GOVERNOR'S CUP BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR FISHING TOURNAMENT
Dec. 17, 2006, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Baja California Sur, Mexico:
At La Playita Beach, there were about 43 total sportfishing charter pangas launched this week, with a total fish catch off San Jose del Cabo of; 33 striped marlin, 58 yellowfin tuna, 3 sailfish, 125 skipjack, 44 dorado, 33 pargo, 65 triggerfish, 12 amberjack, 16 cabrilla, 15 roosterfish, 2 grouper, and 66 sierra.
As the Christmas holiday season approaches there are still only slight crowds of vacationers traveling to Los Cabos, but we expect the numbers to increase in the next few weeks.
The wind at San Jose del Cabo was not as strong this week and anglers encountered comfortable conditions on the ocean. Skies were clear, with lots of sunshine and daily high temperatures near 80 degrees although early in the morning it has dipped into the upper 50s.
Los Cabos fishing fleets are working in a wide area, from El Faro to the Golden Gate on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, to the Gordo Banks on the Sea of Cortez side.
Striped marlin, dorado and yellowfin tuna were the most common offshore species caught, while there was a mix of sierra and roosterfish closer to shore.
Bottom fishing around San Jose del Cabo was mostly for triggerfish and smaller pargo.
Mackerel live bait was available out of the Cabo San Lucas marina and sardinas for the panga fleets out of San Jose. Early in the week, however, the sardina baits became scarce and smaller in size as well. They were located along the rocky beaches from Punta Palmilla to Santa Maria.
Fishing water clarity improved a bit, but was still a little greenish and off colored off of San Jose. The warmer and cleaner water was found off of Cabo and towards the Pacific Ocean.
Fishing water temperatures ranged from 74 to 78 degrees, with the coolest water found from Los Frailes and to the north on the Sea of Cortez.
Sportfishing for striped marlin was excellent for anglers fishing off of the old light house on the Pacific Ocean side of Cabo. The best method was soaking live mackerel down deep. It was common for Los Cabos sportfishing charters to catch several or more marlin per day from 80 to 130 pounds.
A few striped marlin were also caught on the Sea of Cortez side from Red Hill to Santa Maria, but not nearly in the numbers as on the Pacific side of Cabo.
Wahoo were virtually nonexistent in the local San Jose del Cabo fishing area, but a handful were reportedly striking lures in the bluer waters outside of the Cabo San Lucas arches and further around the corner on the Pacific Ocean.
Dorado were scattered last week, with some sportfishing boats landing as many as 2 to 4 wahoo in the 8 to 25 pound class. Most boats did not catch more than one or two dorado. Many dorado were caught closer to shore where the bait fish were now congregating.
Yellowfin tuna were as far as 20 to 30 miles offshore with schools of porpoise. Once found the tuna would readily strike trolled lures and bait. The tuna ranged to over 50 pounds. Schools of tuna were also found close to shore over structure, but this bite was not consistent. The Inner Gordo Bank also continued to hold yellowfin tuna, but these fish were biting when they felt like it. Over the weekend the bite did improve, with some pangas landing over half of dozen fish.
San Jose del Cabo Mexican pangueros reported seeing Humboldt giant squid on the Gordo Bank. One big squid was found flapping on the surface and was free gaffed.
On Saturday, December 16, 2006, there was a local fishing tournament at San Jose del Cabo organized out of Palmilla beach. This was to local event in a series of Government Cup tournaments being held through Baja California Sur, Mexico, with a free entry fee, only a Mexican fishing license required and exclusively for smaller boats and pangas.
This fishing tournament had over 60 Mexican pangas entered with the top prize being a brand new 22 foot panga and motor, second prize of $2,000, with other prizes including new rods with Penn International reels offered through tenth place.
The tournament targeted all game fish with the exception of striped marlin. Local La Playita skipper Capt. Tony Miranda on his new panga “Hooker” proved that skill and a little luck can be the right combination, as Tony took home both first and second place honors with a 51-1⁄2 pound and 50-1⁄2 pound yellowfin tuna, taking home the new panga with motor and an extra $2,000 in cash, just in time for Christmas!
Hugo Pino captured third place with a 50-pound dogtooth snapper that weighed ounces less than Tony’s second place yellowfin.
The annual migration of humpback and gray whales is now arriving in the Los Cabos region of Baja and this is offering additional entertainment for anglers and sightseers alike.
(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.