December 17, 2016
We are now seeing light crowds of tourists visiting, this is always the pattern during the couple of weeks before the Christmas Holiday. People are busy with preparations now, this slack time gives us all a little more freedom to take care of personal agendas, actually a relief to have a lighter schedule in order to catch up on other things that have been put aside through the busy fall season. Winds were much lighter this past week, though it was cooler early in the morning, temperatures down in the 50s, though daytime highs did reach up near 80 degrees. While most of the U.S. and Canada are enduring frigid conditions, we are enjoying the great Southern Baja climate.
There are now large concentrations of mackerel, with sardineta mixed in, being found several miles off of the San Jose del Cabo hotel zone, this is always a favorable sign that this food source will attract more gamefish, most notably striped marlin and dorado. So far we have seen a few dorado and marlin in this area, but no significant numbers. We are also coming off of a bright full moon, which can cause feeding habits of gamefish to change. Ocean water temperature has been averaging in the 75 to 77 degree range, which is still a few degrees higher than normal for this time frame. Water clarity was greenish on the grounds north of Punta Gorda, depending from day to day where you were, some areas were off colored, though blue water was also found near these same grounds, currents moving through, changing daily, a lot depends on how persistent the north winds is. The annual whale migration is behind schedule this season, same thing happened last year, we do expect to start seeing more numbers of both humpback and gray whales soon.
Anglers were using strips of squid to target the yellowfin tuna, Punta Gorda continued to be one of the more productive areas, yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 30 lb. range were schooling on these grounds. Some days the fish would not bite until later in the day. There were porpoise found a bit further from shore that were holding yellowfin tuna as well, charters were chasing these schools down and dropped strips of squid and hooked similar size tuna. There were some much larger tuna, to over 150 lb. still holding on the Gordo Banks, though the only fish that were being hooked were by local anglers fishing the twilight bite, as the sun was setting, one local panga came in with three tuna in the 150 lb. class on Thursday evening.
This week there was good action on red snapper (huahinango), found close to shore off of Punta Gorda, same place where the yellowfin tuna bite was, the snapper were hitting on the strips of squid and ranging from 4 to 10 lb., mixed in were some triggerfish to 8 lb. as well as a locally rare sheepshead of about 24 lb. A few scattered wahoo on these same grounds, though not many are being landed, an occasional fish to 40 lb. As the moon darkens and if conditions remain calm enough, we do expect for the wahoo to go on another bite.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 71 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 285 yellowfin tuna, 19 dorado, 9 wahoo, 1 sheepshead, 6 pompano, 18 yellow snapper, 4 leopard grouper, 290 huachinango, 13 sierra, 3 barred pargo, 1 mako shark, and 180 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric