Fish Report

April 18, 2016 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

Cabo San Lucas

While the billfish drought that began several months ago still seems to continue, the few stripers that were caught recently is an encouraging sign. Even more exciting is the increased numbers of billfish being spotted recently. Not very aggressive on bait or lures but at least something to look at. Each day a few more bite and a few boats have even scored some double-digit days, perhaps signaling the beginning of an already tardy season for the “pointed nose” ones. Hopefully, the slowly rising sea temperatures from a low 73 degrees will light things up.

Most boats, working inshore, had a bonanza on triggerfish – fun on ultra-light tackle. On the surface there were plenty of roosterfish, jack crevalle, ladyfish, and sierra, along with enough needlefish to become a nuisance. All were close to shore in clear view of the guests of the hotels overlooking the Pacific as well as in sight of some fishermen fishing from the beach.

A few miles farther offshore, some boats found enough small yellowfin tuna along with some skipjack and bonito to bend their rods. Most of the action was on the Pacific side for smaller game and tuna — Migrino, Margaritas, San Jaime — while marlin began showing up on the Cortez side between Santa Maria and Punta Gorda.

In spite of it being quite windy and overcast on the Pacific side on some days for awhile, now it’s clear and flat on both sides of Land’s End all the way up into Sea of Cortez.

San Jose

Offshore action has consisted of scattered striped marlin — no large concentrations — but there have been decent numbers found, often within two, three or four miles from shore; striking best on baitfish, they have been found tailing on the surface and anglers have been hooking up while drift fishing with baits down deeper.

Dorado action has been almost non-existent, only an occasional single fish being reported. There have been a few wahoo in the area, but getting them to bite is another deal. There was some good wahoo activity found north of San Luis Bank, but this action has gotten very spotty now.

Most boats are fishing near structure for a combination of snapper, pargo and cabrilla, with an occasional amberjack. Although the La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis Banks have been holding schools of yellowfin tuna, the bite has been on and off. Recently there have been tuna in the 20- to 50-pound class with one occasionally reaching 100 pounds. All have been hooked while drift-fishing with strips of squid. The aggressive sea lions continue to be an ongoing issue waiting for their chance at both the snapper and tuna, and getting more than their share. No yellowtail action but a handful of amberjack — main species being smaller-sized snapper, pargo, triggerfish and bonito.

Inshore action has been mainly for roosterfish and jack crevalle — not a consistent bite so far, but we should have more fish moving in along the coastal stretches in the coming month.

East Cape

The mild weather has made for a very pleasant time on the water. The fishing season and the bite is improving every week. Bait boats are providing anglers with excellent caballito and mackerel. Some days the caballito are a little large, so if you’re planning to bottom fish you need to lean more towards the “mackies.”

The marlin bite continues to improve. Anglers can expect more than one fish a day. The billfish are more aggressive and are coming up into the pattern so it would be wise to mix it up … troll for a while, and if you get a strike then soak a bait for a while. Wahoo have been around recently. It’s a good idea to have a set-up ready with some steel.

While dorado remain conspicuous by their absence, roosterfish have been numerous and the bite has included a few bigger fish up to about 40-pounders. Jack crevalle were also in the mix for plenty of overall action. Throw in a couple of wahoo plus a good pompano bite, mostly near the Lighthouse and good barred pargo were taken as well.

La Paz

Las Arenas/Muertos Bay had the most “consistent” fishing. There were surely A LOT of different species as is characteristic of this time of year. It’s like an aquarium list! About the only thing lacking was a marlin or tuna!

It was encouraging to see more roosters in the 20- to 40-pound class close to shore and more than enough tug for most folks. Wahoo hit bait and lures and for every two caught, there were about ten lost. The fish were 20 to 30 pounds. However, larger ones in the 50-pound class were seen and one fish that two of my captains swore was over 70 or 80 pounds was seen swimming around the area, but just wouldn’t go!

Inshore near structure and the beaches produced larger than normal sierra up to about eight pounds … some trophy-sized cabrilla (sea bass) and huachinango (red snapper) made for good action.

La Paz was either batting zero or getting a ton of “base hits.” The pangas that headed to the islands or hit the seamounts looking for larger fish like big yellowtail and amberjack simply struck out. It was just a desert there. Barely anything. It’s surprising also because Sargasso weed is building up so you would think dorado would be rolling under the weed beds. The “base hits” where a whole bunch of teeny, trout-sized dorado was just near the outside of La Paz Bay. Those fish were under five pounds and they’re massed there. Just for pure action, imagine schools of giant trout. That’s about it.

 

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.