Tournament Times, Cow Tuna, Marlin, Large Crowds ~ October 28, 2017

Anglers –
October 28, 2017

Large crowds of anglers and visitors alike are arriving in Los Cabos, as we are now in the midst of the peak fall season. This past week the huge story was the Bisbee Black and Blue Tournament, which is the highest paying fishing tournament in the world, with this year’s event attracting 120 teams from across the globe, with over 800 participants. For final results you can check on Bisbee’s web site. Swirling winds from the north finally resided late in the week, with prevailing clear sunny skies and warmer than normal high temperatures, this all made for ideal conditions, actually still feeling almost like summer.

Heavy pressure now on bait resources, but so far supplies have held up, though if wishing to obtain sardinas, that meant traveling towards Chileno and waiting each morning as netters worked overtime to find enough bait to go around. Other options were caballito and slabs of squid. Some panga guides are starting to scout out chihuil options, as well as smaller sized skipjack.

Sportfishing fleets, as well as tournament teams, have been scouting fishing grounds in all directions. For fleets out of San Jose del Cabo, thought much of the week they were heading south towards Cabo San Lucas, in order to find calmer waters, since north winds had their normal grounds from Gordo Banks to Vinorama all stirred up and very choppy. Also with the sardinas now being located close to Cabo San Lucas, that is a long back tack, to travel that far south to wait around for sardinas and then motor back to grounds such as Iman or San Luis Banks, not a normal plan, this takes way too much time, not to mention how much extra fuel is needed. Charters were fishing areas from the Hyatt, Cabeza Ballena, Los Arcos and to el Faro around the corner on the Pacific. Main target species being the yellowfin tuna. Drift fishing with sardinas was the most productive technique, the tuna were seen in flurries, at times proved to be very finicky, catches ranged from zero up to ten fish per boat, depending where you happened to be at a given time, lots of black skipjack were mixed in with the yellowfin tuna. Average size of the tuna were 5 to 10 lb. though other larger fish were mixed in. The biggest yellowfin tuna for the week was taken Friday off of the Outer Gordo Banks, angler Bob Deeter hooked into the cow tuna while trolling a live chihuil, after a crazy surface battle, the fish actually expired and was subdued in relatively easier than normal manner. Back at the docks the yellowfin weighed in at 304 lb.

Dorado were very scarce early in the week off of San Jose del Cabo grounds, better chances were found trolling in Pacific waters, though later in the week we saw more dorado showing up, still not in significant numbers, but at least somewhat encouraging. Sizes ranged up to 15 lb. Wahoo action finally showed much more activity later in the week, as ocean conditions calmed down and charters were able to comfortably work areas such as the Iman Bank. With a slight change in climate as well, this seemed to trigger the wahoo. Many boats reported having six or more chances of wahoo strikes, most on baitfish such as chihuil or caballito. Other reported strikes on skirted lead heads and Rapalas. Of course as is usual with wahoo fishing, a higher percentage of strikes were lost, as compared with actually wahoo being landed. Several charters had two or three wahoo in the box, at least one had four. Sizes were not huge, but average of about 20 to 25 lb.

Bottom action was limited, one 60 lb. amberjack was accounted for, but only sporadic catches of snapper, cabrilla and triggerfish were reported. This is not the normal season for that type of fishing, with more surface action going on, nor has much at all been reported close along the beach stretches.

Billfish was spread out, but the tournaments have found a respectable number of qualifying black and blue marlin that have passed the 300 lb. minimal weight limits, Not many striped marlin now, water too warm for them, with temperatures now averaging 84 to 85 degrees.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 162 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 blue marlin, 1 black marlin, 28 wahoo, 4 amberjack, 215 yellowfin tuna, 75 dorado, 11 yellow snapper, 34 huachinango, 2 pompano, 18 Eastern Pacific bonito, 13 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 6 barred pargo and 96 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Big Tournament Season Starts, Large Crowds of Anglers ~ October 21, 2017

Anglers –
October 21, 2017

This week is traditionally really the time when things become very busy for local sportfishing fleets and sure enough the crowds have arrived in force, almost to capacity levels. The high stake billfish and yellowfin tuna tournaments are in progress, with the granddaddy of all events, the Bisbee Black Blue, scheduled for this next week. Weather conditions are near ideal now, though we have felt warmer than usual conditions recently, just the past couple of days we saw early mornings just slightly cooler, still in the 70s. We do believe the next couple of weeks should have pristine conditions. Ocean water temperatures have remained warm as well, with most of the region averaging from 85 to 88 degrees. Clean blue water now within a couple of miles from shore, swells were moderate, though slightly increased with the recent higher tidal swings, larger waves make it more difficult for the bait netters to safely reach where the schooling sardinas are. Most days they were able to find sufficient supplies of the sardinas, with schools found off of Palmilla, near marina jetties, as well as north near Vinorama. Squid has been the other bait that is being offered and if possible it is best to obtain both sardinas and slabs of squid in order to increase your chances, the more the better. This is always the time frame when bait supplies feel the heaviest demand, we will cross our fingers that supplies hold up throughout the fall season.

This week we saw scattered numbers of dorado up to 20 lb. accounted for, but as the week progressed we saw much fewer dorado, hard to say what the deal with that is. Only a handful of wahoo were reported for the entire fleet, warmer than usual water temperatures help make wahoo more sluggish. As currents cool down to the 80 degree range this will usually trigger more activity out of these highly sought after gamefish.

Most consistent action was for yellowfin tuna, bite was more hit or miss that the previous week, heavy pressure and long waits to obtain bait, just part of the factors that come into play this time of year. Best action was found near San Luis Banks. Though other areas also produced. The yellowfin were striking on sardinas and strips of squid while drift fishing over the grounds, sizes of the tuna ranged from 5 lb. footballs up to 100 lb. specimens. Catches varied from a few fish per boat, to easy limits, some days we saw a higher percentage of yellowfin in the 30 to 80 lb. class, while other days more numbers of smaller fish, with a handful of larger fish weighed in. Lots of tuna now in the area, though they can become even more finicky with increased angling pressure.

Very little billfish action reported, though tournaments teams are landing a few and there is definitely the chance that someone will be hooking into a big black or blue marlin during the big buck events. No inshore action to report, such as sierra or roosterfish, some big jack crevalle hanging around the marina jetty area. Off the bottom there was only sporadic catches of various pargo, cabrilla, bonito, pompano, amberjack and triggerfish

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 185 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 blue marlin, 1 black marlin, 3 sailfish, 4 wahoo, 6 amberjack, 880 yellowfin tuna, 78 dorado,28 yellow snapper, 54 huachinango, 6 pompano, 95 Eastern Pacific bonito, 9 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 12 barred pargo and 140 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Lots of Anglers Arriving, More Tuna and Dorado – October 14, 2017

Anglers –
October 14, 2017

Large crowds of anglers are arriving early this fall season and sportfishing fleets are very busy with near capacity crowds. Weather settled down after we saw very strong wind gusts last Sunday, lingering until Wednesday, this limited what options were practical, especially in the direction of Vinorama, being too far north when the south winds picks up is not fun. Calm days are prevailing once again and anglers are scoring well for both yellowfin tuna and dorado.

Ocean swells were minimal, supplies of sardinas were still holding up, anglers were also using strips of squid. Ocean temperature was averaging in the 82 to 85 degree range and water color was clean and blue close to shore. Most productive fishing grounds were found from the Gordo Banks, north to Vinorama. Drift fishing over the various high spots produced limit style numbers for yellowfin tuna, most of the tuna were in the 7 to 15 lb. class, but every day there were much larger yellowfin found mixed in the same schools, or on other quieter locations, that were ranging up to 80 lb. or more. The tuna were a bit line shy and anglers found better success using lighter leaders, but then they could be in trouble if they hooked a larger fish.

This week with we saw more numbers of dorado moving onto the same tuna grounds, striking on trolled lures, as well as on various baits. Most of the dorado found were under 15 lb., with an occasional larger bull reported. Only a scattering of wahoo reported, though they are in the area, on Thursday there was a 50 lb. wahoo landed out of Puerto Los Cabos, this fish hit on a strip of squid, lucky with no wire leader. Actually more wahoo were talked about this week, as compared to last, they did show more signs of activity, usually the first part of November they start biting more readily.

Not much billfish action being reported, though there was a 200 lb. blue marlin landed off of a panga early in the week. A few sailfish scattered about as well. Bottom action consisted of huachinango, yellow snapper, cabrilla, island jack, bonito, pompano and amberjack, no big quantities, but as strong currents resided some, this was opening up more opportunities for working the bottom structure with both yo-yo jigs and bait.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 139 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 blue marlin, 1 black marlin, 9 wahoo, 8 amberjack, 1150 yellowfin tuna, 110 dorado, 4 sailfish, 18 yellow snapper, 52 huachinango, 1 island jack, 2 pompano, 6 bonito, 11 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 5 barred pargo and 120 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric