Tropical Climate, Mixed Action ~ July 18, 2021

July 18, 2021

Feeling more tropical this past week. With a pair of storm systems now in the Eastern Pacific, Hurricane Felicia and Tropical Storm Guillermo, which was the closer of the two, within a few hundred miles over the weekend. Both are following paths off to the west, in the direction of the Hawaiian Islands. The only impact felt in Southern Baja has been increased cloud cover and higher humidity levels, possibility of some scattered isolated rain over the more mountainous regions. Crowds of tourists are arriving, though again not a high percentage of these travelers are anglers.

Ocean conditions varied, lots of wind on the Pacific and often the south wind would swept into the Sea of Cortez later in the day. Water temperatures have averaged 80 degrees or higher, clarity fluctuating day to day as strong currents are sweeping through. Bait supplies remained steady for sardinas, mullet, caballito and some moonfish in the mix.

Local fleets were fishing grounds from Red Hill, Chileno, Gordo Banks, Cardon, Iman, San Luis and to Vinorama, action has been spread out, really no specific hot spot now. Offshore action was slow, though in recent days there were more smaller sized striped marlin showing up, also a few sailfish, no stories of big black or blue marlin yet. Dorado were very scarce, as were wahoo, though a few free swimming hoo’s were seen while boats were drift fishing over high spots.

Most consistent action has been for a variety of shallow to medium depth structure species, most common being triggerfish, spotted rose snapper, yellow snapper, barred pargo, amberjack, pompano, cabrilla and bonito. All of these fish being excellent eating, a few of the amberjack reached over 40 pounds, a couple cabrilla (grouper) to 30 lb. Average catch about a dozen fish per boat in combination.

The best chance for yellowfin tuna was near Vinorama, fairly close to shore, tuna in the 20 to 50 lb. range have been landed, though bite has been finicky, some days at least showing on the surface, on others not even being seen. These yellowfin would sporadically feed, anglers were fortunate to land one or two of these fish while drift fishing sardinas on lighter leaders.

Closer to the shoreline there was scattered action found for roosterfish while trolling live bait. Some of these fish were trophy sized, over 50 lb., though there were also many smaller juvenile sized roosters around, a bit strange for this time of year, as normally we see a higher percentage of the full sized adult fish.

This is the time of year we normally would find dogtooth snapper close to shore near rocky outcroppings, though that is not happening in recent years, I believe between ongoing gill netting and high concentrations of spear divers, this once world class snapper fishery is all but done, these fish should be protected and not be legal to kept at this stage, are nearly decimated for our region.

Good Fishing, Eric

Gordo Banks to Vinorama Scattered Bite for Anglers ~ July 11, 2021

July 11, 2021

Lots of tourist activity now, reports of large crowds at local International Airport, though fishing fleets have only been moderately busy. Weather patterns were more stable this week, scattered cloud cover, highs in the upper 80s, to 90 degrees. Variable winds, being more predominate later in the day from the south. A couple of low pressure tropical areas that we are following far to the south and southwest, neither appear to have much chance of impacting Southern Baja at all, maybe a bit more tropical muggy humidity will be it.

Anglers are now using a mix of sardinas, mullet and caballito for bait, supplies have remained steady near Puerto Los Cabos marina jetty despite increased surf activity. The majority of local charters have been fishing towards the north, from the Gordo Banks, all the way to Vinorama, some inshore action also found near Palmilla and south towards Chileno. More consistent action is being encountered closer to shore and off of the rocky high spots. Early in the week there was spotty action found anywhere from 15 to 25 miles offshore for yellowfin tuna which were associated with moving porpoise. Was very hit or miss and most of these yellowfin were smaller football sized. Near Vinorama there was another area to find tuna, these fish were within a mile or so from shore and weighing up to 30 lb. Though this tuna bite was also sporadic, more of an early morning super panga bite, first boats there have a chance then bite shuts down.

Dorado and wahoo were both very scarce now, we did see a handful of dorado, though these were few and far between, smaller sized juvenile fish. Billfish action was scattered, no specific hot spot, in between seasons now, a few sailfish in the area as well, late season for striped marlin and still a bit early for the blues and blacks.

Earlier in the week there was some great action found on Inner Gordo Bank, amberjack to 60  lb. and surprisingly several yellowtail were accounted for, up to 34 lb. Lots of sharks hanging on these grounds, which made that a challenge at times. Word travels quickly these days, next thing we know spear divers showed as well as swarms of bots and that bite faded out. Other grounds to the north, Cardon, La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis all produced a mix of structure species for anglers using yo-yo jigs and various baits. Ocean clarity improved and water temperature was in the 80 degree range, though overall the bite was a bit more difficult in recent days. Fishing is like the weather, can vary day to day.

Anglers were finding more roosterfish now patrolling closer to shore, fish to 50 lb. were landed, also many smaller roosterfish in the area, more than usual for this time of year, we are now in peak season for targeting the largest roosterfish of the year. Still lots of jack crevalle being found near shore as well and a few sierra still hanging around.

Good Fishing, Eric

Storm Passes, No Damage, Inshore to Offshore Action ~ July 4, 2021

July 4, 2021

Another active week for weather patterns in Los Cabos. First we were following development of Hurricane Enrique, this system had once been forecast to take a path directly towards the Los Cabos region, fortunately the storm weakening and moved further east and never amounted to much at all, though local Ports were closed for two days as a precaution. Very little rain was recorded, only isolated showers reported, with some areas feeling none at all. Ocean swells did increase, but also quickly dropped. After the storm had swept by, on Wednesday, we did have a major blow from the south, with gusts to 40 mph., definitely a good day not to be on the water. On Thursday morning winds resided and Ports had been reopened. That first day out the ocean conditions were stirred up and much cooler once again. Though by week’s end ocean was back up near 80 degrees and clarity had much improved.

Fleets were scouting out in different directions to find best possible action, there were now opportunities from along the beach stretches, to off the bottom rock piles, as well as further offshore.

Most consistent action remained over the bottom structure, often in as shallow as 60 feet. Using bait and yo-yo jigs there was a variety of species accounted for, most impressive were a few amberjack ranging to over 50 lb., also a handful of nice leopard grouper, yellow snapper, pompano, barred pargo, pargo colorado, bonito, island jack, flag cabrilla, rose snapper and others, all excellent table fare.

The chances for yellowfin tuna has been near Vinorama, close to shore, spotty action, but at times would come up and bite, sardinas the best. Other tuna were found 15 to 25 miles offshore of San Jose del Cabo region, traveling with porpoise, striking on lures and bait. Most of the tuna we saw this past week were in the 15 to 25 lb. class. This is the month when we do normally see some larger size yellowfin appear on local grounds.

Dorado continued to be fairly scarce, though this week we actually had a couple of true 50 lb. monster bulls show up on the fillet tables, have not seen such large dorado in a while, not as common as in years past. Nice to see the big bulls, they are very impressive fish. A few other dorado were found scattered throughout the zone, as summer conditions continue to warm we should see more of the schooling size dorado move in on local fishing grounds.

The billfish action was mainly for striped marlin, a few sailfish and one small blue marlin. Seen more smaller juvenile sized stripers, some as small as 40 lb., other up to 120 lb. Found a bit further offshore in greater numbers, where water was cleaner, though some marlin were also inshore, near the Iman and San Luis Banks.

A couple reports of wahoo seen free swimming around, but they have not been interested. There were still a few sierra hanging around, most of them good sizers, up to 14 lb. Roosterfish were also now showing in more quantity, mixed sizes, also lots of jack crevalle, many of these 25 lb. plus hogs. Bait supplies now consist of sardinas, caballito and mullet.

Surf anglers accounted for a handful of snook, triple tail and even totoaba. Though more jack crevalle than anything else, wide open at times.

Good Fishing, Eric