June 8, 2013
Late spring crowds of tourists are relatively light, as many families are busy preparing for school graduation events and in planning stages for their summer activities. Ideal time to travel to Southern Baja, weather is not too warm yet, highs near 90 degrees and Pacific breezes have kept conditions comfortable. Southern swells are now steady and are attracting surfers from around the world. Ocean water temperatures are on the rise, now ranging from the mid to upper 70s throughout the zone, from Cabo San Lucas to north of Los Frailes. There were some unpredictable shifting winds on some days, but for the most part anglers found very comfortable offshore conditions. Most of charters fleets are concentrating efforts in the direction of warmer currents, the water temperatures on the Pacific Banks remain in the 60s.
There are more mullet moving along inshore stretches, but not in massive schools as we have seen in past seasons, most common baitfish available through the commercial bait suppliers were caballito, being found in the marina area, with some moonfish, jurelito and mullet mixed in. Ballyhoo are being sold by suppliers, they were good offshore baits to rig for striped marlin or dorado.
Striped marlin action has been found scattered all throughout the zone, most of the time from 5 to 20 miles from shore, the stripers were striking on lures and various baits. No huge numbers, but some charters were accounting for multiple fish days. On the Gordo Banks and other high spots, anglers were able to find bolito and skipjack, trolling small hoochies early in the morning was the best chance, these preferred baitfish were working well for surface trolling. Dorado are being encountered in limited numbers, scattered throughout offshore grounds, there were isolated reports of finding larger concentrations of dorado associated with floating debris, but other than that most charters did well to find just one dorado. This is the season when we typically see a greater percentage of large sized dorado and recently there have been a few nice bulls to 35 pounds accounted for.
Only an occasional report of any yellowfin tuna action, mostly smaller sized, found while trolling on the normal offshore marlin grounds. With the ocean conditions shaping up how they are, we do expect to hear more reports of tuna activity. Same story for wahoo, only a handful of these elusive speedsters were being reported, though you never know, these fish do really prefer ocean currents that average in the upper 70s, we are nearing that now, so anything could happen if anglers are at the right sport at the correct time.
Roosterfish action remained steady inshore, every day we are hearing of fish in the 40 pound or larger class being hooked into while slow trolled just outside of the surf zone. The season started early for these prized fighting gamefish and is still going strong. Despite locals enjoy capturing and eating these jacks, these fish have dark red meat, can grow to 100 pounds, they are not known for eating quality, but rather for their aggressive surface strikes, unpredictable acrobatics and powerful runs, anglers need to take the future protection of this species into their own hands and practice the sport of catch and release.
Same story should be mentioned for striped marlin, this so called protected gamefish species is being blatantly exploited, sold commercially as though there are not even any laws against this illegal black market business. Whatever the problem, lack of official personnel or particular priorities, lead to this sad situation, while costs of local fishing licenses have reached inflated rates, certainly there should be funds to enforce existing regulations. Further thoughts also have to go in the direction of why authorities continue to allow commercial inshore gill netting to be practiced, this form of fishing does irreversible damage to this fragile fishery, something has to be done to abolish these gillnets before they completely destroy this unique and diverse World Class fishery.
This is now the season when dogtooth snapper, pargo colorado, amberjack, pompano, leopard grouper and other species follow baitfish schools close to shore and this action had showed great early season promise, but with recent sightings of expanses of set gill nets, this has coincided with a sharp drop off on inshore action for anglers. Global population increases commercial pressure on this fragile inshore fishery, the situation needs to be monitored and given a chance to survive.
The combined local panga fleets launching from La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 70 charters this past week and anglers reported a fish count of:
4 sailfish, 22 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 9 hammerhead shark, 5 yellowtail, 18 amberjack,
16 cabrilla, 24 dorado, 55 various pargo species, 18 dogtooth snapper, 14 sierra, 4 yellowfin tuna, 16 pompano, 32 jack crevalle and 135 roosterfish.
Good fishing, Eric