This weekly fish report is provided by Eric Bricston of Gorda Banks in La Playita. This report is updated weekly, and reflects the true fishing conditions in and around Cabo San Lucas.
Only moderate crowds of anglers are visiting the Los Cabos area now, this is the usual pattern to start off the New Year. We expect that as temperatures continue to plummet and freeze across the United Sates, that more people will be packing their suitcases and heading south in search of warm sunshine. Local weather has been mostly sunny, with highs into the mid 70s. Though coming days are forecast to be cooler, as a northern front will be sweeping our way, possibly several days of temperature in the high 60s, there are always a few days of year that are like this, after all we are in the midst of winter, sometimes we forget to realize that even pristine Southern Baja can have seasonal changes. Anglers need to remember to bring appropriate clothing, as early morning can dip to 50 degrees, without figuring the wind chill factor, but as the sun rises temperatures quickly become more comfortable.
The patterns of northern winds have continued, several days of winds, often 10 to 20 mph, then there will be a couple of nicer calm days, before the breeze prevails once again. Typical winter cycle, as water temperature are now averaging in the 70 to 75 degree range, depending on the location, warmest areas off of Cabo San Lucas. Despite this cooling trend the fishing has been very good considering the time of year, good number of dorado are being found throughout the region, with some nice sized fish of 30 pounds being encountered, lots of dorado in the 10 to 20 pound class. These fish usually start to migrate towards southern grounds soon, so we could be seeing the tail end of the season, then the dorado return later in the Spring. Dorado are striking on a variety of baitfish and on the normal array of lures, nicer quality dorado have been found offshore on the marlin grounds, where stripers continue to be found in good numbers, more so on the Pacific grounds.
There has been a variety of baitfish now available, but not all types on every day. Sardinas are being netted off the beaches near San Luis to Vinorama and then are brought south to off of Cardon or Punta Gorda in order to supply morning charters. Live mackerel, caballito are sometimes available and fresh ballyhoo is another option for targeting a variety of species, particularly dorado. The traditional baitfish ground off of San Jose del Cabo have been less consistent for the last two weeks, this is where more numbers of striped marlin had been found, now the marlin are scattered, further offshore and on the Pacific grounds.
Yellowfin tuna action has been slower now for the past several weeks, we are hearing about an occasional hook up on the Gordo Banks on yellowfin in the 40 to 150 pound class, but these are few and far between. There were schooling football sized tuna found congregating around tuna pens that were slowly be tugged north to new location, this was far offshore, 20 plus miles and at this time this option is now near Los Frailes and out of range. This lasted for several days though, but was never really a practical morning charter boat deal, more of a private boat option.
Wahoo are still in the area, everyday there are limited numbers encountered, some landed and more of them lost, typical thing when encountering wahoo, fish ranged from 10 to 40 pounds, striking yo-yo jigs, ballyhoo, sardinetas and a variety of lures. Anglers were fortunate to land one of two of them, they were elusive as usual.
Not much going off the bottom yet, though some anglers did find mixed action for pargo and cabrilla on days the winds allowed them to reach the structure. Sierra are now found schooling along the beaches, using sardinas have been the best choice of bait for finding this inshore action, with some juvenile sized roosterfish mixed in. There is incredible whale watching opportunities now, peak migration is in full swing, these mammals will be in local waters for the next several months.
The combined panga fleets out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, sent out approximately 107 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of:
2 sailfish, 17 striped marlin, 27 wahoo, 455 dorado, 125 yellowfin tuna, 88 sierra, 24 roosterfish, 12 cabrilla,15 bonito and 22 pargo
Good Fishing, Eric
GORDO BANKS PANGAS
San Jose del Cabo
January 27, 2013
It appears that the coldest days of winter time in Southern Baja may be over, we are now in the cycle of slowing gaining more daylight with each passing day and this past week there was a noticeable break in the weather patterns, daytime highs climbed back up into the 80’s. Early morning lows of about 60 degrees. Ideal conditions now, winds have been much lighter and forecasts look favorable for the next week or so. There are only moderate crowds of tourists now, great time to leave the icy conditions and head south for some fun in the sun.
Ocean temperatures are ranging from 72 to 78 degrees, in the direction of Los Frailes is where the cooler currents are and outside of San Jaime Bank on the Pacific is where the warmest water now is, average temperature throughout most of the region is presently 73/74 degrees, which is warmer than the previous week. Inshore waters have become increasingly greenish, this is the usual result created by the persistent north winds, this off colored cooler current seems to scatter the dorado, as well as any late season wahoo action that anglers had been finding. These pelagic species migrate according to where their preferred habitat is, which in winter time, are the more temperate zones to the south.
There has been clear blue water found anywhere from 5 to 15 miles offshore, this is where the warmer currents are attracting good numbers striped marlin, in recent days fleets found consistent action off of the Santa Maria and Chileno areas, many charters accounting for multiple billfish days. There were some yellowfin tuna being encountered traveling with porpoise, hit or miss bite, but at certain times these tuna did provide fast action for anglers, the tuna were weighing in the 15 to 50 pound range. Early in the week there was a 100 pound tuna caught off of La Playita charter on the Gordo Banks and there were reports of seeing yellowfin briefly showing on the surface, but these fish have proved very finicky and elusive. The tuna found moving with porpoise were in closer proximity for Cabo San Lucas charters than they were for charters departing out of Puerto Los Cabos Marina.
Schooling sardinas were found off the beaches to the north of Punta Gorda and mackerel are still found on the local bait grounds, though for the past couple of days, with the brighter moonlight, they proved harder to catch in the early morning hours. Commercial pangeros are finding quantities of giant squid off of Los Frailes, but so far they have not been reportedly found locally.
Sierra weighing up to five pounds continue to be the main species encountered close to shore, striking best on live sardinas. There have been some jack crevalle and roosterfish found as well, most of the roosterfish found at this time of year are smaller sized, though some of the jack crevalle are reached up to 25 pounds.
This is now the season when more bottom action options start to open up, so far this action has been limited to a mix of yellow snapper, barred pargo, triggerfish and smaller cabrilla. No bite has developed for yellowtail, amberjack or nicer grade of grouper and snapper. Typically through the next few months we do see more consistent action develop off of the various rock piles.
The combined panga fleets out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina, sent out approximately 60 charters for the week, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 12 striped marlin, 35 yellowfin tuna, 21 dorado, 265 sierra, 28 roosterfish, 20 jack crevalle, 18 cabrilla,18 bonito, 32 triggerfish, 12 barred pargo and 38 yellow snapper.
Good Fishing, Eric