April 11, 2021
With the local Easter vacation week now past, beach crowds have returned to more reasonable levels and most residents are now back to work. We are seeing larger numbers of tourists arriving due to this now being spring break period for many schools in the U.S. Though not a high percentage of these visitors are anglers, so for this reason we have limited numbers of fishing charters. This is now a transition period for ocean conditions, a slow unpredictable process, when northern winds reside and ocean currents stabilize, becoming warmer and bringing in blue water closer to shore. At this time water temperature has been in the 69 to 71 degree range throughout the zone. Daytime highs are reaching the mid-80s and it is also the time when the cool ocean and warm land air currents mix and create a marine layer, resulting in thick fog at times and limited visibility.
Supplies of caballito remain steady in the marina area, though sardinas have been scarce, not being found in close enough proximity for commercial bait netters to find. Some charters were able to jig up some additional larger baitfish such as chihuil, scad and spanish mackerel near the Gordo Banks.
Overall the better fishing action was found close to shore for good numbers of sierra, with the large sized jack crevalle mixed in. Also there was a variety of species being accounted for over the many rocky high spots, with anglers using a mix of yo-yo jigs and bait while drift fishing. Most numerous are the Mexican bonito, these are different than the Californian bonito, the local bonito taste similar to tuna and can be prepared all the same ways, they are feisty fighters, though average in the 4 to 8 lb. range. We did see one 40 lb. yellowfin tuna early in the week, but with currents shifting and becoming a little off colored again these tuna are not on the bite now.
Despite the cooler water we did see a few wahoo starting to bite on the grounds to the north of Punta Gorda, striking on trolled Rapalas and yo-yo jigs, sizes were up to 25 lb., still only a few fish being seen, but this is encouraging for when water conditions improve slightly we should see these fish become more active. Conditions can change rapidly this time of year and we are definitely feeling the weather become a bit warmer every day.
We did see a few nice cabrilla, grouper and amberjack landed, a couple of these were in the fifty pound class. Not as many red snapper as we would normally expect for this time frame, though it is still early in the season, pelagic red crabs were not being seen at this time either.
With limited anglers in town we did not see many reports for offshore action for the striped marlin, last we knew they were seeing the billfish near the 1150 spot.
Good fishing, Eric