Tuna Bite on Gordo Banks
The official start of the winter season is next week, while much of the United States is enduring freezing temperatures the light crowds of tourists now visiting the Los Cabos area have been enjoying clear sunny skies with highs near 80 degrees. Cooler marine moisture dropped early morning into the mid 50s. Water temperatures are progressively cooling now ranging from 70 to 76 throughout the region. Greener cooler currents are pushing in a southern direction from Vinorama. The Gordo Banks area has had the most favorable conditions in recent days and this is where much of the sport fishing fleet has been concentrated.
With the lighter crowds this past week, this help the supply and demand situation for the available bait. Sardinas were now being found off of northern beaches by the commercial netters, also on most days there has been fresh dead brined sardinas available at the dock early in the a.m. Mackerel and caballito have been very limited.
Last year during this same time frame anglers were catching quality sized yellowfin tuna and that is also what is happening this past week. Tuna to over 200 pounds are being hooked into while drift fishing on the Gordo Banks. Average yellowfin was in the 30 to 80 pound class, but much larger fish are on these same fishing grounds, at least two tuna over 200 pounds were taken in the past several days. Using a combination of live and dead sardinas proved most productive, leaders of 40 to 60 were preferred, as these fish were shy do to all of the natural food sources now in the area, due to these light leaders many of the larger fish were lost. The action for the smaller grade of yellowfin off of Iman and Punta Gorda has tapered off since a good start beginning the week. Now the best action has definitely been around the Inner Gordo Bank. Late week it was common for charter to have two or three tuna in the 70 to 90 pound class per morning.
Dorado were showing up in the daily fish counts more frequently, more of these fish were found trolling within a couple miles of shore and many anglers found their two fish limit in a hurry, with sizes averaging 10 to 20 pounds.
Wahoo were becoming more scattered in the cooling waters, each day a few of these fish were being landed, most of them from Punta Gorda to La Fortuna, with sardinas and yo-yo jigs accounting for the majority. We did hear of an occasional wahoo striking on Rapala or skirted lure as well.
Early this last week a couple of black marlin were hooked into while slow trolling live chihuil on the Gordo Banks, on estimated 350 pound black was lost after a three hour battle by a group of anglers on the super panga "Killer II" and another black that was hooked up at the same time was landed by local pangero Hugo Pino, it weighed in the 450 pound range. The lack of mackerel locally made it tough to find any concentrations of striped marlin, only some fish here and there. A couple of larger sharks seen, mako and one tiger were seen on tuna grounds, several hooked fish were bitten by sharks and there was also a very large sea lion that was a major nuisance.
Sierra and smaller sized roosterfish were moving inshore in greater concentrations, this should produce consistent light tackle action for the coming months.
Limited action reported off the bottom, a few amberjack, pargo and cabrilla, current has been swift, this makes it that more difficult to work the bottom spots.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 51 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
1 black marlin, 5 striped marl�n, 112 dorado, 16 wahoo, 139 yellowfin tuna, 16 pargo, 12 cabrilla, 9 amberjack, 26 roosterfish and 24 sierra.
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.