Cabo San Lucas. The number of boats going out to fish each day has diminished recently and the blame can be placed on a combination of cooler weather or hit and miss fishing, depending on the day and what was targeted. The billfish action is still producing double-digit releases for some while others only see a few that don’t seem to want to bite.
Fishing remained on the Pacific side over a large swath of fishing spots; each of them produced their own different catches depending on the fish targeted. Yellowfin tuna in the 15- to 30-pound range have been dominating the catch.
Inshore fishing continues to be productive and fun with roosterfish, jack crevalle, red snapper, sierra mackerel, skipjack and other species being landed . . . the tuna were all landed on cedar plugs and feather lures.
Cabo Climate: Overall it has been sunny recently with clear days that averaged 73 degrees and cool nights that averaged 57 degrees. Bring a jacket for the early mornings.
Sea Conditions: Water temps are still falling. On the Pacific side, from the Finger Bank to Cristobal Ridge, the average is 69 degrees. Just south of Cristobal and out to the 1000 Fathom Curve and on up to Los Frailes, the temperature average is 71 degrees. Outside the 1000 Fathom Curve and from the 95 Fathom Spot to the Cabrillo Sea Mount, it rises from 72 to 74 degrees. Surface breezes have been flowing mostly from the southwest at an average of about 9.9 mph.
Best Fishing Area: There was no consensus.
Best Bait-Lures: The yellowfin tuna and miscellaneous skipjack were mostly caught on tuna feathers and smaller artificials.
Bait Supply: Live bait supply remains very good and is still at the $3.00 per bait rate.
San Jose. Visitors to Southern Baja are enjoying the warm sunshine, with high temperatures of around 75 degrees. Recently there have been strong northern winds that have made for some rougher days on the water for anglers; early mornings there is the wind chill factor to deal with until the rising sun helps warm up the day. Fortunately, there were still some yellowfin tuna found close to the shore off Punta Gorda which was the highlight of catches.
The schools of sardina, which had just recently appeared in local waters for the first time in over a year, are already starting to vanish; recently the commercial bait netters are working hard to find even minimal quantities and anglers have been waiting for an hour or more to sometimes not even get the tiny baitfish. Other bait options have included sardineta, mackerel, caballito and slabs of squid -- just not much action being found by trolling lures, so bait has been the better choice to find action.
Anglers have been drift fishing for the yellowfin tuna, using various baits, but sardina were the favorite if you were able to obtain them. The tuna were ranging in size from 15 to 40 pounds with average catches of one to six or more, depending if you were at the right place at the right time. These yellowfin were hanging close to shore over rocky structure where anglers were also catching a mix of bottom species, though no significant number, except for possible triggerfish. A few nicer sized amberjack were caught in the 50- to 60-pound class, as were a handful of red snapper and leopard grouper.
Sierra are dominating the inshore activity with moderate numbers of fish averaging 2 to 4 pounds. A few roosterfish were also caught and released. This is not the normal season that we find many roosterfish; normally the ones we see are smaller juvenile-sized fish.
The North Winds have limited where fleet boats could reasonably have a chance to fish in comfort; they need some calmer days in order to work the grounds of Iman to San Luis as this is where there can be more bottom fish opportunities during the winter season.
Whales continue to entertain viewers now that this is peak season. Also some sea lions are hanging around the fishing grounds taking their share of the catch.
East Cape. At East Cape recently the tides have been extremely high making it difficult for the tin-boaters attempting to launch. There have been rumors of some billfish and even a dorado spotted by the few fleet boats going out, while inshore sierra are the primary target.
La Paz. Fishing conditions and seasons are definitely changing. Each week it gets a little cooler...a little breezier...the sun is going down earlier...the shadows are getting longer.
There are few anglers out on the water so they almost have the whole ocean to themselves. The number of cooler water fish like sierra, cabrilla, jack crevalle, pargo and rainbow runner is growing every week.
As it has been pretty much all season, the schoolie-sized dorado are still the main catch for the La Paz Fleet. They're smallish, but fun and provide lots of action. Catch-and-release has been very common because you can hook way over your limit in short order. Anglers get enough for their limits and coolers or for dinner and then keep fishing just for fun and letting the extra fish go.
Most of the dorado continue to be 5 to 10 pounds, but occasionally, a 15 or 20 pounder makes it in. Often, there's so many "squirts" they don't give the bigger fish a chance to grab the bait! There are still some marlin and sailfish feeding as well providing occasional hookups.
At Muertos Bay, surprisingly, anglers are still getting so many wahoo! In fact, every day, pangas are hooking one to five wahoo each. Maybe getting one or two to the panga, but these are quality 20 to 40 pound fish!
There are still flurries of 20 to 30 pound yellowfin out willing to eat chunked squid drifted down on a bare hook in the current.
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.