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Anglers Target Yellowfin Tuna on Iman Bank ~ August 18, 2018

Anglers –
August 18, 2018

Last week we had a series of tropical storms develop and head off to the west, T.S. storm John did leave several inches of rain in our region, but no serious damage was felt. Things quieted way down this week, only Hurricane Lane is brewing now and is already far off to the west with no chance of making impact on the Baja Peninsula. There are still another six weeks or so for the Eastern Pacific storm season, we are all hoping that no major storms make direct landfall. Light to moderate crowds are now visiting the Los Cabos area, be prepared for warm and humid weather that is the normal pattern this time of year. There is now some heavier swell activity, be careful along the beach stretches, also more wind this week, swirling around from different directions, but it settled down over the weekend, never did keep the sportfishing fleets from reaching their normal grounds.

Anglers were using strips of squid and also this week the sardinas rebounded and on most days there were chances at obtaining the sardinas from fleets that found these schooling baitfish farther to the north, they were meeting charters on the fishing grounds. Always a better option to have both the squid and sardinas if possible, particularly when drift fishing for yellowfin tuna.

Yellowfin tuna was the most common gamefish being found, main area was centered on the Iman Bank, but some charters were scouting out the grounds such as San Luis and the Gordo Banks with mixed success. Drift fish while chumming was the most productive technique, others did well slow trolling chihuil baits, but they proved harder to obtain, also if you happened to jig up a bolito that was almost a guaranteed strike. Sizes on the yellowfin ranged from small footballs up to 80 lb., average daily catches varied from one or two, up to five or six, mixed in were bonito and skipjack. These tuna were still a bit finicky, striking best on 40 or 50 lb. leaders. There were some hungry aggressive sea lions getting their share of hooked up fish. The silky shark problem has diminished for the time being.

Very few dorado this past week, also noting to report on wahoo either. Bottom action was limited due to swift current, misc. snappers, pargo, amberjack, cabrilla, but no numbers to speak of, the highlight were a couple of nice 30 to 40 lb. class dogtooth snapper. These larger snapper were taken on the same tuna grounds while drift fishing baits near the surface.

Billfish was spotty and mainly found 10 miles or more offshore, a scattering of blue marlin hook ups while trolling lures, with a couple landed and released in the 200 lb. range, did hear of 300 b. blues caught out of Cab San Lucas, also we heard of at least one large black marlin that was hooked up near the Gordo Banks. A few sailfish and striped marlin also being encountered.

Inshore roosterfish and jack action has pretty stalled out, not much going on that and the schools of mullet have vanished as well, this is the normal pattern for these species, inshore always slows way down the later part of August and into the fall season.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 61 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 2 dogtooth snapper, 2 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 2 blue marlin, 15 dorado, 1 wahoo, 118 yellowfin tuna, 32 bonito, 3 surgeon fish, 7 yellow snapper, 4 amberjack, 13 red snapper,5 cabrilla (leopard grouper) and 55 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Tropics Active, Tuna Bite on Iman, Gordo Banks~ August 11, 2018

Anglers –
August 11, 2018

This past week was a very active time for tropical storm development. At one point early in the week there were four named systems tracking on westerly paths, in the direction off the Pacific. There was Hurricane Hector, a category four storm that ended up passing very close to Hawaii, there was Hurricane Kristy that stayed far enough off to the west of the Baja Peninsula and made no impact, then there was Ileana and John, they somewhat joined together and did pass within a couple hundred miles of the Southern Baja, bringing high oceans swells, several inches of rainfall, some isolated locations reported more, winds were not too strong, some 40 mph gusts, all Port activity was closed for a couple of days. The streets in Cabo San Lucas were flooded, but also are now quickly being cleaned up, basically very minimal damage and minor power outages were reported.

Schools of sardinas which had remained plentiful throughout most of the summer season were now scattered and for the most part unobtainable. Local fleets are now using slabs of squid, chunk bait of skipjack, some caballito and ballyhoo. This is the normal bait source for this latter part of the summer. Ocean water temperature is now in the 80 to 84 degree range.

The main center of fishing activity has been around the Iman Bank. Highlight has been the yellowfin tuna, drift fishing with strips of squid, or at times sardinas, when obtainable, this produced quality grade of yellowfin tuna up to 80 lb. No huge numbers, but nice quality, some lucky anglers had as many as four or five tuna, others were fortunate to land one, very strong fish and best chance of enticing a strike was on lighter leaders, which meant long fight times and higher percentage of lost fish.

Few dorado seen in recent days, in small schools of ones or twos, fish up to 15 lb. found mainly on the same grounds as were the tuna or billfish. A couple of wahoo also reported, on trolled Rapalas, yo-yo jigs and incidentally on strip bait while targeting tuna. Bottom action was spotty, some of the Eastern Pacific bonito, a few red snapper, cabrilla, yellow snapper, dogtooth snapper, amberjack and triggerfish.

Billfish action was spread out, a couple of sailfish, striped marlin and blue marlin being found, better action for this seemed to be towards Cabo San Lucas and out around the 1150 spot. Inshore action usually slows down during this later period of summer, a chance at jack crevalle or late season roosterfish if you can obtain the preferred mullet baitfish.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 68 charters for this shortened week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 1 dogtooth snapper, 1 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 15 dorado, 86 yellowfin tuna, 52 bonito, 9 yellow snapper, 3 amberjack, 8 red snapper, 9 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 1 dogtooth snapper and 28 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Yellowfin Tuna Highlight Action on Iman Bank ~ August 4, 2018

Anglers –
August 4, 2018

Again we are only seeing light crowds of tourists arriving, as we are now in mid-summer season, this can be normal. Tropical storm development are becoming more active at this time, with Hurricane Hector tracking far on the Pacific in the direction of Hawaii, another few low pressure systems off of Southern Mexico are developing as well. What we are watching closely is the potential formation of TS Ileana, which forecasts say will pass closer to Southern Baja by mid-week, Though Ileana is forecast to follow a path off to the west of the Peninsula, so hopefully this forecast is correct and this system does not make any land fall impact. We will surely will feel increased humidity and most likely larger ocean swells related to the passing of the storm. The next six or seven weeks is historically when the chances of tropical storms striking locally is at its greatest.

This was another calm week on the ocean for anglers, clean blue water was found close to shore, water temperatures were up in the 85 degree range. Still decent supplies of sardinas and caballito in the marina channel area. Slabs of giant squid for strip baits is another option, though only place to obtain this is at local super markets and the price per kilo has nearly doubled since there has been a shortage of squid being found in the region.

As can be typical for this time of year, the yellowfin tuna action is the highlight and most common species being found. Main areas now being targeted are the Iman Bank, to Vinorama and the Gordo Banks. The larger yellowfin seem to be schooling around the Iman Bank, this is where tuna up to 100 lb. are being found. No huge numbers, but charters have been catching as many as three or four quality sized tuna, with smaller fish mixed in per day, average sizes in the 10 to 70 lb. class. Drift fishing with fly lined sardinas or strips of squid was the most productive method of enticing the yellowfin. There has been lots of natural food sources on these seem grounds and plenty of boat pressure as well, this often makes the yellowfin more finicky, some days biting more readily than others, also at certain unpredictable hours.

These same fishing grounds produced dorado, wahoo, billfish and a mix of bottom action. There was an early morning wahoo bite going on inshore off of San Luis, trolling Rapalas were the best bet, early start and sometimes not waiting around to get sardinas proved to be the way to go after this action. Most of the dorado being found were smaller sized, though in recent days we are seeing a few more fish topping the 20 lb. mark, which is encouraging.

Bottom action was limited, best area seemed to be Iman Bank, earlier in the day, working yo-yo style jigs, a mix of pargo, snapper, bonito, cabrilla and a few amberjack. Billfish were spread out, though charters specifically targeting marlin were centered on offshore grounds such as the 1150 spot, where some blue marlin in the 200 lb. range were found, also some striped marlin and sailfish were in the mix. A couple larger black marlin in the 500 lb. class were reported off the East Cape during the Bisbee Offshore Tournament, also tuna to over 100 lb. and 50 lb. dorado.

Inshore action produced scattered action for jack crevalle and roosterfish, though this is now later in the season for roosters, best bet was to try and obtain mullet for bait.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 64 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 1 dogtooth snapper, 6 sailfish, 5 striped marlin, 3 blue marlin, 14 wahoo, 74 dorado, 180 yellowfin tuna, 45 bonito, 15 yellow snapper, 19 red snapper, 18 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 3 amberjack, 14 roosterfish, 16 jack crevalle and 28 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric