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February 11, 2012
The month of February is now living up to its reputation as having very unpredictable weather patterns, the week started off with clear and calm days, then we had a cold front move in from the north, leaving moderate rainfall on and off through Wednesday, followed up by wind from the north on Thursday and Friday. Ocean water temperatures began the period averaging about 72 degrees and by the end dropped down into the 67/68 degree range. Air temperatures varied from lows in the 50s to highs in the mid 70s. Crowds of tourists remained light, though the limited numbers of anglers did find some very good angling action during the first half of the week.
Full moon seems to always stir conditions up at his time of year, extreme tides and often wind, also can scatter bait fish schools. Despite this there were good supplies of sardinas found off the beaches near Desteladera. Schooling mackerel were hard to find now for the last week, though skipjack continued to be found in large schools throughout the region.
Striped marlin activity has been scattered, though anglers targeting these billfish have had an average of a couple opportunities per day on stripers ranging up to 120 pounds, much of this action was found 10 to 20 miles off of the Chileno to Cabo San Lucas and Pacific regions. Strikes came on trolled lures, rigged ballyhoo and dropped back baits. We expect as water temperatures warm back up some, this will food supply fish, such as mackerel, sardinetas and flying fish, we should see improved action offshore.
The most consistent fishing action has been closer to shore, over rocky structure, most often in depths ranging from 100 to 150 feet. San Jose del Cabo charters concentrated most of their efforts around the Iman Bank. Besides finding some of the heaviest whale watching concentrations in the area, this is where they found yellowfin tuna action, not wide open, but definitely a chance at landing one or two, sometimes more, quality sized fish, they were a bit finicky to take drifted sardinas, at times preferring live bait and other times dead, fluorocarbon leaders of 40 to 60 pound were being used for these line shy tuna which were averaging 30 to 80 pounds, some fish were in the 100 pound class. These fish would could up to chum at unpredictable times during the day, sometimes early, other times more active later in the day, lots of aggressive skipack and sea lions to deal with in the mean time. Considering that this is now off season for the yellowfin tuna fishery in local waters, this has been a special bonus for anglers, it is not always a sure deal to have chances at this size of tuna during the cooler winter months.
There were even a few wahoo in the mix, striking in the same area where the tuna were schooling, hitting on yo-yos and sardinas, of course as usual for ‘hoo, more strikes were lost than actually landed. Dorado action tapered way off compared to previous weeks, though earlier in the week before the ocean conditions turned over, there were some decent number of do dos found, most of these fish were weighing fifteen pounds or less, with a few exceptions of larger specimens.
Bottom action showed some signs of improvement, but then slowed back down to a standstill, though a anglers did fins limited numbers of yellowtail, amberjack, various pargo/snapper species and cabrilla, some of these fish weighed up to 30 pounds, they hit while drift fishing off the rocky bottom areas on baits and yo-yo jigs.
Close to shore, just outside the surf zone, there were sierra, roosterfish and jack crevalle. Slow trolling with sardinas was the most productive method of finding action, though anglers also reported success on hoochies and Rapalas. More sierra than anything else, up to three or four pounds, the few roosterfish that were encountered were also of similar size, some of the jacks ranged to 20 pounds, strong fighters and strong tasting fish as well.
The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 50 charters for the past week, with anglers reported a fish count of:
2 striped marlin, 29 bonito, 11 amberjack,16 cabrilla, 13 yellowtail, 36 huachinago (red snapper),116 sierra, 6 roosterfish, 22 dorado, 69 yellowfin tuna, 16 yellow snapper,
18 barred pargo, 4 dogtooth snapper, 12 shark and 450 black skipper.
Good fishing, Eric