May 12, 2012
Springtime weather in Southern Baja is starting to feel more like summer, as high temperatures were reaching 90 degrees, though early in the morning there was still a slight chill inthe air, in reality the climate now is ideal, with variable breezes later in the day helping to keep conditions comfortable. Ocean currents are now coolest on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, where it is averaging 68 to 69 degrees, in the direction of the Gordo Banks anglers are finding warmer water of 74 to 76 degrees. Early in the week there was a day when we felt serious thunder with lightning strikes throughout the area, only scattered reports of actually rainfall, but where it did rain, the drops were large, very tropical and unusual for this time of year. The majority of the sportfishing fleets were fishing on the grounds off of Chileno to the 1150 spot, the Gordo Banks and north towards Iman, Desteladera and San Luis Banks.
Live bait options remained plentiful for caballito and after becoming scarce for a couple of weeks, nice sized sardinas were once again available, pangeros found schools of these baitfish inshore near San Luis, with calmer surf conditions, this gave the netters opportunities to reach the baitfish. There was also the option of purchasing bags of fresh dead sardinas from the dock area and they were being used mainly for chumming over shallow rocky areas for catching a mix of bottom species. Larger concentrations of bolito are now schooling on the fishing grounds, being caught early in the day for use as trolling baits on the same grounds.
The red hot striped marlin action encountered last week off of San Jose del Cabo tapered off for several days during the recent moon period. In the past day or so the action seems to be rebounding, many stripers were seen tailing on the surface, a percentage of these were striking lures or bait, while many showed no interest. The area from the Gordo Banks to the 1150 spot seemed to have the larger concentration of billfish. There were fewer dorado encounters this past week, only a scattering of mostly single fish found. There were reports of schooling dorado found near shark buoys north of Gordo, but these do-dos apparently had lock jaw and would not hit on anything.
Yellowfin tuna were not found with any consistency, some days anglers did find larger sized yellowfin of 100 pounds plus, breezing in the same area with porpoise, these fish would come up and feed on chummed sardinas, but just would not strike any baits with hooks with them, strange to see tuna act in this manner, but it is not all that uncommon, with the abundance of natural food source on the banks these fish can become obsessed with feeding on a particular resource on their own schedule. There were a handful of medium sized tuna hooked into while trolling Rapalas near the Iman to San Luis area, but still hit or miss.
More reports now heard of seeing free swimming wahoo and occasional hook ups, despite limited numbers, still very encouraging to see these pelagic becoming more active, it seems that they always prefer water temperature in the mid to upper 70s. The wahoo being hooked now have ranged from 10 to 70 pounds, the larger specimens were landed on the marlin grounds on trolled bolito, though more numbers of the ‘hoo were encountered closer to shore, north of Punta Gorda, striking sardinas, yo-yo’s and Rapalas.
With offshore fishing action still producing limited options, many panga charter charters are fishing closer to shore over the rocky structure for a quality mix of great eating species, most of these fish are striking on caballito or sardinas, with some mixed success had on yo-yo jigs as well. Amberjack up to 60 pounds were accounted for, with a few yellowtail of 10 to 30 pounds in the mix, yellow snapper, barred pargo, huachinango, leopard grouper and pompano rounded out the action. In the past couple of days anglers enjoyed the seasons first consistent action for quality and quantity of pompano, these jacks were averaging ten pounds, striking on live bait close to shore two miles north of Puerto Los Cabos, off of La Salinas. These are some of the finest eating fish found in local waters and that includes a smorgasbord list of others.
Trolling the beach stretches has produced sierra, jack crevalle and roosterfish. There were reports of dogtooth snapper starting to show up as well, time to break out the stout tackle for these brutes.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 62 charters this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 21 striped marlin, 7 wahoo, 14 dorado, 8 yellowfin tuna, 34 barred pargo, 65 yellow snapper, 18 sierra, 27 amberjack, 8 yellowtail, 27 cabrilla, 28 roosterfish, 98 pompano, 8 mako shark and 16 hammerhead sharks.
Good Fishing, Eric