Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna and More
Pleasant winter weather continues to attract moderate crowds of tourists, cloud cover giving way to warm sunshine, with highs into 80s and variable winds. Mid week there were strong gusts from the north, this created choppy seas and limited options for anglers, by Thursday and Friday conditions had settled. Water temperatures have averaged in the 70 to 72 degrees range. Good supplies of sardinas were found along the beach stretches north of Punta Gorda, there were also caballito, sardinetas and some mackerel available.
The San Jose del Cabo fleet has been fishing areas from off of Red Hill towards Iman Bank, species such as dorado, skipjack, striped marlin, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, snapper, sierra and roosterfish are all being found in limited numbers. Dorado have been the more numerous, being found in smaller sized schools, ranging in sizes up to 25 pounds, though most of these fish were under 15 pounds, striking on trolling lures or baits, found close to shore, as well as on the offshore fishing grounds, though greatest concentrations were encountered within a couple miles of shore, this is where baitfish are more prevalent.
This past week we saw more striped marlin off of San Jose del Cabo, many billfish were seen free jumping as well as tailing in the swells, a percentage of these fish would strike on bait or lures, other times they were not interested. This is typically the time when the striped marlin start to shift from the Pacific Banks in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, following their food sources. It is the also the season when we see more mako sharks on these same fishing grounds.
Yellowfin tuna activity has increased in recent days on the areas from the Gordo Banks to Iman, no great numbers of fish being hooked, but these fish are schooling in the area and are quality sized from 30 to 50 pounds, with fish to over 100 pounds also hooked into. There still is a heavy presence of skipjack that the yellowfin have to compete with and it varies from day to day as what time of day the tuna decide to feed, a bit more finicky in the cooler waters. Anglers were using sardinas and chunk bait from skipjack, drift fishing over the grounds, at times tuna would be seen on the surface, other times anglers had blind strikes. This is not the peak season for yellowfin tuna on the local fishing grounds, though at this time there is chance to catch a couple of nice specimens. Every year is a bit different, with global weather patterns, these days you really never know what might happen.
Anglers found other available options along the shoreline for sierra, weighing up to five pounds, hitting on baits, hoochies and rapalas. Also a few early season juvenile sized roosterfish in the area. Off the bottom, anglers found varying currents, but there were some improved pargo catches, a handful of cabrilla and bonito. We heard of yellowtail caught off of the Pacific and at East Cape, so we hope these jacks move into our range soon.
The combined panga fleet launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 57 charters for the past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 1 sailfish, 9 striped marlin, 5 mako shark, 212 dorado, 38 yellowfin tuna, 13 roosterfish, 125 sierra, 5 amberjack, 10 bonito, 14 cabrilla, 2 yellowtail, 3 dogtooth snapper, 12 barred pargo and 35 yellow pargo.
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.