Fish Report

July 10, 2017
BY: GARY GRAHAM

Cabo San Lucas

Hurricane Dora tried to make it to Cabo for the first storm of the season, but turned toward Hawaii instead, fizzling into a non-issue for Baja and leaving the lower tip with more good weather and lots of sunshine. The “Fish Cabo" boat landed a 175-pound yellowfin tuna on 40-pound test mono after four hours of battle, while inshore action remained some of the best in years for roosters, jacks and skipjacks.

fishkiller_1.JPGCabo Climate: There were a couple of days of partly cloudy conditions, but otherwise it was a good week of weather with daytime temps averaging 82.3 and nights 76.5 degrees. The humidity ratio averaged 72%.

Sea Conditions: Water temps from the Finger Bank to Cabo on the Pacific side varied from 70 to 72 degrees, and from Cabo to Los Frailes, out 5 to 10 miles, was at 73 to 74 degrees. From the 95 Fathom Spot to the 1150 Fathom Spot, and outside the 1000 Fathom Curve, was at 74 to 79 degrees. The surface breezes were primarily from the westerly directions and averaged about 13.2 mph on the Pacific side, but were nearly flat calm on the Sea of Cortez side.

Best Bait/Lure: Live bait was best for the few stripers that were caught, but for the most part bait was ignored by the billfish. Big tuna were taken on bait, but the smaller tuna were taken on a variety of feathers and lures being trolled around the area.

Bait Supply: Bait was readily available at the $3.00 per bait rate.

Puerto Los Cabos

Though the ocean conditions remain turned over, as slack currents are delaying the time it takes for conditions to rebound, the water temperature is back up into the 74-degree range in the direction of San Jose and Los Frailes, out to about 10 to 15 miles. The water is green and slowly clearing; offshore the water is cleaner and into the upper 70-degree range.

Though better fishing action is being found closer inshore near the Iman to San Luis Banks, boats venturing farther offshore found little to talk about. Some striped marlin were seen, but few were hooked.

Bait supplies remained steady for caballito and mullet, but bolito on the fishing grounds vanished. As conditions recover, offshore grounds will begin to attract baitfish schools.

Meanwhile, fleets found bottom fishing with yo-yo type jigs for red snapper and a few amberjack productive. The snapper, or huachinango, were found mainly on the San Luis Bank. These excellent eating fish averaged 4 to 10 pounds, along with a few amberjack in the same area weighing between 10 to 30 pounds.

There’ve been only a few small-sized dorado recently, with a couple of missed wahoo strikes. There were some quality-sized yellowfin tuna hooked from Iman to San Luis; anglers drift-fishing or slow-trolling various bait had the most success. One yellowfin weighing close to 100 pounds was landed mid-week. A few tuna in the 40 to 70 pound range were reported on other days.

Those fishing inshore for roosterfish found a few, though they were scattered due to off-colored, cooler conditions, as well as the increasing swells.

East Cape

The temperature dropped 8 to 10 degrees recently, killing the tuna bite along with any chance of live bait. But now, East Cape is pretty much back to normal. Good bait was available again and boats went outside after tuna. Mostly “footballs,” they were hungry and biting freely.

The big news was the spectacular roosterfish bite this week. Anglers were catching as many of these huge, back-breaking fish as they wanted. Some were in the 50 to 80 pound range! Be sure to load up on bait.

The marlin bite continues to be good. Stripers only, though, no sailfish or blue marlin this week. Most were taken from La Ribera to the lighthouse.

There were scattered football-sized yellowfin tuna outside, but as the weather settles, it’ll be business as usual.

Dorado fishing was good to very good. Mostly 8 to 12 pounders, scrappy as they could be on light tackle. They were picked off under shark buoys; some on the troll, others on chunk squid.

Wahoo were also back on the bite, with a few hitting the cleaning table later in the week. There were also good pargo, pompano and amberjack around when the water warmed back up.

La Paz

Hurricane Dora, way to the south of the tip of Baja, skirted far down and quickly went out west to the Pacific. It didn’t bring rain. It didn’t bring clouds. But, what it did bring was upwelling and swells of cold water that dropped water temperatures 5 to 10 degrees. Not only did the waters turn from blue to green, the fish were just in shock, like when your hot water turns off in the shower as your neighbor flushes the head and you get a jolt of cold water. Although the skies remained sunny and hot, the fish went lockjaw.

On top of that there were several windy days. One place was flat as a pond, but white-capping waves several miles away didn’t do much for clearing up the water.

The biggest issue was a red tide that really put the slammer on everything. This resulted from, of all things, warm water that set off a massive algae bloom that quickly got out-of-hand. It was so thick that waters looked “red” or “rusty” in places and cloudy and filmy and dirty in others. Local restaurants were warned not to use local shellfish during the red-tide; the algae bloom chokes the oxygen out of the water and in some cases like shallow bays, kills off marine life.

So, the fish just disappeared. Captains and clients worked hard, but from limits of dorado boats went down to a single dorado bite. When found, the fish weren’t interested in eating.

There was a dorado here and there; anglers lost the occasional wahoo. Pargo, cabrilla and triggerfish were still in the rocks. A few jack crevalle and rooster fish were around, but that was it.

Things change fast. The thing with the algae bloom is that the warm water that created it will suddenly kill it off as the temperatures continue to climb. Then, the waters turn blue. Hopefully, by the time you read this, conditions will have swung back again.

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 www.eastcapetackle.com

La Paz

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