NONSTOP YELLOWFIN TUNA CAUGHT AT LA FORTUNA
Aug. 8, 2004, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, San Jose del Cabo fishing, Baja California Sur, Mexico:
Anglers visiting San Jose del Cabo enjoyed calm ocean conditions and excellent fishing this past week. The days were sunny, hot and humid, highs of 95 degrees. Water temperatures ranged from 80 to 86 degrees, swells were minimal and clean blue water was found within several miles of shore. Up until this point the tropical storm season has been a very quiet one and at this time there are no new systems developing to the south, the next five weeks is when Southern Baja has historically had the highest percentage of direct hurricane strikes. There were increased numbers of anglers in San Jose del Cabo to take advantage of wide-open action. Sportfishing charters were fishing on both the Pacific and into the Sea of Cortez, with the region from Chileno to the Gordo Banks being more popular.
Live bait along the shoreline continued to be scarcer, but on most days San Jose del Cabo anglers were able to find a mix of sardinas, mullet or caballito. The offshore San Jose del Cabo fishing grounds saw large schools of bait fish moving in, several varieties of skipjack, bolito and perfect sized small yellowfin tuna, special candy bait for the big black marlin and blue marlin. These bait fish would readily hit on trolled hoochie skirts or chrome casting lures and could be used as whole baits for trolling or as chunk bait for tuna. Numbers of big marlin were seen feeding on the Gordo Banks, though few anglers were actually wishing to target them, there were reports of at least several large marlin landed, weights ranged from 200 to 500 pounds.
The San Jose del Cabo pangas fleets off of La Playita had two general areas where they fished this past week, La Fortuna is where they found wide open non stop action for yellowfin tuna on live sardinas, these fish averaged 8 to 20 pounds, with most boats accounting for 10 to 15 tuna per morning. The same area produced fewer numbers of wahoo, but everyday a few lucky anglers caught them, smaller sized, 15 to 30 pounds, striking on rapalas and skirted lead heads. Dorado numbers tapered off, but on some days there were pangas that reportedly had double figures of dorado and as many as 4 or 5 wahoo, it was a matter of finding the scattered schools.
The Gordo Banks has really been coming alive in recent days, tons of life seen, including one day when a group of a dozen or so killer whales were circling the fleet of pangas while they fishing for black and blue marlin, sailfish, dorado, wahoo, skipjack and yellowfin tuna.
San Jose del Cabo pangueros reported good fishing action now while chumming and using chunk bait, using tackle ranging from 50 to 80 pound with fluorocarbon leader was particularly effective. Most of the tuna striking on the chunk bait were weighing in at 40 to 80 pounds, with larger tuna reportedly hooked and lost, pangas accounted for an average of two or three of these quality sized tuna per day.
Besides hooking into the yellowfin on chunk bait there were also some monster sized dog tooth snapper testing anglers stamina, many pargo from 10 to 25 pounds were landed and there was one mammoth 60 pound specimen accounted for by Luis Solemindad while fishing with panguero Jesus of Gordo Banks Pangas.
(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.