December 3, 2011



December 3, 2011

With a cold wave sweeping across the United States many people are heading south in search of warm sunshine, which the Southern Baja has been providing. Cooler mornings, now down in the 55/60 degree range, but daytime highs are reaching near 80 degrees. Scattered cloud cover, but mostly sunny days, there is a cold front heading our way from the north at this time. Winds have been more unpredictable, predominately from the north, but switching from all directions at times. Water temperatures are surprisingly still warm, now averaging in the 79 to 82 degree range, surely there will be a cooling trend soon.

Overall the fish counts were not up to Cabo standards. Though there have been fair catches of billfish, dorado, yellowfin tuna and wahoo. Some anglers reported respectable numbers, while others only one or two fish. Action varied greatly from day to day, as far as location where more fish were found. Fleets were searching in all directions. The start of the week they found schools of mackerel off of San Jose del Cabo and there was some very good striped marlin action in this same area. Anglers were encountering feeding marlin on the surface, with birds working overhead, marlin were seen in scores, tailing in the swells, free jumping, striking on cast and dropped back baits, as well as by drift fishing baits down at depths. Most stripers were in the 80 to 120 lb. range, a couple of blue marlin up to 250 lb. were also encountered. There are still some sailfish in the area as well, hanging around in the warmer currents.

Live bait options included mackerel, caballito, jacks, chihuil and sardinas. Sardinas were not always available, as these fish were now schooling further to the north, at times they are not within range of commercial fleets. Plus these fleets are busy now with the influx of larger baitfish that have moved into the area.

Dorado counts varied, early in the week charters were averaging maybe one or two of these fish per morning, then on other days average catches were up to 6,7 or 8, sizes were larger as well, many dorado in the 15 to 25 pound class, not only the smaller peanuts that had been more prevalent. These fish are hitting on a wide variety of lures and baits. Wahoo continue to be elusive, though everyday a handful of these sought after speedsters are being found. Most of the strikes are coming on diving plugs, such as Rapala XRap Magnum. Quite a few of the wahoo recently were very small, a bit unusual, strange to even see wahoo under ten pounds, normally they average 20 to 50 pounds.

Yellowfin tuna seemed to have made a comeback this past week, at least we are hearing more reports now of anglers encountering tuna in various locations. Sizable pods of varied species of porpoise are being encountered, anywhere from 3 or 4 miles, on out to 15 to 25 miles from shore. Often, these yellowfin tuna schools have been associated with the porpoise, traveling and feeding with them. Sizes ranged from footballs, on up to cows, we are optimistic that we should see continued presence of these fish through the month, as conditions do appear favorable. Same deal for the wahoo, with the warm water in the region, we expect to see these fish to finally go on a more consistent bite, they have really only become aggressively active on sporadic occasions this season, still definitely in the area, maybe the cooler mornings will trigger these hard to figure out fish.

Local charter skippers had heard about a pair of tug boats offshore, traveling north from Cabo San Lucas, they were hauling tuna type fish pens, perhaps 100 ft. in diameter, at a speed of barely one mph. Not sure what is being hauled, heard stories of both tuna and dorado being inside, apparently being relocated in La Paz. Anyway, for a few days limited numbers of boats were finding these pens, some twenty miles offshore, anglers found that schools of baitfish were congregating on this moving structure and schools of mostly football sized models of yellowfin tuna were found, though there were also dorado, wahoo and billfish in the vicinity. Kind of a strange deal, but the anglers who did fish these pens, they produced some of the better catches to be found. These days, in fishing, you take what any option you can encounter on a particular day, whatever produces quality action. Would like to see more of these pens used for breeding gamefish, dorado is an ideal species for this, they grow and spawn so rapidly, this would prove to be very beneficial for replenishing inshore fish stocks. Sounds like a place where funds made from fishing license sales should go.

San Diego long range boat “Intrepid” has been anchored on the Outer Gordo Banks for several days this week. With their live bait capacity they were able to chum the fish up big time on these banks, they had an excellent bite for 30 to 40 pound class yellowtail, reportedly landing dozens, along with huachinango, amberjack, also apparently they had the cow sized tuna up feeding as well. Not often do we see these larger sport boats staying for such a period on local grounds. This area is the mainstay of local fleets from La Playita, such hauls of fish that this boat has been taking could last for weeks or months for the local pangeros. This state of the art 116 ft. long range vessel has the ability to fish in many other areas, while local fleets are much more limited to these same grounds. In order to keep peace with the locals, the Intrepid crew was sharing their candy bait stash of sardinas with all of the local boats, which has been generous, but either way there is a feeling that their welcome is wearing thin.

The combined local La Playita panga fleets sent out approximately 98 charters, with anglers reports a fish count of: 38 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 9 sailfish, 18 wahoo, 146 yellowfin tuna, 182 dorado, 13 yellowtail, 4 dogtooth snapper, 12 cabrilla, 14 bonito, 38 roosterfish and 28 sierra.

Good Fishing, Eric

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