YELLOWFIN TUNA CAUGHT IN WATER AT 84 TO 88 DEGREES
Aug. 22, 2004, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, Los Cabos, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico fishing report:
The month of August has seen moderate crowds of tourists visiting Southern Baja as summer season starts to wind down and schools are back in session.
The weather continues to follow much the same pattern, sunny days in the 90s, very high humidity, with afternoon breezes from the north to help keep conditions more comfortable. At this time there are no named storms on the horizon, but tropical thunderstorm activity is showing an increase to the south of Manzanillo in recent days and it is definitely the time of year where low pressure systems can develop overnight.
Water temperatures are ranging from 84 to 88 degrees, making dangerous fuel for storms to generate rapid strength. Ocean swells have been minimal for this time of year, but in recent days a more powerful current from the south swept into the lower Sea of Cortez. San Jose del Cabo fishing charters worked areas from San Jaime and Golden Gate Banks on the Pacific to north of the Gordo Banks, finding the overall action to be very good with a mix of billfish, yellowfin tuna, dorado, skipjack and wahoo.
For the pangas out of San Jose del Cabo the focus has centered on the Gordo Banks and Iman. Live sardinas were available everyday, though with the early morning low tides commercial pangueros were working hard to round up enough of the preferred baitfish.
The most common San Jose del Cabo fishing catches were yellowfin tuna ranging 10 to 25 pounds, anywhere from 2 to 12 per boat, the Gordo Banks were producing some large yellowfin tuna ranging from 50 to 90 pounds on sardinas and chunk bait, this bite was not as consistent as were the medium sized tuna. The action was not predictable, some mornings the fish were hungry early, while on other days they did not come up and feed until late morning. San Jose del Cabo tuna did prefer bait, either live, dead or chunk, and not that many were striking lures, only out in the open blue waters.
Dorado were not abundant at San Jose del Cabo, though everyday they were being taken. Some days we would only see around one do-do per every couple of boats, while on other days it was more like 2 or 3 per boat and up to 6. Dorado were striking on lures, though more of them were caught on bait, sizes averaged 10 to 20 pounds, further offshore while targeting billfish there were several larger bulls to 50 pounds accounted for.
Wahoo continue to make up a small percentage of San Jose del Cabo fishing catches, in recent days there has been early morning action near the Iman Bank, wahoo from 20 to 40 pounds were striking rapalas style lures, as well as brightly skirted lead heads. One Panga out of La Playita did bring in three wahoo, but for the most part anglers felt fortunate to end up with one wahoo in the fish box.
Black, blue and striped marlin, along with sailfish have given anglers grand slam possibilities. Trolling larger live baits (tuna, skipjack or bolito) have produced many billfish strikes off of the Gordo Banks, one estimated 500 pound black was landed from a Palmilla cruiser and other fish to over 300 pounds were taken from pangas. Though the majority of San Jose del Cabo anglers have opted to fish for the tuna and other medium sized gamefish, rather than targeting a big marlin in what many times turns out to be an all morning hunt.
Not much inshore fishing going on now, as the roosterfish season has now past and jacks and sierra are not present either.
The only bottomfish activity has been for a scattering of huachinango and dogtooth snapper in the same areas as where tuna were found.
Off the beach of La Playita the local San Jose del Cabo fishing experts landed a few nice sized snook to 30 pounds.
(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.