Fish Report

January 8, 2018 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

Cabo San Lucas

The fleet enjoyed good striped marlin for the boats targeting billfish. There was also a strong dorado bite, though many were on the smallish side, dictating a ‘release and wait’ for the larger one to come along.

There were also a few wahoo for the patient anglers who busied themselves with a steady yellowfin tuna bite while they waited. Rounding out the catch were sierra (which are great for ceviche). Others found some roosterfish to catch and release. For the remainder of the anglers, bottom fish completed the day’s take.

fishkiller_5.JPGCabo Climate: Daytime temps averaged 78.4 degrees, nights averaged 65.1 degrees and the humidity ratio averaged 64.4%. Mostly cloudy with scattered showers here and there.

Sea Conditions: Water temps are cooling down on both sides of the peninsula. Starting at the Finger Bank on the Pacific side and southerly across the Golden Gate Bank, down across the Jaime Banks, out across the 1,000 Fathom Curve, around the tip of Cabo and out to the 95 Fathom Spot, up the Sea of Cortez side to the 1150 Fathom Spot and across the Gorda Banks, all were at 77 to 78 degrees. Sea surface breezes flowed mostly from the westerly directions, changing to the southeast occasionally and averaging about 6.4 mph over calm waters. Los Frailes and above is cooling off rapidly and is now at 74 to 75 degrees.

Best Fishing Areas: The Golden Gate Bank was the hottest spot for the billfish. There were good reports of lots of feeders on the bank chasing the green mackerel. The Herradura, Pozo Cota and Los Arcos were all reporting a few billfish too, but not nearly as good as the Golden Gate Bank area.

Best Bait/Lures: While lots of fish were at the Golden Gate Bank, the marlin were very finicky biters and even changing to lighter leaders and mackerel for bait. It was still a stubborn bite with short biters that fell off quickly.

Live Bait Supply: Good caballito supply for the anglers at the $3.00 per bait rate. Plenty of bait available on top of the Golden Gate Bank that worked best for the billfish there on the high spot.

Puerto Los Cabos

The most productive fishing grounds ranged from Palmilla, Punta Gorda and La Fortuna. Yellowfin tuna and dorado were the most common catches, though the wahoo action also rebounded. Despite the winds not being as strong, there was still a swift current running, and this made it harder to do much bottom fishing. For the anglers who did try drift fishing over shallower rocky reefs, they had some success for a variety of quality eating species, including leopard grouper, yellow snapper, triggerfish, barred pargo, island jack and others.

The action for the larger grade of yellowfin tuna on the Gordo Banks again has faded out and now the better bite for tuna is either off Palmilla or at La Fortuna, with Palmilla being a hot spot one day and maybe not so good the next. Also, there are tons of black skipjack to deal with, which are mixed in with the yellowfin. There were decent-sized tuna in the 15 to 40 pound class found on La Fortuna, though there were a lot of aggressive and hungry sharks that were grabbing any hooked tuna that they could get a hold of, so more fish were being lost than landed.

Dorado were found throughout the inshore areas, most of them caught on sardina or caballito; sizes ranged up to 20 pounds.

Wahoo action came back to life off of Punta Gorda and Palmilla. The word now travels more quickly, and these elusive gamefish can become very spooky with the added pressure, increasingly so with so many spear fishers swimming around on the same fishing grounds. Best bet for hooking into the wahoo was by slow-trolling rigged bait such as chihuil or caballito; sizes ranged to over 40 pounds.

Besides finding a variety of sport fish, there were increased sightings of whales, and other sea life, including, turtles, manta rays, and sea lions.

Climate: There was a mix of cloud cover and still plenty of warm sunshine, with temperatures up to 80 degrees. Winds have been far lighter recently, and ocean water temperatures ranged from 74 to 77 degrees.

East Cape

This is the time of year that, depending on the weather, tin boats will outnumber cruisers and pangas from the local hotels heading out to fish on calm days.

Most of the action is close to shore with roosterfish, jacks and sierra being prime targets. There are a few dorado now, but as the water gets cooler they will hightail it, following the warmer currents southward toward the mainland.

When the cruisers do go out, they are still finding a few billfish along with yellowfin tuna being another possibility. Then there are the days that the North wind howls and the fisher folk become spectators as the wind surfers cavort across the wind-driven waves.

Climate: Winter has been settling in as air temperatures bounce between a low of 59 and high of 70 degrees, along with about the same 70+ degree sea temperature.

La Paz

Town was getting busier as folks were bustling around for the holidays. It was pretty festive, but not a lot of fishing going on.

Reports from the water were mostly from the Las Arenas/Muertos Bay area, and fishing at the north and south ends of Cerralvo Island (wind and waves permitting) and closer to shore near Punta Perico and the old hotel Las Arenas.

From the island, some wahoo are still around, but some yellowtail are starting to poke up their heads on live bait when you get it, or on the same Rapalas that we’re using to slow-troll for the wahoo. There was an unconfirmed report from commercial pangeros that there were still some tuna just off the south end of the island on the high spot as well.

Closer to shore, scattered dorado up to about 10 or 15 pounds are still hanging out which is surprising given the lateness of the year. Along the rocks, the pargo, cabrilla and sierra, our more typical cold-water catches, are getting more prevalent as well as jacks along the deeper drop-offs.

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.