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Dorado Highlight, Chances at Wahoo and Tuna ~ December 21, 2019

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

December 21, 2019

Anglers –

Everyone is now busy getting ready for Christmas, more tourists arriving, though there are not as many anglers as we would expect. The typically weather pattern of north winds continues, particularly early in the week, though there was decent fishing action close to shore in more protected areas. The Pacific side was calm for the most part. Ocean water temperature was averaging 77 degrees throughout the local region. There were scattered clouds and climate was a bit cooler than previous week, though on most days highs were at least up to 75 degrees, no rainfall reported.

Bait vendors were finding decent supplies of caballito, also were offering ballyhoo and slabs of squid, no sardinas found near San Jose del Cabo. Some of the panga charters were able to find some chihuil baitfish, but this was not a guarantee, needed to put in the extra effort and time for this. Most of the local charters are working the fishing grounds from Red Hill, Gordo Banks, La Fortuna and off of Punta Gorda. Most common species found were dorado, but also still decent chances at yellowfin tuna and wahoo.

Off of La Fortuna there were yellowfin tuna of various sizes found, some nicer quality fish. The problem was that there was an abundance of large aggressive sharks on these same grounds and they were ready to grab any tuna that was hooked into, a ratio of at least 80 % of hooks ups being lost, so not many charters were even fishing there anymore. There were yellowfin found on the Inner Gordo Banks, though numbers were very limited, a handful of tuna over 100 lb. were accounted for this week, though this took a lot of persistence and large amounts of squid, so that you could continue to drift, while chumming and patiently waiting for a chance at a hook up.

Wahoo were also now found on the Gordo Banks, though they have been finicky, best bet was to slow troll baitfish, either caballito or chihuil. Not many were striking on lures, some of these fish were also found further north and off of Punta Gorda. With the warmer water still hanging around we expect to have chances at wahoo into the New Year.

Dorado were providing the most success for anglers, most of these also on various baits, ranging in sizes up to 20 lb. Many anglers were able to catch their two fish limit and release others. Areas closer to shore, such as Punta Gorda and Cardon were best for the dorado, a few tuna were also found on the same grounds, if sardinas were available the chances of getting into the tuna action would be much greater, who knows when we will have sardinas locally. These baitfish do also migrate along the shorelines.

Not much going off the bottom, though we did see more red snapper this week, majority were smaller sized, but a few nicer fish in the mix. Good numbers of roosterfish were found along the beach stretches, within a mile or less of Puerto Los Cabos Marina. There fish readily hit on trolled caballito, most of them were under 15 lb., a few much larger jack crevalle were mixed in. Also a handful of sierra, but with no sardinas, hard to find a wide open bite for these fish. Also still early in the season for these colder water species. Billfish was very scattered off of San Jose del Cabo, surprisingly there were more sailfish seen than striped marlin, strange for this time of year.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 56 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 4 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 88 dorado, 15 yellowfin tuna, 16 wahoo, 4 yellow snapper, 2 barred pargo, 1 amberjack, 4 bonito, 8 sierra, 22 roosterfish, 24 huachinango, 4 jack crevalle and 45 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Lighter Crowds, Tuna, Wahoo, Dorado Provide Scattered Action ~ December 14, 2019

December 14, 2019

Anglers –

Limited number of tourists now arriving, as Christmas time and New Year nears we do usually see greater numbers of people arriving, especially family groups. Now is the perfect time to visit, ideal weather, despite dipping down to 55 degrees early morning, daytime highs have averaged in the upper 70s, plenty of warm sunshine. Early in the week there was more wind from the north, but by the weekend we saw much calmer ocean conditions. Average water temperature was about 77 degrees, with some isolated areas up to 80 degrees, surf was minimal, though tides were extreme with passing of recent full moon, the last one of this decade.

Bait vendors are finding caballito in the marina area, also offering ballyhoo and slabs of squid. Off of the San Jose del Cabo Hotel Zone the schools of baitfish, mackerel and sardineta, are moving in and this will become an option for the next month or two. The overall fishing action was more scattered this week, perhaps the moon was affecting feeding habits, also there was a noticeably stronger current sweeping through local grounds, as well as winds being a factor at times. The majority of local charters were working the grounds from the Gordo Banks, to La Fortuna, Cardon and close off of Punta Gorda.

Main target species continue to be yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo, also some billfish and limited bottom action to round out the options. Yellowfin tuna varying in sizes up to 75 lb., the larger fish were found on the Gordo Banks and other mixed grade of yellowfin off of La Fortuna. Though there was a major issue with sharks attacking hooked fish and they got more than their share, these were not little sharks either, we saw quality sized tuna bitten completely in half or swallowed whole, they were even attacking wahoo or dorado if they had the chance. It has been a while since so many aggressive sharks were found on these same fishing grounds, hard to say how long they will be around, they now know that they are able to find some easy tasty meals. Hopefully when the water temperature cools off the sharks will move on.

Wahoo were more finicky this week, though they have not gone anywhere, just were more wary about striking. Some hit on strips of squid while anglers targeted tuna, other on trolled baits, a smaller percentage were striking on lures. The largest we weighed in recently was a 48 lb. specimen. Sunday is the local wahoo tournament, which was original set for Nov. 17, but had to be rescheduled due to Tropical Storm Raymond. Will be interesting to see how many teams enter, since it is now during a not so busy tourist time frame.

Numbers of dorado were down compared to last week, though these fish are still scattered through the area in smaller sized schools, the larger sized dorado were now found on the Pacific, though off of San Jose del Cabo we did see some fish up to 20 lb.

Billfish action now seems to be transitioning from the Pacific to the direction of San Jose, these fish follow their food source. Though the bite is spotty, has not been wide open yet, there are striped marlin being found within several miles of shore, the majority were in the 70 to 120 lb. range. Also saw at least one sailfish in recent days.

Not much going off the bottom, an occasional leopard or baqueta grouper, various pargo, bonito and triggerfish. More whales definitely now showing up, peak season will be here now any week, as these mammals are now arriving for their winter’s stay.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 70 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 1 sailfish, 9 striped marlin, 38 dorado, 78 yellowfin tuna, 14 wahoo, 5 yellow snapper, 3 pompano, 4 golden eye tile fish, 6 barred pargo, 9 cabrilla, 2 amberjack, 8 bonito, 5 sierra, 5 roosterfish, 6 baqueta, 2 surgeonfish and 45 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Clear Skies, Wahoo, Tuna, Dorado Bite ~ December 7, 2019

December 7, 2019

Anglers –

Noticeable lighter crowds of visitors arriving, after Thanksgiving we do normally see a decline of anglers, as people now are beginning to prepare for  the Christmas Holidays, now just around the corner. Weather patterns did finally stabilize and this week we saw much calmer ocean conditions, no crazy rain fall, mostly clear sunny skies, temperatures into the low 80s, really an ideal climate for this time of year.

Ocean actually warmed back up a couple of degrees, averaging about 80 degrees now. Bait situation is that sardinas are scarce out of San Jose del Cabo, now being found schooling near Cabo San Lucas, makes it tough to have to back track so far. So local fleets are mainly relying on caballito, ballyhoo, slabs of squid and if fortunate enough to find some chihuil, they proved the best for wahoo. Some mackerel started to appear now off of the Hotel Zone, still not consistent from day to day, as water temps cool some more, we expect more of these mackerel and sardineta will move in.

Over all anglers found the bite to be tougher to start the week, mainly due to north wind, though later in the week the wind laid down, water cleared up and bite was good for yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dorado. Most of the action was from Gordo Banks, Cardon, La Fortuna and off of Punta Gorda. Best action was on bait, some having to be worked for, especially the chihuil, they proved to be the candy for wahoo. The Gordo Banks produced yellowfin tuna up over 200 lb., larger fish lost, though numbers were not great, but with patience and persistent effort there were some quality fish. Strips of squid, small skipjack, chihuil and caballito all produced.

Wahoo action picked up, trolling live baits was best, fish up to over 45 lb., though some were taken on Repalas. Dorado were mixed in on the same grounds, but scattered, up close to 20 lb. Unusual to find some roosterfish action further offshore while trolling for dorado and wahoo, nice sized fish to 30 lb. Also a couple of yellowtail, one was an impressive 38 lb. and there was a 70 lb. amberjack, they were taken while chunk fishing for tuna on the Gordo Banks. If weather holds it looks like very promising opportunities for the rest of the month. So things are improving after recent rain squalls, landscape is a lush green, plenty of warm sunshine and great fishing.

Billfish was limited off of San Jose deal Cabo, a scattering of striped marlin and a couple small blues. Still better marlin action now on the Pacific. More whales are now being seen with each passing day, it will be peak season coming up for these migrating mammals. Sea lions, manta rays, porpoise, turtles and of course some sharks, which have been taking their share of the tuna catch, have added to entertainment.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 82 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 2 blue marlin, 2 striped marlin, 66 dorado, 98 yellowfin tuna, 56 wahoo, 4 yellow snapper, 5 cabrilla, 16 bonito, 6 sierra, 9 roosterfish, 5 baqueta, 3 surgeonfish, 2 yellowtail, 3 amberjack, 2 pompano and 30 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric