Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Tuna, Billfish Scarce as Cabo San Lucas
Vacationing Anglers Target Mostly Dorado



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO, October 7, 2009 -- With the annual fall tournament season at hand, charter boats in the Cabo San Lucas vacation area at the tip of Baja California were making due last week with steady catches of small to medium-sized dorado, but relatively few of their targeted billfish and yellowfin tuna.

Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet at Cabo San Lucas reported a 325 blue marlin landed and another blue marlin estimated in the 500-pound class released during the week, but otherwise just 29 percent of the week's charters released billfish, and only 9 percent landed yellowfin tuna of 20 to 70 pounds.

The week's main quarry was mahi-mahi, also called dolphin fish, or dorado in Spanish, which was caught in the 18 to 50-pound range by nearly 90 percent of Pisces charters.

Cabo San Lucas area sea surface temperatures averaged 84 degrees as most boats worked the Pacific-side coast northwards toward the Golden Gate Bank.

For the previous week ending September 30, 2009, Ehrenberg reported a 100 percent overall catch rate with all boats catching game fish, including 29 percent with a total of 10 striped marlin and 8 sailfish, 35 percent with yellowfin tuna including 2 fish at 254 and 110 pounds, and other catches of dorado, wahoo, and miscellaneous species. Cabo San Lucas water temperatures averaged 84 degrees.

Larger numbers of vacationing anglers were present in the southern Baja tourist corridor. "This week was the first time in months that Cabo San Lucas saw an increase in anglers," Ehrenberg said.

Ehrenberg noted the port of Cabo San Lucas closed briefly by threatening weather one morning during the week, although most charters had already gone out to sea. "The thunder and rain lasted about an hour," she said. "Our ever jittery port captain closed the port, but our boats had already left. It turned out to be the best day of the week for catches."

For the period from September 5, 2009, to October 8, 2009, Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 44 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin of 130 and about 600 pounds, 7 striped marlin, 9 sailfish, 69 yellowfin tuna of 10 to 80 pounds, 3 wahoo of 25 to 50 pounds, 5 roosterfish of 20 to 25 pounds, and 208 dorado of 15 to 50 pounds.

For the week ending October 4, 2007, George Landrum of Fly Hooker reported some tuna action following a dip caused by Mexican commercial seiners working the schools present in the area for the past month. "The tuna seiners caused a couple of days of no tuna action," Landrum said.

"The tuna seemed to return a few days later, but not in the numbers before the seiners came through. The tuna are being found in decent numbers 30 to 40 miles offshore on the Pacific side in choppy conditions, but that kind of run was not in the books for most boats."

For the week ending Oct. 8, 2008, Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 37 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 4 sailfish, 1 blue marlin, 9 striped marlin, 19 yellowfin tuna, 7 wahoo of 35 to 70 pounds, and 303 dorado.

"Billfish counts were down  at Cabo San Lucas this week," Edwards said, "but that was primarily due to the fleet's focus on the dorado."

For the previous week ending Oct. 1, 2009, Edwards reported on 30 outings by the same fleets, with a catch including released fish of: 16 striped marlin, 29 yellowfin tuna to 120 pounds, 3 wahoo, and 95 dorado.