Cabo San Lucas What a splendid finish to the year in Cabo San Lucas! The last few days of 2016 yielded some near record breaking sized yellowfin tuna that left local captains and crews shaking their head in amazement.
Aboard the Santana, a 65 foot Viking owned by Jesse Santana, fishing with his three sons, Jesse Jr., Joseph and Jacob, but it was twenty one year old Joseph who hooked the yellowfin tuna. He managed to get the beast to the boat in just 45 minutes after fighting the fish standing up – no fighting chair required for this accomplished young angler. Back at the scale, it weighed 354 pounds, one of the largest ever caught locally. Quite an achievement for a slender young man who only weighs 158 pounds himself!
By day’s end, well after dark, the ‘Pisces Bill Collector arrived with another huge fish; although the fish was not weighed, the fork length was 84 inches and the girth 52 inches, putting it right up there with a 335-pounder brought in earlier.
Several others including Mucho Bueno with an estimated 275- to 300-pounder was followed by yet another tuna caught aboard El Regalo with Jorge Antonio Castro Cosio and Arturo Silva which was in the same category.
Prompting the question from Pisces’ Tracy Ehrenberg, “Was that the best cow sized tuna day ever in Cabo?”
Adding to the end of the year excitement was the excellent black, blue and striped marlin along with an even more unusual sailfish snap.
Meanwhile, the fly fishing crowd made hay close to shore for large roosterfish and small .
Day temps averaged at 82 and nights averaged at 67% humidity was stable at 64% average for the week.A mostly cloudy week with mostly partly cloudy days with excellent sea surface weather conditions except one day
Sea surface breezes flowing mostly from the westerly directions and averaged 7.8 mph.Water temps on the Pacific side from the Finger Bank to Cabo San Lucas and over the Golden Gate Bank and the Jaime Banks, extending from about five miles off shore, was all at 75 degrees from the shoreline to about five miles out was all at 73.5 degrees. Cabo San Lucas to the upper parts of the Gorda Banks was all at 75 degrees.
What a way to close 2016! We hope 2017 continues the trend.
San Jose Schooling mackerel are moving into the region. This has been attracting more striped marlin, though still in limited numbers, we expect the action to become wide open in coming months.
Dorado have continued to be scarce; only an occasional fish, most small in size. Same deal with wahoo, only a handful of these fish were landed in the past week, though we do believe that many still remain in the area, which has not become so cold to send them migrating south. Recently there was a blue marlin in the 250-pound class landed from a charter out of La Playita, hooked on a trolled caballito, two-hour battle to bring the fish to gaff.
Yellowfin tuna remain one of the main species being successfully targeted. Best action right near the arche off of Cabo San Lucas are yellowfin to 30 pounds which were striking the drifted strips of squid; lots of sea lions to deal with in this area, though boats caught up to six yellowfin per outing. Then the action switched back to Punta Gorda, where using the same techniques, anglers found yellowfin up to 50 pounds within one mile of the point. No huge numbers, but charters scored one to five fish.
Bottom action on the same grounds produced red snapper, triggerfish and a few pargo or pompano. There were 100 pound plus tuna being seen surfacing on the Gordo Banks, but very few were actually hooked. Dave Asher, visiting from the East Coast, did hook up with a very large yellowfin tuna on the Outer Gordo Bank, only to lose the fish after a grueling two-hour battle. So it does appear that there will be a chance at the larger grade of yellowfin into the first part of the New Year.
Close to shore there was roosterfish, jack crevalle and sierra; we did have one super panga catch and release a roosterfish that was estimated near 40 pounds. On Red Hill, anglers had a decent early morning sierra bite for small sierra trolling small Rapalas and hoochies.
East Cape While the north winds dominate the fishing news, on the days when the wind backs off enough to tempt visitors to chance it, the results can be stunning. On a recent trip, anglers were rewarded with dorado and tuna, plus a released striped marlin and a couple of sailfish. Nice way to start off 2017!
Even the beach gang is scoring a few roosterfish, sierra and ladyfish before the wind slams in mid-morning.
La Paz Bad news! We had one of those windy wakes that made it tough for fishing with north winds blowing a number of days. The good news was there weren’t as many fishermen as most folks either had their minds on the holidays or were part of the visiting snowbirds enjoying the sunshine. However, for the small window that we did have fishing, we were again surprised by the catches.
At Las Arenas the Fleet from Muertos Bay where the fishing is more protected and closer to shore, we had some good days and then again, some not so much. In addition, we had the usual winter fare like snapper, pargo and cabrilla as well as bonito.
Well, things are still mixed up because there were wahoo and even dorado which are generally fish seen when the weather and waters are warm.
Dorado weren’t big but still, 10 pounders are fun on light tackle and good eating; surely a surprise .And, no one ever argues with catching a wahoo either. Hooked and lost and a few brought to the boat were in the 20 to 25 pound class. A total bonus on a fishing day when you’re not expecting it!
Cabo San Lucas
Tracy Ehrenberg www.piscessportfishing.com
Larry Edwards www.cortezcharters.com
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
Happy New Year