Fish Report

June 24, 2019 Edition


Thompson brothers, Noah, 17 and Jacob, 24, from Austin, Texas, found, revived and released this juvenile Oarfish off the lighthouse! photo by Rancho Leonero.


Cabo San Lucas

The Pelagic Triple Crown of Fishing Tournament held on June 6-8, once again helped kicked off Southern Baja’s big game summer fishing season as teams from the United States, Mexico, and beyond competed.

The 30 teams experienced an impressive marlin bite kicking off Cabo’s billfish tournament season. They released 170 stripers and sailfish and awarded cash prizes in the release category as well as prizes for the largest yellowfin tuna, dorado, and wahoo categories. During the event, according to Tournament spokesman, Colin Sarfeh.  

The winners were:

Billfish Release Division

1st Place – TEJAS – 2700 Release Points (27 marlin) – Tournament Earnings: $130,320.

2nd Place – CLOUD NINE – 1600 Release Points (16 marlin) – Tournament Earnings: $7,200.

3rd Place – TAG TEAM – 1500 Release Points (15 marlin) – Tournament Earnings: $2,880.

Tuna Division

1st Place – FEELIN’ AZUL – 48.5 lbs. – Tournament Earnings: $15,560.

2nd Place – TAG TEAM III – 25.4 lbs. – Tournament Earnings: $9,800.

3rd Place – STRICTLY BUSINESS – 24.5 lbs. – Tournament Earnings: $1,440.

Wahoo Division

1st Place – THE STRUCKIN’ FUGGLE – 33.3 lbs. – Tournament Earnings: $38,720.00

2nd Place – EL TORITIO – 32.0 lbs. – Tournament Earnings: $3,600.

3rd Place – REEL GOLD – 30.7 lbs. – Tournament Earnings: $4,640.

Dorado Division

1st Place – THE STRUCKIN’ FUGGLE – 22.8 lbs. – Tournament Earnings: $38,720.

2nd Place – PELAGIC GIRLS – 17.8 lbs. – Tournament Earnings: $7,600.

3rd Place – WILL2WIN – 16.8 lbs. – Tournament Earnings: $6,2400.

In addition to the offshore action, the inshore has been producing steady catches of dorado mixed in with more of the smaller variety. Release those smaller fish and hold out for the larger variety that usually follows.

Around Cape Rocks roosterfish, jack crevalle and the prized white bonito have been consistent biters.

Cabo Climate: The outlook is for warming with mostly sunny skies and pleasant average daytime temps in the mid-80s with mostly sunny skies, and evenings in the mid- to upper-70s. Winds are expected to be in the 10-mph range mostly out of the west and northwest in the afternoons.  Humidity is expected to run in the 50s.

Sea Conditions: The Pacific side sea temps have included colder water plumes; temps running from 65- to 75-degrees with mostly clear water.

Best Fishing Areas: The 1150 Spot and the 95 Spot remained hotspots for billfish. The yellowfin were most often found around the San Jamie Banks, and to the south in the Herradura and around the 95 Spot. Roosterfish and jacks were very productive around the Cape Rocks area.

Favorite Baits: Most successful for billfish were live mackerel or caballito with increased success from trolled lures and throwing live bait to surface fish.  Cedar plugs were best for the yellowfin. Trolled live bait near the surf produced the best action for roosterfish. Dead bait was successful for the snapper and grouper.

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

While Pacific waters are still cool, in the upper 60s, off San Jose del Cabo, the ocean reached 80 degrees; swirling winds were unpredictable with breezes predominately from the north, laying down mid-week. Then they switched around to the south and kicked up, actually blowing conditions contributing to pushing in colder greenish Pacific water. Ocean temperatures dropped to 70 degrees overnight. Now, as the weather settles, conditions will rebound quickly.

The fishing action is very encouraging, as there were more yellowfin tuna, continued quality action for striped marlin, a few dorado showing up, as well as roosterfish inshore and a mix of quality-eating bottom species. Weather patterns remain a bit more unstable impacting overall action, changing from day-to-day, but the tuna action and marlin proved more elusive, and even bottom fishing produced minimal numbers. There were some highlights though, with anglers catching and releasing trophy-sized, 50-pound roosterfish, and even landing a couple of wahoo, dorado, sailfish, and striped marlin and an occasional nice-sized Almaco jack or red snapper. A lot of variety in the area, though no species was overly numerous.

With warmer currents, the local bait vendors were finding more caballito, as well as moonfish, ballyhoo, and slabs of squid. Inside the Puerto Los Cabos Marina channel, there were massive schools of jack crevalle breaking into a feeding frenzy and local anglers got into the action, chasing these 25-pound jacks around the docks and jetties.

The action on the San Luis Bank while working the yo-yo jigs for the Mexican bonito and red snapper proved much more difficult recently. The weather did not help at times.  The tuna had been hitting earlier on trolled caballito and strips of squid, as well as yellowfin ranging from 20- to 80-pounds, but this action came to a standstill as the period ended.

This transition period can often be like this -- sometimes it is mid-July before conditions stabilize and we have more consistent action.

East Cape

Water temps in the high-70s with hot, sunny days in the low-90s.

Big Almaco jacks and pompano are coming in off the bottom and moving closer inshore. Some quality roosterfish are being released daily.

Lots and lots of skipjack and white bonito are biting both north and south.

Yellowfin tuna from 15- to 70-pounds were spread out under pods of porpoise. The fast-moving schools are north and south from 15 to 50 miles offshore. About half the boats are catching their limits. Hoochies, cedar plugs, cut squid, and sardine are all working.

Light fishing pressure for billfish as most anglers are targeting the tuna. Stripers are mixed in with a few sailfish, and the early blue marlin are being released daily.

Best fishing is seven miles off the lighthouse south to Los Frailes. They love the slow-trolled ballyhoo!

Wahoo weighing from 30- to 60-pounds were all taken on Rapalas and marauders one mile or less off the white cliffs south of Vinorama.

Big pompano and some nice Almaco jacks are being taken inside off the drop-offs, and some quality roosterfish are being released. 

La Paz  

After several chilly weeks, where the weather was more like April than June fishing, there was reason for optimism. Then just like someone had thrown a switch, the winds died – the waters calmed and cleared. It got hot. It got humid, and it felt more like summer … finally!

And the fish bit nicely at both Las Arenas and La Paz, with a good variety of fish and great action on a whole range of species.

They didn’t have to go very far offshore, either!  Many of the fish were caught within a stone’s throw of the rocks and beach.

This included striped marlin, where for two days, almost every one of the pangas hooked at least one striper. Dorado between 5 and 30 pounds were suddenly feeding after being so lethargic and lock-jawed.  A few wahoo started biting again. A couple of big tuna were hooked right up against the rocks in shallow water.

Inshore, cabrilla, amberjack and pargo; snapper and jack crevalle; as well as big pompano, palmetto, dogtooth snapper, and even a few yellowtail and sierra began to bite. Plus all the skipjack and white bonito you wanted. Some big roosterfish were hooked and released.

Then, the winds kicked up again. And it kicked up greener, colder water, and stronger currents and knocked the bite back down, especially for Las Arenas fleet, which started producing only a smattering of bluewater fish and the pesky white bonito.

La Paz fared better in the winds. Dorado still hung in there continuing to bite. Inshore fishing away from the winds didn’t slow down at all. You could stay in the shallows and hook everything from snapper to cabrilla … which many of the pangas decided to do.

 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