February 18, 2017
We are now in the middle of the unpredictable month of February, last week weather patterns felt more like late springtime, this week conditions were cooler, more typical to what they usually would feel like, with low temperatures close to 50 degrees and highs in the mid-70s, still very pleasant conditions compared to areas across North America. Winds this past week were mild, though later in the week the ocean swells increased and this made it hard for the bait netters to reach areas where the schooling sardinas were holding. The sardinas had been found off of the Melia to Chileno beach stretches, but a new resource of larger sized sardinas had been found to the north, off of San Luis, which is directly inshore of the preferred fishing grounds.
So now we will be waiting for surf conditions to reside some so the bait can be netted again, in the meantime anglers were relying on what bait was available, some caballito and squid. Also it was time to start using yo-yo style jigs off of the bottom structure. With ocean temperatures now in the 69 to 71 degree range, it is the season where charters are commonly targeting a variety of good eating bottom species and this is what is going on now. We are seeing better catches of red snapper, yellow snapper, amberjack, yellowtail, cabrilla, triggerfish and bonito. Still a little up and down from day to day, though this fishery is showing promise of getting on track, after not showing much activity through last month. Fishing grounds from Palmilla, La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis all had better signs of action recently.
The yellowtail that have been found have been smaller sized, most of them under five pounds, though at least we are seeing them showing up and we are optimistic that lager sized fish will move in soon. A mix of leopard grouper, red and yellow snapper, amberjack, bonito and triggerfish has rounded out the bottom action, many of these fish are striking on yo-yo jigs and others on various whole and cut baits. One amberjack of 80 lb. was reported, though most of the ones we saw were more in the 10 to 15 lb. class.
With the billfish bite being very limited now off of the San Jose del Cabo area and the dorado bite being dead as well, the highlight for any surface action has continued to be the yellowfin tuna. Last week the tuna were found off the Cabo San Lucas arches, this week the local sportfishing charters have been concentrated back on their normal grounds to the north of Punta Gorda, with the Iman and San Luis Banks being the better options. Yellowfin tuna up to 50 lb. were accounted for, though the average size of the yellowfin were more in the 15 to 25 lb. class. These fish were striking on sardinas, when they were available, also on strips of squid and the yo-yo jigs. Catches ranged from one or two fish, up to five or sox, not off the map wide open, but nevertheless good for this time of year, when we often do not even see any tuna. A few wahoo were seen free swimming and were also hooked into, resulting in cut lines, a bit surprising to see these fish still hanging around in the cooler water, most of them would be in southern waters at this time.
Not much action close to sore now, this is the time for sierra, so far just a few here and there, most charters have been out trying for the tuna or bottom species. Cooler water now for roosterfish, though there is always a chance. Considering the water temperature, the conditions have showed cleaner bluish water through much of the area, spots of greener currents in places.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 78 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 striped marlin, 160 yellowfin tuna, 1 wahoo, 32 bonito, 18 yellow snapper, 17 leopard grouper, 82 huachinango, 32 sierra, 18 yellowtail, 22 amberjack and 90 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric