Fish Report

September 16, 2019 Edition

Cabo San Lucas

Numbers at a glance: Billfish 72 percent, Tuna 13 percent, and Dorado 20 percent

This has been one of our best billfish periods with a whopping 132 billfish caught and released among 30 boats including sailfish, blue, and striped marlin; then throw in a nice tag recapture and re-release on one of three striped marlin caught on Pisces 42’ “Caliente,”  as well as a 597-pound blue marlin caught on Pisces 31’ “Ruthless” by angler Kevin Blaeholder from Texas.

For those who ignored the hot billfish bite, there were also good tuna numbers and they reaped the rewards; for example, Pisces 25’ “No Borders” landed a 110-pound yellowfin, and more dorado showed up in decent sizes, ranging from 15- to 30-pounds each. There were a few wahoo (weighing about 25 pounds) and one spearfish, along with a few big roosterfish of about 50 pounds.  Fishing has been divided between the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez, with a stronger shift back to the Pacific for billfish at the present.

LOCATION: 11:50 Spot, Punta Gorda, 20 Miles South of Cabo, San Jaime, and Migrino.

BEST LURES: Live/dead caballito and ballyhoo, varied lures: purple, pink, green/yellow and cedar plugs.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Good weather conditions with only some swell at 2 to 3 feet, sunny skies, with no wind.

AVERAGE WATER TEMP: Temperatures varied between seas, with the Cortez side between 2 to 4 degrees warmer than the Pacific. Temps varied between 80/82 to 84 degrees.

Puerto Los Cabos

Lately, there have been quality-sized sardina available, and anglers are meeting the bait vendors out on the grounds such as La Fortuna and Iman Bank. Other bait options have been slabs of squid, caballito, and ballyhoo, as well as bolito and skipjack found on the offshore grounds.

The main action has been for dorado and yellowfin tuna, an occasional wahoo, limited mix of bottom species, and some scattered billfish action. Significant boat pressure on these same grounds, combined with large concentrations of natural food sources, have made the yellowfin tuna finicky. Best chances for getting the tuna was using sardina and strips of squid; a few of the tuna were also striking on larger baitfish. Catches ranged from one to over five tuna per boat, weighing up to 70 pounds.

The dorado were found a bit closer to shore than the yellowfin bite. Still, there were significant numbers of very small-sized dorado with a lower percentage of keeper-sized dorado in the mix. Sardina was the best bait, as well as trolling hoochies and feathers, and drift fishing with strips of squid.

Bottom fishing highlights included a few hog-sized Almaco jack to 95 pounds. A scattering of pargo, pompano, and triggerfish rounded out the bottom action, and a few smaller roosterfish were found on the inshore stretches near the local marina.

Marlin anglers were limited, as more boats were now targeting the tuna; however, a couple of black marlin hook ups were reported -- big fish that ended up being lost after hours of battling. Some smaller-sized blue and striped marlin were also reported taken in limited quantity daily.

East Cape

Water- 85-88. Clear and flat.
Air- Clear mornings, afternoon clouds over the mountains, with a few afternoon light showers. Highs in the low 90s. 

The yellowfin tuna really put on a show about 30-miles offshore in areas both north and south. Big fish were taken both inside and outside under the porpoise. There were many 40- to 50-pounders and quite a few weighing up to 100 pounds. The porpoise are holding some big yellowfin. Inside off the lighthouse and Rincon, there are some nice fish as well. A lot of big fish are being caught both inside and outside. The tuna are picky biters, and the boats are using 30-pound fluorocarbon. Live caballito, slow-trolled ballyhoo, cedar plugs, and hoochies are all working.
There are plenty of dorado around throughout the area – the bites best to the south. Limits for there for most anglers with the average-size fish in the 10-pound range although many releases of smaller fish. Some big bulls to 35-pounds were taken. Hoochies, trolled feathers, live caballito, chunk skipjack and squid all are working.
It has been very, very good billfishing. Most targeting them are releasing at least three. About every third or fourth fish released is a blue or a black marlin with a few sails mixed in. As usual, the La Ribera bank south to Frailes has been loaded with billfish. Very spread as well, with quite a few mixed with the porpoise and trolled ballyhoo, live caballito, and darker colored marlin lures.
Not as many wahoo but still a decent bite.  South off Vinaramas and the lighthouse, anglers are finding fish to 60 pounds.  CD-18 Rapalas have been deadly.
Inshore-not much fishing pressure.  Most anglers are outside chasing the pelagics: some big Almaco jack, pargo, and pompano. Chunk squid and Skipjack are the only bait working.
Big roosterfish to 60 pounds are found along most beaches with very light fishing pressure.

La Paz  

It’s pretty solid fishing, especially if you want to catch dorado. Typical of this time of year, the dorado could be found in numerous spots around Cerralvo Island, Espirito Santo Island, Punta Perico, Punta Mejia, and Bahia Muertos as well as localized spots like the floating buoys and other areas.

The fish are mostly in the 10-15-pound class with lots of smaller ones released.  Some larger fish up to 30-pounds are also hooked.  Fishing can be a daily pick-pick-pick with a fish-or-two here and there. 

Or, it might be pandemonium if you hit a school, and the school crashes the boat with every rod getting bent simultaneously in a wild melee of jumping and fighting fish!

Not much in the way of tuna this week, but that could be because the dorado are so easy to find, the tuna are fast moving, and it takes full focus to chase them down, or to find a spot (especially when the boats around you are getting bent on dorado!).

Of greater interest are the big dog-tooth/cubera snapper that have shown up in the shallows outside of Bahia Muertos.  These toothy armored beasts have been biting (whole bonito or needlefish) almost every day although it takes a Herculean effort and a lot of luck to pull one out of their rocky hiding places and maybe only one per day is getting back to the beach for the big photo session.

These fish have been up to 50 pounds or more, and we had one that weighed 68 pounds (we had a scale on the beach) and it was just a few pounds short of the IGFA world record!

Additional species currently included roosterfish, jack crevalle, big bonito, sierra, pargo, snapper, pompano, amberjack, and rainbow runners.

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