Tuna, Dorado, Wahoo and Billfish all Keeping Anglers Busy
Capt. Eric Brictson
December 8, 2013
San Jose del Cabo - Saltwater Fishing Report
December 8, 2013
Despite being the week after Thanksgiving there are still good numbers of tourists in town, many simply looking for the warmer weather, as much of the northern territories are now enduring icy wintry conditions. Local weather has been great, mostly sunny days, some scattered cloud cover, highs averaging 80 degrees. Winds were now predominately blowing from the north, this past week the breeze was moderate and anglers enjoyed nice ocean conditions, this is the time of year when there are cycles of gusty winds which last several days. Los Cabos is situated on the Southern Peninsula, when offshore fishing grounds are blown out from too much wind, there can be other options found in more protected areas.
Sportfishing fleets are now fishing all of the normal grounds in various directions, ocean temperature is now steady throughout the region, from the Pacific banks to Los Frailes, averaging in the 78/79 degree range, no great temperature break, conditions are a bit warmer than normal, though we do expect to see a cooling trend as days now progressively become shorter. Bait supplies have varied a bit from day to day, caballito and sardinas have been available recently on a regular basis, sardinas have been found towards Los Frailes and the commercial fleet has been delivering them to panga charters on Iman to Vinorama. Other bait options included ballyhoo, slabs of squid, chihuil and skipjack. Overall the bait situation has improved.
San Jose del Cabo fleets have been fishing mainly on the grounds from Santa Maria, where there has been steady action for striped marlin, with dorado and a few wahoo mixed in, more numbers of charters were now heading in the direction of the Iman Bank, where the odds of finding yellowfin tuna were best, anglers were drift fishing with striped squid or sardinas, the tuna were averaging 10 to 20 pounds, striking more readily on lighter leaders, catches varied from one or two per boat, up to 15 fish, matter of being in the right place when the fish were in the feeding mood. On Thursday there was one 100 pound class yellowfin tuna landed off the Gordo Banks, first larger grade tuna we have heard about for the past couple of weeks, maybe a chance still at a cow. Dorado were found on these same grounds and scattered throughout the area, smaller sized schools, most of the fish 10 pounds or less, though there were exceptions of larger bulls landed. Trolling medium sized lures or larger sized baitfish was a productive technique for finding the dorado.
Wahoo are doing what they commonly do, remain elusive even during the supposedly peak season. These fish are definitely in the area, there are hook ups being reported daily, just no huge numbers or with any consistency, holding on the ledges, along drop offs, over structure, normally encountered in water depths from 100 to 200 feet. Trolling with rapalas, skirted lead heads and with rigged larger sized baitfish are what these fish will commonly strike on, rapid strikes, like no other, many lost strikes, happen so fast, either on or off. With the water temperatures now in the preferred range for wahoo we are optimistic that on any given day these fish could become more increasingly active. Anglers recently have been fortunate to lane one or two of these fish, the wahoo being brought in have been averaging in the 20 to 40 pound range.
Off the bottom structure, across the Iman Bank, anglers reported more success while dropping larger baitfish, caballito, skipjack or chihuil, near the bottom, there were amberjack, grouper and dogtooth snapper accounted for, no big numbers, but quality fish in the 30 to 60 pound class. A couple of yellowtail were reported by the commercial fleets fishing in deeper waters for snapper, these yellows were over 30 pounds, home guard fish, holding in the cooler depths. Several nice sized sierra were taken on the offshore banks, a bit out of their normal habitat closer to shore. Quite a few bonito now on the same grounds, mixed with yellowfin tuna and black skipjack, this is normally a sign of cooling waters, as sierra become plentiful along the beaches.
Many whales now being spotted, these whales are just showing in greater numbers, arriving from their northern grounds, we are also seeing other sea life, including manta rays, sea lions, turtles and lots of birds.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 135 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
11 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 39 wahoo, 190 bonito, 15 cabrilla, 13 amberjack, 2 dogtooth snapper,45 sierra, 260 dorado and 445 yellowfin tuna.
Good fishing, Eric
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