CABO FISHING REPORT SPRING 2014
STRIPED MARLIN NEVER LEFT
Spring has sprung and the fishing in Los Cabos is great. This is not your normal winter to spring transition we're seeing. If it were, we would have seen the billfish move out of the area not expected to return in decent numbers until late May. Simply not the case for 2014.
While we did get some winter storm activity, none of it was strong enough to influence water temps with 72 degree water about the coolest you'd find. Pockets of warmer water into the upper 70's and temp breaks at current lines made conditions really good for locating fish... and the fish of the season has been striped marlin! To keep things interesting, a few sailfish have been caught as well. Like I said, not a normal year.
Dorado are also biting, not huge fish but decent. Most are being caught inshore but the occasional school runs across trolled lures 10-20 miles out and those fish are bigger, some passing 30lbs. Wahoo are in the mix, too. 50lb models have come to the docks in both Cabo and San Jose del Cabo.
Yellowfin tuna really aren't being targeted since the runs to get to them have been long and the fish small. However, when the water is as warm as it's been, anything can happen. A near 200lb tuna was caught by a pair of local La Playita pangeros the second week of April!
Get out early and hit structure spots for bottom dwellers like cabrilla, red snapper, pargo and yellowtail and you'll be a happy camper. Great eating and great fighting but you really need to be on the spot at gray light.
Last, roosterfish and sierra. It should be too late in the year for Sierra but the toothy suckers are still hanging around making for great surfline fishing from boat or shore. The roosters aren't supposed to be here yet, but they are. Pacific side surfishing trips are paying dividends and until you've caught a roosterfish from shore, you haven't really fought one!
That's it for now. Tight lines and screaming reels.
MAP SHOWING BEST FISHING LOCATIONS OFF CABO SAN LUCAS
NOTES ON OUR LOS CABOS FISHING HOT SPOTS MAP
All nine locations marked on our map are within reach of most full day charters that operate out of the IGY Marina in Cabo San Lucas. Those leaving out of Puerto Los Cabos in San Jose del Cabo are best off working the fishing grounds around the Gordo Banks, Cabrillo Seamount, the 1150 and Santa Maria Canyon. Running from San Jose to the Pacific side of the Cape is a long haul, and while it can be done, you'll have a hard time getting a charter boat to make the run even if you pay a fuel surcharge.
CABO FISHING CHART - BEST TIMES OF THE YEAR FOR TOP CABO GAME FISH SPECIES
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We put our fishing calendar together from data collected over the course of nearly 30 years of personal experience fishing out of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and the East Cape region of Southern Baja. The chart gives the best times of the year to target specific species but it's not unheard of to run into conditions that favor off-season species in any given month. We've come across swordfish in cooler green water when chlorphyl levels were much higher than normal in May, June and July... times of the year when they're simply not supposed to be here. Yellowtail that are normally found in good numbers in late Winter have popped up in late Spring into Summer as evidenced by an exceptional bite that developed in the East Cape for shore fisherman. The point is you really never know what might come into play when fishing down here in Los Cabos. That's why we always suggest having a wide variety of setups available so that you're not caught with gear that's too heavy or too light for the bite that presents itself. A selection of rods/reels from 20lb to 100lb mainline is never a bad idea.
CABO SAN LUCAS, LOS CABOS FISHING FORECAST FOR WINTER / SPRING 2013
A quick peek at our seasonal fishing chart (above) and you'll see that February and March offer up a nice mix of species you're likely to encounter. Dorado, sierra, yellowtail lead the way but striped marlin are still in the area in numbers high enough to give anglers a decent shot at them as well. March brings what is usually the best time of year for swordfish in Los Cabos. What makes sword's so fun in Baja is that they're often spotted up top sunning themselves while looking for a meal. There's been a good concentration of bait including mackerel up around the Golden Gate and Finger Banks and those schools of bait appear to still be moving south. With them will be a continued procession of gamefish including swordfish but don't rule out the possibility of a late season black or blue marlin popping up here and there. The one's that hang out tend to be big fish, like the recent catch of a grander blue in January.
Tuna normally head for warmer waters this time of year but there's still been a decent shot at finding schools of yellowfin running with the porpoise to the south. You might have to run pretty far to find them but it could be well worth it. Charter boats have been getting into some decent sized tuna from 30-50lbs as late as the the third week of February on the outside with schools of football sized fish found closer to shore... once again, associated with porpoise. Dragging a cedar plug in your trolling spread might not be a bad idea.
Yellowtail are starting to show, they're just not all that big yet – 10-15lb fish are taking jigs yo-yo'd over structure but there have been some over 30lbs taken in the past week. Up in the East Cape about an 90 minutes north of Cabo is where the bigger models are showing pretty consistently. Esaul Valdez at Hotel Buena Vista Beach has caught quite a few in the 25-40lb class casting from shore this week. Looking further down the road into Spring, 2013 we expect to see the Winter yellowtail bite continue to improve and expect that March/April will prove to be good to excellent fishing for these tasty, hard fighting creatures.
Inshore, Sierra Mackerel are the stars of the show. These toothy fish are striking slow-trolled rapalas and hoochies very consistently on the Pacific Side of the Cape and that bite is starting to go pretty well on the Sea of Cortez side as well. By March we expect you'll be able to target them very successfully just about anywhere you find a sandy stretch of beach near rocky points. Places like Migrino Beach on the Pacific will be loaded with schools holding 4-8lb fish so if you don't have much luck offshore, ask your charter captain to hit a few inshore spots on the way in. A bag full of sierra filets makes for great ceviche and a couple filets sauteed in butter and garlic round out a fresh seafood dinner very nicely.
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