Fish Report

July 22, 2019 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

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Gerald Stuart of Las Vegas landed one of the few really big dorado seen recently at East Cape…John Ireland, Rancho Leonero. Gary Graham, “That Baja Guy”

 

Cabo San Lucas

Numbers at a glance: Billfish 53 percent, tuna 30 percent, dorado 12 percent, other species 7 percent.

Warmer water temperatures on the Cortez and the Pacific brought some good fishing. Anglers heading out found good-sized tuna schools, as well as some marlin, and they landed a few dorado per boat, even if some of the dorado were too small to keep.  However, others, like the 56.7-pound trophy bull dorado caught by Rudy Mendoza on the Pisces 35-foot “Valerie” impressed locals and visitors alike at the dock.

The Pisces 31-foot “Rebecca” also returned with a very nice (approximately) 50-pound wahoo, making it seem as though this was going to be one of our best weeks so far.

But, as fishing would have it, we had some picky billfish. It began to get a bit more inconsistent, and crews had to work very hard to find and land the fish. With that said, the Pisces 31-foot “Rebecca” still managed to catch and release five striped marlin at Destiladeras in one day, and blue marlin were starting to show up, too; all were released -- mostly around 200- to 250-pounds each. There were seven blues, and 49 billfish caught, along with 160 yellowfin tuna. Inshore fishing included grouper, jack crevalle, triggerfish, and a couple of roosterfish.

Cabo Climate: The outlook is for warming with mostly sunny skies and pleasant average daytime temps in the high-80s with mostly sunny skies, and evenings in the 70s. Winds are expected to be in the 7-mph range, mostly out of the west and northwest in the afternoons.  Humidity is expected to run in the 60s.

LOCATION: 200 Spot, 11:50 Spot, Los Arcos, La Herradura, Destiladeras

BEST LURES: Caballito, lisa, and ballyhoo bait; guacamayo and tigrillo lures. Tuna: cedar plugs and feathers.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny skies, warm weather. Mostly calm, glassy seas with top seas 3 to 5 feet.

AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 80- to 82-degree F - Pacific and Sea of Cortez.

 

Puerto Los Cabos

Available live bait has been the same for the past month -- caballito, moonfish, mullet, ballyhoo, and slabs of squid. On the offshore grounds, there have been increased schools of small skipjack and bolito moving in, and these always make good bait options for larger game fish species.

The warmer water has also brought in larger marlin; recently there have been daily reports of blue marlin being hooked, at least one weighing about 240 pounds was landed, and others up to over 400-pounds were fought and broken off. There are still some striped marlin in the area, but most of them are now closer to Southern California searching for cooler water and their preferred mackerel food source.

Anglers were finding a small grade of football-sized yellowfin tuna spread out in open water around the San Luis Bank; trolling small hoochies produced scattered results, and this time of year we see these small tuna show. Only a few yellowfin tuna to 50-pounds were reported recently.  So far nothing is going on, though the larger cows are being seen.  The next several weeks is when things change rapidly, and we would expect to see schools of larger yellowfin tuna move in. No wahoo are being reported, only a handful of dorado, the majority of which are small-sized and are released.

Off the bottom, there was on and off action for red snapper, Almaco jack, leopard grouper, and bonito. Anglers used yo-yo type jigs, as well as various bait. This is the month when we normally see the largest Almaco jack of the season – we weighed in an 83-pound Almaco jack for angler Eric Chen, from Las Vegas. He fished with skipper Chuy on the super panga “Fortuna.” We have not seen the run of dogtooth snapper develop, though this is usually the peak time for them.

Along the shore, there is scattered action for jack crevalle and roosterfish to over 40-pounds, though there hasn’t really been a significant big run of these fish this year.

 

East Cape

Water - 81-84 degrees, clear and flat, with an afternoon Easterly wind.

Air - Warmer this week, but still cooler than normal. Very pleasant, low humidity, with highs in the low 90s.

Each week since early June continues to get better! 

A strong, consistent yellowfin bite, lots of billfish, big dorado and huge roosterfish are all biting aggressively with good inshore fishing for big pompano!

Yellowfin are under numerous fast-moving pods of porpoise spread 5 to 30 miles offshore, north and south. Chunk squid, fast-trolled Hoochies and Cedar plugs, along with live mackerel and caballito are all working. Hoochies and squid are the most effective. All anglers are limiting out on the 5, 6 and 7-pound yellowfin under the porpoise.

Lots of stripers are mixed in with quite a few blue marlin and a few sailfish. The drop off from La Ribera past Frailes is producing most of the fish. Some are surprisingly close to the shore (within half a mile).  Anglers targeting billfish are releasing at least one a day, most multiples. They love the ballyhoo and are taking live mackerel and caballito.

Some real quality dorado from 30- to 55-pounds are coming in daily with a few school-sized dorado taken from 5- to 15-pounds. One or two big bulls a day are in the mix. Most of the big fish are taken on trolled ballyhoo and marlin lures.

Big roosterfish, 50-pound whoppers, were released daily by most anglers targeting them. An approximate 75-pounder was released off the beach on the fly by our fly-fishing guide Jeff De Brown. This must be the biggest rooster off the beach on fly released anywhere in the world -- this year for sure!

And inshore, big pompano, as big as I’ve seen, weighing 15 to 25 pounds, plus pargo and Almaco jack being taken daily.

 

La Paz 

Normally, the bluewater species that inhabit the warm waters and warmer seasons would already be settled in.  Reports should be full of dorado, tuna, wahoo, and billfish with hot sunny weather and flat balmy Baja seas.

But, it’s not like that, and Mother Nature is only grudgingly moving to where it should be. She’s not going easy. For instance, there are still some erratic un-predictable winds that pop up from nowhere and tear up the sea. A few miles away, it’s flat. There may be blistering sunny weather one day that feels like a tropical sauna; then by afternoon, it’s raining.

Or another day it’s overcast and heavily clouded.

One day waters are blue, the next day – or even later on the same day, the waters turn green, cold and turbid with strong currents.

Or, one day dorado bite and the next day, there all kinds of dorado, but they could care less about biting a bait or jig!

Sure, there seems to be more and bigger dorado. And that is a good sign. And with a few billfish mixed in. Plus, assorted large and small roosterfish, bonito, and jack crevalle.  

But the fleet is still catching crazy, cold-water fish like spawning pargo, cabrilla, amberjack and even definite cold-water species fish like sierra and yellowtail.

There’s warm surface water, but below that, there’s a strong layer of colder water holding these other species.

Everyone is catching fish. It’s just that the bite is unpredictable and varied.

 

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, https://rancholeonero.com/

 

La Paz

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