Near Miss by Hurricane Dolores, Ports Reopen ~ July 18, 2015

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Anglers –
July `18, 2015

After a quiet few weeks of calm weather with no tropical storm activity, things became busy once again in the Eastern Pacific. With two named systems developing quickly early in the week, Hurricane Dolores and Tropical Storm Enrique, of which only Dolores moved close enough to impact Southern Baja, this storm reached category four strength at one point while churning over warm waters some 200 plus miles west of Cabo San Lucas, we all felt fortunate that this storm stayed far enough from land to not cause any devastating damage. The main impact we felt was that all ocean activities were halted on Tuesday, as the Ports of Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Los Cabos were closed with posted Red Flag conditions. There was only scattered rainfall felt, more of this towards Todo Santos, with winds to 30 mph, ocean swells peaked close to 15 feet high on Thursday. We do expect that the Ports will reopen over the weekend sometime and sportfishing charters and other outdoor activities will resume.

Prior to the stormy ocean conditions forcing port closures we were seeing improved action for yellowfin tuna and dorado. Dorado were just making more of a presence before the latest storm system, weights up to 20 lb. Most of the yellowfin were smaller 5 to 10 lb. fish, though there were some larger tuna in the area. Skipper Chame Pino on the super panga “Killer II” out of La Playita landed a 140 pound yellowfin tuna off of the Gordo Banks while using a fresh lively bolito for bait. This area has been plagued with sharks recently, making it hard to keep a bait in the water long enough without having a shark grab onto it, before any other gamefish has a chance. Hopefully these pesky sharks move elsewhere soon so that anglers have more opportunities. Ocean temperatures were nearing the 85 degree range in some areas, likely that currents have cooled slightly with choppy seas through much of the week, clarity will be stirred up for a bit as conditions take time to rebound.

Live bait sources remained much the same, with caballito and a mix of some moonfish being available. Only limited supplies of sardinas were found for a few days before the storm, now bait suppliers will need to search all over again for possible resources.

Roosterfish had become much more scattered during the past week, most productive reports came from areas near Vinorama, where good numbers of quality sized roosterfish were encountered. Only a handful of dogtooth snappers were reported, most of these were seen very briefly, as they engulfed slow trolled bait and immediately headed for the nearest rock outcropping to cut the leader. Time we should see these big snapper showing up on the offshore banks.

There continued to be chances at early morning action off of San Luis Bank for red snapper (huachinango) while working yo-yo jigs, with some of these fish nearing 15 lb., though this action was showing signs of slowing down in the rapidly warming waters.

Billfish action was scattered, no particular hot spot, warmer currents had the main migration of striped marlin moving towards Southern California. Sailfish were encountered in limited numbers, as we near August we expect more black and blue marlin to arrive on the local fishing grounds. With all of the smaller sized yellowfin tuna now present, these are a favored food source for big gamefish.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 21 charters for storm shortened week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 26 dorado, 2 wahoo, 78 yellowfin tuna, 1 dogtooth snapper, 7 yellow snapper, 6 jack crevalle, 9 bonito, 16 roosterfish and 18 huachinango (red snapper).

Good fishing, Eric

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