Surface Action Slower, Good Mix of Bottom Species ~ February 20, 2016


Anglers –
February 20, 2016

Warm wintertime sunshine is now attracting more tourists and they are enjoying temperatures reaching close to 90 degrees, feels like spring already. Winds have continued to be unpredictable, mainly from the north, but also switching out of the southeast, not as strong as during weeks past. Strong currents have been an issue, but they now seem to be slacking way down.

Crazy season, even the whale migration seems off, not as many being seen off of the San Jose del Cabo area as would be normal for this time of year. Plenty of sea lions on the fishing grounds, awaiting their opportunity at an easy meal, grabbing fish that are hooked on angler’s lines. The bait situation remains the same, sardineta continue to school offshore and can be caught on sabiki rigs early in the morning, caballito, cocinero, squid strips and ballyhoo are also available, though we heard of no reports at all of any sardinas being found.

Ocean clarity became a bit more greenish close to shore, north to Los Frailes, water temperature was also coolest closer to shore, about 72/74 degrees on the average, while five or more miles offshore there was 75/76 degree water reported. All around the fishing action was more scattered this past week. Yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo action became very limited. A few tuna were being hooked, most of these found from La Fortuna to the Iman Bank, and best chances were early in the day, also getting a hooked yellowfin actually in the boat was a challenge with the ever present sea lions lurking nearby. Most of these tuna were in the 15 to 25 lb. range and anglers were fortunate to land one or two of these fish. Dorado were almost nonexistent, who knows where they have gone, wahoo were still around, but fewer were being hooked up, more action early in the week, with very few of these speedsters being reported later in the week. Water temperature cooled off where these wahoo had been schooling off of Punta Gorda, also a bit off colored, with winds settling down these fish could decide to become more active again as conditions improve.

Bottom action was spotty, most common catches being triggerfish and smaller sized snapper/pargo species, with a handful of cabrilla (leopard grouper) in the mix. More hammerhead moving in on the structure, where we commonly bottom fish, makes for an additional challenge. On at least a couple of occasions, anglers reported that something very large grabbed on to their hooked up tuna, only to head for the rocks and break the line, sounds like some grouper or dogtooth snapper are moving in.

The action for striped marlin continues off of San Jose del Cabo, mostly centered from 3 to 5 miles offshore, changing daily, most charters targeting these billfish are having chances, some several per day, majority of hook ups came while drift fishing with the available larger baits, sizes on the marlin ranged from 70 lb. to 120 lb.

Inshore there was some roosterfish and sierra action, a few nicer sized roosterfish were accounted for, up to 25 lb., impressive for this time of year. There was a reported 25 lb. class snook landed from a panga charter while trolling close to shore for roosterfish, off of the Estuary area, definitely an unusual catch.

A few more sierra in recent days, the lack of sardinas has really hurt the sierra season, fun fish on light tackle, scrappy and very fast fighters.

Just no big numbers of any particular species at this time, though spring is now right around the corner, transition time can be like this, but things can also change very fast.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 60 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 snook,18 striped marlin, 7 wahoo, 16 yellowfin tuna, 2 dorado, 6 amberjack, 8 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 16 huachinango, 22 yellow snapper, 15 sierra, 18 roosterfish, 12 parrot fish, 8 bonito, 10 hammerhead shark (released), 2 thrasher shark, and 28 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

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