Panga Fishing Los Cabos - Cow Tuna

tunastuna

Member
Nov 13, 2015
28
34
41
Houston, texas
Name
Diego
Boat
none wishing
Apologies for taking so long to post a fishing report. My buddy and I flew to Cabo from Houston. For the past three years I've been going to San Jose in September / October in search of big'uns! Last year I got a black marlin and this year year I was shifting my target towards cow tuna. This was my buddies first trip to Cabo. He's deep sea fished before, but only in Gulf of Mexico. We brought 3 50lb class reels loaded with 80lb mono, down with us along with an assortment of lures, leaders and terminal tackle.

Depart on Sunday 9/20/20. Absolute full flight from Houston to Los Cabos on United. All passengers play it safe and wear their masks.

9/21/20: First day of fishing with my good friend Captain Augustin "El Brujo" Pino on his panga Raha. We load up on sardines and head north. We make a quick stop at the inner Gordo, only to find a lobo patiently waiting for us. The lobos presence makes us join the rest of the panga fleet at Imman bank. For this first day we just want to get on some fish and feel the pull. The tuna had been biting pretty well off Imman bank. We arrive and start chumming with sardines and get two out. Immediately get bit off by a wahoo. Within 20 minutes, we've hooked into and landed two skip jack tuna. Augustin changes his game plan and wants to troll these as live baits for big black or blue marlin. He's the captain so of course we agree. We trolled the rest of the day without any further action. Enjoying the peace and quiet and new scenery on the water! Sure beats sitting in the house!


9/22/20: Second day of fishing again with El Brujo and out of Puerto Los Cabos. This morning it takes a little longer to get sardines. Again we head north, but this time to Vinorama, where the rest of the fleet is. We try catching tuna, dorado or wahoo, but it is slow. Not even skip jacks are biting. After an hour or so we head south to Imman Bank, where the fish where the day before. It is also slow there. After awhile, We get a call over the radio from Hugo, Augustin's brother Skip jack are biting on the San Luis Bank. We quickly head over there to discover skip jacks boiling. We quickly catch a few and also receive some chiwil from him. We begin live bait trolling for marlin or big tuna around te San Luis and Imman banks area. A little after 1pm our live baits all start acting funny and nervous. Eventually we hook into a dorado. While reeling in the dorado a few feet from the panga, a marlin takes a big rush and tries to eat it! It was so cool to see the marlin take a swipe. It wasn't a monster big marlin, but big enough for us. Such a cool sight to see. When pulling in the skip jack tuna for the final time, the one I'm pulling in has a clear bill strike mark on it's side and the leader is all roughed up. Looks like Mr. Marlin took a swipe but we missed it. Still a great day on the water and we have dinner.



Our dorado dinner in San Jose:


Water temperature in sea of cortez on the Imman, San Luis and Gordo banks was very warm, estimated to be around 88 degrees F!

9/23/20: Third day of fishing. However, instead we are heading out with Capt Jaime with Jessica sportfishing out of San Lucas. I had been in contact with Charlie Plum and Jaime about our preferences for this day. We wanted to get into big tuna out at the San Jaime, of course if the weather (wind) allowed.
Well it was a little breezy out on the pacific side but we continued nonetheless. We get out to the golden gate area and begin trolling and looking for the spinner dolphins and any bird activity. Water temperature in this area, golden gate & San Jaime banks was right around 84 degrees F.

The only cruiser in the area lets us know they found some dolphins using their gryo binoculars. We make our way over to them. There's dolphin everywhere, spinners and spotted but no tuna. After about 20-30 minutes the cruiser hauls ass off, to another pod of dolphin. We wait to hear if it holds tuna. They radio us and let us know they've hooked up. We get on the throttles and get there pretty quick. We begin trolling around looking for signs of the tuna with the school. We eventually get bit on the petrolero lure. Capt Jaime tosses a cabajilto (SP?) bait over the side. After 20 seconds it is inhaled. At this time we think the second tuna is the same class as the first, 35 lb football. I get the troller tuna landed. A decent sized foot ball. My buddy is trying his best with the live bait fish but can't get it budged. He gets frustrated and asks me to try. When I get the rod, I can immediately tell, this is not the same class of fish but much much larger. I hand the rod back to him and try to inform him of the upcoming stubborn long battle we have on our hands. After an hour or so, Capt Jaime says he thinks it's a 150-180 lb class fish. After 2 hrs we hand the rod to him to help give each of us a break. Capt Jaime can't budge the fish either. After about 30 minutes, he declares it's over 200 lbs easy. For the next few hours we each take turns fighting this fish. We hooked into this fish around 11:30am. We surpass the 5 hr mark, 6 hr mark and finally near the 7 hr mark. For the first time we see color. It is huge! I've never seen a cow tuna before. In the clear blue water, we can see it from so far. We tried to gaff it but missed. Of course the fish gets pissed and takes off. After about half hour we get it back to the boat. We try gaffing again, in the chaos of two Cow tuna novice anglers and only one captain, we somehow break the mono leader and the fish gets off the gaff.

Sadly we lose it at the side. Not the first cow nor the last to be lost so close to the end. That's fishing.

Capt Jaime is really fucking pissed. We've spent all day with it and lose it when it's so close, but hey it's fishing! We fought this first tuna on a shimano tiagra 30 loaded with 100lb braid for about 7.5hrs. Jaime estimates the size of this tuna is around 250 lbs!

After a minute, Capt Jaime looks forward and see the dolphins and birds have returned! His demeanor immediately changes. He yells for me to get the petrolero lure out for trolling. He rigs a new live bait rig, this time on a shimano 50lwrs also with 100lb braid, but on a rod with a lot more back bone.
We get ahead of the dolphins and the petrolero lure gets hit. I reel in that 30lb foot ball. While doing so, Jaime tosses the cabojilito out. After about 1 minute it gets smashed.

Hooked up with Second cow tuna at sunset!


We're back in battle again, however this time it's sunset and we suspect we've hooked into a cow again. After a few minutes our suspicions are confirmed when this second tuna pulls an insane amount of line off the reel. At least 60% of the spool has been taken on decent amount of drag. Jaime turned up the drag on this tuna because it was getting dark. This second tuna is fighting a little different than the first, more on the surface. Again we begin the rotation. The hours go by. Heading into the fifth hour, Jaime is on the rod. He plays around with the drag letting the fish run on low drag and then cranking it back up. It's getting near midnight. Finally we can see color even in the pitch black of the night. He reels the fish in close. We get the gaffs into the head. For this second one we were better prepared than the first and knew what type of chaos would occur. Eventually we got 3 gaffs in and the yells of joy begin. We pulled the fish in over the side and felt relief and joy. We begin heading into San Lucas, finally arriving at the marina around 1:30 am. Everything is closed and no one is around. We try our best to photograph our achievement. One hell of a day, more than 12 hrs of pulling on fish with Capt. Jaime and JessicaSportfishing!

One fatty tuna!




Capt Jaime was great! Tossing live bait to tuna school with cows in it at sunset is a little crazy from a panga but it was an adventure!

Here's a video of the second tuna absolutely ripping line off, after a few hours into the battle:
https://tunastuna.smugmug.com/Travel/Cabo-2020/i-KGjdqX9/A

Capt. Jaime estimates the tuna we landed to be 250lb+. We showed the photos to Augustin and he agreed!

9/24/25: We were supposed to fish this day with Capt Augustin Pino, but didn't show up since we didn't get back to our hotel room until after 3am. Augustin understood our pain and tiredness and we met him later in the day and made good with him. We paid him in full for the 3rd charter day since we cancelled on him. It doesn't help the pangueros haven't made much money this year. Him and his family need the money. He's been such a great friend and captain to me and my family for over 20 years! Augustin tells us the tuna and marlin on the Sea of Cortez side have lock jaw. The fish are there but the bite for some reason has slowed down. The gordobanks fishing report for 9/25/20 confirms the slowdown. Augustin thinks there;s too much bait in the water and the fish have too much to choose from. We spent the majority of the day resting and recovering.

9/25/20: Sadly we head back to Houston. Again another 100% complete full flight. Only one guy refusing to wear his mask while onboard the plane. Get through immigration and customs quickly and with no hassle. We were worried because of the recent Pres declaration.

In town, especially San Jose we felt very safe and the locals take wearing the masks seriously when it matters, indoors and enclosed spaces. I recommend to go, be cautious and respectful of the local population and enjoy yourself. The business could certainly use the money. Stay safe and healthy everyone!
 
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pescadorzih

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 1, 2012
186
63
PA
Name
Greg
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None
Jaime delivers, as usual!
Thanks for the report!:jig:
 

jig77

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 18, 2012
141
97
huntington beach
Name
michael
Boat
Mako 20'
Thanks for the report. That’s a great fish story. Congratulations on the cow. Captain Jaime sounds like a die hard fisherman, so cool!
 
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LarryHaynes

Love to fish!
Jun 22, 2010
879
134
San Antonio, TX, USA
Name
Larry Haynes
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None
Congratulations on such an epic day on the water. It takes an exceptional Captain to put you on fish like that, when everyone else goes home with a couple of football sized fish.

Jaime is the best, of the best in CSL...zero doubt!!!

Come on 19 October!!!

Larry Haynes
 

DH10

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 18, 2009
564
217
Pinedale WY USA
Name
Dave Harper
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17 Crestliner
That's fricken' awesome. There aren't many captains out there that would keep fishing like that after losing a fish after 7 hours! Seems like all the praise for Jaime her on BD is spot on!!
 

pele

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 20, 2009
767
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Ventura
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ken
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I found out the hard way about boats
wow-that's quite a story.Congrats!
 

jbarbosa

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Oct 24, 2003
276
189
San Diego, CA
Visit site
Name
John "Rio" Barbosa
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cabo panga
Maybe it’s the angle of the photo, but I’m not sure that’s a 250+ fish.
Great story though....might want to invest in a good harness and it won’t take so many hours next time.... Thanks for the write-up..!
 

swami 805

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 9, 2016
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Bill
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sunk it
Wow, that's dedication right there, not many if any would keep fishing so late. Great story. I'm sure Jamie's seen enough big tuna to be pretty spot on with the weight.
 

Charlie Plum

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 6, 2017
269
413
50
Minnesota
Name
Charlie Plum
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Carlos
Maybe it’s the angle of the photo, but I’m not sure that’s a 250+ fish.
Great story though....might want to invest in a good harness and it won’t take so many hours next time.... Thanks for the write-up..!
The fish they lost was over 250lbs, this fish came in so late at night , there as no way to scale it. It looks like a cow.
 
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curtisD

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 18, 2009
191
123
Or
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Name
curt
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43 Delta
Jaime is one of the fishiest dudes I’ve ever met. Ever.
I have a Jaime and big Tuna story. Told him I wanted a big tuna. Fished for awhile, he starts twitching. Throws throttles down, still with lures out. We run about 2 miles. I start noticing the birds, the the dolphin the big tuna jumping and a big frothy mess of white water. I hook a live bait, pitch it in the middle. Within one second I’m hooked up. Within 2 seconds, Jaime says “I put you in the middle of a tuna boil and all you hook is a fucking marlin!” Jokingly of course.
How he saw that dinner buffet going on from that far away and how he knew it was a marlin immediately still baffles me.
I’m a charter boat captain. I spend a lot of time looking at the horizon. He explained he saw a few different birds from different angles all looking serious heading towards the same spot.
 

Hector1

Hector
Feb 12, 2012
87
15
Ashley Heath, Dorset, UK
Name
Craig Harnett
Boat
None
Maybe it’s the angle of the photo, but I’m not sure that’s a 250+ fish.
Great story though....might want to invest in a good harness and it won’t take so many hours next time.... Thanks for the write-up..!
Nothing wrong with that harness - Black Magic harness was developed down in NZ and has accounted for many grander marlin and bluefin tuna as well as big yellowfin.
Probably one of the best in the world. I’ve got one myself.
Great fish and story anyway - Id be fishing with Jaime myself in 6 weeks if my flight from the UK hadn’t been cancelled because of Covid ☹ He just loves to fish!
 

Rubberhook2

Local Bluefin
Jan 19, 2007
5,188
715
San Clemente
Name
Tim
Boat
None
Hugo is pretty fishy as well and likes to troll small tuna for bait. I caught this 453lb blue from his true panga Caiman. Notice there is no fighting chair, all stand up fishing. Fish came up dead after three hours. Ate a small yellowfin on 50lb gear but had a 20lb dorado in its throat above the tuna so we can only guess it continued to feed after being hooked...


Scanned Photos 004.jpg
 

G-Spot

Captain
Mar 14, 2008
4,912
2,070
Salem/OR/USA
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John
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53’ Hatteras STEEL N TIME
Maybe it’s the angle of the photo, but I’m not sure that’s a 250+ fish.
Great story though....might want to invest in a good harness and it won’t take so many hours next time.... Thanks for the write-up..!
It’s not 250+...... it’s not even 250.... I’ve had two that were right at 252 and I’m 6’2..... the Fish were as tall as I am and nice girth.

It’s a nice fish, but they always lie..... When we caught a nice fish out of San Jose, they kept saying it was over 200..... we knew better... we pushed until the guy went and pulled out the scale and we hung it up... it was 160.....

They had an epic trip... the one you lose right beside the boat... of course you always think it was Godzilla.... who knows... it’s gone...

Congrats on an epic trip!
 

jbarbosa

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 24, 2003
276
189
San Diego, CA
Visit site
Name
John "Rio" Barbosa
Boat
cabo panga
Agree.....The one they’re holding looked 165-175 at the MOST to me..
The one they lost...? Well.... we all know the local captains down there apply that “San Clemente Mark-up”..... I think it’s part of their
Metric system..... Fish-Metric System....... :)
 
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Mr Main22

Shoot em & cook em
Apr 18, 2014
248
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Open Ocean
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Mr_Main22
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2110 Parker WA
Can anybody send me a roundabout how much it is to fish per day on a panga in cabo? thanks
 

G-Spot

Captain
Mar 14, 2008
4,912
2,070
Salem/OR/USA
Name
John
Boat
53’ Hatteras STEEL N TIME
Can anybody send me a roundabout how much it is to fish per day on a panga in cabo? thanks

$300-$800...... really depends on the day, time of year, and which Pangero you find... some guys are more hungry than others...

I fished a nice Super Panga out of San Jose, I think the boat was named Angel, the captain Patta (sp) means duck feet or something like that because he had big flat feet... Super guy! Not much English... Best price and he was a fisherman... we caught a couple nice ones... One was probably 150lb range... We caught fish on Jigged up squid, he chunked it up... Fished a Channel North of San Jose...
 
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G-Spot

Captain
Mar 14, 2008
4,912
2,070
Salem/OR/USA
Name
John
Boat
53’ Hatteras STEEL N TIME
Ive only paid $250 a day. That’s probably 15 trips.
We’re those 6 hour close in trips? To go out to Gordo Banks or some of the other big fish grounds, they are 12 hour trips.... I am doubtful you were offshore targeting cow tuna for $250 per day.... Sounds like an inshore troll gig to me... done lots of those... probably fish Pangas 50 or more times in multiple locations throughout Mexico and $150.00 is about the cheapest for a 6 hour trip...
 
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curtisD

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 18, 2009
191
123
Or
www.yahoo.com
Name
curt
Boat
43 Delta
We’re those 6 hour close in trips? To go out to Gordo Banks or some of the other big fish grounds, they are 12 hour trips.... I am doubtful you were offshore targeting cow tuna for $250 per day.... Sounds like an inshore troll gig to me... done lots of those... probably fish Pangas 50 or more times in multiple locations throughout Mexico and $150.00 is about the cheapest for a 6 hour trip...
Guy asked how much to fish on a Panga. Not how much to catch cow tuna.
I’ve fished Jaime on the Jessica around 10 times. It was $250.
Other separate pangas 200-250.
Yes, 6 hour trips.
Did I clarify??
 

G-Spot

Captain
Mar 14, 2008
4,912
2,070
Salem/OR/USA
Name
John
Boat
53’ Hatteras STEEL N TIME
Guy asked how much to fish on a Panga. Not how much to catch cow tuna.
I’ve fished Jaime on the Jessica around 10 times. It was $250.
Other separate pangas 200-250.
Yes, 6 hour trips.
Did I clarify??
Yep... it’s just this particular thread was about chasing cow tuna... Kinda relevant, unless you like to compare apples to watermelons... but hey... send they guy down with an unreasonable expectation...
 
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