YELLOWFIN TUNA COUNTS DOWN IN FULL MOON FISHING
Nov. 12, 2006, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, San Jose del Cabo, La Playita Beach, Baja California Sur, Mexico:
The combined San Jose del Cabo sportfishing panga fleets out of La Playita sent out about 223 charters this week, with a fish count of: 145 dorado, 495 yellowfin tuna, 18 wahoo, 7 striped marlin, 22 rainbow runner, 22 sailfish, all released, 5 roosterfish, 25 pargo, 6 amberjack, 14 sierra, 8 pompano, 105 white skipjack, and 140 triggerfish.
Los Cabos sportfishing fleets are operating near capacity. The weather is ideal now, with highs in the mid 80s, lows in the upper 60s, very little wind and calm sea conditions. Ocean water temperatures dropped a couple of degrees to 80 to 82. Most sportfishing charters caught fish and there was an impressive variety of game fish accounted for. Available live bait has consisted of caballito and sardinas, and on the fishing grounds there were schools of small chihuil, bolito and skipjack for anglers targeting larger fish.
The Gordo Banks were producing consistent catches of yellowfin tuna of 30 to over 100 pounds plus a few over 200 pounds. However, commercial purse seiner activity has been noticed on the horizon and everyone is hoping that they remain the legal distance offshore and do not clean out these fishing grounds that have finally come to life after a long dry spell.
The average yellowfin tuna in recent days being landed at the Gordo Banks has been in the 60 to 100 pound range. The number of fish caught has not been huge, but the majority of the anglers targeting these larger grade of tuna in recent days have returned with one or two of them in the fish box.
The bite for medium sized yellowfin tuna averaging 15 to 25 pounds has been concentrated within one mile of shore from Red Hill to Punta Gorda, but it has become less productive. There were still lots of fish seen feeding and coming up on the chummed sardinas, but they have been more line shy and harder to entice. The full moon may have effected the way the fish are feeding. This was an exceptionally bright moon. Most likely the fish were feeding more at night, making them less active in the morning. They seemed to go back on the bite later in the morning. At least this was the noticeable pattern towards the later part of the week.
Dorado were scattered throughout the same areas as the yellowfin tuna, but not in any significant numbers. Some boats did land up to five of dorado, in sizes up to 25 pounds. Catches of dorado were more like one fish for every couple of boats.
Wahoo numbers were even less, though early in the week anglers did find some good action on these speedsters near Iman Bank. Sizes of the wahoo landed ranged from 25 to 55 pounds. The backside of the full moon is never the preferred time for wahoo, so we are anticipating more consistent action in the coming weeks.
Fishing for striped marlin was breaking wide open on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, as the migration of stripers is now returning in full force from their northerly trek. Marlin were also found in the Sea of Cortez around the 95 and 1150 spots, not as many.
San Jose panga fleets reported quite a few sailfish mixed in with the inshore yellowfin tuna action.
(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.