February 27, 2011




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February 27, 2011

Anglers –


With the first slight hint of spring weather being felt in Southern Baja, visiting anglers found very pleasant conditions, mostly clear and sunny days, highs averaging 75 degrees. Swells were minimal, shifting currents, swift at times, water temperatures ranged from 68 to 72 degrees, warmer spots in the direction of the Sea of Cortez , ten to fifteen miles offshore of San Jose del Cabo. Winds have been variable, most prominent from the south, 8 to 14 mph. Schools of sardinas are presently most abundant off the beach stretches north of Punta Gorda to Vinorama, these baitfish have been available on a daily basis from the commercial panga fleet out of La Playita.

There was less bottom action found this past week, currents were a factor and the fact the schools of yellowtail were scattered, there were a wide variety of species being accounted for, just the numbers of total fish in the box was not as high as in previous weeks. Amberjack, yellowtail, cabrilla, grouper, pargo, skipjack and bonito were the most common species now being found off the rock piles, drifting over depths ranging from 100 to 160 ft. Most charters were targeting a combination of action, jigging off the bottom, trolling various surface plugs and lures, as well as drift fishing with sardinas.

With the water temperatures holding in the low 70s off of the San Jose del Cabo area, there has been improved trolling action, a few wahoo were even landed, a scattering of dorado and along the shoreline there were roosterfish and sierra found. Yellowfin tuna were encountered at times traveling with schools of porpoise, this was 3 to 20 miles offshore, matter of encountering the activity, boats that first found the tuna had the best chance, fish would go down as traffic arrived.

The yellowfin tuna action which has been keeping anglers happily busy on the Inner Gordo Banks for the past two weeks has continued, but has become a bit tougher by the day recently, not for a lack of fish, as hundreds of yellowfin tuna could be seen breezing on the surface, in all directions of the bank, just these fish were not that aggressive towards feeding on sardinas, having a taste for red crabs, preferring to gorge on these morsels which were now abundant in the depths on these grounds. Anglers that targeted these tuna, which averaged 15 to 50 pounds, have accounted for average catches ranging from zero tuna, with only skipjack, up to three or four quality sized tuna. The fish were line shy, spooky towards heavy leaders, anglers had best hook up ration on 20, 30 or 40 pound leaders.

Not much marlin activity on the Gordo Banks in recent days, as compared to last week when many stripers were being hooked up on smaller sardina baitfish, there was a 400 pound class blue marlin that struck a trolled petrolero lure, the out of season blue was landed and released from this area last weekend off of a private sportfisher. Water  was a bit more off colored on the banks and this back side of the full moon phase never seems to a favored period. Mackerel schools need to move into the zone, this will improve the billfish situation.

After having left for a week or so, groups of sea lions moved back onto the Gordo Banks and played havoc on anglers concentrating on the yellowfin bite. These sea lions were hungry, aggressively eating all of the sardina baits they could, then rapidly attacking any hooked fish and making anglers odds that much more difficult.

The combined panga fleet launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 67 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 wahoo, 2 striped marlin, 4 mako shark, 18 dorado, 88 yellowfin tuna, 16 bonito, 42 sierra, 24 roosterfish, 14 pargo, 12 amberjack, 14 cabrilla, 22 yellowtail and 18 triggerfish.


Good fishing, Eric




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