Mixed Bag Fishing Report From Santa Maria to Vinorama
With the fall season now officially upon us we can all look forward to more pleasant weather as well as increased crowds of visiting tourists. The change in climate can now be felt early in the morning, cooler air brought by breezes from the northwest and Pacific, though the daytime heat index is still reaching triple digits and the humidity is very high. There was a new storm that developed earlier this week, named Tropical Storm Nora, but at this time it is some 700 miles off to the east-southeast of the Southern Baja Peninsula and will not have any impact on land. Though it is late in the hurricane season there is still a chance that storm systems can generate over the prevailing warm waters, we will hope that they keep their distance, even though the southern region of Baja could use more rainfall, what we do not need is any devastation from highs winds and flooding. At this time ocean conditions are very comfortable, moderate swells and light breezes, water temperatures are ranging from 80 to 86 degrees, clean blue found close to shore.
Live sardinas continue to be found around the La Playita and Palmilla areas and have been the main bait being used now by charters. Though larger bolito and skipjack baits are schooling on the fishing grounds are being used for surface trolling, as well as drift fishing over the bottom structure.
Local fleets out of San Jose del Cabo are working areas from the Gordo Banks to Vinorama, finding mixed action for yellowfin tuna, dorado, dogtooth snapper, grouper, amberjack, barred pargo, bonito and skipjack. Black skipjack averaged 10 to 15 pounds have become a nuisance in the vicinity of San Luis Bank where the more consistent yellowfin action has also been concentrated, so anglers are having to contend with these aggressive feeders while trying to target the tuna and dorado, most of the yellowfin that are being accounted for have been in the 15 to 60 pound class, though there are definitely some cow sized gorilla yellowfin tuna in the area, which was proved on Tuesday by a group of four local La Playita anglers. These commercial pangeros who normally supply baitfish for tourist charters and then go bottom fishing decided to take a day from the normal routine and go fishing themselves. They headed for the Inner Gordo Bank where they caught a pair of skipjack and began slow trolling towards the southern drop off, it was not long before they had a massive double strike, one fish did not take the bait deep enough to become hooked, but the other fish was hooked solid and began peeling the 60 pound line off of the older Peen Senator reel like a freight train, the fire drill was on and the crew began chasing the fish down in order to keep from becoming spooled. They slowly began to make some headway in the tug of war, taking turns on the rods, thankful for their choice of 300 pound mono leader. Apparently the fish became tailed wrapped before diving towards the depths, the group figured they had a larger sized tuna on the line since no fish had broke the surface after the initial strike and now they just felt heavy brute force weight. Of course they had no idea on how big this monster actually was, after two and a half hours of battling they found out, as they gaffed and hauled into the 22 ft. panga this world record class specimen of a yellowfin tuna. Back at the dock the fish was weighed in on a certified digital scale at 357 pounds, this turns out to be only 31 pounds shy of the all time official IGFA world record. Definitely a La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos record and it could be a difficult one to break for some time. The news of this yellowfin tuna being found in local waters should create major interest with anglers involved in or considering entering the upcoming WON Tuna Jackpot event.
Drift fishing and dropping various whole and cut baits on the rock structure around the San Luis area has produced quality cabrilla, barred pargo, amberjack and dog snapper this past week, some of the specimens weighing in the 40 to 70 pound category. Even the barred pargo were pushing 20 pounds and leopard grouper to 25 pounds were accounted for, bolito or cut skipjack were the preferred baits.
Dorado were found throughout the region, though the majority were smaller sized schoolies under 15 pounds, only a scattering of larger bulls were reported. Wahoo were in the area, as they occasionally could be seen swimming through the chum lines, though only a handful were hooked into, some of them on the traditional wahoo type trolling lures and others on fly lined sardinas, straight on monofilament.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 40 charters for the past week, with anglers reporting a fish count of:
1 black marlin, 5 sailfish, 11 wahoo, 78 yellowfin tuna, 94 dorado, 165 black skipjack,
18 bonito, 18 cabrilla, 8 grouper, 12 amberjack, 26 barred pargo, 13 dogtooth snapper,
5 rainbow runners and 15 huachinango.
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.