August 29, 2010

Gordo Banks Pangas

San Jose del Cabo


August 29, 2010

With the month of August now winding down we can say that all around it definitely turned out to be busier and more productive that did July. Crowds have lightened this last week as families are returning to their school routines. The mild summer conditions gave way to more normal like serious heat and humidity this past week. At this time Hurricane Frank has been downgraded to a tropical depression, turning back toward the Southern Baja Peninsula as it dissipates, though there still a chance of some isolated thundershowers and the swell that had picked up is now diminishing. There is a new low pressure area near Acapulco, so we will be monitoring this system in the coming days.

Water conditions were mostly calm with variable ground swells of four to eight feet, water temperature ranged up close to 85 degrees in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. Local pangeros are driving to La Ribera in the afternoon to net sardinas off the beach in order to supply the La Playita fleets with fresh dead sardinas, which have been the ticket for catching the yellowfin tuna, as the tuna continued to dominate the action.

Fleets were fishing from the Gordo Banks to Iman. Drifting with the fresh dead bait has been the most productive method. The largest concentrations of tuna were found on the Iman Bank, these fish averaged 20 to 35 pounds. The fish on the Gordo Banks were not as numerous, but were weighing 30 to 100 or more pounds. Most charters were averaging anywhere from 4 to 10 yellowfin per morning. Also quite a few bonito and skipjack mixed in. Dorado were found spread out throughout the area, striking on trolled lures and bait once the smaller sized school were located, most of the dorado were 15 pounds or less, but there were a few exceptions of larger bulls being accounted for. Wahoo were encountered on occasion while trolling lures over the structure near La Fortuna to Iman, weights ranged to 40 pounds.

Most anglers were concentrating on the tuna action, as this was the surest bet of filling up the fish box and coolers. A few nice sized dogtooth snapper were landed off of the same spots where the tuna were schooling, also a handful of amberjack and cabrila.

The billfish action produced a mix of striped, blue and black marlin, sailfish have been surprisingly scarce this summer. Black marlin up to 450 pounds were landed from the La Playita panga fleet in recent days, also at least one blue marlin of 400 pounds was accounted for. Most of these larger marlin were hooked into while trolling larger baitfish in the vicinity of the Gordo Banks, several were hooked into on trolled lures as well. Something about the full moon always seem to make the black and blue marlin more active, they like the larger tidal swing that produces more upwelling on the high spots, this seems to make the whole food chain more lively.

The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 58 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 striped marlin, 2 blue marlin, 4 black marlin, 5 hammerhead, 54 dorado, 404 yellowfin tuna, 4 wahoo, 12 cabrilla, 10 amberjack, 6 dogtooth snapper, 11 huachinango and 42 bonito.

Good Fishing, Eric





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