Fish Report

January 7, 2019 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

Cabo San Lucas

at a glance: Billfish 56%, tuna 35%, dorado 14%, other species 3%

Recently, most of the fleet enjoyed releases of around 15 stripes on the Finger Bank, while the 52’ Free 2 Play some great action with up to striped marlin in a single day of fishing!

Although we have seen marlin and tuna numbers go down a few percentage points compared in the last few weeks, some of the tuna caught have been of great size! Most have been smaller, however, around the 20- to 30-pound mark, but we have seen a couple over 100 pounds hitting the dock. The largest tuna recently caught, a nice 132-pound yellowfin, was aboard the 31’ Tracy Ann, taken by angler Abigale McGee from Montana.

The dorado numbers have increased and the dorado that were caught specifically targeted as they were found in different locations than the marlin and tuna.31’ La Brisa caughtdorado they searched them out specifically at Migrino. They used black/red lures, mackerel bait and ballyhoo. The dorado all weighed between 10 and 15 pounds.

La Brisa caught several dorado the 20-pound class on ballyhoo between Golden Gate and San Jaime along with skipjacks about 15 pounds. On the same day, 32’ Bill Collector caught dorado between 10 and 20 pounds, also using ballyhoo in the Golden Gate area.

Several in the panga fleet that was fishing closer to shore for small gamefish scored; they were catching sierra mackerel up to 8 pounds which were great for ceviche, plus, they caught skipjack and bonito -- always favorites for first-time anglers.

LOCATION: Finger Bank, Golden Gate, Migrino, San Jaime Bank, 270 Spot.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny and overcast; there were a few days with calm seas, but others had some wind and chop.

AVERAGE WATER TEMP:74 - 77 F

BEST LURES: Live mackerel bait, and ballyhoo; varied lures like petrolero, cedar plugs, and feathers.

Puerto Los Cabos

We are seeing a fair number of families visiting for the holiday vacation. However, with continued north winds the fishing has been subpar on the local grounds out of San Jose del Cabo. Winds have been relentless since November, and conditions have turned over; the water is greenish with swift currents and water temperatures near 73 to 74 degrees.

Anglers are using a combination of caballito, slabs of squid and some ballyhoo for bait. There are now reports of mackerel showing up on the bait grounds off San Jose del Cabo; if wind and water conditions settle some, this could open up some new options and bring in gamefish species such as striped marlin.

Most local charters are fishing the grounds from Red Hill, Gordo Banks to Iman Banks. At times there area where boats could comfortably fish is limited due to weather conditions. Air temperatures have been moderate, lows down to 55 degrees early mornings, with mid-day highs near 85 degrees. There are mainly sunny skies, with morning cloud cover burning off as soon as the sun rises.

Yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo action were all very scarce. Best chances were for a tuna or two near the Iman Bank, but only a handful of yellowfin tuna were being landed; boats were lucky to catch one at this time. Most of the tuna landed were in the 15- to 20-pound class, and they were biting strips of squid. An occasional dorado was being seen, and there were even fewer wahoo.

The more productive action recently has been for a variety of structure species -- the most common being the Eastern Pacific bonito, ranging up to 10 pounds, striking various lures as well as bait, plus red snapper (huachinango), glass eye snapper, baqueta, triggerfish, ocean whitefish, yellow snapper, flag cabrilla and tijareta.

More billfish action is now being found on the Pacific, but some striped marlin have also been found near the 95 Spot and the 1150 Spot; now with the reports of schooling mackerel appearing off San Jose del Cabo, this should mean that larger numbers of striped marlin should not be too far behind.

East Cape

This is the first December in many years that gamefish are still biting, although the difficulty is that we have run out of anglers who want to fish. Plus the weather has also been an issue with strong north winds blowing five days out of seven.

Many local anglers are checking out the wind conditions before they commit to fishing. If the wind line is offshore far enough, they will launch their tin boats and troll close to shore for sierra mackerel, small roosterfish and jack crevalle.

La Paz

It was a bit of a windy, cold and cloudy period of time for the Christmas holidays, especially afterwards. However, being off-season, there weren’t that many folks who wanted to go out anyway to fish, specifically because of the winds and rough seas. There was even one day where it was so rough that the La Paz Port Captain closed the port prohibiting all boat traffic in, out, or even on the water.

For the sturdier folks who did brave it and go out, the fishing was about as unpredictable as the weather, but they did find some fish. And it was a nice mix. Fortunately, it was all close to shore as well, which offered more protection.

There were a few nice yellowfin tuna hooked. Surprisingly, there were also some scattered dorado. A bit unusual to have warm water species like these hanging out this late in the year. Add in some snapper, cabrilla and pargo fishing over the rocks and reefs plus nice numbers of bonito that are always good for action and fishing wasn’t too bad.

The weather forecast will remain about the same with some strong bouts of wind, partially cloudy skies and temps in the high-70s during the day and at night in the mid-to-high-60s as we head into the New Year.

Cabo San Lucas

Tracy Ehrenberg www.piscessportfishing.com

San Jose del Cabo

Gordo Bank Pangas Eric Brictson, www.gordobanks.com

East Cape

Jen Wren Sportfishing www.thejenwren.com

East Cape Tackle Cindy Kirkwood, www.eastcapetackle.com

La Paz

Jonathan Roldan's Tailhunter International www.tailhunter-international.com