Holiday Crowds find Tuna, Dorado and Wahoo ~ December 30, 2017

Anglers –
December 30, 2017

Christmas week we saw many more tourists arriving, the majority of these visitors were coming from climates far cooler than what we have in Southern Baja and were happily enjoying the great local climate and with all of the outdoor activities offered, There was a mix of cloud cover and still plenty of warm sunshine, up to 80 degrees, winds were far lighter this past week and ocean water temperatures ranged 74 to 77 degrees. Besides finding a variety of sport fish, there were increased sightings of whales, as well as other sea life, including, turtles, manta rays, and sea lions.

Local fishing fleets were concentrating on the fishing grounds from Chileno, Palmilla Point, Punta Gordo to La Fortuna. Bait options included sardinas, caballito, mackerel, sardineta, chiuhuil and slabs of squid. The schools of sardinas were now further south off of Cabo Real and with the heavier pressure you needed patience to wait and get in line for these preferred bait fish.

Most productive fishing grounds this week ranged from Palmilla, Punta Gorda and La Fortuna. Yellowfin tuna and dorado were probably the common species, though the wahoo action also rebounded this past week. Despite the winds not being as strong as the previous week, there was still a swift current running and this made it harder to try and do much bottom fishing, though for the anglers that did try drift fishing over shallower rocky reefs, they had some success for a variety of quality eating species, such as leopard grouper, yellow snapper, triggerfish, barred pargo, island jack and others.

The action for the larger grade of yellowfin tuna which had started back up last week on the Gordo Banks, again faded out in recent days and now the better bite for tuna was either off of Palmilla or at La Fortuna, with Palmilla being a hot spot one day and maybe not so good the next, also tons of black skipjack to deal with, which were mixed in with the yellowfin. There were decent sized tuna in the 15 to 40 lb. class found on La Fortuna, though the situation on these grounds were that there were a lot of aggressive and hungry sharks that were grabbing any hooked tuna that they could get a hold of, so more fish were being lost than were actually landed. Other grounds such as Iman or the Gordo Banks reported far less shark activity but more sea lions, which were also playing havoc and attacking any struggling fish they could. Many anglers also reported that besides dealing with natures predators like the sharks and sea lions, there are now numerous spearfishing operations offering chartered free diving trips right on the same local grounds where the rod and reels anglers are concentrated. This used to be only a limited sport on the local grounds, but now is a heavy factor of added pressure on the same already fragile areas. This region is filled with rod and reel anglers and now to bring in so many divers has only made for greater conflicts of interest.

Dorado were being found throughout the inshore areas, most of them caught on sardinas or caballito, sizes ranged up close to 20 lb. Please remember to help conserve this once abundant species and release all of the females as possible, these are easily identified by the different shapes of the head, the male having the squared off forehead and the female more rounded.

Wahoo action came back to life off of Punta Gorda and Palmilla. With greater pressure as well, the word now travels more quickly and these elusive gamefish can become very spooky with the added pressure and even increasingly so with so many spear fishermen swimming around on the same fishing grounds. Best bet for hooking into the wahoo was by slow trolling rigged baits such as chihuil or caballito, sizes ranged to over 40 lb.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 118 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 38 wahoo, 11 sierra, 320 yellowfin tuna, 145 dorado, 6 amberjack, 28 yellow snapper, 2 island jack, 14 barred pargo, 12 Eastern Pacific bonito, 3 dogtooth snapper, 18 white skipjack, 14 roosterfish, 26 cabrilla and 125 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Dorado show in Numbers, Tuna to over 80 LB. ~ December 23, 2017

Anglers –
December 23, 2017

Again this week we saw lighter crowds, we do expect increased numbers of tourists to arrive over the Christmas and New Year’s Holiday. Weather patterns were feeling more like winter, on morning we felt a low of 53 degrees, some days the highs reached only into the low 70s, also had winds from the north on and off, hard to predict from day to day. Ocean water temperature was still in the 75 to 78 degree range and swells were minimal.

Despite the days not being ideal with really warm sunshine, as is normal for the Los Cabos area, anglers actually did very well for a variety of species. Dorado numbers were higher than they have been and often these fish were found within a half mile of shore, with many charters limiting out on these prized gamefish, average fish was weighing in the 10 to 15 lb. range, with some even larger. Best bet for these fish was using either sardinas or caballito for bait. Caballito were being netted inside the marina area, while sardinas were found schooling near Palmilla Point and south to Cabo Real, this area was hit harder by early morning wind from offshore and made it tougher for the bait netters to obtain sufficient quantities, so patience was needed to obtain these preferred baitfish.

Yellowfin tuna action rebounded on the Gordo Banks, but not every day, it was still a bit hit or miss and there were sharks to deal with as well. Though for anglers that were on these grounds at the right time, they accounted for some quality yellowfin to over 80 lb. Also tuna were found on the spots of La Fortuna to Iman Bank, but those areas had larger numbers of sharks and sea lions to shut down the action.

Inshore, closer off of Punta Gordo was one of the best areas producing dorado, a few wahoo were also in the mix, as well as a variety of excellent eating bottom species, striking while drift fishing with chunk bait in about 60 to 80 feet of water, included were yellow snapper, barred pargo, African pompano, triggerfish, leopard grouper and amberjack.

Billfish action was more on the Pacific now, where charters found fair action for striped marlin. Though in recent days a few striped marlin were seen in the direction of the Sea of Cortex, out of San Jose del Cabo, where the first reports of mackerel and sardineta being found off the Hotel zone were being jigged up on sabiki rigs. So this should be favorable for the coming weeks, where the bait goes, so do the gamefish.

Whales continue to move into the region in greater number, the next couple of months will be the peak season for the activity of both gray and humpback whales, whom both arrive here for their winter migration from their northern summer feeding grounds.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 72 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 6 wahoo, 14 sierra, 88 yellowfin tuna, 215 dorado, 14 amberjack, 28 yellow snapper, 4 island jack, 11 barred pargo, 9 Eastern Pacific bonito, 5 dogtooth snapper, 12 white skipjack, 8 roosterfish, 4 African Pompano, 24 cabrilla and 110 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Light Crowds, Tuna and Dorado Bite, Cold Front ~ December 16, 2017

Anglers –
December 16, 2017

Light crowds this week visiting the Los Cabos area, normal slack period for traveling, will pick up again over the Christmas Holiday. Cool climate has moved in, on and off winds out of the north, even some rain on Thursday, not enough to keep anglers from going out, but made conditions more uncomfortable, as high temperatures barely even reached 70 degrees. Ocean temperature has been in the 75 to 78 degree range, we expect to see this cooling trend to continue through the month. More whales are now arriving from their annual migration from the north, as sightings are being reported now every day.

This is now late in the season for warmer water gamefish such as yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo, but there will still be opportunities for hooking into these fish as long as water stays in the 70s. The wahoo action slowed way down this past week, with only handful of these fish being caught earlier in the week, we do anticipate that these fish will become active once again, before cold water eventually sends them further south. Dorado actually showed up in more numbers, still varying from day to day, though many anglers were able to catch their two fish limit. Most of these fish were in the 5 to 15 lb., with an occasional fish to 20 lb. reported. Remember to release juvenile female dorado whenever you have the opportunity, this is beneficial for future fishery to maintain sustainable numbers.

Yellowfin tuna were one of the more common fish being caught on most days, though numbers were fewer this week compared to previous. Tuna were being found off the Arches near Cabo San Lucas, to Santa Maria, Palmilla, Punta Gorda, La Fortuna and Iman Bank. Sardinas were slightly harder to find in recent days, with Palmilla Point being the area where the schooling batfish were being netted. The sardinas were definitely needed for chances at catching the yellowfin, as very few were striking on squid strips or on trolled lures. Sizes of the tuna averaged 10 to 15 lb. though a few larger specimens in the 30 to 40 lb. range were accounted for, these larger fish were found on the Iman Bank. Mixed in with the schools of yellowfin tuna were white skipjack, a bit smaller than most of the tuna, but good eating, not like the black skipjack which are normally only used for cut bait.

Bottom action produced a variety of species off of the more shallow rock piles, wind was a factor on the grounds to the north. Leopard grouper, pompano, island jack, bonito, yellow snapper, barred pargo and triggerfish are were caught in limited numbers. Using sardinas and chunk bait produced, not much on yo-yo jigs at this time.

We continue to see some sierra coming from near shore grounds, though no big quantities yet. Also there were handful of roosterfish caught, up to about 10 lb. No billfish action being reported out of San Jose del Cabo now, best chances for striped marlin has been around the corner on the Pacific Banks.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 78 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 wahoo, 32 sierra, 160 yellowfin tuna, 84 dorado, 4 amberjack, 20 yellow snapper, 15 island jack, 8 barred pargo, 10 Eastern Pacific bonito, 44 white skipjack, 5 roosterfish, 3 African Pompano, 16 cabrilla and 105 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric