February 7, 2014
The month of February can be quite unpredictable, locals have a saying, Febreo loco y Marzo otro poco, conditions can feel like spring time one day, but then cooler weather fronts can swept back through, feeling more wintry. Last week we had temperatures reach the mid 80s, though this week it felt more like winter, with cooler mornings, down to 55 degrees and on a couple of days the high temperatures only reached in the low 70s. Despite this trend, there were mostly clear sunny skies and it felt like paradise compared to the freezing cold temperatures that has swept once again across the United States. Ocean water temperatures actually warmed up some, now ranging from 70 degrees on the Pacific to 75/76 offshore of San Jose del Cabo. More north winds this past week and this contributed to stirring up the clarity, anglers reported finding mixed up conditions, swift currents pushed in greenish water, but in other areas the water remained clear and blue, seemed to vary each day.
Baitfish remained scattered, as were most of the gamefish, though in recent days baitfish schools have begun to congregate on the traditional grounds off of the San Jose del Cabo’s Hotel Zone, two or three miles offshore, mainly sardinetas now, with a few mackerel mixed in. This a favorable sign, hopefully this will continue to develop, should start seeing more striped marlin on these same grounds. Anglers found porpoise activity offshore, hit or miss for smaller sized yellowfin tuna, most of these fish were found 20 plus miles outside of Cabo San Lucas, at other times jack crevalle and hog sized black skipjack dominated the offshore bite.
Dorado action has been good this winter season, though this past week the bite dropped off, some charters had trouble finding even one dorado, while others were more fortunate and accounted for up to a half of dozen, these fish are scattered from inshore to offshore and running in small schools, most of the fish were in the 5 to 15 pound class. Striking on trolled lures and rigged ballyhoo baits. Earlier in the week a few wahoo were found, though this is not the normal season where you would expect to catch these elusive gamefish, there is still a chance at hooking into one of these prized eating fish. A handful of football sized yellowfin tuna were landed while drift fishing on the Iman Bank, fresh dead sardinas was to key to this action, these baits were sold in limited quantities at the dock area, then you had to try to stay away from the skipjack, bonito and pesky sea lions, another factor were the gusting northern winds, making it almost impossible on certain days.
Sierra continued to dominate the inshore action, striking on various whole and cut baits, as well as hoochies and small rapalas, which all worked for these fish, average sizes ranged 2 to 4 pounds. Some jack crevalle and juvenile sized roosterfish were also encountered. Surf fishermen reported catching a few much larger sierra taken at first light, this is always the time when these members of the mackerel family are more aggressive.
Bottom action produced mainly Eastern Pacific Bonito, a handful of pargo, cabrilla and triggerfish rounding out this action. Should be the time when we start to see some yellowtail showing up in the fish counts. There were a couple of nice grouper landed off of the Palmilla Point area, this is the time frame when these rock piles start to hold more of the structure species.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 68 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 6 striped marlin, 4 wahoo, 21 yellowfin tuna, 135 bonito, 14 jack crevalle, 115 sierra, 76 dorado,12 roosterfish,18 pargo, 28 triggerfish, 90 black skipjack, 2 grouper and 10 cabrilla.
Good fishing, Eric