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Wintry Conditions Scatters Action ~ January 11, 2020

January 11, 2020

We noticed a significant decline in tourists this week, with schools now back in session and work holidays over, there are lighter crowds. Cooler weather patterns continues, average lows about 55 degrees, with highs about 76 degrees, so comparatively to northern regions, still quite pleasant for mid-winter season. Wins from the north continues, cycle of two or three days, then residing, before picking back up. On Friday winds increased to 20 plus mph, through Saturday as well, actually closing down Cabo San Lucas marina to vessels under 40 ft. Sunday conditions are forecast to calm down.

Water temperature is on a cooling trend, now in the 72 to 74 degree range through much of the region, clarity fluctuated, some very clean blue water found close to shore, but other areas being stirred up and off colored. Transition period now for many gamefish now, such as dorado and wahoo, these fish prefer warmer waters and will migrate further south, striped marlin on the other hand prefer the cooler waters, with peak season normally in the winter and though spring.

Earlier in the week there was a run of pelagic crabs, drifting to the surface in masses on local fishing grounds, being scooped up in nets and used for bait for red snapper. Commercial fleet activity always ramps up when these red crabs appear. These huachinango average 2 to 5 lb. and reach up to about 14 lb. Very prized eating and a valuable commercial product.

Sportfishing fleets found more scattered action with cooler choppy conditions through much of the week, best action was encountered fairly close to shore, areas from Santa Maria to La Fortuna, dorado in the 5 to 15 lb. class being most common, also some roosterfish and sierra, using caballito or ballyhoo was main method. Bait options available from the marina were for caballito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid. Average catches consisted of a couple of dorado, up to five or six. We only saw a couple of smaller sized wahoo come in all week. Yellowfin tuna action was very slow on local grounds, a handful of yellowfin were landed earlier in the week off the local grounds, these fish ranged from 10 lb., up to about 80 lb., though very few numbers. The area that is producing cow sized tuna was the Jaime Bank outside of Cabo San Lucas, several long range San Diego vessels were chumming these grounds this week, local pangeros were making the long run to get into this action, putting in long days but returning with fish to 200 lb. This being more of a commercial prospect.

There was a lack of much billfish activity, we are hearing of more mackerel moving in the direction off of San Jose del Cabo, this should attract the striped marlin, some are being seen now, but very scattered. Also full moon period as well, as things shift and weather settles we are optimistic for improved action.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 58 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 84 dorado, 16 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 4 barred pargo, 32 sierra, 26 roosterfish, 3 cabrilla, 58 huachinango, 3 jack crevalle, 5 porgy and 22 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Water Cools and Action Slows ~ January 4, 2020

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

January 4, 2020

Crowds of vacationers brought in the New Year while visiting Southern Baja’s Los Cabos destination. Temperatures proved to be cool by local standards, lows were in the 50s and highs in the lower 70s, though still very pleasant compared to most of North America. Skies were clouds at times early, with sunny burning through by mid-morning. Winds were variable, the period started with light breezes, though through this weekend northern winds increased, this made for rougher ocean conditions and contributed to pushing in cooler and off colored currents. We are now in the season where conditions are cooling, north winds can be predominant and patterns can be unpredictable. Ocean temperatures were now down in the 72 to 74 degree range.

Bait supplies remained similar, caballito being the main bait found in the marina, slabs of squid and ballyhoo also offered. Schools of baitfish were non consistent, very few mackerel, more sardineta at this time. No reports of sardinas being available. This cooling trend normally would attract mackerel and sardinas as well, so we see what follows.

Early this week, before cool front swept through, the all-around action was good for a mix of dorado, wahoo and some yellowfin tuna, as well as roosterfish and some billfish migrating into local waters. Things changed significantly through the week, mainly due to cold winds from the north pushing in off colored colder current. Dorado, which had been one of the more common catches, all of a sudden became very limited and scattered, same for wahoo, they had been elusive, but were showing signs of becoming more active just before the weather turned over.

Also the first part of the week saw the yellowfin action starting to rebound for some larger cow sized fish in the vicinity of the Gordo Banks, no big numbers, though a handful of large yellowfin were brought in, the largest was by a group of local anglers from a small panga, fish was brought in a night, weighing over 300 lb. Overall tuna bite had been slow early in the week, then the north blow, which helped shut down the wahoo and dorado bite. But offshore of San Jose del Cabo, anywhere from 4 to 8 miles, there were rapidly moving pods of porpoise encountered, with the yellowfin tuna moving among them. Tuna ranging 10 to 30 lb. were being landed, best techniques was drifting under the porpoise with strips of squid. Charters targeting this hit or miss event were finding one of two, up to 7 or 8 fish. Easy to talk about, but this is a fast changing opportunist deal, with windy conditions making it even harder, also increased boat pressure would put things down and charters had to chase these schools all morning to have legitimate chance.

Inshore the roosterfish action slow way down have dirty cooler water pushed in. Bottom action was limited to various, mostly smaller sized, jacks, pargos, bonito and triggerfish. The exception was that we saw a couple of amberjack and cabrilla.

Billfish faded as the week progressed, though a few sailfish were still encountered in the cooler conditions, nicer sized fish which were released. A few striped marlin found, very scattered. As conditions do eventually stabilize and we see more offshore baitfish, we anticipate the marlin bite to break open.

Many more whales now being signed, these mammals were alter to show this season, next two months will be peak season.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 96 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 3 sailfish, 9 striped marlin, 61 dorado, 56 yellowfin tuna, 14 wahoo, 8 yellow snapper, 2 barred pargo, 4 tile fish, 5 sierra, 11 roosterfish, 28 huachinango, 3 blackfin jack, 2 amberjack, 4 big eyed jack, 6 jack crevalle, 8 porgy and 38 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Dorado on the Bite, Wahoo in the Mix ~ December 28, 2019

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

December 28, 2019

Los Cabos is now bustling with tourists, many family groups now vacationing for the holiday season. Weather patterns have been cooler, with scattered cloud cover and high temperatures in the lower 70s, a bit chilly for local standards, though compared to more northern territories, very pleasant. Ocean water temperatures were in the 75 to 77 degree range and swells were minimal. Variable northern winds, but overall favorable fishing conditions.

Bait supplies out of the local port consisted of caballito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid. There are sardineta and mackerel just starting to move onto local bait grounds as well, so far more sardineta. This is attracting striped marlin into this same area, despite not being the warm season, we are seeing some sailfish as well.

Most consistent fishing action has been for dorado, most of this action found with a mile or two from shore. Anglers were using smaller sized trolling lures and various baitfish to entice these gamefish, average size fish was in the 10 lb. class, but there were larger specimens to over 20 lb. also being found. For the last several seasons now the month of December has proved to be the best time of year for these popular game fish and with the water temperature still favorable, we expect this action to last into the New Year.

Action for yellowfin tuna was much more scattered, the bite off of La Fortuna, where the shark problem was so bad, faded off, just a few tuna up to 40 lb. were reported from those grounds and these were taken on strips of squid. A few tuna in the 15 to 40 lb. class also were hooked into off of Punta Gorda on a mix of caballito and lures, but these were very limited. Off of the Gordo Banks there was a chance at a nicer grade of yellowfin to 100 lb., though this was very hit of miss and involved large amounts of squid for chum and plenty of patience to repeatedly make drifts all day long for a chance at a hook up, mainly something the local commercial pangeros were doing. On the outside, some 20 or more miles offshore, there was porpoise activity moving in the direction off of San Jose del Cabo, on Friday there were a couple of 200 lb. class yellowfin landed off of larger sportfishers, so maybe this will develop into something.

Wahoo are in the area, but getting them to hit has not been that easy, though on any given day that could change, best bet has been on bait versus lures. Of the wahoo we saw, sizes ranged 15 to 40 lb. Though one monster 122 lb. wahoo was brought in by a spear fisherman. On Saturday.

Off of the beach stretches just to the north of the Puerto Los Cabos marina there were good numbers of juvenile sized roosterfish, some up to 15 lb., also mixed in were jack crevalle and sierra. Best bet was with the smaller sized caballito, if sardinas were available this action would bust wide open.

Off the bottom there was action for huachinango, most of these under 5 lb., also a few yellow snapper, barred pargo and of course the triggerfish were eager to bite as well.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 110 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 2 sailfish, 15 striped marlin, 265 dorado, 21 yellowfin tuna, 35 wahoo, 8 yellow snapper, 4 barred pargo, 1 glass eyed snapper, 12 sierra, 4 pompano, 85 roosterfish, 45 huachinango, 3 amberjack, 15 jack crevalle and 45 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric