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Limited Anglers, Spotty Action ~ January 24, 2021

January 24, 2021

We enjoyed variable winter time conditions in Southern Baja this past week. High temperatures averaging 75 degrees, more cloud cover and even had some measurable rain fall on Wednesday, generally lighter winds, predominately from the north, though not as persistent as they were in past weeks. Light crowds of tourists now arriving, looks to be the predicted pattern for the coming months, until Covid induced regulations are simplified or eased and vaccinations are made readily available to the general public. In the meantime all local businesses supported by the tourist industry will be optimistically waiting for the situation to improve.

In the direction of the Sea of Cortez the ocean currents been green, as the same East Cape conditions have now swept onto local grounds. Clarity has fluctuated, but overall water color has been very greenish, though off of Cabo San Lucas currents have been much cleaner.  Over the weekend though there were reports of slight improvement north of the Gordo Banks to around San Luis, a couple of wahoo hook ups were reported. On the Gordo Banks there was a showing of yellowfin tuna and at least one 80 lb. class yellowfin was landed, other hook ups were lost, not many boats were on the spot when the tuna did show up, drifting with sardinas was the method they used to entice the strikes. So maybe something will develop with this, providing conditions do stabilize some more. Ocean water temperature has varied on areas, day to day as well, ranging from 67 to 74 degrees.

There has been plenty of bait in the area, charters are reportedly seeing large concentrations of baitfish on local grounds, though this did not mean that the gamefish were easy for anglers to find. Bait vendors are offering sardinas, caballito, mackerel and ballyhoo. Dorado are being found in limited numbers, mainly around concentrations of baitfish and often on the same offshore billfish grounds. With a handful of these dorado being bulls over 20 lb.

We saw a little more variety and size of fish found off of the shallow rocky structure. Though this action just now seems to be showing signs of activity, this week we saw amberjack, cabrilla, bonito, red snapper and triggerfish. We do anticipate that this type of action improves the next couple of months. Along the shore we saw a little more action for the sierra, they had become scarce in past seeks, so hopefully this is a favorable sign that these cold water fish will rebound.

Billfish action was more scattered now, main species is the striped marlin, sizes averaging 70 to 100 lb. No great concentration in any particular area, we should see steady improvement with greater numbers of stripers, as ocean conditions improve with more steady weather patterns.

Good fishing, Eric

Cold, Green Water Slows Action ~ January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

Another quiet week as far as numbers of tourists arriving. With Covid worries and political unrest we expect to see similar patterns of light crowds until at least spring time. January and February are normally the coolest months of the year throughout the northern hemisphere and recently we have felt the chill, highs are reaching about 75 degrees and lows in the mid-50s, though days have been clear and sunny. Winds this past week were not as persistent from the north, most days picking up late morning. Colder water conditions have swept into local waters, we have seen ocean temperatures ranging from 67 to 72 degrees. Changing from day to day, as currents swirl in and out, also pushing in green unfavorable water. With the cleaner and warmer areas now found in the direction of Cabo San Lucas.

For the limited numbers of anglers now in town, they have found supplies of sardinas, ballyhoo, caballito, mackerel and sardineta. Charters have been going in different directions in search of better opportunities. Action around the Gordo Banks has slowed way down from how it had been for the past month, as these grounds had cold green water contribute to shutting down the bite. Though as currents shift and north winds reside, things can change, on Friday there was one quality yellowfin tuna of 85 lb. hauled in off of a super panga. Through the week we only saw a few of the smaller sized wahoo landed during the first days of the period, also a couple of other tuna were accounted for or hooked up and lost. Fewer numbers of dorado as well, as the turned over conditions has these tropical species scattering.

Offshore the main action has been for striped marlin, also a few dorado being found on these same grounds. Still no large concentrations of the marlin, though lots of schooling mackerel and sardineta are being seen off of the San Jose del Cabo hotel zone, several miles offshore. The marlin being found now are scattered, depending where the blue water is found, recently five to 10 miles offshore. We do expect the billfish action to improve as these off colored conditions rebound. There were some reports of yellowfin tuna being found further offshore associated with moving porpoise, though this has been a very hit or miss deal so far.

It is the time of year when more bottom structure fishing starts up, though so far we have not seen anything other than a handful of bonito, smaller snapper or cabrilla. We should start seeing improved bottom action and are hoping that this colder water brings in the yellowtail. Along the shore there have been fewer numbers of sierra than we would expect for this time frame, off colored currents seem to be issue with these species as well. So as weather does stabilize we do expect the all-around action to improve. This is a normal transition period we are now going through. This time of year is never really peak season for any of the more popular glamorous gamefish, though as ocean changes so can the bite, from week to week. Lot of whales now on the same fishing grounds, as well as some sea lions, turtles and manta rays, all adding to the experience.

Good fishing, Eric

Cold Green Water, Still a Few Wahoo, Dorado ~ January 10, 2021

January 10, 2021

This past week we definitely noticed that the crowds of tourists which had flooded the region over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season, have dropped off considerably and it looks like the coming winter months will continue along such patterns, as the world wide situation with the ongoing Covid pandemic continues, as vaccines have just started to be administered and in additional there have been new strains of the same virus breaking out, we will all hope for the best, that this situation stabilizes and we can once again begin to return to our normal routines.

Cooler winter season conditions are now prevailing, high temperatures averaging about 75 degrees and with lows of 55 degrees. Though overall the climate has been very pleasant, definitely a comfortable winter environment, with warm clear and sunny skies. The northern winds resided early in the week and ocean conditions were much more comfortable. The cold and green currents continue to progressing move in a southern direction from north of Los Frailes, now these currents have now pushed as far as Red Hill off of San Jose del Cabo. Ocean temperature locally is now in the 68 to 71 degree range.

The Gordo Banks for the last several weeks has been producing the best overall fishing action. With lots of juvenile sized wahoo concentrated on this high spot, anglers were finding excellent action for fish in the 8 to 15 lb., occasionally larger. Casting chrome patterned jigs was probably the most productive technique, also sardinas, ballyhoo, caballito and trolled Rapalas. There has been heavy pressure on these grounds, since the word of the action spreads quickly and then we have the spear fishermen, who for some unschooled reason believe that it is perfectly okay to move in and get in the water with their spears directly next to where the already congested rod and reel angler fleets are concentrated, established, while mainly drift fishing, strange unprecedented situation has now developed. What happened to any etiquette or reasonable sense? We thought that there were regulations in place where this activity was to be keep a certain safe distance apart to avoid any conflicts or injury.

With cold green current now upon the Gordo Banks the action has slowed and become far less consistent than in previous weeks, this will be time when fleets start to concentrate more along the shore for sierra, as well as the shallow water structure, for a variety of species. Striped marlin action will be the main option further offshore, as this action will be now more prevalent in the direction of the Sea of Cortez and not on the Pacific. As the marlins predominate food source has now migrating in this same direction.

There are still some dorado being encountered, though in the cooler green conditions, the numbers are much less. Sizes varied, a few nicer sized bulls were accounted for, found on the same marlin grounds further from shore. In the coming weeks the key to offshore success will be to find the best looking conditions and concentrate on these locations.

Only a very occasional report of any yellowfin tuna being found, mid-week a couple of nicer sized yellowfin were hooked into, both were lost, these fish are in the area and have shown at times on the surface, though proved very skittish and elusive.

Recently we have not seen much off the bottom besides some bonito, smaller red snapper and triggerfish. Maybe this will be the year that we see a strong run of yellowtail appear on local grounds. We will optimistically wait and see what develops this winter season. In the meantime there have strong numbers of whales being sighted, this is now peak season to view these mammals in local waters.

Good fishing, Eric