Fish Report

September 2, 2019 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

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Fish Killers Of The Week: Congratulations to 2019 Wahoo Gold Cup Tournament Winner, Team #18, angler Quinn Miller fishing on the cruiser “Don Roberto” who took home the Volkswagen Gol and the Suzuki 140hp engine with their 30.8-pound wahoo!!!

 

Cabo San Lucas

Numbers at a glance: Billfish 70 percent, Tuna 11 percent, Dorado 21 percent, other Species 15 percent.

Not one, not two, but THREE Billfish Grand Slams by Pisces boats –  the 42’ “Caliente” and 30’ “Karina” in less than 24 hours (one of which was just short of being a Super Grand Slam as they lost a Black Marlin). Pretty spectacular!

Most boats caught an average of three to five billfish, for a total of 74 billfish for the fleet; three were boated, the rest were successfully tagged and released. Thirty-nine dorado were caught, ranging in size from 10- to 30-pounds. There were decent tuna numbers for those boats that went the 20 to 35 miles to find them with Pisces 31’ “Tracy Ann” landing a 146-pounder!

Fishing has been focused mostly on the Sea of Cortez side from Punta Gorda to Destiladeras for outstanding billfish catches, and at the San Jaime Banks for tuna; dorado are spread out, and there are good wahoo numbers – fish between 25- and 35-pounds. Inshore fishing for triggerfish and red snapper has been productive also. We saw a barracuda catch, a rare sight.

Cabo Climate: The forecast is for mostly sunny skies with some scattered thunderstorms later in August. Winds are expected to increase in the 11- to 20-mph range out of the West and NW with humidity expected to run in the mid-70s.

Sea Conditions: The outlook is for mostly sunny skies with average daytime temps in the upper 80s; evenings in the high 70s. Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for later in August. Winds are expected to increase in the 11- to 20-mph range through August out of the west and NW. Humidity should run in the 70-degree range.

Best Fishing Areas: The 1150 and 95 Spots were the hotspots for marlin action this past week with the Punta Gorda area producing some nice marlin catches. 

The yellowfin were most often found 20- to 25-miles out to the south and southwest; the San Jamie also produced some nice catches. The interior corridor from Los Arcos to Palmilla produced lots of schoolie dorado. Palmilla, Los Arcos, and Migrino were the choices for inshore fishing with some nice catches of sierra coming off Migrino. Roosterfish action was solid, although a bit slower in the surf off Palmilla past Solmar to the Lighthouse.

Favorite Baits: Slow-trolling live mackerel or caballito was the favorite for marlin with success from trolled lures (for the blue marlin) and live bait for the surface fish. Cedar plugs and feathers were favorites for the yellowfin. Dorado hit trolled lures and feathers, and hoochies were by far the preferred lures for the sierra. Trolled live bait near the surf and large poppers were the most successful for roosterfish. Dead bait was the ticket for snapper and grouper.

Bait Supply: Live bait is available for $3.00 each upon exit from the harbor. Mackerel are popular with the captains.

Puerto Los Cabos

Sportfishing operations were decent with caballito, ballyhoo, moon fish and slabs of squid available for bait, and large schools of baitfish on the same fishing grounds as bolito, small skipjack, etc. The main targets were dorado, yellowfin, and billfish.

Not much was taken off the bottom except some various pargo, cabrilla, and a few Almaco jacks. Most targeted the surface action with clean blue water close to shore and ocean currents in the 80- to 84-degree range. Most boats were working areas from off of Palmilla Point to the Gordo Banks, Iman, and San Luis, with a few venturing to Vinorama.

Yellowfin tuna were found around the Iman Bank, though getting them to bite wasn’t easy. The best chances came early while drift-fishing strips of squid.

These tuna are finicky, with lots of natural food source to gorge on. Most of the yellowfin tuna were in the 20- to 65-pound range with chances at larger sizes. Anglers were fortunate to land one or two.

The majority of dorado were juvenile-sized while trolling various lures and bait; many were released though a handful of nicer-sized keepers were in the mix. Also, an occasional wahoo lurked in these areas – no numbers, but they are there.

There are chances at larger marlin this time of year when the blues and blacks are found in local waters, attracted by food fish, i.e., black skipjack, bolito, dorado, and smaller yellowfin tuna.

There were at least a couple of black marlin weighing up to 400-pounds landed, but most were in the 120- to 250-pound range, and many small 50- to 70-pound striped marlin were hanging around. The primary technique was trolling lures or bait on the high spots or open blue water.

East Cape

Forty-five teams entered the 2019 Wahoo Gold Cup Tournament held on August 24, although very few wahoo were caught in the stormy conditions of Tropical Storm Ivo.

By far the most dorado we’ve seen this year, it’s very spread out. Schools of medium-sized fish are mixed in with 7- to 15-pound fish and a few nice bulls; hoochies, Rapalas, and chunk squid are the most successful.

Lots of blue marlin – mostly in the 200-pound class – are being released daily. A couple weighed between 350- and 400-pounds.  Ballyhoo and live caballito were working – for the stripers and a few sails as well. They were on the drop-off 3- to 5-miles off La Ribera south to Los Frailes.

Those bottom fishing the inside drop-offs scored big. Pargo to 40-pounds, Almaco jacks from 30- to 50-pounds, plus nice grouper and big pompano. Baits of choice? Chunk skipjack and squid!

Roosterfish to 50-pounds very common and spread out.

La Paz  

It’s almost the end of summer, and for once, it felt like summer, and it fished like summer here in La Paz.  Air temps were humid and ran in the high 90s. Waters blue with a surface temp of about 84 degrees. We even dodged our first real storm of the season. 

It’s storm season now, and although we may or may not get a hurricane, an occasional strong storm may affect your fishing, although fall is the prime-time fishing season. 

Fishing-wise, dorado were the primary target. The fish are scattered all over and can be pretty much anywhere. Close-to-shore – off-shore – under buoys or floating debris – under seaweed – or under the birds.  Once you find the spot, it can get crazy – or, you can pick at a few all day long. 

The fish are decent-sized, from 8- to 20-pounds, mostly with some much larger up to about 25- to 30-pounds. First-timers are having a lot of fun but are also losing a lot of fish until they get the hang of it. The same areas are producing bonito and jack crevalle; marlin have been seen feeding as well.

More exciting are the tuna that pop up and drop out – and then pop up again. Although it’s hit or miss, the fish are here. Sometimes they move too fast – sometimes they stay too deep. But when they do come up, they’re quality 20- to 40-pounders. Most of the tuna are on the Cerralvo side near Las Arenas/ Muertos Bay. The same areas saw an increase in wahoo … finally!  Hopefully, they’re coming back in time for the fall bite!

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