Fish Report

October 2, 2017 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

Cabo San Lucas

The potential Hurricane Norma did little more than sit offshore from Cabo while threatening to make landfall across the tip of the peninsula, keeping the port closed for three straight days, followed by a fourth day of no anglers or boats venturing out.

She created a week of lost revenue for the fishing fleets of Cabo, but when they were finally allowed to leave the marina, their clients were rewarded with blue marlin, striped marlin and sailfish as well as dorado, yellowfin tuna offshore and inshore skipjack, jacks, plus roosterfish.

fish-killer_0.JPGCabo Climate: Since Norma never fully developed into a hurricane and didn’t touch land, she barely dropped enough rain on Cabo to get the ground wet before moving slowly out to the northwest, fizzling to nothing more than a tropical storm. Day-time temps averaged 86 degrees and nights were 73.6 degrees. The humidity ratio averaged 69.6%.

Sea Conditions: A few days of rough and windy weather caused by Norma on the Pacific side of the peninsula did little more than keep the port closed. Sea temperatures, from the Finger Bank southerly to the Jaime Bank, were all at 83 to 84 degrees. Cabo Falso to Gorda Banks stayed at 85 degrees and from Gorda Banks to Los Frailes varied from 83 to 85 degrees.

Best Fishing Area: The Herradura was the better area for almost everything in the mixed-catch category.

Best Bait/Lure: Live bait, artificials and rigged bait were all working well in most of the areas. A blue marlin estimated to weigh 300 pounds was taken (and released) on an artificial.

Live Bait Supply: There was plenty of live bait available at the $3.00 per bait rate.

Puerto Los Cabos

Fishing action has mainly been centered on the Gordo Banks north to Iman Bank. Water clarity was greenish near Iman and the better action was found on the Gordo Banks. The most common catches were yellowfin tuna in the 50 to 100 pound class, drift fishing with strips of sardina.

No big numbers of tuna were landed, though at times lots of yellowfin could be seen breezing the surface. They were very finicky in striking the bait that had hooks in them. Anglers were doing well to land one or two of these quality tuna.

Off the beach stretches farther to the north, with the water cleaning up on the Iman Bank, the medium-sized tuna in the 5 to 30 pound range bit well, along with dorado up to 10 pounds in the mix.

Some days the yellowfin tuna were more active early in the day, especially on the Gordo Banks, but then things switched around and more action on these grounds happened later in the day. A tuna weighing 170 pounds, and another coming in at close to 300 pounds, were caught by groups of local anglers. They were specifically targeting larger tuna, putting in long extra hours and bringing ample supplies of slabs of squid to continue chumming throughout the day.

Anglers using yo-yo style jigs had mixed success on various red snapper, pargo and amberjack. No big numbers, but a handful of nice yellowfin were also hooked on these jigs.

Not much billfish action reported, though most anglers were targeting the tuna or dorado action.

There was a lack of skipjack and other baitfish on the grounds, but as the water conditions stabilized there were more bait schools being reported.

East Cape

It’s been the best fishing the East Cape has seen for many years, with all anglers easily limiting on tuna and dorado.

Not many boats were chasing billfish with all the tuna and dorado action available. The only boat that did landed a blue off Cabo Pulmo.

The tuna bite off Pescadero continues to hold aggressive biters, ranging from footballs to 60 pounders. Most boats are coming in early to get their fish in the cooler muy pronto.

Schools of dorado are being found all over. Still a lot of debris from the storm. It’s a case of finding your own school and picking out some keepers. Some good roosters were also taken in clean water around the lighthouse.

Fishermen also worked the bottom and inshore this week and were rewarded with pompano, barred pargo, huachinango, cabrilla and amberjack.

Bait: Good bait including sardina and squid.

Weather conditions: Seas have been calm and temperatures right in the zone, mid 80s. Cooler nights with hot, but not oppressive, days.

La Paz

After the storm, thankfully, the dorado were waiting out there north of the city. It wasn’t great fishing because the fish did indeed get their habitats a little stirred up, but if you found the spot, the dorado were there and willing to bite. They varied in size between 5 and 15 pounds, with a few larger thrown in some days. Pangas differed from day-to-day, but overall it wasn’t bad fishing at all.

The nicest surprise was the fact that we got an incredible number of blue marlin hook-ups! After a season in which we’ve had the poorest billfish result in many years, we had more marlin hookups in one week than we’ve had all year. There wasn’t a day this week when we didn’t have at least one big billfish hooked, with most of them coming in at 150 to 300-pounds. And most of them were un-intentional bites. Guys would be fishing for dorado or dragging small lures to catch bonito for bait and hook a big blue. We haven’t seen a whole lot of small stripers or sails all year, but this is definitely turning into a blue marlin kind of year.

After the storm passed, we let the Las Arenas/ Muertos Bay Area sit and rest for awhile because this is where the winds hit hardest and waters were turned over quite a bit.

It got a little better every day until it was pretty much up to full speed throttle. Football 10 pounders up to 25-pound yellowfin seemed to be in a nice line from the lighthouse at Punta Arenas then south through Muertos Bay and south again to Boca de Alamo, about a 3 mile stretch of fish. Best of all, the fish were literally 100 to 200 yards from the beach.

Later in the week, the sardina schools moved right into Muertos Bay and so did the tuna schools and we were catching both tuna and dorado as well as rooster fish right within sight of the boat ramp.

Pangas were limiting early then chasing other species. On the days when there were fewer limits, it might have been a direct correlation to the fact that larger fish were hitting that day and more fish lost. Overall, just some really nice fishing.

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.