Tropical Weather does not Amount to Much, Scattered Action ~ July 30, 2016

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Anglers –
July 30, 2016

More tropical weather this past week, pretty much the entire week there were forecasts of thundershowers, though mostly isolated and not associated with any high winds or swell conditions. No port closures either, though there were many charter cancellations or changes due to unpredictable weather patterns. Hurricane Frank was the latest named storm, passing within several hundred miles off to the west and never amounting to any impact with land, only a couple of days with higher surf conditions early in the week and definitely an increase in humidity. Increased cloud cover has been a welcome relief, after enduring scorching days that reached up to a 110 degree heat index. Next week is forecast to be clearer, so we will hope that this helps to get the fish more active, as this past week the all-around action has been very scattered, a few nice fish here or there, no consistent numbers of any particular species.

Clean blue water is now within a couple of miles from shore, swift currents have been sweeping through the fishing grounds and water temperatures have ranged from 80 to 85 degrees. In the marina channel area bait vendors have offered mixed quantities of caballito, mullet and moonfish, with a few odd species mixed in, some slabs of squid are starting to be used again as well.

Early in the day boats have been doing okay on yo-yo jigs near the San Luis Bank, some red snapper (huachinango), cabrilla, pargo, bonito and amberjack. Though not many charters were even trying this action for various reason, one of them being late departures due to having to check weather possibilities. Local fleets found their best option within several miles of shore from Cardon to San Luis Bank. Average caches were just handful of fish per boat this past week, highlight of these catches were wahoo, which went back on the bite in the area of La Fortuna, striking mainly on trolled Rapalas, a few on rigged baits. No huge numbers of these wahoo, though some boats accounted for up to three fish, though anglers were fortunate to land one or two, sizes ranged from 20 to 50 lbs., several nice sized ‘hoo were accounted for and of course the usual stories of other lost fish.

Offshore action was slow, occasional encounters with striped marlin, sharks and smaller sized dorado. There is more consistent billfish action now being found out of the East Cape, a mix of striped and blue marlin, one blue marlin over 600 lb. was reported, but besides finding marlin their bite has been very limited.

Yellowfin tuna were in the area, though no big numbers, the majority being smaller sized 10 to 35 lb., striking yo-yo jigs and medium sized trolling lures, some also hitting on stripped squid, no consistent action or significant numbers on a day to day basis. Some larger sized yellowfin were reported on the Pacific Banks off of Cabo San Lucas, though again a hit or miss scenario.

Getting late it he season now, though roosterfish and jack crevalle continue to be found patrolling inshore stretches, striking on slow trolled live baits. Roosterfish to 50 lb. were accounted for.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 60 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 striped marlin, 3 dogtooth snapper, 1 pompano, 31 yellowfin tuna, 11 bonito, 9 dorado, 11 wahoo, 8 amberjack, 1 gulf grouper, 9 leopard grouper (cabrilla), 2 pargo colorado, 24 huachinango (red snapper), 8 yellow snapper, 7 barred pargo, 14 jack crevalle and 28 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Tropical Storms Move Much Closer, Anglers Find Better Action Near Shore ~ July 23, 2016


Anglers –
July 23, 2016

With each passing week as we progress deeper into the summer season we are feeling weather patterns become more tropical. For several weeks now there have been a series of tropical storm system developing off of the Southern Mexican coast. Most recently we have seen Tropical Storm Estelle heading off to the west and presently TS Frank and TS Georgette are on the horizon, forecast to strengthen to hurricane status in the coming days, it looks as though Frank will passing closer to the Baja Peninsula, though still far enough to the west to not cause any major impact on land, over the weekend we are expecting to see ocean swells reach up to 3 meters, with increased humidity and chances of scattered thunderstorms are forecast for all of next week, though they are not saying anything about any high winds, which is always a good thing, we do prefer rainfall without wind. Though choppy ocean and possible rain created by passing storms can also force port closures, so we will be monitoring this closely and see what Mother Nature implicates this time around. Crowds continue to be light, which can now be the normal deal through the summer until the fall season arrives.

Ocean currents have cleaned up, blue water is now being found close to shore, water temperatures have ranged from 75 degrees straight offshore of Cabo San Lucas, to as high as 84 degrees off of the San Jose del Cabo to Los Frailes regions. Recent passing of the full moon can throw off the fish activity as well, bait suppliers had to work harder for a more limited resource of caballito, mullet and moonfish, with caballito being the more common bait being offered. Some charters are starting to experiment again with slabs of squid, strip baiting for chances at finding yellowfin tuna.

The all-around action was more scattered this week, offshore charters and private sportfishers have been traveling long distances, up to 40 miles offshore, finding very warm water, clean and blue, but not much sign of fish or bait activity, occasional encounters of porpoise, but only sporadic reports of any yellowfin tuna action associated with traveling porpoise, most common offshore catch was finding a stray striped marlin here or there, more blue marlin are being found off of the East Cape area, which is normal, their season usually starts a month or two before ours does off of San Jose deL Cabo, the month of August will see a shift in the action, we will expect to see a larger grade of yellowfin tuna move closer to shore onto the high spots, this is where their food supplies congregate, this also is the time that we see the largest of pelagic gamefish arrive on these same grounds, the black and blue marlin. In the meantime most of the tuna we are seeing caught now have been smaller sized, up to 20 lb. and limited in numbers, found closer to shore while trolling medium sized lures and some are hitting on the strips of squid, once the school has been located. The yellowfin recently have been encountered from off of Punta Gorda to San Luis Banks, we have also seen commercial tuna purse seiners in this same zone, apparently they are followed these same schools, sure wish they would enforce stricter fishing zones for sportfishing and commercial fisheries, shouldn’t have to be such a conflict.

Inshore action continues to produce roosterfish and jack crevalle action, some roosterfish topped 60 pounds, too many unaware anglers continue to kill these prized gamefish, which are not known for the eating qualities and should always be released as carefully as possible in order to help preserve the future of this prized fishery.

The amberjack and snapper action close to shore has slowed down in recent days now that clarity of the water has cleaned up, where it is like looking into an aquarium, the fish can see the lines and other hardware that much easier, typically this is the time when this inshore action shifts out a bit deeper on to the high spots.

Earlier in the week anglers did well at first light using yo-yo jigs off of such grounds as San Luis Bank, various snapper, bonito, cabrilla, group, amberjack and even yellowtail were accounted for. Finding any wahoo or dorado have not been easy, a few dorado scattered through the inshore to offshore grounds, though most of these have been under ten pounds, no one talking about any big bulls now. Wahoo are in the area, being seen and landed by spear fishermen, but not many have been reportedly striking any lures or baits, these elusive fish can become more finicky in the warmer months.

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: 5 striped marlin, 7 dogtooth snapper, 29 yellowfin tuna, 16 bonito, 11 dorado, 4 wahoo,14 amberjack, 2 gulf grouper, 1 broomtail grouper, 13 leopard grouper (cabrilla), 4 pargo colorado, 16 huachinango (red snapper), 15 yellow snapper, 9 barred pargo, 22 jack crevalle, 1 yellowtail, 2 pompano and 36 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Inshore Structure More Productive than Offshore ~ July 16,2016


Anglers –
July 16, 2016

With the majority of school sessions now out for summer vacation we have seen an increase in tourists arriving, they are being greeted by tropical weather conditions, though we did not receive any rain this past week, we have seen an increase in cloud activity, this is the time of year when we often have thunderstorms develop later in the afternoon over the mountainous regions just to the north of the airport. In the past ten days there has been a series of tropical storms that have developed off to the southwest of the Southern Baja peninsula, first Hurricanes Celia and Darby and presently there is another tropical depression that is forecast to gain strength and become Hurricane Estelle. So far all of these systems have headed far enough off to the west that they have had no impact on land, only some moderate increase in ocean swells, some threatening thundershowers possibly in isolate areas and winds out of the south, increasing later in the day.

Water temperatures have rapidly warmed back up into 78 to 83 degrees range, strong currents continue to push in greenish water closer to shore, though within several miles of shore we are seeing much cleaner water. Bait supplies of caballito and moonfish are remaining sufficient in the marina channel area, offshore there are opportunities at finding skipjack, bolito, as well as smaller sized yellowfin tuna, all of which can be used for baits targeting larger gamefish.

We did not hear much going on with offshore porpoise and tuna activity this past week, though this is something that can occur at any given time this time of year. We have been finding a smaller grade of yellowfin tuna in the area from Iman to San Luis Banks, tuna in the 8 to 20 lb. class have been striking on a variety of medium sized trolling lures, as well as few of these yellowfin striking on yo-yo jigs or trolled baits. This has not been a wide open bite by any means, most charters averaging two to four tuna in their combined catch. The same grounds have produced a mix of pargo and snapper species, a handful of cabrilla and amberjack. Other options were closer to the shoreline, where anglers continue to find decent numbers of roosterfish, ranging in sizes from 10 lb., to over 60 lb. Also chances at dogtooth snapper, pargo colorado and amberjack as well, this action was found while slow trolling or drift fishing available baits. Amberjack to 75 lb. were accounted for, also a handful of quality leopard grouper to 20 lb. Early in the morning anglers found decent action on yo-yo jigs, bonito, cabrilla, huachinango, yellow snapper and others, all excellent eating table fare.

Only a scattering of dorado being reported, most of these further offshore where boats are targeting billfish, a mix of striped marlin and a few blue marlin. Most of the dorado we did see were smaller sized, less than 15 lb. A few wahoo were found just north of Vinorama, even though the water was greenish on these inshore grounds, apparently there must be something attracting the wahoo to this one small area. With the offshore fishing being more scattered, most panga charters are doing better to target the variety of species being encountered closer to shore, best spots have been from Cardon to Vinorama, within three miles of shore.

Conditions continue to be a bit sporadic, we expect later in the month conditions will stabilize and we will see more consistent action on the pelagic gamefish, such as dorado, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, sailfish, black and blue marlin.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 71 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 6 striped marlin, 17 dogtooth snapper, 85 yellowfin tuna, 36 bonito, 6 dorado, 4 wahoo, 19 amberjack, 28 leopard grouper (cabrilla), 6 pargo colorado, 23 huachinango (red snapper), 10 yellow snapper, 6 barred pargo, 12 jack crevalle, 3 snook and 42 roosterfish.

Good fishing, Eric