Cooler Conditions, Marlin Show up ~ February 19, 2023

February 17, 2023

This month has lived up to normal expectations of unpredictable weather patterns and even more. We have seen cooler temperatures for the past few weeks, consistent lows in the mid 50s and daytime highs were only reaching up into the lower 70s. It is winter time and expected, though this year it seems a little more extreme, as north winds have been persistent and limited what options anglers were able to practically target. Water temperatures at this time have been in the 66 to 70 degree range, swirling currents, shifting daily and pushing in greener water.

Bait situation remains much the same, no sardinas are being found to speak of, very limited caballito or mackerel, main options being ballyhoo and slabs of squid. Most local charters are now doing a combination of trying for surface action and then also working bottom rocky structure. Just not much consistent action off the bottom now and even tougher when wind is blowing. We did see bonito, leopard grouper, various pargo, snapper, whitefish, small amberjack and triggerfish. We expect this action to improve as spring times arrive and weather patterns stabilize.

Good news this past week is that the striped marlin have shown up in good numbers off of the San Jose del Cabo area. Since bait schools are more scattered now, so are these marlin, not found feeding on balled up schools of bait as they were at this same time last season. The stripers are spread out, found tailing on the surface and by taking blind strikes while trolling lures. Sizes were averaging 70 to 120 lb.

Dorado were still being found, despite the cooling water temperatures, though numbers were less than in previous weeks and average size a bit smaller, with a few exceptions up to 15 lb., most under 10 lb. They were striking on trolled lures and ballyhoo, some charters landed up to four fish, others one or two.

Yellowfin tuna action was slim, though a few were still being found by dedicated anglers working the strips of squid on the Iman Bank, including a 133 lb. yellowfin landed on Friday from the super panga “Lydia”. A handful of other tuna accounted for in the 40 to 70 lb. range, though not being found every day and on the days they did bite there just a few fish for the combined fleet being actually landed. Again the persistent north wind has made this a challenging option on most days.

Not much action being reported along the beach stretches, lack of live bait, particularly the sardinas, has hurt this normally productive sierra season. Lots of whales now, no shortage this season, these mammals should be around a couple of more months.

Good Fishing, Eric

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