Cold, Green Water Slows Action ~ January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

Another quiet week as far as numbers of tourists arriving. With Covid worries and political unrest we expect to see similar patterns of light crowds until at least spring time. January and February are normally the coolest months of the year throughout the northern hemisphere and recently we have felt the chill, highs are reaching about 75 degrees and lows in the mid-50s, though days have been clear and sunny. Winds this past week were not as persistent from the north, most days picking up late morning. Colder water conditions have swept into local waters, we have seen ocean temperatures ranging from 67 to 72 degrees. Changing from day to day, as currents swirl in and out, also pushing in green unfavorable water. With the cleaner and warmer areas now found in the direction of Cabo San Lucas.

For the limited numbers of anglers now in town, they have found supplies of sardinas, ballyhoo, caballito, mackerel and sardineta. Charters have been going in different directions in search of better opportunities. Action around the Gordo Banks has slowed way down from how it had been for the past month, as these grounds had cold green water contribute to shutting down the bite. Though as currents shift and north winds reside, things can change, on Friday there was one quality yellowfin tuna of 85 lb. hauled in off of a super panga. Through the week we only saw a few of the smaller sized wahoo landed during the first days of the period, also a couple of other tuna were accounted for or hooked up and lost. Fewer numbers of dorado as well, as the turned over conditions has these tropical species scattering.

Offshore the main action has been for striped marlin, also a few dorado being found on these same grounds. Still no large concentrations of the marlin, though lots of schooling mackerel and sardineta are being seen off of the San Jose del Cabo hotel zone, several miles offshore. The marlin being found now are scattered, depending where the blue water is found, recently five to 10 miles offshore. We do expect the billfish action to improve as these off colored conditions rebound. There were some reports of yellowfin tuna being found further offshore associated with moving porpoise, though this has been a very hit or miss deal so far.

It is the time of year when more bottom structure fishing starts up, though so far we have not seen anything other than a handful of bonito, smaller snapper or cabrilla. We should start seeing improved bottom action and are hoping that this colder water brings in the yellowtail. Along the shore there have been fewer numbers of sierra than we would expect for this time frame, off colored currents seem to be issue with these species as well. So as weather does stabilize we do expect the all-around action to improve. This is a normal transition period we are now going through. This time of year is never really peak season for any of the more popular glamorous gamefish, though as ocean changes so can the bite, from week to week. Lot of whales now on the same fishing grounds, as well as some sea lions, turtles and manta rays, all adding to the experience.

Good fishing, Eric

Cold Green Water, Still a Few Wahoo, Dorado ~ January 10, 2021

January 10, 2021

This past week we definitely noticed that the crowds of tourists which had flooded the region over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season, have dropped off considerably and it looks like the coming winter months will continue along such patterns, as the world wide situation with the ongoing Covid pandemic continues, as vaccines have just started to be administered and in additional there have been new strains of the same virus breaking out, we will all hope for the best, that this situation stabilizes and we can once again begin to return to our normal routines.

Cooler winter season conditions are now prevailing, high temperatures averaging about 75 degrees and with lows of 55 degrees. Though overall the climate has been very pleasant, definitely a comfortable winter environment, with warm clear and sunny skies. The northern winds resided early in the week and ocean conditions were much more comfortable. The cold and green currents continue to progressing move in a southern direction from north of Los Frailes, now these currents have now pushed as far as Red Hill off of San Jose del Cabo. Ocean temperature locally is now in the 68 to 71 degree range.

The Gordo Banks for the last several weeks has been producing the best overall fishing action. With lots of juvenile sized wahoo concentrated on this high spot, anglers were finding excellent action for fish in the 8 to 15 lb., occasionally larger. Casting chrome patterned jigs was probably the most productive technique, also sardinas, ballyhoo, caballito and trolled Rapalas. There has been heavy pressure on these grounds, since the word of the action spreads quickly and then we have the spear fishermen, who for some unschooled reason believe that it is perfectly okay to move in and get in the water with their spears directly next to where the already congested rod and reel angler fleets are concentrated, established, while mainly drift fishing, strange unprecedented situation has now developed. What happened to any etiquette or reasonable sense? We thought that there were regulations in place where this activity was to be keep a certain safe distance apart to avoid any conflicts or injury.

With cold green current now upon the Gordo Banks the action has slowed and become far less consistent than in previous weeks, this will be time when fleets start to concentrate more along the shore for sierra, as well as the shallow water structure, for a variety of species. Striped marlin action will be the main option further offshore, as this action will be now more prevalent in the direction of the Sea of Cortez and not on the Pacific. As the marlins predominate food source has now migrating in this same direction.

There are still some dorado being encountered, though in the cooler green conditions, the numbers are much less. Sizes varied, a few nicer sized bulls were accounted for, found on the same marlin grounds further from shore. In the coming weeks the key to offshore success will be to find the best looking conditions and concentrate on these locations.

Only a very occasional report of any yellowfin tuna being found, mid-week a couple of nicer sized yellowfin were hooked into, both were lost, these fish are in the area and have shown at times on the surface, though proved very skittish and elusive.

Recently we have not seen much off the bottom besides some bonito, smaller red snapper and triggerfish. Maybe this will be the year that we see a strong run of yellowtail appear on local grounds. We will optimistically wait and see what develops this winter season. In the meantime there have strong numbers of whales being sighted, this is now peak season to view these mammals in local waters.

Good fishing, Eric

New Year brings Chilly Conditions ~ January 3, 2021

Happy New Year’s!

January 3, 2021

The busy Holiday Season is now winding down, just as quickly as it had begun. Vacationers are returning to work and schools are resuming classes, though the majority doing so on line. We will all hope that this New Year brings greater fortunes and that we can return to more normalcy. Winter like conditions did arrive in Southern Baja, as mid-week we registered lows as chilly as 46 degrees and high temperatures struggled to reach the low 70s, visitors need to realize that there actual seasons here in Baja, with the months of January and February being the coolest time of year. Of course as compared to most of the U.S. our local climate is moderate and very pleasant.

Anglers were now concentrating their efforts on the grounds from Red Hill and the Gordo Banks. Winds have continued to be persistent from out of the north and has contributed to steadily pushing cooler and greenish colored water in the direction of San Jose del Cabo. Through the week we saw conditions on the Gordo Banks change from clean blue 75 degree waters to off colored 70 degrees over the weekend. Further north towards Iman and Vinorama conditions are even more off. This is the normal pattern for this time of year, though this season the north winds have been stronger and more persistent than usual. Supplies of sardinas are still being netted close to the marina jetty off of the estuary. Also there are mackerel and sardineta now being found on local bait grounds.

Through most of the week local fleets concentrated on the Inner Gordo Banks, this is where schooling wahoo were being found, as well as some dorado, bonito and a few striped marlin. The wahoo action has been red hot on these grounds for the past couple of weeks, with most of these fish being juvenile 5 to 15 lb. size, still quite sporty on light tackle. These fish were striking best on chrome patterned casting jigs, but also hitting on sardinas, rapalas and caballito. The action definitely progressively slowed through the week, as schools were diminishing and conditions turned over. Also with this area producing the most consistent action there was greater pressure, from all sizes of carter boats and worst yet were everyday there were at least several boats full of spear fishermen concentrating directly on the high spot, this is a very small sea mount and cannot sustain the traditional rod and reel fishing combined with spear diving pressure. As everyone just seems to not care, no set regulations or even proposals of any particular zones, seasons of special permits, this activity will only increase, as with social media these days all news is exploited to the masses.

Dorado were declining in numbers with the cooling conditions, though we are still seeing them in smaller sized schools. Often they were fond closer to shore where batfish are now concentrated. Sizes averaged up to 15 lb. We did not have many anglers trying the bottom action or even inshore this past week, though this will be more of the normal fishery in coming weeks. Yellowfin tuna action was even scarcer, the tuna were seen at times surfacing on the Gordo Banks, but were especially spooky and not interested. We heard of a couple of reports of the yellowfin being found associated with porpoise a bit further offshore, but with the winds this was a very hit or miss deal.

Striped marlin are being seen now in greater numbers in the direction off of San Jose del Cabo, still scattered, but being found three to ten miles offshore, the Red Hill, Palmilla areas seems to be the more consistent grounds at this time. With the billfish striking various baits and lures.

Good fishing, Eric