October 8, 2011



October 8, 2011

The Fall season is now in full swing for Southern Baja, crowds of anglers are now arriving to enjoy this favorable time. Weather has been tropical, warm and very humid, scattered cloud cover, light to moderate winds, with cooler temperatures in the early morning. Presently there are two storm systems gaining strength off of Mexico, Hurricane Irwin and Tropical Storm Jova, both appear to be a bit undecided on what path they will follow, but they do appear to be turning around from there westerly path and back towards the mainland, these systems will be to be monitored closely, either way the seas are likely to be up some over the weekend and most certainly the humidity. This is now the tail end of tropical storm season, there has been a recent trend of late season storms, with ocean water temperatures still ranging from 86 to 90 degrees, weather patterns can be more unpredictable.

Supplies of sardina baitfish have been limited to schools found off the beach stretches from Palmilla to Santa Maria. This past week there were longer delays for anglers looking for this bait source, these fish also migrate and at this time are not very abundant, surely new sources towards the north will be scouted out soon. Some pangeros are jigging up Pacific moonfish with sabiki rigs in the marina channel are using these as another bait option for bottom species. Skipjack, bonito, bolito, cocinero, chihuil and other larger sized baitfish are being found on the fishing grounds.

Despite more favorable ocean conditions, anglers found the all around action to be slower and not up to local standards. Numbers ot fish caught per charter were limited at times to one, two or three fish, though there were also some very impressive catches made in recent days, this should raise anticipation as we near tournament time. Yellowfin tuna of over 200 lbs. were landed from the Gordo Banks, as well as blue and black marlin weighing in at more than 400 lbs. Consensus among locals is that as water temps drop towards 80 degrees we will see improved fish counts.

Dorado were spread throughout the region, found in small to larger sized schools, though most all of these fish have been smaller sized, only a small percentage of them over 15 pounds. A few wahoo were encountered in the warmer currents, we expect towards the end of the month these elusive speedsters will become more active, there were reports of wahoo up to 50 pound landed, off of the Pacific and north of Punta Gorda.

Off of the Gordo Banks there was no consistent bite this past week for the larger grade of yellowfin tuna, though a handful were landed this week, there were other extended hook ups lost. On Thursday there was a 235 pound yellowfin tuna weighed in that was landed from a La Playita panga. These tuna are now here in the area and surely with the warmer than normal conditions, they will be taking up residence for the season. Schooling yellowfin tuna were on the grounds of La Fortuna and Iman Bank, these tuna could be seen breezing and putting on a surface show, but also proved to be extremely line shy and not much interested in anglers presented offerings. Though there were some hook ups, with sardinas being the most productive bait for these fish that were weighed an average of 20 to 40 pounds. There was also a continued problem with too many aggressive black skipjack on these same areas. At times the tuna decided to come up later in the day when the tide was more favorable and less boat pressure.

The same areas of Iman and the Gordo Banks produced a variety of species, tuna, billfish and dorado on the surface, with a mix of bottom dwellers, dogtooth snapper, amberjack, yellowtail and grouper, most of these fish were striking on larger baitfish or cut baits, with some specimens weighed up to fifty pounds. There was a surprisingly good bite for yellowtail of 30 to 40 pounds on the Outer Gordo, but only a few anglers capitalized on these fish, which normally prefer cooler currents. This type of bottom fishing takes more experience than many anglers realize, even for the most skillful local skippers, it proves a real challenge to be able to hook these powerful fish and turn them away from the rock piles before they are able to cut off even your heavier eighty pound tackle.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 156 charters, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 2 black marlin, 9 striped marlin,2 blue marlin, 6 sailfish, 4 wahoo, 315 dorado, 202 yellowfin tuna, 18 bonito, 18 yellowtail, 24 cabrilla, 9 grouper, 13 dogtooth snapper, 14 roosterfish, 8 sierra and 25 amberjack..

Good Fishing, Eric

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