May 29, 2011


May 29, 2011

There was a noticeable increase in crowds of tourists this past week, as southern swells attracted surfers and warming ocean currents brought in sought after gamefish, giving anglers a wide variety of options to choose from. The large swell has resided from last week’s peak, but lingering waves are still providing fun sport. Water temperatures are now up into the 80 degree range, clarity has fluctuated, blue water shifting closer and further from day to day, conditions are steadily stabilizing and anglers are anticipating wide open action on the horizon

The swell activity last week had a negative impact on the fishing action, scattered inshore bait schools and pushed in off colored currents, but now this cycle has reversed, as schools of mullet and other baitfish are appearing in greater numbers close to shore, this has attracted larger sized roosterfish, jack crevalle, sierra, pompano, dogtooth snapper, grouper and amberjack. In recent days there was one roosterfish weighed in at 84 pounds, landed from a 22 ft. panga out of La Playita, it was hooked into off of the La Laguna area. Many jack crevalle in the 20 pound plus range were seen chasing bait schools and dogtooth snapper are starting to move into the shallow rocky reefs, looking to ambush their prey. Remember to bring your heavy tackle if interested in targeting and actually landing one of these king of the snapper species, they average about 30 pounds and can reach 80 pounds or more. These same areas can also produce grouper, amberjack and pompano during late spring. Slow trolling with larger sized live baits seems to be the most productive technique for this style of inshore world class action. Surf anglers have had reports of catching roosterfish, pargo, sierra, yellowtail, jack crevalle and even at least one snook was reportedly landed off of the San Jose Estuary area, this action should begin to peak in the coming weeks.

Warming waters have brought in more exotic species, such as dorado and wahoo, still no significant numbers, but daily these fish are being found, trolling lures and drift fishing with baits both produced action. A few wahoo were taken on rapalas, others on sardinas and yo-yo’s, many lines were cut. Wahoo were weighing 30 to 50 pounds. Most of the dorado now being encountered were quality sized, in the 15 to 30 pound class, a few larger bulls mixed in. Exciting to see these fish in local waters, it has been a while, should be here to stay through the fall, as days will only become progressively warmer.

Striped marlin were being found in big numbers, anywhere from 2 to 15 miles from shore, hot spot in recent days has been off of San Jose del Cabo, more often than not mid day has been best, these billfish are aggressively striking lures and readily taking dropped back baits, at other times they would act like they were not interested, apparently preferring to gorge on the available natural food supply. The majority of these stripers have been in the 80 to 120 pound range.

Yellowfin tuna has been a main target species, as fish ranging from 15 to 250 pounds have been found, schooling on the San Luis Bank and encountered associated with porpoise further offshore. There had not been any live sardinas available during last week’s high swell, but in recent days there has been a new source for anglers out of San Jose, as commercial pangeros are making the long round trip run to La Ribera and back to supply sardinas to local sport charters. This has been the bait of choice for drifting over the banks, besides the yellowfin tuna, there have been dorado, wahoo and an occasional billfish encounter.

Keith Maurer’s group from New Jersey was fishing on Monday with La Playita skipper Chame Pino when they first caught a 90 pound class tuna, which there were very pleased with and rightfully so. This proved to be just a warm up, the next fish they hooked into really tested their endurance, after a three hour marathon battle on stout sixty pound tackle they finally brought to gaff a monster cow sized yellowfin tuna of 250 pounds. This cow had hit on a live jack, which was being soaking underneath a large bait ball. Massive bait schools are now spread throughout the area and things are really shaping up to bust wide open. The fish are here now, a little finicky at times, no huge numbers, but quality is definitely there for the taking, would not be surprised to see the season’s first 300 pound super cow be brought in to the La Playita weigh stations in the near future. Most everyday now we have been seeing yellowfin to 80 or 100 pounds, other monsters have been hooked and lost. There are still more tuna of 15 to 30 pounds being hooked on the sardinas, while the best chance of hooking into a cow has been on larger live baits.

This nest week local residents are gearing up for the traditional national holiday of the “Dia de la Marina”. In La Playita they have always taken this fiesta seriously, celebrating with three days of activities, including all night dances, carnival rides, parades, horse races and of course plenty of cerveza (beer). There will be the annual dorado, wahoo, tuna tournament. Organizers have scheduled an off road race that will be circuited through La Playtita, then into the hills, before returning to finish in La Playita, should be exciting, to say the least, to witness Baja Trophy Trucks thundering through local roads.

The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 80 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of:

3 sailfish, 39 striped marlin, 57 dorado, 86 yellowfin tuna, 24 amberjack, 7 dogtooth snapper, 58 various pargo species,12 wahoo, 55 roosterfish,88 jack crevalle, 11 cabrilla, 9 pompano, 8 hammerhead shark and 18 sierra.

Good fishing, Eric

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