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Mixed Surface and Bottom Action ~ November 1, 2020

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

November 1, 2020

The month of October seemed to be warmer than usual, but just this week we started to feel more of a climate change. The week started with increasingly strong north winds, actually where the local Port was closed down for Tuesday as a precaution, seemed a bit over cautious, as conditions were not considered dangerous and there were inshore areas which could have easily been fished, by the weekend winds settled, water conditions which had become stirred up towards the north quickly rebounded, as clarity was again clean and blue near shore. Ocean temperatures cooled slightly, presently in the 82 to 84 degree range. Sardinas continued to be the main bait source, found schooling near shore, from San Jose del Cabo marina area to Chileno. Slabs of squid and ballyhoo were other options. Crowds of tourists were noticeably much lighter than we would typically see during this time frame, looks like this will be the same scenario for the rest of 2020.

Most local charters have been working the grounds from Santa Maria. Palmilla, Gordo Banks and north to Vinorama. Like last week, the overall bite was more scattered and really there was no particular consistent spot. Anglers found limited numbers of yellowfin tuna, the largest we saw were in the 50 to 70 lb. class and then there was the smaller 10 to 20 lb. grade mixed in. The locals had a few days earlier in the week where during the late afternoon they had a good tuna bite off of Palmilla, for a nice grade of 40 to 50 lb. fish, this action faded out later in the week. Did not hear of any more big tuna taken off of the Gordo Banks, this coming week is the final big tournament of the season, the WON Tuna Jackpot, believe there will be around 130 teams, with teams heading in all directions, surely we will see some nice sized yellowfin hauled in.

One of the more common gamefish we saw this week were dorado, though the majority were smaller sized fish, not many over ten pounds, anglers should remember to practice catch and release for these smaller sized dorado, especially since this is the one species where you can tell from a distance which fish are males or females, does not make sense to kill small size females which are filled with eggs, as these fish are one of the faster growing species, please give them a chance to mature.

Only a handful of wahoo were landed this week, we expect with the conditions shaping up that these fish should become much more active in the coming weeks. Off the bottom, the highlight were a few dogtooth snapper up to 40 lb., more triggerfish or small pargo compared to anything else, an occasional cabrilla, bonito, island jack or rainbow runner.

Along the shore we saw jack crevalle, roosterfish, sierra and more triggerfish. We expect to have more sierras move in as water temperature cools off as winter sets in.

Good fishing, Eric

Scattered Action, Changing Conditions ~ Oct. 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

With the resurgence of corona virus cases in areas throughout the U.S. and with the upcoming election we are seeing fluctuating numbers of visitors, less than half the amount than we would expect for this time frame. Though locally the tourist industry is following strict health protocols and the situation seems under control, people are just nervous about dealing with airport travel and worried about the whole deal. The richest marlin tournament in the world was held this week, with some 129 teams battling for a record sum of 4.6 million dollars. The event ran for three days and there ended up not being any qualifying fish over 300 lb. landed, so there were no huge pay outs this year, though there were several stories of huge fish being lost, which if landed would have been worth millions. We will hope for better results next year.

With ocean temperatures in the upper 80s conditions seemed unusually wam, though presently we are feeling a cooling trend and the coming week is forecast to bring more north wind and cooler temperatures, so we should also see water cool off and are hoping the all-around action improves. Anglers were using sardinas, slabs of squid mainly for bait, with some larger baitfish found on the fishing grounds as well. Schooling sardinas were now more abundant along beach stretches near Chileno.

The highlight this week was a 311 lb. yellowfin tuna that was weighed in on Saturday, taken by a group of anglers on the local sportfisher “Bacco” out of Puerto Los Cabos after a 3 1/2 hour battle on the Gordo Banks. The overall tuna bite was very slow this week, another 110 lb. tuna was brought in from a super panga mid-week and a scattering of a few other yellowfin in the 30 to 70 lb. class, but limited numbers. Most of these fish were taken near the San Luis Bank. One factor on the slower action seems to be the added pressure of all of the Ease Cape charters also traveling long distances to congregate and fish on our local grounds.

Wahoo were becoming more active, still spotty, but a couple of charters ended up with between 3 and 5 wahoo per morning. Most of this action near Iman Bank and further north while trolling Rapalas, sizes ranged to over 40 lb. We expect this wahoo bite to improve in coming weeks as water cools some. Dorado action was sporadic as well, some days we were seeing decent numbers of fish up to 15 lb., while other days we would only see a fish or two.

Not much reported off the bottom, a handful of various pargo species, bonito and even some out of season roosterfish caught near shallow rock outcroppings, a couple of these over 40 lb.

A few sierra were starting to show up as well, as their season will just be getting underway.

Good fishing, Eric

Busy Times, Fish Finicky ~ October 18, 2020

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

October 18, 2020

We continue to see larger crowds of anglers arriving, as this is always one of the busiest times for sportfishing fleets in the Los Cabos area. Also this is big tournament time, with the Los Cabos Billfish and Bisbee Offshore just finishing and this next week there will be the largest and richest of all, the Bisbee’s Black and Blue event, followed early next month by the WON Tuna Jackpot. Overall this season will be remembered as the year of unpresented numbers of changes and cancellations, all this due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

Weather patterns were again increasingly tropical, as mornings had started to be a little chilly, not anymore, as lows were back in the upper 70’s and highs about 90 degrees, but combined with humidity factor the heat index was more like 99 degrees. This change all happened at the start of this past week, as a tropical low pressure system developed off to the west of the Southern Peninsula. On Tuesday morning we received about one inch of rain, more than what was originally forecast, though we did still have charters fishing that day, as weather front passed through by mid-morning. The rest of the week has been clear with slight swells and little wind. Ocean water temperature actually warmed back up, as it had been on a cooling trend, but now it was back into the 87 degree range.

Local fleets were mostly fishing the grounds from the Gordo Banks and north towards Vinorama, main bait source has been sardinas, with slabs of squid also being used. Despite ideal ocean conditions most days, the all-around action was more hit or miss. Perhaps the sudden warmer water put the fish off the bite, hard to say, also added pressure. Main catch we saw was for dorado, with the majority of these fish taken while trolling and they were weighing in the 5 to 15 lb. range. Very few wahoo landed, but we did see a handful of them brought in, most of these hit on trolled Rapalas and were in the 20 to 40 lb. class. As water temperature drops back near 80 degrees we expect to see much better activity on these sought after gamefish.

We did see a few nice yellowfin tuna brought to the scales, topping 130 lb. and a couple of cows over 200 lb. were taken during recent tournaments. Most of the tuna we are seeing are more in the 50 to 70 lb. class, though even these became more elusive in recent days. Most of the tuna were taken on sardinas, though larger baits were also used for chance at the cows. The Gordo Banks produced a few of the larger tuna, though more charters are trying their luck on the Iman, San Luis and Vinorama grounds where action had been more consistent.

Off the bottom a handful of nice dogtooth snapper, cabrilla and amberjack were accounted for, though no consistent action to speak of and numbers were limited. Billfish action was spread out, we saw more sailfish than anything else, but a few much larger blue and black marlin were in the area, as we saw a few of them weighed in during recent tournaments, the largest being the 593 lb. black marlin taken by legendary La Playita pangero Hugo Pino, who also caught the winning yellowfin tuna of 236 lb. during the same event.

Good fishing, Eric