Fish Report

February 19, 2018 Edition

Cabo San Lucas

There’s been great weather and great fishing in Cabo recently! Marlin numbers are still the strongest, with Golden Gate being the go-to spot for odds at catching numerous billfish in one day.

More dorado have been showing up there as well, and tuna have been showing up closer in, although many boats still must go out several miles to find them. Other species, such as grouper, snapper, roosterfish and sierra, are being caught closer to shore.

Cabo conditions: Calm seas, maximum wave height of two to three feet, with mostly sunny skies. Average water temperature at 75 F.

Best location: Golden Gate, Las Margaritas, Old Lighthouse and out 20+ miles for most boats looking for tuna.

Best bait/lures: Mackerel and ballyhoo bait, cedar plugs, feathers, and chumming for other/small game fish.

Puerto Los Cabos

Dorado action continued, with most of the fish being found within a couple of miles of shore. Most of these were smaller, with an occasional larger dorado in the mix. They were striking on bait best, with a smaller percentage on lures. Along the shoreline, particularly near Cabo, off Chileno, there were some nice sized sierra hitting on slow trolled sardina, with a few weighing over 8 pounds. Also, a handful of juvenile-sized roosterfish were hooked.

Sardina were being netted near Cabo Real and towards Chileno. Strips of squid and some rigged ballyhoo were also being used along with the sardina. Mackerel and sardineta schools were still on local grounds and have been another bait option.

The action for the larger grade of tuna (over 100 pounds) faded out on the Gordo Banks, mainly because the conditions turned over, bringing greener water. There were some yellowfin tuna coming up on the Iman Bank earlier, but these fish proved very elusive and few were hooked.

Midweek there were sizable pods of porpoise encountered two to four miles outside of San Jose and towards La Laguna. The yellowfin tuna were traveling with them. Charters were able to land from one or two, to up to 10 tuna weighing up to 35 pounds, depending on where they were at a given time. Schools have been moving quickly and must be chased around. Dropping various baitfish into the action has been the best bet, as very few were striking on lures.

There has been more activity with the pelagic red crab drifting to the surface some days where they were netted and used for bait. There have also been some decent catches of red snapper, though this was not a consistent bite.

Commercial fleets have been eager to get a supply of the red crab, at times saving some in make-shift live tanks to be used on the following day if they could not be found on the surface. This was the same scenario last year during approximately this same time frame.

Weather conditions: Warmer conditions with mostly sunshine and highs up into the 80s. Some morning cloud cover, burning off mid-morning.

Water conditions: Great ocean conditions most days, with ocean water temperatures still ranging from 70 to 75 degrees. Clarity has been a bit off-colored on the Gordo Banks and on towards the north.

Best location: Most fishing action has been centered from Iman Bank, to Punta Gorda, straight off of San Jose and towards Santa Maria.

East Cape

Well, winter is here! With a high of 78 degrees and a low of 56 degrees, local anglers have had to scramble for a sweatshirt in the morning. Add a little north wind to that and it is downright frigid by East Cape standards.

When the wind backs off, there are always plenty of anglers ready to jump in their boats (ranging from tin boats to cruisers) to go out and see what’s biting. Everyone’s posting pictures of their trophy-sized dorado and yellowfin tuna, and gleefully releasing billfish, in some cases.

The smaller tin boats troll close to shore catching sierra and roosterfish -- the former for fun and the latter for eating.

La Paz

Not many folks fishing on the typical windy days and then, on the great sunny days, the key is really figuring out which days will be windy or not. On the days it’s windy there are two choices: stay ashore and figure a different day to fish or go out and fish inshore where the usual structure fish - pargo, cabrilla or snapper - are being caught. Just a little outside, bonito, sierra and jack crevalle are added to the catch with maybe the occasional dorado.

On the calmer days, when the boats can move off just a bit farther, especially over to Cerralvo Island, there’s yellowtail, big dog tooth snapper and some decent 15 to 30 pound yellowfin tuna.  Slow trolling deep running Rapalas, live sardines and chunked frozen squid have been working best.

Cabo San Lucas

Tracy Ehrenberg

Larry Edwards

San Jose del Cabo

Gordo Bank Pangas

East Cape

Rancho Leonero Hotel

Jen Wren Sportfishing

East Cape Tackle Cindy Kirkwood,

La Paz

Jonathan Roldan's Tailhunter International