Ideal weather conditions are attracting tourists to Los Cabos, while parts of the United States are still experiencing winter like storms, crazy patterns for sure, makes this a great time to head south for a vacation in paradise, with warm sunshine. Winds have been light and anglers enjoyed great offshore conditions, ocean water temperatures are back on a warming trend in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and towards Vinorama, now up to 75 degrees, while off of Cabo San Lucas and around the corner on the Pacific temperatures are in the 60s. For this reason the majority of sportfishing fleets are fishing in the direction of Gordo Banks and to the north.
Bait sources have consisted of caballito, jurelito, moonfish, chihuil, skipjack and bolito, no sardinas, as these baitfish are not within range at this time. Chihuil has been the most productive offshore bait, they have been found schooling on the Inner Gordo Bank and are being jigging up on sabiki rigs at first light, for sale by the commercial fleet on a limited basis.
Striped marlin action had been spread out more, no concentrations, though in recent days the Desteladera Bank has come alive and charters were accounting for multiple billfish days, two, three or more fish per boat, as the marlin were schooling up in this area where baitfish have been abundant, reports of the billfish feeding on squid. The fish were striking lures, as well as dropped back or cast bait, average size striper was in the 90 to 130 lb. range. Dorado were less numerous, but we have seen more of them showing up in the warmer waters, particularly closer to shore where they could be seen chasing schools of ballyhoo, for the few that were caught, most were in the 10 to 15 pounds class. Only a few wahoo reports heard, we do expect these elusive fish to become more active now that the water is reaching closer to their preferred zone and there is also plenty of food sources to help lure them in. We are now on the full moon phase, things can be more unpredictable, anything could happen from day to day, the way conditions are really shaping up. No yellowfin tuna action being reported locally, you would expect that we should start to see some more reports of migrating porpoise holding tuna schools traveling offshore, perhaps the next couple of weeks this will develop.
Yellowtail action tapered off compared to how red hot it had been last week, these jacks were found close to shore, mixed in where roosterfish up to 30 lb. were also encountered, but larger schools of yellowtail in the 25 to 35.lb. range were being hooked into off of the Gordo Banks, live chihuil for bait was the most productive, the yellows did not want to strike the yo-yo jigs, preferring the deep drifted baitfish. Sea lions have been a factor on the banks, spooking both the baitfish and the yellowtail. The warmer water can cause lock jaw on these fish as well, which do prefer cooler currents.
A mix of bonito, amberjack, huachinango (red snapper) and leopard grouper (cabrilla) have rounded out the structure action and inshore there were sierra, jack crevalle and roosterfish. So all around the options have been producing a mixed bag of species and this should be the same deal in the coming weeks. Anything can happen from day to day, conditions are now very favorable.
Surprisingly there were still quite a few numbers of whales in the area, mostly humpbacks, surely they will be migrating north soon.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 70 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 28 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 90 yellowtail, 10 amberjack, 76 dorado,13 sierra, 24 huachinago, 44 bonito, 22 cabrilla, 32 roosterfish, 28 jack crevalle and 7 mako shark