March 05, 2013
February is a period known for persistent northerly winds throughout the southern Baja Peninsula. This year the winds arrived early and were more persistent than normal.
This always creates rougher conditions for anglers offshore, and is a time when much of the more consistent fishing action is found in the more protected inshore areas.
Water temperatures were now ranging from 68 to 71 degrees throughout the zone. In March we can still have unpredictable winds, most often from the north. Though the worst of the winds have typically resided and we start to have warmer and calmer days. This is a seasonal transition period, winter to spring, great time of year to visit the area, perfect all around climate. There can be a wide variety of fishing opportunities available, from offshore, inshore, as well as bottom action.
Mackerel schools have become more scattered, caballito and some mullet are now moving into the area. Sardinas are schooling near San Luis and Vinormama, but with early low tides and some high swell activity it became a bit harder for commercial pangeros to net large quantities daily. Ballyhoo are also available for purchase and have been an option for enticing dorado.
Yellowfin tuna, up to 30 pounds were being encountered on the Jaime Banks, as well as other offshore areas, a long run for most charters and too far at this time for San Jose fleets. Offshore marlin action slowed the past couple of weeks, scattered fish, more billfish found off of the Pacific, than towards the Sea of Cortez. This is the month we will normally see the striped marlin moving in the San Jose del Cabo direction, we do expect to see this same pattern occur soon. No tuna found on the Gordo Banks this week and it was the same story on San Luis Bank, where the persistent winds made this area off limits most days.
Local fleets launching out of Puerto Los Cabos Marina reportedly found their more consistent action to be closer to shore, in the direction of Cardon, La Fortuna and San Luis. Sierras were more numerous than other species, these fish were striking on live sardinas as well as on rapalas and hoochies, some of these fish weighed up to 5 lb.
Dorado are off season now, but despite this there have been surprisingly quite a few of these gamefish still around, most of them close to shore where baitfish schools have been concentrated, compared to offshore where numbers were few. Some charters accounted for as many as 4, 5 or 6 dorado per day, average weights being 5 to 15 lb., with a few larger specimens mixed in. At times these fish preferred the larger sized ballyhoo baits, while other days the sardinas worked just as well, a matter of locating the schools, not large concentrations of dorado, but when found there was usually more than one.
Bottom action was limited, northern winds created tough conditions for nearly the entire past week, but there are quality eating fish available when conditions allowed, cabrilla, yellow snapper, barred pargo, huachinango and triggerfish were the most common species now accounted for off of the rocky structure. Anglers reported mixed success while using yo-yo jigs and various whole and cut baits. With forecast improving we expect this will open up some more options.
With spring time now just around the corner, everyone is anticipating a great time, The weather is absolutely perfect now, good to time to make travel plans. Crowds remain light at this time, but we are starting to see the first wave of spring breakers arrive. Whales remain very active throughout local waters, it has been an incredible whale season and soon these mammals will begin their migration to their northern feeding grounds.