Tuna Finicky, Red Crabs Surface, Snapper Action ~ March 24, 2018

Anglers –
March 24, 2018

Well the official spring season has now begun, weather patterns are in transition and for the most part are on a warming trend. Though this week started off with a cooler front pushing in, gusty winds from the north and at times swinging back out of the southeast. During the later part of the week the conditions calmed down and anglers enjoyed much more comfortable conditions on the fishing grounds where they have been concentrating, from the Gordo Banks to La Fortuna and Iman Bank. Ocean water temperature is now ranging from 70 to 74 degrees, with the warmer currents being in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and to the north. Increased number of vacationers now are arriving and many are deciding to make spur of the moment sportfishing reservations.

The bait situation has been that the sardinas were being found schooling along the rocky shoreline near San Luis and continue to be the main bait source for the all-around fishery. Some anglers were trying strips of squid with varying success for the yellowfin tuna. Other options included trolling with rigged ballyhoo, as well as finding bait concentrations offshore and using sabiki’s to jig them up, these mainly being sardineta and chihuil. With most of that bait action being concentrated in the vicinity of the Gordo Bank’s. Also later in the week there were pelagic red crabs that were found drifting to the surface, so we are optimistic that this will become a more consistent scenario and open up a bite for the red snapper.

Yellowfin tuna in the 20 to 50 lb. class continue to be found in good sized schools on the La Fortuna Bank, inside of Iman, these fish have proved very finicky now for the past couple of weeks, freely coming up to the surface to feed on the chummed sardinas, but trying to get one of these yellowfin to bite the baiting hook has been a different story, light leaders of 20 to 30 lb. were being used, often resulting in broken lines once a fish was hooked up. Other factors were aggressive sea lions waiting for their chance at an easy meal. On some days more tuna were hooked up early in the morning, while on others there was more of a chance later. Fortunate anglers caught up to three fish, while others were doing well to land one.

These same grounds produced limited action off the bottom for yellow snapper, bonito, leopard grouper and an occasional amberjack. Dorado were still being encountered on these same grounds, though the numbers were way down compared to in past weeks. Inshore trolling produced limited action, a few early season roosterfish to 15 lb. and a handful of sierra.

The highlight the past week would have to be the increased activity of striped marlin off of the San Jose del Cabo grounds, most of these fish being found anywhere from two to eight miles from shore, striking on trolled lures, sardinas, ballyhoo, chihuil and sardineta. Many stripers of 80 to 120 lb. were being hooked into, as good numbers of fining fish were also being spoted, with many of these eager to strike any baitfish.

Not much going on with the wahoo bite which has briefly started up off of Punta Gorda, though the spear fishing fleets certainly caught more than their share before spooky the schools out of the area.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 84 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 35 striped marlin, 1 wahoo, 56 yellowfin tuna, 65 dorado, 26 yellow snapper, 20 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 120 huachinango (red snapper), 18 bonito, 2 amberjack, 3 dogtooth snapper, 8 roosterfish, 24 sierra and 65 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

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