Fish Report

January 25, 2016 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

If you’ve ever had a desire to have your own Moby Dick experience now is your chance. In addition to our patented Cabo weather, and along with some good catches on the sport fishing front, the waters off of Cabo are filled with lots of whales — young ones, old ones – some small and some huge! They are all a sight to behold as they cavort close to shore; sometimes they are close enough you can see them from the beach. Good luck and good hunting! Gary Graham, gary@garycgraham.com

FishReport_2111.jpgCabo San Lucas. Striped marlin are not disappointing this month; some boats are scoring as many as three releases during a single day’s trip. There was even an unseasonal black marlin estimated to be 300-pounds by Ed Purcell from Milwaukee, Wisconsin aboard the “Ruthless” from the Pisces Sportfishing fleet.

Dorado still remain available for those looking for something to catch that can double on the dinner menu. Smaller yellowfin tuna, also a dinner candidate, were found out farther on the Jamie Bank up on the Pacific side.

Inshore there were some small mako shark and some pangas were scoring with multiple catches of ladyfish, skipjack, small snapper and grouper. Others found roosterfish, jack crevalle and sierra, along with dorado, just outside the breakers along the beaches in front of the hotels overlooking the ocean. Those choosing to bottom fish were rewarded for their effort with pargo, amberjack and a few small grouper. The weather has been mostly sunny, clear and pleasant recently with air temperatures that varied from a cool 51 degrees in the mornings and evenings, to 84 degrees daytime highs and a 54% humidity level.

While sea temperatures varied a little from the Pacific side to the Sea of Cortez and reflected 75 to 76 from the Finger Bank to Jaime Bank, slightly changing from San Cristobal to San Jose at 77 to 78 degrees. From just above the Gorda Banks to Los Frailes and beyond fell to about 75 degrees.

San Jose. There has been no particular hot spot recently; every day certain areas produced a mix of species in limited numbers. Very few dorado or wahoo reported; though free-swimming wahoo were sighted on several occasions, not many were actually hooked and landed . . . same with dorado, they seemed to be taking time off.

Yellowfin tuna were holding around the “Twenty-Five Spot” off of La Fortuna, but with often rapid sweeping drifts created by winds, this spot was not always easy to fish. There was an ongoing problem with nuisance sea lions, waiting for their chance at an easy meal. Most of the yellowfin caught were under 20-pounds and were hooked while using strips of squid for bait. The Gordo Banks were also attracting a larger grade of yellowfin tuna, but only a handful of these fish were actually landed; this fishery has been a late afternoon deal and caught mostly by commercial fishermen — pangeros, fishing the late twilight hours, who reported that the yellowfin (up to over 100 pounds) would start feeding as the sun was just about setting. It makes for a late day, fighting fish into the darkness and arriving back to the dock in the pitch black of the often moonless evening.

Billfish action was also scattered, with the most common catch being smaller-sized striped marlin as there were no larger concentrations of offshore baitfish to attract major feeding frenzies. All of the normal fish migration patterns seem to be abnormal this year, and we are expecting later than usual arrival of sardineta and mackerel. It’s hard to predict when this will happen; it’s time now.

Bottom action has been showing encouraging signs recently with more red snapper, amberjack and cabrilla beginning to appear; then stronger currents have slowed down this action. Winds have been more consistent than normal through this past fall and now into our winter season; this should be the time that we begin to have calmer days and this should help open up more bottom fishing opportunities. Very little inshore action with spotty action on smaller-sized roosterfish and no sierra to speak of without the preferred sardina bait source.

East Cape. The East Cape has been very windy, making it difficult to get out and fish most days. This has been great for the windsurfers competition — “Lord of the Wind” —that draws more International attention every year.

On the nice days, there have been some dorado and billfish along with some yellowtail that are starting to show off La Ribera. Along the beach and inside there are sierra very early in the mornings as well as some small rooster fish and jacks, but the forecast is looking like the wind is here to stay for awhile.

La Paz. What’s going on? For the last three months the fishing has been so spotty because of strong winds that it’s been hard to get out to fish. Fishing has basically been a non-factor in anyone’s vacations!

Now all of a sudden … whoaa! The winds suddenly chilled out and calmed down. And the fish didn’t just bite — they blew up! And not the kind of fish normally caught this time of year! This is WINTER! We’re supposed to be catching inshore rock fish like pargo, cabrilla, snapper and other species like bonito and jack crevalle. What happened recently can only be chalked up to the unpredictable El Nino conditions. We had marlin … sailfish … yellowtail … rooster fish and a great bite on wahoo, too! The fish were literally not far outside Bahia de los Muertos and close to shore. As one angler said, “I’ve never seen so much bait in the Bay this time of year!” Another angler said he was trolling some Rapalas and they got 7 wahoo before 11 a.m. that morning and added yellowtail to the box as well.

Cabo San Lucas

Tracy Ehrenberg www.piscessportfishing.com

Larry Edwards www.cortezcharters.com

San Jose

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.