San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Mexico



Feb. 25, 2007, Gordo Banks Pangas, Eric Brictson, San Jose del Cabo fishing, Baja California Sur, Mexico:

The combined La Playita panga fleets at San Jose del Cabo sent out approximately 106 panga charters for the week, for a fish count of: 6 striped marlin, 8 hammerhead sharks, 5 mako sharks, 55 dorado, 12 amberjack, 285 sierra, 12 yellowtail, 38 cabrilla, 185 pargo, 8 pompano, 14 surgeonfish, and 54 yellowfin tuna.

Tourist crowds at San Jose del Cabo are already noticeably increasing and this week they were greeted with great weather conditions, although there were moderate winds of 10 to 15 m.p.h. blowing from the north.

Overall anglers fishing off the tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula reported very respectable action, considering we are still in the month of February.

The water color has been murky green through much of these Mexican fishing waters and water temperatures offshore are averaging 70 to 72 degrees.

Live bait fish were a bit more scattered this week, but with both mackerel and sardinas sufficient on most days.

Striped marlin fishing activity was now mainly concentrated toward the Sea of Cortez, from the 95 spot to the Gordo Banks. The water was a bit off colored due to strong currents and persistent northerly winds, and catches tapered off slightly. The marlin were found generally from 5 to 15 miles from the Baja coast, and good numbers of them were spotted on the surface riding the swells. Live bait accounted for the majority of hookups. Marlin sizes ranged from 90 to 130 pounds.

San Jose del Cabo fishing boats offshore did not find much else to catch besides marlin. Only a few dorado were accounted for.

The La Playita sportfishing panga fleets found the most consistent action closer to shore. Palmilla, Punta Gorda and Cardon were the most productive fishing locations. This is where good numbers of sierra up to 5 pounds were caught, plus various species of pargo, pompano, triggerfish, amberjack, yellowtail and cabrilla. Sardinas bait was the best technique, although trolling with Rapalas and hoochies also produced sierra, which have finally showed up in significant numbers in the San Jose del Cabo fishing area.

Some Baja anglers reported scattered action on yo-yo jigs off the bottom. This was the first week at San Jose del Cabo when yellowtail have been in the local fish counts. Most of the yellowtail action was off Punta Palmilla on yo-yo jigs or live mackerel. The yellowtail ranged from 10 to 20 pounds.

Yellowfin tuna were schooling on the Gordo Banks and lots of fish were seen feeding and rolling on the surface, but they were difficult to entice. The few hooked weighed 25 to 40 pounds. The tuna were caught mainly while drift fishing with dead sardinas.

Whale watching continued to be at its peak off the tip of Baja, with big numbers of the whales seen on the fishing grounds, along with pods of porpoise and the pesky sea lions.

The La Playita area was perhaps the busiest construction site in Mexico, as the push to open the new Puerto Los Cabos marina enters the concluding stages. The engineers say the main entrance channel will be excavated and open to the ocean within two weeks or less.

For the La Playita panga fleets now operating in the midst of this massive construction zone are barely able to function. The consensus is that the project could have gone much smoother if the fleets were paid compensation for approximately 30 days to shut down their operations and move the boats of the same beach where all the heavy equipment is working in super cramped quarters.

This situation should become even more interesting during the next couple of weeks.