Cooler Water Slows Action, Yellowtail do Bite
The month of May continues to produce variable weather patterns, this week began with wind out of the southwest, pushing in cooler Pacific air, even some marine fog, sweeping cold ocean currents in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. Water temperatures varied from a chilly 58 degrees on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, to an average of 64/66 degrees off of the San Jose del Cabo region, while north of Los Frailes, where this Pacific current terminates, here the ocean temperatures are holding in the 76 to 78 degree range. This is a twenty degree variance in water conditions within a fifty mile stretch of coastline.
While anglers have had to work harder and have more patience in the cooler waters, surfers put on their wet suits and were eagerly awaiting the larger swells that were being generated by Hurricane Bud, the season's second named storm, which is now some 100 miles south of Manzanillo and predicted to leave 10 to 20 inches of rainfall in areas of the state of Jalisco, before pulling a u-turn and slowly heading back west, well south of any impact with the Southern Baja Peninsula.
Green off colored water is normally associated with colder currents, migrating pelagic gamefish seek out more favorable habitat and anglers have to have patience waiting for conditions to recover, sometimes this can happen overnight, other times the turnaround can take weeks, currents do need to shift back from the north, in order so the warmer currents off of the East Cape region can shift back in the direction of Los Cabos.
Striped marlin has been the main attraction found offshore, fish have been more scattered with recent conditions, but most charters are having opportunities, no great numbers now, but catches of one or two marlin were not uncommon. The billfish were striking on live caballito and lures, often encountered tailing on the surface, hitting dropped back bait, most of the time 5 to 20 miles offshore. Very few dorado talked about this past week, will most likely be the same scenario until waters warm back into the mid 70s.
Increased swells made it tough for the pangeros to net sardinas, supplies of caballito have remained steady. As conditions stabilize we do expect to see larger concentrations of bolito and skipjack surface on the fishing grounds. In the mean time we wait for a warming trend.
While there were no tuna, dorado or exotic wahoo frenzies to report, anglers did find some mixed inshore action, along the shoreline and off the rocky high spots. This option was not consistent from day to day, certain spots produced well one day, then the next day slowed to a standstill, while reports of great action came in from other areas, hard to try everywhere in one morning. The week started off with great yellowtail and mixed cabrilla, grouper action found off of Palmilla to Red Hill, in 100 to 150 feet of water. The yellowtail were striking on yo-yo's, surface trolling bait, down rigger baits, rapalas and even on surface trolled marlin type lures. Nice grade of fish, averaging 20 to 30 pounds. A few amberjack mixed in, with leopard grouper to 15 pounds and gulf grouper to 30 pounds rounding out catches. Yellowtail at times were seen cruising in the swells, as do marlin, these fish appear to be on the move, unsettled ocean conditions have them scattering in new directions.
Roosterfish provided steady action for anglers while trolling live baits close to the shoreline, more of the roosters were less than 15 pounds, but there are some impressive size fish to over 50 pounds also starting to appear, the next several weeks is when we normally see the bigger roosterfish start patrolling local beach stretches, cold curretns has set their schedule back.
This next week local residents are gearing up for the traditional national holiday of the "Dia de la Marina". In La Playita there is always heavy anticipation for celebrating this event, with three days of activities, including late night dances, carnival rides, parades, horse match races, off road vehicle races and of course more than enough cerveza (beer).
5 striped marlin, 3 dorado, 18 amberjack, 4 dogtooth snapper, 88 various pargo species,
78 roosterfish, 19 jack crevalle, 26 cabrilla, 8 pompano, 56 yellowtail and 16 sierra.
Good fishing, Eric
About The Author: Captain Eric Brictson
Company: Gordo Banks Pangas
Area Reporting: San Jose del Cabo
Bio: Have operated a Sportfishing Charter service in Southern Baja California for over 20 years. We are now located in the new Puerto Los Cabos Marina.