San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Mexico



Dec. 12, 2004, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico Fishing Report:

With the winter season just about ready to officially begin, the weather in Southern Baja has been very pleasant as compared to most areas in the United States, with plenty of warm sunshine and with high temperatures reaching the mid 80s.

The relentless winds resided a bit this past week at San Jose del Cabo over how strong they had been over the previous two to three week period, though north winds were still prevalent.

San Jose del Cabo offshore fishing conditions were improved as well, with minimal swells, though at times wind did gust and conditions became a bit sloppy. Water clarity was great within a couple of miles from shore, very clean and blue, with temperatures were ranging from 72 to 76 degrees, with the warmer areas found on the Sea of Cortez side of the peninsula.

The most consistent fishing action was taking place within several miles of the shoreline, so even on the days when the wind picked up San Jose del Cabo anglers were anglers to fish in relative comfortable areas. The most common San Jose del Cabo fishing catches recently consisted of dorado, yellowfin tuna, sierra, skipjack, striped marlin and a variety of bottom species. Live sardinas were being netted off the San Jose del Cabo beaches from Palmilla to Chileno, which meant that the La Playita panga fleet had to do a little back tracking in order to fill up their bank tanks for the morning, since they were fishing areas from Punta Gorda to La Fortuna. Crowds of tourists continued to be limited at San Jose del Cabo during this lull period before the Christmas Holiday Season.

Yellowfin tuna were being found throughout the San Jose del Cabo region, sometimes associated with porpoise, but more often they were located in schools closer to shore while chumming sardinas to bring them to the surface. Often they would not bite until mid morning. One of the better San Jose del Cabo fishing spots was Punta Gorda. This is where the yellowfin tuna were averaging 15 to 20 pounds, though over the weekend this bite slowed down. Perhaps one of the main factors being that the needlefish and seagulls were swarming and made it impossible to even keep live baits in the water long enough to give the yellowfin a chance to come up.

San Jose del Cabo's Inner Gordo Bank did produce a handful of tuna up to 75 pounds on larger whole (chihuil) and chunk baits, but this bite was not consistent, the main reason being the pesky sea lions that have taken up residence there and scaring off the bait fish and game fish alike.

Dorado were scattered throughout the San Jose del Cabo fishing region. The majority of the fish were taken on bait, found in small schools of fish mostly in the 4 to 20 pound range, though of course there was a handful of big bulls also accounted for.

Wahoo are definitely on the decline at San Jose del Cabo, with the onslaught of cooling water temperatures. However there were some of the speedsters still hanging around local waters. The fishing area from Punta Gorda to Iman produced hookups on trolled rapalas, skirted lead-heads and baits. The numbers were not significant, but there was at least the possibility that anglers could hook into one or two of them. Of the 'hoo landed at San Jose del Cabo, most weighed from 25 to 40 pounds. On Thursday there was a large school of wahoo seen roaming the water close in off of Punta Gorda, but only a handful of them were actually landed and they were on yo-yo style lures or live sardinas without the use of wire leader, not your typically technique, but nevertheless effective.

Striped marlin dominated the billfish action, though it was a hit or miss scenario and mostly on the Pacific side of Cabo. El Faro was one of the best places to hook into the stripers, soaking live bait, throwing bait to fining fish and trolling lures all produced strikes on stripers up to 140 pounds.

As an example, there were an approximate number of 54 total panga charter launched off the beach of La Playita this past week. This is for the combined panga fleets of Playa Sportfishing, Punta Gorda Sportfishing, and Gordo Banks Pangas. There was an average catch per boat of 2 to 6 yellowfin tuna in the 8 to 20 pound class, 1 to 4 dorado ranging from 5 to 27 pounds, 1 to 2 sierra of 2 to 4 pounds, and rounding out the catches were a mix of triggerfish, pompano and pargo. So overall the majority of pangas were coming in with close to ten fish in combination, most of action coming on live sardinas, there were maybe six wahoo accounted for all week for the combined fleet.

(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.