Fish Report

December 14, 2015 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

The appearance and departure of late-season Hurricane Sandra had little effect on our fishing other than getting the port closed on Friday and Saturday; the fishing was good prior to the storms and great afterward, depending on what you were fishing for. Gary Graham, gary@garycgraham.com

Cabo San Lucas

Bill fishing for striped marlin is as good as it gets; the dorado are biting like crazy and there are some tuna to be found with some very nice wahoo being hooked up.

Following the two port closure days provided by Hurricane Sandra, the week turned into excellent weather with good fishing conditions on both sides of the peninsula. Air temps varied from 65 degrees at nights to 85 degree daytime highs and a 63% humidity level average . . . a few passing clouds through the week but mostly sunny and warm.

Water temps have been 79 to 81 degrees from the Pacific side around to Los Frailes on the Sea of Cortez side. Surface breezes, mostly from the southerly directions, varied from calm to 9 mph.

There were lots of feeding stripers in numerous locations a few miles from the Cabo Harbor on the Pacific side; they were fast-feeding and difficult to get on but bit well when you did.

fishkiller0221.jpgSan Jose

There have been persistent northerly winds, ranging 15 to 25 mph creating choppy conditions on the open grounds north of Punta Gorda. The winds did slack off later, but air temperatures are still reaching into the 80s and lows dipped to 60 degrees. Ocean water temperature now ranges from 79 to 80 degrees throughout most of the region. North winds pushed in slightly greener current close to shore.

Wahoo have been aggressive and very active early in the day on the Iman Bank. Best action was on slow-trolled bait, either caballito or chihuil. Some boats scored up to five wahoo, averaging 25 to 40 pounds, with that many additional strikes lost — fewer dorado in the area.

Yellowfin tuna action was hampered by harder-to-find porpoise activity, persistent winds making it unfavorable for drift and chum-style fishing. On calmer days, anglers could see tuna breezing on the surface, but these fish were just not interested. A handful of yellowfin tuna have been landed, some football-size, but other quality tuna in the 40- to 120 –pound class were caught. The day before “Sandra,” a commercial pangero based out of Los Frailes fishing on the San Luis Bank reported landing one yellowfin tuna weighing 378 pounds on a squid.

The bottom fishing showed a little more promise recently, but again calmer conditions would help. A few species of pargo, bonito, amberjack, triggerfish and cabrilla — no big quantities — but better than what we have seen over the past month; we expect to see improved bottom action, though this will depend on how persistent north winds prove to be. Normal fall/winter wind patterns have been harder to predict this year. Winds usually blow for several days, followed by a few nice days and the cycle repeats itself, not like these seven to eight day blows we have had this fall.

Bait supplies remain plentiful for live caballito. Not much else was available, no ballyhoo or sardina to speak of. With changing ocean conditions we hope to see sardina move back within our range.

East Cape

North winds howl, and temperatures drop to the low 6os as locals nod and smugly blame it on “El Nino.” However, in the next breath they are bragging about the December dorado bite that has caught everyone off-guard. Some say it’s the best grade of dorado caught all season. Plus an ongoing wahoo and billfish bite.

As Rancho Leonero wrapped up its season, they underscored what an odd year it had been with their final blue marlin of the season release.

For the prudent anglers perfectly willing to leave the North Wind to the growing horde of wind-surfers arriving, preferring to be on the beach at gray light to take advantage of the early morning sierra, cabrilla and even a dorado or three . . . now that has the making of a December to remember.

La Paz

The winds were up again and really ripping it up. In fact, we were watching the weather reports pretty carefully as Hurricane Sandra was building up to the south of us; this is very, very late in the season to be seeing anything like hurricanes so there was some trepidation. It’s been a wacky two seasons of El Nino conditions so the weather is out-of-kilter.

The hurricane was never going to hit La Paz, but enough of the outer bands of the storm had a good chance of rain and some very intense winds . . . stronger than what we were already having. By the time the storm hit mainland Mexico, the hurricane had diminished to a manageable tropical storm with nothing but clouds and some big fun surf for surfers in Cabo San Lucas.

But, we still had winds in La Paz. That generated some big waves, too. Waves have been whacking the waterfront Malecon with such force that spray hits passing traffic and much of the sand below the seawall has been dragged out, exposing all the underlying rocks!

However, there were no fishermen as this is off-season now until about March.

Fortunately, just as the winds dropped off, we had anglers show up — and it was better than expected.

The roosterfish bit! Producing some 30- to 40-pound fish. All released.

There were some billfish lost and some medium dorado. Also, they got into that yellowtail bite that’s been taking place off Las Arenas the last few weeks at the big hole where the shallow sand drops off to deeper water and where we have also been getting some big cabrilla and amberjack.

It seems the equation is the same. If there’s no wind, the fish bite. If it’s windy…best to stay in town and have a beer.

Cabo San Lucas

Tracy Ehrenberg www.piscessportfishing.com

Larry Edwards www.cortezcharters.com

San Jose del Cabo

Gordo Bank Pangas www.gordobanks.com

East Cape

Rancho Leonero Hotel www.rancholeonero.com

Jen Wren Sportfishing www.thejenwren.com

East Cape Tackle Cindy Kirkwood, www.eastcapetackle.com

La Paz

Jonathan Roldan’s Tailhunter International www.tailhunter-international.com