GORDO BANKS PANGAS
October 15th, 2023
Now in mid-October and we continue to monitor another possible storm off the southern Pacific Coast; this is quite unusual for this late in the year. We are having slightly cooler mornings, with some in the low 70s and days in the low 90s and high 80s. The current conditions are still perfect for the formation of new cyclones. We are expecting some rain and winds of up to 20-40 kts next Monday and Sunday. This late in the year, we hate to have to worry about these storms as we have busy weeks ahead of us. We will have to keep our generators close by in case of power outages, which we are quite confident will happen according to the current weather forecast.
Yellowfin tuna at Vinorama and Iman banks has been the main focus this week. Sardines made a huge difference, though they continue to be in low supply and high demand. Sardina schools continue to be scattered and hard to find some days, something that seems to happen every year around this time due to heavier pressure by numbers of charters all competing for bait resources. The boats that were able to get sardines were coming back early with their limit of 5 per license. There were some days that these tuna stayed low and we had to strategize accordingly with small weights or drifting dead sardines. While drifting bait, there is a good chance of picking a nice variety off the jig, such as white bonita, red and yellowtail snapper, and grouper.
We continue to see big yellowfin tuna at the Gordo, but it has been more difficult due to the heavy pressure of the bigger boats scouting the areas and getting ready for the big tournaments. We have seen a good bite later in the day when most of the boats leave, with a few fish over 200 pounds. This is definitely a great sign and will make these tournaments very interesting and competitive.
With the showing of sardines, we also saw a significant increase in the number of dorado showing up. Most boats were able to find small schools of dorado while trolling or drifting with live sardines. There were a few days where most boats were able to catch their dorado limit and still release a half-dozen. Most of these dorado are under 10 pounds, with an occasional nice bull in the mix.
On these same grounds, we saw a few sailfish and striped marlin being hooked into. Bottom action is showing better signs week by week. Although the numbers are not big, we are seeing a nicer variety that consists of white bonita, red and yellowtail snapper, grouper, and an occasional amberjack in the mix.
The big three tournaments will be starting up this coming week, Offshore Bisbee, Black and Blue Bisbee and then the WON Tuna Jackpot. Most of these events typically have 200 or more teams. This adds greater pressure on local bait supplies and the fishing grounds.
Good Fishing, Brian