Gordo Banks Pangas
San Jose del Cabo
May 27, 2007
The month of May continues to be a bit of a disappointment for local businesses, as crowds have been below normal levels, but for the people that are visiting the Los Cabos area they have been treated to excellent weather conditions and this week the offshore fishing also started to show promising signs of improvement. There were moderate breezes out of the north west and for the most part anglers reported very ideal ocean conditions, particularly in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, where the majority of sportfishing fleets are now concentrated. Throughout most of this area the water temperatures were now averaging from 72 to 78 degrees and in recent days the clarity is becoming much better, with clean blue water now being found from Desteladera to north of Los Frailes. This week the local offshore hot spots were from Chileno to around the Desteladera Bank.
Live bait supplies were adequate, with a mix of mackerel, caballito, mullet and sardinas being available. The new jetties off of La Playita˘s Puerto Los Cabos are attracting large schools of baitfish, with caballito, mullet and sardinas all equally abundant. Roosterfish, jacks, sierra and various pargo species have dominated inshore action. The majority of the roosterfish are in the 8 to15 pound class, but some much larger specimens up to 50 pounds were accounted for in recent days, the best technique has been slow trolling with mullet or caballito close to shore, we look for the roosterfish action to break wide open in the next couple of weeks, as this is the time when these gamefish are at their peak in the Los Cabos area. Scattered schools of dogtooth snapper and pargo colorado were now being found close to the rocky shorelines, we look for this action to become more consistent in the next month as well and remember to not underestimate the power of these brutes, they can easily reach the close proximity of the rocks and cut off even the heaviest of tackle.
With the warming inshore water the sierra action has started to fade compared to how it was, but still many are being hooked into, most of them under five pounds, the sierra seemed to have become more line shy have not been so eager to hit baits rigged with wire leaders, preferring straight monofilament, which makes if a bit frustrating with the actual strike to fish landed ratio.
Striped marlin continued to be the most common fish found offshore and this past week the bite improved compared to the last couple of weeks, fish were found spread out over a wide area from Chileno to Desteladera, over the weekend the best action was found from La Fortuna and Desteladera. At times they were seen tailing on the surface and free jumping, though often it required repeated attempts in order to entice them. Slow trolling bait and having blind strikes proved to be productive, also trolling various rigged lures in combination with dead baits worked well. The majority of the stripers were weighing 80 to120 pounds.
Dorado continued to be very limited, though with the cleaner and warmer water there were a few more of these fish being encountered in recent days. It is time that the government takes some immediate action to halt the illegal drift net and set line commercial activity that has been going on in areas further north in the Sea of Cortez, this has definitely been contributing to a noticeable decrease in the dorado populations for the past couple of seasons.
Finally there were some reports of yellowfin tuna on the local fishing grounds, namely the Desteladera area, where over the weekend there were tuna found feeding on this Bank. One commercial panga from La Playita found these fish, they accounted for one yellowfin in the 100-pound range on Saturday and this was along with a box full of smaller specimens. These same pangueros told a story of loosing a much larger tuna after a three-hour battle on heavy tackle, they saw this fish at one time near the boat and estimated it to be close to 300 pounds and then shortly after, due to extreme pressure, they broke the monster off. After a long absence this is encouraging news that these yellowfin are finally making an appearance within range of local fleets.
The day of June 1 is when the Mexican National holiday of 'Dia de La Marina ' is celebrated. The village of La Playita traditionally has the largest fiesta in the area, with the Puerto Los Cabos marina project now nearing completion they have been very busy constructing the new area where the activities of crowning the queen and having all night dances will take place, needless to say the local are all very enthusiastic about this coming event. There will also be the local annual Dorado panga fishing tournament that takes place on Sunday, June 3.
The combined panga fleets from La Playita sent out 58 charters for the week with anglers accounting for an overall catch of: 12 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 3 mako sharks, 78 roosterfish, 15 pompano, 13 pargo colorado, 8 dogtooth snapper, 18 cabrilla, 88 sierra, 6 dorado, 8 amberjack, 18 jack crevalle, 32 Mexican bonito, 132 yellow snapper and 14 yellowfin tuna.
Good Fishing, Eric