A 500-POUND BLACK MARLIN IS CAUGHT
BY A PANGA AT THE GORDO BANKS
Oct. 17, 2004, Eric Brictson, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico:
Early in the week there was a 500 pound black marlin landed from a panga out of Palmilla while trolling live bait on the Gordo Banks, skipper was "Hugo", a local legend of big marlin catches, he was warming up for the upcoming Bisbee's Tournament. Other billfish action included fair numbers of sailfish, the area of La Fortuna to Iman Bank was producing hookups daily for anglers drifting with live sardinas and the sails were weighing from 60 to 100 pounds. Striped and blue marlin were also found throughout the San Jose del Cabo fishing area, striking on bait and trolling lures. Many were hooked on small sardinas by anglers that were targeting tuna and dorado on light tackle and most resulted in break offs.
Vacationers are now traveling to Southern Baja in large numbers, they are enjoying near perfect weather, sunny skies, high temperatures of 90 degrees, with little wind and minimal ocean swells.
All this has added up to pristine angling conditions and though overall San Jose del Cabo fish counts were slightly down from the bonanza catches of the previous two weeks, the all around catches were very respectable, with a wide variety of species accounted for, including sailfish, striped, blue and black marlin, dorado, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, skipjack, amberjack, dog tooth snapper, rainbow runner, pompano and others.
Water temperatures around San Jose del Cabo averaged from 80 to 85 degrees, clear blue water was found within a couple of miles of shore and with the exception of a day or two when the north wind did pick up, most days were perfectly calm and anglers could not have been more comfortable.
Live bait continued to be scattered and scarce at times, though the inshore rocks from Chileno, Palmilla and north to Vinorama have been holding schools of sardinas. With the increased numbers of charters local pangueros are putting in extra effort to locate the bait early every morning in order to have adequate supplies.
Wahoo action slowed down, but they were still being found in more limited numbers, areas from the Gordo Banks to San Luis produced a handful of strikes each day for anglers trolling the normal array of specialized lures. San Jose del Cabo panga fleets had been spoiled by outstanding catches averaging six or more wahoo per morning, anglers this past week felt fortunate to have one of them in their combined catch.
Yellowfin tuna and dorado had been the most common fish found each day. They have been located throughout the San Jose del Cabo fishing area and are striking best of live bait, especially the tuna. The majority of the yellowfin are medium sized footballs, 10 to 20 pounds. Though there are many tuna also being caught that have weighed 30 to 70 pounds. Most of the larger tuna are coming from the Gordo Banks by anglers targeting them with chunk bait, using fluorocarbon leaders has been a bonus because the tuna have been shy and anglers are having to work hard to catch an average of one or two of these quality fish per morning. No particular hot spot for dorado, they were found mixed in with the tuna for the most part, running in smaller schools and weighing in the 10 to 20 range.
San Jose del Cabo beach anglers off of La Playita beach reported wide-open action for small pan sized croakers and pompano while using light tackle and chunks of squid or skipjack.
(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.