WEATHER: The air continues to get cooler every week, but I still don’t think we are going to have a white Christmas in Cabo! This week on the way to the Golf Course I read a chilly 65 degrees, but it did warm up later on to 81 degrees. Our average early morning has been right around 71 degrees, down a bit from last week. The week started out with sunny skies and slowly the clouds moved in, and with the clouds came some wind. The wind really picked up on the Pacific side on Friday, building up some nice whitecaps and rollers making it very uncomfortable to fish, but that was the introduction to the cloud deck that hovered over us on Saturday. On Saturday the clouds settled in and the wind died down.
WATER: Due to the cloud cover there were no good shots of the surface temperature, but from what we could see and what was reported by the boats it appears as if the water temperature across the area has dropped a degree or two. On both the Cortez and on the Pacific side of the cape we had inshore water at 77 to 78 degrees while just offshore on the Cortez side it warmed to 81 degrees and on the Pacific side to 80 degrees. On the Pacific side the water became a bit off-colored, not as clear as we had been getting the past several months. Due to the wind at the end of the week we did have several days when the Pacific side became very choppy, on the Cortez side the swells were small and the wind just created a small chop. Farther up the coast on the Cortez side, up past Punta Gordo the water conditions again became a bit rough due to the wind.
BAIT: No change in the bait availability this week from last week. There was plenty of Caballito, a few Mackerel and a very limited supply of Sardina. The bigger baits were the usual $3 each while the Sardinas, if you could find a boat with some to sell, were going for $25 a scoop.
BILLFISH: As the water cools down the number of Striped Marlin that are being seen and are being caught continues to increase, and the number of Blue and Black Marlin caught decreases. As a matter of fact, I only heard of one Blue Marlin being caught this week, a small fish of about 200 pounds caught on the Cortez side out around the 1150 area. The Striped Marlin are another story though. It appeared that if you really wanted to catch a Striped Marlin all you had to do was wait. The fish were stacked up on the Lighthouse ledge, San Cristobal point and a few were on the Golden Gate bank again this week. Along with dropping bait down and drifting for them in these areas, boats were seeing more and more tailing fish on the surface, and getting more fish coming into the pattern when trolling lures. Over all though, the best method continued to be dropping live bait down 100 to 200 feet and waiting for a bite. As I mentioned last week, this is not my favorite method, but it sure does work. Trolling rigged Ballyhoo was also a great producer as long as there were fish in the area you were working. There are still a few Sailfish around to go with the Marlin, but not in any great numbers. The Striped Marlin have been ranging in size from 50 pound little guys to 180 pound fish with the average right around 110 pounds.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: There is still a lack of schooling Tuna in our area, even though once in a while a boat will find porpoise with Tuna on them. One of our clients this week was trying to get a Marlin on his Fly Rod and while looking for the right fish they found a pod of Porpoise that held tuna. When getting one to strike the fly proved unsuccessful they put out a live bait and brought in a nice 70 pound fish. Other boats soon arrived and for a little while there was some action. This has been the situation this week, at least to the south and the west. For boats going up to the Cortez side and working the Gordo Banks, there are still some nice big cows being caught, but as always, you really have to put in the time and effort to get one of them. Chunking with Bonito and Skipjack while chumming with Sardinas has been the preferred method for these freight train tuna. Farther up the coast there is still some action happening on the high spots as long as the wind is not blowing. There were a couple of really good days this week according to boats that made the run from here, but the earlier you arrived the better, and boats fishing out of San Jose did much better than boats out of Cabo as it is at least an hour closer for them.
DORADO: The Dorado action dropped off quite a bit this week, probably due to the cooler water as the fish move and follow the warmer temperatures. Not that there were no fish, there just were not the numbers or concentrations we were seeing several weeks ago. As an example, boats fishing short trips close to home had a difficult time getting limits this week. It took a concentrated effort and a full day working the shoreline between Cabo and Todo Santos for one of our clients to come in with 9 very nice fish. Hard work as he said and the fish were scattered. It was steady action all day long with the largest fish going 35 pounds, several in the 25 pound range and the rest between 12 and 18 pounds. Slow trolling Ballyhoo in an area where a fish had been hooked up sometimes produced another fish, but the fish were not concentrated. The normal method of keeping a fish in the water as a decoy to bring in other fish in the school did not work well this week. Fishing Frigate birds was a good method, as always, of getting hooked up to a Dorado, but as the water cools the chances are just as good that the birds are working Striped Marlin as they are of the fish being a Dorado.
WAHOO: The Wahoo bite slowed down quite a bit this week as we are going into the new moon phase, but there were still a few fish caught and more lost. The action as always was just off the rocky points and drop-offs of fish that ranged from wee-hoo’s to 40 pound fish.
INSHORE: More and more Sierra are beginning to show up locally and while small at 3-5 pounds they have been biting when the schools have been found. Add in a few early Yellowtail to 20 pounds, a few red Snapper to 15 pounds and a few grouper to 20 pounds and the traditional inshore fishery is begining to shape up nicely. Still, most of the Pangas are fishing slightly farther off the beach, taking advantage of the continued Dorado bite and the close proximity of Striped Marlin.
FISH RECIPE: Check the blog for this months recipe!
NOTES: Whale season in on its way, traditionally between Christmas and Easter, but there are a few showing up now. We finally got our Christmas tree up and have been watching specials on TV, getting into the spirit of Christmas. It’s sometimes hard to do when the weather doesn’t change! If you are thinking about coming to Cabo for a vacation and want to fish, check us out on our website, all we do is fishing, no tee-shirts sales, bait or gear, we concentrate on fishing!
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