Fluctuating Conditions, Dorado, Tuna, Marlin Bite ~ January 25, 2020

January 25, 2020

Anglers –

We once again saw more numbers of tourists arriving, winter time travelers looking to enjoy the ideal local climate. Scattered early day cloud cover, plenty of sunshine, with high temperatures ranging 75 to 80 degrees. We continued to have the cycles of north winds, though by this weekend ocean conditions were ideal, no wind to speak of, as well as improved fishing action. Water temperatures were in the 71 to 74 degree range. Early in the week there was a particularly swift current sweeping through the grounds north of Punta Gorda and this made it tougher for anglers to do much. Overall the ocean clarity improved, but at times there were swirling greenish currents encountered.

Large concentrations of baitfish now congregating on the grounds just offshore of the San Jose del Cabo Hotel Zone, mackerel and sardineta. Other bait options included, caballito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid. With all of the food source concentrated in this area there were dorado and striped marlin found in good numbers on these same grounds. This is all in very close proximity of the local marina, a seasonal event that always gets the locals excited, sometimes this will only last for a week or two before baitfish schools migrate elsewhere, we will see how this season progresses.

Inshore there were roosterfish, sierra and a variety of shallow structure species. Most of these fish were smaller in size, though this past week a handful of much larger roosterfish up to 40 lb. were reported, also sierra to 8 lb.

The action for yellowfin tuna had stalled out during the past couple of weeks, due to weather conditions and changing water, etc. This weekend as the weather settled down for a couple of days, the yellowfin tuna became active Friday on the Gordo Banks once again. Anglers were drift fishing with squid and landed tuna up to 80 lb., all of these fish seemed to be in the 50 to 80 lb. class. Earlier in the week there were a few smaller football sized tuna found scattered, but these were the first nicer grade tuna found in recent days. No huge numbers, but there was a fair chance at catching two or three of these fish.

Wahoo were scarce with the cooler water, though a handful were accounted for on the grounds from Punta Gorda to Cardon. It seems that the ocean conditions near Vinorama is now cooler and dirtier, better looking blue water now found nearer San Jose el Cabo.

The highlight off of the bottom was a 70 lb. class amberjack, also we saw a few more leopard grouper, yellow snapper, red snapper and smaller amberjack in the mix. We anticipate more structure action in coming months, as that is the normal pattern as we near spring time. We heard about reports of smaller yellowtail on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, this is usually a sign that these gamefish are eventually moving in the direction of the Sea Of Cortez, it has been several years now since we saw a great run of these sought after gamefish.

Peak season now for whales, should be easy to spot these mammals for at least another month.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 80 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 16 striped marlin, 148 dorado, 20 yellowfin tuna, 5 wahoo, 18 sierra, 32 roosterfish, 12 cabrilla, 4 porgy, 6 bonito, 4 pompano, 38 red snapper, 8 yellow snapper, 2 dogtooth snapper, 7 barred pargo, 8 amberjack and 25 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Warmer North Winds, Dorado, Wahoo, Tuna the Main Target ~ January 18, 2020

January 18, 2020

Moderate winter time crowds now, noticeably lighter, as schools return to session after traditional holiday seasons. Weather patterns are typically unpredictable, lows in 50s some days and highs up to mid-80s on others. Wind predominately from the north, in cycles of two, three, four days. Moderate ocean swells, with clarity fluctuating accordingly to running currents. Ocean temperatures have been in the 72 to 74 degree range, slightly warmer than normal for this time frame.

Bait options consisted of caballito, ballyhoo, slabs of squid, sardineta and some mackerel. Large schools of baitfish now congregating on areas off of San Jose del Cabo, more sardineta than anything else. No word on sardinas moving within range of local fleets.

Striped Marlin are following their food source in this same direction, though still not in big numbers, but more this week compared to last. Dorado were the more numerous gamefish at this time, found throughout the area, often close to shore, striking on a variety of lures, but more readily on available bait. Sizes ranged up to 20 lb., though the majority were averaging ten pounds.

Wahoo action rebounded somewhat this week, as we saw ocean temperatures remain warm enough to keep these fish in the area. Still this action was more sporadic, most strikes were reported from Punta Gorda to Vinorama. Sizes were all the way from sierra sized wahoo, up to 45 lb. Ballyhoo and caballito both produced a higher percentage of strikes.

Juvenile sized roosterfish and are now seeing more sierra found along local beach stretches. At times frigate birds could be seen circling and diving closer to shore, especially mid-morning, this activity was typically associated with feeding dorado.

Yellowfin tuna action was spotty, but we are seeing limited numbers of tuna in the 10 to 25 lb. class taken through the inshore zone, seen more near Cardon and La Fortuna recently. Striking on smaller sized lures and while drift fishing with strips of squid.

Not much going off the bottom, commercial fleet has concentrated on the red snapper, not much red crab surface activity this past week. A few cabrilla taken off of the high spots, bonito, pargo, but more triggerfish than anything else. We look for this bottom bite to improve in coming weeks, hoping for a good yellowtail season.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 68 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 11 striped marlin, 160 dorado,   42 yellowfin tuna, 26 wahoo, 38 pargo, 22 sierra, 16 roosterfish, 9 cabrilla, 4 jack crevalle, bonito 6 and  28 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Wintry Conditions Scatters Action ~ January 11, 2020

January 11, 2020

We noticed a significant decline in tourists this week, with schools now back in session and work holidays over, there are lighter crowds. Cooler weather patterns continues, average lows about 55 degrees, with highs about 76 degrees, so comparatively to northern regions, still quite pleasant for mid-winter season. Wins from the north continues, cycle of two or three days, then residing, before picking back up. On Friday winds increased to 20 plus mph, through Saturday as well, actually closing down Cabo San Lucas marina to vessels under 40 ft. Sunday conditions are forecast to calm down.

Water temperature is on a cooling trend, now in the 72 to 74 degree range through much of the region, clarity fluctuated, some very clean blue water found close to shore, but other areas being stirred up and off colored. Transition period now for many gamefish now, such as dorado and wahoo, these fish prefer warmer waters and will migrate further south, striped marlin on the other hand prefer the cooler waters, with peak season normally in the winter and though spring.

Earlier in the week there was a run of pelagic crabs, drifting to the surface in masses on local fishing grounds, being scooped up in nets and used for bait for red snapper. Commercial fleet activity always ramps up when these red crabs appear. These huachinango average 2 to 5 lb. and reach up to about 14 lb. Very prized eating and a valuable commercial product.

Sportfishing fleets found more scattered action with cooler choppy conditions through much of the week, best action was encountered fairly close to shore, areas from Santa Maria to La Fortuna, dorado in the 5 to 15 lb. class being most common, also some roosterfish and sierra, using caballito or ballyhoo was main method. Bait options available from the marina were for caballito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid. Average catches consisted of a couple of dorado, up to five or six. We only saw a couple of smaller sized wahoo come in all week. Yellowfin tuna action was very slow on local grounds, a handful of yellowfin were landed earlier in the week off the local grounds, these fish ranged from 10 lb., up to about 80 lb., though very few numbers. The area that is producing cow sized tuna was the Jaime Bank outside of Cabo San Lucas, several long range San Diego vessels were chumming these grounds this week, local pangeros were making the long run to get into this action, putting in long days but returning with fish to 200 lb. This being more of a commercial prospect.

There was a lack of much billfish activity, we are hearing of more mackerel moving in the direction off of San Jose del Cabo, this should attract the striped marlin, some are being seen now, but very scattered. Also full moon period as well, as things shift and weather settles we are optimistic for improved action.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 58 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 84 dorado, 16 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 4 barred pargo, 32 sierra, 26 roosterfish, 3 cabrilla, 58 huachinango, 3 jack crevalle, 5 porgy and 22 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric