Fish Report

March 21, 2016 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

WOW! Winter weather — even typing the words seems weird. However, port closing for two days due to 30 knot wind and rain . . . OMG, the sky is falling! It must be El Niño is finally here, or maybe the solar eclipse is causing all this. Thankfully, whatever we want to call it, it seems to be behind us now. Let’s go fishing! Good luck, Gary Graham, gary@garycgraham.com

2016-03-21-(5).jpgCabo San Lucas

The billfish “catching” remains challenging for the Cabo San Lucas anglers as water temperatures fluctuate on both sides of the peninsula, especially on the Pacific side, with falling temperatures and some windy conditions creating a dust storm and causing the port to be closed for two days. Even so, there was still billfish action for about 30% of the fleet with most being released.

Those remaining closer to shore found the triggerfish bite that had been dominating was slowing and the hard-fighting jack crevalle lit up. These 10- to 30-pound bruisers demonstrated why they are nicknamed toro, (bull) by locals. An impressive list of other species lurking inshore included trigger fish, grouper, sierra, pompano, ladyfish and roosterfish, mainly over on the Pacific side.

Dorado were in short supply while the yellowfin tuna up to 25 pounds were added to the catch list of the persistent crews who hung in there for their guests a bit farther offshore.

Pisces’ 31-foot Tiburon managed to catch and release a pilot shark along with landing two seabass and a bunch of ladyfish earning them oddest catch tally of the month.

Cabo Climate: Air temps varied from 64 nights to 76 daytime highs; some sunny/cloudy mixed days and several days of windy conditions. March is typically the windy month of the year.

Sea Conditions: Two-day port closure due to windy conditions. The water temps on the Pacific side are falling. Finger Bank to Cristobal is 69 to 72. Just inside the Jaime Bank and up to the Gorda Banks, stretching from the shoreline to about 10 to 11 miles off, all at 72 to 73. Gorda Banks to Los Frailes at 74.

San Jose

Ocean conditions are a bit more stirred up with areas of greener cooling currents; water temperatures varied from 71 degrees on the Pacific side to 76 degrees in the direction of the Sea of Cortez. Schools of baitfish continue to be found off of San Jose — more sardineta than anything else, but also some mackerel. This is the same area where there has been good action for striped marlin up to 140 pounds, mainly drift fishing baits down deep. Not wide open action, though most charters had opportunities at marlin. Live caballito were available inside the marina on a limited basis.

For the La Playita panga fleets, the more productive action was coming off the bottom structure; high spots from Red Hill/Palmilla, north to San Luis Bank, produced a mix of species, while drift fishing with various baits and on yo-yo style jigs. Catches included amberjack, yellowtail, yellow snapper, huachinango, bonito, leopard grouper, barred pargo, triggerfish and others — all very good eating.

Not much to report in the way of dorado or wahoo, just an occasional one being caught. Yellowfin tuna was very limited as well, though these fish were hanging around the San Luis Bank and a few fish were landed, ranging up to 70 pounds, striking on strips of squid — early in the day seemed to be the best chance at enticing a strike; though sporadic, there was also the ever-present problem of sea lions waiting for their chances at stealing hooked fish.

Along the shoreline, anglers have encountered increased numbers of sierra, striking on lures and strip baits. Some smaller-sized roosterfish rounded out the inshore activity. The coming weeks should see improvement closer to shore, though this season the lack of the sardina have made things more unpredictable.

East Cape

Fishing has been pretty slow. However, experience tells us that it can turn around in the howling scream of a reel. Conditions are excellent, with flat seas, mild days and water temps still in the mid-70s. The bait boat has been providing good green mackerel and caballito. We expect it to go off any day!

Anglers who targeted billfish were seeing both sails and stripers, but could not get many of them interested. Fish would appear among the lures and then quickly lose interest. Frustrating. Yes, fish are around, but don’t seem hungry. Others who decided to work inshore and along the bottom were rewarded with roosters in the 20- to 30-pound range, as well as jacks and some rod-bending big amberjacks ranging to 40-pounds. Sierra are here, but this is a sunup bite and doesn’t last long. Fly fishers working the beaches have been taking roosters, ladyfish and jacks.

La Paz

Not many fishermen in town now. However, there were some fishy things happening. Some fat yellowtail were taken at the south end of Cerralvo on Rapalas. Fish ran up to about 25 pounds. A few smaller amberjack were also taken and one fish estimated at close to 80 pounds was picked up and lost at gaff. Supposedly, the northern end of Cerralvo is holding some really big amberjack according to the commercial guys.

Inshore, yup, inshore there are still wahoo up to about 40 pounds that are again falling to the dark Rapalas/ Yo-zuri-type lures. Gotta’ be honest…there’s a real lack of live or dead bait right now. Hope that changes. But we’re able to scrape up some sardina and some mackerel here and there or use frozen stuff.

Smaller lures and cut bait are working on cabrilla and sierra and some big pargo up to about 20 pounds are in the spawn mode in the usual rocky areas, but especially off Punta Perrico and Los Pilis near the east side of the island.

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