San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Mexico



July 3, 2005, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, San Jose del Cabo, Baja sport fishing, Mexico Report:

The La Playita panga fleets at San Jose del Cabo sent out a total of 58 charter fishing boats for the week, with anglers accounting for an approximate fish total of: 6 striped marlin, 5 dorado, 16 yellowfin tuna, 28 roosterfish, 5 hammerhead sharks, 12 sierra, 8 amberjack, 22 jack crevalle, 60 yellowtail snapper, 22 barred pargo, 22 cabrilla 5 dogtooth snapper.

Tropical Storm Calvin developed to the south of Baja California this week and passed within 300 miles of San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos) before it dissipated by Friday. The system did pass close enough to increase ocean swells significantly and cause tropical clouds in the sky. The San Jose del Cabo sportfishing panga fleets out of La Playita were forced to cancel all charters on Saturday, and on Sunday only a handful of boats were sent out with extra caution.

Fishing water temperatures were coldest close to shore, averaging about 70 to 72 degrees, but five miles offshore the water was clearer and up to 75 degrees. Bait fish were scattered by the swell and there were only limited supplies of mullet available, virtually no sardinas now off of La Playita, and out of the Cabo San Lucas marina there were caballito and mackerel for sale. Overall the fishing was not up to San Jose del Cabo standards, as the constantly varying conditions continue to contribute to the scattered and inconsistent action.

The striped marlin fishing actually improved this past week, as numbers of hookups increased with the fish more eager to take live baits. They were found tailing on the surface throughout the area, anywhere from 5 to 20 miles from shore.

There continued to be an abundance of squid in San Jose del Cabo fishing vacation area waters, and this is what the game fish have been feeding on recently.

Dorado counts were almost nonexistent, but a handful of wahoo up to 50 pounds were being hooked into in the blue offshore water while trolling lures.

Yellowfin tuna were located from 18 to 25 miles straight out from San Jose del Cabo. The fishing was not wide open by any standards, but there were some very large yellowfin in the region, sizes ranged from medium sized football to fish over 200 pounds. Strikes came while drifting and slow trolling various live baits and on lures, including larger clone models that are normally used for billfish, particularly productive were purple or petrolero patterns. Only a handful of pangas were making the long hit or miss run to the tuna grounds. It was more of a cruiser deal until the fish come within closer range.

Inshore fishing action became incredibly slow at San Jose del Cabo last week. The hot action for various pargo species, roosterfish, pompano and sierra slowed to almost a standstill. The cooler inshore water conditions and the scattered bait fish seemed to be contributing factors. Without sardinas the pangas managed to catch few fish, mostly smaller triggerfish and pargo, definitely not the typical fish that anglers travel to Baja to target. At this point things can only improve and we expect that as the weather continues to warm that the action will pick up.

San Jose del Cabo shore fishermen reported very limited action as well. The cooler inshore water, big swells and scattering of the bait has halted any inshore action that was going on.

(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.