January 1, 2017
Happy New Year’s !
The end of the year has brought many families visiting Southern Baja, ideal vacation spot to pass the holiday season and bring in the New Year. Busy times now, as everyone is actively preparing for annual festivals. Weather was a bit unusual, very windy from the north through the week, laying down on Friday for the weekend, warmer temperatures, highs near 90 degrees late in the week and early morning lows were a balmy 65 to 80 degrees, warm north wind was blowing. Ocean swells were minimal, though water temperature was cooling into the lower to mid-70 degree range, also green water splotchy throughout the inshore zones. Still decent conditions to hold a variety of pelagic gamefish late into the season.
Schooling mackerel are moving into the region, off of the Pacific Banks and off of the normal grounds off of San Jose del Cabo. This has been attracting more striped marlin, though still in limited numbers, we except for the action to become wide open in coming months. Dorado continue to be scarce, only an occasional fish, most of them small in size. Same deal with wahoo, only a handful of these fish were landed in the past week, though we do believe that many are still remaining in the area, has not become so cold yet to send them migrating south. Early week there was a blue marlin in the 250 lb. class landed from a charter out of La Playita, hooked on a trolled caballito, two hour battle to bring the fish to gaff.
Yellowfin tuna remains one of the main species being successfully targeting, Best action through the first part of the week, as wind shut down the northern grounds, was right near the arches off of Cabo San Lucas, yellowfin to 30 lb. were striking the drifted strips of squid, lots of sea lions to deal with in this area, though boats accounted for up to six yellowfin per outing. Then the action switched back to Punta Gorda, where using the same techniques, anglers found yellowfin ranging up to 50 lb. close off of the point, within one mile. No huge numbers, but charters accounted for one to five fish. Bottom action on the same grounds produced red snapper, triggerfish and a few pargo or pompano. We did hear of one report of a monster yellowfin tuna of over 300 lb. landed off of a larger sportfishing, not sure exactly where the cow was landed. The were 100 lb. plus tuna being seen surfacing on the Gordo Banks, but very few were actually hooked into, Dave Asher visiting from the East Coast did hook up with a very large yellowfin tuna on the Outer Gordo Bank, only to lose the fish after a grueling two hour battle. So it does appear that there will be a chance at these larger grade of yellowfin in to the first part of the New Year.
Live caballito were tougher to obtain early in the week, rebounding later, squid supplies remain sufficient and now the mackerel appear to be picking back up, of course still no reports at all of sardinas being located anywhere in the vicinity. More whales are arriving, after a lull in activity, the mammals now seem to being spotted more frequently.
Close to shore there was roosterfish, jack crevalle and sierra, we did have one super panga catch a release a roosterfish that was estimated near 40 lb., impressive size considering this is not peak season now for the roosters. Most of the sierra we saw were on the small side, Red Hill had a decent bite early in the morning for sierra for anglers trolling small Rapalas and hoochies.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 136 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 sailfish, 1 blue marlin, 13 striped marlin, 195 yellowfin tuna, 14 dorado, 3 wahoo, 8 bonito, 5 pompano, 2 island jack, 22 yellow snapper, 9 leopard grouper, 88 huachinango, 32 tijareta, 34 sierra, 12 rainbow runner, 12 barred pargo, 22 roosterfish and 140 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric