WEATHER: It’s not cold enough to snow so I guess we will not be having a white Christmas in Cabo, but sometimes in the early morning hours it sure feels as if the white stuff could come drifting down any minute. That’s what happens to you when you live where it is warm all year long and then the temperature drops, your blood thins out and it doesn’t take much to make you feel chilly. As our early morning temperatures have dropped toward the 60 degree level this week we have gotten into the “winter” mode and long-sleeved tee-shirts, long pants and socks have come out of their summer hibernation. Our days have been warming up to the low 80’s, a nice, comfortable temperature. We had a windy start to the week but as we progressed toward the end of the week the wind shifted and only started to blow in the afternoons. This made for very comfortable days on land and choppy rides home when on the water. We had partly cloudy skies this week with no rain.
WATER: With the partly cloudy skies this week it was important to get water temperature information from boats that were fishing and after talking to a lot of Captains, and checking out the satellite shots it was clear that cool 76 degree, green water had moved toward us from the north in the Sea of Cortez. At the end of the week the water outside San Jose was off-colored, very green, but the fish were still biting! As you approached Cabo the water warmed up to 80 degrees and became blue again. There was a fairly well defined break off of Palmilla Point that ran north-south. With the winds we had most of the week conditions offshore were a little bouncy, not really enough to be dangerous, but for some beginners, or inexperienced boaters it was a bit much. For those that did not experience sea-sickness, anywhere was all right, but for those with tender tummies fishing along the shoreline from the Lighthouse on the Pacific side to San Jose on the Cortez side was best. Swells were not large at only 2-5 feet on the Pacific side and 1-3 feet on the Cortez side, and since the wind tended to not come up until late in the day, going north on the Pacific side was not a problem.
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: Striped Marlin are the billfish to be looking for this time of the year as the water has cooled off a bit too much for any of the other species to be comfortable, but there is always the chance of a late Blue or Black Marlin or a stray Sailfish or two. The Striped Marlin bite that had been going on and off at the ledge off of the pacific side lighthouse slacked off this week and it was much harder to get a fish that was hungry. Most boats that were having success on Marlin were finding them tailing on the surface and tossing live bait to them, or having the fish come up into the lure pattern and dropping back rigged Ballyhoo or live bait. A few of the fish were aggressive enough to bite on lures, but they were in the minority. The bite was spread out as well with action on Marlin occurring anywhere from a mile off the beach on the Pacific side to out on the San Jaime Banks and all the way back toward San Jose on the Cortez side. There is a bit more baitfish showing up so hopefully the bite will continue to improve, but for now I think the success rate is averaging 50% or slightly better for boats targeting Billfish.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: While a few big Tuna have been caught this week on the Gordo Banks, it has been a slow bite, and most boats from Cabo have not bothered going to the trouble of traveling 1 ½ to 2 hours to get there, leaving the area to boats working out of San Jose. For the Tuna in our immediate area there have been a few pods of Porpoise up past the El Arco area inside the Golden Gate that have produced football fish from 10 to 20 pounds for boats that are first to the area. Farther offshore to the south there have been reports of a large pod of Porpoise holding in the area 20 to 30 miles out, and the fish have been better sized with a few to 100 pounds being caught. Of course with the winds picking up late morning it has been a bit choppy and hard to find them. Add in the fact that it has been an early morning bite and lady luck really came into play for boats headed in that direction. On these larger fish working lures or bait under a kite has really paid off, but the occasional nice Tuna on a lure has happened as well. The best result I heard of this week was by our friend Capt. Mike who caught 18 Tuna in one trip for his clients.
DORADO: Cool water (lord I hate to call 80 degree water cool) continues to hold off the Dorado bite, but they are still there and there are still limits being taken on a daily basis. The fishing is not wide open nor red-hot, but it has been a steady pick on fish that have run between 12 and 35 pounds with a few larger fish mixed in. As is normal with this species, finding working Frigate birds is a big bonus and trolling live bait under them really pays off. And of course there is the old decoy method of keeping the first fish hooked in the water in an attempt to attract others in the school. Since the schools are smaller and the fish a bit larger, getting just one other fish to come in is good, but there is always the chance of loosing the first fish hooked up! Other than that, just trolling live bait a mile off the beach or lures in the same area are methods that have worked well. My guess is that approximately 80% of the boats have come in with Dorado, and about half of them have had limits.
WAHOO: As the week went on the Wahoo bite improved. I was very surprised to find that they had finally arrived and boats were getting bit on a regular basis. It was not uncommon for a boat to get bit if they were fishing close to the beach and the drop-offs, but getting one to the boat was a different matter as these toothy critters really need a wire trace to keep them from cutting through the line. Either that, or a large hard bodied lure like a Rapalla or MMaurauder. Another trick that worked well was a horse Ballyhoo rigged behind a lure skirt and trolled wayyyyy back in the pattern, sometimes as much as a half-spool back if there were no other boats in the area. A lot of guys don’t like to do that as it takes so long to bring the lure in to check, but it puts the bait deeper in the water and far from the boat. I can’t argue with success and it’s one of my favorite methods.
INSHORE: Wind and swells along with stronger currents have slowed down the inshore fishing a bit, but there are still some small Roosterfish to be had as well as a scattering of small early season Sierra and Yellowtail. The bottom fish have been hard to get due to the current but a few Snapper have been brought in as well. The Roosterfish have been found along the coastline near Cabo Real while the other species have been found up past the lighthouse on the Pacific side and in the Punta Gordo are on the Cortez side.
FISH RECIPE: Check the blog for this months recipe!
NOTES: Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a great one and everyone stays safe for the season. We gave ourselves a gift this year and went to Los Barilles on Monday and had dinner then listened to violinist Alex DePue and guitarist Miguel De Hoyos play for two hours. Wow!!! If you want a sample check them out on u-tube! So of course my music for the week is their brand new CD, “Twisted Strings”, released this year. Have a great holiday and until next week, tight lines!
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