June 16, 2018
Last week we witnessed the season’s first hurricane develop, named Aletta, gaining category 4 strength, this system moved far to the west and never impacted the Los Cabos Region. Quickly forming Hurricane Bud directly followed Aletta, this storm also reaching category four status as it followed a path directly for land fall at Cabo San Lucas. Fortunately there was strong sheer and cooler currents that contributed to weakening rapidly to a moderate Tropical Storm. Starting Wednesday night and all day through Thursday, TS Bud did pack a powerful punch, as there was a deluge of rainfall dumped, up to six inches or more in isolated areas throughout the Southern Baja. Wind gust to over 60 mph were experienced and quite a bit of flooding occurred in the lower plateau arroyo areas. Some areas lost electricity and water services, but these were mostly restored within 24 hours. There will be some drying out from this storm, but overall we felt fortunate and did enjoy the much needed rainfall, look for the scorched desert mountainous landscape to turn lush green within days.
This turned out to be a shortened week for sportfishing, moderate crowds of anglers were in town, but we were only able to launch Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, before Red Flag conditions closed all Port Operations. There were scores of world class surfers in San Jose Del Cabo for the International Pro Event annually held at Costa Azul and even this contest had to be postponed due to heavy storm swell conditions of up to fifteen to twenty feet.
This week started out much the same for anglers, with the striped marlin action being the most consistent bite being found, this was near the Iman and Desteladera Banks where large schools of batfish congregated on these same grounds, mainly sardineta, with a small percentage of mackerel mixed in. This frenzy had kept the billfish on these grounds for a couple of weeks now. Fleets were arriving in big numbers from all directions to get in on the action. Sizes of the striped marlin ranged from 60 lb. to 150 lb. These fish were striking best on bait, either while slow trolling or drifting. Though by Tuesday the bait schools seemed to all but vanish and it proved much harder to find the stripers, though many were hooked into, they appeared to be spreading out in search of their food supply. We also heard more stories of sea lion and shark factors.
We saw no yellowfin tuna, dorado or wahoo action to speak much about. A handful of small football sized tuna were found while open water trolling, there were also scattered reports of tuna being encountered with moving porpoise further offshore of Cabo San Lucas, mainly smaller fish and proving to be hit or miss. Before the storm arrived there was a flurry of missed wahoo strikes on trolled lures reported, some lost right near gaff. Dorado were absent as well. Maybe this new storm surge has pushed in a new group of gamefish, with weather now settling we will find out this coming week, could take some days for water temperatures to warm back up.
The week started off with sporadic shallow water bottom catches, increasing swells and currents made this option more difficult, though a few quality specimens were accounted for, including one 60 lb. Broomtail grouper, as well as barred pargo to a 15 lb. and leopard grouper to over 20 lb. A mix of yellow snapper, pompano and surgeonfish rounded out the structure bite. Inshore there were limited number of roosterfish found, changing daily, maybe we will see a later than normal season on these gamefish. Early this week though we did have charters that released roosterfish that were in the 75 lb. range. These were found near el Cardon. Some nice sized amberjack were seen close to shore on these same grounds, only to have hook ups lost to the rocks. We look for the next few weeks to bring big opportunities for roosterfish, dogtooth snapper and amberjack.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 28 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 22 striped marlin, 3 yellowfin tuna, 13 yellow snapper, 7 surgeon fish, 18 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 2 amberjack, 11 roosterfish, 1 broomtail grouper, 12 barred pargo, 8 pompano,18 jack crevalle, 5 sierra and 25 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric