Dorado on the Bite, Wahoo in the Mix ~ December 28, 2019


December 28, 2019

Los Cabos is now bustling with tourists, many family groups now vacationing for the holiday season. Weather patterns have been cooler, with scattered cloud cover and high temperatures in the lower 70s, a bit chilly for local standards, though compared to more northern territories, very pleasant. Ocean water temperatures were in the 75 to 77 degree range and swells were minimal. Variable northern winds, but overall favorable fishing conditions.

Bait supplies out of the local port consisted of caballito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid. There are sardineta and mackerel just starting to move onto local bait grounds as well, so far more sardineta. This is attracting striped marlin into this same area, despite not being the warm season, we are seeing some sailfish as well.

Most consistent fishing action has been for dorado, most of this action found with a mile or two from shore. Anglers were using smaller sized trolling lures and various baitfish to entice these gamefish, average size fish was in the 10 lb. class, but there were larger specimens to over 20 lb. also being found. For the last several seasons now the month of December has proved to be the best time of year for these popular game fish and with the water temperature still favorable, we expect this action to last into the New Year.

Action for yellowfin tuna was much more scattered, the bite off of La Fortuna, where the shark problem was so bad, faded off, just a few tuna up to 40 lb. were reported from those grounds and these were taken on strips of squid. A few tuna in the 15 to 40 lb. class also were hooked into off of Punta Gorda on a mix of caballito and lures, but these were very limited. Off of the Gordo Banks there was a chance at a nicer grade of yellowfin to 100 lb., though this was very hit of miss and involved large amounts of squid for chum and plenty of patience to repeatedly make drifts all day long for a chance at a hook up, mainly something the local commercial pangeros were doing. On the outside, some 20 or more miles offshore, there was porpoise activity moving in the direction off of San Jose del Cabo, on Friday there were a couple of 200 lb. class yellowfin landed off of larger sportfishers, so maybe this will develop into something.

Wahoo are in the area, but getting them to hit has not been that easy, though on any given day that could change, best bet has been on bait versus lures. Of the wahoo we saw, sizes ranged 15 to 40 lb. Though one monster 122 lb. wahoo was brought in by a spear fisherman. On Saturday.

Off of the beach stretches just to the north of the Puerto Los Cabos marina there were good numbers of juvenile sized roosterfish, some up to 15 lb., also mixed in were jack crevalle and sierra. Best bet was with the smaller sized caballito, if sardinas were available this action would bust wide open.

Off the bottom there was action for huachinango, most of these under 5 lb., also a few yellow snapper, barred pargo and of course the triggerfish were eager to bite as well.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 110 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 2 sailfish, 15 striped marlin, 265 dorado, 21 yellowfin tuna, 35 wahoo, 8 yellow snapper, 4 barred pargo, 1 glass eyed snapper, 12 sierra, 4 pompano, 85 roosterfish, 45 huachinango, 3 amberjack, 15 jack crevalle and 45 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Dorado Highlight, Chances at Wahoo and Tuna ~ December 21, 2019


December 21, 2019

Anglers –

Everyone is now busy getting ready for Christmas, more tourists arriving, though there are not as many anglers as we would expect. The typically weather pattern of north winds continues, particularly early in the week, though there was decent fishing action close to shore in more protected areas. The Pacific side was calm for the most part. Ocean water temperature was averaging 77 degrees throughout the local region. There were scattered clouds and climate was a bit cooler than previous week, though on most days highs were at least up to 75 degrees, no rainfall reported.

Bait vendors were finding decent supplies of caballito, also were offering ballyhoo and slabs of squid, no sardinas found near San Jose del Cabo. Some of the panga charters were able to find some chihuil baitfish, but this was not a guarantee, needed to put in the extra effort and time for this. Most of the local charters are working the fishing grounds from Red Hill, Gordo Banks, La Fortuna and off of Punta Gorda. Most common species found were dorado, but also still decent chances at yellowfin tuna and wahoo.

Off of La Fortuna there were yellowfin tuna of various sizes found, some nicer quality fish. The problem was that there was an abundance of large aggressive sharks on these same grounds and they were ready to grab any tuna that was hooked into, a ratio of at least 80 % of hooks ups being lost, so not many charters were even fishing there anymore. There were yellowfin found on the Inner Gordo Banks, though numbers were very limited, a handful of tuna over 100 lb. were accounted for this week, though this took a lot of persistence and large amounts of squid, so that you could continue to drift, while chumming and patiently waiting for a chance at a hook up.

Wahoo were also now found on the Gordo Banks, though they have been finicky, best bet was to slow troll baitfish, either caballito or chihuil. Not many were striking on lures, some of these fish were also found further north and off of Punta Gorda. With the warmer water still hanging around we expect to have chances at wahoo into the New Year.

Dorado were providing the most success for anglers, most of these also on various baits, ranging in sizes up to 20 lb. Many anglers were able to catch their two fish limit and release others. Areas closer to shore, such as Punta Gorda and Cardon were best for the dorado, a few tuna were also found on the same grounds, if sardinas were available the chances of getting into the tuna action would be much greater, who knows when we will have sardinas locally. These baitfish do also migrate along the shorelines.

Not much going off the bottom, though we did see more red snapper this week, majority were smaller sized, but a few nicer fish in the mix. Good numbers of roosterfish were found along the beach stretches, within a mile or less of Puerto Los Cabos Marina. There fish readily hit on trolled caballito, most of them were under 15 lb., a few much larger jack crevalle were mixed in. Also a handful of sierra, but with no sardinas, hard to find a wide open bite for these fish. Also still early in the season for these colder water species. Billfish was very scattered off of San Jose del Cabo, surprisingly there were more sailfish seen than striped marlin, strange for this time of year.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 56 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 4 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 88 dorado, 15 yellowfin tuna, 16 wahoo, 4 yellow snapper, 2 barred pargo, 1 amberjack, 4 bonito, 8 sierra, 22 roosterfish, 24 huachinango, 4 jack crevalle and 45 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Lighter Crowds, Tuna, Wahoo, Dorado Provide Scattered Action ~ December 14, 2019

December 14, 2019

Anglers –

Limited number of tourists now arriving, as Christmas time and New Year nears we do usually see greater numbers of people arriving, especially family groups. Now is the perfect time to visit, ideal weather, despite dipping down to 55 degrees early morning, daytime highs have averaged in the upper 70s, plenty of warm sunshine. Early in the week there was more wind from the north, but by the weekend we saw much calmer ocean conditions. Average water temperature was about 77 degrees, with some isolated areas up to 80 degrees, surf was minimal, though tides were extreme with passing of recent full moon, the last one of this decade.

Bait vendors are finding caballito in the marina area, also offering ballyhoo and slabs of squid. Off of the San Jose del Cabo Hotel Zone the schools of baitfish, mackerel and sardineta, are moving in and this will become an option for the next month or two. The overall fishing action was more scattered this week, perhaps the moon was affecting feeding habits, also there was a noticeably stronger current sweeping through local grounds, as well as winds being a factor at times. The majority of local charters were working the grounds from the Gordo Banks, to La Fortuna, Cardon and close off of Punta Gorda.

Main target species continue to be yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo, also some billfish and limited bottom action to round out the options. Yellowfin tuna varying in sizes up to 75 lb., the larger fish were found on the Gordo Banks and other mixed grade of yellowfin off of La Fortuna. Though there was a major issue with sharks attacking hooked fish and they got more than their share, these were not little sharks either, we saw quality sized tuna bitten completely in half or swallowed whole, they were even attacking wahoo or dorado if they had the chance. It has been a while since so many aggressive sharks were found on these same fishing grounds, hard to say how long they will be around, they now know that they are able to find some easy tasty meals. Hopefully when the water temperature cools off the sharks will move on.

Wahoo were more finicky this week, though they have not gone anywhere, just were more wary about striking. Some hit on strips of squid while anglers targeted tuna, other on trolled baits, a smaller percentage were striking on lures. The largest we weighed in recently was a 48 lb. specimen. Sunday is the local wahoo tournament, which was original set for Nov. 17, but had to be rescheduled due to Tropical Storm Raymond. Will be interesting to see how many teams enter, since it is now during a not so busy tourist time frame.

Numbers of dorado were down compared to last week, though these fish are still scattered through the area in smaller sized schools, the larger sized dorado were now found on the Pacific, though off of San Jose del Cabo we did see some fish up to 20 lb.

Billfish action now seems to be transitioning from the Pacific to the direction of San Jose, these fish follow their food source. Though the bite is spotty, has not been wide open yet, there are striped marlin being found within several miles of shore, the majority were in the 70 to 120 lb. range. Also saw at least one sailfish in recent days.

Not much going off the bottom, an occasional leopard or baqueta grouper, various pargo, bonito and triggerfish. More whales definitely now showing up, peak season will be here now any week, as these mammals are now arriving for their winter’s stay.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 70 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 1 sailfish, 9 striped marlin, 38 dorado, 78 yellowfin tuna, 14 wahoo, 5 yellow snapper, 3 pompano, 4 golden eye tile fish, 6 barred pargo, 9 cabrilla, 2 amberjack, 8 bonito, 5 sierra, 5 roosterfish, 6 baqueta, 2 surgeonfish and 45 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric