August 20, 2011


August 20, 2011

Tropical conditions continue to attract moderate crowds to Southern Baja. Hurricane Greg developed off of the Southern mainland Mexican coast and passed some three hundred miles to the southwest of Cabo San Lucas on Thursday afternoon, increased humidity and higher surf conditions were the only impact felt by this latest storm system, no additional rainfall, as the landscape now has had a chance to dry out from last week’s thundershowers. Ocean currents are swift and water temperatures are averaging in the mid 80s, clarity has fluctuated some due to swift currents.

Supplies of sardinas were adequate this past week and were definitely the bait of choice for anglers targeting the yellowfin tuna bite that has been dominating the action from the Iman to San Luis Banks. Drift fishing while chumming with both live and dead bait was enticing the tuna into the feeding mood. The most active time of day for these fish varied from day to day, but there were large schools of tuna in this area and this is where the local fleet has been concentrated. This week there were tuna reportedly seen on the Gordo Banks, but no significant bite has developed on this area at this time. Heavy dive boat pressure has been a main factor, as the yellowfin become spookier with divers in the water. Anglers were landing an average of one or two and at times five to seven tuna per charter. The average size of these fish ranged from 30 to 60 pounds. In recent days there has been even larger yellowfin moving on to these same fishing grounds, one 200 pounder was landed on Wednesday by local famed sportfisher “Fisherman”, this tuna hit on a trolled live skipjack. Everyday the panga fleet is accounting for some tuna that are weighing up to 100 pounds or more. At times these fish proved leader shy and many larger fish were lost after being hooked up on lighter line. A few of these tuna were also hooked on yo-yo jigs. Plenty of skipjack in the same area, they have been used as chunk bait with some success as well.

Bottom action was not all that consistent, but mid week there were several days when fair numbers of dogtooth snapper, gulf and leopard grouper were accounted for. Some of these were hooked on yo-yo jigs, but more were taken on chunk bait from fresh skipjack. Drift fishing over the rocky structure with no weight, backing down into the current was the most productive technique, but anglers had to be on the ready, no slack here, turning these powerful fish way from the rocks proved to be major challenge.

Dorado numbers less than normal for summer time, but most charters were catching one or more in their combined catch, most of them were juvenile sized fish of 15 pounds or less. Most of the smaller schools of dorado were found near where the tuna were holding.

Not many reports of billfish on the local grounds lately, though panga charters have not really specifically targeted them recently, preferring to go after the more abundant yellowfin tuna.

Surf fishermen did report more snook activity off of the San Jose Estuary, everyday hook ups were reported by persons casting various lures or on mullet. Persistence was the key to landing one of these elusive prized eating fish, the month of August has always been one of the best times to find these inshore gamefish.

The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 60 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 sailfish, 86 dorado, 205 yellowfin tuna, 15 dogtooth snapper, 19 cabrilla, 3 grouper, 88 mixed pargo species, 6 amberjack and 14 bonito.

Good Fishing, Eric

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