Fish Report

March 19, 2018 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

Cabo San Lucas

Two sportfishing tournaments were held on March 11. The first was Stephen Jansen's (of Jansen Inshore Tackle) 6th Annual Sierra Tournament, held at Migrino Beach. This event features shore fishing and targeting a single species: sierra. It attracted anglers literally from around the world who came to compete. A 6-pound sierra won first prize.

The second event, the 2018 San Jose Festival Traditional Sports Fishing Tournament, is also an annual affair targeting wahoo, yellowfin tuna and dorado. Thirty-nine teams of four anglers fished from boats that departed from both IGY and Puerto Los Cabo Marinas. The largest fish of this event was a 44.9-pound yellowfin tuna caught by Captain Carlos Beltran Colzessus aboard the Feeling Azul.

Cabo Climate: More great fishing weather. Mostly sunny skies with the average daytime temps in the upper-70s and evening temps in the mid-60s.  More of the same is expected throughout the remainder of March with no precipitation predicted over the next two weeks.  Winds are relatively calm with gentle shore breezes in the upper single digits.

Sea Conditions: There have been relatively calm seas throughout the area, with some surface chop occasionally stirred up by surface breezes at 8 to 10 mph, mostly out of the South and SSW. Sea temps around the Golden Gate and Jamie Banks are steadily cooling into the lower 70-degree range. Water around Cabo Falso east to the Gorda Banks is warmer in the 72 to 74 degree range, but the overall water temp is continuing to drop.

Best Fishing Areas: The San Jamie has been producing marlin, but by week’s end the best results were coming from the 95 and 1150 Spots, with some success in the Pozo Cota area. 

Best Bait & Lures: Trolled lures as well as rigged and live bait tossed to surface fish seemed to be the tickets for the marlin. Some boats even mixed in some smaller smoke trail and feathers to coax the dorado.

Bait Supply: Plenty of bait available at $3.00 per bait upon exit from the Harbor.

Puerto Los Cabos

The yellowfin tuna action came to a standstill as there was wind to deal with near the Iman Bank and La Fortuna, where the yellowfin were being found, but a handful of tuna in the 20 to 50 pound range were still being caught. Now the tuna have developed lock jaw; they were seen feeding on free-swimming chummed baitfish, but were extremely finicky in striking any offerings, even when going down to a 20 pound leader. Only a few fish per day were being caught.

The dorado bite has rebounded strongly. Most action was found near La Fortuna while slow-trolling or drift-fishing with sardina. Sizes were mixed, with the largest dorado near 15 pounds. Many small juveniles were hooked into as well. Despite the cooling waters there were several reports of wahoo swimming in small schools on the same dorado and tuna grounds, though they proved elusive and would not strike.

Bottom action has improved, as more anglers were trying this option once the tuna bite slowed. One yellowtail, over 30 pounds, was landed off the same tuna grounds while drift fishing with a live sardina. Decent numbers of leopard grouper, yellow snapper, a few amberjack and of course triggerfish were in the area as well.

Everyone is optimistic about more consistent action soon coming from off the bottom rock piles. No signs of red crab activity yet, but that could happen any time and this could open up the red snapper action.

Only limited numbers of sierra were found close to shore along with a few small roosterfish. A few pompano, surgeon fish, and bonito rounded out the shallow-reef species.

Climate: As the spring season approaches, expect to see varying weather patterns. There will continue to be intermittent cooler days followed by seas settling down and the North Wind lessening; daytime temperatures should warm into the upper-70s. Ocean temperatures have ranged from 70 to 73 degrees; greener currents are working south from Los Frailes near the Gordo Banks.

Best Bait & Lures: The main bait source continues to be sardina, with main concentrations schooling near Cabo Real as well as on the beaches north of San Luis. Supplies have been sufficient, though patience has been necessary as these baitfish are netted each morning. Offshore, near the Gordo Banks, there were reports of balls of baitfish being encountered – mackerel and chihuil. Some of these were caught on sabiki rigs.

East Cape

One fleet boat returned with a flag flapping for one released striped marlin. Those who targeted billfish were rewarded with a striped marlin taken out in front of La Ribera.

No one targeted yellowfin tuna, but they remained over the winter so there’s no reason not to expect an early season.

Dorado were being caught after the last blow. They’re visible and lurking close to shore, waiting for a fly or bait to hit the water.

Climate: North winds prevailed with 70-degree water greeting visiting anglers. Although recently, the spring-like temperatures prevailed. Go figure. 

La Paz

There weren’t many fishermen which is typical this time of year. And for good reason … it has been rough and windy recently. After a few nice weeks of fishable weather, we’ve now had about three consecutive weeks where most of the days weren’t conducive to fishing, which was scratchy at best. A few snapper, some small cabrilla and a few bonito were caught.

During the few windows of time when wind and currents are not a factor, locals and anglers alike were surprised at the quality of fish, especially for this time of year. There were some nicer grade of tuna, some chunky yellowtail, some free-swimming dorado, and it appears the big pargo liso (mullet snapper) are beginning to school-up in the shallows and spawn.

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. ,