Yellowfin Tuna Finicky in Warm Waters
Capt. Eric Brictson
November 3, 2011
San Jose del Cabo - Saltwater Fishing Report
November 3, 2011
Large crowds of anglers continue to arrive in the Los Cabos area, with the big marlin tournaments now all completed everyone is gearing up in anticipation of the WON Tuna Jackpot, which is scheduled for this coming week. With big yellowfin tuna now on the local fishing grounds, surely to win this event, a team will need a cow or super cow sized tuna to sweep jackpot honors. Days are still quite warm for this time of year, highs near 90 degrees, evenings are cooling off, actually very comfortable weather, winds have been more unpredictable, coming from all directions and then laying down. Water temperatures are on a slow cooling trend, now averaging in the 83 to 86 degree range.
Supplies of sardinas became scarcer this past week, heavy pressure and just not as many schools of these baitfish being found along local beaches. These fish also migrate, maybe the warmer than usual currents have changed their patterns as well. Charters had to wait for up to an hour at times for limited amounts of bait. There is no bait farm here and charters rely on what can be found on a daily basis.
It has been the same story for yellowfin tuna action for the past month, lots of fish being seen on the Gordo Banks and north around the Iman Banks, but these fish were finicky in the clear blue water, freely gorging on the available food source on these fishing grounds and just not that interested in biting the baits with hooks in them. Most of the fish found near Iman Bank were in the 20 to 40 pound range, while the tuna on the Gordo Banks started at about 80 pounds and went on up over 200 pounds. Patience was the key, slow trolling larger whole baits that could be caught on the grounds or drift fishing with sardinas and chunk baits produced strikes that did result in some quality catches each day, just no big numbers to speak of, catching one nice sized tuna proved to be a fortunate catch at this time. The largest yellowfin tuna weighed in out of La Playita this week was that of Neil Berkley's 220 pound cow that he caught while using a chunk bait on the Outer Gordo Bank.
Dorado numbers declined from last week, but most boats were still catching several per day in their combined catch. Trolling with medium sized feathers or cedar plugs was a good way to find the schools of dorado, which most of the time were closer to shore. Average dorado were in the 5 to15 pound class. Wahoo were in the area, but so far only a few fish here and there are being hooked into, rapalas and dorado type feathers have seemed to be the best bet for this. Of the few wahoo accounted for, they were nice sized, 30 pounds to over 50 pounds.
Scattered billfish action, more sailfish were showing up on the same tuna grounds, a few striped marlin here and there, not much heard about for blue or black marlin in recent days, a couple of missed strikes on the Gordo Banks.
Only mixed success for any bottom action, currents, winds, warmer waters all seem to be part of the problem with finding any consistent bite off the bottom. A few pargo, amberjack, cabrilla and yellowtail, but no numbers, just one or two scattered fish, the Gordo Banks did produce some nice dogtooth snapper on a couple of days early in the week, but then this bite turned off.
The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 208 charters for the week, with anglers accounted for: 5 striped marlin, 16 sailfish, 8 wahoo, 580 dorado, 155 yellowfin tuna, 12 dogtooth snapper, 15 amberjack, 17 cabrilla, 2 yellowtail, 8 rainbow runner, 8 hammerhead shark and 12 roosterfish.
Good Fishing, Eric
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