March 8, 2013
We saw weather patterns change during this first week of March, as conditions felt much more spring like, overcast, scattered clouds, increased humidity and high temperatures in the mid 80s. Not so cold in the early mornings, as near of a perfect climate as anyone could wish for. Great time to visit the Southern Baja area now, crowds are increasing as spring break has begun for some, not overly busy, just about right amount of visitors. North winds let up finally and this gave a chance for offshore ocean conditions to settle down and anglers reported having some epic marlin action on the fishing grounds of the famed Gordo Banks.
On Wednesday fleets fishing offshore of San Jose del Cabo reported finding concentrations of mackerel and other baitfish balled up on the surface and started to see number of striped marlin on these same grounds. The next day this baitfish activity switched to the Gordo Banks, where anglers were able to jig up their own mackerel in a hurry and then witness incredible marlin action, similar to what happens on the Pacific banks, such as Golden Gate. Striped marlin were seen in schools, at times by the hundreds and many charter boats accounted for multiple hook ups and three, four or five marlin landed in a short period of time. It is incredible how action can change just overnight, conditions switch around, currents move, cleaner water pushes in and with the huge influx of mackerel, the gamefish were right behind, following their food source. Will be interesting to see how long this action can sustain, local pangeros need to remember to not become overly greedy and take too many of these marlin for themselves, this is a good time for authorities to enforce regulations, such as no commercial sale of any billfish.
The marlin bite was definitely the highlight of the week, but the bottom action also started to heat up, particularly off of the rock piles further north, towards San Luis and Vinorama, this is where anglers reported quality action while using yo-yo jigs for amberjack up to 40 pounds, grouper, cabrilla, pargo and a couple of yellowtail in the mix. East Cape and La Paz areas are now reporting very impressive catches on large sized yellowtail and we are encouraged that these same fish will also take up residence on the local grounds off San Jose del Cabo. Promising signs now, with the winds residing, loads of baitfish on the fishing grounds, supplies of sardinas rebounding near San Luis, water clarity improving and with the weather now on a noticeable warming trend, these favorable conditions should only improve. Though we most certainly will have some more northern winds this month, it does appear that the worst of these persistent northerlies are over with and we will start to have more options open up as offshore conditions become more comfortable.
Ocean temperatures are now ranging from 68 to 72 degrees. There are still significant numbers of whales in the area, expecting that they will be headed north soon as the weather continues to warm. Sierra are the most common fish found close to shore, also some smaller sized roosterfish, jack crevalle and a handful of dorado found near shore, often seen chasing ballyhoo.
Not much yellowfin action found recently, though there were reports of seeing yellowfin outside of Gordo breaking the surface, but they were hard to hook into. On Thursday a couple of tuna up to 120 pounds were taken on chunk bait off of the Outer Gordo Bank,
first of these fish caught off of these grounds that we have heard about for over a week. This does provide proof that tuna are still hanging around the Gordo Banks, plenty of food on these grounds, so the tuna proved finicky as they normally are.
This week the combined panga fleets launching out of Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters and anglers accounted for a fish count of:
22 striped marlin, 3 yellowfin tuna, 46 dorado, 240 sierra, 16 roosterfish, 10 jack crevalle, 20 amberjack,19 cabrilla, 48 mixed pargo species, 5 yellowtail, 14 bonito and 16 triggerfish.
Good Fishing, Eric