WEATHER: Once again we had hot weather, just when we thought that there was a chance that fall was here early! What were we thinking? Our daytime highs have been over 100 degrees most days while the nighttime lows have only dropped to the mid 80’s. With very little cloud cover this week it was a warm 7 days! What did keep our attention focused on the weather was the possible approach of Hurricane Hillary. She started in the usual place but then took off to the west due to some high pressure in our area but she is expected to re-curve to the north this weekend, but will be passing well to the west of us as a tropical storm. We have a very low chance (0-10%) of getting tropical storm strength winds, but we do hope that we get a bit of cloud cover and (fingers crossed!) a bit of rain.
WATER: At the end of the week the water across the Sea of Cortez was a very consistent 88 degrees with an occasional showing of 90 degree water. To the west on the Pacific ocean the temperature dropped a little bit, but there was no hard definition to the change. Across the San Jaime Bank we were seeing 85-86 degree water and on the Golden Gate Bank it dropped a bit to 84 degrees. The band of cooler water we had last week along the shore went away and now it is the same almost everywhere. Surface conditions have been great at the beginning of this week with little if any wind chop, small swells and smooth seas. With the approach of Hurricane Hillary we expected the size of the swells to pick up and we were not disappointed. If you have been to Cabo and know Medano beach, then you know when the swell is bucking up against the beach steps of the Pueblo Bonito Rose and Blanco hotels, then they are large swells. They are expected to pick up a little more in the next few days then go back to normal. If it is just the swells then we should have no problems offshore, but inshore fishing may be a very iffy proposition.
BAIT: Caballito, Mullet and Sardines were the live bait available with the bigger baits at the usual $3 each and the Sardinas at $25 a scoop up in the Palmilla area.
BILLFISH: I heard of a very nice Black Marlin of 580 pounds being caught by a Panga out of San Jose while fishing the Gorda Bank area this week as well as a few smaller ones from the same area as well as off of Punta Gorda. There were a few scattered Blue Marlin bites to be had scattered around our area as well, but once again no concentration of them. Most of the Blue Marlin were reported to be smaller specimens in the 150-250 pound range. With the warm water came a burst of Sailfish action, at least for a few days, for boats that fished the Cabrillo Seamount, the 1150 and the 95 areas. On the Pacific side of the Cape, as well as off of the Inman Bank there were Striped Marlin, but they were finicky and most of them were in the 100 pound range.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Like I said last week, this has been a fish that has been hot one week and cold the next except for this past two weeks when it has been cold for most of the boats. One reason could be the 3 Purse Seiners that have been working our area for the past several weeks, the fish was good until they showed up. There are still some small area that have been producing fish on a fairly steady basis, but for most of the Cabo based boats running to the Inman banks is just too far an takes too much time. The Inman has been producing some fish in the 30-80 pound class for boats that are there at the right time, but it has been a very time specific fishery, be there when the fish pass through or don’t even bother. Fly lined live Sardinas on #20 flouro-carbon leader with plenty tossed into the water for chum, or drifting chunks of fresh bonito have worked for some boats. On the Inner and Outer Gorda some boats were getting lucky on large fish by slow trolling or flying kites using live Skipjack as bait, but unless you were able to get bellow the green Jacks on the surface it was hard to get good bait. On the Pacific side there were scattered groups of porpoise that held some fish, but the fish were extremely shy and it took a kite to present a bait properly to these fish. Even then it was a very tough go as there were many short bites and the fish were moving fast. It comes down to slow fishing for Yellowfin Tuna for almost all the boats, but the ones that did get fish were usually getting quality fish.
DORADO: It looks like Dorado ended up being the fish of the week although at the start of the week it was very slow fishing for these guys. Mid-week the bite started to turn back on close to the beach on the Pacific side, but the fish were not large ones. There were plenty of small ones in the 4-8 pound class which bodes well for the future several months, but larger fish were a hit or miss. Almost every boat that went inshore and tried for the Dorado caught plenty, and almost everyone got at least one fish in the 20 pound class, but these fish were not common inshore. A few boats did manage to find small concentrations of larger fish offshore under small pieces of floating debris, but once again these were isolated incidents and you had to be very lucky.
WAHOO: Once again there were Wahoo reported in the catch of quite a few boats this week, perhaps as many as 15% of the boats fishing reported at least on strike, and about 5% were able to bet one in the fish box. The Wahoo averaged 30 pounds and most of the strikes occurred inshore and happened to the anglers fishing for Dorado. The use of light mono leaders had the expected result of being bitten off by the Wahoo, but sure helped on the Dorado bite!
INSHORE: There were some Roosterfish as well as plenty of action on Jack Crevalle close to the beach early in the week, but at the end of the week the increasing size of the swells made fishing in close a very tricky thing to try. With the increase in Dorado action just off the beach most of the Pangas focused on these fish instead and they did very well (see the Dorado section above).
FISH RECIPE: My recipe has been taking too much space so if you want to see it, check out my wordpress blog a little later in the week, or subscribe to the blog and you will receive an email as soon as I post it. This week I actually will be posting one since we finally got some Tuna to take home, a very nice piece from the 169 pound fish!
NOTES: Back from the Sunday morning beach trip with a tired dog and a Bloody Mary in hand as Mary fixes breakfast. My music for the morning is the sound of the talking heads (not the band) of ESPN giving their analysis of today’s games. Our hope is for a Seahawk perfect season, if we can manage to lose every game we can get a good quarterback next season.
Until next week, tight lines!
I will be posting more to my blog now, please go to https://captgeo.wordpress.com/ and subscribe, you will be sent a notice every time I post a new article. Please feel free to send suggestions or if you have any ideas for articles. Thanks George