Warm, Humid Conditions, Yellowfin Tuna, Black Marlin Show ~ August 25, 2018

Anglers –
August 25, 2018

As Hurricane Lane is presently dangerously close to the Hawaii Islands, conditions locally in Los Cabos have remained calm, with no new tropical storm systems seen developing at this time. We still have another full five weeks of the normal tropical storm season, we are all hoping that no major storms approach Baja. Weather continues to be very warm, increased humidity as well, some afternoon rain squalls to the north of San Jose del Cabo, normal pattern for this latter part of summer. Minimal wind, primarily only slight afternoon breezes, moderate swells, always need to be careful along the shoreline during these summer months.

With continued reports of great fishing action coming out of Southern California for bluefin tuna, yellowtail, white seabass and as a result crowds are lighter than normal now in Los Cabos. Local fleets are now mainly concentrating their efforts on fishing grounds from the Gordo Banks, Iman and San Luis Banks. Anglers were using slabs of squid, sardinas, as well as skipjack and small tuna for baits. Iman and San Luis was the best place to find a nicer grade of yellowfin tuna, everyday these grounds are producing tuna to over 70 lb. No huge numbers, fish were also finicky and shy with the ever present boat pressure, but with patience and consistent drifting and chumming over these high spots there were good chances of hooking into yellowfin. The Gordo Banks produced mainly a smaller grade of tuna up to about 12. Lb. It is the time of year that we normally see the cow sized tuna appear on these famous grounds.

The Gordo Banks and on the grounds near Iman, there were several black marlin catches reported this week, these fish were hooked into while slow trolling larger rigged baits, the white skipjack proved especially effective, the fish that were landed weighed in the 200 to 300 lb. range.

Only a scattering of mostly smaller sized dorado were being found. Over last weekend and at the start of this week, there were wahoo being hooked into while trolling Rapalas and other lures on the normal grounds from Iman to San Luis, a handful of charters got into this action, with a couple of wahoo landed and others lost, these fish were in the 15 to 40 lb. class. As the week progressed this action faded out as some anglers did target this action but could not entice any strikes. The ocean temperature warmed this week, back up into the 81 to 87 degree range, too warm of water often will make species such as wahoo more lethargic, less active.

Bottom action was limited, most anglers were opting to target other surface species, though a few dogtooth snapper and amberjack were reported, as well as some red snapper, bonito, yellowfin snapper and cabrilla. Best chance for these fish was early in the day, using various baits, as well as opportunities using yo-yo jigs.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 57 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 3 dogtooth snapper, 3 black marlin, 2 sailfish, 17 dorado, 7 wahoo, 96 yellowfin tuna, 14 bonito, 8 yellow snapper, 6 amberjack, 17 red snapper, 9 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 3 roosterfish and 42 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Anglers Target Yellowfin Tuna on Iman Bank ~ August 18, 2018

Anglers –
August 18, 2018

Last week we had a series of tropical storms develop and head off to the west, T.S. storm John did leave several inches of rain in our region, but no serious damage was felt. Things quieted way down this week, only Hurricane Lane is brewing now and is already far off to the west with no chance of making impact on the Baja Peninsula. There are still another six weeks or so for the Eastern Pacific storm season, we are all hoping that no major storms make direct landfall. Light to moderate crowds are now visiting the Los Cabos area, be prepared for warm and humid weather that is the normal pattern this time of year. There is now some heavier swell activity, be careful along the beach stretches, also more wind this week, swirling around from different directions, but it settled down over the weekend, never did keep the sportfishing fleets from reaching their normal grounds.

Anglers were using strips of squid and also this week the sardinas rebounded and on most days there were chances at obtaining the sardinas from fleets that found these schooling baitfish farther to the north, they were meeting charters on the fishing grounds. Always a better option to have both the squid and sardinas if possible, particularly when drift fishing for yellowfin tuna.

Yellowfin tuna was the most common gamefish being found, main area was centered on the Iman Bank, but some charters were scouting out the grounds such as San Luis and the Gordo Banks with mixed success. Drift fish while chumming was the most productive technique, others did well slow trolling chihuil baits, but they proved harder to obtain, also if you happened to jig up a bolito that was almost a guaranteed strike. Sizes on the yellowfin ranged from small footballs up to 80 lb., average daily catches varied from one or two, up to five or six, mixed in were bonito and skipjack. These tuna were still a bit finicky, striking best on 40 or 50 lb. leaders. There were some hungry aggressive sea lions getting their share of hooked up fish. The silky shark problem has diminished for the time being.

Very few dorado this past week, also noting to report on wahoo either. Bottom action was limited due to swift current, misc. snappers, pargo, amberjack, cabrilla, but no numbers to speak of, the highlight were a couple of nice 30 to 40 lb. class dogtooth snapper. These larger snapper were taken on the same tuna grounds while drift fishing baits near the surface.

Billfish was spotty and mainly found 10 miles or more offshore, a scattering of blue marlin hook ups while trolling lures, with a couple landed and released in the 200 lb. range, did hear of 300 b. blues caught out of Cab San Lucas, also we heard of at least one large black marlin that was hooked up near the Gordo Banks. A few sailfish and striped marlin also being encountered.

Inshore roosterfish and jack action has pretty stalled out, not much going on that and the schools of mullet have vanished as well, this is the normal pattern for these species, inshore always slows way down the later part of August and into the fall season.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 61 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 2 dogtooth snapper, 2 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 2 blue marlin, 15 dorado, 1 wahoo, 118 yellowfin tuna, 32 bonito, 3 surgeon fish, 7 yellow snapper, 4 amberjack, 13 red snapper,5 cabrilla (leopard grouper) and 55 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Tropics Active, Tuna Bite on Iman, Gordo Banks~ August 11, 2018

Anglers –
August 11, 2018

This past week was a very active time for tropical storm development. At one point early in the week there were four named systems tracking on westerly paths, in the direction off the Pacific. There was Hurricane Hector, a category four storm that ended up passing very close to Hawaii, there was Hurricane Kristy that stayed far enough off to the west of the Baja Peninsula and made no impact, then there was Ileana and John, they somewhat joined together and did pass within a couple hundred miles of the Southern Baja, bringing high oceans swells, several inches of rainfall, some isolated locations reported more, winds were not too strong, some 40 mph gusts, all Port activity was closed for a couple of days. The streets in Cabo San Lucas were flooded, but also are now quickly being cleaned up, basically very minimal damage and minor power outages were reported.

Schools of sardinas which had remained plentiful throughout most of the summer season were now scattered and for the most part unobtainable. Local fleets are now using slabs of squid, chunk bait of skipjack, some caballito and ballyhoo. This is the normal bait source for this latter part of the summer. Ocean water temperature is now in the 80 to 84 degree range.

The main center of fishing activity has been around the Iman Bank. Highlight has been the yellowfin tuna, drift fishing with strips of squid, or at times sardinas, when obtainable, this produced quality grade of yellowfin tuna up to 80 lb. No huge numbers, but nice quality, some lucky anglers had as many as four or five tuna, others were fortunate to land one, very strong fish and best chance of enticing a strike was on lighter leaders, which meant long fight times and higher percentage of lost fish.

Few dorado seen in recent days, in small schools of ones or twos, fish up to 15 lb. found mainly on the same grounds as were the tuna or billfish. A couple of wahoo also reported, on trolled Rapalas, yo-yo jigs and incidentally on strip bait while targeting tuna. Bottom action was spotty, some of the Eastern Pacific bonito, a few red snapper, cabrilla, yellow snapper, dogtooth snapper, amberjack and triggerfish.

Billfish action was spread out, a couple of sailfish, striped marlin and blue marlin being found, better action for this seemed to be towards Cabo San Lucas and out around the 1150 spot. Inshore action usually slows down during this later period of summer, a chance at jack crevalle or late season roosterfish if you can obtain the preferred mullet baitfish.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 68 charters for this shortened week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 1 dogtooth snapper, 1 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 15 dorado, 86 yellowfin tuna, 52 bonito, 9 yellow snapper, 3 amberjack, 8 red snapper, 9 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 1 dogtooth snapper and 28 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric