Fish Report

September 30, 2019 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

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Cabo San Lucas

Numbers at a glance: Billfish 55 percent, Tuna 24 percent, Dorado 44 percent, and other Species 9 percent.

The incredible fishing continues even with Hurricane Lorena, which only brought a slight rain and closed the port for a few days. Marlin catches are down slightly because the fleet fished fewer days. One hundred billfish were released, and there were more blue marlin, sailfish and even some rare spearfish released. Many boats caught and released up to 10 striped marlin, with tons of more marlin bites! Catch numbers for dorado doubled –a total of 97 – of course still respecting catch limits. Tuna numbers increased as well, and another notable fish was landed.

Derek and his friends, Jerry Deford and Lee Martin from Oklahoma, set out in search of tuna. They found them rather quickly, landing a 140- and a 20-pound tuna outside of San Jaime Bank on guacamayo lures.

A group of friends from Michigan, who come to Cabo nearly every other year fished three days on three different boats. They diversified their fishing efforts and did one day fishing inshore on pangas, one day focusing on billfish, and some opted for a day of searching for tuna. All in all, anglers Larry Vollar, Scott Abrahams, Steve Banks, Gavin and Gordon Narburgh, Will Fender, Keith Tidd and Greg Huffman caught a total of 49 fish. They went 19 for 35 on released striped marlin and two sailfish and three nice blue marlin, (also released), which ranged from about 150- to 220-pounds. Two of the blues were caught on Pisces 31’ “Tracy Ann,” they also released two spearfish on this same day. The spearfish were about 70- and 80-pounds and hit on dead caballito bait about 22 miles out at the 150 Spot. Their tuna fishing resulted in 12 yellowfin in the 30-pound range; they also caught nine dorado, one bonito, and one skipjack.

LOCATION: Mostly Pacific side from Los Arcos, and Pozo Cota to Cerritos, as well as the 11:50 and 95 Spots and the Golden Gate.

BEST LURES: Live/dead caballito and ballyhoo bait, varied lures: guacamayo, cedar plugs, and feathers.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Good weather conditions overall, with some intermittent swell at the beginning of the week, from 2- to 3-feet.

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

Puerto Los Cabos

Anglers had a shortened week fishing through Thursday before Red Flag conditions closed the Port. Light crowds of tourists, so numbers of charters were limited. Sardina were being netted off the beach stretches near San Luis and delivered to the grounds near La Fortuna and Iman. Ballyhoo, caballito, and strips of squid were also being used.

Sardina are now the best ticket for enticing yellowfin tuna; action varied from where the best bite could be found. In recent days, more tuna were near Vinorama – a smaller-grade of 15-pound fish, though boats could catch 10 or more.

While action near the 25 Spot and Iman was more sporadic, this is where a handful of yellowfin weighing up to 70 pounds were landed. Still no reports of the cow-sized tuna showing, even on the Gordo Banks; they are late showing this season. Lots of sizeable black skipjack biting on all these same grounds, so that was a nuisance

The number of dorado were less now, and most fish that were found were smaller in size. Wahoo became more active, and we saw a few of these fish almost every day, they weighed 20 to 40-pounds and were striking on trolled rapala type lures off of the north grounds, near where the tuna and dorado were also encountered.

Not much bottom action was even attempted, though we did see a few Almaco jacks, cabrilla, snapper, pompano, bonito, surgeon fish and of course triggerfish

East Cape

Water - 84-88. It was clear and flat before the storm on Friday, but still a little dirty after.  However, it’s cleaning up fast. The storm didn’t bring a lot of rain.

Air - Early in the week, there were clear skies, although there was some rain and a lot of wind on Friday.

A consistent yellowfin tuna bite with most taken off Rincon and the lighthouse, two to three miles offshore. Fish from 5- to 35-pounds with live sardina and chunked squid bait both working.

Plenty of striped marlin, sailfish, and black marlin. All anglers targeting billfish are releasing at least one, and most are releasing multiples. Quite a few big black and blue marlin already as the fall season arrives. Slow-trolled ballyhoo, darker lures, and live caballito are all working.

Wahoo around the lighthouse and the White cliffs off Vinaramas. Fish from 20-55-pounders. CD-18 Rapalas have been the ticket.

Inshore the drop-offs have been producing Almaco jacks, dogtooth snapper, pompano, and some nice grouper. It’s been very good bottom fishing with chunk skipjack and squid being the best bait.

Big roosterfish continue to be a popular bucket-list target, close in along most beaches. There’s very light fishing pressure as most anglers are going for the meat fish.

Large schools of sardina throughout Palmas Bay is helping the fishing.

La Paz 

Some have wondered if the lunar phase would affect the nice dorado bite we had been having, especially with the full moon. I’m not a big believer in how the moon affects our fishing down here, but you just never know!

No big change in the dorado bite; in fact, it has gotten better, and the fish have gotten bigger! Especially in La Paz; it has been typical to get limits of 10- to 25-pound dorado and then catch and release many, many, more.  Lots of fun!

But, then the craziest thing happened ... the marlin went crazy nut insane! In 25 years here, locals can’t remember seeing anything like it.  For four days, almost all the pangas were hooking one to four marlin per-boat per-day – stripers up to 120-pounds! Blue marlin in the 150- to 250-pound range! There was even a 600-pound marlin hooked.

The big issue was that so many of these fish showed up while guys were going full speed on the dorado schools. Consequently, they were fishing with light 30- to 40-pound test line, small hooks and small bait when the marlin bit! Many of the marlin were not only eating the bait, but also eating the dorado. On light tackle, the fights were long and epic.

The bad thing was that many folks tried to release fish, but the fish were exhausted. We released most of the fish, but some were not able to be released. However, many of our anglers donated the meat to needy folks here in town. Also, because of the small hooks and lines, the marlin were swallowing the hooks all the way down, and that also made it almost impossible to release fish!

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,