Cabo San Lucas
With nearly perfect weather boasting clear skies and calm seas, visitors and locals alike couldn’t resist heading out to sea for a day or so and most boats found reasonably good fishing. While the billfish catches and releases have slowed somewhat there are still enough around to keep it fun; although there are mostly stripers around, there are a few slow to leave sailfish which will disappear as the sea temps continue to decline.
Yellowfin tuna dominated the catch on most of the boats with many reporting limits of fish in the10- to 20-pound range; however, a few landed 100+ pounders as well.
One of the large tuna was boated on the Pisces Adriana; Captain Nicolas Winkler was able to put this group of anglers from Alberta, Canada on a 243 pound yellowfin tuna, as well as a nice little grouper. Both fish were landed on live bait (mackerel) at the Golden Gate spot, and as if that wasn’t enough, one of the anglers, Aaron Roberts, was celebrating his 45th birthday that day.
There was plenty of table fare as well -- sierra mackerel, grouper, sea bass, red snapper, etc. -- for those willing to fish closer to shore.
It has been mostly sunny and clear with a few days of passing clouds. Daytime air temps have averaged 77.6 though nights have been cooler and averaged 59.4. Humidity ratio averaged 56.4%.
Water temps have been cooler from the Golden Gate Bank and around to Los Frailes, all at about 74 degrees, and from Gorda Banks to Los Frailes at 72 degrees. Outside the Jaime Bank to the southwest the temps reflected 75 degrees. Surface breezes were flowing mostly from the westerly directions and averaged from about 9 mph up to about 14 mph. There was some afternoon wind chop on some of the days but otherwise, there were good sea conditions in all out-bound directions.
Best Fishing Area: There was no specific area reported for the better fishing, albeit, lots of really big tuna were seen in the area of the Cabo Falso Drop Off area.
Best Bait/Lure:a lot of different systems were being tried without success, as neither bait nor lures have been working particularly well.
Bait Supply:There has been a good supply of caballito at the $3.00 per bait rate. Mackerel has still been available on the bank drop-offs.
With the North Wind calming and minimal swell, our sea temps plummeted to the low 70s which will probably continue for several months now . An encouraging sign is the return of sardina that have been missing for several years. This is an essential commodity for the sport fisherman added to the sardineta, caballito and fresh dead squid.
There had been sporadic action for a variety of smaller-sized structure species in the same area where anglers are still targeting yellowfin tuna off Punta Gorda to the Iman Bank. Some day’s the action has been early, other days late, and still on other days, the fish did not seem to cooperate at all. Most of the yellowfin tuna that were landed were in the 15- to 30–pound range.
Dorado have been a bit more numerous recently, though the majority were smaller-sized female fish that in reality should be released to help this species have a chance to rebound. We have heard reports about an occasional dorado weighing 20 pounds but these were the exception. Wahoo have been almost nonexistent.
Best bottom action has been for red snapper (huachinango), with Punta Gorda being the most productive spot for this action. Snapper up to ten pounds were striking on various bait near the same place where late season tuna were schooling with only a few leopard grouper, yellow snapper or other pargo species found in the mix. Of course there have been decent numbers of triggerfish.
Even though we are seeing congregations of mackerel off of San Jose del Cabo, very few striped marlin have moved in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. With the food source at hand, anything could happen on any given day however. With sardina now appearing we are hoping to have chances for a good season for inshore sierra as well. Roosterfish action has seemed to come to a halt with the cooling waters.
While the North Wind is a welcome visitor for the upcoming “Lord of the Wind” Kite Boarding competition, it’s not so welcome for the local and visiting anglers. Recent balmy days enticed anglers out onto the beach both early morning and late in the afternoon in hopes of getting in on the sierra mackerel bite taking place just beyond the water color line. Unfortunately, the sierra have been out of casting range for most who had to settle for small cabrilla, ladyfish and grouper. The few pangas that did make it out struck pay dirt for the sierra for ceviche plus they caught some huge skipjack.
Few if any larger boats made it out this week so I’m sure it is wide-open offshore.
Fishing action has slowed with the winter weather lull after the holidays, along with few folks in town and even fewer who are interested in going fishing. A few of the fleet boats did make it out and in spite of its being chilly, a phenomena that seldom occurs here, those brave enough to venture out, found some (usually) warm water dorado – none were very large but they were still fun to catch.
The rest of the catch focused mostly on inshore species -- bonito, some snapper and cabrilla. The nice days on the water have been very nice…85 degree sunshine. , if you mis-timed it, the North Winds can make it blustery and uncomfortable, so always check the weather before going out fishing. If you’re coming down to fish, try to be flexible on your fishing days so they can arrange to move you around for the best weather days to give you a better shot at having a good day.
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