Fish Report

BY: GARY GRAHAM
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Skip Coomber, Erika and Caroline Coomber, who were on spring break from San Diego, found some calm water on the back side of Cerralvo Island with Captain Victor from the Tailhunter Fleet in La Paz. They landed several yellowtail between 20 and 25 pounds on live bait as well as jack crevalle.

 

Cabo San Lucas

The dorado counts were particularly affected this past week, but the inshore fishing showed no slowdown. The yellowfin tuna counts were “hit and miss,” but there were some reports of quality fish up to the 75 pounds. As one captain remarked, “When you report that the marlin fishing has slowed to one fish per boat – how bad is that?”We have been spoiled the past four months with outstanding billfishing.

The striped marlin fishing on the Pacific side continues just a few miles off the Lighthouse and out to the Golden Gate and San Jamie Banks. The seasonal migration has turned the corner following schools of bait in the Sea of Cortez. Stripers have been found off Palmilla and Punta Gorda and around the Gordo Banks. Overall, the fleets reported fewer striped marlin with most boats still averaging one to two fish per day. The yellowfin, when found, were in the 25- to 35-mile range to the south and southwest and also around the Golden Gate and the Gordo Banks.

Inshore fishing was solid with nice catches of schools of skipjack, and bonito with the sierra and jack showing from Solmar to El Arco. Roosterfish were reported recently in the surf from Solmar around the point at the Lighthouse and up toward Migrino. Small to medium-sized yellowtail are also showing up in the most recent counts. Some nice catches of grouper and cabrilla were also reported fishing close to the rocks.

Cabo Climate:The outlook is for pleasant average daytime temps in the mid- to upper-70s with evenings in the low- to mid-60s with mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies and zero chance of rain forecast through the end of March. Winds are expected to lower a bit into the 8- to 12-mph range, mostly out of the West and WSW. Humidity is expected to run in the mid-60s.

Sea Conditions: Seas have been relatively calm in the mornings throughout the area with some swells and chop showing up in the afternoons as breezes increase; strong currents are running from the north. Expect more of the same with winds in the 8-to 12-mph range from the West and WSW. The Pacific side sea temps showed significant variation from as low as 68 to 73, depending on the currents. There were reports of plumes of green water from the Pacific side to inside east of the Gordo. Inside temperatures were running in the 70- to 72-degree range.

Favorite Bait: Trolled black/green or green/silver mackerel-looking lures, along with live mackerel or live caballito were favorites for billfish. Trolled feathers and cedar plugs were the ticket for the yellowfin. Hoochies were by far the preferred and most productive lures for the sierra. Poppers near the surf were the most successful bait for jack and roosterfish. Dead bait worked best for grouper and cabrilla.

Bait Supply: Live bait is available at the $3.00 per bait upon exit from the harbor. Mackerel, when available, are popular with the captains.

Puerto Los Cabos

Weather patterns have been on a cooling trend, and now winds have laid down and days are warming up to near the 80-degree mark. Ocean conditions had turned over to be cold and green, but this condition has begun to fade; it can be a slow process, however. Water is averaging 71 to 73 degrees.

Caballito and ballyhoo have been the main bait being used now; there are no sardina being found to speak of, and not much is going on with slabs of squid. It is the time of year where anglers use more yo-yo style jigs off the bottom spots.

The all-around fishing did improve recently with the highlight being some large amberjack in the 50- to 70-pound range. Also, a few nice 25-pound yellowtail were caught, an encouraging sign that the larger gamefish species are around, over the structure near San Luis Bank. Also, plenty of the eastern Pacific bonito to keep anglers busy, a few were even around 15 pounds. Some of the big amberjack grabbed onto bonito that were hooked up; these are hungry and aggressive fish, very powerful.

There were only one or two yellowfin tuna seen, and dorado were scarce as well. Perhaps with a slight warming of the water, we can expect to see more fish; there’s a chance that maybe even the wahoo will wake up. The water is still off-color, but not as bad as it had been, it’s on a clearing trend now, and a lot can happen in a matter of a few days this time of year.

The action was scattered for striped marlin, though as the water clears, this should improve, even in the off-colored water, there were reports of striped marlin, just no concentrations at this time, at least off the San Jose del Cabo grounds.

Inshore there were good numbers of small-sized roosterfish off the Hotel Zone. Trolling live bait is what these fish want, but without sardina, the other choices would be caballito or possibly mullet. Only a handful of sierra are being caught -- a few up to five pounds.

East Cape

Very few boats are out fishing now. Lots of Spanish mackerel are in the bay. Most boats are fishing the bottom with the Mac’s. Big yellowtail, mixed with cabrilla and grouper, are being taken close inshore on the drop-offs.
Lots of small to medium-sized dorado were caught very close inshore. Two were around five pounds and were taken from the beach on top water lures right in front of the hotel.

Air temperature is very comfortable. Now just getting a breeze and conditions have been fishable. water is 70- to 71-degrees and clear.

There are dorado, wahoo, and marlin being seen every day. However, seeing and catching are two different things as it has been mostly “show-but-no-go.” good news is the bait is here. It’s just a matter of time before they get hungry and rods start to bend. Locals are betting that in a week or two, the season will get underway in a big way.

 

La Paz

Better fishing happened to coincide with better weather finally as spring arrived with some surprising catches.

Waters settled down nicely and, some nice-quality yellowtail came to chew.They seemed to pop up in several places. These 20- to 30-pound fish were hitting live bait, jigs and dead bait on the back side of Cerralvo Island, just outside of Bahia Muertos (Suenos), Punta Perico, and Espirito Santo Island. Quite a few fish, both small and large, were lost in the rocks. Many of these fish were biting in shallow water either right off the rocks or over shallow structure and reefs.The same areas produced jack crevalle, small roosterfish, bonito, pargo, and cabrilla!

The surprising catches were right in the Bay of La Paz -- pretty much right out in front of the hotels and Malecon waterfront. Fun, 10- to15-pound schools of dorado showed up just a few hundred yards out in shallow water.It might have something to do with the patches of floating Sargasso weed that moved in. We usually don’t see the Sargasso until about May or so when waters warm.It draws baitfish which hide in the weeds, as well as flying fish that lay eggs in the floating paddies which draws the dorado in search of food -- a good sign of an early season!Fingers crossed!

 

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