LOCAL PANGA ACTION MOSTLY FOR YELLOWFIN TUNA
July 18, 2004, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, San Jose del Cabo sport fishing, Baja, Mexico:
Anglers visiting Los Cabos this past week were greeted with tropical weather conditions, starting off on Tuesday, the 13 th, with the season's first measurable rainfall. Tropical Storm Blas developed off of the Mexican coast and swept within 300 miles of San Jose del Cabo bringing with it up to an inch of moisture in some parts and creating ten-foot storm surf into the Sea of Cortez. After several days of disturbed choppy ocean conditions at San Jose del Cabo things did settle down for the weekend, as seas were much calmer. Water temperatures ranged from 80 to 84 degrees throughout the region, the clarity had become greenish in areas, but was now improving daily, as blue water was found within a couple of miles from shore. Panga fleets from La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, were forced to cancel all charters until Friday, the 9 th, this because of high surf from the passing storm.
Yellowfin tuna were the mainstay of the catch this past week around San Jose del Cabo, the tuna were found from Chileno to San Luis, commonly of the football-sized variety, though there were some fish to 50 pounds accounted for. Trolling with small hoochie type lures was one of the more productive methods of hooking yellowfin tuna, but drifting with live sardinas was the best bet, problem was that the schools of the preferred baitfish are now scattered and there was a shortage on some days. Average catches per day for the San Jose del Cabo panga fleets were 4 to 10 tuna, with a handful of smaller sized dorado mixed in the same areas, the tuna definitely outnumbered the dorado at this time. Of course there were a few big bull dorado to 40 pounds landed, most of them a bit further offshore in the open blue water.
San Jose del Cabo wahoo are being hooked in limited numbers while trolling various lures, areas from Punta Gorda to San Luis reported hook ups each day, the 'hoo that were landed averaged 15 to 25 pounds, they were few and far between, anglers were fortunate to land one of them. Along the shoreline near San Jose del Cabo there were roosterfish to 45 pounds landed, though the main run of the roosterfish have now passed through the most Southern Baja region, also schools of mullet have diminished, but for anglers wishing to catch a trophy-sized roosterfish, the odds are still favorable that if you put in some time trolling live bait close to the shoreline you will have a very good chance of a hook up.
Off the bottom while using yo-yo jigs, cut and whole baits, San Jose del Cabo anglers found a variety of species, including dogtooth snapper (pargo) to 30 pounds, amberjack to 25 pounds and cabrilla to 12 pounds. The quality was there, but the numbers of fish actually being caught off the bottom was limited to usually a few fish in combination and with the hot and humid weather, that is a lot of work, so more anglers were deciding to troll the surface.
More big marlin continue to migrate onto the local fishing grounds, as everyday there have been big hook ups reported, most of them coming in areas from 5 to 15 miles offshore and striking on lures. On July 10th, Ryan Rupprecht, was fishing on the cruiser "Quien Sabe" out of Palmilla, after a 6-hour battle he landed a black marlin that reportedly weighed over 1,000 pounds. Another blue marlin was landed on the 16th that was weighed in at 750 pounds. Many other stories of unsuccessful hook-ups with monster sized fish were told, this is not the time to troll with too light of tackle. There were scattered reports of striped marlin, included stripers weighing close to 200 pounds being caught and released, also some sailfish in the 40 to 80 pound class being found on the offshore banks.
(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from San Jose del Cabo and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for San Jose del Cabo may be found at Mexfish.com's main San Jose del Cabo page.