Dorado Highlight Scattered Action ~ July 23, 2023 ~ NEXT REPORT ON AUGUST 13 ~

July 23, 2023

Another hot and humid week in Southern Baja, light crowds of anglers greeted with clear sunny days, no rain in sight for now, slight wells and variable afternoon breezes. Caballito remains the main bait source from the local marina, with jurelito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid also an option.

Sportfishing fleets are mainly concentrating on the grounds to the north, Gordo Banks to Iman and San Luis Banks, others are adventuring straight offshore and to south between Palmilla and Santa Maria. Overall action was tough, one factor being the 87 degree water temperature and the extremely swift current. Again there were a wide variety of species now in the area, just getting them enticed to biting is another story.

Dorado has been the most common catch, though about 80 % of them have been small 5 lb. and under juvenile females, with an occasional larger bull accounted for. They really need to implement length limits on certain species, particularly on these female dorado, which are filled with eggs, can grow up to five pounds per month and often never even get the chance to reproduce. Problem is when there is limited action many anglers want to put something in the fish box.

No yellowfin tuna or wahoo to speak about, except a handful of scattered open water yellowfin which were football sized. The coming months of August and September normally see more production for the nicer grade of tuna.

Bottom fishing was not easy at all due to strong currents, though we did see a few impressive catches  accounted for, dogtooth snapper, leopard grouper, amberjack and yellowtail being the highlight. Along the shoreline there are still some roosterfish to be found, a bit hit or miss, but a few over 40 lb. were landed and released.

Billfish bite is also very scattered, chances at sailfish, striped and blue marlin now, really it is also the time we see the first black marlin of the season, we have not seen them yet. Would be nice if more of the small sized tuna appeared on the offshore high spots, this seems to help attract the blacks.

Good Fishing, Eric

Hot Times, Scattered Bite ~ July 16, 2023

July 16, 2023

As we are now in the heat of the summer and weather conditions continue to be hot and humid. Distance tropical storms and hurricanes are increasing the humidity and overall hear index, though we have seen no more rain this past week. Light crowds of anglers now, but there are quite a few people at local resorts. Ocean swells resided some and winds were light on the Sea of Cortez side of the Peninsula, though persistent north winds were reported on the Pacific.

Ocean water temperatures are very warm, many zones now reading at 87 degrees, this can throw off the whole ecosystem, oxygen levels, etc… Overall fishing action was tough, though though were a wide variety of species in the area, hooking into them was a different story. Live bait supplies consisted mainly for caballito, jurelito, some moon fish, a few mullet and ballyhoo were being offered as well. Sportfishing fleets were spread out in all directions, searching for more opportunities. 

Bottom action was not very productive at all, lots of currents running, which never helps that, also the heat factor of just drift fishing with no breeze to cool you down.. Most charters were doing more surface trolling with various baits of higher speed lures.

Heading further offshore, anywhere from 5 to 20 miles out anglers were finding fair chances at hooking into billfish, more striped marlin than anything else, despite the very warm water temps. There were some blue marlin now being hooked into as well, most of these that we saw were in the 100 to 160 lb. range, though we did see one charter bring in one about 300 lb. earlier in the week. Some scattered dorado on these same grounds, though more dorado were now found closer to shore, but most of these were small juvenile schoolies under 8 lb.

Charters found smaller football sized yellowfin tuna while trolling open waters, but this was hit or miss, a matter of being in the right place at the right time and anglers were fortunate to land several of them. The larger grade of tuna which had been hanging near Iman and San Luis Banks just have not wanted to do much at all. Lots of sharks in the area, many anglers that did hook into the football sized tuna lost these fish to mass congregations of pilot sharks. Same with trying to slow troll larger baits, such as bolito, more often than not the sharks would make quick work of these rigs.

A few wahoo striking rapalas, but these speedsters typically become sluggish in such warm waters as well. Close to shore there were still chances for late season roosterfish and of course the hog sized jack crevalle were ever present. This whole season for roosterfish was not up to normal local standards. Never really saw the mass schools of mullet congregating on the beach stretches.

Average catches per boat was now several fish in combination, probably easier to find a marlin than any of the other closer to shore species.

Good Fishing, Eric

Tropical Conditions, Scattered Action ~ July 9, 2023

July 9, 2023

Another very tropical week, started off on Monday with San Jose del Cabo receiving its first significant rainfall since past Sept. or Oct., isolated thundershowers dumped an estimated one inch or more of rain in a very short period of time, right about mid day when it was really coming down, then just as quickly the clouds past through and cleared up, no high winds were related to this, so it was actually nice to see the rainfall. Through the week it was mostly clear, though very humid, on Sunday another tropical depression passed a couple hundred miles off to the southwest, creating high swells and some more scattered showers, even though the Port was not officially closed most charters were canceled due to the stormy conditions. 

We did not see as many overall anglers this week, fishing was a more spotty, better earlier in the week and became more scattered as the week progressed. Hard to say exactly why, maybe the fact the water was 85 degrees or warmer on some grounds, this can change the whole deal, as currents and ocean oxygen levels are constantly shifting. Gamefish move accordingly seeking out preferred thermocline.

Surface action included a wide variety, but no big numbers of any specific spaces. We saw sailfish, striped and blue marlin, dorado, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, skipjack and bonito. Mainly using caballito, ballyhoo for bait and also trolling the normal array of lures. Despite such warm waters we saw quite a few wahoo, many were small juveniles near ten pounds, a few were up to 30 lb.

Dorado were scattered throughout the region, mixed sizes, we were seeing more juvenile sizes move in than in previous weeks when the majority of the dorado were nicer quality sized fish. Bottom action was not as productive,  but a few nice dogtooth snapper to 35 lb., red snapper to 12 lb. and amberjack to 55 lb. were accounted for earlier in the week. Some smaller football sized yellowfin tuna were found while open water trolling and a few nicer grade tuna in the 70 to 85 lb. class on the grounds from Iman to San Luis Banks.

Late in the season now, but still chances at finding jack crevalle and roosterfish closer to shore, but on some days this was not a practical option due to high surf conditions.

Good Fishing, Eric