San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Mexico



March 11, 2007, Los Cabos, La Playita Beach, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico, Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas:

The combined San Jose del Cabo sportfishing panga fleets launching out of La Playita sent out about 58 charters for the week, for a fish count of: 2 striped marlin, 205 sierra, 68 dorado, 2 hammerhead shark, 38 Mexican bonito, 260 mixed pargo species, 22 roosterfish, 28 amberjack, 6 yellowtail, 66 cabrilla, 1 yellowfin tuna, 16 pompano, 15 surgeonfish, and 72 triggerfish.

Spring breakers are enjoying ideal weather in the Los Cabos area of Baja California this week as the skies were clear with plenty of sunshine and high temperatures in the mid 80s. Northerly winds diminished and San Jose del Cabo vacation area anglers found very pleasant ocean conditions.

Bait fish became more scattered during the recent full moon phase, although on most mornings there were sufficient supplies available for sportfishing boats, with a mix of sardinas, mullet and mackerel.

Fishing water clarity generally was improving, with the water temperatures also on the rise from 70 to 74 degrees.

Off San Jose anglers were able to jig mackerel baits early in the morning, but as the sun came up the action would shut down. Los Cabos sportfishing fleets found the most consistent action from Chileno Bay to San Luis for inshore species and various rockfish. With the warming currents we anticipate improved offshore action soon.

There many recent reports of wahoo spotted along the inshore areas. Several wahoo did strike on cast lures or baits, but all ended up being lost for some reason or another.

Perhaps the best San Jose del Cabo fishing story for the week was from local panga skipper Chame Pino. He saw a free swimming wahoo that appeared disoriented and was barely moving on the surface, and he quickly grabbed his gaff and hooked it in the back of the head. But this sluggish wahoo, estimated in the 70 to 80 pound class, instantly lit up and exploded, nearly pulling Chame overboard and ripping the gaff from his grasp, a lesson learned, better to use a flying gaff when that happens.

Most common charter panga catches this week were a mix of various pargo, cabrilla and sierra, with most of the fish weighing an average of 2 to 5 pounds. Some pargo and grouper to 20 pounds were landed.

Billfish action was concentrated around the 95 and 1150 high spots, as many striped marlin were seen free jumping and tailing on the surface, but were not always eager to strike, due to squid and other bait now abundant on the fishing grounds. The fish have been gorging down deep and crews were working hard to average one billfish per boat. Dropped back bait was effective.

There were reports of red crabs floating up to the surface, but so far nothing consistent on this. It is the season for huachinango at San Jose del Cabo and with the appearance of these red crabs the action on these true red snapper could break loose at any time.

Early in the week there were decent counts of dorado caught along the inshore stretch from La Playita to Cardon, very close to shore, attracted by bait fish holding in the same areas. Most of the action was later in the morning and birds circling overhead were often the clue. Panga skippers quickly raced to the spot and cast baits, often resulting in dorado of 15 to 30 pounds. Many San Jose del Cabo fishing charters accounted for one to four dorado per morning.

A few yellowfin tuna were found traveling with porpoise, anywhere from 20 to 30 miles offshore, but this was not consistent. The tuna averaged 20 to 30 pounds. Typically, in the coming months the majority of the yellowfin tuna action is further offshore with pods of porpoise, so we will be looking for that same pattern to unfold.

Tuna were also schooling and seen rolling on the surface at the Gordo Banks, but these fish had lockjaw, apparently gorged on red crabs and smaller squids that were holding deep.