San Jose del Cabo Fish Report
Times are grand in Los Cabos, as ideal weather conditions, combined with world class sport fishing opportunities have attracted scores of anglers. Sunny skies, high temperatures in the 80s, ocean water temperatures averaging 80 to 83 degrees, with minimal swells, light wind conditions and a wide variety of game fish being encountered throughout the area all added up to labeling these local fishing grounds as a true fisherman's paradise.
Fleets are now busy, as the news has leaked out that there is now a once in a long time bite for quality sized one hundred pound plus yellowfin tuna now going on in the vicinity of the Inner Gordo Banks. This spot is in close proximity to the Puerto Los Cabos Marina, as well as being within easy range of Cabo San Lucas charters, so there has been heavy boat pressure from all directions. Schools of sardinas close to shore have become scattered, heavy pressure and recent moon phase seems to have been a factor. Most days the commercial pangeros have been netting sufficient bait to go around, though they are having to back track towards Palmilla and Chelino and then back to meet the sport charters back off La Playita.
Either way, it was worth the waiting for the live sardinas, they have been the preferred choice for the yellowfin. Proven technique was to drift fish over the high spot while using a combination of live and dead sardinas, while also soaking chunk bait with strips from freshly caught skipjack. The tuna could be seen all around on the surface, just appearing to be lazily feeding on chum and patrolling the area. Often these fish become increasingly line wary, this has been case at times, but then on other days anglers reported hooking into these tuna with 100 pound leaders. Fluorocarbon leader of 80 pound test has been most popular at this particular time for the average sized fish being encountered, which has been 80 to 100 pounds on the Gordo Banks, with fish close to 150 pounds weighed in daily and then there are the big hook up stories of heartbreak lost monsters that are being told back at the docks. So anglers looking to have a better chance at landing those record sized cows that are now in lurking in local waters should also have 130 pound fluorocarbon in your arsenal.
In recent days there were more tuna moving in throughout the region, Santa Maria, Chileno, Red Hill, Gordo Banks, Punta Gorda, Cardon, La Fortuna, Iman to Vinorama were all attracting large concentrations of yellowfin that were ranging from smaller football model to over 100 pounds as well, once again these fish were striking best while drift fishing with bait.
Averaged catches ranged from one to four of the larger sized tuna per charter, to as many as 15 or 20 smaller of the medium sized grade of fish, great action, with options of choosing to target the monsters or the normal sized tuna. The spot producing the highest percentage of larger tuna has definitely been the Gordo Banks. We are hoping that the commercial tuna seiners will not destroy what has now become a nearly unprecedented bite for the past two weeks, perhaps a one and ten year event, with chances of reaching lifetime proportions.
Yesterday there were reports of helicopters based from the commercial tuna fleet that were circling overhead on the Gordo Banks, tracking the activity, this is never a favorable sign when you see them in the area. It makes us recall the time some ten years back when the commercial fleet single handedly caused the sport fishing charter action on larger tuna go from wide open to nothing overnight, we will hope for the best and be anxious to watch the action continue.
Wahoo activity was up and down in recent days, for experienced anglers using their proven array of trolling lures there were as many as five wahoo per charter landed. Though on the average if you had one wahoo mixed in your overall catch you were doing well .Many more wahoo were landed by anglers not even targeting them, while using straight monofilament while targeting yellowfin tuna. A few wahoo were also taken on casting jigs. Of the 'hoo accounted for, they ranged from 15 to 60 pounds.
Dorado were found just about anywhere the inshore tuna were, roaming in smaller schools, of fish ranging mostly in the 5 to 15 pound class. We did hear of a handful of bulls that were much bigger, most of these found on the Pacific.
One La Playita panga, from the commercial fleet, with skipper Catarino, had an extended 5 hour battle with a 450 pound class black marlin that hit on a larger trolled bait near the Gordo Banks and took the entire crew to subdue. There was a huge increase of striped marlin showing up on these same Banks for the past couple of days, anglers were hooking into on small sized sardinas and the billfish could be seen in numbers breaking the surface.
Running out of room here, just want everyone to know that if you have ever wanted to hook into a 100 pound plus yellowfin tuna that is within a mere ten miles of your launching area, now is the time to take that opportunity. Who knows how long this bite will last.
The combined fleet of pangas launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 220 charters for this past week, with anglers reporting a fish count of:
1 black marlin, 23 sailfish, 21 striped marlin, 38 wahoo, 410 dorado, 856 yellowfin tuna, 26 pargo, 6 dogtooth snapper,32 rainbow runner, 18 cabrilla and 35 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.