Fish Report

January 21, 2019 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

Cabo San Lucas

Fishermen have enjoyed very productive fishing since the New Year in Cabo San Lucas -- successful fishing, no matter what species was targeted, but with higher and more consistent numbers of marlin than any other species.

The crews are finding striped marlin close to Land's End, and the fishing continues to be excellent overall on the Pacific side from the Finger Bank (which we thought was starting to slow) now picking back up as weather has warmed slightly again. Yellowfin tuna are still found in decent sizes, ranging from 30 to 100 pounds for those willing to travel about 30 miles out to find them.

There are also scattered dorado catches and very nice catches of smaller game like grouper, roosterfish, red snapper, sierra mackerel, and skipjack.

The yellowfin are now showing in the 30- to 35-mile range to the south and southwest the key is to find the pods of porpoise and there you will find the tuna with most averaging in the 15- to 30-pound range. The dorado fishing has softened a bit but there are still plenty of dorado flags flying!

Inshore fishing has continued to produce nice catches of smaller dorado and schools of skipjacks with the sierras showing in increasing numbers from Solmar to El Arco. Roosters are occasionally showing in the surf from Solmar around the point to the Lighthouse and in the Palmilla area.

Cabo Climate: The outlook for average daytime temps in the upper 70s and evenings in the low 60s. The forecast is for mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies with very little chance of rain through the end of January. Winds are expected in the gentle 6- to 9-mph range through the end of the month mostly out of the WNW.

Sea Conditions: Seas have been relatively calm in the mornings throughout the area with some swells and chop showing up in the afternoons.Forecast is for more of the same with winds in the 6- to 8-mph range from the WNW.Sea temps are cooling, running from 70 to 74 (Pacific side) cooling into the 71- to 74-range on the inside around the Gordo Banks.

Best Fishing Areas:The hot spots have remained to the west and north.Good counts of striped marlin are showing up around Cabo Falso and the Lighthouse.Most of the fish are being found one to four miles out from shore. The yellowfin are being found 30- to 35-miles out to the SW of the San Jamie Bank near the 180 Spot. For those willing to make the longer 50-mile run, the Finger Bank has continued producing double-digit striped marlin counts with a few boats reporting over 20 fish per day.

Favorite Baits: Trolled blue/green smoke trail lures along with live mackerel were the favorite for the marlin. Soaking live bait around the Finger Bank produced successful multiple striper counts. Drifting live mackerel around the Lighthouse was also very productive. Everything seemed to work for the dorado from trolled lures to drifted bait. Hoochies were by far the preferred and most productive lures for the sierra. Trolled feathers and cedar plugs were the ticket for the yellowfin.

Bait Supply: Live bait is available at the $3.00 per bait upon exit from the harbor.

Anthony Gladbach.jpg
Anthony Gladbach, Bevier, Missouri, caught these two wahoo while fishing out of Puerto Los Cabos.
 

Puerto Los Cabos

Ocean swells were moderate and winds from the norther finally laid down; water clarity improved, and ocean temperature was in the 72- to 75-degree range.

Bait options remained much the same – live caballito being netted in the marina area; no sardina to be found, ballyhoo and slabs of squid also available. Another option was to try and catch chihuil on the Inner Gordo Bank, this proved the hot ticket.

Billfish still have been more active on the Pacific, but they are now being found off the San Jose del Cabo grounds as well; mackerel and sardineta baitfish schools are now shifting in this direction.

The highlight has been the wide-open wahoo action encountered off Punta Gorda. Of course, with so many people in the area, the word gets out in a hurry and no secret bite can be sustained -- everyone and their brother was out trying to get in on this action. Water has also turned a bit greenish and between that and all the pressure, the bite tapered off. The best bet for the wahoo is on slow-trolled live chihuil.This was a new group of wahoo, appeared to be a spawning run, and many of these fish were in the 40- to 50-pound range, some over 50 pounds. Many charters were landing two to four or more wahoo, losing at least as many other strikes. Dorado were found on these same inshore grounds, but were not as numerous as the wahoo, though once found, there was a higher percentage of landing them; the dorado weighed in the 10- to 20-pound class.

Bottom action was scarce, more triggerfish than anything else, with an occasional cabrilla or pargo. The currents were strong, and most anglers preferred to target more glamorous surface species.

The yellowfin tuna action has dropped way off with the only action reported by the local commercial pangeros fishing late in the afternoon on the Gordo Banks; they have had yellowfin in the 60- to 90-pound range practically every day, no huge numbers, but enough to keep them working. The action was on various bait -- chihuil, chunk of caballito, skipjack or squid.

Very little action was reported for sierra or roosterfish, again, not many people trying that now, especially without live sardina available. We are optimistic that if weather allows, the wahoo will be in the region through January.

East Cape

Weather conditions are unpredictable in January and not many fishermen are in town.

This leaves most of the fishing to local anglers’ putt-putting up and down the beaches in their tin boats, or in some cases kayaks, searching for a few sierra for ceviche, with high-hopes of scoring a few rockfish around the rocky points and maybe, just maybe, a jack crevalle for a tough tussle.

La Paz

Not a whole lot happening to be honest. It has been a bit chilly and not a lot of folks on the water as we hit that lull after the holidays.

However, there were a few out on the water who found some fun inshore action, especially on lighter tackle. Efforts produced a wide range of species that included a few dorado and even some small roosterfish that were all released.

In fact, the bite was surprising for the incredible mixed bag of both warm- and cold-water species.

Warm water species included dorado and smaller roosterfish as well as bonito and jack crevalle. Cold water fish, more common to this type of year included our first yellowtail of the season plus cabrilla, snapper, pargo, and sierra. Live bait is a bit difficult, but the fish showed no hesitation biting jigs, lures and trolled Rapalas.

None of the fish were far offshore…they were often within casting distance of the beach or rocks. Nothing big, but for many folks just down to find some sunshine and not really caring too much about what was biting, it was great action. Often you just never knew what was going to bite and at times the bite was full-speed. Anglers working light tackle had a hoot!

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