Pelagic Red Crabs Swarm and Snapper Action Goes Off ~ March 8, 2014


March 8, 2014
Anglers –

As the first wave of spring break travelers continue to arrive in Los Cabos, they are being greeted with absolutely beautiful pristine weather conditions, with high temperatures hovering near the 80 degree mark, clear skies and plenty of warm sunshine. Winds have been light and anglers enjoyed very pleasant days on the ocean. Swells were slight and we have seen warmer currents sweeping in, with water temperature now averaging 72 degrees on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas and increasing to 74/78 degree in the direction of the Sea of Cortez and the Gordo Banks, just outside of these grounds is where the warmest water is now located.

The Golden Gate Banks has continued to be the hot spot for finding striped marlin, also fair numbers of dorado reported from the Pacific grounds. While the billfish action in the direction of San Jose del Cabo was very spotty, with the lack of offshore baitfish concentrations, the stripers are scattered. More numbers of dorado were encountered close to shore, at times actually seen chasing half beaks (ballyhoo) directly on to the sandy beaches, at least one dorado was hooked and landed inside of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina Channel. Most of the dorado now seen have been in the 5 to 15 lb. class, with a few exceptions of larger specimens up to 25 pounds accounted for. Despite the warmer water temperatures we have seen fewer dorado this past week, as well as only a few wahoo, though we have heard of big wahoo bite now going on off of Cerralvo Island, which is out of our local charter range.

Inshore action was now producing many roosterfish in the 5 to 15 lb. range, trolling with live caballito was the best bet for this, remember these are rapidly growing gamefish, not known for good table fare and should be released with care, in order to mature and enhance the future fishery. Sierra numbers were down, warmer waters and lack of sardinas contributing to this situation.

The most exciting event this past week has been the season’s first massive run of pelagic red crabs, particularly on the high spots north of the Gordo Banks. Masses of these small crabs drifted to the surface, turned the sea a reddish color and this in turn was attracting the humpback whales, whale sharks and of course the Pacific red snapper (huachinango. This occurrence is always unpredictable, when conditions are just right these pelagic crustaceans swarm, normally happening sometime during the March to May time frame, though in local waters we have not seen such a run for several years. These red crabs are a favorite food source for many species, especially so for the red snapper, also one of the most popular and valuable commercial catches. All of the local commercial pangeros are now working overtime to catch as many kilos of these prized snapper as they are capable of while this bite lasts. These are the true Pacific snapper and average from 4 to 12 pounds in weight, scrappy fighters on light tackle and at times they are found schooling near the surface.

Other action included lots of Eastern Pacific Bonito and some early season amberjack, the bonito (3 to 10 lb.) were striking yo-yo jigs or trolled Rapalas over the high spots and the ambers, which ranged to over 30 lb., were hitting best on the yo-yo style jigs or by drifting live caballito off of the structure. There were lots of yellowfin tuna in the 20/25 lb. class seen breezing on the grounds north of Punta Gorda, but only a handful of these tuna were hooked into, very finicky, as they normally do become when they acquire a taste for these same red crabs.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 77 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
1 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, 8 yellowfin tuna, 2 yellowtail, 19 amberjack, 355 bonito, 18 jack crevalle, 18 sierra, 55 dorado, 135 roosterfish, 6 pompano, 28 yellow tail snapper, 14 cabrilla.and 640 red snapper (huachinango).

Good fishing, Eric

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