GORDO BANKS PANGAS
December 20, 2020
The local International airport has been very busy this past week, hundreds of travelers are arriving to enjoy the holidays in the warm sunshine of Los Cabos. Despite all these people arriving, not many of them have been taking advantage of the fishing, so fleets have not been overly busy at all, even though the all-around fishing action was very good, especially considering that we are in the midst of winter season. High temperatures have been reaching 80 degrees, mostly clear sunny skies, though early morning have been in the upper 50’s, so remember to bring appropriate clothing. Ocean water temperatures have been averaging 74 to 77 degrees, a bit warmer than we expect for this time of year. Lots of whales are now arriving, giving visitors opportunities to watch these magnificent mammals in their natural habitat.
Anglers are now using sardinas and ballyhoo for bait, with limited numbers of caballito and we have yet to see the large schools of mackerel and sardineta arrive on local bait grounds. Most charters are now concentrated on the fishing grounds from off of Chileno, Palmilla, Gordo Banks, Punta Gorda, Cardona, La Fortuna and Iman. Favorable ocean conditions have been found on these grounds, though further to the north the water has been greenish and cooler. We have still been dealing with north winds, in the normal cycles, a few days of gusty conditions, then we have two or three calm days before the pattern repeats itself. Even on the days it has blown, often this did not happen until later in the morning and anglers were able to find good action closer to shore in more protected areas.
Dorado were found in good numbers, mixed sizes, we have seen larger sized fish this past week, some were in the 20 to 25 lb. range, we have not seen these big bulls on our local grounds for some time. The dorado were hitting on various baits and trolled lures. Lots of sierra now encountered throughout the inshore zone, some of these to over 5 lb., striking readily on the live sardinas, but also on small hoochies and raplalas.
Tuna action was spottier, though they are being seen and are definitely in the area, just have not been whiling to bite on a consistent basis. We did see a handful of nicer yellowfin brought in, weighing in the 60 to 90 lb. range, also some medium sized 20 to 40 lb. fish accounted for. There were other reports of larger cow sized tuna breezing the surface around the Gordo Banks, but we did not hear of any of these big fish hooked into or landed.
More numbers of striped marlin starting to be found on our local grounds, as it is now the time that these billfish shift in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, we also saw at least a coupe of sailfish in recent days. With the surface action being the main thing now, we did not see many of the limited numbers of charters even trying to look for bottom species.
Wahoo were abundant on the inshore grounds now, particularly Punta Gorda, Cardon, La Fortuna, also on the Inner Gordo Banks. This season we have seen more juvenile sized wahoo than we can ever remember, average sized wahoo that are being brought in are in the 5 to 15 lb. range, we are only occasionally seeing any fish in the 30 to 40 lb. class.
On a direr note is the progression of spear fishing we have seen in recent years, it seems each year we are seeing more and more numbers of these operators who advertise these world famous grounds and are making a big business out of this. The major issue is that they do not have any manners at all, in past years spear fishermen would concentrate on other grounds and during different hours. Now they concentrate their activities on the same fragile inshore fisheries where rod and reel angler are. This region cannot sustain such pressure on these same grounds and it is unrealistic that they simply are able to exploit this activity using the same type of fishing license that rod and reel anglers use, this is not the same sport, these people often target the larger female home guard species, that are too weary or wise to chase down a trolled lure or baited hook, but will simply swim towards the pointed spear to investigate and guard their breeding grounds, only to be shot in the head. We also see that many of these fish are being sold illegally, as authorities just seem to turn their heads in other directions. It seems that some control is much needed, perhaps such as dear, elk, moose tags and other hunting sports do and certain zones that they can use and others that are off limits.
Good fishing, Eric