July 14, 2012
Summertime weather patterns have definitely arrived in Southern Baja. This past week was very tropical, first real heat wave of the season, humidity steadily increased as three storms developed to the south and all followed similar westerly paths, staying well clear of any landfall. First there was Dennis, then Emilia, which did become a major Hurricane and now there is TS Fabio which is still gaining strength as it follows a more northwesterly track. No local rainfall to date, forecasts are predicting a chance of precipitation this weekend. So far the only impact for the Los Cabos area has been the muggy humid conditions and higher ocean swells, up to eight feet, some rainfall would be welcome, as the landscape is parched due to an extended drought.
Crowds of anglers remained light as fishing action has not been up to normal Cabo standards, main reason being the unusual weather patterns, rapidly changing ocean currents. This week started out with settled calmer conditions, blue water was even being reported for the first time in what seems like months now, water temperatures averaged 83/84 degrees to about 20 miles offshore, where it dropped into the 80 degree range. As the week progressed seas became more unpredictable due to the trio of storms brewing to the south, even though these systems were some 500 miles distant, they were powerful enough to create rough conditions on local fishing grounds.
The dorado action around the commercial set buoys north of San Luis Bank which had been the main option for San Jose del Cabo fleets last week came to a standstill, the charters that did make the 25 to 35 mile run to these buoys reported that no dorado were found congregating there anymore. So fleets spread out looking for other options, as choppy offshore conditions developed and strong currents limited what could be found.
One productive option for anglers was to depart very early and head to San Luis Bank and use yo-yo style jigs to target huachinango (red snapper), these true Pacific snapper were hitting well early on the jigs, weighing to 12 lb., mixed in were some amberjack in the 5 to 30 pound class, a few cabrilla and grouper to 30 lb. and even a couple of yellowtail to 30 lb.This bite held up strong until midweek when weather put a damper on things and the current became so swift that anglers could hardly get their five ounce jigs to sink.
In the mean time other charters scouted further offshore and found scattered action around the Gordo Banks area for sailfish, striped marlin and dorado, no significant numbers, but a few quality fish were accounted for, including bull dorado up to fifty pounds. A few missed wahoo strikes were reported, determined by the telltale cut lines and lure skirts.
Yellowfin tuna were making an appearance now in the daily fish counts, most of the time they were found not associated with porpoise activity, they were encountered 30 to 40 miles from launching area, not the normal traveling distance for day charters. More concentrations were located off of Los Frailes, but tuna were also now being found off of Cabo San Lucas and offshore of Chileno. Once the tuna schools were found anglers could troll virtually any type of lure and catch quick limits on yellowfin tuna that averaged 10 to 20 pounds, but went up to 40 lb. We do expect this type of action to continue and move within more reasonable range as summer ocean conditions stabilize
Inshore action consisted mainly of slow trolling caballito of mullet baits for roosterfish, bite was a bit slower with higher surf conditions, sometimes best early and on other days later in the morning, there were some impressive roosterfish to fifty pounds landed. The only sardinas now being found, have been north of Los Frailes, Los Cabos fleets have had caballito, mullet, moonfish or jurelito.
The combined panga fleet out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 67 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 18 dorado, 85 yellowfin, 28 amberjack, 2 yelowtail, 9 grouper, 17 cabrilla, 6 jack crevalle, 34 roosterfish, 18 yellow snapper, 10 bonito, 115 huachinango (red snapper) and 28 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric