Fish Report

May 16, 2016 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

Baja Sur Fishing…Sunday, May 8, 2016

After more false starts than we care to count, the billfish numbers seem to be on the rise. There are enough blue flags flying on the returning boats to offer encouragement to those visiting anglers hoping to release one of those monsters after a quick photo of their moment of fame. Tight Lines and Good Luck, Gary Graham, gary@garycgraham.com

Cabo San Lucas Finally, after months of small game fishing being in the forefront, the number of released billfish has begun to creep up. Fleet reports reflect a growing number of multiple releases each afternoon by boats racing back to the Marina.

The annual three-month ban on the taking sharks as decreed by the Mexican Government began on May 1 and will continue until July 31. Of course, recently as if on cue, the spawning sharks showed up. The good news: eager anglers are allowed to catch and release them during this period, but they cannot kill them nor can they bring a dead shark back to the dock.

A couple of boats caught dorado, and tuna catches were on a par – all small fish. Small game catches continue but to a lesser degree with boats remaining closer to shore catching grouper, ladyfish, triggerfish, babosa, sheepshead, skipjack, roosterfish and one solitary wahoo weighing around 40 pounds.

Marlin and shark were caught between Santa Maria and the 1150 Spot; smaller game was on the Pacific side at Migrino. It has been partly cloudy and windy on the Pacific, with lighter winds on the Cortez side and average sea temp of 76 degrees.

San Jose Striped marlin action dropped off again; sporadic reported from the 1150 Spot along with some action straight off San Jose del Cabo. However, no big numbers, no baitfish nor feeding frenzy reports. We have seen more dorado than we have for some time — still no significant numbers, but at least we saw a few dorado in the 15- to 20-pound class. As fast as this action developed, it slowed just as fast to seeing an occasional single smaller-sized dorado — a bit discouraging, but once again that is not abnormal for this time of year.

Wahoo were being found from Red Hill, Palmilla, to Iman, San Luis and Vinorama. Some anglers landed as many as three, while reporting many other lost hook ups. Strikes reportedly came on Rapalas, rigged ballyhoo, caballito and chihuil. Better action earlier in the week, a little more finicky later in the week, off colored water conditions never seem to help the wahoo bite.

Yellowfin tuna were still being found on Iman Bank and towards the north, though this action has dropped way off, nothing consistent at all, some charters caught up to three yellowfin, while others never even had a strike; strips of squid was the best bet for hooking a tuna, though a few were also taken on baits such as ballyhoo or chihuil and yo-yo iron jigs. Some decent quality yellowfin in the 25- to 80-pound class were reported in limited numbers.

Closer to shore there were some late season sierra up to 8-pounds landed, also a handful of roosterfish and jack crevalle.

East Cape As May settles in, the days are mild and seas are flat with temps in the mid 70s. The area, while not wide open, has provided a good variety of fishing. Again the available bait is a bit large for most inshore fishing.

Although normally peak season for striped marlin, the recent flurry has slowed to a disappointing few here and there with no concentration. Wahoo to 50 pounds continue to surprise locals and visitors alike as a few seem to be on the “caught list” nearly every day. Some of the fleet found yellowfin tuna up to 40 pounds beneath porpoise schools in sight of land due east.

Good pompano bite continues with the area around the Lighthouse being best, but kayakers also hooked them along the shore in front of the hotels. Roosterfish are biting strong around the Marina entrance. All in all, good fishing but not wide open.

La Paz La Paz has been a good fall back area for fish. There’s a spot across La Paz Bay on the way to San Juan de la Costa that has held a nice little “honey hole” of smaller dorado. Offering a late-morning or early afternoon of good action of fish from 5 to 10 pounds with limits not uncommon. There has been very little else going on although the conditions really have looked good. However, anglers hit into some cabrilla and pargo, amberjack and roosterfish recently to give up a little more variety, but the big surprise was some really big-shouldered yellowtail that had been assumed long gone. These 30- to 40-pound fish were slugs and powerful fighters, resulting in more fish lost than caught but finally good to see some quality-sized fish show up.

It’s been hit or miss a lot for Las Arenas anglers during this early part of the season – not bad; it has just been erratic and inconsistent. One day it’s great – next day so-so. One boat does great — the boat next to it can’t even buy a fish! One day it’s cabrilla and sierra; the next day in the same spot, it’s bonito — next day roosterfish, but no bonito. However, late in the week we had a rush of some of those big yellowtail up to about 40 pounds plus amberjack, larger rooster fish and even some big pargo liso (mullet snapper) that haven’t been seen in a while…surely not that big!

Some great fly fishers really worked hard at it, and although no roosters came up, several were almost agonizingly closely caught. However, they did get into action on bonito, ladyfish, and triggerfish. Bait is still an issue.

 

Cabo San Lucas

Tracy Ehrenberg www.piscessportfishing.com

Larry Edwards www.cortezcharters.com

San Jose

Gordo Bank Pangas www.gordobanks.com

East Cape

Rancho Leonero Hotel www.rancholeonero.com

Jen Wren Sportfishing www.thejenwren.com

East Cape Tackle Cindy Kirkwood, www.eastcapetackle.com

La Paz

Jonathan Roldan’s Tailhunter International www.tailhunter-international.com