Cabo San Lucas Air temperatures have recently decreased a bit and even though our winter is mild compared to other places to the North, it definitely feels like it has arrived. Striped marlin catches remain consistent with the Finger Bank near Todos Santos remaining the top location. Incredible double-digit catches of marlin and dorado were caught in that area. Dorado was the top fish caught with yellowfin tuna catches continuing to dwindle; in their place we’ve seen an increasing number of wahoo being boated with the odd blue marlin and jack crevalle.
The largest fish recently was a blue marlin caught and released aboard the Pisces Cabolero estimated at near 500 pounds. These anglers from Los Angeles, California, also caught three dorado around 20 pounds each off of San Cristobal. The largest wahoo weighed in at 50 pounds and was caught on the Pisces Andrea by a group of anglers from Washington, who also landed three dorado.
Sea Conditions: Overall, good surface conditions with mostly calm waters and surface breezes flowing from the south to southeasterly directions at an average of about 8 mph. Water temps on the Pacific side, from the Finger Bank to Jaime Bank, at 75 degrees. South of the Jaime Bank and east to the 95 Fathom Spot, 1150 Fathom Spot and the Cabrillo Seamount and extending on up to Los Frailes, all were at 77 to 79 degrees.
The better billfish catches came from the Herradura and in to Cabo Falso, (lighthouse area) with dorado catches extending all along the Pacific coastline clear to Todos Santos area and beyond.
Rigged baits were working very well for the billfish and artificials were performing well, along with rigged and live bait for quality-sized dorado in the 25-to 35-pound class.
There’s a very good bait supply (caballito) at $3.00 per bait rate. Still some good action showing on the banks when the green mackerel start to pop to the surface.
San Jose Crowds of tourists have diminished since Thanksgiving -- normal for this time of year. Weather patterns have been on a general cooling trend, north winds are hard to predict but eventually there should be nicer conditions when the wind recedes. Water temperature is in the 77 to 80 degree range with warmest areas in the direction of San Jose del Cabo.
With the weather not being as favorable, there was a decline in all catches. Yellowfin tuna was the main species in various locations -- first the fleet found them off of Punta Gorda, less than one mile from shore, striking on strips of squid and ranging in sizes to 30 pounds. Then some tuna action was found farther offshore beneath fast moving porpoise, with squid being the best bait. No large tuna were reported off Gordo Banks.
Dorado has become scarce again, though more are being found on the Pacific side. We are seeing only an occasional dorado out of La Playita along with wahoo, with only a fish or so per day for the combined fleet.
Billfish action has been limited-- a few striped marlin were reported off of the San Jose del Cabo region, where there were reports of some schooling sardineta and mackerel, an indication of cooling currents. Most of the lingering black or blue marlin will soon be moving out, searching for warmer waters as we await the arrival of the winter time billfish, the striped marlin.
Strong winds have made it difficult to target bottom fish. A few sierra and roosterfish were seen scattered along the shoreline.
Whales have started to arrive for their winter calving and feeding grounds; still a bit early in the season, but in another month or so we should be in peak season for these mammals.
East CapeThe North Winds roll in to a mixed reaction. Local anglers roll their eyes in despair. Yet the local and arriving kite boarders rejoice. For the next few months the two camps will root for the opposite conditions.
Currently, as some hotels declare it’s a wrap and begin preparing for the upcoming 2017 season, others are delighted when the North Wind weakens and they gladly send their guests out to take advantage of the ongoing dorado and yellowfin bite.
While the kite board camp stands on the beach hoping to see a wind line on the horizon, joining them is the tin boat fleet, gauging the distance of the wind line, wanting to knock off a few sierra or whatever before the wind waves begin crashing along the beaches -- recognizing that’s fishing at East Cape in December.
La Paz Apparently, there are still some warm water pelagic species running around this late in the season. There are not many anglers around as this is the “gap” between the holidays and North Winds which have made some days unfishable, providing scratchy fishing at best. However, the few days we got folks out on the water, there were some surprising catches.
Normally, this time of year, the bite is pretty focused on inshore species and colder-water types of fish like cabrilla, pargo, jacks and snapper. Part of the reason, obviously, is that the waters are colder. But, another aspect is that rougher winter conditions, keep us closer to shore fishing the reefs, rocks and sheltered areas.
Recently weather has been cloudy with some really uncomfortably windy days. There was even a bit of rain.
When anglers made it out, it surely wasn’t off-the-wall fishing, but they tagged into some surprising catches. These included some nice-grades of yellowfin tuna in the 20-pound class. Additionally, Captains found some spots of 8- to15-pound dorado and even a few wahoo. Throw those into the box with some nice barred pargo, dog-tooth snapper, a cabrilla or two, red snapper and triggerfish and it made for a surprising variety of fish.
Weather is supposed to clear up with more sunshine, but winds will be increasing as well.
Cabo San Lucas
Tracy Ehrenberg www.piscessportfishing.com
San Jose del Cabo
Gordo Bank Pangaswww.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 Internationalwww.tailhunter-international.com