Fish Report

August 8, 2016 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

After a sweltering July everyone is expecting an even hotter August! Slather on lots of sunscreen and drink lots of liquids. I know I’m supposed to say water, but we’re in Cabo.Lines and Good Luck, Gary Graham, gary@garycgraham.com

Cabo San Lucas.  Where to start. Yellowfin tuna, in some cases topping 200 pounds, are putting on a show on the Pacific side. These critters are not your normal couch-potato-angler kind of fish. Just sayin’, bring your stamina and your game, they are tough. Win the battle and you will have enough bragging rights to last a lifetime.Another species that put Cabo on the map over sixty years ago are the billfish and they are in the house!A blue marlin was caught up at East Cape that was over 600 pounds and as long as a small boat; there have been so many recently that reports of grand slams --which is catching three of the four (striped, blue, black marlin and sailfish) in a single day have almost become ho-hum of as a handful of grand slams are reported each week.As far as other species go, dorado and wahoo are being caught almost every day recently. Plus skipjack and amberjack are being caught, and lots of sharks are being caught and released; mostly silkys but also mako and hammerhead.

San Jose. Clean blue water is within a couple of miles from shore and swift currents have been sweeping through the fishing grounds; water temperatures have ranged from 80 to 85 degrees. In the Marina Channel area, bait vendors have offered mixed quantities of caballito, mullet and moonfish, with a few odd species mixed in, and some slabs of squid are being used again.

Early in the day boats have been doing okay on yo-yo jigs near the San Luis Bank, some red snapper (huachinango), cabrilla, pargo, bonito and amberjack. Though not many charters were trying this action for various reason, one being late departures due to having to check weather possibilities. Local fleets found their best option within several miles of shore from Cardon to San Luis Bank. Average catches were just handfuls of fish per boat and the highlight of these catches were wahoo, which were on the bite in the area of La Fortuna, striking mainly on trolled Rapalas -- a few on rigged baits. No huge numbers, though some boats caught up to three fish; anglers were fortunate to land one or two and sizes ranged from 20 to 50 pounds.Several nice sized ones were in the mix and of course there were the usual stories of other lost fish.

Offshore action was slow with occasional encounters with striped marlin, shark and smaller-sized dorado.

Yellowfin tuna were in the area, no big numbers, and the majority being smaller-sized 10 to 35 pounds, striking yo-yo jigs and medium-sized trolling lures; some were hitting on stripped squid. No consistent action or significant numbers on a day-to-day basis. Some larger-sized yellowfin were reported on the Pacific Banks off of Cabo San Lucas, though again it was a hit or miss scenario.

It’s getting late in the season now, though roosterfish and jack crevalle continue to be found patrolling inshore stretches, striking on slow-trolled live baits. Roosterfish to 50 pounds are being caught and released.

East Cape. It’s all about marlin! The billfish bite has been a good mix of blues, stripes and sails with most of the action at La Ribera Bank. The big blue marlin were grabbing large, brightly colored lures and striped marlin were hitting rigged ballyhoo.

Dorado remain missing players thus far this season. Yellowfin tuna come and go. Currently there was a smattering of nice-sized fish off of Buena Vista; they produced one day and the next morning the word had gotten out and it was like a parking lot with only a few bite for the large local fleet trolling about.

Anglers who worked the bottom found good-sized barred pargo. Other bottom fish included amberjack, pompano and cabrilla. Roosterfish and jack cravelle continue to cavort close to shore and some of them are bucket list size. Fly-rodders beware – these are bruisers, so carry a 10-weight at the minimum.

Excellent air and water combined for some spectacular fishing. Very mild mid-day breezes.

La Paz. Recently the winds came in strong, along with cloudy skies and even some rain in the mountains with an occasional shower on the water for our anglers. We barely saw sunshine. The billfish bite, while still okay was not consistent. The dorado could not be found.Even our reliable roosterfish have been harder to find. We didn’t have a lotfishermen, so maybe that was a good thing. We’ve been solidly busy, but recently we had a few days with only a few pangas out.

At Las Arenas the roosterfish have saved us time-and-again all season. The fish are nice quality fish from 25 to 60 pounds. But even the roosters were harder to come by, although we still got a few. Surprisingly, we also caught amberjack. We had not seen any for about a month and these are usually spring-time fish when waters are cooler. It’s really surprising to get them when it’s almost August!

A few billfish were hooked and lost. Wahoo are apparently still in the area as well. We had several inadvertent hook-ups but fish were either bit off or were dumped.

La Paz definitely was the area with the most action. Not great fishing, but the better area just to get your rod bent. There were billfish out there with stripers and larger blues getting hooked, but nothing like it had been. is out now and there’s so much more boat traffic out there with a lot of local boats all zipping back and forth across the marlin holes.

Much of our action has been inshore for pargo, cabrilla, jack crevalle, triggerfish, bonito and amberjack. Again, normally we would NEVER even be talking about these species of fish this time of year. These are spring-time species. We should be talking about dorado! But other than the occasional free-swimmer, there’s just not many of the pelagic species out there. areas are having their issues finding dorado as well so it’s not just us.

On the upside, the waters are warming and clearing up. Much bluer every week and there’s a bunch of sargasso weed about 10 miles north of town that’s moving south towards us so that’s very promising because the live bait situation is also improving. My captains are saying to give it 2 to 3 weeks and they think we’ll be getting dorado.

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.