June 18, 2016
Crowds are only moderate now, with weather conditions still bearable, as we are starting to feel the heat of oncoming seasonal changes. This weekend we will celebrate Father’s Day and then also in the coming days the summer season will officially begin on June 20, which also happens to be the day of the full moon, this is a rare occurrence, when the day of the Summer Solstice and the full moon fall on the same date, actually this has not happened since 1948, some 68 years ago. The climate has progressively felt more humid throughout this week, as a tropical depression was slowly moving off to the southwest of the lower Baja Peninsula about 300 miles off of land, does not impose any threat, only slightly increased swell activity and the higher humidity. Also a few more tropical clouds forming, though more than enough warm sunshine.
A lot can happen in a matter of one week, after last week’s big blow from out of the south pushed in cold Pacific currents to Punta Colorado, patterns have since stabilized and now warm waters near 80 degrees have pushed back in, from Cabo San Lucas and in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, though on the Pacific side of Cabo the water temperatures are still in the lower 70s. All this current flow has made the inshore waters, up to about five miles offshore, a little off colored and greenish. As we near the month of July we usually see that the blue water comes very close to shore as weather patterns increasingly warm.
This week we saw a huge influx of schooling mullet move into the San Jose del Cabo region, have not seen this much mullet activity in this area for at least several years. With all of this baitfish activity we have also seen the larger sized roosterfish arrive in substantial numbers. Reports of great roosterfish action on fish to over fifty pounds along the entire coastal stretches, though one particular local hot spot were the stretches from La Fortuna to north of Vinorama. Along with the roosterfish also came the hog sized jack crevalle and some dogtooth snapper action is also starting to be seen, if you can find a spot where the jacks will leave you alone long enough in order to give the snapper a chance. Sharks were moving closer to shore, the pilot sharks have been thick offshore for several months now, but we are now seeing more hammerhead as well, these sharks are congregating on the same bottom structure areas where we commonly target species such as cabrilla, amberjack, pargo and others, the sharks can become too numerous at times to be able to really have much a chance at catching the preferred species. Sharks our presently out of season, not legal to retain, though we always prefer to release them anyway. Anglers should also remember to release all roosterfish with care when possible, these fish are a prized for their fighting stamina, not eating quality, these gamefish can grow to weights of over one hundred pounds and also have a very limited habitat that should be protected, only existing worldwide from Southern Baja to Costa Rica.
Fleets were finding the best all-around action now on the grounds near La Fortuna to just north of Vinorama, lots of quality trophy sized roosterfish, jack crevalle, a few dogtooth snapper and amberjack to fifty pounds lurking around shallow water rock piles. Also decent numbers of yellow snapper, a handful of leopard grouper, at least one which was of the golden phased variety. A few late season sierra in the mix.
Offshore action included striped marlin and dorado, scattered with mixed results, some charters accounting for multiple marlin and dorado days. Dorado up to 25 lb., stripers averaging 90 to 130 lb. Many fish were just encountered by taking blind strikes on lures or on rigged baits such as ballyhoo or mullet. Caballito became scarcer, more mullet available this week compared to any other baitfish. Strips of squid are still be used for chunk fishing on the grounds from the Iman to Vinorama Banks. No significant numbers of yellowfin tuna, but charters that did target this action with persistence accounted for one, two or three tuna that averaged 25 to 30 lb. Only a couple wahoo reportedly landed recently, others were seen free swimming, so they are definitely in the area, these fish always seem to be elusive, until conditions are to their liking and they decide to go on the bite.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 80 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 wahoo, 13 striped marlin, 7 dogtooth snapper, 36 yellowfin tuna, 29 bonito, 14 dorado, 15 amberjack,15 leopard grouper (cabrilla), 34 yellow snapper, 8 sierra, 14 barred pargo, 55 jack crevalle, 105 roosterfish and 90 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric