Marlin Slower, Tuna Scarce, Inshore Action Best ~ May 26, 2018

Anglers –
May 26, 2018

Last week we had noticed an increase in visiting anglers, though this week was a different story, as crowds of tourists were lighter. Perhaps families are more pre-occupied with school graduations and final exams, etc. we should more people arriving in the coming weeks.

Weather patterns are progressively warming as we near the summer season, though the climate is very pleasant still, lows of about 65 degrees and highs hovering around 85 degrees. Winds were a factor from the north early in the week, while out of Cabo San Lucas they were dealing with stiffer winds from a southerly direction. Later in the week ocean conditions were much calmer. The water temperature around the corner on the Pacific is cooler, in the upper 60’s, while in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and to Los Frailes, the ocean currents were averaging 78 to 80 degrees. Still unpredictable currents pushing in off colored murky water into areas north of Punta Gorda where water temperatures are warm and clarity has fluctuated.

Large schools of mullet moved in along the shoreline, particularly in the Puerto Los Cabos Marina area and along both sides of the jetties. Sardinas are being found just north of the jetties, though they are starting to be a bit more scattered and limited, as larger surf conditions are becoming more prevalent. Other bait options included caballito, small jacks, chihuil, sardineta and even some mackerel were found offshore. Also reports of some sizable schools of bolito found on offshore grounds, those are always a favorable sign that pelagic gamefish are usually closely following this preferred food source.

Last week the highlight was the hot striped marlin bite around the Desteladera Bank, with bait fish schools now moving around the billfish action has become more scattered, though charters targeting these offshore grounds have been reporting multiple chances daily, action came while trolling lures and dropping back baits, also soaking baits, stripers were ranging in sizes from 70 lb. to 130 lb.

The yellowfin tuna bite was mainly centered at La Fortuna, the Twenty Five Spot, some days near Iman and San Luis Banks. Though this week the yellowfin tuna action in general proved much more elusive, only a handful of tuna being accounted for. Most of these fish were in the 30 to 70 lb. class, but anglers were fortunate to land one of them. Mid-week on the Gordo Banks there was one day when a few tuna up to 70 lb. were accounted were while trilling live chihuil, though since no one else found these fish cooperative. Very few dorado now being reported, though more of these fish were seen this past week, they did not always bite though.

Inshore rock piles seemed to produce better all-around action for a variety of great eating species, most of these under ten pounds, with an occasional larger specimen. Anglers using sardinas or chunks of other baits were finding yellow snapper, leopard grouper, barred pargo, spotted pink snapper, island jack, pompano, amberjack, sierra, triggerfish, surgeonfish and others, a virtual smorgasbord.

Along the beach stretches we saw more roosterfish moving in, the majority in the 10 to 20 lb. class, but few roosterfish to over 40 lb. were also hooked into. Still no significant numbers yet, though with all of the mullet now appearing, in the next couple of weeks we should see the roosterfish action break loose. Also along the shore there have been sierra and jack crevalle. This is the time of year we should start seeing some pargo colorado and dogtooth snapper show up.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 62 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 18 striped marlin, (majority released), 7 dorado, 1 yellowtail, 13 yellowfin tuna, 92 yellow snapper, 12 surgeon fish, 36 spotted rose snapper, 34 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 14 huachinango (red snapper), 21 amberjack, 15 barred pargo, 21 pompano, 35 roosterfish, 8 jack crevalle, 42 sierra, 22 flag cabrilla, 12 Island jack and 140 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Tuna Scarce, Wide Open Striped Marlin Action ~ May 19, 2018

Anglers –
May 19, 2018

We saw slightly larger crowds of tourists arriving this past week. Weather patterns were now on a warming trend, though still very comfortable, barely cold at all in the early morning, with clear sunny skies and highs averaging 85 degrees. Winds from the north have resided, more breeze now on the Pacific, also much cooler and greener water to below 70 degrees on that side of the Peninsula, while off of San Jose del Cabo and towards the East Cape the ocean currents are now in the 76 to 78 degree range, also this is where the clear blue water is, concentrations of baitfish and in turn the more productive fishing opportunities.

Supplies of sardinas remain steady, schools of these baitfish are now back in close range, just north of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina jetty. Other bait options were mullet and caballito, as well as rigging ballyhoo or finding bait offshore, such as skipjack and chihuil. Overall this past week showed promising signs for options close to shore, off the bottom structure and offshore.

The yellowfin tuna bite has been concentrated near the La Fortuna or the Twenty-Five spot, just inside of the Iman Bank. Drift fishing with sardinas for bait has been the best bet for this, though these yellowfin remain finicky, often they can be seen coming up and feeding on the free chum, but getting them to bite is another deal, anglers have been fortunate to land one or two of them, many hook ups were lost to sea lions or sharks as well. Average sizes for the tuna we have seen recently was in the 20 to 60 lb. class. Only an occasional dorado even being seen, a handful of wahoo strikes also reported, with more baitfish activity seen on these grounds and the favorable ocean conditions we expect the wahoo bite might develop.

Shallow water rock piles are now holding a variety of species, best bite did seem to be earlier in the day. Amberjack up to 30 lb. were encountered coming to the surface, not a normal action for these jacks, but it is the time of year it can happen. Quite a few yellow snapper being found, some over ten pounds, island jack, surgeon fish, leopard grouper, barred pargo, rose spotted snapper, sierra and pompano were also accounted for, so basically a smorgasbord of quality eating fish. We saw one sierra of 12 pounds, end of the season for these members of the mackerel family, time of year when the big ones show up.

With more mullet now moving into local inshore beach stretches we are also seeing increasing numbers of roosterfish arriving, the majority are still under 20 pounds, though larger specimens were reported. During the next few weeks is usually when we see peak action locally for the larger grade of roosterfish. Remember that these fish should always be released with care, as they are not known for their eating qualities, rather they are a true gamefish, known to be very powerful fighters and grow to over one hundred pounds, having a limited habitat, Southern Baja California being one of the few regions in the world where they can be found.

The action for striped marlin broke wide open through this week, particular so the later part of the week, with the best action being found from the Gordo Bank’s north to Desteladera Bank. Once the word spread the fleet converged, as far away as Cabo San Lucas and even the East Cape. Marlin were coming up on and feeding on balled up baitfish and boat battles ensued, with the first few charters arriving to the scene hooking up and then everyone waiting for the stripers to come back up on another bait ball. Also many marlin were striking on trolled lures, though the higher percentage of hook ups were from live baits such as caballito, chihuil or skipjack, as well as rigged ballyhoo. The majority of the charters targeting this action were reported multiple chances, some boats landing as many as seven or more fish in one morning. Sizes ranged from 60 lb. to 130 lb.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 83 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 78 striped marlin, (majority released), 5 dorado, 37 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 65 yellow snapper, 9 surgeon fish, 45 spotted rose snapper, 42 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 16 huachinango (red snapper), 11 bonito, 36 amberjack, 19 barred pargo, 6 pompano, 52 roosterfish, 12 jack crevalle, 32 sierra, 18 flag cabrilla, 14 Island jack, 1 tiger shark (released) and 140 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Transition Period, Up and Down Tuna and Bottom Action ~ May 12, 2018

Anglers –
May 12, 2018

We continue to see lighter than normal crowds of tourists for this time of year. As we move closer towards the summer season the weather patterns are now progressively warming, mostly clear sunny skies, with some marine layer offshore at times, average morning lows of about 70 degrees with the highs in the mid to upper 80s. Actually great climate now, plenty warm, but not overwhelming, as it can become during peak summer time. With light crowds, ideal weather and a variety of fishing options it is now the perfect time to visit.

As usual we are dealing with unpredictable and rapidly changing ocean conditions during this transition period. Ocean currents have been sweeping in from different directions, at times turning the water a bit greenish, but this is the common scenario in May. Ocean temperatures have ranged from 67 degree on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, up to 78 degrees in the direction of Los Frailes. Winds were moderate this past week, picking up a bit stronger late week, but overall much nicer than the previous week.

Anglers were able to obtain sufficient supplies of sardinas, also some caballito, mullet and chihuil baitfish being used. The most productive fishing grounds locally continue to be from La Fortuna to Iman Bank. This is where both the sporadic bottom action for various snapper, pargo species were found, as well as yellowfin tuna on the surface, tuna bite was dead to start off the week, picking up again on Thursday and Friday. The yellowfin were striking mainly on the sardinas, using 40 to 50 lb. leaders, some boats landed up to three fish in the 15 to 55 lb. range. Only a handful of smaller sized dorado were seen and reports of a few wahoo seen or possible missed strikes, none actually landed that we heard about, except from East Cape charters fishing closer to Los Frailes.

There was a day or two early in the week when there were reports of amberjack and some yellowtail found feeding near the surface off of Palmilla Point, but that action disappeared as fast as it had developed. For the most part the better bottom action was found from the Gordo Banks, where if you could chum up some chihuil baits, these were working well off the high spot for leopard grouper and others, if the sea lions were not too aggressive. Closer to shore off of Cardon and La Fortuna anglers found good early morning action for yellow snapper, with some leopard grouper and an occasional amberjack mixed n. Most of this bottom action was on bait, only limited success now on the yo-yo jigs.

Billfish action was scattered, only a few striped marlin being found scattered offshore, no particular hot spot. Inshore there were more numbers of smaller sized roosterfish showing up, also good action on sierra closer to the Pacific and of course some jack crevalle actively patrolling the shoreline. In the coming weeks we do expect to see greater concentrations of mullet to show and this in turn attracts the trophy sized roosterfish, as well as other pargo, snapper and jack species.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 66 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 4 dorado, 26 yellowfin tuna, 45 yellow snapper, 7 surgeon fish, 28 spotted rose snapper, 23 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 15 huachinango (red snapper), 12 bonito, 9 amberjack, 5 yellowtail, 11 barred pargo, 34 roosterfish, 8 jack crevalle, 8 sierra, 15 flag cabrilla, 8 grunt and 90 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric