Fish Report

May 2, 2016 Edition
BY: GARY GRAHAM

As May rolls in, the bite has just not lived up to expectations. Usually by this time of year the season has settled in and fishing and catching go hand-in-hand. So far there has been less catching and more fishing. Locals are betting or are they hoping that May is the month for a turn-around. Tight Lines and Good Luck, Gary Graham, gary@garycgraham.com

Cabo San Lucas

fish2118.jpgThe fleets’ striped marlin counts are holding at about an average catch rate of 25% — somewhat slower than usual for this time of year. Some visitors who chose to fish inshore had banner days of multiple bottom species, while others fishing inshore on the surface were able to score a few dorado and yellowfin tuna along with roosterfish, jacks and a few toothy sierra.

Air temperatures varied from 71 nights to 84 daytime highs and a 54% humidity level, and there have been mostly sunny, warm and clear days — near picture perfect for fishing. On the Pacific side, from the Finger Bank to San Cristobal, temperatures ranged from 71 to 72.5 degrees. From San Cristobal southerly to the 1,000 curve and around to Los Frailes was in the 75 to76 degree ranges. Surface breezes flowed in from the westerly direction from nearly calm mornings to about 13-mph in early afternoons.

Best Fishing Areas: Ranged from the Cabo Falso Lighthouse to Chileno and outside to the 95 Fathom Spot.

Best Lure/Bait: About a 50-50 for the billfish between rigged ballyhoo baits and artificials.

Live Bait Supply: Difficult for the past few days with almost no caballito live bait available, which is attributable to the bright moon conditions.

San Jose

The fishing grounds straight out three to four miles from Puerto Los Cabos Marina, are holding concentrations of sardineta, which has attracted striped marlin averaging 90 to 130 pounds. Anglers are successful by drift fishing and soaking baits such as caballito, cocinero or sardineta at various depths. Many charters are catching up to three billfish per morning. This area is within easy range for even the smallest boat, and you can easily catch a marlin from a kayak.

There has been an increase in wahoo activity from Punta Gorda to Vinorama. Some charters landed as many as three wahoo, and lost as many strikes. The wahoo ranged in sizes from an average of 15 pounds to a whopping 65-pounder and a 76-pound fish, both landed recently. They were striking on rigged ballyhoo, sardineta and various trolling lures, Rapalas and skirted lead heads.

Yellowfin tuna has been very spotty, though some tuna in the 25- to 35-pound class were located near Iman to Vinorama; there was one 100-pound class yellowfin hooked on light leader. Anglers were fortunate to land a couple, and some charters were really lucky to be at the right spot, and landed three or four quality yellowfin while drift-fishing with strips of squid, lighter leaders being more successful.

A few more sierra, as well as a few roosterfish and jack crevalle were mixed in with the counts. Bottom fishing produced more triggerfish, a mix of snapper species, cabrilla and a few amberjack.

East Cape

Water is clean and clear; consistently 74 to 75 degrees,  flat and calm in the cool mornings, with light afternoon easterly breezes, beautiful days! High temps in the low 80s. Lots of bait spread across the bay. The billfish fishing has increased with boats releasing a couple a day. It’s a 50/50 mix of sails and striped marlin, most caught off the La Ribera Bank — the majority taken off the bottom. Live caballito and ballyhoo worked best.

There are lots of smaller schooling dorado mixed with 10- to 25-pounders south of the Lighthouse, one or two miles off the beach — mostly taking lures. In the same area, along with loads of pompano, (taken on hoochies) about half the boats are scoring wahoo on Marauders, Rapalas and all trolled lures; one boat took five in one day. Lots were in the 20- to 35-pound range, with the largest a 65-pounder!

Roosterfish are from 15 to 30 pounds. The caballito are fairly large, so most taken are larger fish.

La Paz

La Paz is still holding lots of promise. A spot of yellowtail poked up just outside of Balandra Bay got everyone excited then seemed to shut down just as fast, perhaps because everyone suddenly descended on it. These fish were slugger 25- to 35-pounders.

The most encouraging bite has been the dorado just on the other side of the bay. It’s been a great fall-back for action although the fish are 5-pounders that go furious at times and produced easy limits. For a lot of the “one-time/one-day fishermen” who only have one day to fish or don’t have much experience, it’s been good so they get bent and catch some fish and have a good time. I’m happy to say that most are released. However, there’s more and more Sargasso weed appearing in the area making excellent cover for bait and drawing in more dorado, which are getting bigger. Some larger “models” are showing up in the catches.

Las Arenas/ Muertos Bay is mercurial.

One day, some pargo and cabrilla, bonito and jack crevalle are the catches. The next day, wahoo, roosterfish, jacks, bonito, a few dorado, some yellowtail.

Several wahoo and several big roosters were lost. Two folks battled a marlin for three hours on light tackle and finally had to bust it off. They did a great job, but knew it couldn’t go on and purposely buttoned down the drag. We’ll call that a legal catch! But, the point is the number of catches did not match the number of bites!

Fly fishers did OK this week. Some jack crevalle, some bonito and a couple of roosters and wahoo took the flies, but they weren’t able to set the hooks on. They had fun. Live bait for chum is an issue. Hopefully, looking for some improvement. The season is early.

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.