SARDINA BAITS VERY SCARCE IN LOS CABOS SPORTFISHING AREA
Nov. 22-28, 2004, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja, Mexico fishing:
Over the Thanksgiving vacation, the crowds of anglers that had been keeping San Jose del Cabo sportfishing fleets so busy the past couple of months actually lightened up, which meant less boat pressure on the local fishing grounds and improved fish counts for the elusive wahoo which had become very shy due to the excessive boat noise in recent weeks.
San Jose del Cabo weather continued to become progressively cooler early in the morning, with Thursday dipping down to a low of 55 degrees, but the sun has been warming the days up quickly into the low 80s. The wind out of the north continued to blow, creating choppy ocean conditions, especially early in the day and then as the air warmed the wind seemed to reside and conditions became more comfortable. Swells were at a very minimal, though tides were extreme due to the full moon phase.
The situation for live sardina at San Jose del Cabo continued to be dismal, with only limited amounts available and many anglers were opting not to wait around in morning for a chance at a few sardinas and they went straight out to the fishing grounds to see what bait fish they could catch themselves.
The daily San Jose del Cabo catches included wahoo, dorado, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, striped marlin, skipjack and a mix of bottom species.
San Jose del Cabo fleets were fishing waters from off the Pacific to north of Punta Gorda, at the Iman Bank.
Water temperatures ranged from 73 to 77 degrees.
The La Playita panga fleet reported much improved action for wahoo. The bite was found at Cardon, though the bait of choice, chihuil, was being caught on the Inner Gordo Bank and they proved difficult to catch on some days. A couple of large sea lions have taken up residence on the banks and also have acquired a taste for the chihuil, making it very frustrating for anglers.
The wahoo did not show much interest in trolled lures recently, preferring the slow trolled larger trolled baits.
San Jose del Cabo charter boats reported as many as ten wahoo strikes per morning, though the percentage of fish actually landed was more like one to three per boat. Sizes averaged 30 to 40 pounds, with the largest wahoo for the week tipping the scales to 57 pounds. The bite was up and down, some days anglers would average about one wahoo, while on the very next day it would be more like two or three. Wahoo are tricky fish to hook, they do not swallow bait as other fish normally do. They prefer to slash at baits and then pick up the pieces and their jaw is very bony, making it difficult to get the live bait hooks to penetrate deeply and for these factors many fish are lost due to slack lines after extended battles.
Dorado fishing also improved some, with the fish being found scattered throughout the San Jose del Cabo area. They were striking lures as well as whole and strip baits. Sizes ranged from 5 to 25 pounds and boats were accounted for 2 to 5 fish per day.
Yellowfin tuna were scarce this past week, though schooling tuna were seen feeding in many areas, it proved difficult to hook into them without sufficient supplies of live sardinas. Of the tuna that were landed, most of them were the smaller football sized models. The larger tuna that were being targeted on the Gordo Banks proved difficult because of the winds out of the north were creating fast drift conditions that were not favorable for chumming and chunk bait fishing.
Striped marlin action was reported to be very good on the Pacific. They were also scattered into the Sea of Cortez, striking on live mackerel and trolled lures.
Sailfish were found in limited numbers where the water temperatures were warmer and weighed up to 100 pounds.
San Jose del Cabo bottom action started to show signs of improvement, with amberjack to 35 pounds landed and grouper to 15 pounds, these fish hit on yo-yo style jigs.
Not much to report from San Jose del Cabo surf anglers this past week, there needs to be more schools of sardinas move into the beach areas to attract more inshore species.
(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.