Cooler Conditions, Tuna Bite Rebounds ~ February 23, 2018

Anglers –
February 23, 2018

This past week we saw a slight increase in the amount of anglers arriving. As we have become accustomed, the month of February continues to produce a wide range of unpredictable weather patterns. We felt a cold wave sweep in, starting with a couple of days we felt scattered rain, mostly sprinkles, some areas reported a bit heavier precipitation, much cloud cover and daytime highs reaching only into the low 70s. More wind from the north, though it was on and off and not so strong that charter boats had to abort plans. Despite the cooler conditions, the ocean has remained relatively warm, now averaging 70 to 74 degrees, very clean and blue close to shore, strong current running though. Lots of jelly fish in the area now, as there was continued large presence of whales and of course those pesky sea lions, which have been robbing their share of the catch.

Sardinas continue to be the main bait being used, found schooling off of the beaches from Palmilla to Cabo Real, as well as they are now being once again found off of the rocky beach stretches north near San Luis, these being a larger grade of these baitfish. Other options have been slabs of squid as well as on some days varying quantities of mackerel were being jigging up on sabiki rigs, mainly off of Punta Gorda.

The highlight this week was that the yellowfin tuna which had really faded out last week, rebounded this week as water conditions actually improved despite the cooler weather patterns. Fleets found decent action near Vinorama for yellowfin that were ranging in sizes to over 50 lb., quality tuna considering that this is never known as a favorable time frame for this pelagic species. The fish were striking on sardinas, strips of squid, as well as on mackerel, when they were able to be found. Boats were averaging from one or two to five or six fish per morning. Another common fish being found were dorado, most of these were under ten pounds, but we did see some larger fish, included a true 25 lb. bull dorado, which we had not seen for some time. Many people are releasing the small sized dorado, especially the females, remember to practice this conservation of these juvenile fish to help maintain future stocks.

Not much in the way of billfish action now off of San Jose del Cabo, better chances on the Pacific now, we heard of a blue marlin being landed, though most common is the striped marlin this time of year. Bottom action was limited, not much besides a scattering of cabrilla (leopard grouper), pargo and triggerfish, though swift currents made this tough and most charters were going after the tuna and dorado, or fishing for sierra along the beaches.

As long as ocean water conditions remain favorable we do expect that these yellowfin tuna will stay in the area. Hard to predict, but typically in the next few weeks we start to see weather patterns with warming days and less persistent winds. It has been a bonus that supplies of sardinas have held up and seem to be sustainable for the time being.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 59 charters for this shortened week due to weekend travels. Anglers reported a fish count of: 112 yellowfin tuna, 135 dorado, 2 amberjack, 8 yellow snapper, 4 island jack, 8 barred pargo, 11 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 14 huachinango (red snapper), 94 sierra and 18 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

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