FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
March 4 – 17, 2016
SYNOPSIS: Happy St. Paddy’s day! I have good news, the fishing has improved a bit since my last report two weeks ago. Inshore has gotten better and I expect for the offshore action to improve soon as well! Scattered Marlin and Tuna, few Dorado and Wahoo, decent Yellowtail and Sierra, a few big Roosterfish and scattered bottom fish.
WEATHER: Our daytime highs have varied between 75 and 88 degrees and the nighttime lows between 62 and 67 degrees. We just finished up three days of overcast skies, but had clear and sunny conditions prior to that. Last week we did have what was described as a “dip” in the jet stream affect us with winds that gusted to over 40 mph. Around the middle of the day the winds had stirred up so much dust and sand that it was difficult to see the water from the hills behind town. Since then we have had mostly light breezes, with it picking up just a little in the afternoon. As of today our prevailing wind is from the West-Northwest.
WATER: With the exception of last Tuesday and Wednesday the swells have been around 2-5 feet on the Pacific side and 1-4 feet on the Cortez side of the Cape. On those two days the wind had really kicked the water up and we saw swells on the Pacific side that may have been 7-9 feet. The Captain closed the port to vessels under 40′ on Tuesday because of the high winds and choppy conditions, but it was opened on Wednesday morning. Now the good news: Last week saw ocean temperatures about 5 degrees above normal, and I believe that temperature difference has been one of the reasons the fishing has been off. It looks like a combination of the winds from last week (small effect, but there) and the strong current flow from the Northwest has moved the cooler waters we expected into our region. There has been an overall drop of 2-3 degrees. Last week report I did we were seeing 74 degrees on the Pacific side and 75-76 degrees on the Cortez side of the Cape, this week we are seeing 71-72 degrees on the Pacific and 72-73 degrees on the Cortez side. As of today, the water on the Pacific side within two to three miles of the beach is a bit off color but not bad and water out past that distance is a clean blue.
BAIT: We are finally seeing some numbers of Mackerel available, the slightly cooler water sure helped here. Other than that, live bait availability has been pretty much limited to scattered species such as green jacks and tortillas. I did not hear of any live sardinas available in Cabo, but there was some freshly dead smaller ones being sold in gallon zip-locks. Live bait cost remained at $3 per bait, I am not sure what was being asked for the dead sardinas. Some boats were using frozen ballyhoo and squid strips.
BILLFISH: Striped Marlin fishing has been off and on with it being a matter of the right place at the right time with the right bait or lure. Most of the boats are not getting hooked up to Marlin, and if they are it is just one or two fish. A few boats have done well on occasion, the best I am aware of was three releases on one day. The cooler water on the Pacific side was the area to work, and the farther north you got the better things seemed to be with more fish being seen and a better hook-up percentage. Live bait was king, and Mackerel was the best bet. Boats working north had good luck tossing bait in front of tailing fish while nearer to home the boats pretty much relied on drifting deep dropped live baits over the high spots. This also resulted in some small Mako Sharks and bigger Blue Sharks being hooked.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Even with the cooler water we have not seen much of a change in the Yellowfin Tuna catches. Even though these are highly migratory and do not spend a long time in our area we usually get some good action this time of year. Unfortunately, and perhaps because of the number of purse seiners we have seen, the schools have been small and sparse. When pods of porpoise are found, the tuna normally associated with them have been absent and the porpoise very shy. This often happens when they have been worked by the seiners which will set nets around the pods in order to catch the tuna traveling with them. The tuna that are being caught are small ones in the 8-20 pound class, with a few larger ones on occasion. My fingers are crossed that this will change soon.
DORADO: I have only seen a few Dorado flags in the past two weeks, and none of the fish in person, the water may just be too cool for them.
WAHOO: Pretty much the same with the Wahoo as with the Dorado, but it may also be because of the new moon phase we just went through. For some reason, Wahoo seem to be much more strongly affected by the moon phase than most other pelagic fish. The coming full moon next week may make the difference and allow anglers an improved chance of success on these tasty speedsters!
INSHORE: As in the last report, most of the fishing action and success has been had by anglers focusing on inshore species. I know of some folks who have gone out and caught little, but I think that may be more due to tide conditions than lack of fish. Boats that have based their efforts around the tides, fishing offshore and trolling between the high and low tide and fishing the beach during the hour of high and low slack have done well. The numbers of Yellowtail being caught has risen quite a bit, with some boats getting three to six fish in the 15-20 pound class. Live bait drifted just off the bottom had the best results, but working iron did well also. Numbers of Sierra are slowly improving as well, but you need to find the schools to get good action on them. Looking for breaking shoals of baitfish just outside the breakers is the best way to spot the schools, and the earlier in the morning the better. There were plenty of small Pompano and Triggerfish for anglers looking for action, and I did see some very nice Sheephead caught as well as some medium sized grouper and small snapper.
If you are planning on booking a fishing trip soon (or later in the year), contact me to see what I can set you up with. I offer fishing charters for people with any type of experience on the water at reasonable rates, and service is the name of the game to me!
My Music of the week a single song by Chris Joss titled “Tune Down”. Check it out with a search on YouTube!
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.
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Meanwhile, Tight lines!