Fish Report



Rosario Hastings from Washington, with his first fish of the trip, which turned out to be one of the larger dorado of the young season. Photo by: Jonathan Roldan's Tailhunter International 


Numbers at a glance: Billfish 14%, tuna 36%, dorado 18%, other species 20%.

Mixed results fishing is not unusual this month. The overall tourist activity seems to be a bit slow this year with many of the boats having several days in between trips. The striped marlin were finicky eaters, but they seem to have warmed up and are biting again. Good billfish counts are being reported now from the 1150 Spot, along with continued good action at the Golden Gate and San Jamie Banks. The yellowfin tuna bite is solid again with mid-size fish being reported around the San Jamie Bank and in the Herradura to the south. Dorado continue to be scarce, but counts were up – mostly from the Lighthouse east to Palmilla. Some nice wahoo have been reported mostly to the south toward the Herradura. The inshore fishing was very productive with some nice counts of snapper, grouper, Sierra, and yellowtail in the 15- to 30-pound range.

Cabo Climate: Warming and pleasant average daytime temps in the upper 70s and evenings in the mid to upper 60s are expected in mid-May. The two-week forecast is for mostly partly cloudy to sunny skies. Winds are expected to be a bit higher than normal in the 12- to 15-mph range, mostly out of the West and NW.  Humidity is expected to run in the mid-60s.

Sea Conditions:  Forecast through mid-May is for winds in the 10-to 16 mph range from the West and NW. The Pacific side sea temps have stabilized considerably with an average temperature range running 72- to 75 degrees with mostly clear water, and the inside has also warmed with temps in the 72- to 74-degree range around the Gordos with the water clearing this past week.

Best Fishing Areas: The Golden Gate and San Jamie Banks and the 1150 Spot were the clear hotspots for billfish action. The yellowfin were located around the San Jamie Banks and to the south to the Herradura and the Southwest as close as 15 miles. Los Arcos and Migrino were the choice for inshore fishing with some nice catches of sierra coming off Migrino as well as some quality yellowtail in the 20- to 30-pound class.

Favorite Bait: Slow trolling live mackerel was the favorite for the billfish with increased success from trolled lures. Success is also found by throwing live bait to tailing marlin on the surface. Cedar plugs were the favorite for yellowfin. Hoochies were by far the preferred and most productive lures for the Sierra. Poppers near the surf were the most successful bait for roosterfish. Dead bait was the ticket for snapper and grouper. Live caballitos were the best for the yellowtail.

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

Puerto Los Cabos

The main baitfish being found have been Sardina, though they are a bit spottier from day-to-day; the “netters” have been finding these schooling baitfish from near the marina jetty and off Palmilla, though not in the quantity as in the past.

There is a warming trend with different currents pushing in towards the Gordo Banks’ zone, and this has helped spark more activity. Large whale sharks were also sighted, slowly cruising around, and not spooked by any boat traffic, being larger than most boats themselves. No huge numbers of any gamefish species have been landed, although a variety of fish were being seen, including yellowtail to 30 pounds. Early on, some boats landed as many as three yellowtail; since it has slowed though, these yellows are still in the area. Downriggers proved to show best results, though not all boats use this method. Free-swimming wahoo were spotted, but not on the bite; some tuna was seen working the surface, but they proved difficult; there was an occasional hook up reported. Jigging off the bottom produced some bonito and snapper.

A handful of yellowfin tuna were caught between 80- and 100-pounds on the grounds from Iman, San Luis, and Vinorama -- mostly by local pangeros specifically targeting them for commercial value.

Closer to shore, species included Sierra, yellow snapper, African pompano, triggerfish and a handful of amberjack.

Offshore there were reports of striped marlin activity from around the 1150 Spot just starting to develop, and we expect to see this bite come on strong through May, which is the main season for stripers on these local ground off San Jose del Cabo.

We expect to see schools of mullet in abundance soon, which in turn will attract more inshore gamefish, such as dogtooth snapper, amberjack, jack crevalle, and roosterfish. Currently, the main inshore action was for Sierra mostly along with smaller-sized roosterfish.

East Cape

Warming sea temps of 76 to 78 degrees with clear and flat conditions and easterly breezes in the afternoon.

Beautiful spring weather. Clear blue sky, and highs in the low 80s.

There are many reports of sighting more birds and bait, and yesterday there were more flying fish than previous weeks.  Reports from La Paz to San Jose are that fish are starting to show.  It looks like things are perking up everywhere. Fleets reported good wahoo, striped marlin, amberjack and to top it off, limits of yellowfin tuna.

Very good inshore fishing for red snapper, pargo, cabrilla, grouper, pompano, Sierra, and white bonito; nice-sized roosterfish to 50 pounds are biting aggressively.

Most boats are fishing north around Cerralvo Island. The fleet is catching lots of bottom and top fish; almost all are being taken on Sardina. Good action!  All anglers are pulling on fish all day. Yellowfin were taken under porpoise, far south and outside. 

La Paz  

Quite a nice mix of fish with nice sunny weather and relatively calm seas.  Most of the fishing action centered over the inshore reefs and rocks where a plethora of different species kept rods bent -- and hearts broken as fish often took frustrated anglers into the rocks.

So, sometimes fishing was good, but the actual “catching” was not as good with so many lost fish!  However, it still made for some fun times.

Inshore species ran the gamut from big cabrilla to several species of pargo including pargo mulatto (barred pargo); pargo liso (mullet snapper); dog-tooth pargo (dog-tooth snapper) plus red and yellow snapper.

Add to that a real nice jag of some big pompano, some brutish jack crevalle, common and white bonito and quite a few hawkfish (like cabrilla but with bright blue designs on its face and flanks).

In the same areas, anglers lost some big yellowtail that couldn’t be stopped on both iron and bait, plus slow-trolled Rapalas and Yo-Zuri’s, but those same lures also produced a couple of nice wahoo up to about 35-pounds in shallow water.

Dorado action is also picking up with some larger fish taken near Espirito Santo Island where Sargasso weed, which attracts baitfish, is starting to appear, and consequently more dorado as the waters get warmer.

Daytime temps have been pleasant in the high 80s, and it’s starting to get a bit humid, but conditions look good!  

Cabo San Lucas Tracy Ehrenberg  

San Jose del Cabo

Gordo Bank Pangas Eric Brictson,

East Cape

Jen Wren Sportfishing

Rancho Leonero,

La Paz

Jonathan Roldan's Tailhunter International


Rosario Hastings from Washington, with his first fish of the trip, which turned out to be one of the larger dorado of the young Jonathan Roldan's Tailhunter International