February 13, 2016
The month of February has always been thought of as unpredictable and a bit crazy, we have seen a bit of this already. Last week was cooler and windy, now we have seen a warmer trend like spring is already here, daytime highs reaching 90 degrees, plenty of clear skies and sunshine, the wind patterns and unusually swift currents still persist, but it does feel like days will only be getting warmer as we progress towards spring break. Ocean water temperatures are holding at 74 degrees throughout most of the region, warmer 76 degree water found outside of Cabo San Lucas and around the Gordo Banks.
The all-around fishing action remains scattered, a lot of variety in the area now, but no particular species is overly abundant. Clear blue water is being found within a few miles of shore, though there is greener conditions towards the north near Los Frailes. Schools of sardinetas are now congregated off of San Jose del Cabo, always a good sign that these will be attracting more gamefish, particularly striped marlin. Still no reports of the normal smaller sardinas being found, word has spread that this species will be under stricter regulations to help this stock rebound once the environmental conditions are to their liking so that they return to their normal migration patterns. With ocean temperatures remaining warmer than normal, this has contributed to changing oxygen levels and plankton growth, which these baitfish feed on, El Nino has all normal patterns all mixed up.
A sign that anything could happen on any given day was confirmed when local pangero legend Hugo Pino from La Playita landed a 350 lb. black marlin off of the Gordo Banks mid- week, Hugo was trolling a live caballito when the black struck. Very unusual to find black marlin hanging around these grounds during mid-February. On these same grounds there have been yellowfin tuna, some of these tuna are over the hundred pound mark, many have been seen of all sizes, feeding on what look like an abundance of flying fish, hard to entice them to strike on anything else, though a handful of these yellowfin to 120 lb. have been landed, some on normal morning charters, other on afternoon trips by the selective few commercial and private boats that do go out later in the day. Problem has been finding a calm enough afternoon, these anglers are stock piling slabs of squid as well, the more chum the better, to help entice these finicky tuna.
Not all that much going off the bottom, wind earlier in the week, combined with persistently stronger currents and then the ever present hungry sea lions, all has added up to few numbers of snapper, cabrilla and amberjack. There was a report of a couple of yellowtail, so maybe more of these popular jacks will move in. If conditions do continue to stabilize, we should see improved bottom action, anglers have been using whole and cut baits, as well as yo-yo jigs, some charters are starting to use down riggers.
Wahoo are hanging around into winter season again, though bite has been sporadic, more chances now there a favorite food source of sadinetas have showed up. Punta Gorda seems to be holding more numbers of the wahoo now, but the word has also spread, putting added pressure on these already elusive and shy fish.
Very few dorado being found, just a few single fish, no particular place better than the other. Inshore there were some roosterfish and a few sierra found, a few roosterfish to 20 lb., good sized for this time of year. With the warmer water and lack of sardinas for bait there have been no big numbers of sierra
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 black marlin, 17 striped marlin, 14 wahoo, 35 yellowfin tuna, 11 dorado, 10 amberjack, 16 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 1 thrasher shark, 16 huachinango, 52 misc. pargo/snapper , 6 sierra, 24 roosterfish and 55 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric