Dorado, Bonito and Sierra Provide Inshore Action ~ February 1, 2014


February 1, 2014
Anglers –

Crowds of visiting tourists are arriving in the Los Cabos Resort area, looking to escape the frigid temperatures spread across northern territories. Local weather conditions have been very pleasant, scattered morning cloud cover, with plenty of warm afternoon sunshine, lows of about 60 degrees, with highs in the 75 to 80 degree range. The persistent northerly winds have tapered off some, not as strong as in previous weeks. This is now peak season for spotting whales in local waters, with common daily sightings of both gray and humpback whales.

Ocean clarity has been very clean close to shore, in the direction of the East Cape the conditions are a bit more off colored due to northern winds, but from La Fortuna to Cabo San Lucas the clarity has been great for this time of year. Water temperatures varied from about 70 degree around the corner on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, to 74 degrees on the outside of San Jose del Cabo, inshore grounds through this same stretch was averaged about 72 degrees. Live bait situation is still lacking, though there has been various other options available, including ballyhoo, moonfish, skipjack for strip bait, brined dead sardinas, etc…

Anglers were finding a variety of species, from sierra, dorado inshore, with striped marlin and yellowfin tuna found further offshore. The tuna being accounted for have mainly been encountered twenty or more miles offshore of Cabo San Lucas and have been football sized fish striking on hoochies , feathers and cedar plugs. More sierra are now showing up throughout the area, some much larger sierra were found on the Pacific, medium sized fish now becoming more common in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. Trolling rapalas, hoochies and drifting with cut baits have worked well for these scrappy fighters.

Out of San Jose del Cabo the most common catches recently have been for dorado and bonito, these fish were striking various lures and baits. Most of the dorado found were in the 5 to 15 lb. class. The Eastern Pacific Bonito is a somewhat rare species, a member of the tuna family with limited range, normally preferring the cooler winter months, good eating fish with light colored flesh, very popular for use in local machaca dishes. Average sizes usually are 5 to 10 lbs., can reach up to 20 lb. Striking a variety of lures and jigs, as well as live and dead baits, powerful fighters for their size. This species is most commonly found within the first 200 feet of the water column.

Striped marlin are being encountered spread out through the entire area, more numbers encountered off of Cabo San Lucas, but also scattered off of San Jose del Cabo grounds. No mackerel schools being seen now, so fish are moving and searching for food sources.

Not much consistent bottom action being found, besides jigging for bonito over the rocky structure, chrome patterned yo-yo style jigs jig were most productive, there was an occasional pargo, cabrilla or amberjack in the mix. Near Punta Gorda and north towards
La Fortuna there were a few wahoo hanging around, most of these fish were smaller sized, 10 to 20 pounds, striking rigged baits more often than on traditional lures, anglers were still fortunate to land one of these elusive highly prized fish.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 70 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 8 wahoo, 18 yellowfin tuna, 205 bonito, 145 sierra, 155 dorado, 2 amberjack,1 yellowtail,18 pargo and 10 cabrilla.

Good fishing, Eric

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