January 11, 2014
The Holiday Season has come to an end, school’s are back in session, work schedules are set and it is now time to start the New Year. Also a great time to start thinking about planning another adventure south of the border, where there is plenty of warm sunshine and activities to enjoy. While there was an Arctic freeze that swept through much of the United States this past week, Southern Baja was basking in balmy winter weather conditions, sunny days with highs of 75 to 80 degrees. Winds were blowing predominately out of the north, but not overly strong and anglers enjoyed comfortable ocean conditions most days. Water temperatures ranged from 72 to 75 degrees, warmest areas located 30 to 40 miles offshore, in the direction of the Sea of Cortez.
Sportfishing fleets found action for striped marlin on the Pacific, close to shore near the Old Light House, where concentrations of baitfish schooled. On the outside of Cabo San Lucas, 30 miles of more offshore, charters were finding action for yellowfin tuna which were associated with moving porpoise, many of these yellowfin were of the football sized, several days there were tuna close to the 100 pound class being accounted for while trolling lures in the area where porpoise were working. Still no source for sardinas, which would help start up a consistent bite for schooling tuna. Though one local pangero that acquired sardinas from a boat that netted them near Vinorama on Friday, landed a 80 lb. yellowfin tuna on a dead sardina while drift fishing the San Luis Bank. There good numbers of tuna on these grounds, though you need the correct baitfish to entice them, we are hoping the sardina situation becomes a more reliable consistent source. There have been caballito and ballyhoo available most days, skipjack and bolito have also been found on the fishing grounds, a good option for cut baits.
Inshore action was just starting to pick up on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, lots of good sized sierra were being hooked into while trolling with hoochies. Though we have now heard of reported commercial gill net activity on these same stretches of beaches, these nets are set in the evening and hauled out early in the day in hopes of being more discrete, though the damage is blatantly evident, these pirate coop operations never seem to get much bad publicity until whales or porpoise become entangled, this form of fishing is absolutely indiscriminate, trapping any species that happens to swim through the particular set zone, including fish, turtles and mammals. New sanctions are definitely in order to help protect this fragile inshore ecosystem from complete collapse, this unique diverse fishery is such a valuable natural resource and can be sustained for future generations if managed properly.
San Jose del Cabo fleets are now working areas from Santa Maria to the Gordo Banks and north to San Luis, ocean conditions were greenish as a result of the cooler north winds, though a few dorado and an occasional wahoo are still being encountered while trolling surface lures or rigged baits, though no significant numbers for these fish, these pelagic species are migrating south now, following their preferred temperate currents and food sources. Anglers have been finding good action on bonito while jigging yo-yo’s or trolling smaller sized rapalas, these fish averaged from 4 to 8 pounds. There were a handful of smaller sized yellowfin tuna being hooked into on the yo-yo jigs where the concentrations of bonito are. A few cabrilla, pargo and triggerfish were also in the mix.
Scattered billfish action off of the San Jose del Cabo, quite a few mako sharks in this region now, some even struck on high speed lures and many were hooked into on various baits, most resulting in cut lines. These sharks always seem prefer these cooling currents, usually a sign that mackerel schools are not far away.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 85 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, 16 yellowfin tuna, 315 bonito, 14 sierra, 10 roosterfish, 88 dorado, 8 mako shark, 2 grouper, 18 pargo and 40 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric