Close call with Hurricane Willa, Big Crowds, Wahoo Bite ~ October 26, 2018

Anglers –
October 26, 2018

Very busy times now in Los Cabos. The richest sportfishing tournaments in the world are now underway, charter fleets are operating at full capacity. This past week we were closely following the development of Hurricane Willa, this system quickly reached category five strength, passing within a couple of hundred miles of Southern Baja before making landfall south of Mazatlán as a cat three. Very fortunate for Los Cabos that Willa passed just far enough to the south that no major impact was felt, besides high ocean swells and some moderate wind, local ports did close for Tuesday, only slight rainfall in isolated areas was reported.

With large crowds of anglers, heavy pressure now on all resources, particularly now on bait supplies. Very hard to even find sardinas, best bet near Chileno Bay, but this is limited, squid has also become scarce, only so much squid is delivered to local sources and there can be shortages this time of year. Most days there have been fresh ballyhoo and caballito available. Other options are smaller skipjack, tuna and chihuil, these can be caught on offshore fishing grounds. Ocean temperatures were averaging 82 to 83 degrees through most of the region. Swells were diminishing, breezes from the south and north have been variable from day to day, on Wednesday we had major south wind pick up, made for a long wet boat ride in from the northern grounds.

With the heavy angling pressure skippers have been searching in all directions, local San Jose del Cabo fleets have had best success working grounds from Iman to San Luis Banks. With the stormy seas, full moon and limited bait supplies, the overall action became that much more challenging. Mixed sizes of yellowfin tuna, fish from 5 to 90 lb. were landed, though there were limited numbers of tuna over 50 lb. being accounted for and there were more small sized black and white skipjack being caught than anything else. Anglers were fortunate to land one of the nicer grade of yellowfin, though some people had as many as four quality yellowfin in one outing.

Dorado remain scarce, though occasional encounters results in a few fish up to 12 lb. in the mix. Wahoo were showing signs of more activity but still no hot consistent bite day to day. Areas from Palmilla Point, Iman, La Fortuna to Vinorama also held wahoo, these fish hit on various baits and lures, average size 10 to 30 lb. a few to 40 lb. In the next couple of weeks we should see some great wahoo action, as water conditions come into their preference zone.

Billfish were spread out, more numbers on the Pacific now, some sailfish still hanging around in the warmer currents. Off the bottom there were more triggerfish than other species, but various cabrilla, pargo, bonito, pompano were also found, strong current was a factor.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 124 charters for the week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 8 sailfish, 21 dorado, 35 wahoo, 270 yellowfin tuna, 90 bonito, 155 white skipjack, 22 red snapper,4 amberjack, 8 barred pargo, 5 pompano, 14 yellow snapper, 22 cabrilla, 16 sierra and 180 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

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