Persistent North Winds, Tuna Still in the Area ~ January 29, 2017


Anglers –
January 29, 2017

Visitors to Southern Baja are enjoying warm sunshine, with high temperature of around 75 degrees. Much of this past week there were strong northern winds that made for some rougher days on the water for anglers, early morning there as the wind chill factor to deal with until the rising sun helped warm the day up. Fortunately there were still some yellowfin tuna fond close to shore off of Punta Gorda, this was the highlight of catches in recent days.

The schools of sardinas which had just recently appeared in local waters for the first time in over a year, are already starting to vanish, recently the commercial bait netters are working hard to find minimal quantities and anglers were waiting for an hour or more to sometimes not even get the sardinas. So this is a bit discouraging to see this resource collapsing so quickly, we will hope that more schools of these preferred baitfish will move into the region soon. Other bait options have included sardineta, mackerel, caballito and slabs of squid. Just not much action being found by trolling lures, so bait has been the better choice to find action.

Anglers were drift fishing for the yellowfin tuna, using various baits, but sardinas were the favorite if you were able to obtain them. The tuna were ranging in size from 15 to 40 lb., average catches being one or two or up to six or more, depending if you were at the right place at the right time. These yellowfin were hanging close to shore over rocky structure where anglers were also catching a mix of bottom species, though no significant number, except for possible triggerfish. A few nicer sized amberjack were accounted for, in the 50 to 60 lb. class, also a handful of red snapper and leopard grouper.

Ocean clarity actually improved in recent days, as greenish current were pushed aside by bluer water within a mile of shore. Water temperatures now averaged 70 to 71 degrees, which is back to around normal for this time of year. We are hoping to see more yellowtail start to move in, there were increased numbers of striped marlin being seen off of the normal fishing grounds out of San Jose del Cabo, though still only a handful were actually hooked into.

Sierra are dominating the inshore activity, moderate numbers of fish averaging 2 to 4 lb. A few roosterfish were also accounted for, up to 15 lb. Not the normal season that we find many roosterfish, normally the ones we do see are smaller juvenile sized fish. The north winds have limited where charters could reasonably have a chance to fish in comfort, need some calmer days in order to work the grounds of Iman to San Luis, this is where there can be more bottomfish opportunities during the winter season.

Whales continue to entertain viewers, as they are now in peak season. Also some sea lions hanging around the fishing grounds taking their share of the catch.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 62 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 7 striped marlin,120 yellowfin tuna, 7 dorado, 11 bonito, 21 yellow snapper, 18 leopard grouper, 34 huachinango,124 sierra, 5 roosterfish, 5 pompano, 12 mojara, 6 amberjack and 85 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna Highlight Action ~ January 21, 2017


Anglers –
January 21, 2017

Frigid temperatures sweeping across much of North America is sending fair numbers of tourists in a southerly direction, many choosing Los Cabos as their convenient destination. This past week we felt cooler winter weather patterns, low temperatures down to 50 degrees and daytime highs near 75 degrees, light cloud cover, giving way to sunshine, winds were moderate out of the north, swells were minimal as well, overall conditions were still very pleasant compared to northern regions.

The cooling air temperatures contributed to ocean water temperature dropping into the 70 degree range. The clarity actually was blue in most areas, with some splotchy green areas. The whale migration is definitely peaking now and should continue for the next month. Big news for the bait situation is that for the past week now there has been schooling sardinas found off of the Palmilla Point area, will be interesting to see how long this resource will hold up, very fragile fishery, we had not seen these baitfish for well over one year. Congregations of mackerel and sardineta are being found spread throughout the area as well, always a favorable sign.

More sierra are moving in along the beach stretches now and with sardinas being available, this has opened up another option inshore, though we have not seen big numbers of the sierra yet. Cooling waters also put the bite on roosterfish on hold, wahoo seem to be moving out as well, with numbers of dorado declining as well, that time of year, when gamefish that prefer warmer water move south, while other species which do prefer cooler currents move into local waters.

Yellowfin tuna continue to be the most common fish being found, at least for the fleets out of San Jose del Cabo. In recent days the most consistent fishing grounds were back in the vicinity of the Iman Bank. The bite was sporadic most days, with boats averaging one, two or three yellowfin in the 15 to 40 lb. class, drift fishing with sardinas for bait proved to be the best bet. On Wednesday the action went wide open, with most charters accounting for limits for their anglers, while the very next day the bite was very slow, the tuna could be seen on the surface, but proved finicky once again. We are really fortunate to have these yellowfin tuna hanging around so late in the season, they have been a savior since the bottom action has not developed into much so far. A few snapper and amberjack were landed, but the snapper bite of last week slowed way down. We are hoping to see some yellowtail moving in with the cooling water.

Not much going on for striped marlin off of San Jose del Cabo at this time, though some stripers were being hooked into near Iman where the yellowfin tuna action was found. We believe we will see more numbers of billfish move in soon, following the mackerel food source.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 58 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 striped marlin, 290 yellowfin tuna, 16 dorado, 18 bonito, 16 yellow snapper, 12 leopard grouper, 46 huachinango, 24 tijareta, 145 sierra, 8 pompano, 7 amberjack and 90 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Schooling Sardinas Appear off Palmilla Point, Tuna and Snapper Bite ~ January 14, 2017


Anglers –
January 14, 2017

As we progress into the New Year we have seen many tourists arriving, most of them to escape frigid northern winter season temperatures and to relax in Los Cabos’s pleasant climate. With daytime highs nearing 80 degrees and mostly sunny skies, this is a great choice for a quick getaway trip. Not many anglers in town now, though often these vacationers are looking for outdoor activities and many do decide to go fishing on late notice. With the annual whale migration now peaking, this is also another reason to get out on the water and see what the area has to offer.

The north winds were light throughout the week, swells were minimal, though there were strong currents running, pushing in cooler water temperatures, as currents are now in the 70 to 74 degree range, we expect this cooling trend to continue throughout the next month. Sportfishing fleets are fishing in different directions now, trying to find the best possible all around action. We finally can say that some schools of sardinas are appearing off of Palmilla Point in recent days, this is favorable news, these baitfish have been absent from local waters for over one year, we hope that this is sign that we will see this bait source rebound, fragile fishery that needs to be cautiously protected. Lots of mackerel also being found on the normal bait grounds, mixed with sardinetas. Slabs of squid and caballito are also being offered by commercial bait vendors, so the overall bait situation is better at this time, hopefully this will be a trend throughout the season.

This is another transition period, where we see warmer water species start to move out of the area and others that prefer cooler waters begin to move in. It appears that the El Nino current of the past couple of years is vanishing and we will see more normal patterns for the coming months. In recent days we have seen sporadic action for a variety of fish, many of them smaller sized structure species, being found in the same area where anglers are still targeting yellowfin tuna, most consistent places have been off of Punta Gorda to the Iman Bank, though things have changed from day to day, cooler waters, strong currents, off colored greenish at times, all normal patterns for this time of year. Some day’s action was early, other days late, and on other days the fish did not seem to cooperate at all. Most of the yellowfin tuna landed were in the 15 to 30 lb. range, we heard of the big cow sized yellowfin landed off of the Finger Bank on the Pacific last week, but that is a long range charter in order to reach those grounds.

Dorado were a bit more numerous this past week, though the majority of them were smaller sized female fish that in reality should be released to help this species have a chance to rebound. We are heard reports about an occasional dorado to 20 lb., but these were an exception. Wahoo were almost nonexistent this past week, a few reported lost strikes, but did not see any landed, these fish will be heading south soon, if most of them have not already done so.

Best bottom action now was for red snapper (huachinango), with Punta Gorda being the most productive spot for this action. Snapper up to ten pounds were striking on various baits near the same place where late season tuna were schooling. Only a few leopard grouper, yellow snapper or other pargo species in the mix. Of course there have been decent numbers of triggerfish.

Billfish are mainly on the Pacific Banks now, even though we are seeing congregations of mackerel off of San Jose del Cabo, very few striped marlin have moved in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. With the food source at hand, anything could happen on any given day. With sardinas now appearing we are hoping to have chances at having a good season for inshore sierra as well. Roosterfish action seems to come to a halt with the cooling waters.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 68 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 64 yellowfin tuna, 32 dorado, 6 bonito, 16 yellow snapper,11 leopard grouper, 150 huachinango, 25 tijareta, 16 sierra, 2 yellowtail, 1 sheepshead, 2 amberjack and 80 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric