Big Tuna Show Near San Luis Bank
This week we saw varying summer weather patterns, started with calm days, warm and humid days, highs of 95 degrees, clear blue ocean water was found close to shore, then later in the week, gusty afternoon breezes from the south attributed to churning seas, pushing in greenish water and now we wait for conditions to return to how they had been, and at this time of year this can happen within a day. Presently the ocean temperatures are ranging from 80 degrees near Cabo San Lucas, up to 86 degrees towards Los Frailes. To the south, there is no Tropical Cyclone activity at this time, sunny skies with some intermittent scattered clouds and at times there was a cooling afternoon breeze from the Pacific that helped give welcome relief to the sticky weather.
This week officially marks beginning of the summer/fall Southern Baja Tournament Season, as the Bisbee's East Cape event is being held, with some sixty teams participating for a share of the prize money. Should be a fun time for everyone involved, this tournament is a warm up event, preparing for the even larger stake tournaments coming in the Fall.
Sportfishing fleets were covering a wide area in search of the best opportunities, from the Pacific, where there were reports of tuna, dorado and billfish, much of this was close to 20 miles from shore, in the vicinity of Jaime Bank, but the majority of charters were heading in the direction of the fishing grounds such as the 950 & 1150 spots, to the Gordo Banks, San Luis and Desteladera. San Luis Bank was holding more schools of bolito baitfish, which were being caught and used for slow trolling on the surface for a variety of gamefish. Although at this time there were not large numbers of any particular species being found, there was definitely a variety of quality fish being encountered.
Everyday this week we have been hearing reports of large yellowfin tuna being hooked into, in the 150 to 200 plus pound class, these fish were striking on live bolito in and around the Iman to San Luis Bank, so for a handful of these fish have been landed, specimens of 150 and 213 lb. in the past few days, but many other stories were told of massive missed strikes or big fish being lost for various reasons after long battles. There was a grand slam mix of sailfish, striped marlin, blue and black marlin on these same grounds, all hitting on the same baits. Several marlin in the 300 pound class were caught and released from charters based out of Puerto Los Cabos Marina.
Live caballito and mullet were available from the marina area, but these baits were not what the offshore species preferred at this time, anglers reported much more success using the freshly caught lively bolito. This is now the style of fishing where you need patience while trolling around waiting for strikes, most boats were averaging several chances on big fish each day. There was no particular spot where a lot of numbers of smaller sized fish were found, so it is basically the same chance at hooking into a larger of smaller fish. Though if specifically targeting larger fish, you do need to be using gear that is capable of having the chance at actually landing the fish. Dorado are very spread out, bulls up to 40 pounds were accounted for, though no numbers and the majority of the do-do s found were medium sized. Trolling with bolito is a very good method for finding big bull dorado.
Early in the week there were schools of smaller sized yellowfin found on San Luis Bank, they hit on hoochies, as well as other small lures and for the few charters that were able to purchase live sardinas from commercial pangeros that had come from the north near Los Frailes, they really did well on these yellowfin. Then this action faded and larger tuna all of sudden made a presence, apparently attracted to the large concentrations of food, particularly their favored bolito.
Bottom action was not consistent, though there continued to be an productive early morning bite happening for huachinango, the true Pacific red snapper, this action was found at first light on the San Luis Bank and these fish were only striking on yo-yo style jigs, weighing up to 12 pounds, and excellent eating. There was only an odd amberjack or grouper being found, more triggerfish that any other species now being found off of the shallow rock piles. This is the time when larger grouper move onto the shallow water structure to feed on the abundant food available and anglers use larger whole baits for drift fishing over these rocky areas, hoping to hook into a monster that will truly test their skill in trying to win the battle of not being broke off in the rocks.
Roosterfish are still patrolling the shoreline, but not as numerous as they had been off of San Jose del Cabo and to the north, there were reports of wide open roosterfish action found out of the East Cape, though most charters from this area are having to traveling further south than Los Frailes in order to find any offshore action.
The combined panga fleet out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 48 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 8 striped marlin, 6 sailfish, 1 black marlin, 1 blue marlin, 38 dorado, 26 yellowfin, 12 amberjack, 9 grouper, 14 cabrilla, 16 roosterfish, 44 huachinango (red snapper) and 24 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric
About The Author: Captain Eric Brictson
Company: Gordo Banks Pangas
Area Reporting: San Jose del Cabo
Bio: Have operated a Sportfishing Charter service in Southern Baja California for over 20 years. We are now located in the new Puerto Los Cabos Marina.