Just like clockwork the busy fall season has now started, with the first of the annual series of high stake billfish tournaments now just completed, the grandest event of all, the Black and Blue Bisbee is slated for next week. The local San Jose del Cabo Team on the 35 ft. Cabo “Fishermen” has officially won the overall jackpot for the largest Black Marlin of the event, the black was subdued in only 32 minutes and weighed in at 713 pounds, the same team also accounted for the only other black marlin on the final day of the tournament, it weighed in at 466 pounds. One 629 pound blue marlin was also weighed in on the first day by the team aboard the “Sneak Attack” and on the last day a 465 blue marlin was weighed in by the team on the “Rum Runin”. The weather conditions are what you would call just about perfect now, no late season storms on the horizon, which did happen during this same time frame last year, mostly clear skies, some scattered clouds, light breezes, minimal swells, water temperatures averaging 84 to 86 degrees, evenings and early mornings are just beginning to cool off to the point where light wind breakers might be needed, all around excellent fishing conditions for anglers. The Southern Baja landscape is now green after the rains from a couple of weeks ago, but surely will dry out quickly if the region does not receive additional rainfall soon.
Fleets have been fishing in all different directions, but the majority of the most consistent action was now being found from Santa Maria to Iman areas. Sardinas are being netted off of the Palmilla Point area, small to medium sized, they have bait the bait of choice for enticing the football sized yellowfin tuna to bite. The action was a bit up and down, with lots of skipjack mixed in, most charters are finding limits of the yellowfin for their anglers. A few dorado mixed in, though most of them were juvenile sized, only an occasional bull topping the 20 pound mark.
Wahoo were being caught in limited numbers every day, on the same fishing rounds as where the tuna and dorado were, striking on trolled lures, as well on larger baitfish for the few anglers that did try that. The area of La Fortuna produced perhaps the best action on the wahoo, particularly earlier in the day, the sizes of the ‘hoo ranged up to 50 pounds. We do expect the wahoo bite to become more consistent as the water temperatures drops more into their preferred range near 80 degrees.
Anglers out of La Playita on the panga fleets have had the option of jigging moonfish on sabiki rigs right in the marina channel and using them for live baits off of the bottom structure. These baits were particularly productive on the Iman Bank in recent days for amberjack, which have been weighing an average of 30 to 60 pounds, though on Friday a monster 97 pound amberjack was landed. Some grouper and dogtooth snapper have also been accounted for, but amberjack have been the most numerous bottom species, many boats are accounting for two to six ambers, all of which are of quality size. The same time anglers are drifting these larger baits near the bottom there are yellowfin tuna being found on the surface, which have preferred the live sardinas.
The bite for the larger grade of yellowfin tuna on the Gordo Banks continued to be very slow for the second consecutive week, though a handful of tuna in the 50 to 70 pound range were landed, most of these fish were landed by the commercial panga fleet which were fishing later in the afternoon when these tuna were becoming more active.
I was called down to the dock Friday at 10 a.m. to weigh in a large yellowfin tuna. It officially weighed 335.5 pounds. It was caught on rod and reel by a group of local La Playita pangeros, headed by Sergio Carillo. They hooked it on a small dead sardina on the Inner Gordo Bank, using 80 pound main line with a 60 pound fluorocarbon leader and landed it in one and a half hours, it became tail wrapped and was brought up dead from the depths. So another super cow has been accounted for from the Gordo Banks as we build up towards the WON Tuna Jackpot Tournament.
A few sierra are now showing up near the shoreline, early in the season, especially consider the warm water temperature, as sierra do prefer much cooler conditions.
Billfish are scattered throughout the zone in limited numbers, though there is a chance at a variety, with striped, blue and black marlin in the area, as well as some sailfish.
The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 101 charters for the week, with anglers accounted for: 3 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 19 wahoo, 42 dorado, 695 yellowfin tuna, 9 dogtooth snapper, 9 barred pargo, 116 amberjack, 7 grouper, 4 rainbow runner, 12 sierra and 6 cabrilla.
Good fishing, Eric