Variety of Gamefish Moving in with Springlike Conditions
Capt. Eric Brictson
February 23, 2014
San Jose del Cabo - Saltwater Fishing Report
February 23, 2014
The month of February is known for crazy unpredictable weather patterns, this week we witnessed some cooler morning conditions and high temperatures up to 85 degrees, feeling more like late spring instead of winter time. We also felt more wind, predominately from the north, but then swirling from out of the east and south as well, but overall the climate was ideal and anglers found comfortable ocean conditions and great all around action
With the warmer ocean temperatures of up to 75 degrees now pushing in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and towards the La Fortuna and San Luis Banks, this is where the sportfishing fleets are concentrating, even boats from Cabo San Lucas are making the long runs north to get into this more consistent fishing action. Pacific side water temperatures have dropped into the upper 60's. Mackerel schools continued to be scarce, ballyhoo supplies were plentiful and there have been options for a variety of gamefish, caballito baitfish have been obtainable most mornings as well, fresh bags of brined sardinas are being sold at the panga dock area on a limited first come, first serve basis.
Considering the time of year, anglers have been enjoying quality action for dorado, some wahoo and even yellowfin tuna showing in the fish counts. Billfish have been more scattered since the recent full moon, no concentrations of baitfish offshore, beside schooling skipjack. Though in recent days we have seen more striped marlin appearing again, anywhere from one or two miles from shore and on out to 20 miles. Even a couple of sailfish were reportedly hooked into, crazy times in February.
Yellowfin tuna are holding over the structure from La Fortuna, Iman and to San Luis Bank, the key factor was obtaining a supply of sardinas, which have been scarce all year, fresh dead sardinas were now available early morning at the panga dock area, though in limited supply and a few charters were more fortunate when they were able to purchase live sardinas from commercial pangeros from northern camps. A handful of mostly panga charters got into this yellowfin tuna action while drift fishing with sardinas and using light leaders, landing up to five, six, seven or eight fish, ranging in weights of 10 to 20 lb.
Dorado were being found in smaller sized groups spread throughout the inshore and offshore grounds, sizes averaged 5 to 15 lb., a few fishing pushing the 20 to 25 lb. mark, still impressive for mid winter season. Wahoo action continues to be an added bonus, normally not a common catch during this month, though the bite did taper off compared to how it had broke wide open late last week. In recent days a handful of charters did land up to three or four wahoo in their combined daily catch. These fish hit on trolled lures, various baits and on yo-yo style casting jigs. Best areas were close to shore off of Punta Gorda to La Fortuna. Sizes on the wahoo averaged 15 to 20 pounds, though there were some quality sized fish up to 40 pounds also accounted for.
Bottom action has never really started this season, with warmer ocean temperatures, winds and currents all contributing to no consistent structure action. At least not yet, we are still not into March or spring time. This is always the time of year when we start to see the arrival of yellowtail in local waters, so far only a scattering of these powerful jacks have been found. Though just in recent days there have been more encounters with these popular gamefish. Anglers who were jigging for what was great action on hog sized skipjack and Eastern Pacific Bonito also hooked into a few yellowtail, fish to 25 lb. were landed, others lost to cut lines, encouraging signs of a developing bite. We did hear of at least one nice yellowtail being caught by a beach fishing angler on a splashier hoochie combination.
Sierras are patrolling the shorelines, a few nicer sized fish to 8 pounds were seen, a mix of jack crevalle and juvenile sized roosterfish in the same stretches, these fish were hitting on trolled baits, hoochies or rapalas. Whales were still being seen spouting in all directions, these mammals have not headed north yet, next month is normally when they will start the northern migration.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 76 charters for this past week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
6 striped marlin, 21 wahoo, 49 yellowfin tuna, 6 yellowtail, 145 bonito, 4 amberjack,
11 jack crevalle, 78 sierra, 234 dorado, 14 roosterfish, 14 yellow tail snapper, 15 misc. shark and 12 cabrilla.
Good fishing, Eric
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