Light crowds of visitors now traveling to Southern Baja. Conditions are practically perfect, high temperatures in the mid 80s, warming air and ocean temperatures is creating more marina cloud cover, afternoon breezes make the spring climate very pleasant. Water temperatures were on a warming trend throughout this past week and at this time there is 76 degrees pushing in from outside of the Gordo Banks area. From Cab San Lucas to Los Frailes the inshore water is ranging from 72 to 74 degrees. Conditions and fishing action can change rapidly at this time of year.
Increasing ocean swells from the south made it difficult for pangeros to net any sardinas, so in recent days live sardinas were not available and anglers were using the larger caballito, which remained plentiful from the marina area. Though these baits are purchased per piece, not to be used freely for chumming with, such as with the sardinas. More bolito are now schooling on the fishing grounds and these are being caught early in the day for use as bait. Also at times pelagic red crabs have been surfacing, being netted and used for bait over the bottom structure.
Striped marlin action has dominated the offshore action for the past few months, but this past week we saw wide open action, as the numbers of marlin on the local grounds significantly increased, anglers were regularly accounting for multiple catches on striped marlin ranging to to 150 pounds. In recent days there has been a hot spot found between the Outer Gordo Bank and the 1150 high spot, ten to twelve miles offshore, but the stripers are being found throughout the region, at times within a couple miles of shore. The marlin are striking on a variety of trolled baits and artificial lures. Local panga fleets were reported incredible success while slow trolling with dead bolito, while caballito and skipack also worked, the billfish seemed to prefer the bolito, striking on the fresh dead bait without hesitation. Many double and even triple hook ups were reported, these marlin were encountered in concentrations. As skipjack and bolito schools increasingly congregate on the fishing grounds, this is now attracting larger concentrations of gamefish. Continued reports of mako and thresher sharks found on the same offshore fishing grounds and more dorado also appeared in the fish counts, no real numbers yet, just single fish being encountered, hooked on trolled lures or bait, the majority of the dorado have been of larger size, with a handful of impressive sized bulls up close to fifty pounds accounted for from the same marlin grounds. A few wahoo stories being talked about and we look for these elusive fish to become more active with the warming currents and their favored bolito food source appearing.
With the lack of sardinas and higher surf conditions, there was not much to report for inshore action, anglers had other options of fishing rocky structure areas, from 50 ft. to 200 ft. Anglers found mixed results on a wide variety of species, most common were yellow snapper, barred pargo, huachinango (red snapper), amberjack, cabrilla (leopard grouper) and triggerfish. On some days good early morning action was reported on yo-yo jigs and live caballito, many heavier fish were cutting lines off in the rocks. Red crabs were sporadically found on the surface and being used successfully for red snapper bait, even an occasional amberjack hit on these small crabs. Sea lions were also hanging around their favorite snapper grounds and were a negative factor to deal with. Bottom species become finicky when the grounds are plugged with red crabs and all of the fish acquire a preferred taste for these crabs and not much or anything else. With persistence and patience there were quality catches accoutered for, all excellent eating specimens and we certainly enjoyed the improved action.
The combined local panga fleets launching from La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 52 charters for the week, with anglers reported a fish count of: 86 striped marlin, 6 mako shark, 2 thresher shark, 23 dorado, 22 barred pargo, 86 yellow snapper, 4 yellowtail, 34 amberjack, 28 cabrilla, 14 pompano, 48 triggerfish, 42 sierra, 1 yellowfin tuna and 12 roosterfish.
Good fishing, Eric