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Variable Conditions Result in Mixed Action ~ February 29, 2020

GORDO BANKS PANGAS

February 29, 2020

The month of February has held up its reputation of being very inconsistent and with this being the Leap Year, things even seemed to be increasingly unpredictable. Last week we had the unseasonable warming trend push through, now again this week we felt cooler temperatures and more north wind though much of the week, finally settling down over the weekend. All of these back and forth changes, with ocean water clarity and temperature constantly fluctuating has a direct impact on fishing action as well.

Throughout the region we are now seeing ocean temperature in the 70 to 72 degree range. North winds were strong through the first part of the week, stirring up water clarity and cooling off surface temperatures, though later in the week the winds shifted, often making a full swing, turning from out of the south by mid-afternoon. Still unstable conditions from day to day, through this coming month we normally see these wind patterns tamper off and feel a general warming trend. Bait options remained similar, caballito being netted inside the marina area, also ballyhoo and slabs of squid were other options. Offshore there was now limited opportunities for jigging up sardineta, as that option faded out.

The week started out with north winds, making the grounds in that direction unreachable, fleets staying closer to port, actually finding a good bite off of Palmilla Point. Schooling yellowtail was the highlight, small fish in the 2 to 5 lb. class, scrappy fighters though, striking on trolled Rapalas and yo-yo jigs. An occasional amberjack was found, as well as various pargo and cabrilla. This bite seemed to be over within a few days, fish apparently moving on. At least this was a favorable sign that we saw numbers of yellowtail on local grounds, hopefully this was a prelim to larger sized jacks to follow.

Despite cooler conditions there were some dorado still being found every day, more active mid morning and closer to shore, where natural baitfish were congregated. The dorado we did see were mostly in the 5 to 12 lb. class. No wahoo were reported in recent days, Some yellowfin tuna still on the grounds from Gordo Banks to Vinorama, though action is spotty, drift fishing with squid proved to be the best chance, this bite could definitely pick up quickly if weather cooperates.

Bottom action was producing a variety of smaller sized snapper, pargo, triggerfish, bonito, etc… We did not see too many bottomfish over 10 lb. A couple of decent amberjack were the highlight, as well as a handful of leopard grouper.

Not much locally for billfish either, an occasional striped marlin encountered, but no concentrations or particular hot spot at this time, still early in the season for the annual striped marlin run off of the San Jose del Cabo zone.

Inshore there was slow roosterfish action, juvenile sized and not much activity, an occasional sierra, lack of sardinas has limited the inshore bite this year.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 62 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 4 striped marlin, 26 dorado, 29 yellowfin tuna, 60 yellowtail, 14 amberjack, 16 sierra, 6 roosterfish, 12 flag cabrilla, 15 leopard grouper, 9 bonito, 38 red snapper, 14 yellow snapper, 19 spotted rose snapper, 2 mohara,1 sheepshead and 38 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Conditions Quickly Rebound, Yellowfin Bite ~ February 22, 2020

February 22, 2020

We saw some increase in numbers of anglers arriving, even some early season spring break vacationers. This week there was a major change in weather patterns, went from seasonal chilly low temperatures, to bright sunny warm sunshine in the 80 degree range, this is an ideal time now to visit, before serious spring break crowds arrive. Winds diminished through the week and anglers found very nice ocean conditions on most days. Bait options remained much the same, vendors offered caballito, ballyhoo, slabs of squid and also there were schooling sardineta, which rebounded off of the San Jose del Cabo Hotel zone.

Ocean conditions were now much cleaner and temperature was on a warming trend, water is now ranged 72 to 74 degrees off of San Jose del Cabo and north towards San Luis Bank. There were reports of pelagic red crabs drifting in swarms to the surface, more so early in the week, a sporadic unpredictable event, but these small crabs always seem to attract schooling red snapper. Using these for bait over the high spots was a favorite this time of year, these red snapper, locally named huachinango, range in sizes to over ten lb., averaging 2 to 5 lb.

With the conditions improving, so did the chances of hooking into yellowfin tuna on the grounds from the Gordo Banks to Iman and San Luis Banks. Anglers were drift fishing with strips of squids, as well as slow trolling live caballito and were hooking into to tuna that averaged about 20 lb., but several to 80 lb. or more were also accounted for. No big numbers, but there was a good chance now at landing a couple of these fish.

Dorado action was more scattered, at times encountered in sizable schools and very near shore, some anglers being more fortunate to find the fish and others never finding any. Various bait fish seemed to work best, with sizes ranging up to 15 lb. Still some roosterfish and sierra being found near shore as well, best bite seemed to be very early, then quickly slacking off through the morning.

A couple of wahoo were reported on the grounds north of Punta Gorda, with these warming currents we should see more chances at these elusive gamefish.

Shallow water rock structure action produced yellow snapper, pompano, cabrilla, triggerfish and bonito, no big numbers of any particular species, besides the red snapper bite while using red crabs for bait over particular deeper high spots. We are patiently waiting for the seasonal migration of yellowtail to move in, so far nothing going on this, time of year though when things can change quickly, a lot can be dependent on ocean conditions.

Marlin bite was spread out anywhere from 3 to 10 miles from shore, in the vicinity of Gordo Banks and north toward Desteladera, though no big numbers at this time, only a fish or two here or there, no particular hot spot.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 64 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 11 striped marlin, 48 dorado, 64 yellowfin tuna, 8 sierra, 22 roosterfish, 8 cabrilla, 8 bonito, 65 red snapper, 2 pompano, 7 yellow snapper, 3 sheepshead, wahoo 2 and 24 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric

Cool Conditions, Spotty Action, Light Crowds ~ February 15, 2020

February 15, 2020

We are seeing light crowds of anglers now, many have been following weather and fishing reports patiently waiting for things to warm up and improve the all-around action. For the past month or so we have seen persistent winds, predominately blowing out of the north, dropping ocean water temperatures in to the 68 to 70 degree range. Greenish currents have been swirling throughout the region, especially closer to shore. This week we had a season low temperature of 47 degree midweek, daytime highs have been reaching 75 degrees, scattering cloud cover most days.

Bait vendors are offering a mix of caballito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid. The schools of baitfish offshore of San Jose del Cabo have dispersed and fishing action is more spread out now. Still no signs of sardinas, there were reports of these schooling baitfish seen further north, but with the winds it just has not worked out trying to search for this resource.

Most local charters are fishing areas from off of Red Hill and north to Iman Bank, also all along the inshore beach stretches. The first half of the week was particularly slow, anglers fortunate to find a couple of mostly smaller sized fish. Then later in the week the water clarity improved north of Punta Gorda and on the Iman Bank some yellowfin tuna were finally hooked into, these fish ranged from football sized up to 50 lb. Striking on strips of squid, later over the weekend these tuna were preferring to strike on slow trolled live caballito, of course choppy conditions did not make things easy. For the most part anglers did well to land one, two or three of these yellowfin. If weather does settle this coming week as forecasts are saying, we could get into some quality action.

Dorado were still in the area, scattered fish in smaller schools, more of these found closer to shore, than far offshore, sizes up to 15 lb. Water temperatures now on the cool side for these migrating gamefish. Some anglers were in the right spot and caught a few nice dorado just like that, other anglers never even had any opportunities.

Bottom action was limited with the north winds, a mix of various snapper, pargo, bonito, triggerfish and cabrilla, most of these were smaller sized, but all good eating. Inshore was slow as well, a handful of sierra, a few specimens close to ten pounds, also some scattered roosterfish action on fish to 15 lb.

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 49 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 1 striped marlin, 41 dorado, 22 yellowfin tuna, 9 sierra, 13 roosterfish, 9 cabrilla, 5 bonito, 16 red snapper, 8 spotted rose snapper, 12 yellow snapper, 7 porgy, 1 island jack, 1 amberjack and 22 triggerfish.

Good Fishing, Eric