December 24, 2016
Crowds of vacationers were arriving throughout the week in the Los Cabos area to enjoy the Holiday Season south of the border. Many were doing so to escape the frigid cold temperatures sweeping across northern territories. Weather conditions were definitely cooperating, as the persistent northern winds finally calmed down, clear sunny skies, with daytime highs in the 80s, feeling more like spring time than winter. The area was bustling with tourists and many families were reserving sportfishing charters as one of their preferred activities.
Ocean water temperatures were holding in the 74 to 76 degree range, still warmer than usual for this time frame, with the winds residing for a few days now, this has given the chance for clarity to improve and blue water was being found fairly close to shore. Bait supplies remained steady for caballito and strips of squid continue to be used for drift fishing, while targeting the yellowfin tuna action. The majority of the charters launching out of San Jose del Cabo area were fishing areas from Punta Gorda, Gordo Banks, Cardon and Iman Bank. Through much of the week the most productive place proved to be close to shore off of Punta Gorda.
All around action was a bit spotty, some days the bite would be early, some days late. Most common species caught was yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 30 lb. class, no huge numbers, but some charters were fortunate to land five or more tuna per trip. Caballito and the strips of squid was the main method that showed best results. There were a few larger yellowfin tuna still lurking late into the season around the Gordo Banks, but these fish were more finicky than the tuna found closer to shore. Not a tremendous variety of species now, only a few dorado being found, most of these closer to shore as well, the majority smaller size, though we saw a handful of dorado in the 20 lb. range. Wahoo are still hanging around the region, though not many were being landed, they did not seem eager to strike on the normal type of lures or trap hooked baits, though many anglers told stories of having wahoo cut lines that were rigged with lighter mono leaders, which were needed to entice the line shy yellowfin.
Where the tuna action was centered close to shore there were various species of pargo and snapper mixed in, as well as the ever present triggerfish. The commercial fleet were doing well targeting the red snapper with fresh shrimp heads that were able to obtain from shrimp trawlers which were passing through the area while on their way back to their home ports.
While we heard of more striped marlin action being found on the Pacific Banks, we did not see much action for billfish off of San Jose del Cabo, only an occasional striper of sailfish. No signs of any sardina schools and this seems to be hurting any inshore fishing opportunities for sierra or roosterfish. Though a few decent sized roosterfish were hooked into off the beach stretches while trolling with caballito.
After seeing whales earlier in the month starting to appear, recently they have been very few and far between, late to arrive for their annual migration.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 105 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 1 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 235 yellowfin tuna, 26 dorado, 6 wahoo, 12 bonito, 3 grouper, 3 pompano, 32 yellow snapper, 8 leopard grouper, 140 huachinango, 35 tijareta, 12 sierra, 8 rainbow runner, 4 barred pargo, 16 roosterfish and 160 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric