January 14, 2017
As we progress into the New Year we have seen many tourists arriving, most of them to escape frigid northern winter season temperatures and to relax in Los Cabos’s pleasant climate. With daytime highs nearing 80 degrees and mostly sunny skies, this is a great choice for a quick getaway trip. Not many anglers in town now, though often these vacationers are looking for outdoor activities and many do decide to go fishing on late notice. With the annual whale migration now peaking, this is also another reason to get out on the water and see what the area has to offer.
The north winds were light throughout the week, swells were minimal, though there were strong currents running, pushing in cooler water temperatures, as currents are now in the 70 to 74 degree range, we expect this cooling trend to continue throughout the next month. Sportfishing fleets are fishing in different directions now, trying to find the best possible all around action. We finally can say that some schools of sardinas are appearing off of Palmilla Point in recent days, this is favorable news, these baitfish have been absent from local waters for over one year, we hope that this is sign that we will see this bait source rebound, fragile fishery that needs to be cautiously protected. Lots of mackerel also being found on the normal bait grounds, mixed with sardinetas. Slabs of squid and caballito are also being offered by commercial bait vendors, so the overall bait situation is better at this time, hopefully this will be a trend throughout the season.
This is another transition period, where we see warmer water species start to move out of the area and others that prefer cooler waters begin to move in. It appears that the El Nino current of the past couple of years is vanishing and we will see more normal patterns for the coming months. In recent days we have seen sporadic action for a variety of fish, many of them smaller sized structure species, being found in the same area where anglers are still targeting yellowfin tuna, most consistent places have been off of Punta Gorda to the Iman Bank, though things have changed from day to day, cooler waters, strong currents, off colored greenish at times, all normal patterns for this time of year. Some day’s action was early, other days late, and on other days the fish did not seem to cooperate at all. Most of the yellowfin tuna landed were in the 15 to 30 lb. range, we heard of the big cow sized yellowfin landed off of the Finger Bank on the Pacific last week, but that is a long range charter in order to reach those grounds.
Dorado were a bit more numerous this past week, though the majority of them were smaller sized female fish that in reality should be released to help this species have a chance to rebound. We are heard reports about an occasional dorado to 20 lb., but these were an exception. Wahoo were almost nonexistent this past week, a few reported lost strikes, but did not see any landed, these fish will be heading south soon, if most of them have not already done so.
Best bottom action now was for red snapper (huachinango), with Punta Gorda being the most productive spot for this action. Snapper up to ten pounds were striking on various baits near the same place where late season tuna were schooling. Only a few leopard grouper, yellow snapper or other pargo species in the mix. Of course there have been decent numbers of triggerfish.
Billfish are mainly on the Pacific Banks now, even though we are seeing congregations of mackerel off of San Jose del Cabo, very few striped marlin have moved in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. With the food source at hand, anything could happen on any given day. With sardinas now appearing we are hoping to have chances at having a good season for inshore sierra as well. Roosterfish action seems to come to a halt with the cooling waters.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 68 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 5 striped marlin, 64 yellowfin tuna, 32 dorado, 6 bonito, 16 yellow snapper,11 leopard grouper, 150 huachinango, 25 tijareta, 16 sierra, 2 yellowtail, 1 sheepshead, 2 amberjack and 80 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric