San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Mexico



Sept. 19, 2004, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja sport fishing, Mexico:

Hurricane Javier dominated all of the discussion around San Jose del Cabo this past week as the storm quickly developed off of Southern Mexico and had a projected track heading straight for Cabo San Lucas. Classified as a category three hurricane, this was no system to take lightly and for this reason San Jose del Cabo residents were busy stockpiling up on provisions, including drinking water, food, gasoline, ice and of course cerveza.

No one seemed disappointed that Javier changed on a more westerly course and the eye of the storm stayed close to 150 miles offshore. Sparing the San Jose del Cabo region of any direct impact, though it would have been nice to receive a bit more rainfall, as only scattered reports of any measurable rainfall was felt over the eastern side of the Peninsula, while near Todo Santos they did report some significant rainfall.

On Monday and Tuesday San Jose del Cabo anglers enjoyed great fishing conditions and impressive catches for a variety of game fish, but by Wednesday the ocean swells steadily started to increase, along with stiff winds from the southwest, making for sloppy seas the rest of the week and keeping most San Jose del Cabo fishing charters ashore.

Early in the week while the weather was ideal San Jose del Cabo anglers fishing the areas of the Gordo Banks to Iman reported very good action for yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo and dogtooth snapper.

The most consistent bite was for tuna in the 15 to 30 pound range, but each day there were larger yellowfin up to 60 or 70 pounds being accounted for, live bait proved to be best, but the majority of the larger fish were hooked while drifting with chunk bait.

While most San Jose del Cabo fishing charters tallied an average of six to ten tuna, they also were averaging from one to three dorado, one wahoo and one or two dogtooth snapper.

The wahoo were striking mainly on trolled lures such as Marauder, Yo-Zuri and Rapala and were weighing from 20 to 45 pounds.

Most of the dorado found were in small schools mixed in the same areas as the yellowfin tuna and they were in the medium size range, 8 to 15 pounds.

Monster sized skipjack up to 15 pounds were definitely plentiful and kept anglers tuned up while waiting for the larger tuna to strike.

The dogtooth snapper were found underneath the surface schooling tuna on the rocky high spots and were hitting on chunk bait and whole larger baits like bolito or skipjack. Snapper up to 40 pounds were weighing in, but there were numerous stories of larger fish busting off lines in the rocks, these brutes require stout 80 pound tackle in order to turn them away from the rock piles.

There were also a handful of huachinango (pargo), amberjack and cabrilla rounding out the bottom catches in San Jose del Cabo fishing areas.

The Gordo Banks area continue to provide good opportunities for anglers wishing to troll larger live baits for the chance at hooking into a black or blue marlin.

Small yellowfin tuna and skipjack were found in big schools, striking on live sardinas or hoochie skirts and making the perfect live trolling bait. I did hear of at least one 400-pound class black marlin taken from a San Jose del Cabo fishing panga and there were sailfish being found as well.

With the stirred up surf conditions there was not much to report off the local San Jose del Cabo fishing beaches, though over the weekend anglers did give it a try and reported that the current was still very strong.

(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's main San Jose del Cabo page.