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Dodging Storms, Wahoo, Tuna, Dorado Bite ~ August 30, 2020

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August 30, 2020

Tropical weather patterns continue, as do light crowds of visiting tourists. As the region was still drying out from the soaking rain left by Hurricane Genevieve, we were carefully following forecast of a pair of newly formed Tropical Storms, Hernan and Iselle. While Iselle was lurking in an area off to the west of Todo Santos, never impacting land at all, there was Hernan which originally formed off of Manzanillo and was forecast to pass just to the west of the Southern Peninsula, though early Friday this system completely reversed course and headed into the Sea of Cortez in the direction of La Paz, at the same time this storm quickly weakened and besides some isolated light to moderate rainfall it never amounted to much at all. Though there were precautionary Port closures on Wednesday & Thursday. Ocean swells did increase Thursday to about 8 feet, but wind was light and overall caused no damage at all.

Early in the week the ocean conditions were slowly rebounding, cleaner water was found further offshore. Average water temperature was in the 78 to 82 degree range. By mid-week the conditions closer to shore were looking much better and anglers reported some great action for popular gamefish species such as yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo. Caballito were once again available from the marina area, after becoming scarce early in the week.

Most consistent action was found around the San Luis Bank, using both lures and baits. The tuna hit on caballito and were in the 40 to 70 lb. class. There had been some much larger yellowfin tuna found associated with porpoise, but this was some 30 to 40 miles offshore and was not a normal option for local charters. Though with cleaner currents now pushing closer to shore, we expect the cow sized tuna to start to congregate on local high spots, it is that time of year.

More dorado were also now encountered inshore, mixed sizes, ranging to 20 lb. though there were more numbers of smaller sized fish. With the cleaner water we also saw the wahoo become more active on the same grounds north of Punta Gorda, several charters accounted for a couple of these speedsters, with other strikes also being missed, sized ranged from 25 to 40 lb.

Billfish action was limited with the changing conditions, though there were sailfish, striped, blue & black marlin all hooked into, with the larger billfish being lost. We expect the coming weeks will produce some of the seasons larger marlin, a lot will also depend on what weather might develop. Historically the month of September can be the most unpredictable of all.

Bottom action was limited this past week, as was inshore action, though there were a few nice sized roosterfish reported, which is very late in the season for these.

Light crowds, good fishing, Eric

Hurricane Genevieve Passes, Heavy Rainfall, Lowland Flooding, Port Closures, Power Outages ~ August 23, 2020

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August 23, 2020

We had the first serious storm system strike the Los Cabos area this week. Hurricane Genevieve which developed off of the Southern mainland coast, strengthening rapidly to a category four storm, before weakening some as it past much closer to the Baja Peninsula than was originally forecast, with the eye passing within about 50 miles of land as it paralleled the Baja coast on a northwesterly track. Rainfall ranging from 6 to 12 inches was recorded, wind gusts to 60 mph and some fairly serious flooding in lower locations. There were local Port closure for three days due to heavy storm swells, reopening for Saturday morning. Most of the region was out of power for two to three days before utilities were restored. Overall the area escaped any serious devastating damage and did receive some much needed rainfall.

All of the rain caused a lot of muddy run off and ocean was stirred up and dirty to over five miles offshore, with weather now settled we should see clarity improve and rebound with each passing day. Live bait also became very scattered, with bait vendors scrambling to find limited resources for caballito, mullet and a few sardinas.

Before the storm most of the better fishing opportunities came off of the San Luis Bank and this is where the fleets resumed after the storm. Fighting greenish dirty currents made things tough for anglers over the weekend, though they did find a mix of species off the bottom and some limited surface action. Anglers used lures, yo-yo jigs and limited bait for a mix of pargo, red snapper, cabrilla, amberjack, bonito, dorado, with the highlight being a handful of yellowfin tuna in the 40 to 60 lb. range.

No inshore action was found as it seems that the high swell scattered all that had been going on close to the shoreline. This is the time of year that conditions can clear back up just as fast as they had turned over, as long as no new storms strike. We do see the forecast of new systems possibly developing for late next week, so we will be monitoring these reports and hope that they pass off further to the west. The next six weeks are historically the period when Hurricanes have developed and impacted this zone.

Light crowds, good fishing, Eric

Tuna, Amberjack, Grouper in Tropical Conditions ~ August 16, 2020

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August 16, 2020

Now into mid-August, feeling more tropical with each passing day, increased scattered cloud cover, humidity and very warm conditions. Another week of light crowds of visitors, will be the same pattern now until the fall season starts in October. At this time there is much increased tropical storm activity in the Eastern Pacific. Now situated off to the south west of Southern Baja is T.S. Fausto, we mainly felt higher humidity, but also some isolated rain showers were reported Saturday, not much increase in ocean swells. Though a much larger system is now forming off mainland Mexico, below Manzanillo, forecast to become a major Hurricane, named Genevieve. This storm is forecast to pass within 300 miles of Cabo San Lucas as it heads northwest, we do expect high storm swells, to possibly 25 ft., also most likely Port closures for Wed. and Thur., though still hard to predict exactly what will happen.

For the most part the winds had settled down, though on Saturday they picked up, gusting from the south, this has been a scenario of the past couple of months, just as water clarity improves, we have set backs again. This is the time of year where typically we find blue water within a mile or two of shore, has been a bit more stirred up this season, unpredictable from day to day. Caballito has been the main bait being offered from the marina area, though last week there limited amounts of smaller sized sardinas appearing. Angers have also been using yo-yo style jigs off of the various high spots, where the more consistent grounds were from San Luis to Vinorama, better looking water on these grounds, Ocean temperatures are averaging 80 degrees or more, once clarity stabilizes we should see much improved gamefish action on these local grounds.

Most charters were concentrating on areas north of Punta Gorda, cleaner currents were found in this direction. Working the bottom rock piles produced a wide variety of catches, much of this on yo-yo jigs, but also on bait. We saw amberjack to 50 lb., dogtooth snapper, red snapper (huachinango), pompano, barred pargo, yellow snapper, leopard and broomtail grouper, bonito and black skipjack.

We also saw more yellowfin tuna action on these same grounds, still spotty, but numbers were greater than in previous weeks, average size tuna were 40 to 65 lb., many of these were also taken on yo-yo jigs versus live bait. A few much larger yellowfin tuna were hooked into while using baits such as bolito, found on the same grounds and then slowly trolled. Also there were sightings of large black marlin, one of which speared a tuna that was being reeled to the boat, following it in and making for a show under the panga, before leaving the tuna and disappearing.

There were a handful of dorado and wahoo also reported, no big numbers or particular hot spot yet to find these fish.

Along the coastal shoreline we are still seeing good numbers of mixed sized roosterfish, as well as jack crevalle and a few nice pargo. Late season now for this inshore action and the arrival of large storm swells could put an end to this action.

Much further offshore there were reports of medium sized yellowfin tuna being found associated with traveling porpoise, also a few blue marlin hooked into.

Light crowds, good fishing, Eric