Dorado and Yellowfin Tuna Fishing Off Punta Gorda
San Jose del Cabo
February 1, 2009
Moderate numbers of winter time tourists were visiting the Los Cabos area and they enjoyed very pleasant weather conditions, scattered cloud cover and high temperatures were in the upper 70s. Winds were predominately from the north, ranging from 10 to 20 miles an hour, this continued to push in cooler greenish ocean currents off of San Jose del Cabo, now averaging 70 to 72 degrees. There were mackerel and sardinas available for live bait, mackerel being the best choice for offshore billfish, dorado and wahoo action and sardinas the better option for the smaller gamefish inshore.
Local panga fleets continued to find the best action close to shore off of Punta Gorda, this is where there were concentrations of dorado, yellowfin tuna and surprisingly many wahoo were still found schooling here, even though the water was cooling and off colored. Despite heavy north wind for much of the past week, this one area was protected and anglers found calm conditions to go along with the excellent fishing opportunities. The best success was found by slow trolling with either sardinas or mackerel, both of which were readily available. Once found, the schooling wahoo would hit yo-yo jigs but seemed to shy away from any lures rigged with wire leader, so this resulted in many more cut off lines and a low hook up to catch ratio. Dorado sizes ranged up to 25 pounds, yellowfin tuna averaged 20 to 30 pounds, but some specimens to over 50 pounds were accounted for, most of the wahoo weighed from 15 to 25 pounds, though in recent days some larger fish to 40 pounds were also being brought in. This month of January has proved to be one of the best in many years, hopefully this is a positive sign of what we can expect for the rest of 2009.
With the north wind being prevalent and strong currents to contend with, anglers had to choose the right time to be able to fish effectively off any bottom spots. When the conditions cooperated, anglers using yo-yo type iron jigs and mackerel accounted for some fair catches of huachinango (red snapper), amberjack, Mexican Bonito and cabrilla, we expect to be concentrating on this style of fishing more in the coming months. In the mean time anglers are taking advantage of the great close to shore surface fishing opportunities.
Anglers reported excellent action close to shore for sierra and roosterfish. Sierra were striking best on trolled sardinas, but would also hit on lures such as Rapalas, hoochies and yo-yo's. The area just off of Punta Gorda has produced some particularly large sierra in recent days, a handful of specimens in the 5 to 8pound class. The local beach stretches were holding schools of roosterfish, just south of Punta Gorda off of La Laguna, has been a hot spot for the roosters which have been running in the 6 to 15 pound range, a few larger fish mixed in, fun action on light tackle.
Whale watching is now at its peak, both humpback and grays, also there have been manta rays, sea lions and porpoise to add to the entertainment. On the offshore fishing grounds many marlin were seen free jumping, repeating jumping high out of the water, for no apparent reason except just for the fun of it, always exciting to witness. The action for striped marlin is continuing to shift into the lower Sea of Cortez, charters working the waters off of Palmilla to the 95 spot have been averaging one or two stripers per outing, while on the Pacific some boats are still scoring double digit catch and releases.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 71 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 9 striped marlin, 69 yellowfin tuna, 64 Mexican bonito, 8 amberjack, 11 cabrilla, 19 pargo (huachinango), 354 dorado, 42 roosterfish, 43 wahoo and 133 sierra.
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.