Tuna Action Scarce, more Dorado and Bottom Mix ~ March 10, 2018

Anglers –
March 10, 2018

We are seeing moderate crowds of anglers, as we near the spring season and continue to see varying weather patterns. The week started off with cooler days and more north wind, but by late week the ocean settled down as wind resided and also daytime temperatures warmed into the upper 70s. Not as many whales are being sighted recently, this could mean that these mammals are beginning their northern migration as they can feel the seasonal changes approaching. Ocean temperatures have ranged from 70 to 73 degrees, greener currents are working south from Los Frailes, near the Gordo Banks at this time.

The main bait source continues to be sardinas, main concentrations now schooling near Cabo Real, also on the beaches north of San Luis, but that area has been more susceptible to increased swells and this made it harder for the bait netters to work that area. Supplies have been sufficient, though patience has been necessary in the morning, as these baitfish are netted each morning and not stored in a large receiver in advance. Offshore, near the Gordo Banks, there were reports of balls of baitfish being encountered, mackerel and chihuil and some of these have been caught on sabiki rigs.

The yellowfin tuna action progressively came to a standstill thorough the week, early in the week there was wind to deal with where the yellowfin were being found near the Iman Bank and La Fortuna, but a handful of tuna in the 20 to 50 lb. were still being accounted for. By late week the tuna developed lock jaw, they could be seen coming up and feeding on free swimming chummed baitfish, but were extremely finicky in striking any offerings, even when going down to 20 lb. leader. With the entire fleet only accounting for a few fish per day in recent days.

Dorado bite had become very slow as well, until later in the week when they rebounded strongly. Most of this action was near La Fortuna while slow trolling or drift fishing with sardinas. Sizes were mixed, with the largest dorado seen being near 15 lb. Many small juveniles being hooked into, remember to practice catch and release on these fish, let them mature and spawn in order to help retain healthy stocks for the future. Despite the cooling waters there were several reports of wahoo being seen swimming in small schools on the same dorado and tuna grounds, though they proved elusive and would not strike.

Bottom action showed better sighs by later in the week, as more anglers were now trying this option since the tuna bite slowed way down. One yellowtail of over 30 lb. was landed off of the same tuna grounds while drift fishing with a live sardina. Also decent numbers of leopard grouper, yellow snapper, a few amberjack and of course triggerfish. We are being optimistic that we will be seeing more consistent action off the bottom rock piles in the coming months, this is the time of year now for that. No signs of red crab activity, but that could happen any time as well, and this could really open up the red snapper action..

Only limited numbers of sierra found close to shore and a few very small roosterfish. A few pompano, surgeon fish, bonito are rounding out the shallow reef species.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 22 yellowfin tuna, 164 dorado, 4 striped marlin, 1 broomtail grouper, 34 yellow snapper, 28 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 24 huachinango (red snapper), 1 wahoo, 11 bonito, 1 yellowtail, 4 amberjack, 2 pompano, 4 surgeon fish, 31 sierra and 70 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Weather Shuts Down Tuna Bite, Then Rebounds Over Weekend ~ March 3, 2018

Anglers –
March 3, 2018

Well the unpredictable month of February is now finally over, we anticipate that the new month will bring more stable conditions, as it normally does, warmer days should be arriving soon. Though the start of this week we saw a cold wave sweep in from the north, gusty winds mid-week which finally resided for the weekend. High temperatures were barely reaching up to 70 to 74 degree mark, early mornings were chilly, down in the 50s. Crowds of tourists appeared to be lighter than usual, with Spring Break just around the corner we should see more people arriving.

Ocean temperatures were ranging from 70 to 74 degrees, with the warmest area now being around the Jaime Banks off of Cabo San Lucas. Off of San Jose del Cabo and to Los Frailes the water averaged 70 degrees, despite strong north winds earlier in the week the water still was fairly clean. We are now also in the full moon phase and this can often impact feeding habits of certain species of gamefish. The main baitfish now being used has been sardinas, the bait netters had been finding these off of the stretches near San Luis, but higher swells made this tougher and once again the majority of the bait is being found along the rocky shore line from Palmilla to Cabo Real, but they took longer than usual to obtain enough bait to supply the fleet sufficiently, but it was worth the wait, because these sardinas are what the yellowfin tuna are hitting on.

The bite for the tuna has mainly been off of Vinorama, some fish were also found on San Luis Bank and near Iman. Last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the action was good for fish averaging 20 to 50 lb., with one yellowfin tuna of 93 lb. weighed in. Fish were finicky and line shy at times, anglers were using 30 to 40 lb. line with best success, sporting tackle for tuna of this grade. The gusty weather shut the action completely down on Wednesday and Thursday, before the bite rebounded on Friday, with charters averaging two five tuna each. Considering this is now off season for yellowfin tuna this action has been a welcome bonus.

Billfish action was limited to sporadic action on the Pacific, no striped marlin now on the grounds off of San Jose del Cabo. Dorado continued to be found daily, though in fewer numbers and most of these fish are small juveniles in the five pound range, with a rare ten pounder mixed in. When the ocean temperature dips down near the 70 degree range species such as dorado generally head on a southern migration, following the wahoo, which have already moved out of the area.

With most charters waiting longer time in order to obtain sardinas and then heading far north towards Vinorama to target the tuna, there was not a whole lot of bottom action even being targeted. Though we did see a mix of yellow snapper, huachinango, leopard grouper, even a couple of broomtails and of course a few bonito and triggerfish. No yellowtail or amberjack reported, nor did anyone report seeing pelagic red crabs, so the red snapper bite was very limited, just one or two fish here or there.

There were some sierra found along inshore beaches from Palmilla to Chileno, but not in the numbers we would expect considering that this is now their peak season. With the colder water we did not find any roosterfish or jack crevalle either. Still plenty of whales in the region, they should be around all of this month.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 105 yellowfin tuna, 112 dorado, 1 wahoo, 2 broomtail grouper, 16 yellow snapper, 19 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 26 huachinango (red snapper), 16 bonito, 32 sierra and 26 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric