Bonito, Yellowtail, Grouper Highlight Action ~ February 28, 2021

February 28, 2021

The month of February is finally over, it definitely lived up to its reputation of being unpredictable, we saw a little bit of everything these past few weeks. Glad that it is past, we are feeling a slight warming trend as spring time nears, ocean temperature now in the 68 degree range, as north winds continue to pick up in cycles. Clarity of water is also up and down, this is how it often is during this time frame. Still only limited numbers of tourists arriving, even less anglers, though we anticipate times will improve, as many people in the U.S. and elsewhere now have had their Covid 19 vaccinations or will be having them soon and then will be more open for making travel plans.

Most fishing action now has taken place from Chileno, Palmilla, Gordo Banks and north to Vinorama. Bait netters are having trouble finding supplies of sardinas, the main bait source has been caballito, a lot of yo-yo style jig fishing going on now.

Drift fishing over the rocky grounds, more often in 120 to 200 feet of water, with available bait, but more so on yo-yo jigs. Main catch by far has been the bonito, some of them up to 8 lb., hitting best earlier in the morning. Same areas were producing a variety of grouper, snapper, cabrilla, yellowtail and amberjack, limited numbers, but quality fish. Some charters would have up to three four yellowtail, sizes up to 25 lb., majority of these yellows came from areas further north near Vinorama.

Closer to shore anglers found sierra, pargo and triggerfish. Heard a couple of reports of seeing dorado or wahoo, uncommon to see these gamefish in such cold water.

No local billfish bite being reported, as conditions improve we expect to see more striped marlin move in. We did hear of a couple reports of swordfish sightings from sportfishers searching further offshore.

A handful of smaller sized yellowfin tuna were brought in, fishing the same local grounds, also there were sightings of much larger yellowfin, up to 150 lb., coming up for a quick showing on the surface and then disappearing even quicker, they are in the area, though cold off colored water and full moon does not help.

Good fishing, Eric

Variety of Structure Species Bite ~ February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

This month is definitely living up to its reputation for being unpredictable, this whole season we have seen more relentless north winds than usual, hard to find a reliable forecast and normal patterns have not followed the standard this year. As we still deal with very light tourism, staying optimistic that soon the situation will improve. We felt another cool trend this week, of course nothing even comparable as they felt in Texas, we did have mostly sunny skies, high temperatures averaging 75 degrees and the morning lows in the mid-50s. Ocean temperature was again cooler, down into the 67 to 70 degree range. The bait was a bit scarcer now, netters were working harder to find the scattered schools of sardinas and few caballito.

The week started out difficult due to windy conditions, though over the weekend winds laid down and the ocean was very comfortable, though quite cool for this area. Charters were searching the grounds from Chileno, Palmilla, Gordo Banks and north towards San Luis. Most consistent action was found while working the bottom structure, with the cold water there was not much surface activity found, as dorado, tuna, wahoo and marlin seem to have been hiding out, waiting for warmer currents to move back in. This will be transition period coming up, as the days progressively become longer and warmer once again.

The bonito were by far the most numerous species found, striking mainly on yo-yo style jigs, averaging 3 to 5 lb. a little smaller than they often run, but these fish are feisty fighters and good eating, prepared just as you would the yellowfin tuna. Despite not seeing any significant numbers of other species, we did see a wide variety of structure species show up on the fillet tables. We saw yellowtail, amberjack, red snapper, yellow snapper, grouper, sheepshead, bluefin trevally (fairly rare in local waters), Pacific tilefish, triggerfish, roosterfish, sierra, black skipjack, spotted rose snapper and even a couple of wahoo and dorado earlier in the week that were out of place in the cold water.

Besides the one Bluefin trevally we saw, there was also a 50 lb. class roosterfish landed and released from a super panga trolling near the marina jetty area, the California sheepshead was also a fairly unusual catch. Pelagic red crabs are starting to appear on the local high spots, when conditions are just right these small crustaceans will drift to the surface, can be scooped up and used for snapper bait, the commercial fleets goes wild when they see these red crabs, as they see big dollar signs and can make great profits when it all comes together.

Still plenty of whales to keep sightseers happy, as well as some turtles, sea lions and manta rays.

Good fishing, Eric

A Few Quality Tuna Highlight Action ~ February 14, 2021


February 14, 2021

Half way through the month of February now, we continue to see very light crowds of tourists arriving, we are remaining optimistic that the coming months will see larger numbers of visitors. The weather patterns have been changing day to day, we saw a warming trend, then a cool front moved back through, daytime highs ranged from 75 to 80 degrees, winds have been on and off from the north, a bit unpredictable, currents sweeping through the region, changing water temperature and clarity from locations.

With limited charter activity there has still been plenty of commercial fishing pressure, with the shrimp trawlers working the areas off of San Jose del Cabo where there had been concentrations of mackerel and sardineta, this impacted this bait source and along the shoreline we saw schools of sardinas diminish as well, the smaller baitfish still have been obtainable, just not as abundant as they have been for the past months. It is the season where anglers commonly use yo-yo style jigs, working the various high spots for a variety of species.

The ocean temperature is averaging in the 70 to 72 degree range now, clarity has improved on the grounds north of the Gordo Banks, such as La Fortuna and Iman Banks, though green water has moved in off of Cabo San Lucas. The majority of the charters have been concentrating near La Fortuna and Iman Banks, this is where water clarity was cleaner and the more consistent all around action was found. Early in the week there were a handful of nice yellowfin tuna to over 80 lb. accounted for, though these yellowfin were finicky and only coming up sporadically, found close to shore though, over bottom structure, must be a certain food source that is attracting these fish to this area. The tuna action slacked as wind became more of a factor through the week, thing about this time year, is finding a calm day in order to increase opportunities.

The various rock piles are producing a mix of structure species, recently the most common fish being the bonito, also an occasional amberjack, cabrilla, pargo, red snapper or yellowtail, but by far more bonito than anything else, mainly striking on yo-yo jigs and weighing in the 4 to 8 lb. range. With the cooler water we are only seeing an occasional dorado, we also saw one wahoo early in the week. No billfish being talked about on local grounds out of San Jose del Cabo, though we did hear reports of decent action for striped marlin on the Pacific grounds, such as Golden Gate, where schools of mackerel were now concentrated, though overall the action out of Cabo San Lucas was not as consistent as on grounds in the direction of the Sea of Cortez.

The highlight for the week were definitely the few quality grade of yellowfin tuna that were accounted for, as conditions stabilize we do expect these tuna to remain on these same grounds and become more prevalent in the daily counts. As we progress towards spring season we also anticipate to find more wide spread bottom action.

Good fishing, Eric