San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Mexico



Nov. 13, 2005, 2005, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, San Jose del Cabo, Baja, Mexico fishing:

For the week there was approximately 225 charters sent out for the combined San Jose del Cabo sportfishing panga fleets launching out of La Playita, with anglers accounting for a fish count of: 1 black marlin, 2 blue marlin, 9 striped marlin, 12 sailfish (released), 12 roosterfish, 110 dorado, 440 yellowfin tuna, 115 wahoo, 55 pargo, 36 amberjack, 22 sierra, 18 cabrilla, 210 white skipjack and 140 triggerfish.

This week the majority of San Jose del Cabo sportfishing operators were overbooked, particularly for the weekend.

Crowds of visitors have been a healthy boost for the San Jose del Cabo economy and everyone has been enjoying the beautiful fall weather with clear and sunny skies, reaching highs in the mid 80s.

Wind from the north is now becoming predominant and over the weekend it was howling up close to 20 miles per hour. Even so, the majority of San Jose del Cabo sport fishing charters were catching fish and overall there was an impressive variety of game fish accounted for, most common were yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, skipjack and billfish.

Water temperatures in the San Jose del Cabo fishing area have ranged from 79 to 83 degrees and swells were minimal closer to shore, though offshore the wind was kicking up some sizable white caps.

Live bait consisted of caballito and sardinas and on the fishing grounds there were schools of small trolling sized bolito and skipjack which were the bait of choice for the wahoo bite that has finally come to life for the panga sportfishing fleets launching out of La Playita.

San Jose del Cabo's Gordo Banks have remained very silent for any consistent fishing action for more than a couple of a months now, even more so this week after the recent sightings of several purse seiners working in the immediate vicinity.

San Jose del Cabo charter fishing fleets have not been concentrating in the areas from La Fortuna, Iman Bank, Vinorama and north to Punta Arena, which is a distance of over 20 miles from La Playita and normally a bit out of range for the 6 hour panga trip. In recent days there was one particular spot within a mile of shore off the lighthouse where the wahoo were striking aggressively for the first boats to arrive. Wahoo to 72 pounds were landed and many others in the 25 to 50 pound range were weighed in. Several of the more experienced and fortunate anglers landed as many as three or four wahoo per morning, but the average was still less than one per charter.

This has also meant extreme high boat pressure on all of the more productive areas, leading to the fish becoming very shy and spooky after the scores of charter boats are crossing back and forth over the area.

Iman was probably the best bet to find action for football sized yellowfin tuna. Drift fishing with live sardinas was the way to go, light line and small hooks, most of the fish were 5 to 15 pounds, but several specimens to over 40 pounds were found mixed in. There was a report from one panguero that he lost a tuna near the panga that would have gone over 100 pounds. White skipjack were located with the tuna, though numbers were much less than the previous week. The counts of yellowfin were down as well, with most San Jose del Cabo charters landing 2 to 5 per morning.

Dorado continued to be scattered and scarce, though some were being accounted for every day, weighing 5 to 30 pounds and coming in at an average of one for every couple of boats.

Billfish action for striped marlin was breaking wide open on the Pacific, as the migration of stripers is now returning in full force from their northerly trek. Many charters were catching several per day and some up to 5 or 6. Marlin were also found into the Sea of Cortez, not as many as in the cooler Pacific waters, though sizes were larger, including stripers up to 170 pounds. La Playita panga fleets reported that a couple of blues and one black marlin were accounted for, with weights of up to 330 pounds. Other catches included roosterfish, pargo, cabrilla, amberjack, sailfish, sierra and triggerfish.

(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.