SANTA MARIA AND IMAN BANK PRODUCE FOOTBALL-SIZED YELLOWFIN TUNA
Oct. 30, 2005, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico Fishing Report:
The combined sportfishing fleet launching off of La Playita beach at San Jose del Cabo sent out approximately 174 pangas for the week, with a fish count of: 7 wahoo, 1 roosterfish, 2 striped marlin, 18 sailfish, 82 dorado, 525 yellowfin tuna, 160 white skipjack, 180 pargo, 22 cabrilla, 14 grouper, 6 sierra, 32 rainbow runners, 28 amberjack and 175 triggerfish.
With near capacity crowds at San Jose del Cabo, this was the week of the richest paying marlin tournament in the world, the 25th annual Bisbee's Black and Blue Marlin tournament. It reached a total pay out of over $3 million dollars.
The largest marlin caught during the three-day event was a 531 pound black marlin landed by angler Peter Hoertig from the boat "Pez Espada" during the first hour of the tournament. The team pulled in a record pay out of close to $1.5 million dollars.
San Jose del Cabo ocean and air conditions were practically perfect for most of the week, though there was north wind picking up by midmorning. Lots of fish were caught, including over four hundred released billfish.
Tournament time means heavy pressure on the bait supplies and the local fishing grounds. Obtaining sufficient sardinas became an overtime project for local pangueros. With patience, most anglers were able to buy the live bait, though amounts were sometimes not up to standards and the size of the bait also continued to be of the one to two inch variety.
San Jose del Cabo sportfishing fleets found the two best spots for catching yellowfin tuna to be either Santa Maria or Iman Bank, so this is where the majority of both pangas and larger cruisers and yachts were starting out early in the day. The football-sized yellowfin tuna are of course one of the preferred and proven baits for hooking into big marlin.
The tuna off Santa Maria were mixed with white skipjack and a handful of dorado and most of these yellowfin were weighing from 6 to 12 pounds, striking best on the small live sardinas, though the bite became tougher due to all of the boat pressure. To the north at the Iman Bank the tuna also had lots of boat pressure.
Water clarity in the San Jose del Cabo fishing area continued to fluctuate daily, and the water temperature was averaging 80 to 83 degrees.
Very few wahoo have been caught at San Jose del Cabo so far this season. Dorado were also scarce, though this week there were more caught and some were of 20 to 30 pounds.
One of the stranger catches of the week was a 40-pound class roosterfish that was released by Pat Walsh off of a Gordo Banks Panga while trolling a live bolito on the surface some three miles from the shoreline where they are typically found.
(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 Mexfish.com's main San Jose del Cabo page.