Weather Shuts Down Tuna Bite, Then Rebounds Over Weekend ~ March 3, 2018

Anglers –
March 3, 2018

Well the unpredictable month of February is now finally over, we anticipate that the new month will bring more stable conditions, as it normally does, warmer days should be arriving soon. Though the start of this week we saw a cold wave sweep in from the north, gusty winds mid-week which finally resided for the weekend. High temperatures were barely reaching up to 70 to 74 degree mark, early mornings were chilly, down in the 50s. Crowds of tourists appeared to be lighter than usual, with Spring Break just around the corner we should see more people arriving.

Ocean temperatures were ranging from 70 to 74 degrees, with the warmest area now being around the Jaime Banks off of Cabo San Lucas. Off of San Jose del Cabo and to Los Frailes the water averaged 70 degrees, despite strong north winds earlier in the week the water still was fairly clean. We are now also in the full moon phase and this can often impact feeding habits of certain species of gamefish. The main baitfish now being used has been sardinas, the bait netters had been finding these off of the stretches near San Luis, but higher swells made this tougher and once again the majority of the bait is being found along the rocky shore line from Palmilla to Cabo Real, but they took longer than usual to obtain enough bait to supply the fleet sufficiently, but it was worth the wait, because these sardinas are what the yellowfin tuna are hitting on.

The bite for the tuna has mainly been off of Vinorama, some fish were also found on San Luis Bank and near Iman. Last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday the action was good for fish averaging 20 to 50 lb., with one yellowfin tuna of 93 lb. weighed in. Fish were finicky and line shy at times, anglers were using 30 to 40 lb. line with best success, sporting tackle for tuna of this grade. The gusty weather shut the action completely down on Wednesday and Thursday, before the bite rebounded on Friday, with charters averaging two five tuna each. Considering this is now off season for yellowfin tuna this action has been a welcome bonus.

Billfish action was limited to sporadic action on the Pacific, no striped marlin now on the grounds off of San Jose del Cabo. Dorado continued to be found daily, though in fewer numbers and most of these fish are small juveniles in the five pound range, with a rare ten pounder mixed in. When the ocean temperature dips down near the 70 degree range species such as dorado generally head on a southern migration, following the wahoo, which have already moved out of the area.

With most charters waiting longer time in order to obtain sardinas and then heading far north towards Vinorama to target the tuna, there was not a whole lot of bottom action even being targeted. Though we did see a mix of yellow snapper, huachinango, leopard grouper, even a couple of broomtails and of course a few bonito and triggerfish. No yellowtail or amberjack reported, nor did anyone report seeing pelagic red crabs, so the red snapper bite was very limited, just one or two fish here or there.

There were some sierra found along inshore beaches from Palmilla to Chileno, but not in the numbers we would expect considering that this is now their peak season. With the colder water we did not find any roosterfish or jack crevalle either. Still plenty of whales in the region, they should be around all of this month.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 74 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 105 yellowfin tuna, 112 dorado, 1 wahoo, 2 broomtail grouper, 16 yellow snapper, 19 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 26 huachinango (red snapper), 16 bonito, 32 sierra and 26 triggerfish.

Good fishing, Eric

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