Spring Break, Mixed Action, Tuna Picky ~ March 31, 2018

Anglers –
March 31, 2018

Busy week locally, spring break is now for Mexico, schools are in recess for two weeks, This weekend is the popular holiday when people all head to various beaches, wherever they can find room, many of these families go for extended camping excursions. Many local businesses shut down to take time off, hard to find too many people who work this weekend. Also we saw quite a few tourists arriving, many of them tried to book late notice sportfishing charters.

First half of the week was plagued by stiff north winds, though for the weekend conditions calmed down, early mornings once again were down into the low 50s, but as the sun rose into clear skies, temperatures quickly warmed up close to 80 degrees, excellent all around climate now. The main choice for bait now has been sardinas, they are being found schooling near Palmilla, Cabo Real and the north near San Luis, surf was a little higher earlier in the week and this made it harder to get the bait off of the beaches to the north. On some days the pelagic red crabs were found drifting to the surface and these crustaceans were being used for various pargo and snapper species. Though this was a sporadic deal from day to day. Ocean water temperatures ranged from 71 to 74 degrees. Still some whales being sighted each day, likely the final couple week period now for this, as these mammals will be all heading north soon.

The main concentration of sportfishing charters were fishing the La Fortuna, the twenty-five spot, just on the inside of Iman Bank, this is where the yellowfin tuna are now schooling. These fish have been at this spot for several weeks now, seem to become more finicky each week, between the crowds of boats, pesky sea lions and the plentiful natural food source these yellowfin are very leery to strike any batfish with a hook, anglers are using 20 to 30 lb. leaders to enhance their chances, so once a fish is hooked it is a delicate battle to be able to land it. The average sized tuna being landed are in the 20 to 50 lb. range, though even larger sized yellowfin were reportedly seen feeding on the free chummed sardinas. Individual charters were doing well to land one or two tuna during a morning trip, other charters worked hard without ever even having any opportunity.

These same grounds produced a mix of bottom structure species, not many large monsters, mostly fish in the 5 to 15 lb. class, leopard grouper, yellow snapper, bonito, triggerfish, huachinango, amberjack, island jack, barred pargo and others. The best technique proved to be with fresh sardinas, with a few fish also taken on yo-yo jigs.

The striped marlin bite was good now, a bit more scattered this week, as the balls of baitfish that were being found dispersed and the marlin were found more moving onto to different grounds. The striper’s ranged nicer sized, up to150 lb., striking on trolled lures, rigged ballyhoo, bolito, skipjack and chihuil. With most of the billfish action coming within 3 to 8 miles from shore.

Numbers of dorado were down this week, though there still were some of these gamefish hanging around, we saw fish up to 15 lb. accoutered for. Even a chance at wahoo, though not many were landed, more of these fish should start biting when the water temperatures warms up, as it does the later part of April.

Not much talk of inshore action now, a few roosterfish and sierra, but no numbers and actually more anglers are now targeting the more prevalent offshore species.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 84 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 3 wahoo, 37 dorado, 42 striped marlin, 36 yellowfin tuna, 38 yellow snapper, 29 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 32 huachinango (red snapper), 35 bonito, 4 amberjack, 6 island jack. 16 barred pargo, 2 dogtooth snapper, 5 roosterfish, 23 sierra and 135 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Tuna Finicky, Red Crabs Surface, Snapper Action ~ March 24, 2018

Anglers –
March 24, 2018

Well the official spring season has now begun, weather patterns are in transition and for the most part are on a warming trend. Though this week started off with a cooler front pushing in, gusty winds from the north and at times swinging back out of the southeast. During the later part of the week the conditions calmed down and anglers enjoyed much more comfortable conditions on the fishing grounds where they have been concentrating, from the Gordo Banks to La Fortuna and Iman Bank. Ocean water temperature is now ranging from 70 to 74 degrees, with the warmer currents being in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and to the north. Increased number of vacationers now are arriving and many are deciding to make spur of the moment sportfishing reservations.

The bait situation has been that the sardinas were being found schooling along the rocky shoreline near San Luis and continue to be the main bait source for the all-around fishery. Some anglers were trying strips of squid with varying success for the yellowfin tuna. Other options included trolling with rigged ballyhoo, as well as finding bait concentrations offshore and using sabiki’s to jig them up, these mainly being sardineta and chihuil. With most of that bait action being concentrated in the vicinity of the Gordo Bank’s. Also later in the week there were pelagic red crabs that were found drifting to the surface, so we are optimistic that this will become a more consistent scenario and open up a bite for the red snapper.

Yellowfin tuna in the 20 to 50 lb. class continue to be found in good sized schools on the La Fortuna Bank, inside of Iman, these fish have proved very finicky now for the past couple of weeks, freely coming up to the surface to feed on the chummed sardinas, but trying to get one of these yellowfin to bite the baiting hook has been a different story, light leaders of 20 to 30 lb. were being used, often resulting in broken lines once a fish was hooked up. Other factors were aggressive sea lions waiting for their chance at an easy meal. On some days more tuna were hooked up early in the morning, while on others there was more of a chance later. Fortunate anglers caught up to three fish, while others were doing well to land one.

These same grounds produced limited action off the bottom for yellow snapper, bonito, leopard grouper and an occasional amberjack. Dorado were still being encountered on these same grounds, though the numbers were way down compared to in past weeks. Inshore trolling produced limited action, a few early season roosterfish to 15 lb. and a handful of sierra.

The highlight the past week would have to be the increased activity of striped marlin off of the San Jose del Cabo grounds, most of these fish being found anywhere from two to eight miles from shore, striking on trolled lures, sardinas, ballyhoo, chihuil and sardineta. Many stripers of 80 to 120 lb. were being hooked into, as good numbers of fining fish were also being spoted, with many of these eager to strike any baitfish.

Not much going on with the wahoo bite which has briefly started up off of Punta Gorda, though the spear fishing fleets certainly caught more than their share before spooky the schools out of the area.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 84 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 35 striped marlin, 1 wahoo, 56 yellowfin tuna, 65 dorado, 26 yellow snapper, 20 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 120 huachinango (red snapper), 18 bonito, 2 amberjack, 3 dogtooth snapper, 8 roosterfish, 24 sierra and 65 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Weather Warms, Anglers Find Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo ~ March 17, 2018

Anglers –
March 17, 2018

With the official start to the spring season not set until next week, the weather is already feeling much warmer, more like mid to late spring. Mostly clear sunny skies, with high temperatures up to 87 degrees. Winds were moderate, with most of the winter north winds now over with, lows in the morning not so chilly in recent days, a jacket is barely needed. The ocean water temperature is averaging in the 73 to 75 degree range and is very clean and blue within a couple of miles of shore. Waves of spring breakers are arriving, especially on the beach resorts of Cabo San Lucas, but other groups of families are making efforts to at least try their luck fishing for a day or two.

This will be the final period for the annual whale migration, as with this warming trend these mammals will now begin their venture to their northern feeding grounds. Anglers found a wide variety of fish available, but catching was not always a guarantee, the yellowfin tuna action was very limited, they were seeing good numbers of the tuna come up to free chummed sardinas on the La Fortuna Bank, though lots of bait was needed to get these fish into a big enough frenzy that they would bite a baited hook. Going down to as light as 30 lb. leader was necessary. The yellowfin that were landed weighed in the 20 to 45 lb. range. Supplies of sardinas were more limited, as these schools dispersed from the Palmilla area and now being found schooling north near San Luis. More boat pressure and not as much bait available made the bite tougher.

The early part of the week started off with good numbers of dorado, though only a small percentage of these fish were over ten pounds. This action slowed down later in the week, as did the tuna action as well. Over last week and through the first part of the week we saw a wahoo bite develop, most of these fish being found close off of Punta Gorda. Of course there are no secrets these days, and word on this unseasonable action spread like wild flies. Even 100 ft. yachts were trying to get in on the action. The problem is this one particular area is very vulnerable and fragile to excess boat activity. The spear fishermen arrived in numbers as well, we heard of several afternoon trips going out with spear fishermen and killing eight or more wahoo in one outing, a bit of an over kill, too bad the local authorities are not making any effort to deter this exploitation. Just no room for the increased number of rod and reel charters, as well as so many boats now with spear fishermen.

This week there was increased striped marlin activity encountered off of the Gordo Banks region and towards Desteladera. With some balls of mackerel and chihuil baitfish being found on these same grounds, as well as trolling with ballyhoo and artificial lures, decent action for marlin now, with average fish seen being in the 90 to 120 lb. range. With the tuna action being much slower now we expect more anglers might being targeting these billfish.

The bottom action continued to be sporadic, some days decant numbers of mostly smaller snapper, pargo leopard grouper, an occasional amberjack, but with strong currents running, most days this opportunity proved not an easy task and with limited productivity.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 79 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 16 wahoo, 25 yellowfin tuna, 11 striped marlin, 132 dorado, 13 yellow snapper, 11 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 24 huachinango (red snapper), 35 bonito, 3 amberjack, 6 barred pargo, 21 sierra and 70 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric