Friday, February 17, 2017
Down the Mexican Coast
The biggest news this week was the catch of a 104-pound bluefin tuna caught by Alan on the Excel while returning from a long-range trip.
The fish was reportedly caught off a spot of crashing tuna around 135- to 150-miles south of San Diego and out to the NW of San Martin Island…Fish Dope
Yellowtail fishing is slow at Coronado Islands. There is a little sign at North Island along with a few nice bonito but for the most part all that is biting around the Island is rockfish, whitefish and a few lingcod.
The rockfish are coming from an area out to north and the east of Pukey Point.
There is also good rockfish action to the SW of South Island and on the Upper Finger Bank at the 71 Fathom Spot and the 27 Fathom Spot…Fishdope.com
From the Tijuana Bull Ring, south, it’s still on the slow side. There are a few sand bass and the odd sculpin coming off the IB Pipe but no volume. Just a few fish for those who work very hard at it. The lead head and squid combo and the plastics like the 5/8th-ounce RED Crab Hookup Bait is working best…Fishdope.com
Local fleet boats in Ensenada score near limits on bottom fish at 90-feet. …Sammy Susarrey Amador
The word is nearly all, if not all, of the boats planning to make the run down to Colonet on Friday evening have canceled due to weather concerns.
San Quintin . . . Report pending.
Did great this week at Tano’s camp…Alejandro Salazar
The Upper Sea of Cortez Bahia De Los Angeles road update; we left San Diego and crossed the border at 11:00 a.m. Went into the big X-ray machine and then had our gear inspected. It took a little longer as it seemed the agent was a ‘newbie’ but on the road and headed south soon after.
They are still working on parts of the road past Santo Tomas but it is not much on both sections and the bypass is fairly smooth. We spent the night at Jardine’s and called up a regular BD poster who joined the Zooboys at the restaurant. Captain Juan of San Quintin shared fishing stories with us and we made plans to hopefully cross paths down here in the bay this summer.
1. Coming out of El Rosario as you head up past the bridge there is a long section of moderate potholes. The shadows make it a little difficult to see them so going a little more slowly is suggested.
2. Starting at El Marmol the potholes again appear but they are mostly minor but a real long stretch of constantly on the lookout all the way in to Catavina.
3. Vado on the north side of Catavina was previously flooded and was not in good shape. There is supposed to be 1/2″ to 1/3″ inches of rain here on the bay Saturday so I believe that this vado might fill again as the storm moves around.
4. Vado on the south side of Catavina was recently scraped and posed no problem as it was fairly smooth.
5. I almost memorized the potholes (some major) end around KM 200 but they picked up again after a small repair section and we followed them in to about 7 to 10 miles from the turnoff.
6. Road in to the bay was in very good shape and the bridges are done.
7. If you saw the road to ‘nowhere’ after Odile, you know it just ended. They have brought the berm up and paved some of it but it is single lane only and has a significant amount of gravel spread out.
8. The bridge by Cpl. Garza’s sign is complete!! It is smooth on both ends as well.
9. Bridge into town has been completed and is smooth as well.
10. Road out to Playa Tranquila where the Zooboys reside is in excellent shape…Don Weir
Down at Laguna Ojo de Liebre, “Fingers” made another appearance this season! She is a very friendly unique whale with her disfigured half fluke…Shari Bondy
Down Vizcaino way, at Ascension, La Bocana and Abreojos . . . nothing notable happening.
In Loreto, it’s been a mixed bag with good weather all week.
The bite up north at Pulpito has slacked off encouraging many boats to explore other rock piles. South of Carmen Island a fair pick on cabrilla and yellowtail under 15-pounds was happening mid-week.
El Bajo and Six Mile Reef got most of the attention. A few hookups happened early then shut off as quickly as it started. The general game plan down in this neck of the woods is to work Punta Perico and Perro after the first spots fizzle.
Similar results at most spots with no one place making people jump for joy.
If you have some first-timers or rookies needing a little practice, the spot to visit is just outside of the bay on Coronado Island.
The shallow reef is crawling with triggerfish. Fishing cut bait with the barbs pinched down is the ticket for both an easy release and technique training.
Still catching fat 10- to 12-pound huachinango on a few rocks off Punta Lobo but no yellowtail over 15-pounds. No big fish all week but fish tacos are no problem!
The recent rains have chewed up some pavement near Ensenada and San Quintin but no damage farther south. No problems with gas availability or demonstrations. Lots of gray whales on the Pacific side but still another week or so before the big blues are boiling off Loreto (we pray). …Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing
Fishing was good. Left Newport for Ensenada to check into Mexico and then out 200 miles to Isla Guadalupe, home of white sharks and incredible geology. Large yellowtail were wide open with some 70-pound yellowfin tuna. We took computers, school supplies for the little school and radios for the fishermen. We visited the village and the airport from WW II at the top of the island…Paul Fruchbom
Then 450 miles to Bahia Magdalena, which was thick with humpbacks, we caught halibut, corvina and bass from the dinghy and then went 25 miles up into the mangroves, a tricky navigation in only 9-feet of water in places, but the captain knew the track.
Went clamming with great success and lots of shells for the grandkids. Then off to Cabo and finally docked the boat at her 6-month home in San Jose del Cabo…Paul Fruchbom
At Magdalena Bay, Puerto Lopez Mateos is again enjoying these beautiful specimen of gray whales. …Rodrigo Garcia
Check this out. I keep telling folks they don’t have to go out very far. Jerry Siegel was with our amigo, Gary Wagner, staying at Gary’s Rancho Costa in Muertos Bay. Trolling a Rapala for cabrilla in 40-feet of water when he hooked a striped marlin! They were not able to release the fish, but all the meat was donated to the local orphanage…Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International.
At East Cape, John Ireland reports “normal spring weather” in 2017.
Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, San Jose del Cabo commented that they are now in the middle of the unpredictable month of February and last week weather patterns felt more like late springtime, this week conditions were cooler, more typical to what they usually would feel like, with low temperatures close to 50-degrees and highs in the mid-70s, still very pleasant conditions compared to areas across North America. A new resource of larger sized sardina had been found to the north, off of San Luis, which is directly inshore of the preferred fishing grounds.
So now we will be waiting for surf conditions to reside some so the bait can be netted again, in the meantime anglers were relying on what bait was available, some caballito and squid. Also it is time to start using yo-yo style jigs off of the bottom structure. With ocean temperatures now in the 69 to 71-degree range, it is the season where charters are commonly targeting a variety of good eating bottom species and this is what is going on now.
We are seeing better catches of red snapper, yellow snapper, amberjack, yellowtail, cabrilla, triggerfish and bonito. Still a little up and down from day to day, though this fishery is showing promise of getting on track, after not showing much activity through last month. Fishing grounds from Palmilla, La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis all had better signs of action recently.
The yellowtail been smaller sized, most of them under five pounds, though at least we are seeing them showing up and we are optimistic that lager sized fish will move in soon. A mix of leopard grouper, red and yellow snapper, amberjack, bonito and triggerfish has rounded out the bottom action, many of these fish are striking on yo-yo jigs and others on various whole and cut baits. One amberjack of 80-pounds was reported, though most of the ones we saw were more in the 10 to 15-pound class.
With the billfish bite being very limited now off of the San Jose del Cabo area and the dorado bite being dead as well, the highlight for any surface action has continued to be the yellowfin tuna. Last week the tuna were found off the Cabo San Lucas arches, this week the local sportfishing charters have been concentrated back on their normal grounds to the north of Punta Gorda, with the Iman and San Luis Banks being the better options. Yellowfin tuna up to 50-pound class were caught, though the average size of the yellowfin were more in the 15 to 25-pound class. These fish were biting sardina, when they were available, also on strips of squid and the yo-yo jigs. Catches ranged from one or two fishto five or six, not off the map wide open, but nevertheless good for this time of year, when we often do not even see any tuna. A few wahoo were seen free swimming and were also hooked into, resulting in cut lines, a bit surprising to see these fish still hanging around in the cooler water, most of them would be in southern waters at this time.
Not much action close to shore now, this is the time for sierra, so far just a few here and there, most charters have been out trying for the tuna or bottom species. Cooler water now for roosterfish, though there is always a chance. Considering the water temperature, the conditions have showed cleaner bluish water through much of the area, spots of greener currents in places.
The bright, full moon of the past week here in Cabo San Lucas did not help to restore the billfish bite and neither did the rapidly changing water temperatures throughout the entire area and on both sides of the peninsula.
Cabo Climate: A near-perfect sunny week with a single port closure day on the 13th, and until the weekend rolled around and turned it to rain. Daytime temps averaged 72.5 with the cooler days coming toward the weekend. Night time temps averaged 56.4 for cooler mornings all week long, (consider a light jacket or rain gear for the weekend). Humidity ratio is 75.2%.
Bob Bantz and his grandson Grant catching jack crevalle and yellowfin tuna on super light tackle…Grant Hartman
Sea Conditions: Surface breezes on Monday thru Friday at 10-11 mph and flowing mostly from the southwest. Saturday, winds picking up at 21 mph and blowing out of the south and changing on Sunday to the west at 17 mph. Rain on Saturday and Sunday with rougher sea conditions. Mixed up sea conditions throughout the week and changing water temps along both sides of the peninsula. About a 5- to 7-mile span of 70 degree water from the Finger Bank to the Golden Gate Bank and down across the outer Jaime Bank existed with cooler water both inshore and offshore from there. There was about a 10-mile block of 72 degree water about 5 miles to the southwest of the Jaime Bank.
Cooler water from Todos Santos extending out to the southeast of Cabo San Lucas to about 50-plus miles or so is mostly all in the upper 60s. Cabo Falso to Cabo San Lucas and out to about 10 miles or so is all at 71-72 degrees. Cabo San Lucas to the upper end of San Jose Del Cabo is at 69 degrees. There is a 10- to 15-mile block of warmer water surrounding the Gorda Banks at 72 degrees and then, north to Los Frailes is all at 70 degrees.
Best Fishing Area: Golden Gate Bank and outer Jaime Bank for the yellowfin tuna with fish weights to about 30-pounds.
Best Bait/Lure: Live bait working well for the inshore roosterfish and smaller artificial lures, (similar to hoochies) for the yellowfin tuna.
Live Bait Supply: The live bait supply remains good at the $3.00 per bait rate…Larry Edwards, Cortez Charters.