Close call with Hurricane Willa, Big Crowds, Wahoo Bite ~ October 26, 2018

Anglers –
October 26, 2018

Very busy times now in Los Cabos. The richest sportfishing tournaments in the world are now underway, charter fleets are operating at full capacity. This past week we were closely following the development of Hurricane Willa, this system quickly reached category five strength, passing within a couple of hundred miles of Southern Baja before making landfall south of Mazatlán as a cat three. Very fortunate for Los Cabos that Willa passed just far enough to the south that no major impact was felt, besides high ocean swells and some moderate wind, local ports did close for Tuesday, only slight rainfall in isolated areas was reported.

With large crowds of anglers, heavy pressure now on all resources, particularly now on bait supplies. Very hard to even find sardinas, best bet near Chileno Bay, but this is limited, squid has also become scarce, only so much squid is delivered to local sources and there can be shortages this time of year. Most days there have been fresh ballyhoo and caballito available. Other options are smaller skipjack, tuna and chihuil, these can be caught on offshore fishing grounds. Ocean temperatures were averaging 82 to 83 degrees through most of the region. Swells were diminishing, breezes from the south and north have been variable from day to day, on Wednesday we had major south wind pick up, made for a long wet boat ride in from the northern grounds.

With the heavy angling pressure skippers have been searching in all directions, local San Jose del Cabo fleets have had best success working grounds from Iman to San Luis Banks. With the stormy seas, full moon and limited bait supplies, the overall action became that much more challenging. Mixed sizes of yellowfin tuna, fish from 5 to 90 lb. were landed, though there were limited numbers of tuna over 50 lb. being accounted for and there were more small sized black and white skipjack being caught than anything else. Anglers were fortunate to land one of the nicer grade of yellowfin, though some people had as many as four quality yellowfin in one outing.

Dorado remain scarce, though occasional encounters results in a few fish up to 12 lb. in the mix. Wahoo were showing signs of more activity but still no hot consistent bite day to day. Areas from Palmilla Point, Iman, La Fortuna to Vinorama also held wahoo, these fish hit on various baits and lures, average size 10 to 30 lb. a few to 40 lb. In the next couple of weeks we should see some great wahoo action, as water conditions come into their preference zone.

Billfish were spread out, more numbers on the Pacific now, some sailfish still hanging around in the warmer currents. Off the bottom there were more triggerfish than other species, but various cabrilla, pargo, bonito, pompano were also found, strong current was a factor.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 124 charters for the week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 8 sailfish, 21 dorado, 35 wahoo, 270 yellowfin tuna, 90 bonito, 155 white skipjack, 22 red snapper,4 amberjack, 8 barred pargo, 5 pompano, 14 yellow snapper, 22 cabrilla, 16 sierra and 180 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo more Active, Large Crowds of Anglers ~ Oct. 20, 2018

Anglers –
October 20, 2018

As we progress further into the fall season we are seeing many more anglers arriving and local weather patterns that are rapidly changing. We felt cooler 65 degree low temperatures early in the morning, shifting currents and ocean temperatures cooling off to the low 80s degree range. Daytime highs still are in the mid to upper 80s. We have been watching a series of tropical low pressure areas off of Southern mainland Mexico, very late in the season now for these systems to develop in tropical storms, but you never know these days with global climate changes. We are hoping no storms head our way during this busy time.

Heavy pressure has cleaned out the sardinas which had been schooling around the Puerto Los Cabos Marina jetties for several months now, new sources now off of Chileno and surely they will be scouting our areas further north. Squid supplies have maintained, but are likely to become scarce in coming weeks as well. Other options will include ballyhoo, caballito and chihuil

Last Sunday we felt strong south winds, since then the wind has been coming mainly from the north, already fairly strong for this early in the season, hopefully this will calm down, has contributed to the cooling water trend. Sportfishing fleets are fishing in all different directions, since there is no particular hot spot, action has been spread out, variety of fish are in the area, but no large concentrations of any particular species. The yellowfin tuna action slowed down this week, the Iman Bank was still the spot producing the better grade of tuna, yellowfin tuna ranging up to 100 b. were landed, though these fish were few and far between, fortunate to land one, some anglers were getting lucky and landing up to three of the tuna. Off of Cabo San Lucas there was a bite for smaller tuna off of Santa Maria, as well as offshore yellowfin associated with porpoise.

The cooling current seemed to make the wahoo a bit more active, as many more of these fish are being reported, a small percentage landed, quite a few others being lost, not many anglers had been specifically targeting these fish yet, because they just not had been biting much. This will all change soon, with water temperatures now in the ideal range, slow trolling trap hooked live chihuil is always one of the more productive techniques, of course chihuil at times are not a guarantee to come by. Wahoo also hit on Rapalas, Yo-Zuri, skirted lead heads and a few on yo-yo jigs.

Still only a few dorado being seen, but more this week than we have seen for a while now, still no large specimens, but at least we are seeing some of these popular gamefish show up.
Bottom action was limited by strong currents and north winds, some red snapper, barred pargo, cabrilla, bonito and an occasional amberjack or dogtooth snapper.

Billfish action was reported a bit more consistent off the grounds near Cabo San Lucas, though local grounds off of San Jose did produce scattered action for sailfish, black, blue and striped marlin.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 142 charters for the week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 1 black marlin, 4 striped marlin,12 sailfish, 1 blue marlin, 27 dorado, 19 wahoo, 88 yellowfin tuna, 110 bonito, 35 white skipjack, 32 red snapper, 6 amberjack, 18 barred pargo, 1 dogtooth snapper, 14 yellow snapper, 24 cabrilla, 8 sierra, 4 roosterfish and 90 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

TS Sergio Returns to Strike Central Baja, Tuna on Iman ~ October 13, 2018

Anglers –
October 13, 2018

Weather patterns are now feeling like fall, evening and early morning temperatures are cooling off to about the 70 degree range, daytime highs still reaching into the upper 80s. We are seeing greater numbers of anglers now arriving, the next five week period is the busiest season of the year. Hurricane Sergio which had headed far west, nearly half way to Hawaii, pulled a U-turn and came back rapidly to strike the central Baja region as a weakening tropical storm, but still made quite a mess of the areas which it did strike, before continuing on towards mainland Mexico, this all happened on Friday morning. The Los Cabos area did receive some isolated rain showers early Friday, along with increased storm swells, followed by 20 mph wind gusts from the south,

Ocean temperatures were reaching into the upper 80s, we do expect that this has peaked after the long hot summer and now we will see water temperatures begin to cool off in the coming weeks. Schooling sardinas are still being found near the PLC marina channel entrance, heavy charter pressure will soon have the fleet scrambling to maintain sufficient bait supplies.

This week the fleet concentrated most effort on the Iman to San Luis Banks where the yellowfin tuna were the main target species. We saw many more smaller sized yellowfin tuna and white skipjack in recent days, fish ranging from 5 to 15 lb., but the larger tuna up to 70 lb. plus were still on these same grounds, just getting them to bite became more of a challenge. Drift fishing while chumming with sardinas and strips of squid continued to be the most productive option.

Only a few dorado and wahoo being seen, mainly on the same grounds as the tuna were found. No consistent bite for these species at this time. Same for the bottom action, strong currents continued and this made it harder for angles to fish the bottom structure, a mix of snapper, pargo, cabrilla, bonito, pompano and amberjack were accounted for, but there were more triggerfish than anything else.

Quite a few sailfish were found on these same fishing grounds, as these fish do prefer the warmest of currents, a handful of black marlin, striped marlin and blue marlin were also reported, spread out and not in any significant numbers.

Closer to shore a few early seasons sierra were reported, as well as smaller sized roosterfish, again these were in limited numbers.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 84 charters for the week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 2 black marlin, 1 striped marlin, 8 sailfish, 1 blue marlin, 9 dorado, 3 wahoo, 220 yellowfin tuna, 22 bonito, 310 white skipjack, 26 red snapper, 5 amberjack, 10 barred pargo, 4 pompano, 2 surgeon fish, 9 yellow snapper, 13 cabrilla, 5 sierra, 2 roosterfish and 150 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric