Fish Report

February 3, 2020 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

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Mic Ward came down from Alaska to enjoy a few days of sunshine at Rancho Costa at Bahia de Los Muertos south of La Paz and he landed a couple of cabrilla.


 

Cabo San Lucas

Billfish 44 percent, Dorado 32 percent, Tuna 30 percent, Other 19 percent

Striped marlin numbers should remain stable and even improve somewhat as February settles in. Hopefully, they will continue to hang out close off of Cabo Falso. Anglers can expect a few shots at blues, blacks, and maybe some spearfish mixed in. Don’t be surprised if a swordfish, as well as a shark or two, show up in the catch reports.

Additional offshore action have been the good-sized dorado – weighing up to 30-pounds – which have been found hanging around almost anything floating. They are often caught by trolling the marlin lures close to them; if there is a bite, there are likely many more that can be taken on the fresh bait beneath the floating object.

Another strong candidate for the cooler is the yellowfin tuna weighing up to 45-pounds, which are often found traveling with the porpoise looking for food. Another “careful what you wish for” surprise is the cow-sized tuna weighing over 100 pounds that may be lurking with the small ones. Don’t be surprised if you also hook a few of the smaller ones closer to shore. Another critter to watch out for is the wahoo; they offer an additional challenge with their mouthful of razor-sharp teeth! Many of the boats have ample lures rigged with wire in order to avoid losing their expensive lures as these fish are found both offshore as well as closer into the shore.

Adding to the excitement inshore are roosterfish, jack crevalle, roosterfish, and sierra – another toothy fish that is a favorite of many anglers for its white meat that is ideal for ceviche.

Fishing some of the rocky pinnacles also can be rewarding in February. Yellowtail, Almaco jack, pargo, snapper, grouper, and cabrilla can all be found while bottom fishing. 

LOCATION: Herradura, Gasparino, Migrino, Golden Gate, and the 210 Spot fare best or tuna mostly.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Good weather conditions overall with a minimum swell. There have been some overcast days with slight winds.

AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 72 to 74 degrees F.

BEST LURES: Mackerel live or dead, cedar plugs, hoochis, feathers, green/yellow lures, and guacamayo lures.

Puerto Los Cabos

The conditions for dorado, yellowfin tuna, and billfish have fluctuated recently, but are expected to improve in early February.

Visitors can expect scattered early day cloud cover with plenty of sunshine, and with high temperatures ranging from 75 to 80 degrees. There will continue to be cycles of north winds, as well as improved fishing action. Water temperatures have been in the 71-to-74-degree range.

Large concentrations of baitfish should be gathering on the grounds just offshore of the San Jose del Cabo Hotel zone – mostly mackerel, and sardineta. Other bait options have included caballito, ballyhoo, along with slabs of squid. With all the food sources concentrated in this area, not only do they attract dorado, but they also attract striped marlin on these same grounds, and all are in very close proximity to the local marina. This is a seasonal event that usually gets the locals excited; at times, it only lasts for a week or two before the baitfish schools migrate elsewhere.

Inshore there have been roosterfish, sierra, and a variety of shallow structure species recently. Most of these fish have been smaller in size, though a handful of larger roosterfish were reported to weigh 40-pounds, as well as some sierra weighing up to eight pounds.

The yellowfin tuna activity should continue to build during early February, barring any unusual weather at Gordo Banks. Drift fishing with squid should produce fish to the 80-pound class, not the smaller football-sized tuna found scattered at the end of January. There probably won’t be huge numbers, but there is a fair chance at catching two or three of these larger fish.

Wahoo were scarce with the cooler water, though a handful were caught on the grounds from Punta Gorda to Cardon. It seems that the ocean conditions near Vinorama are now cooler and dirtier, but we are hoping for the blue water found nearer San Jose del Cabo to show up there as well.

The highlight for bottom fishing was a 70-pound Almaco jack, along with a few leopard grouper, yellow snapper, red snapper, and smaller amberjack in the mix. We anticipate more structure action beginning in February, as that is the typical pattern as we near springtime. We have heard reports of smaller yellowtail on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas; this is usually a good sign that these gamefish are eventually moving in the direction of the Sea Of Cortez; it has been several years now since we saw a good run of these sought after fish.

It’s peak season now for whales, and it should be easy to spot these mammals for at least another month.

East Cape

North wind blues are a common malady for the local and visiting angling community during February. Usually, there are windows of opportunity for the anglers to sneak out and wet a line. As almost always in February, the anglers need to choose their days carefully, which can be difficult for those with a short window of a few days.

The lucky ones will not be disappointed. Recent catches have included wahoo and yellowfin tuna, plus some white bonito. Closer to shore, sierra have dominated the tin boat fish reports along with a few small roosters, and jack crevalle that have been added in for good measure. Perhaps early in February, some of the yellowtail will be arriving for the winter around the pinnacles outside the La Ribera Marina entrance.  A few local Mexican families, enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon on the beach, reported catching a few jack crevalle and cabrilla, as well as a surprise – barred pompano.

La Paz 

North winds still prevail, much to the delight of kiteboarders visiting the area. For the visiting anglers, the windy, rough days outside have been frustrating.  Most of the fishing has been confined to inshore species as the boats hugged the coastal areas seeking calmer water and protection from the north winds and choppy ocean.

Using Rapalas, stripped bait, squid, and live bait (when it could be found), anglers produced a mixed bag of pargo, snapper, triggerfish, and cabrilla, as well as some bonito, sierra and jack crevalle.  Slowly dragging smaller dark Rapalas over the rocky spots was especially productive for a variety of rock-dwelling species.

Despite the winds, it’s been sunny with highs in the mid- to upper-70s most days, and nights have been down to the mid-50s, but it looks like more wind can be expected in early February extending into March.