WEATHER: Good morning everyone, and hello from mostly sunny Cabo San Lucas! We did have a few days this week with overcast skies and yesterday (Saturday the 14th) we actually had a spit of rain from some weather that moved on top of us from the north. Heavy clouds with some lightning and thunder gave pause to those looking to golf, go to the beach or head out on the water, but it all moved away overnight. This week our daytime highs reached 88 degrees while the daytime lows dropped to 65. Those heavy clouds from yesterday also caused a short lasting shift in the wind and it blew from the south rather hard for about four hours, a few boats had to battle the elements on the way in from up the Pacific side. For the majority of the week we had great weather, so good that if it was like this all year round we would be overcrowded!
WATER: The water continues to cool down a little at a time, which is good news for our typical winter fish, but is chasing away the warm water fish we still have lurking about. The coldest water around is at 68 degrees and covers the area between the Golden Gate Bank to the San Jaime Bank just south of the Golden. Inshore along the same area it is almost 70 degrees while the shore area to the north and south is 72 degrees. Water to the south of us is the warmest in the area at 73 degrees close to shore and rising to 75 degrees farther out at 20+ miles. On the Cortez side of the Cape within 20 miles of the beach it has been a consistent 73 degrees. Water clarity has improved across the area and we were seeing very few of the green bands this week. This banding normally happens as our water changes from cool to warm or the other way around with the cool water holding more plankton and chlorophyll, thus the greener water.
BAIT: Bait this week started to include some Mackerel, which is a good sign for the upcoming few months as these baitfish signal the cooling water and hopefully the return of the Striped Marlin. Most of the bait however has been Caballito and Green Jacks, like last week. There are also Sardinas now available from the commercial boats in San Jose.
BILLFISH: Until the water cools to a consistent 70 degrees and the Mackerel show up in numbers we are likely to continue to have slow fishing for Striped Marlin. A few boats this week were able to find hungry fish, but most boats saw no sign of them. Most of the ones found were found on the Pacific side in the cooler water. As a good sign of things to come, the water on the Pacific has slowly cooled, and we can see this trend working its way down the coast so hopefully soon the bite will pick up. Meanwhile, the fish that have been found have averaged 110 pounds with a few reported in the 150-180 class, most of them caught on a live bait thrown to a tailing fish.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: There was not a lot of change this week in the Tuna fishing as it is still an on-one-day, off-the-next-day type of fishery. Almost all the action to be had was from the Cortez side of the Cape, up off of the Punta Gorda area and the high spots such as the San Luis and Inman banks. That is a very long run for the boats out of Cabo, so most of the action was reserved for boats leaving from San Jose. Also, since it takes a long two hours to get there (including the stop for Sardinas in San Jose) most of the San Jose boats had already set up on the spots leaving the Cabo boats hoping to get some leftovers. Good news is that they are showing up and are not absent like last week! If conditions continue, we might be seeing these Tuna in the Cabo area in a couple of weeks. Most of the fish that were caught we hooked on live Sardinas drifted over the high spots.
DORADO: Dorado are a fish that prefers warmer water than we are seeing now, so it is no surprise that the numbers being caught are dropping off. As was the case last week, the larger numbers being found are to the north of the Golden Gate Bank along the beach. A good catch this week would have been two or three fish, boats fishing offshore or along the beach closer to home were lucky to get one Dorado, let alone two. Many boats this week came in without flags, having only drawn a strike or two all day. It is sad to think of, but that is the way fishing is. We will continue to see a few Dorado being caught for the next few months, but the numbers keep decreasing as the water temperature drops.
WAHOO: Surprisingly we are still seeing Wahoo being brought in, and some nice ones at that. Well, maybe not all that surprising since we have just gone through the full moon phase this week, and Wahoo do bite better on the full moon. The surprising part is that we are catching them, we normally do not get these numbers in the Cabo area although they are common in season around the Mag Bay and Ridge area. These fish are running from 12 to 45 pounds and are being caught in a variety of ways. The most common has been as an accidental catch while fishing for Dorado and Marlin, the second most common has been while drifting live baits, either Mackerel for Yellowtail or Sardinas for Tuna. Naturally most of the fish hooked have been lost since both of these methods require the use of a monofiliment leader, but still some anglers have lucked out! High spots and drop-offs are the preferred areas for these fish and trolling them at higher than normal speed with deep swimming plugs on wire leader has had the best retention rate once the fish are hooked up. Being a pack type of fish, often more than one will strike at the same time, causing the cockpit to get hectic.
INSHORE: Inshore has definitely been the best fishing this past week with plenty of Snapper, some good Sierra and a few large Yellowtail being found. Fishing from 400 to 50 feet of water with live and cut bait was the best producing method, letting the baits down to near the boattom with Yellowtail on live bait deep, Snapper on cut bait in medium depths and Sierra on hootchies and small rapallas in the shallows. Any of these areas and methods were likely to produce other fish as well with an occasional Amberjack and Grouper clamping onto a bait, and an occasional attack by passing Wahoo. I had clients out on a Panga on Wednesday who managed to get three or four Sierra as well as nine nice Red Snapper, a very good thing since their friends who went out all day on an offshore cruiser only managed to get one Dorado hooked up, which jumped three times then came off.
NOTES: I feel an explanation is in order as to why I have not done a report in so long. My beautiful, wonderful wife Mary was diagnosed with Brain Cancer in January of 2013. We spent 18 months fighting the battle before we lost on August 10 of last year. With the travels for surgery, radiation and chemo, as well as the needed 24/7 attention I had to let the report, as well as the business, take a seat out of the way. I am back now and plan to continue where I left off.
The information I use in these reports are obtained in many different ways, some from personal experience, some from my clients and Captains who are out every day, and some from on-line subscription services such as Fish-Track, BuoyWeather and SurfZone as well as HurricaneZone. I, and only I, am responsible for any errors made, as I sift all this information and compile it.
Once again, I will be posting my Music Of The Week every report. This is music that I have either just discovered and want to share (it may be a band or album you are already familiar with, but new to me) or one of my old favorites I have just “re-discovered”. In any event, take a moment to check it out, you may find a new favorite!
This weeks Music of the Week is the album “Change In My Pocket”, a 1990 release from Bullseye Blues and Jazz, by Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets featuring Sam Myers. Great music by some great artists, its a wonderful album to sit and listen to! Thank you very much for checking out my report, and if you would like, check out http://www.flyhooker.com, I have just re-vamped the web site and you may like it. Still under development, but there will be new photos, articles, tips and techniques every week starting next month.
Meanwhile, Tight lines!
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