Inshore Conditions Turn Over Again, Cow Tuna 20-30 Miles Offshore ~ June 25, 2016


Anglers –
June 25, 2016

With the officially start to the summer season we also saw the weather change to more of a tropical pattern. Increased morning cloud cover, burning off as the day progressed, higher humidity and heat index up to 100 degrees. The wind and swell patterns are now becoming more predominate from the south. This week there was a ocean swell from the southern hemisphere that pushed into Baja waters. Currents continued to be extremely strong, inshore areas are now cooler and greener, the clarity line had been within several miles of shore, but in recent days have shifted from 20 to 30 miles offshore, this is where there is a pronounced break from 74 degree water, up to 78 or even 80 degree currents.

This entire week had the ocean conditions rapidly changing, the week started with warmer clean water being found fairly close to shore, then water clarity deteriorated and the warm blue water shifted to much further offshore. All of this movement has limited what sportfishing fleets were able to do, basically it was down to two main options, either stay closer to shore and work the beach stretches and the structure within a couple miles of shore, other plan was to head out deep to where the clean water was found.

Bait supplies consisted of mullet, caballito, moonfish, or ballyhoo and squid slabs were also available. The majority of the local panga fleets were fishing on the grounds from Cardon to Vinorama, trolling or drift fishing with various baits, there were some great quality fish accounted for early in the week, as the week progressed the water became more stirred up with the increased swell and the action tapered off. One of the more significant catches was a 122 lb. amberjack that was landed near Vinorama on a live mullet from the super panga “Hooker” by skipper Tony Miranda’s son Axel, what a monster. There were many other amberjack landed that were in the 20 to 70 lb. class. Also a handful of dogtooth snapper and pargo Colorado, leopard grouper, barred pargo, yellow snapper, roosterfish, jack crevalle and at least one yellowtail.

Off the structure, in areas of 120 to 180 ft. there was some action encountered while using yo-yo jigs, mid-week there were some yellowfin tuna up to 75 lb. landed off of the San Luis Bank, then as the water became off colored, that put an end to that action for the time being. All week there were reports of larger cow sized yellowfin tuna being encountered while trolling among pods of fast moving porpoise, most days this activity was found some 20 to 30 miles from shore, near where the warm water break was. We saw one 170 lb. class yellowfin brought to the panga dock area, we heard of a fish over 300 lb. taken from a Los Barriles charter, there were many reports of big fish, though with the distance offshore and the combination of south wind chop, this was mainly a larger boat deal and for the boats that arrived on the scene first before the traffic created too much commotion and put the fish off the bite. Other action offshore besides encountered possibly tuna action was for scattered strikes on striped marlin or dorado, no big numbers but a few nice fish were being found, most of these just by trolling lures in open water. Not much talk of wahoo this past week, though as the water clears back up closer to shore these fish could become more active at any time.

The roosterfish action continued to be very good along a wide stretch of inshore zones, a couple of off days when currents became dirty and cold in certain regions, quickly changing from day to day now. We heard of roosterfish to fifty pounds that were caught and released, also scores of big jack crevalle are also patrolling these same inshore areas,

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 63 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 8 striped marlin, 1 yellowtail, 9 dogtooth snapper, 23 yellowfin tuna, 16 bonito, 9 dorado, 26 amberjack, 18 leopard grouper (cabrilla), 18 pargo colorado, 24 yellow snapper, 5 sierra, 10 barred pargo, 72 jack crevalle, 74 roosterfish and 55 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Roosterfish Highlight Action ~ June 18, 2016

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Anglers –
June 18, 2016

Crowds are only moderate now, with weather conditions still bearable, as we are starting to feel the heat of oncoming seasonal changes. This weekend we will celebrate Father’s Day and then also in the coming days the summer season will officially begin on June 20, which also happens to be the day of the full moon, this is a rare occurrence, when the day of the Summer Solstice and the full moon fall on the same date, actually this has not happened since 1948, some 68 years ago. The climate has progressively felt more humid throughout this week, as a tropical depression was slowly moving off to the southwest of the lower Baja Peninsula about 300 miles off of land, does not impose any threat, only slightly increased swell activity and the higher humidity. Also a few more tropical clouds forming, though more than enough warm sunshine.

A lot can happen in a matter of one week, after last week’s big blow from out of the south pushed in cold Pacific currents to Punta Colorado, patterns have since stabilized and now warm waters near 80 degrees have pushed back in, from Cabo San Lucas and in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, though on the Pacific side of Cabo the water temperatures are still in the lower 70s. All this current flow has made the inshore waters, up to about five miles offshore, a little off colored and greenish. As we near the month of July we usually see that the blue water comes very close to shore as weather patterns increasingly warm.

This week we saw a huge influx of schooling mullet move into the San Jose del Cabo region, have not seen this much mullet activity in this area for at least several years. With all of this baitfish activity we have also seen the larger sized roosterfish arrive in substantial numbers. Reports of great roosterfish action on fish to over fifty pounds along the entire coastal stretches, though one particular local hot spot were the stretches from La Fortuna to north of Vinorama. Along with the roosterfish also came the hog sized jack crevalle and some dogtooth snapper action is also starting to be seen, if you can find a spot where the jacks will leave you alone long enough in order to give the snapper a chance. Sharks were moving closer to shore, the pilot sharks have been thick offshore for several months now, but we are now seeing more hammerhead as well, these sharks are congregating on the same bottom structure areas where we commonly target species such as cabrilla, amberjack, pargo and others, the sharks can become too numerous at times to be able to really have much a chance at catching the preferred species. Sharks our presently out of season, not legal to retain, though we always prefer to release them anyway. Anglers should also remember to release all roosterfish with care when possible, these fish are a prized for their fighting stamina, not eating quality, these gamefish can grow to weights of over one hundred pounds and also have a very limited habitat that should be protected, only existing worldwide from Southern Baja to Costa Rica.

Fleets were finding the best all-around action now on the grounds near La Fortuna to just north of Vinorama, lots of quality trophy sized roosterfish, jack crevalle, a few dogtooth snapper and amberjack to fifty pounds lurking around shallow water rock piles. Also decent numbers of yellow snapper, a handful of leopard grouper, at least one which was of the golden phased variety. A few late season sierra in the mix.

Offshore action included striped marlin and dorado, scattered with mixed results, some charters accounting for multiple marlin and dorado days. Dorado up to 25 lb., stripers averaging 90 to 130 lb. Many fish were just encountered by taking blind strikes on lures or on rigged baits such as ballyhoo or mullet. Caballito became scarcer, more mullet available this week compared to any other baitfish. Strips of squid are still be used for chunk fishing on the grounds from the Iman to Vinorama Banks. No significant numbers of yellowfin tuna, but charters that did target this action with persistence accounted for one, two or three tuna that averaged 25 to 30 lb. Only a couple wahoo reportedly landed recently, others were seen free swimming, so they are definitely in the area, these fish always seem to be elusive, until conditions are to their liking and they decide to go on the bite.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 80 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 wahoo, 13 striped marlin, 7 dogtooth snapper, 36 yellowfin tuna, 29 bonito, 14 dorado, 15 amberjack,15 leopard grouper (cabrilla), 34 yellow snapper, 8 sierra, 14 barred pargo, 55 jack crevalle, 105 roosterfish and 90 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

South Winds means Cold Water, Scattered Action ~ June 11, 2016


Anglers –
June 11, 2016

This past week was dominated by the weather conditions, more than by the light crowds of anglers getting into some fast and furious fishing action. After last Sunday being a great day, as forecast, we saw high pressure systems from the north, coinciding with low pressure areas from the south created the perfect environment for the south wind to develop and be persistent for four straight days, finally residing by Friday. Winds blew steady at 20 to 25 mph, with gusts to over 30 mph, rare to have so many days in a row of this strong of wind from that direction. After enduring the season’s first major heat wave the previous week, we saw temperature cool off back to late winter type conditions, lows in the 60 and highs in the upper 70s. The main impact the south wind had for anglers, besides keeping most charters tied to the dock through Thursday, was how the water clarity became turned over, Pacific currents pushed cold and dirty water into the Sea of Cortez, reaching all the way to north of Los Frailes, this dropped ocean temperatures from the 78/80 degree range down to a chilly 67/68 degrees. This is a drastic change overnight, now the weather has settled down, but this will take some time for conditions to rebound to how they were, offshore from San Jose del Cabo there are now areas where water is 72/74 degrees, a few nice days of calmer weather and we should see water temperatures back into the mid-70s.

The rapid change in conditions put a halt to any consistent fishing action that had been happening prior to the south winds. There had been good marlin action offshore, also a mix of dorado, wahoo and yellowfin tuna to round out the surface action. Also we were seeing better quality off the bottom structure, namely for amberjack and a few dogtooth snapper, both of which prefer warm water conditions. So now with the colder water we heard of a few striped marlin being encountered outside of the Gordo Banks and towards Iman Bank. Most panga charters were concentrating efforts near San Luis Bank and off of Cardon and La Fortuna, where they found some of the Eastern Pacific bonito, yellow snapper, leopard grouper and triggerfish

The only thing good to say about the conditions this past week, is that the climate was comfortable as far as temperature was, a relief from the hot weather and most likely the last cold wave of the season we will feel, with the major heat of the summer season just waiting for us in the very near future.

Cold water seemed to even scatter the available baitfish, pangeros were now working overtime to find jurelito, caballito and some moonfish, of course there are still some ballyhoo and squid slabs also being offered.

For the few days that charter fleets were even able to operate this week, the most consistent action was found closer to shore, either slow trolling or drift fishing baits and also some action found on yo-yo style jigs. A lot of changes surely will happen in the coming weeks and conditions do warm back up to the normal patterns.

Just prior to the water turning over due to persistent south winds, we saw some decent roosterfish action accounted for off of inshore grounds, San Luis and the San Jose del Cabo Hotel zone both produced roosterfish in decent number, fish to 25 pounds were landed.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 42 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 9 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 3 dogtooth snapper, 5 yellowfin tuna, 90 bonito, 4 dorado, 6 amberjack,11 leopard grouper (cabrilla), 2 pompano, 32 yellow snapper, 4 sierra, 8 barred pargo, 22 roosterfish and 75 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric