Variety of Species, Water Warming
Ideal spring conditions are now progressively warming and there was an noticeable increase of visitors this past week. Ocean conditions were churned up and choppy early n the week, particularly offshore, but as the week progressed the winds resided and anglers encountered smoother seas. Ocean temperatures were now ranging from 67 degrees on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas to about 72 or 73 around the Gordo Banks area. With days now becoming progressively longer and warmer, we should see water temperatures rebound accordingly.
For the past several months the most consistent angling action has been close to shore, most of the time for smaller sized roosterfish and sierra, there was some great yellowtail fishing found close to Cabo San Lucas, but no consistent numbers of these fish ever were encountered on the grounds off of San Jose del Cabo, though to the north, off of the East Cape region, they reported a bonanza on yellowtail, maybe we will see a late yellowtail season off of SJDC? The good news now, is that offshore is showing signs of life, particularly for striped marlin, from Chileno, 95 spot, to the 1150 and north to Desteladera, sportfishing charters were finding very good numbers of billfish, many charters were scoring multiple fish days, often these fish were seen free jumping and tailing on the surface, at times they proved to have lock jaw and would not strike on anything, acting as if they just were not hungry, probably feeding down deeper.
A few swordfish sightings and hook ups were reported during the past couple of weeks, this is the same period as last year when the swords were really starting to be spoted off shore of San Jose del Cabo and towards the East Cape, most of the time some 15 to 20 miles from shore. The year of 2011 turned out to be the best season in recent memory for these prized and elusive billfish, Southern Baja is one of the few spots in the world where will bite on the surface during the daytime. Often found late in the day, lazily swimming on the surface, this fishery is suited more for larger sport fishing boats, as compared to panga style skiffs.
Caballito have been the main larger baitfish now available, being used offshore for billfish and close to the beaches for roosterfish. Sardinas were available as well, this week the pangeros found the bait schools near the San Luis area. This is the time we usually see more small squid and bolito congregating in the region, both of which are favored food sources that inturn attract greater numbers of pelagic gamefish.
Most panga charters are still finding their best opportunities closer to shore, for roosterfish, sierra, pargo, grouper and amberjack and a few yellowtail. Palmilla Point had been a good early morning spot for yellowtail and amberjack, but this bite came to a standstill and now most of the small boat charters are headed towards the grounds north of Punta Gorda, where a variety of fish were accounted for, though still no consistent big fish bite on a daily basis.
Not many dorado recently, just an occasional fish here or there, some of them larger sized bulls. Encouraging news were recent reports of seeing yellowfin tuna appear on the grounds outside of San Luis, for the past several days yellowfin tuna in the 60 to 90 pound class were hooked into while trolling with bolito, only a few fish a day were now accounted for by the local fleet, but this bite could break loose at anytime, tuna were seen sporadically coming up on the surface, just a matter of them becoming a bit more hungry and aggressive.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 90 charters for the week and anglers reported a fish count of: 18 striped marlin, 12hammerhead shark, 4 mako shark, 1 thresher shark, 9 yellowfin tuna, 14 dorado, 8 yellowtail, 3 wahoo, 19 amberjack, 96 pargo, 34 cabrilla, 7 grouper, 52 sierra, 205 roosterfish, 16 jack crevalle and 7 pompano.
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.