San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Mexico



Feb. 6, 2005, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja sport fishing, Mexico Report:

The combined San Jose del Cabo panga sportfishing fleet from La Playita sent out approximately 52 charters for the week, catching a total of 220 pargo (huachinango), 35 amberjack, 8 yellowtail, 110 dorado, 165 yellowfin tuna, 4 striped marlin, 15 sierra, 20 cabrilla, and 24 bonito.

February brought cooler fishing weather to San Jose del Cabo, and skies were mostly cloudy with high temperatures barely reaching into the mid 70s. Despite the weather there were quite a few tourists in town. On Friday it actually rained most of the afternoon and through the evening. An unusual swell rose up over the same Friday night, and Saturday morning the La Playita panga fleet was not able to launch due to high storm surf reminiscent of the summer months and almost unprecedented for February. By Sunday, fishing conditions had settled down, and at least a half-dozen of so pangas were launched. The rain squall did create swells up to 6 feet and scattered sardinas along the shoreline. The live bait situation had steadily become more difficult all week for the sportfishing pangas, as there were long waits for very limited supplies of sardinas. There were schools of mackerel moving into local waters and anglers were now able to fill up with them without much difficulty. Water temperatures ranged from 69 to 72 degrees and for at least the first part of the week the clarity was very good.

For the charter pangas launching out of La Playita the most common catches were yellowfin tuna, pargo (huachinango), dorado and skipjack. The yellowfin tuna were up to 20 pounds, and the best spot was off of La Fortuna. Some days the sea lions made it nearly impossible to escape from having your fish attacked before being able to bring it to gaff, but on other days the sea lions were no factor. Pangas could score up to 10 tuna when everything went well, but other times they were lucky to land a couple.

Dorado (mahi-mahi) fishing was down, with cooler water now becoming more prominent, but still were being caught everyday in limited numbers. Most of them were smaller fish, under 10 pounds, with some larger specimens mixed in, and the majority of them caught close to shore near concentrations of bait fish.

Red crabs were starting to show up on the fishing grounds and this meant more pargo. Quality red snapper to 10 pounds were caught in good numbers, along with a mix of smaller amberjack to 8 pounds, and a handful of yellowtail to 18 pounds.

There were only a few sierra and roosterfish to be found along the beach stretches off of San Jose del Cabo. The local commercial panguero gill netters have begun working hard the past couple of weeks, setting their nets in the same areas from Punta Gorda to Palmilla Point where sportfishing fleets commonly target these fish. It is a shame that a few people are allowed to profit while destroying the sport catches for all the rest.

(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.