San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Mexico



Jan. 22, 2005, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico:

The San Jose del Cabo panga sportfishing fleets launching off of La Playita saw approximately 116 panga charters account for 5 striped marlin, 465 pargo, 75 sierra, 25 roosterfish, 8 yellowtail, 5 wahoo, 348 yellowfin tuna, 45 cabrilla, 8 amberjack, 930 dorado and uncounted numbers of skipjack and needlefish.

In last week's fishing at San Jose del Cabo, it was the huachinango (red snapper) that were on such an incredible bite over the weekend. They were still present this week, in less numbers, but it was the dorado that took up the slack and went on such an incredible bite through most of the week. The hot fishing spot at San Jose del Cabo was close to shore off of Punta Gorda. Live sardinas were the ticket to success and for several days of fishing it was absolutely wide open. The fish were averaging 5 to 12 pounds, but there were other larger ones mixed in that ranged up to 25 pounds and San Jose del Cabo fishing boats were hooking into as many as 30 or 40 per day, and of course many of them were being released, especially the smaller females, and of course there were no fish and game inspectors checking the daily bag limits, which by the way is two dorado per angler.

Live sardinas were abundant in the San Jose del Cabo fishing area of Santa Maria, but this meant the panga fleets to the north had to wait until 7 or 7:30 a.m. for the commercial pangueros to return with the daily supplies. It was worth the wait because this was the preferred bait for the medium sized game fish. Mackerel were also available out of the Cabo San Lucas marina as well on the fishing grounds, where anglers could jig them up. They were the bait of choice for targeting striped marlin. A few pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo were catching live chihuil on the Inner Gordo Bank, which is unusual during this time of year and they also were the ones who accounted for a few lucky out of season wahoo. Humpback and Gray whales made a stronger showing this past week as well, with many of the mammals being spotted breeching and spouting daily throughout the San Jose del Cabo region.

Southern Baja anglers enjoyed excellent winter fishing this week, particularly out of San Jose del Cabo where the local panga fleets have continued to have a bonanza bite of dorado (mahi-mahi), yellowfin tuna and pargo.

Fishing water temperatures at San Jose del Cabo have been in the 70 to 73-degree range, with clean blue water within a couple of miles from shore. Ocean swells have been minimal, two feet or less, and north winds have also been moderate, an average of six to eight m.p.h. in the afternoons. There was much cloud cover and cooler air temperatures much of the week and even some light sprinkles on Thursday, but overall the weather for fishing at San Jose del Cabo was very pleasant.

The needlefish also returned to San Jose del Cabo waters in greater numbers and kept anglers very busy rigging new hooks and untangling twisted lines.

Yellowfin tuna were not as consistent as were the dorado in fishing at San Jose del Cabo, but on certain days they did become fairly active off of Cardon to Iman. Most of the time it was a later morning bite and live sardinas were once again the ticket to success. These fish ranged from 8 to 25 pounds, with some pangas landing up to 8 yellowfin per day. A couple of larger tuna to 60 pounds were accounted for on San Jose del Cabo's Gordo Banks, but these fish were not active on a regular basis and anglers had to have some luck on their side.

Striped marlin action continued to be very productive off of Chileno and off of the Pacific. Many boats caught multiple marlin per day, and the fish were striking both lures and live bait and ranging up to 140 pounds.

Inshore fishing action at San Jose del Cabo for sierra and roosterfish slacked up compared to last week, though there were some fish being taken in different areas everyday. We expect this fishing to improve as more bait fish move in along the local shorelines.

(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.