North Wind, Another Cow Tuna ~ November 29, 2020

November 29, 2020

Moderate crowds of tourists visited this Thanksgiving week, enjoying the fall conditions and multitude of outdoor activities. We felt persistent north winds through the week, finally tapering off some over the weekend. These conditions made for rougher seas, especially on the grounds to the north of Punta Gorda. Scattered morning cloud cover, giving way to plenty of warm sunshine, as daytime highs were in the low to mid 80s and ocean temperature was also averaging about 80 degrees. Still good amounts of sardinas found schooling around marina jetty, also caballito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid being offered.

Overall the fishing action was tougher this week, a lot of this due to the winds beating the northern grounds. On Monday there were two impressive cow sized yellowfin tuna brought in, one of 200 b., found outside of San Luis Bank during normal mid-day hours, the other tuna, which was hooked into on the Gordo Banks later in the afternoon and fought for 3 ½ hours before finally being boated, brought back in the dark after 8 p.m., this cow was estimated at well over 300 lb. It hit on a trolled skipjack for a team of local La Playita anglers, headed by legend Eduardo Aripez.

The rest of the week the tuna action was scarce, there were a couple of days when fleets found some smaller sized yellowfin associated with moving porpoise and a handful of tuna in the 40 to 70 lb. class were hooked into while soaking baits on the grounds from Iman to San Luis, but again most of the entire week these areas were very choppy due to the winds.

Dorado were scattered, some days we saw more than others, though again most of these dorado were under ten pounds. Wahoo action was encountered on the grounds north of Punta Gorda, to Vinorama, but action was spotty, mix sizes of fish were taken, from sierra sized 4 lb. fish, up to trophy sized tournament contending wahoo of 60 lb. These fish hit on Rapalas, sardinas, yo-yo and more anglers are now starting to try their luck at obtaining chihuil and using them for trap hooked trolling baits.

Not a whole lot of bottom action being done, winds did not make this an easy option, highlight were a handful of amberjack and dogtooth snapper, but more triggerfish, bonito or small pargo/snapper, compared to anything else. Closer to shore and mainly towards Cabo San Lucas we were seeing some sierra, most of these taken on sardinas, hoochies or small rapalas, sizes up to five pounds.

We have heard of wide open action for striped marlin being found on the Pacific banks, though off of San Jose del Cabo we saw more sailfish, a pair of black marlin, one blue marlin and also a few striped marlin were brought in from pangas, no big numbers like on the Pacific.

Good fishing, Eric

Wahoo, Tuna Highlight Action ~ November 22, 2020

November 22, 2020

Weather has been great, warmer than usual fall conditions continue. There has been some persistent wind out of the north, but close to shore anglers were able to find fish in more protected areas. Water temperature now in the 79 to 81 degree range, slightly warmer than we would expect during this time frame. As the busy fall season now winds down, we are dealing with the second wave of Covid pandemic worries, though locally we have not seen a surge in cases and safety protocols have been strict, people are living in fear as to what is going to happen in the coming months.

Schools of sardinas remain healthy near the marina jetties, also some caballito being found. Other bait options included ballyhoo and slabs of squid. The majority of charters are now heading towards the north, from the Gordo Banks, Iman, San Luis and to Vinorama, while a few boats are working areas from San Jose del Cabo, south towards Cabo San Lucas. Action has been somewhat spread out, no particular hot spot. Most popular grounds this week were Iman and San Luis, this is where the better chances at hooking into the yellowfin tuna was.

The tuna proved increasingly finicky this past week, most days the yellowfin were seen in good numbers coming out of the water, putting on a show boiling on the chummed sardinas, but were extremely line shy. It did not make sense to use leader lighter than 40 lb., because chances of landing these fish on too light of line was minimal, the average fish that were being landed were in the 50 to 75 lb. class, some larger and a few in the 20 to 30 lb. range as well. Overall anglers were doing very well if they landed one or two of these tuna, though there are definitely lots of these fish in the area and on any given day could become more cooperative.

Through the first half of the week there was very good action for wahoo found near Vinorama, these fish were coming up on the chummed sardinas and hitting the small baits on straight mono, not the normal way we usually fish these toothy gamefish, skippers were using small long shanked hooks to help from getting cut off, the wahoo did not like the wire leaders. Many of the wahoo were hooked up on cast yo-yo type jigs, at least as many hook ups were lost as were brought to gaff. Of course the word on this good action traveled fast, scores of spear fishermen also headed to this inshore spot and the bite slowed way down just as fast as it had developed.

Dorado were scarcer this past week on the grounds off of San Jose del Cabo, most of the fish we did see were very small, though we did hear of better numbers towards the Pacific.

On the Gordo Banks there have been anglers targeting cow sized yellowfin, a couple of big fish were lost after extended battles, we did not hear of any other monster yellowfin being landed. There were at least a couple of black marlin that were brought in, these fish were in the 300 to 600 lb. range. We do believe that more big tuna are still on these grounds and certainly another will be hauled in before long.

Not much being found off the bottom besides triggerfish, bonito and mostly smaller sized snapper. Along the shoreline there have been sierra, but not consistent from day to day, still early in the season for these cooler water species.

Good fishing, Eric

Super Cows Show on Gordo Banks ~ November 15, 2020

November 15, 2020

As much of the northern territories are now feeling wintry weather conditions, here is Southern Baja this fall has been pleasantly warm, ideal climate now, highs still reaching into the 80s and barely feeling chilly early in the morning. Wind patterns are beginning to be a bit more unpredictable, blowing from out of the north most days, especially later in the day. Ocean water temperature is averaging around 80 degrees, on the Pacific it has dipped to 76 degrees. Crowds of tourists are arriving, as these next couple of weeks the busy season will be wind down and we will hope that people do decide to travel during the Christmas and New Year vacation periods.

Schools of sardinas continue to be found around the marina jetty area, also caballito, with other options being ballyhoo and slabs of squid. Some boats are scouting out options for chihuil, should be more of that in coming weeks, as these are special candy bait for wahoo.

This last week started out with a bang, as on Monday there was a 310 lb. yellowfin brought in, taken off of the 26 ft. super panga “Regina Dos”. This fish was hooked while trolling a live skipjack on the Outer Gordo Bank and was brought to gaff after a two hour battle on 80 lb. gear, the fight continued though, as the skipper “Gachi” and the one angler, Mike Witoshynski from Florida were unable to haul the beast into their boat due to particularly tough windy conditions, they did eventually hail help from a nearby yacht and then hauled it over the railing and headed to the dock area where a crowd had gathered after hearing the news. Later in the week there was yet even a larger super cow boated, this one weighing in at a whopping 371 lb., taken by a team of anglers aboard the locally based 35 ft. Cabo Sportfisher “Hard Efforts”, they were able to bring this beast to gaff within one hour on 100 lb. tackle.

The majority of local charters were fishing more towards the north, on grounds from the Iman, San Luis and to Vinorama. These areas were producing more consistent action than were the Gordo Banks, tough no super cows were taken from these grounds. The yellowfin found here were more in the 50 to 80 lb. class, still finicky though, at times showing themselves, feeding on the surface, though then vanishing just as quickly. Some days biting early and on others later in the day. Boats were doing well to land one or two of these quality grade yellowfin, most of these striking on sardinas, leaders of no more than 50 lb. proved more successful.

On these same grounds and a little closer to shore there were decent numbers of dorado found, though it was not easy to find many that were up to 15 lb., the majority being under ten pounds. Wahoo action was still sporadic, we did see a handful of these highly sought after gamefish brought in on most days, of course there were other stories of fast wahoo strikes resulting in lost chances. Most of the wahoo strikes were taken on trolled Rapalas, though a handful were also taken on rigged baits. We look for this action to become more consistent in the next couple of weeks, as we are now nearing the traditional peak season for these fish. Of the fish we saw, sizes ranged up to 35 lb.

Main species being found off the bottom were smaller sized pargo, red snapper, triggerfish and bonito, with an occasional leopard grouper (cabrilla) and a few prized 40 lb. dogtooth snapper.

Along the shoreline sierra are starting to show up, these fish prefer the cooling water temperatures, feisty little fighters, averaging 2 to 6 lb. More whales are being sighted in recent days, as the annual migration for these mammals is just now beginning.

Good fishing, Eric