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Water Temp Warming, Green Water Lingering, Scattered Action ~ June 23, 2018

Anglers –
June 23, 2018

We have seen a fast start to the hurricane season, with there now having been three named storms develop, Aletta, Bud and Carlotta. This last system stayed far south and impacted only the Southern Mexico mainland. The Los Cabos region is now basically back to normal after being directly hit last week by fortunately a weakening TS Bud. Many tourists left town in a rush due to storm risks, scores of other cancelled out upcoming trips in fear of getting trapped or something worse. Everything remained under control, no major issues, businesses are now operating as though nothing ever happened.

Heavy ocean swells to over fifteen pounded the coastline, now it has dropped down to normal summer size swells. Last week the storm pushing in from the south brought with it colder Pacific currents, green water, with temperatures off of San Jose del Cabo dropping down from the 78 degree range to 67degrees over night. It has been a slow process to recover and rebound to pre-storm status. Pacific grounds are still dipping into the 60’s, though in the direction of the East Cape the water is back up near the 78 degree range. Clarity is still off colored, clearer in some isolated locations, but swirling strong currents continued to sweep through, causing clarity to remain off.

The mass schools of baitfish that had been holding near Iman and Desteladera Banks have vanished, so the striped marlin action is much more spread out now, being encountered while trolling lures and many of the tailing marlin spotted would strike dropped back caballito. Marlin was still the main offshore species of gamefish encountered. Dorado were just seen on occasion and more often closer to shore. Yellowfin tuna were scattered further offshore, open water trolling produced spotty action for mostly football sized fish. This tuna action was mainly being found off of the Cabo San Lucas grounds, as well as off the East Cape. No wahoo seen locally, but there was talk about a wahoo bite going on near Cerralvo Island to the north.

The high storm surf scattered the schools of sardinas, which is common this time of year. Main baitfish that is now being obtainable in the mornings has been caballito, a few other variety of jacks, mullet and limited moonfish. Offshore baitfish seemed to vanish since the start of the week, as water conditions improve and currents slack some, we do expect to see the larger concentrations of offshore baitfish to return.

Roosterfish action remains sporadic, but has improved some in recent days, though it was surprising that the majority of the roosters were more juvenile sized, not all 25 lb. and up, which can be more common during the later part of June. Jack crevalle were also patrolling the shoreline and most of these fighters were in the 15 to 30 lb. class. Only a couple of smaller dogtooth snapper reported, a handful of pompano and snapper rounded out inshore activity.

Off of the shallow rock piles there were some decent fish caught, red snapper, yellow snapper, amberjack, a variety of grouper, spotty from day to day, areas near Iman, San Luis to Vinorama producing best. Bottom action was found early in the day by using yo-yo jigs, shallow spots were more productive drift fishing larger baits.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 76 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 29 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 6 dorado, 22 bonito, 19 yellow snapper, 2 dogtooth snapper, 26 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 6 gulf grouper, 4 broomtail grouper, 11 amberjack, 32 roosterfish, 6 barred pargo, 12 pompano, 4 sierra and 22 jack crevalle.

Good fishing, Eric

Tropical Storm Bud makes Landfall, Closes Port, Leaves Flooding ~ June 16, 2018

Anglers –
June 16, 2018

Last week we witnessed the season’s first hurricane develop, named Aletta, gaining category 4 strength, this system moved far to the west and never impacted the Los Cabos Region. Quickly forming Hurricane Bud directly followed Aletta, this storm also reaching category four status as it followed a path directly for land fall at Cabo San Lucas. Fortunately there was strong sheer and cooler currents that contributed to weakening rapidly to a moderate Tropical Storm. Starting Wednesday night and all day through Thursday, TS Bud did pack a powerful punch, as there was a deluge of rainfall dumped, up to six inches or more in isolated areas throughout the Southern Baja. Wind gust to over 60 mph were experienced and quite a bit of flooding occurred in the lower plateau arroyo areas. Some areas lost electricity and water services, but these were mostly restored within 24 hours. There will be some drying out from this storm, but overall we felt fortunate and did enjoy the much needed rainfall, look for the scorched desert mountainous landscape to turn lush green within days.

This turned out to be a shortened week for sportfishing, moderate crowds of anglers were in town, but we were only able to launch Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, before Red Flag conditions closed all Port Operations. There were scores of world class surfers in San Jose Del Cabo for the International Pro Event annually held at Costa Azul and even this contest had to be postponed due to heavy storm swell conditions of up to fifteen to twenty feet.

This week started out much the same for anglers, with the striped marlin action being the most consistent bite being found, this was near the Iman and Desteladera Banks where large schools of batfish congregated on these same grounds, mainly sardineta, with a small percentage of mackerel mixed in. This frenzy had kept the billfish on these grounds for a couple of weeks now. Fleets were arriving in big numbers from all directions to get in on the action. Sizes of the striped marlin ranged from 60 lb. to 150 lb. These fish were striking best on bait, either while slow trolling or drifting. Though by Tuesday the bait schools seemed to all but vanish and it proved much harder to find the stripers, though many were hooked into, they appeared to be spreading out in search of their food supply. We also heard more stories of sea lion and shark factors.

We saw no yellowfin tuna, dorado or wahoo action to speak much about. A handful of small football sized tuna were found while open water trolling, there were also scattered reports of tuna being encountered with moving porpoise further offshore of Cabo San Lucas, mainly smaller fish and proving to be hit or miss. Before the storm arrived there was a flurry of missed wahoo strikes on trolled lures reported, some lost right near gaff. Dorado were absent as well. Maybe this new storm surge has pushed in a new group of gamefish, with weather now settling we will find out this coming week, could take some days for water temperatures to warm back up.

The week started off with sporadic shallow water bottom catches, increasing swells and currents made this option more difficult, though a few quality specimens were accounted for, including one 60 lb. Broomtail grouper, as well as barred pargo to a 15 lb. and leopard grouper to over 20 lb. A mix of yellow snapper, pompano and surgeonfish rounded out the structure bite. Inshore there were limited number of roosterfish found, changing daily, maybe we will see a later than normal season on these gamefish. Early this week though we did have charters that released roosterfish that were in the 75 lb. range. These were found near el Cardon. Some nice sized amberjack were seen close to shore on these same grounds, only to have hook ups lost to the rocks. We look for the next few weeks to bring big opportunities for roosterfish, dogtooth snapper and amberjack.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 28 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 22 striped marlin, 3 yellowfin tuna, 13 yellow snapper, 7 surgeon fish, 18 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 2 amberjack, 11 roosterfish, 1 broomtail grouper, 12 barred pargo, 8 pompano,18 jack crevalle, 5 sierra and 25 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

Seasons’s First Hurricane, Wide Open Marlin Bite ~ June 9, 2018

Anglers –
June 9, 2018

Tropical storm season has arrived this week with the formation of Hurricane Aletta, which presently is tracking some three hundred miles off to the west of Manzanillo and forecast to continue on a more north westerly path. This is a major storm, predicted to reach category four strength before encountered cooler ocean conditions where it will quickly weaken. This first storm of the season is not threatening the Los Cabos region by making any land fall, but we are feeling higher humidity and most notably seeing larger ocean swells build to over ten feet throughout the weekend. We are more preoccupied now watching closely the formation of a second system right behind Aletta which is forecast to move directly in the direction of the Southern Baja California Peninsula, so all eyes will be closely watching this and preparing accordingly.

This week started off with winds out of the south pushing back in cooler Pacific currents in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and to Los Frailes. Inshore water turned greenish and cooled off into the low 70s, this in turn shut down most of the inshore and shallow water structure fishing, though outside of the Iman Bank and to the north, water temperatures were warmer, in the 74 to 76 degree range and also cleaner. Here on the Desteladera Bank is where the best action of the week was found, huge concentrations of baitfish, including sardineta, mackerel, chihuil, skipjack and bolito were found, this in turn made for very good striped marlin action, many charters accounted for three, four or more billfish per morning. Sizes of these fish were impressive, not all the smaller sized striped marlin we were becoming more used to seeing, this week many of the fish hooked into were in the 100 to 140 lb. class. Sportfishing fleets were arriving from all directions to get in on this frenzy.

The yellowfin tuna action faded out completely as the ocean currents changed last Sunday, same with the dorado, very few of these fish were seen. Not much going on presently besides the marlin action. Strong currents made it tougher to target bottom species, though there was some sporadic success found for the anglers that did target the bottom structure, most common species were yellow snapper, leopard grouper, surgeon fish, barred pargo, triggerfish, with a few amberjack and pompano also encountered.

With surf action now heavy, also cooler green water covering the first couple miles inshore, this has made inshore action come to a standstill. We are still seeing large schools of mullet, particularly now inside of the marina, so we do expect to see some of the larger roosterfish, dogtooth snapper and amberjack to arrive once conditions settle down. So far the roosterfish season has gotten off to a slow start, spotty action and not as many large size fish as we would normally expect to see, it is still early in the month, so a lot and change in a matter of a week or two this time of year.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 62 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 84 striped marlin, (majority released), 5 dorado, 6 yellowfin tuna, 32 yellow snapper, 12 surgeon fish, 14 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 10 huachinango (red snapper), 7 amberjack, 6 roosterfish, 1 sculpin, 7 barred pargo, 5 pompano,12 jack crevalle, 11 sierra and 60 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric