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March 3, 2012
Pristine spring like weather is now attracting crowds of early spring breakers to the Los Cabos area. Vacationers were greeted with mostly warm sunny skies, high temperatures in the upper 70s. Winds were variable, at times coming from all different directions, residing the later part of the week. Ocean water temperatures ranged from 68 to 71 degrees throughout most of the region, winds cooled off waters, now we are back on a warming trend. This will be the pattern now, as we transition from winter into the spring season, always unpredictable, up and down conditions, until stabilizing with the warmer conditions.
As conditions changed from day to day, anglers tried offshore, inshore and bottom options accordingly. With cooler waters temperatures, dorado and yellowfin tuna catches were very scattered, mostly single fish here or there taken. With the conditions now much calmer, we expect a few more yellowfin tuna to be found on the Iman Banks.
The month of February would certainly be considered very good tuna fishing on these local banks, this is normally a time when we do not see many tuna in local inshore waters. As a bonus these were a quality grade of fish, ranging from twenty on up to one hundred pounds, averaging 40 to 60 ponds. Never big numbers, but two, three or four of these winter time yellowfin tuna, along with a mix of other species, is a good all around catch for a morning trip.
Anglers were now finding improved action for structure species, such as yellowtail, amberjack, grouper, cabrilla, pargo, bonito and others. Drift fishing with weighted baits and working yo-yo jigs up off the bottom were both productive techniques. More numbers of yellowtail were found off of Cabo San Lucas, straight off the arches, to around along the Pacific beaches and off of Chileno, where some yellows up 20 or 30 pounds schooling on the rock piles. Off of the San Jose del Cabo fishing grounds there has yet to be a big run of yellowtail this winter, with reports of quality catches coming from Cabo San Lucas and off of the East Cape to La Paz, we expect to see greater concentrations of these powerful and sought after jacks showing up off of San Jose.
Sufficient supplies of sardinas have been available, they are being found near Palmilla Point and off the beaches near Vinorama. Some caballito and mullet from the commercial bait sellers as well. Plenty of skipjack on the fishing grounds, mixed in were some feisty good eating bonito, not the same Southern Californian species.
Sharks were prevalent on the Iman Bank this past week, caught while bottom fishing, mostly white tip reef sharks and hammerhead, a few mako sharks were landed as well. Most of these sharks were in the three to five foot range, of course they were a few larger. There must be an amble food source deep around the Iman Bank, attracting these foragers, spooking the tuna bite as well. Leopard grouper up to 15 pounds were taken in decent numbers, also yellow snapper, amberjack and some yellowtail, the yellows this season have been larger sized than normal.
Striped marlin action remains very spread out, though on any given day there are charters finding one or two fish. With warming weather we expect these billfish to become more active, April through June is typically the best season for stripers on the San Jose del Cabo grounds.
Options along the shoreline was mainly trolling for sierra or smaller sized roosterfish. So far the sierra action has not busted wide open, as you would expect for peak season, makes you think about the relentless gill net activity off of the more remote areas also having a major influence on our local inshore fishery.
The combined panga fleet launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 81 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 striped marlin, 1 mako shark, 19 hammerhead shark, 23 reef sharks, 15 yellowfin tuna, 24 dorado, 36 cabrilla, 11 grouper, 28 amberjack,17 yellowtail, 55 pargo, 66 bonito, 9 moharra, 38 sierra and 5 roosterfish.
Good fishing, Eric