January 12, 2013
Only moderate crowds of anglers are visiting the Los Cabos area now, this is the usual pattern to start off the New Year. We expect that as temperatures continue to plummet and freeze across the United Sates, that more people will be packing their suitcases and heading south in search of warm sunshine. Local weather has been mostly sunny, with highs into the mid 70s. Though coming days are forecast to be cooler, as a northern front will be sweeping our way, possibly several days of temperature in the high 60s, there are always a few days of year that are like this, after all we are in the midst of winter, sometimes we forget to realize that even pristine Southern Baja can have seasonal changes. Anglers need to remember to bring appropriate clothing, as early morning can dip to 50 degrees, without figuring the wind chill factor, but as the sun rises temperatures quickly become more comfortable.
The patterns of northern winds have continued, several days of winds, often 10 to 20 mph, then there will be a couple of nicer calm days, before the breeze prevails once again. Typical winter cycle, as water temperature are now averaging in the 70 to 75 degree range, depending on the location, warmest areas off of Cabo San Lucas. Despite this cooling trend the fishing has been very good considering the time of year, good number of dorado are being found throughout the region, with some nice sized fish of 30 pounds being encountered, lots of dorado in the 10 to 20 pound class. These fish usually start to migrate towards southern grounds soon, so we could be seeing the tail end of the season, then the dorado return later in the Spring. Dorado are striking on a variety of baitfish and on the normal array of lures, nicer quality dorado have been found offshore on the marlin grounds, where stripers continue to be found in good numbers, more so on the Pacific grounds.
There has been a variety of baitfish now available, but not all types on every day. Sardinas are being netted off the beaches near San Luis to Vinorama and then are brought south to off of Cardon or Punta Gorda in order to supply morning charters. Live mackerel, caballito are sometimes available and fresh ballyhoo is another option for targeting a variety of species, particularly dorado. The traditional baitfish ground off of San Jose del Cabo have been less consistent for the last two weeks, this is where more numbers of striped marlin had been found, now the marlin are scattered, further offshore and on the Pacific grounds.
Yellowfin tuna action has been slower now for the past several weeks, we are hearing about an occasional hook up on the Gordo Banks on yellowfin in the 40 to 150 pound class, but these are few and far between. There were schooling football sized tuna found congregating around tuna pens that were slowly be tugged north to new location, this was far offshore, 20 plus miles and at this time this option is now near Los Frailes and out of range. This lasted for several days though, but was never really a practical morning charter boat deal, more of a private boat option.
Wahoo are still in the area, everyday there are limited numbers encountered, some landed and more of them lost, typical thing when encountering wahoo, fish ranged from 10 to 40 pounds, striking yo-yo jigs, ballyhoo, sardinetas and a variety of lures. Anglers were fortunate to land one of two of them, they were elusive as usual.
Not much going off the bottom yet, though some anglers did find mixed action for pargo and cabrilla on days the winds allowed them to reach the structure. Sierra are now found schooling along the beaches, using sardinas have been the best choice of bait for finding this inshore action, with some juvenile sized roosterfish mixed in. There is incredible whale watching opportunities now, peak migration is in full swing, these mammals will be in local waters for the next several months.
The combined panga fleets out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, sent out approximately 107 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
2 sailfish, 17 striped marlin, 27 wahoo, 455 dorado, 125 yellowfin tuna, 88 sierra, 24 roosterfish, 12 cabrilla,15 bonito and 22 pargo
Good Fishing, Eric