Fish Report

April 15, 2019 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

Numbers at a glance: Billfish 39%, tuna 6%, Dorado 4%, other species 63%. 

Marlin numbers stayed consistent in Cabo with warmer water temperatures and clearer water; the top boat released six striped Marlin in one day. The striped Marlin fishing was more productive on the Pacific side, with most boats averaging one to two fish per day. Successful yellowfin tuna fishing was also on the Pacific side and counts were up with many limits of “football-sized” tuna in the 15- to 30-pound range. Dorado was a bit scarce, but the outlook was much improved as the water warmed up both outside and inside. Wahoo seemed to turn off with only spotty success. There were a few reports of bonus acrobatic mako shark off the San Jamie and Golden Gate banks.

Inshore fishing was solid with nice catches of schools of skipjack with Sierra and Jack showing in good numbers from Solmar to El Arco and around toward Migrino. Roosterfish were spotty.  Quality-sized yellowtail to 30-pounds is hitting on live bait. Some nice catches of Sierra were reported off Migrino. Also, some very nice catches of red snapper were reported fishing close to the rocks around El Arco.

Cabo Climate:  The forecast for mid-April is for mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies with zero chance of rain forecasted through mid-to-late-April. Winds are expected to continue in the 11-to 14-mph range in late April mostly out of the West and SW.

Sea Conditions:  The forecast is for seas to be relatively calm in the mornings throughout the area with some swells and chop showing up in the afternoons as breezes increase. The sea temps on the Pacific side stabilized considerably with average temperature range running between 72 and 74-degrees, and the inside warmed with temps in the 72- to 74-degree range around the Gordo.

Best Fishing Areas:  The marlin hot spots on the Pacific side have shifted offshore a bit. Action on the inside around the Gordo Banks has been slow and spotty.  The Golden Gate and the San Jamie Banks are the prime striper destinations now, and the yellowfin were most often found there as well. The best catches of Dorado seemed to be on the inside off Palmilla and Punta Gorda.

Favorite Bait: Slow-trolling live mackerel was the favorite for the striped marlin, and cedar plugs were the favorite for the yellowfin along with feathers. 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 was the ticket for the snapper and grouper. Live caballito were the best bait for yellowtail.

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

The climate is feeling spring-like as well, with mostly clear skies, and lows about 65 degrees, reaching near 85 degrees later in the day – the ideal time to visit.

Charters are using a combination of bait sources -- ballyhoo, slabs of squid, as well as limited supplies of sardina.  Chihuil action has faded, and some imported red crabs were obtained for red snapper action by the commercial panga fleet. Anglers were also using some yo-yo jigs and Rapalas.

The most common catch has been the Eastern Pacific bonito, schooling over high spots throughout the area, and averaging 4 to 6-pounds, with some as large as 10-pounds. These are a good-eating fish, like tuna, and they are from the same family species -- scrappy fighters on light tackle. Also caught were a few cabrilla, pargo, snapper and amberjack, and of course, lots of triggerfish. Some quality-sized huachinango and one monster amberjack near 100-pounds were landed from a panga recently; they were using a whole bonito for bait!

Wahoo, marlin, and dorado were not easy to find, though as the water warms there should be more activity. Yellowfin tuna are being hooked into every day, mainly using strips of squid for bait; the best spot was the Iman Bank, though the yellowfin is also being seen on the Gordo Banks. The tuna is very finicky though, and anglers were fortunate to land one -- sizes ranged from 25 to 90 pounds. These fish can become shy when they have plenty of natural food source to gorge on and when water conditions fluctuate daily.

Not much heard about fish along the shoreline, such as roosterfish, sierra and jack crevalle.

East Cape

Water- 73-74 degrees, clear and flat.

Air- Beautiful, clear days with cool mornings. Highs in the low 90s.

The warming water has helped the fishing. Good inshore fishing in Palmas Bay. The yellowfin mixed with a few wahoo finally showed, and a few dorado were also taken close to the beaches in front of hotels.

Yellowfin were taken off Rincon just north of Pulmo, under porpoise. Nice-sized fish from 20 to 30 pounds and almost all taken on Cedar plugs.

A few 5 to 10-pound dorado, most of which were caught on live mackerel, were taken very close inshore; there were also lots of medium-sized pargo, cabrilla, and amberjack taken, with the closer inshore drop-offs producing the most fish.

La Paz 

It’s what we call “transitional” time, although it usually doesn’t hit for another month. However, it’s when it’s not winter season anymore, and yet, not quite summer yet in the water.

Consequently, you still can catch cold-water species like cabrilla, pargo, sierra, yellowtail, amberjack, snapper, and other species.  However, warm water species like dorado, tuna, wahoo, billfish, larger roosterfish are now beginning to move in as surface waters warm.

Add in bonito, jack crevalle, skipjack, and other year-round species, and you get a lot of variety right now.

You may not get a lot of any one species, but you could finish a day with 6, 8, 10 or more different species in the box at the end of the day. The following day you get a different species entirely.

There are still not a lot of anglers out on the water, but those that were out landed yellowtail, barred pargo, dog-tooth snapper, sierra, amberjack, bonito, jack crevalle, roosterfish (released), yellow snapper, and cabrilla as well as tuna (lost) and wahoo (lost).  Striped marlin was also spotted.

The biggest problem is that many of the fish are in shallow water or over the structure, so many of the big fish get lost in the rocks, but they’re willing to bite.

Here’s what one of our anglers had to say:

“Another great day of fishing. We caught almost 70 mackerel for bait this morning. For the third day in a row, we ran out of bait by 1 p.m. because of just too many hook-ups! Today's catch included seven yellowtail, five nice-sized cabrilla, one large barred pargo, and one sierra. They were tough on our equipment. The first thing they did was run for the rocks. We lost more than we boated!  We also snapped one of the heavy rods on a hook-set, which has never happened before!”

 

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

Rancho Leonero,

www.rancholeonero.com

La Paz

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