January 6, 2018
The New Year started off with continued large crowds of Holiday tourists visiting Los Cabos. Though next week numbers of visitors will be much lighter, as it will be time when people return to work and school classes resume. While people across North America were enduring frigid record setting icy cold temperatures, local weather has been very ideal considering this is the middle of winter, though low temperatures dipped down into the upper 50s, daytime highs reached near 80 degrees. Mostly sunny skies with variable clouds, light wind and swells in recent days made for great conditions for anglers taking advantage of great late season action for a variety of gamefish. Ocean temperature were in the 74 to 78 degree range, warm enough to keep action hot for the surface pelagic species.
With the Pacific being the best area to find striped marlin action in recent weeks, particularly towards Golden Gate Bank, though this action for the billfish is now switching closer to Cabo San Lucas and on to the grounds off of San Jose del Cabo, because the schooling mackerel, the favored food source, are also now abundant off of San Jose del Cabo. We anticipate to see the marlin bite open up in coming weeks
The most common action being consistently targeted has been the bite for yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo, with the most productive grounds being from off of Palmilla, Punta Gorda and to La Fortuna, all within a couple miles of shore. Sardinas are being netted in the surf zones, from Palmilla to Cabo Real, these are now the best bait for having success on the yellowfin tuna, as well as dorado, though caballito, mackerel and sardineta are also being used. The yellowfin are striking best while drift fishing baits, at times they are seen feeding and proving to be finicky, lots of boat pressure this past week, but with patience many nice tuna in the 10 to 25 lb. class were being landed.
Best chances for dorado were on the same grounds where the tuna were found, running in smaller sized schools, striking the sardinas and the larger baits, slow trolling was the belter technique for the dorado, sizes ranged 5 to 20 lb. Nice late season bonus, actually for the past month we have seen better dorado action than during the previous fall months.
Wahoo action rebounded again this past week, though as we know, these fish are especially susceptible to becoming finickier when there are larger crowds of boats. For anglers that specifically targeted the wahoo while slow trolling larger baitfish either off of Punta Gorda or Palmilla, they did well, landing as many as two, three or four or five wahoo per morning, with other strikes lost. Handful of these fish also hit on cast yo-yo jigs or higher speed trolled lures, but by far the best chance was on larger baits such as caballito, mackerel, sardineta or chihuil.
There were many wahoo coming in that were in the 10 to 25 range, but there were also equal numbers of fish in the 30 to 45 lb. range accounted for. We expect the wahoo action to continue through the month, as long as we do not get blasted too much from frigid north winds. Water conditions are ideal now, as clean blue water is found within one mile of shore, also an abundance of baitfish in the area, these factors contribute to making the wahoo even more active.
Bottom action was spotty, even though winds were moderate, there was still strong currents running. Best action was found off the shallower rock reefs, using chunk bait in about 70 to 90 feet of water, a variety of snapper, pargo, cabrilla, triggerfish, bonito and a handful of amberjack, including one we saw in the 60 lb. class.
Good numbers of juvenile roosterfish moved in off of the hotel zone, remember to release these prized fighting gamefish when at all possible, they are not known for their eating quality. Only limited numbers of sierra now being encountered, as water cools we should see increased numbers of these.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 160 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 6 striped marlin, 72 wahoo, 15 sierra, 470 yellowfin tuna, 310 dorado, 11 amberjack, 21 yellow snapper, 17 barred pargo, 24 Eastern Pacific bonito, 35 white skipjack, 42 roosterfish, 28 cabrilla and 160 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric