Fish Report

Cabo San Lucas

The striped marlin bite has dwindled and has spread towards the inside. The number of multiple marlin reports were down, but they were offset by limits of dorado and good numbers of yellowfin tuna with school fish in the 20- to 40-pound range. There were multiple reports of larger tuna weighing 100- to 150-pounds. The dorado counts were up, the overall size being 18- to 20-pounds, with an occasional one in the 30- to 40-pound range. The wahoo were in the 20- to 30-pound range, with a few 50+ pounders found primarily out on the marlin grounds.

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The inshore fishing has been productive for snapper, grouper, and sierra, as well as roosterfish in the surf.

Favorable reports of prime billfish activity on the Pacific side from the Golden Gate and San Jamie Banks with the waters offshore Cabo Falso and the Lighthouse on up to Cerritos all mentioned as hot spots.

The yellowfin were found primarily to the south and southwest on the San Jamie and Golden Gate Banks but some action off El Arco where dolphin were located.

Inshore fishing was solid with sierra along the west side of Migrino. Roosterfish activity was slower, but they showed up again in the surf from Solmar to the Lighthouse and off Palmilla – some weighing 25-pounds. Snapper and grouper were close to the rocks around El Arco. Large jack crevalle were found off the rocks from Solmar west.

Cabo Climate: In January, mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies with average daytime temps in the low to mid-70s; evenings in the low-60s.

Sea Conditions: The seas should be moderate with larger swells and chop showing up in the afternoons as breezes increase.

Best Fishing Areas: Most marlin action on the Pacific side with lots of close-in multiple fish action from the Lighthouse north to Cerritos and Pozo Cota. The San Jamie and Golden Gate Banks produced some nice marlin catches along with some quality yellowfin action. The yellowfin were primarily reported off to the SW or the South 25- to 30-miles out at the San Jamie and Golden Gate Banks.

Favorite Baits: Live caballito or mackerel are the favorites for the marlin with increased success from trolled lures with green, blue, and white and green and yellow. Cedar plugs and feathers were the favorites for the yellowfin. The dorado were hitting trolled lures and feathers or live or dead fly-lined bait once schools were located.

Hoochies were by far the productive lures for the sierra. Trolled live bait near the surf and large poppers were the most successful bait for roosters recently. Dead bait was the ticket for the snappers and groupers.

Puerto Los Cabos

The sardineta and mackerel are just starting to move onto local bait grounds; so far, the sardineta are attracting striped marlin into this same area, and despite not being the warm season, they are seeing a few sailfish as well.

The consistent action has been dorado with most found within a mile or two from shore. Anglers were using smaller-sized trolling lures and various baitfish to entice these gamefish; average-size fish were in the 10-pound class, but there were larger specimen to over 20 pounds also. For the last several seasons, the month of December has proven to be the best time of year for these popular gamefish and with the water temperature still favorable, we expect this action to last into the New Year.

Yellowfin tuna were much more scattered.  The bite off La Fortuna faded off –a few tuna up to 40 pounds were reported from those grounds, and these were taken on strips of squid. A few tuna in the 15- to 40-pound class were taken at Punta Gorda on a mix of caballito and lures, but these were very limited. At the Gordo Banks, there was a chance at a nicer-grade of yellowfin to 100-pounds, though this was hit or miss and involved large amounts of squid for chum and plenty of patience to make drifts all day long for a chance at a hookup, something the local commercial pangeros were doing. Some 20 or more miles offshore, there was porpoise activity moving in the direction of San Jose del Cabo where a couple of 200-pound class yellowfin were landed off larger sport fishers, so maybe this will develop into something.

Wahoo from 15 to 40 pounds are in the area though one monster 122-pounder was brought in by a spear fisherman. However, getting them to bite has not been that easy and although on any given day that could change, the best bet has been on bait.

On the beach that stretches to the north of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina, there were juvenile-sized roosterfish to 15 pounds, with jack crevalle and sierra in the mix.

Off the bottom, there were huachinango, mostly under five pounds, a few yellow snapper, barred pargo, and, of course, triggerfish.

East Cape

According to locals, there have been more fish than anglers lately. Of course, it is north wind season, and 20-knot winds at daybreak can erase “that itch to fish.”

However, for the patient anglers who wait for the calm days, there is rewarding action to be found for both half-day and full-day trips if the wind line for the north fails to appear.

Remarkably, with sea temps remaining steady, there are some of the exotics still around. Dorado, tuna, and a few skipjack are worthy adversaries only a few miles offshore.

Closer to the beach, the jacks and small rooster are still prowling the shore in search of a meal. Plus the usual suspects on the rocky reefs in front of La Ribera – grouper, snapper, and pargo – are joined by an assortment of other species to bend your rod.

La Paz  

Most folks in town aren’t here to fish or hit the water.  Those who are in town for watersports are windsurfers and kiteboarders taking advantage of the strong winter winds or to swim with the whale sharks in the bay.

The few that are out fishing are mostly finding action inshore along the rocks and beaches. 

There’s been a decent bite on cabrilla to about 10-pounds with most in the 2- to 5-pound range with the little ones getting released.  Snapper were also on the chew and all are good fish for the table.  The biggest issue is getting live bait.  If waters are rough and winds are blowing, getting live bait in the shallow areas where the bait school up can be difficult.  If bait is an issue, slow trolling small crankbait-like Rapalas, Rebels, Yo-Zuri, Mirorlures, or similar can still be very productive and fun.

Moving slightly offshore, the bonito are there for tougher battles along with jack crevalle.  There’s a chance of catching an occasional dorado as well.