Fish Report

May 29, 2017 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

Cabo San Lucas

Striped marlin are still making a return and have been the main catch recently. Inshore gamefish made up the bulk of the catches, with many boats landing roosterfish in the 10 to 45 pound range. Other species landed include: ladyfish, red snapper, skipjack, roosterfish, jack crevalle, hammerhead shark, grouper, sierra mackerel and sheepshead.

There have also been quite a few hammerhead sharks caught and released lately. It’s important to note that the Mexican government has imposed a temporary shark fishing ban, making it all the more important to handle these fish with care, and releasing them safely once they are at the boat.

fishkiller.JPGLarge roosterfish have started to make an appearance. The bite has been unprecedented, and promises to deliver a few personal bests for those willing to spend some time close to shore.

Best location: Sea of Cortez and San Cristobal on the Pacific side.

Cabo Climate: Clear skies with moderate to calm seas. Average air temperatures have been around 76 degrees. The average water temperature is 77 degrees.

Best lures: Caballito live bait.

Puerto Los Cabos

The winds are finally weakening. However, after a couple weeks of persistent south winds, along with north winds blowing at the same time, we’re still in the middle of a crazy transition period. We need a few weeks of hot and calm weather to get the fishing back on track. Lately, the climate has been on the cool side, with lows of about 65 degrees. It’s an ideal, comfortable climate for this time of year, but surely it will become much warmer soon enough.

Sardina supplies are becoming more limited, and even surf conditions have been light. But this is normal for this time of year. Sometimes patterns can be later than normal, and this appears to be what is happening this season.

Limited numbers of marlin, scattered anywhere from four to 15 or more miles offshore, are being found. Anglers are seeing an occasional tailing fish that will readily take the larger baitfish; some boats are having multiple chances per day. There are rare reports of any dorado being seen. Wahoo have been few and far between as well, with an occasional strike reported. Most of them are incidental and not very successful at actually landing the fish.

A highlight out of San Jose was the boats looking for regenerated yellowfin tuna action between the Iman Bank and Vinorama. Anglers were using what available sardina they could get, and some people were using chuck bait from skipjack with success. Although the bite was sporadic, most days the best chances were early in the day. Daily totals ranged from one or two fish per charter, up to a half dozen. The sizes ranged from 15 to 40 pounds. It’s a nice grade fish for this early in the season.

Lots of yellowfin tuna are now on these grounds, but as they are finicky eaters, they are often gorging on the available natural food source. And too many aggressive black skipjack can be a problem, and of course the ever-present sea lions are often a factor as well.

There wasn’t much action reported off the bottom structure. A few leopard grouper, amberjack, yellow snapper and barred pargo, and more triggerfish than anything else, with a few pushing up to eight pounds. Inshore sierra, now in the later part of their preferred winter cold water season, are still patrolling the shore.

East Cape

The fishing really opened up this month. The striped marlin finally arrived, from La Ribera to Pulmo Park. Anglers are releasing at least one a day, mostly taken on live bait and trolled ballyhoo.

Limits of quality tuna were taken throughout the area, with almost all the yellowfin tuna taken just south of Los Frailes. Fish from 12 to 45 pounds were taken on the troll on live bait and chunk squid.

Two or three wahoo and dorado were being caught daily. The dorado was a welcome addition, with the largest weighing in at 27 pounds and the largest wahoo at 72 pounds. Almost all were taken on the troll.

There’s been very light fishing pressure inshore, since most anglers were chasing the tuna outside. There have been a lot of big roosterfish off most beaches, especially concentrated off the La Ribera Marina entrance.

East Cape climate: Water temperatures have been 79 degrees and warming. Air temperatures are cooler than normal, with highs in the low 80s and cool mornings and evenings. There’s been some wind, and clear flat water now.

La Paz

There were several days when it was again blowing so hard the anglers couldn’t even get in the pangas. When they did get out to fish, the currents were rolling so strong and fast that they had difficulty catching any live bait.

There were some sierra, bonito and jack crevalle hooked, along with a few dorado, and that was pretty much it. Scratchy fishing at best.

Later, conditions came together better and fishing rebounded with some of the best roosterfish of the season. There were some big trophy fish in the 30 to 80 pound class right off the sand at the Punta Arena Lighthouse. All the fish were caught on big live ladyfish (sabalo).

Some billfish were also hooked, as the striped marlin and sailfish finally seemed to wake up.

North of La Paz, near the islands and outcroppings, there were some big cabrilla and pargo. However, even more big fish, including yellowtail and amberjack, were lost in the rocks. But it was made up for with good action on big triggerfish and fat bonito. Not great fishing, but decent action and a lot of fish lost. Having live mackerel and big sardines does make a difference.

Around the peninsula near Coyote and Las Cruces, there were some schools of 15 to 25 pound early-season dorado. Those are some of the largest dorado seen all year.

Then things flipped again, and strong currents shut down the bite. Things went slack just as the boats started to find fish.

Cabo San Lucas

Tracy Ehrenberg www.piscessportfishing.com

Larry Edwards www.cortezcharters.com

San Jose del Cabo
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