San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Mexico



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

The La Playita sportfishing panga fleet at San Jose del Cabo sent out approximately 85 charters for the week and anglers accounted for a fish count of: 35 striped marlin, 72 dorado, 4 wahoo, 170 yellowfin tuna, 275 pargo (various species), 40 pompano, 8 roosterfish, 18 amberjack, 45 jack crevalle, 22 sierra and 12 sharks.

The yellowfin tuna tuna fishing improved substantially this past week at San Jose del Cabo, with schools of 20 to 30 pound fish found moving with porpoise in the area of Vinorama. The average fish counts ranged from 5 to 10 tuna per boat. Larger tuna continue to lurk around the Gordo Banks area, and this week the local panga fleets did account for several very impressive yellowfin of 110, 160 and 200 pounds, though not too many of these big yellowfin were taking the hooked baits, but they would occasionally get fooled by 40 to 50 pound fluorocarbon leaders. Drift fishing the high spot with live or dead sardines was the most successful method. More tuna in the 20 to 30 pound class were being caught on the banks, but only an average of two to four per fishing boat.

Warm sunshine is attracting increased numbers of visitors to the San Jose del Cabo vacation area, with high temperatures now reaching the upper 80s. Southern winds were more dominant this week, pushing cool Pacific currents in the direction of San Jose del Cabo. Water clarity was reported to be clear and deep blue, especially on the fishing grounds north of the Gordo Banks. Water temperatures varied from 70 to 75 degrees.

The Sea of Cortez was where the San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos) sportfishing fleets were finding the most consistent action. With striped marlin and yellowfin tuna being the most common offshore species, there was also a scattering of dorado and wahoo accounted for. Mackerel and sardinas continued to be the mainstay of the bait supply.

Striped marlin fishing remained fairly wide open off San Jose del Cabo from the Gordo Banks to Vinorama and many boats targeting the marlin were catching several or more in one day. Marlin were seen tailing in sizable groups. Stripers were found within one mile of shore, but the majority of the fish were found 4 to 8 miles offshore.

The same spot is where more numbers of dorado were landed, found in smaller schools and ranging in sizes up to 35 pounds. Some San Jose del Cabo charter fishing pangas landed as many as 5 dorado, though they were still considered to be scarce.

Wahoo were even harder to find, though a handful were taken on baits and trolled lures.

Red crabs were thick on the surface of the Inner Gordo Bank on Thursday and anglers did very well using crabs for bait, for pargo weighing up to 10 pounds, also a handful of amberjack and cabrilla. Whale sharks were seen daily with as many as three of these 30 to 40 foot long fish being spotted cruising around where the boats were congregating on the high spot, which comes up to as high as 100 feet.

Inshore fishing at San Jose del Cabo produced jack crevalle, dogtooth snapper, pargo, pompano, sierra and roosterfish, though none of the species were overly numerous. One 35 pound pargo was landed and more larger roosterfish are starting to be spotted feeding in the surf zone, not many hook ups on them yet, the next several weeks should really pick up for the roosterfish as more mullet are now schooling along the local beaches.

(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.