Fish Report

December 28, 2015 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

What a way to end the year! A report filled with nearly every species is about as good as it gets for under the Christmas tree, underscoring the impact of El Nino that has filled the news most of the year.

As we close out 2015 and head into 2016, the fishing prospects seem promising. So, sharpen your hooks, spool on some new line and start the New Year right. Tight lines and a Happy New Year Gary Graham, gary@garycgraham.com

Cabo San Lucas

Cooler weather along with a few cloudy days failed to slow the fishing. Best action seemed to be up on the Pacific side with billfish well represented by striped marlin along with an occasional sailfish and even a blue or two.

Dorado put on a good show up the coast literally from the surf out to the banks. Nice-sized fish up to 40 pounds kept anglers smiling. Speaking of inshore, the tuna were very close to Cape Rocks as Sam Vigneri, Casper, Wyo., discovered while fishing with Baja Anglers and Captain Grant Hartman. Note the hotels in the background on the beach.

Other fish hanging out in the same zone were a few wahoo that continue to extend their season. Even closer to the shore there were roosterfish frolicking along with a good showing of ceviche candidates — the sierra mackerel always a favorite for visiting anglers.

San Jose

The area from the Cabo San Lucas Arches to Sol Mar, within one mile or less of shore, was where the best bite for yellowfin tuna was found; drift fishing with strips of squid, the bite was sporadic, with fish ranging from 8 to 15 pounds. Many anglers did catch limits, though there was a good chance at losing some to hungry sea lions.

Lots of pressure, since this was the only productive spot; the North Winds made it almost impossible to fish on the grounds to the north. But when the northern conditions changed, boats headed north again with encouraging reports, especially considering all the wind, water clarity was surprisingly good. Yellowfin tuna have started biting again on the Iman Bank – nicer-sized fish to 30 pounds.

Only an occasional dorado and wahoo being landed; other strikes lost, but no significant numbers of either of these species. Nothing much going on around the Gordo Banks, but maybe the calmer conditions will get this area back on track, as lots of skipjack and other baitfish activity was reported.

Also at least one 200-pound class black marlin was landed, and another black, estimated to weigh close to 500 pounds was hooked on a trolled live bait, only to be lost near the boat as the fish got its head down, and headed deep, breaking the lighter 130-pound. leader which had been intended for a cow yellowfin tuna — not a late season El Niño black marlin.

Inshore smaller-sized roosterfish off of the San Jose del Cabo Hotel area, particularly near Holiday Inn and the Estuary, were an option. Very little bottom fishing now, more triggerfish than anything else; we expect to start seeing more variety start to move in off of the structure.

Billfish action was scattered as well, a few striped marlin and then the chance at a larger marlin around the Gordo Banks, no big numbers though of any of these billfish. It will be interesting to see if there is a good run or mackerel and in turn striped marlin this season. This is when this normally occurs, starting on the Pacific Banks, before shifting in the direction of the Sea of Cortez.

East Cape

While wind surfers revel in the mighty north winds, anglers wait for the calm days . . . and remarkably it is worth the wait. Even in December the billfish are still in the mix, including an occasional sailfish.

Finally, the dorado that were among the missing all summer, showed up late to the party and they are good-sized, along with the wahoo that have been crowd pleasers for several months.

Even on the windy days early in the morning the sierra are schooling off the Punta Arena Lighthouse along with some small pompano and jacks that will make your day on light tackle.

La Paz

About the only ones who seem to be having a great time on the water are the windsurfers and kite boarders who come down this time of the year specifically because it’s windy . . . a big reason they flock to the area. That area between Las Arenas and Cerralvo Island is like a wind FUNNEL making it world-class for the windsurfing crowd. But, their high-season, is also the reason it’s the off-season for fishing. It’s chilly and windy! However, when the winds die down, and the windsurfers leave, the fishermen start rolling back in. So, yeah … good winds are blowing … again!

And, generally that’s how it was recently and it has been now for over a month. The few anglers who have ventured down were introduced to the dreaded North Wind. And wind and fishing usually aren’t a good recipe for fishing success.

There were some small cabrilla and pargo caught. Along with two marlin hooked that fell off — some bonito and trigger fish and that was about it.

It’s that time of year! Not many fishermen these days and the town is quiet – peaceful; very nicely so, in many respects. It might surprise many regulars. Not much traffic. Everyone is getting ready for Christmas. It’s a good time to be here. Even if you’re not fishing. Or catching. Still beats working. Just come and hang out. And escape the snow, rain and cold from where ever you are! 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

Gary Graham. www.garycgraham.com. ,