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Tuna bite again, Wahoo, Dorado become Scarce ~ January 19, 2019

Anglers –
January 19, 2019

The crowds of tourists were lighter this last week, which can be a typical lull, as school semesters begin again and vacation time is used up. We except with chilly conditions across much of North America, that more people will be coming to Los Cabos looking for warm sunshine. Despite there be being morning cloud cover, days have been mostly sunny, with high temperatures averaging near 80 degrees. Winds were still predominately from the north, but not as strong is previous weeks, hard to predict from day to day, a lot of the better fishing action was found closer to shore on calmer grounds.

This is peak season now for whale activity, also sea lions and porpoise being spotted. Ocean water temperature was holding in the 72 to 75 degree range, clarity was good, clean blue water found within a mile of shore. There were supplies of caballito in the marina area, also ballyhoo and slabs of squid. Some charters are catching some mackerel, sardineta or chihuil, a bit day to day as to what exact baits are available and which end up working the best.

The great action we had the previous week for wahoo and dorado faded out this week, hard to say why, water conditions are similar, no drastic changes, we are optimistic that these fish are still in the region. There had been very limited action for yellowfin tuna, tuna are starting to be encountered traveling with porpoise, much of this found 25 miles plus offshore. Just in recent days the yellowfin are becoming active on the Inner Gordo Banks. This bite had become a late afternoon local commercial deal, hooking tuna only late in the afternoon, returning to the docks in the dark. There was a 200 lb. yellowfin brought in earlier in the week. Other fish of 150 lb. or more. These yellowfin are now finally striking in the morning as well, drift fishing with squid has been the main thing these fish have been striking consistently on. Most of these fish are weighing in the 30 to 90 lb. class, but there are tuna much larger on these same grounds now. No huge numbers of these fish are being brought in, but there is a fair chance now at catching one or two, at least we are seeing yellowfin again, especially since the wahoo and dorado action came to a standstill.

Besides looking for these tuna, the main bite being targeted are the Eastern Pacific bonito off of La Fortuna. Striking readily on jigs, Rapalas, hoochies, etc.. Good action on light tackle, ranging 4 – 8 lb., good eating as well, different than the California bonito. A few pargo, red snapper, cabrilla, amberjack, but no numbers, more triggerfish off the bottom structure than anything else.

Striped marlin has been on and off of San Jose del Cabo, still a better chance south, closer to Cabo San Lucas. As more baitfish move in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, then we will see the marlin more prevalent.

Along the inshore stretches there has been some sierra and roosterfish found, without any sardinas it makes it more limited inshore.

The combined sportfishing fleet out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina reported an estimated 68 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 9 striped marlin, 12 dorado, 24 yellowfin tuna, 5 wahoo, 225 bonito, 13 red snapper, 4 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 12 yellow snapper, 6 mohara,10 tijareta, 8 roosterfish, 4 surgeon fish, 12 sierra and 80 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Wahoo Highlight Action, Dorado, Marlin in the mix ~ January 12, 2019

Anglers –
January 12, 2019

There were more numbers of tourists arriving, despite that this is the time school semesters resume and holiday vacation time is over. The weather patterns seemed to have stabilized some, warmer conditions, at least the lows were not in the mid-50s like they were previous week. Scattered cloud cover, highs of 80 degrees. Ocean swells were moderate and winds from the norther finally laid down, water clarity improved and ocean temperature was in the
72 to 75 degree range.

Bait options remained much the same, live caballito being netted in the marina area, no sardinas to be found, ballyhoo and slabs of squid also available. Another option was to try and catch chihuil on the Inner Gordo Bank, this proved the hot ticket the first half of the week.

Billfish still have been more active on the Pacific, but they are now being found off the San Jose del Cabo grounds as well, as mackerel and sardineta baitfish schools are now shifting in this direction. The striped marlin were striking on various lures as well as baits, averaging 70 to 100 lb.

The highlight of the week was the wide open wahoo action encountered on Monday and Tuesday off of Punta Gorda. Of course with so many people in the area, the word gets outs in a hurry and no secret bite can be sustained, everyone and their brother was out trying to get in on this action. Water also turned off a bit on Wednesday, tuning greenish and between that and all of the pressure the bite tapered off. The best bet for these wahoo was on slow trolled live chihuil, which more often are not a guarantee to obtain. This was a new group of wahoo, appeared to be a spawning run, many of these fish were in the 40 to 50 lb. range, some over 50 lb. Many charters were landing two to four or more wahoo, losing at least as many other strikes. Dorado were found on these same inshore grounds, but were not as numerous as were the wahoo, though once found they were a higher percentage of actually landing, dorado weighed in the 10 to 20 lb. class.

Bottom action was scare, more triggerfish than anything else, an occasional cabrilla or pargo. The currents were strong and most anglers were preferring to target more glamorous surface species as long as they were still prevalent.

The yellowfin tuna action has dropped way off, only action reported has been by the local commercial pangeros fishing late in the afternoon on the Gordo Banks, they have had yellowfin in the 60 to 90 lb. range practically every day, no huge numbers, but enough to keep them working at, all of this action was on various baits, chihuil, chunk of caballito, skipjack or squid.

Very little action reported for sierra or roosterfish, once again, just not many people trying that now, especially without live sardinas available, limits inshore options during the winter season. We are optimistic that if weather allows, that the wahoo will be in the region through this month.

The combined sportfishing fleet out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina reported an estimated 78 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 19 striped marlin, 72 dorado, 3 yellowfin tuna, 76 wahoo, 14 bonito, 12 red snapper, 5 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 8 yellow snapper, 15 tijareta, 5 sierra and 65 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Cleaner Water, Dorado, Wahoo, Snapper Bite ~ January 5, 2019

Anglers –
January 5, 2019

The New Year started out with more of the same persistent north winds. Lots of families were in town as the holiday vacation were coming to an end. Cooler days, more cloud cover, some days we barely reached 86 degrees for the high. Ocean conditions were actually improving some, despite the wind, water clarity improved and was not so greenish, water temperatures ranged from 71 to 74 degrees.

Still no sign at all of sardinas, caballito in the marina area were also becoming more scattered, ballyhoo were available, also slabs of squid, though with the tuna action now at a standstill the squid is not really being used much. More reports of sardineta and mackerel schools moving in on the bait grounds off of San Jose del Cabo. It is the time of year we see this bait activity, should be around into February, unless the shrimp trawlers start working these same areas.

The striped marlin action is still going strong on the Pacific grounds, though mid-week there was a flurry of stripers found off of San Jose del Cabo, but this faded out as quickly as it had developed, we should start seeing more of the billfish moving in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, as soon as more of the bait schools shift in this direction.

The yellowfin tuna bite completely faded out at the start of the week, the Eastern Pacific bonito were hitting rapalas, hoochies and yo-yo’s on the Gordo Banks, but these were small fish in the 2 to 8 lb. class.

As the water clarity improved we saw more dorado and even the wahoo made a decent showing. Punta Gorda was one of the areas where some wahoo were accounted for, striking mainly on various baits, ranging in sizes up to 35 lb. As long as water does not become too much cooler and turns over to green again, we should still have chances at wahoo through the month. Dorado were spread out striking best on rigged ballyhoo, no huge numbers, though some charters did land as many as four fish and we even saw a couple of dorado that were actually heavier than 20 lb. Though most of these fish were averaging 10 lb.

Not too many sierra or roosterfish found close to shore, most of the sierra we saw were of smaller than normal size. Bottom fish action was limited to mainly triggerfish and various red snapper and pargo species.

The combined sportfishing fleet out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina reported an estimated 64 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 12 striped marlin, 37 dorado, 6 yellowfin tuna, 16 wahoo, 110 bonito, 5 glass eye snapper, 34 red snapper, 4 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 14 baqueta, 14 yellow snapper, 12 tijareta, 8 flag cabrilla, 45 amberjack, 26 sierra and 90 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric