With the big money/ big fish contests completed, anglers are looking forward to the 18th WON/Yamaha Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament taking place Nov. 2 - 5. As we go to press, there are 35 teams entered. The weigh-in will take place on Thursday and Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the Malecon in front of Tesoro Los Cabos hotel and the public is welcome. If you have never attended a weigh-in, stop by; some of the tuna can weigh up to 300 pounds.
Tight Lines and Good Luck, Gary Graham, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cabo San Lucas
While most of the fleet concentrated on billfish during the three days of the recent tournaments, the 121 teams caught a total of 234 billfish of which only 5 met the minimum weight of 300 pounds.
The largest qualifying fish weighed 534 pounds and the smallest 304 pounds, all competing for approximately $3.5 million. After a fight lasting about an hour, Julio Fernandez and his veteran Southern California team aboard Quitena boated the 534-pound black marlin with Captain Rich Hamilton at the helm earning the team a staggering $2,183.000 for their catch.
Another Southern California team aboard the C-Bandit, the last to the scales with their 414-pound black marlin securing them second place honors and a fat check of $685.000.
Non-tournament boats found yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, skipjack and roosterfish.
The action shifted more in the direction of Vinorama; the full moon seemed to have some impact with the tuna bite becoming more finicky day by day -- some days early, some days late. Average-sized yellowfin being caught are in the 15 to 35 pound class, but obviously there are some much larger fish in the area. Early on, a few boats located porpoise off San Jose and there were large concentrations of yellowfin tuna traveling with them. The porpoise were traveling quickly, so the key was to get in front of them, drop down strips of squid, then repeat the process over and over -- fast pace fishing, but also very productive for tuna weighing 20 to 30 pounds.
Wahoo have started to become more active. Best areas are from San Luis to Vinorama; the best technique for enticing strikes has been slow trolling with trap hooked chihuil, though these baits are not easy to obtain. A few fish were striking on trolled Rapalas as well. The wahoo landed ranged in size up to 50 pounds.
Dorado continue to be limited, though we have seen a few more nicer-sized specimen; bulls up to 30 pounds were scattered -- most were taken on trolled lures, though others on the same striped squid being targeted for tuna.
Inshore action consisted of a few roosterfish, jack crevalle and at least one snook, caught by anglers in the vicinity of the marina jetties.
It’s getting cooler, although it’s still warm in the middle of the day. The water temperature is around 83 degrees. No weather issues what so ever! The next two weeks or so are probably the last chance at good East Cape fishing for the year.
The billfish bite has remained solid with blues, stripers and sails. Most billfish are taken by anglers returning from the tuna bite down south from La Ribera all the way to Los Frailes. That being said, some anglers caught stripers while working the bottom for amberjack and snapper.
Plenty of good quality tuna are taken with pockets of fish found all over but the shelf off La Ribera produced fish as did El Rincon. The most active bite was farther south including various places from Los Frailes to San Luis including El Farito. The Iman Bank also produced fish. It’s a 100% squid bite at the moment.
Dorado are around, but the bite has definitely slowed. Fewer but bigger is a good description.
The marvelous wahoo bite of 2016 continues. We again had fish in the 40 to 50 pound class and multiples per boat were not unusual. Again, fish were found to the south while travelling to the tuna bite. Some fish are mixed in with the tuna. Many fish disappointed anglers by biting off their tuna rigs.
With the focus on tuna, not a lot of anglers have been looking for roosterfish. However, no doubt there are good fish in all the usual places as this is their time of year.
Bottom fishing was mainly about amberjack and red snapper. Fish are lurking in deep water on the shelf off La Ribera. Beware though: don't go too light on the tackle as you are likely to hook into a marlin while dropping the bait.
In La Paz, the dorado bite had all the fish you could ask for most days. The only problem was that often the whole day could be really slow, then the bite blew up very late -- with crazy, off the wall double and triple hooks ups. The other thing was that these dorado continued to be the 5 to 10 pound shorts we’ve had the last two seasons with only the occasional 20 or 30 pounder that simply dwarfed the other fish. Still, if you just wanted to fill your zip lock bags, it was hard to beat and still loads of fun.
For Las Arenas, what was lacking in volume could be made up in quality. The few fish we caught were generally very big fish. But you only got that one shot, if you got it at all. I won’t kid you, some boats barely got bit.
For the few that did get bit, they got the wahoo of their lives in some cases. All the wahoo averaged 40 to 60 pounds! These were huge ‘hoo that bit chunks of squid or dark Rapalas. Of these were simply free-swimming fish near the rocks or shore that took a bit of dead bonito or a big fat slap of squid thrown at them. One fish estimated at 60 to 70 pounds was on the line for 15 minutes when a killer whale jumped in and grabbed it!
For other species, the tuna bite has slowed radically, but the few that were caught were the larger 20 to 30 pound fatties that put the bend in some surprised rods. Again, the chunked squid was the ticket. However, anglers only caught 1 to 4 a day of these fish among several pangas.
There’s still some giant roosterfish around -- up to about 60 pounds. There’s a smattering of 10 pound dorado plus more and more big rainbow runners that are cousins to yellowtail and indicative that cooler waters are moving in as the season changes and starts to come to an end.
Cabo San Lucas
Tracy Ehrenberg www.piscessportfishing.com
Larry Edwards www.cortezcharters.com
San Jose del Cabo
Gordo Bank Pangas www.gordobanks.com
Rancho Leonero Hotel www.rancholeonero.com
Jen Wren Sportfishing www.thejenwren.com
East Cape Tackle Cindy Kirkwood, www.eastcapetackle.com
Jonathan Roldan's Tailhunter International www.tailhunter-international.com