Quality Yellowfin Tuna Highlight Windy Conditions ~ January 27, 2018

Anglers –
January 27, 2018

Through December and the first half of January the weather patterns in the Los Cabos area was very ideal, warmer than usual, with the normally very persistent north winds being much lighter and not even much of a factor, this in turn also contributed to the ocean water temperatures holding several degrees warmer than normal, all this was good news for keeping the pelagic gamefish such as dorado, yellowfin tuna and wahoo on local fishing grounds. This past week light crowds of visitors were greeted with stronger gusting winds from the north, starting last Sunday and finally tapering off by later in the week. Water temperatures were down in the 70 to 75 degree range, with the coldest currents now pushing south from Los Frailes in the direction of the Gordo Banks.

The bait supply remained steady for sardinas, with the main concentrations of these preferred bait now centered near Cabo Real, other options being used are caballito, mackerel and strips of squid. The highlight for action recently has been on the Gordo Banks for quality sized yellowfin tuna, with fish in the 50 to 150 lb. range being hooked into while drift fishing. Finicky action, where with the wind made it even much tougher, but fish were still being hooked into, some lost and a percentage landed, basically if you did accountant for one or two of these tuna you were fortunate. A lot of factors were involved, first the fish were hitting best on leader not heavier than 50 or 60 lb., which resulted in many of the larger fish breaking off, then there were sea lions and sharks that taking their share as well. Heavy pressure was on these grounds now, as this was one of the better options available. Late in the week the action was progressively slowing down as compared to last week and the first few days of this week. Other tuna action for a smaller grade of fish was found off of Santa Maria, but there were no big numbers there either and that bite was on one day and then off the other, very hit or miss, but was a decent option since it was close to shore in more protected waters.

Dorado action is tapering off as well, which would be normal for this time of year, some fish were found on the same grounds as were the tuna and other found close to shore, best chances were on various baits and sizes ranged up to 15 lb. Average catches for dorado were now less than one per charter. No wahoo to report, though chances are there are still a few them hanging around.

Not a whole lot of bottom action going on, particularly with the stiffer winds creating choppy seas and swift currents. Closer to shore off of shallow rock piles there were some pargo, red snapper, amberjack, leopard grouper, bonito and triggerfish found, but this action was limited. Close to shore there were smaller sized roosterfish off of the San Jose del Cabo hotel zone and around on the Pacific there was better action reported for sierra, hopefully this is a favorable sign that these fish are heading in the direction of the Sea of Cortez as well.

Billfish activity increased some out of San Jose del Cabo, still no big numbers, but everyday anglers are reportedly spotting a few striped marlin on the local grounds and some were hooked on trolled lures, as well as on various larger baitfish. Early week there was a black marlin, estimated close to 50 lb. brought in to Puerto Los Cabos Marina off of a cruiser, definitely out of season, but just proves that you really never know what can happen on a given day.

Peak season now for whale activity, some of the best viewing can be found on the same regular fishing grounds, no need to take a specific trip looking for them, you can see plenty of these mammals as you are also fishing.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 69 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 black marlin, 1 spearfish, 11 striped marlin, 11 sierra, 55 yellowfin tuna, 62 dorado, 12 amberjack, 17 yellow snapper, 6 barred pargo, 15 Eastern Pacific bonito, 18 roosterfish, 18 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 3 broom tail grouper, 25 huachinango (red snapper) and 65 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Late Season Quality Yellowfin on Gordo Banks ~ January 20, 2018

Anglers –
January 20, 2018

Another week with moderately light crowds of tourists visiting the Los Cabos area. For those that did make the trip, they were enjoying very pleasant winter time weather conditions. Mostly clear sunny skies, light winds, minimal swells, with high temperatures averaging in the upper 70s. early morning there was now more of a chill factor, as we felt temperatures as cold as 53 degrees, so those getting up early to participate in outdoor activities do need to dress accordingly, once the sun comes up it warms up fairly quickly.

Ocean temperatures are now ranging 74 to 78 degrees, warmer currents found several miles offshore. Clarity was also good for this time of year, blue water within a few miles of shore, lighter northern winds have kept conditions more favorable closer to shore. Schools of sardinas were congregated now near Cabo Real, though the first part of the week the bait netters also found these preferred baitfish north near San Luis, but then again returned back to Cabo Real. Other bait options were caballito and slabs of squid, which once again were used for drift fishing for a late season run of quality grade yellowfin tuna to over 100 lb. on the Gordo Banks.

The bite for the medium sized tuna in the 15 to 25 lb. class that had been going on near La Fortuna and to Iman Bank, became much more spotty and problem with pesky sea lions and sharks continued. The highlight this past week was the resurgence of the bite once again on the Gordo Banks for yellowfin tuna that were ranging from 60 to 100 and even to over 150 lb. No big numbers, though anglers that specially targeting these fish were sometimes coming away with one, two or three quality tuna. These fish were hitting best on the Outer Gordo Banks for anglers that were chumming consistently and using strips of squid, dead sardinas and chunk of skipjack, the key was to be persistent, lots of pressure, as the word of this action spread, boats of all sizes converged on these grounds to take advantage of this unusual late season opportunity.

With the billfish action out of San Jose del Cabo now very limited, the next best option was to target areas within a couple miles of shore, such as Punta Gorda, Cardon and La Fortuna, this is where decent numbers of dorado up to 15 lb. were being found, more often striking while slow trolling of drift fishing various baits. Only a handful of wahoo were reported, though they still are in the area, as water temperatures are still holder warmer than normal.

Fishing fish chunk bait and on occasion yo-yo jigs produced varying results off of the rocky high spots for a mix of quality eating specimens, most of them under 15 lb. This past week there were also chances at encountered pelagic red crags drifting to the surface. They could then be used for bait and were deadly for the huachinango, the true Pacific red snapper. This still being a very hit of miss deal, as to when and where the red crabs would surface on a given day.

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 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 5 wahoo, 15 sierra, 72 yellowfin tuna, 165 dorado, 6 amberjack, 22 yellow snapper, 18 barred pargo, 18 Eastern Pacific bonito, 12 white skipjack, 75 black skipjack, 6 roosterfish, 22 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 5 broom tail grouper, 72 huachinango (red snapper) and 95 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Surface Action Continues, Mix of Bottom Species ~ January 13, 2018

Anglers –
January13, 2018

This past week there were less numbers of tourists in town, as we expected a decline as the holiday season comes to an end. Locally we continued to enjoy great winter time weather patterns, with mostly sunny days and high temperatures in the upper 70s. Light winds and minimal swells made for great conditions on the ocean, as anglers were targeting a variety of gamefish species.

The bait situation remained steady for sardinas and caballito, the larger baitfish, caballito, being found inside the marina area, while sardinas were schooling along the rocky beach stretches from Palmilla to Cabo Real. Offshore of the hotel zone there were concentrations of mackerel and sardineta. Water temperature is now in the 73 to 75 degree range, we have seen a cooling trend and also inshore areas were no longer as clean and blue, more greenish current starting to push in. This is common for this transition period. Warm water species of fish will now start to migrate towards southern regions and cooler water species will become more prevalent.

Main target species continued to be dorado and yellowfin tuna, early in the week the yellowfin tuna action was very good, with both Palmilla Point and La Fortuna producing tuna in the 15 to 25 lb. class. Drift fishing with fly lined bait was the main technique. There were problems with sea lions and sharks taking their share of hooked up fish, particularly near La Fortuna. The tuna bite was much slower later in the week, as more skipjack were showing up on these same grounds and winds increased some.

Dorado actin has been good now for the past month, even though most of these fish are not giants, averaging 5 to 15 lb. At least we finally saw more numbers of these popular gamefish. They have been found in smaller sized schools on the same grounds as the yellowfin tuna, as well as closer to shore, more often within a mile of shore. Striking best on a variety of baitfish, with a smaller percentage coming on trolling lures. This action for the dorado also tampered off later in the week, compared to the first part. This is mid-winter now and just about time these tropical species start searching out waters further south.

Wahoo action came to a halt, with only a handful of these fish reportedly hooked up this past week. The combination of it being very late in the season now, with cooling currents, becoming greener are all factors. Though the relentless spear fishing activity now going on close to shore off of Punta Gorda has been a major issue as to the more limited action for the conventional rod and reel anglers. This area is already a fragile fishery, dealing with ever increasing pressure, it is shame that authorities allow this to even go on.

The bill fish action off of San Jose del Cabo, which had just started up the previous week, came to a standstill, as the greener water seemed to be a factor, though off of the Pacific the fleets did report much better chances for striped marlin. A few thrasher sharks also now being reported, as well as makos.

Along the shoreline there were more juvenile sized roosterfish showing, which should be released on every possible chance. The annual run for sierra is overdue, heavy gill net pressure on the Pacific is also another situation to deal with. More closed off sanctuary zones, such as Cabo Pulmo, are needed locally.

Bottom fishing beginning to show better signs of producing, though strong currents are still plaguing preferring areas. Best catches were made in waters ranging 60 to 120 ft., using various whole and cut baits, catches included leopard grouper, yellow snapper, surgeonfish, amberjack, bonito, triggerfish, barred pargo and dogtooth snapper.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 82 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 striped marlin, 1 black marlin, 2 sailfish, 9 wahoo, 9 sierra, 195 yellowfin tuna, 245 dorado, 13 amberjack, 19 yellow snapper, 10 barred pargo, 22 Eastern Pacific bonito, 25 white skipjack, 255 black skipjack, 38 roosterfish, 29 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 3 dogtooth snapper and 105 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric