October 13, 2012
We are seeing larger crowds of anglers arriving daily, as this is now the start of the peak fall season, time when weather patterns stabilize, fishing is great and there is much excitement with the many high stake tournaments just around the corner. Weather is more comfortable now, mornings actually have a slight chill to them, days are clear and warm and breezes are predominately from the north. Ocean water temperature is ranging from 85 to 88 degrees, warmest areas in the direction of San Jose del Cabo. There is a low pressure system forming to the south at this time, but it looks as though it will head west and stay clear of the Baja Peninsula. There has been a trend for the last few years that late season storms have developed later in October, with the water being so warm, anything could happen, we will hope that they stay clear of impacting our area.
Fleets are fishing in all directions, off of San Jose the best areas have been either around the Iman Bank or on the Gordo banks, though in recent days there has been a bite developing from Palmilla to Santa Maria. Most common species being found are dorado and yellowfin tuna, with a few sailfish, wahoo and miscellaneous bottomfish mixed in. There have been sardinas available, some days north near Vinorama and also now being found off of Palmilla Point, this has opened up more options of where charters can plan to concentrate their efforts. Lots of boat pressure in all directions now and we have seen up to a couple of dozen East Cape area cruisers making the long run south to fish on the Iman Bank, which must mean that there has not been much action going on in their local waters.
The yellowfin tuna bite has been up and down, lots of skipjack mixed in and also some pesky aggressive sea lions to deal with. Most of the yellowfin near Iman and towards Santa Maria have been in the 10 to 20 lb. range, the larger tuna are hanging around the Gordo Banks, everyday there have been a handful of fish accounted for that have been in the 100 to 200 plus pound range, at times biting early and other days preferred to come up and feed late in the day, no big numbers, but there is a chance at a very large yellowfin, these fish have been hitting on larger sized whole baits, as well as on drifted chunk bait. Many stories were told of big fish being lost.
Average catches per day on the smaller grade of tuna found closer to shore while using sardinas for bait varied from one or two fish on as many as 15 fish per boat. Action varied from each location every day, depending on bait supply, sea lion problem and the aggressive skipjack.
Dorado were more numerous on a daily basis, heard of some fast action on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas and there were quite a few dorado around the Iman area as well, most of the dorado were medium sized, 5 to 20 pounds, a few exceptions of larger bulls accounted for. Once found these fish would readily strike on lures and bait. Remember to respect the two fish limit per person for dorado, also try to release as many of the smaller fish as possible, particularly the females, easily identified by their rounded forehead, versus the squared off heads of the males. These fish start to spawn as juveniles and grow up to five pounds a month, important to conserve the future of this fishery.
Not much being found off the bottom recently, perhaps the water temperature is too warm and the fish are hiding in the structure or seeking out deeper cooler areas, hard to say what is going on, a few amberjack, snapper, cabrilla, triggerfish and even a couple of yellowtail and roosterfish hanging over the rock piles.
Wahoo are started to show, every day we are seeing a few of them brought in, some hitting on lures, such as Rapalas, others are striking on baits in the same area where the tuna and dorado are found, Many of the wahoo have been smaller than what we normally see, though some of them were up to 30 pounds.
Billfish action has been spread out, we know of one nice black marlin that was lost on the Gordo Banks, hear about more blue marlin showing off of Cabo San Lucas, off of San Jose’s grounds there have been a few sailfish and striped marlin encountered. Lots of skipjack on the grounds and with the football sized tuna around, we do expect to see some more black and blue marlin to appear.
The combined panga fleets out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, sent out approximately 202 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
11 sailfish, 3 striped marlin, 17 wahoo, 2 yellowtail, 12 amberjack, 18 pargo, 6 sierra, 7 roosterfish, 440 dorado, 585 yellowfin tuna and 5 rainbow runners.
Good Fishing, Eric