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February 25, 2012
There was a noticeable increase in tourists this past week, as more visitors were arriving to enjoy the pristine wintertime weather and multitude of outdoor activities available. Sunny days, averaging 70 to 80 degrees, light to moderate variable winds with ocean water temperatures warming up a few degrees in recent days, now averaging 70 to 73 degrees, with even warmer currents found outside of San Jose del Cabo.
Sportfishing fleets are fishing areas all throughout the zone, from the grounds on the Pacific, to off Chileno, Palmilla, Punta Gorda, Iman Bank and north to Vinorama. Anglers found scattered action on a wide variety of species, no great bite on one specific fish, but the all around action has been comparatively on par for how wintertime action typically is. This is now the beginning of spring transition period, warmer currents start to return, attracting a particular food chain, with the array of gamefish following.
Anglers found spread out striped marlin action, no great concentrations, though a percentage of charters were accounting for multiple billfish days, the cleaner warming currents brought more fish closer to shore this past week, though often when encountered they were bait shy. Striped marlin were striking on trolled lures, as well as on baits such as caballito, skipjack, rigged ballyhoo and if you were fortunate enough to find, mackerel. Dorado were scattered now, as often they become in these cooler water temperatures, by next month we should see more of these prized golden dorado returning to local waters. There still are a few dorado being encountered, most of them juvenile sized, with warming water temperatures anything could happen at any given time.
Panga anglers found the most consistent action around the vicinity of the Iman Bank area. This is the spot where the yellowfin tuna have been the prized target species, despite being somewhat out of season, there have been schools of quality sized yellowfin tuna holding here and anglers are hooking up while drift fishing with sardinas, as well as on chunk bait. Heavy boat pressure, fast currents and big numbers of hungry skipjack and sea lions, all have contributed to up and down, hit or miss action, some days better than others, anglers felt fortunate to land one or two of these tuna, average weights were in the 30 to 60 pound range, with a fish pushing the one hundred pound mark seen in the area. These yellowfin were finicky, lots of boat pressure, sporadically coming to the surface, anglers using 30 to 40 pound line weights accounted for more hook ups, but many larger sized fish were broke off due to extended battles on the light gear. On some days the early morning bite would be best, while on others there was more activity later on.
For the San Jose del Cabo fleets, sardinas are now being netted near Vinorama, which is nearly a 20 mile run, but this is where this preferred tuna bait is now found, not many other options for sardinas, near Cabo San Lucas sardinas were abundant, though the bait was much smaller and this is not practical due to the location of the yellowfin tuna at this time. The Iman Bank is about three miles south of Vinorama, so this is the best deal for now.
Stronger currents this past week made it more difficult to fish bottom spots, though there was a wide mix of structure species caught, amberjack, yellowtail, pago, bonio, cabrilla, grouper and shark. No big run of yellowtail yet this season, best numbers were found along the Pacific shores, a few fish, here and there in the direction of Sea of Cortez, the yellows that were found, weighed 10 to 30 pounds. Drifting with baits and working yo-yo jigs were the two main techniques used for the bottom action. Typically this type of action peaks during the spring time months.
The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 83 charters for the past week, with anglers reported a fish count of:
6 striped marlin, 15 amberjack, 22 cabrilla, 23 yellowtail, 166 bonito, 24 huachinago, 42 sierra, 13 dorado, 1 wahoo, 105 yellowfin tuna, 35 yellow snapper and 312 skipjack.
Good fishing, Eric