Cows on the Gordo Banks
The Southern Baja weather this past week is consistent with normal early fall patterns. We have seen cooler early morning temperatures, scattered tropical clouds with strong sunshine, warm and humid through the afternoon. Trade winds are blowing offshore in the morning, then switch out of the north midday and then from the south late, just enough breeze to help keep conditions comfortable. No new storms seen to the south at this time, still a chance at late season systems developing, as ocean water temperatures are averaging 85 degrees of more through most of the region.
Swells were light this week, gave a chance for the inshore clarity to start clearing after all of the recent rain runoff. Much larger crowds of anglers are now arriving, as the coming weeks is always one of the busiest times of year in the Los Cabos area. Advance charter reservations are definitely recommended this time of year. Commercial pangeros are working hard to find sufficient supplies of live bait, particularly sardinas, which are the preferred all around baitfish. Inshore off of Palmilla and to the north of Punta Gorda they are finding scattered schools of these baitfish, though it was not easy to keep up with the supply and demand. There are caballito in the marina and on the fishing grounds there are bolito, skipjack, chihuil and cocinero, more skipjack than anything else.
The cow bells are ringing on the Gordo Banks.There were more larger yellowfin tuna caught this week, the Gordo Banks produced quite a few yellowfin tuna over 100 pounds and maybe ten tuna over 200 pounds were landed by the combined Puerto Los Cabos fleet of pangas and larger sportfishers, largest we actually weighed in was 245 lb. Most of these tuna were found around the Inner Gordo Bank, they hit on whole baits, as well as chunk bait. A handful of fish were hooked throughout the morning hours and then local private charters were having a bit more success dung the afternoon sessions. On Tuesday evening there was a black marlin brought in by a trio of local La Playita anglers that was weighed in at 640 lb., largest black we have heard about so far this season. Last week there was a blue marlin landed out of Cabo San Lucas that went 720 pounds.
The Iman Bank was holding schooling yellowfin tuna, though there was no consistent bite for these fish, some days they would come up and feed on sardinas late morning, other days just did not come up at all. Lots of skipjack competing for the same food source, tuna do not like feeding at the same time as the skippies. These tuna in this area were in the 12 to 20 pound class, with a few up to 40 pounds, on the good days charters were accounting for a handful of tuna, as well as dorado in their mix.
Dorado are being found spread out, there were greater numbers congregated around floating debris. Most of the dorado were under 20 pounds, though we did see a few trophy sized bulls up to 45 pounds. No run on wahoo yet, with all of the bait ball activity we expect to see more of these wahoo in the counts soon. A few wahoo to 40 pounds were landed north of Punta Gorda, striking on Rapala and bait, with many boats now trolling larger baits on the offshore grounds, this is good way to tell if the wahoo actually are around, because they really like to clip off these same baits, more often than not they do so without notice or even becoming hooked.
The bottom action consisted of miscellaneous pargo/snapper, cabrilla, amberjack, dogtooth, grouper and even roosterfish. As we have been seeing now for several fall seasons, out of their normal inshore habitat, the roosterfish at this time of year will hang around the offshore structure of Iman, La Fortuna and San Luis and all of these roosterfish have been larger fish, 30 to 60 pounds. Anglers told many stories of drift fishing while using live skipjack off the bottom, taking freight train strikes, resulting in cut off lines. Not many amberjack recently, but that could change at any time, though the fall season is the time when the majority of anglers would prefer to target the pelagic surface species.
We have not heard many reports on billfish, except the 640 pound black marlin out of La Playita on Tuesday afternoon. Just a few sailfish and smaller size striped marlin found while trolling the blue water, we expect to hear more reports of big marlin hook ups in the coming days, as this is the time the tournament teams really start to scout fish for the upcoming events.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 110 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
1 black marlin, 7 striped marlin, 9 sailfish, 8 wahoo, 11 amberjack, 5 dogtooth snapper,
18 cabrilla, 194 dorado, 83 yellowfin tuna, 22 various pargo species and 5 roosterfish.
Good Fishing, Eric
About The Author: Captain Eric Brictson
Company: Gordo Banks Pangas
Area Reporting: San Jose Del Cabo - Baja MX
Bio: Eric Brictson was born in Santa Monica, California and has been an avid fishermen since he was five years old and extensively fished both freshwater and saltwater areas of California and Oregon. As a child he and his family often visited Mexico and be became very fond of the country. His frequent trips to the Los Cabos area of Baja became more extended with each visit. In 1985 he moved permanently to his new home and started a small sportfishing fleet, which grew as the years went by and is now called Gordo Banks Pangas.
Ericís fleet consists of six 22 and 23 foot pangas, which are fiberglass skiffs with outboard motors. They are very seaworthy and particularly efficient for launching directly off the sandy beaches. He oversees every aspect of the operations, with the quality of the boats and equipment being of top priority, along with the primary goal to be anglerís satisfaction.
He has personally landed black marlin weighing 700 pounds and yellowfin tuna near 300 pounds from his boats but has many other incredible stories to tell of marathon battles with monster sized marlin that ended up being lost. Now he is an avid promoter of catch and release for billfish, and is hoping to influence other fleets of San Jose del Cabo to practice the same.