San Jose del Cabo
September 18, 2010
The Eastern Pacific remains free of any tropical storms at this time, while the Atlantic basin has been extremely active, with three names storms now on the map. Hurricane Karl has made landfall on southeastern Mexico and Hurricane Igor is now taking direct aim at Bermuda. With the official end of the summer season due to arrive next week the Southern Baja landscape remains parched dry, in the midst of drought conditions, though with local ocean temperatures now averaging 85 to 87 degrees conditions would still seem very favorable for any low pressure system to develop into a major storm system. Historically there are still several weeks left on the calendar when previous storms have wrecked havoc and made landfall on the Peninsula. Remember last year when we had two back to back storms strike during the middle and third week of October when sportfishing fleets are very busy and local businesses lost out on scores of cancelations due to these systems, we are hoping that this is not going to be the newest global weather changing pattern.
Local panga fleets out of San Jose del Cabo have continued to rely on fresh dead sardinas as their principal bait source. There have been few other options for limited supplies of mullet, caballito, moonfish and squid.
Fleets have been scattered in different directions, but with calmer ocean conditions being found more often in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, this is where the majority of the sportfishing charters have been concentrating their efforts. This week the fishing proved to be more productive than the previous week, when we saw a little slack in the action, also there was increased variety this week. Catches included sailfish, striped, blue and black marlin, dogtooth snapper, amberjack, grouper, wahoo, dorado and yellowfin tuna. Charters are now concentrating on the offshore banks where baitfish schools are attracting the normal variety of pelagic gamefish species. Not much action being found inshore along the beach stretches, this is the normal situation during late summer when there is increased swell and wave action which scatters baitfish. Clean blue water is now being found close in, which means the majority of charters are fishing within one to eight miles from shore.
Panga charters out of San Jose were fishing from the Gordo Banks to Vinorama. The yellowfin tuna action was found on the Inner and Outer Gordo Banks, as well as north from La Fortuna to San Luis Bank. With there being lots of various bait sources congregated on the fishing rounds the tuna have become a bit more finicky and at times more leader shy. Anglers found that drift fishing with dead sardinas and strips of squids on fluorocarbon leaders of 40 to 60 pound most were most successful, but using the lighter lines also resulted in more difficult and higher percentage of loosing larger yellowfin that were mixed in with the same schools of tuna that were averaging 30 to 60 pounds. There were several of the larger grade of yellowfin tuna landed from La Playita based pangas this week that weighed up to 150 pounds. Most charters were accounting for anywhere from 2 to 5 tuna in their overall catch.
Dorado catches continued to consist mostly of juvenile sized fish of 5 to 10 pounds, but some offshore charters have reported finding a few larger sized bulls.
Off the bottom anglers encountered swift currents, but there were a mix of dogtooth snapper , cabrilla, grouper and some impressive sized amberjack up to 80 pounds, using the live moonfish proved to be the best bet for this action, tricky fishing though, trying to hold your bait near the rocky bottom in the swift currents, then hooking and being able to turn the fish before being cut off on the rock pile, no slack here, no time to relax, sit down or try to adjust a fighting belt.
Wahoo action surprisingly turned on the last few days, they were found spread out over all of the normal San Jose del Cabo fishing grounds, one wahoo was reportedly hooked into directly off of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina entrance. These notoriously elusive fish were striking on a variety of lures, including skirted lead/jet heads, Rapalas, feathers etc…Ranging in sizes from 15 to 45 pounds, some charters accounted for up to two or three wahoo in their daily catch, with just as many missed strikes reported.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 58 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 2 black marlin, 3 blue marlin, 2 sailfish, 26 wahoo, 34 dorado, 178 yellowfin tuna, 15 bonito, 2 rainbow runner, 6 cabrilla, 4 grouper, 6 huachinango, 9 dogtooth snapper and 22 amberjack.
Good Fishing, Eric