted. This is the season now when we should start seeing whale sharks cruising on the offshore high spots.

Inshore action has been mainly for some roosterfish and jack crevalle, but this has not been a consistent bite so far, we should have more fish moving in along the coastal stretches in the coming month.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 96 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 16 striped marlin, 2 dorado, 9 wahoo, 36 yellowfin tuna, 14 amberjack, 14 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 115 huachinango (red snapper), 26 yellow snapper, 8 barred pargo, 130 tijareta, 6 sierra, 6 jack crevalle, 12 roosterfish, 22 bonito and 300 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Red Crabs Appear, Red Snapper Bite ~ April 2, 2016


Anglers –
April 2, 2016

We are now seeing the final wave of Spring Break vacationers arriving in good numbers and enjoying the warm sunshine and scores of activities available. Transition period now, weather is variable, from slightly chilly early in the day, to highs in the upper 80s. Some marine layer cloud cover early, even a little fog, quickly burning off as the sun rises.

Ocean swells have been moderate, winds variable, at times from the north, then from the south, but not enough to keep charters from venturing to the normal fishing grounds. Currents were strong at times, water temperature ranged from 70 degrees on the Pacific, to 73 degrees off of San Jose del Cabo and towards the north. These patterns are normal for this time of year, usually lasting though the later part of this month, then we see warmer currents move in, continuing warming trends helping to stabilize conditions.

Not much has changed for bait availability, caballito, ballyhoo and squid strips still be used. No one reported finding any sardina schools, except for some 50 miles north in Cabo Pulmo National Park, not an option from this heavily protected zone. The big news this week was that the pelagic red crabs once again became abundant on the surface of the Gordo Banks. This always sets off a flurry of commercial activity, as it means that the prized pargo, snapper catch will be following these red crabs.

In the cooler waters we are not finding any dorado or wahoo to speak of, there have been decent numbers of striped marlin encountered as close as two to five miles from shore, striking on various baitfish best, but also hitting on trolling lures, sizes ranged to 140 lb. Many charters are doing a combination of bottom action, inshore and offshore, everything is close enough now that this can be a decent option.

Not much going on close to shore except for sporadic action on roosterfish, jack crevalle and sierra. Though hit or miss and no big numbers reported. The striped marlin was definitely the main offshore bite, easily available now for even the smallest of charters, since stripers are being found close to shore. No huge numbers, but a very good chance of hooking into a billfish if wishing to target these fish.

Many family groups vacationing now and the majority of these groups have been opting to target smaller species, better number of a variety and excellent eating. The red snapper, pargo action was good for anglers that got into the red crab action, because this is what these fish are now feeding on, not much interested in anything else at the present time. The snapper and pargo species being landed are averaging in the 2 to 14 lb. range. An occasional amberjack cabrilla, grouper or yellowtail were hooked into, some on yo-yo jigs, others on baitfish. Mid-week there was one impressive 75 lb. broomtail grouper landed by veteran Baja angler Joey Hanen of So. Cal., fishing on the super Panga “Periquita”.

Only a handful of yellowfin tuna were found this week, most from the Iman Bank area, cooler water and choppy seas made this bite tough, the ever present sea lions were in wait as well. The yellowfin that we did see were ranging in the 15 to 30 lb. class.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 98 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 21 striped marlin, 9 yellowfin tuna, 12 pompano, 2 yellowtail, 12 amberjack, 2 broomtail grouper, 5 pinto cabrilla, 18 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 480 huachinango (red snapper), 78 yellow snapper, 320 other pargo species,4 island jack, 5 sierra, 13 jack crevalle, 15 roosterfish, 6 bonito and 230 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric