Tournament Times, Cow Tuna, Marlin, Large Crowds ~ October 28, 2017

Anglers –
October 28, 2017

Large crowds of anglers and visitors alike are arriving in Los Cabos, as we are now in the midst of the peak fall season. This past week the huge story was the Bisbee Black and Blue Tournament, which is the highest paying fishing tournament in the world, with this year’s event attracting 120 teams from across the globe, with over 800 participants. For final results you can check on Bisbee’s web site. Swirling winds from the north finally resided late in the week, with prevailing clear sunny skies and warmer than normal high temperatures, this all made for ideal conditions, actually still feeling almost like summer.

Heavy pressure now on bait resources, but so far supplies have held up, though if wishing to obtain sardinas, that meant traveling towards Chileno and waiting each morning as netters worked overtime to find enough bait to go around. Other options were caballito and slabs of squid. Some panga guides are starting to scout out chihuil options, as well as smaller sized skipjack.

Sportfishing fleets, as well as tournament teams, have been scouting fishing grounds in all directions. For fleets out of San Jose del Cabo, thought much of the week they were heading south towards Cabo San Lucas, in order to find calmer waters, since north winds had their normal grounds from Gordo Banks to Vinorama all stirred up and very choppy. Also with the sardinas now being located close to Cabo San Lucas, that is a long back tack, to travel that far south to wait around for sardinas and then motor back to grounds such as Iman or San Luis Banks, not a normal plan, this takes way too much time, not to mention how much extra fuel is needed. Charters were fishing areas from the Hyatt, Cabeza Ballena, Los Arcos and to el Faro around the corner on the Pacific. Main target species being the yellowfin tuna. Drift fishing with sardinas was the most productive technique, the tuna were seen in flurries, at times proved to be very finicky, catches ranged from zero up to ten fish per boat, depending where you happened to be at a given time, lots of black skipjack were mixed in with the yellowfin tuna. Average size of the tuna were 5 to 10 lb. though other larger fish were mixed in. The biggest yellowfin tuna for the week was taken Friday off of the Outer Gordo Banks, angler Bob Deeter hooked into the cow tuna while trolling a live chihuil, after a crazy surface battle, the fish actually expired and was subdued in relatively easier than normal manner. Back at the docks the yellowfin weighed in at 304 lb.

Dorado were very scarce early in the week off of San Jose del Cabo grounds, better chances were found trolling in Pacific waters, though later in the week we saw more dorado showing up, still not in significant numbers, but at least somewhat encouraging. Sizes ranged up to 15 lb. Wahoo action finally showed much more activity later in the week, as ocean conditions calmed down and charters were able to comfortably work areas such as the Iman Bank. With a slight change in climate as well, this seemed to trigger the wahoo. Many boats reported having six or more chances of wahoo strikes, most on baitfish such as chihuil or caballito. Other reported strikes on skirted lead heads and Rapalas. Of course as is usual with wahoo fishing, a higher percentage of strikes were lost, as compared with actually wahoo being landed. Several charters had two or three wahoo in the box, at least one had four. Sizes were not huge, but average of about 20 to 25 lb.

Bottom action was limited, one 60 lb. amberjack was accounted for, but only sporadic catches of snapper, cabrilla and triggerfish were reported. This is not the normal season for that type of fishing, with more surface action going on, nor has much at all been reported close along the beach stretches.

Billfish was spread out, but the tournaments have found a respectable number of qualifying black and blue marlin that have passed the 300 lb. minimal weight limits, Not many striped marlin now, water too warm for them, with temperatures now averaging 84 to 85 degrees.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 162 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 blue marlin, 1 black marlin, 28 wahoo, 4 amberjack, 215 yellowfin tuna, 75 dorado, 11 yellow snapper, 34 huachinango, 2 pompano, 18 Eastern Pacific bonito, 13 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 6 barred pargo and 96 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

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