Fishing Action Heats Up Offshore
Capt. Eric Brictson
July 26, 2009
San Jose del Cabo - Saltwater Fishing Report
July 26, 2009
As usual the crowds of tourists are lighter during the peak of the summer season, the main reason for this is the high heat and humidity and there has been plenty of both recently, though at this time there are no new tropical storm systems to report, but it is hard to predict more than 48 hours ahead of time during this period. High temperatures have been reaching the century mark with heat index figures even higher, so far no rainfall has arrived and the landscape of Southern Baja is looking exceedingly parched.
Ocean conditions have still not stabilized like one would expect by the third week in July, winds and currents were unpredictable, water temperatures ranged from 80 to 86 degrees, clarity has fluctuated with the currents, more often the blue water is now being found five miles or more from shore. Sport fishing fleets are using a mix of small to medium sized sardinas, mullet, jurelito, bolito and skipjack for bait. Offshore action has remained scattered and the more consistent fishing has been found closer to shore.
There have been some reports of yellowfin tuna to 100 pounds being found mixed in with smaller football sized schooling fish that were traveling and feeding among large pods of porpoise, though this action has been hit or miss. This is the time of year that we typically will see the yellowfin tuna move in closer to shore onto the high spots, so far these fish are late to arrive. With large concentrations of various baitfish on the local fishing grounds we do expect to see more tuna action develop in the near future. There were numerous blue marlin hook ups reports in recent days, particularly in the area surrounding the Gordo Banks, we look for this billfish action to really break loose in the coming month.
Roosterfish action has been very good along the local beaches, trolling with live mullet has been most productive, the past week saw many fish to 50 pounds reported. The dogtooth snapper bite has now shifted from inshore to the offshore high spots, anglers reported snapper to 40 pounds or larger from both the Palmilla Point and the Gordo Banks, drift fishing with bolito is always one of the best techniques to hook into one of these brutes.
Perhaps the best local bite this past week was for amberjack, pangeros from La Playita were jigging up small jacks (jurelito) from directly in front of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina Jetties early in the morning, using these for fly lined baits. Amberjack are normally a species found a bit deeper in the water column, though lately they are coming up to the surface for chummed sardinas and striking particularly well on the jurelito that are hooked in the back so they have a tendency to run down from the surface. Palmilla Point was the area where the fleet was concentrated for targeting the amberjack, as the word spread about the hot action this attributed to heavier boat pressure, which in turn made the fish spookier. Average catches throughout the week ranged from two or three fish up to a dozen per charter. The ambers averaged 15 to 20 pounds, largest amberjack reported was a 96 pound specimen, other fish from 40 to 75 pounds were reported. Underneath the amberjack was an occasional grouper or dogtooth snapper. Amberjack were also striking in the same area where the juelito baitfish were schooling, right off the entrance of the marina channel, this is a small area that cannot not accommodate too many boats trolling at the same time, also be aware that locals are free diving this spot without the use of any marker buoys.
A handful of dorado are being accounted for, most of these fish were in the 10 to 35 pound class. Trolling with bait resulted in the higher percentage of strikes, though other fish were taken on trolled lures, including small hoochies that were intended for catching bolito baitfish.
The combined panga fleets launching from the La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos area reported sending out approximately 49 charters for the past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 1 black marlin, 6 sailfish, 5 striped marlin, 44 yellowfin tuna, 21 dorado, 148 amberjack, 14 huachinango (snapper), 15 yellow snapper, 15 dogtooth snapper, 12 pompano, 18 bonito, 5 rainbow runners, 6 hammerhead sharks, 12 surgeon fish,14 jack crevalle, 13 grouper (cabrilla) and 48 roosterfish.
Good fishing, Eric
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