March 20, 2016
This is a busy time in Southern Baja, with the annual San Jose del Cabo traditional fiesta lasting throughout the week, Fishing Tournament from Puerto Los Cabos on March 19, then the Off Road racing classic on March 20, all during the same weekend when the spring season officially begins. Sunny days, with high temperatures into the 80s, ideal climate now, some unpredictable winds, blowing from the north and then gusting out of the south, common pattern this time of year.
Anglers have found a combination of surface action, inshore and bottom action. Striped marlin is the main species being targeted offshore, no big numbers, though there are good chances at having opportunities anywhere from 3 to 10 miles from shore, fish are spread out. Not many dorado being found, just an occasional fish. Same for wahoo, not really the season for these species, but they still are in the area, just not striking very often.
Most of the panga charters are now concentrating on the normal grounds to the north of Punta Gorda, La Fortuna Iman and San Luis Banks. There have been yellowfin tuna schooling here and anglers were hooking up while drift fishing with strips of squid, some charters accounted for five or six yellowfin, while others worked hard for one or two fish. Some days the winds made for tough fishing, other days proved to be nice. Sizes on these tuna averaged 15 to 25 lb. though there were larger fish in the mix, we weighed in one yellowfin at 87 lb., and several others in the 40 to 60 lb. were also accounted for.
The bait supply consisted mainly of caballito, ballyhoo, slabs of squid and some sardineta, these baitfish which had been holding off of San Jose del Cabo are now dispersing, with heavy pressure by porpoise a main factor on scattering these bait schools. We still have the ongoing problem of having to battle with the sea lions in order to land your hook ups.
On the same grounds where the yellowfin tuna were holding, there has been a variety of bottom species hooked into, common catches were pargo, of mixed varieties, leopard grouper, rainbow runner, skipjack, bonito, triggerfish, also chances at pompano and amberjack. There were reports of a couple of tiger sharks being hooked into as well. Many bottom fish were lost to cut lines as well, heavier fish that cut lines on the sharp rocks.
Not much going on close to shore now, sporadic action for smaller sized roosterfish and some early morning sierra. A few halibut have been landed by both shore and boat anglers, not a usual catch for us.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 66 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 8 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, 4 dorado, 106 yellowfin tuna, 2 halibut, 6 pompano, 11 amberjack, 19 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 14 huachinango, 30 yellow snapper, 9 barred pargo, 18 sierra, 9 roosterfish, 4 bonito and 42 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric