Cooler Conditions, Tuna Bite Rebounds ~ February 23, 2018

Anglers –
February 23, 2018

This past week we saw a slight increase in the amount of anglers arriving. As we have become accustomed, the month of February continues to produce a wide range of unpredictable weather patterns. We felt a cold wave sweep in, starting with a couple of days we felt scattered rain, mostly sprinkles, some areas reported a bit heavier precipitation, much cloud cover and daytime highs reaching only into the low 70s. More wind from the north, though it was on and off and not so strong that charter boats had to abort plans. Despite the cooler conditions, the ocean has remained relatively warm, now averaging 70 to 74 degrees, very clean and blue close to shore, strong current running though. Lots of jelly fish in the area now, as there was continued large presence of whales and of course those pesky sea lions, which have been robbing their share of the catch.

Sardinas continue to be the main bait being used, found schooling off of the beaches from Palmilla to Cabo Real, as well as they are now being once again found off of the rocky beach stretches north near San Luis, these being a larger grade of these baitfish. Other options have been slabs of squid as well as on some days varying quantities of mackerel were being jigging up on sabiki rigs, mainly off of Punta Gorda.

The highlight this week was that the yellowfin tuna which had really faded out last week, rebounded this week as water conditions actually improved despite the cooler weather patterns. Fleets found decent action near Vinorama for yellowfin that were ranging in sizes to over 50 lb., quality tuna considering that this is never known as a favorable time frame for this pelagic species. The fish were striking on sardinas, strips of squid, as well as on mackerel, when they were able to be found. Boats were averaging from one or two to five or six fish per morning. Another common fish being found were dorado, most of these were under ten pounds, but we did see some larger fish, included a true 25 lb. bull dorado, which we had not seen for some time. Many people are releasing the small sized dorado, especially the females, remember to practice this conservation of these juvenile fish to help maintain future stocks.

Not much in the way of billfish action now off of San Jose del Cabo, better chances on the Pacific now, we heard of a blue marlin being landed, though most common is the striped marlin this time of year. Bottom action was limited, not much besides a scattering of cabrilla (leopard grouper), pargo and triggerfish, though swift currents made this tough and most charters were going after the tuna and dorado, or fishing for sierra along the beaches.

As long as ocean water conditions remain favorable we do expect that these yellowfin tuna will stay in the area. Hard to predict, but typically in the next few weeks we start to see weather patterns with warming days and less persistent winds. It has been a bonus that supplies of sardinas have held up and seem to be sustainable for the time being.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 59 charters for this shortened week due to weekend travels. Anglers reported a fish count of: 112 yellowfin tuna, 135 dorado, 2 amberjack, 8 yellow snapper, 4 island jack, 8 barred pargo, 11 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 14 huachinango (red snapper), 94 sierra and 18 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Ocean Turns over to the North, Action best Close to Shore ~ February 17, 2018

Anglers –
February 17, 2018

This week began with light crowds of visiting anglers, ended up being very busy, particularly on Friday, when everyone decided to go fishing. Weather patterns were a little up and down as well, some wind early in the week , then laying down, before picking up swiftly again from the north on Friday. Water conditions are now more stable in the direction of Cabo San Lucas, cooler greenish water has steadily been pushing in the from the north, water temperature ranging from 67 to 74 degrees.

The majority of the fishing action centered from off of Santa Maria, to Palmilla and north to San Luis. The yellowfin tuna action slowed down progressively throughout the week, early on there were decent reports of yellowfin being encountered with moving porpoise, at times within a few miles of shore, then they moved further offshore and were hard to even find and often when the porpoise were found there were no tuna associated with them, that type of action can often prove to be sporadic. Most of these yellowfin that were found weighed in the 20 to 30 lb. class.

These fish were striking best on various baitfish. The sardinas became a bit more scattered, but these baitfish were still being netting near the rocky beaches from Palmilla and to the south. Mackerel also proved to be a good option, these had to be jigged up off of the San Jose del Cabo hotel area, several miles offshore, not a guarantee with the sabiki’s, though at times proved to be the more productive bait.

Dorado numbers were down, as can be expected for this time of year, scattered fish in small schools and many of these were very juvenile, under five pounds, should really be released if at all possible, just an occasional dorado now being landed that are over ten pounds. Did not hear of any wahoo, which is also expected during this out of season period.

Only a handful of striped marlin being found on the local grounds, surprising since their favored food source, the mackerel, are present. Not much action being found offshore now, most charters are having more success closer to shore for species such as sierra, pargo, snapper, cabrilla, island jacks, triggerfish, etc…Not a lot of trophy sized fish now, but there has been a variety of smaller good eating specimens to be had. Soaking bait off the bottom, produced, as well as yo-yo and casting jigs. No yellowtail to report, it is the time of year we should start to see some of these fighting jacks, there have been some smaller sized amberjack found and the highlight off the bottom rock piles have been leopard grouper, ranging in sizes up to 20 lb. Drift fishing with live mackerel proved to account for the best chances for these prized eating cabrilla. Other bottom action included miscellaneous yellow snapper, bonito, triggerfish, island jack, barred pargo and surgeonfish. We did not hear of any red crab activity recently, hard to predict when these crustaceans will drift to the surface.

The better sierra numbers came from Palmilla to Chileno, sardinas and casting small jigs worked for these, average weight was 2 to 4 lb. Lots of whale activity continues, as we are now in peak season for these migrating mammals.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 76 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 18 yellowfin tuna, 85 dorado, 9 amberjack, 24 yellow snapper, 12 island jack, 6 surgeonfish, 12 barred pargo, 16 Eastern Pacific bonito, 135 sierra, 25 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 65 huachinango (red snapper) and 55 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Calmer Waters, Scattered Action for Dorado,Tuna ~ February 10, 2018

Anglers –
February 10, 2018

Moderate crowds of tourists now, though not many of them are actually anglers looking to go sportfishing. The weather continued to be a bit unpredictable from day to day, as is normal for this month of February. Recently we have seen warmer conditions, earlier in the week we had much morning cloud cover, finally burning off later in the day, by Friday we saw more sunshine, highs up into the 80s. Wind was lighter as well and anglers had great ocean conditions most days. Ocean water temperatures are still ranging from 70 to 75 degree. Clarity was a bit off colored on the Gordo Banks and towards the north. Most fishing action centered from Iman Bank, Punta Gorda, straight off of San Jose and towards Santa Maria.

Sardinas were being netted near Cabo Real and towards Chileno. Strips of squid and some rigged ballyhoo were also being used. Mackerel and sardineta schools were still on local grounds and have been another bait option.

The action for the larger grade of tuna to over 100 lb. faded out on the Gordo Banks, mainly due to the conditions turning over, greener water. There were some yellowfin tuna coming up on the Iman Bank earlier in the week, but these fish proved very elusive and not many were hooked up. Mid-week there were sizable pods of porpoise encountered, from 2 to 4 miles outside of San Jose del Cabo and towards La Laguna, the yellowfin tuna were traveling with them. Charters were able to land from one or two, up to 10 tuna, in the 20 to 35 lb. class, all depending on where you were at a given time, these schools were moving quickly and had to be chased around. Dropping various baitfish into the action was the best bet, very few were striking on lures.

Dorado action continued, the majority of these fish found within a couple of miles of shore, most of these were under 10 lb., with an occasional exception up to 15 lb. Striking on bait best, a smaller percentage on lures. Along the shoreline, particularly near to Cabo San Lucas, off of Chileno, there were some nice sized sierra hitting on slow trolled sardinas, a few up over 8 lb. Also a handful of juvenile sized roosterfish.

Some more activity with the pelagic red crab, some days they were found drifting to the surface and were netted and used for bait, with some decent catches of red snapper coming in. Though this was not a for sure consistent deal from day to day. Commercial fleets were eager to get a supply of the red crabs, at times saving some in make shift live tanks to be used for the next day, in case they were not found on the surface. So we will follow this action closely, this was the same scenario last year during approximately this same time frame.

Other bottom action was slow, besides the red crab bite with the huachinango, red snapper. A few bonito, cabrilla (leopard grouper), barred pargo, medium sized amberjack, yellow snapper and triggerfish.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 61 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 striped marlin, a wahoo, 76 yellowfin tuna, 105 dorado, 3 amberjack, 9 yellow snapper, 8 barred pargo, 14 Eastern Pacific bonito, 68 sierra, 6 roosterfish, 11 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 110 huachinango (red snapper) and 40 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric