San Jose del Cabo Fish Report
Crowds of visiting anglers are light, this is normal during the weeks prior to the Holiday Season. With the official start of the winter season now less than two weeks away the days are becoming progressively shorter and early mornings are cooler, daytime highs are reaching the upper 70s, scattered cloud cover, at times threatening rain, but also a good amount of warm sunshine to keep sun worshippers satisfied. Northern winds are prevailing, ranging 10 to 15 mph by most afternoons, but still have not been too much of a problem for anglers, as for the most part ocean conditions have been comfortable, considering what time of year it is. Water temperatures are on a cooling trend, now averaging 75 to 78 degrees throughout much of the region.
Live bait availability has varied from day to day, caballito, mackerel and sardinas. Some days the only sardinas obtainable have been very small in size, while the next day mature sized sardinas were found. Surf conditions have been a factor as well, there are more concentrations of the baitfish towards Los Frailes, but it has not been easy to contract the commercial fleet to travel such distances. So a lot to do with the fishing options has depended on what type of bait is available on a given morning.
Besides the much improved striped marlin action throughout the area the highlight for the past week out of the San Jose del Cabo has most definitely been the incredible bite on the Outer Gordo Bank for cow sized yellowfin tuna. More yellowfin tuna weighing over 200 pounds have been weighed in for the La Playita panga fleet this past week than in the past five years combined. An estimated 15 tuna of 200 pounds or more were accounted for and there were also two more yellowfin of more than 300 pounds weighed in, a 315 and 372, of course there were also heartbreak stories of huge fish breaking off after marathon battles. One fish was fought from the super panga "Killer II" for close to seven hours on heavy tackle, after towing the panga some ten miles during the battle the fish broke off just as they were ready to sink the gaff, this fish was estimated to weigh 350 pounds or more, what a heartbreak to lose such a fish of a life time after having it so close.
These big tuna have preferred striking on larger trolled baits, bolito or skipjack, which have been schooling on the same fishing grounds and caught on small hoochie type jigs. These baits have not been easy to catch, coming up to surface unpredictably and then disappearing all together. But often only one or two baits were needed, as these tuna were hungry and often leaped clear out of the water when they did strike. Most successful anglers were using main lines of 80 pounds or larger, with fluorocarbon leaders of 80 to 130 lb. directly spliced, no swivels, to keep visibility to as low profile as possible for these leader wary giants.
This bite has been the best in recent history for fish of this size in such close proximity, incredible the commercial tuna fleet has not moved in, must be finding good fishing elsewhere, who knows how long this will last, as water conditions will continue to cool as winter arrives.
Dorado were spread out, reportedly more numerous on the Pacific, sizes ranged from
5 to 30 pounds, it is about time that these pelagic gamefish start migrating south towards warmer waters. Same for wahoo, action slowed to few and far between, compared to previous weeks, but until the water temperatures drop into the lower 70s there is always a chance at hooking into one of these speedsters, actually with such a fantastic big tuna bite happening this past week, not many anglers even targeted the wahoo, the lack of larger cabalitto baitfish was a factor as well. Trolling with Rapala type lures and trap rigged baits around the Cardon, La Fortuna and Iman Banks has been the most productive place for wahoo. These same areas were holding schools of yellowfin tuna in the 10 to 80 pound class, but it was a a matter of having sufficient supplies of fresh sardinas to entice them into a feeding mood.
The marlin action has been very good around the Gordo Banks for this early in the season, mainly for striped marlin averaging 100 pounds, striking the same baits that were used for targeting the larger tuna, but there were some larger marlin hanging around late into the year as well, Thursday there was 500 pound blue marlin landed from a panga and another monster marlin that was lost the same day after being fought until about
The annual migration of Gray and Humpback whales has started, as these mammals are now being sighted daily, this activity should peak during the next couple of months.
The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 102 charters, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 4 sailfish, 5 hammerhead shark, 38 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 212 yellowfin tuna, 195 dorado, 14 cabrilla, 22 rainbow runners, 18 pargo, 42 sierra and 28 bonito.
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.