Yellowfin Tuna Bite, Bait is Scarce, Wahoo Wake Up ~ Oct. 19, 2013


October 19, 2013
Anglers –

The week started out with the passing of Tropical Storm Octave, this latest system followed a path a couple of hundred of miles off to the west of the Southern Baja Peninsula, before making landfall north of Magdalena Bay. Local Ports were officially closed Sunday afternoon until reopening Tuesday morning, higher ocean swells, winds gusts to 30 mph and moderate to heavy rainfall was the main impact felt, with isolated rainfall totals of 3 to 5 inches were reported. Needless to say the roads were a flooded mess. With tournament season now here, there are large crowds of anglers arriving from all around the world. The weather has now settled and conditions are ideal, highs in the upper 80s and early mornings are very comfortable with a light wind breaker jacket.’

Ocean water temperatures are still in the 85 degree range, clean blue water is found within a few mile of shore, though baitfish have become harder to obtain. Sardinas are now schooling near Cabo San Lucas, though this preferred baitfish have not been schooling near San Jose del Cabo. Caballito has been another bait option, available in limited quantities. Out of San Jose del Cabo fleets have been using fresh caught squid, imported from the Los Frailes area, though over this recent full moon phase, suddenly this resource of squid has vanished and carnaderos (bait suppliers) are once again scrambling to find new options. Ballyhoo have not been available on a regular basis either, this is the time when more artificial lures, jigging and other alternate techniques will be used, we do anticipate that the bait situation will rebound, hard to say exactly when this will happen, as global weather patterns can alter normal migration habits. Of course the heavy presence of factory processing ships targeting sardinas in Mag Bay certainly does not help the situation.

The most consistent fishing action recently was found from the Iman to San Luis Bank. This is where sportfishing fleets from all directions are congregating, dicing and chumming with fresh cut squid, while drift fishing with strips of the same bait on light tackle, this technique has been producing good numbers of yellowfin tuna in the 8 to 20 lb. class. At times the yellowfin proved to be finicky, moving around rapidly, up and down, appearing and disappearing just as quickly. The same fishing grounds were producing a mix of wahoo and dorado, but not in any significant numbers, more wahoo were actually landed on stripped squid, as were caught on traditional trolling lures. The wahoo that have been accounted for averaged 25 to 40 lb. Dorado schools have spread out, even though the warm water conditions would seem favorable for these fish, hard to say where they have gone. There are some sailfish and marlin hanging around the same grounds where the yellowfin tuna are schooling. A handful of marlin over 500 pounds have been accounted for by tournament teams trolling these same grounds.

Off the bottom there were a few quality sized grouper landed, as well as a handful of amberjack, dogtooth snapper, pargo colorado, cabrilla, bonito and huachinango. Anglers used various whole and cut baits and yo-yo jigs to find mixed success off the bottom

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 155 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 2 blue marlin, 8 striped marlin, 13 sailfish, 32 wahoo, 6 amberjack, 7 rainbow runner, 6 dogtooth snapper, 20 bonito, 18 huachinango, 14 grouper, 28 dorado and 730 yellowfin tuna.

Good fishing, Eric

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