CABO FISHING REPORT NOV/DEC 2012
FEW BILLFISH BUT BIG, BIG TUNA HIGHLIGHT CABO'S TOURNAMENT SEASON
October is the month for fishing tournaments in Los Cabos. It starts with the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament and ends with the Bisbee's Black and Blue. This year saw a nice number of team entries but those tourneys that focus on billfish didn't see a tremendous amount of action. Minimum weights were hard to come by and a couple underweight marlin came to the scales. Here's the wrap up:
LOS CABOS BILLFISH TOURNAMENT
Biggest Billfish: 483lb Black Marlin
Biggest Tuna: 227lbs
Biggest Dorado: 42.2lbs
Biggest Billfish: 583lb Blue Marlin
Biggest Tuna: 314lbs
Biggest Dorado: 54.8lbs
BISBEE'S BLACK & BLUE
Biggest Billfish: 465lb Blue Marlin
Only one qualifying fish came to the scales!
The weights of the billfish in those three tourneys were decent, the number of billfish that came to the scales was low. Past years have seen billfish to over 900lbs so the 465 to 583lb fish logged this year was a bit of a disappointment. Nonetheless, winning checks were nice payouts including Team Frantic Pace's check for $2,396,800 in the Black & Blue.
The real news this tournament season was the number and sizes of yellowfin tuna. Over a dozen tuna passed the 200lb mark in the three tourneys listed above, but the cow of the 2012 season came during the Western Outdoor News Tuna Jackpot with a second day fish that tipped the scales at 372lbs!! Even bigger than that was the new world record yellowfin caught south of Cabo San Luas aboard the vessel, El Suertado, meaning "Good Luck". Angler Guy Yocum of Dana Point had his eye on setting the new record all year long and it paid off after a few days out at sea about 180 miles to the south. Guys catch weighed in at 427lbs taking the old record down, but it also took the $1 Million prize in Mustad's "Hook a Million" contest. Quite a feat and quite a reward. These impressive catches of yellowfin tuna have put Los Cabos on the map as perhaps the world's greatest yellowfin tuna fishery. We're sure that more and more big tuna lovers will be making plans to visit the Gordo Banks which is where the big fish came from.
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 2012
Look at our seasonal fishing chart for Los Cabos above and you'll see that November and December offer up good to excellent fishing for dorado, black, blue and striped marlin, sailfish and tuna. We're seeing conditions outside the norm for the last few years – those conditions being warm water that's clean and cobalt blue, some well defined temp breaks near banks and structure spots and an influx of bait with the first green mackerel of the year showing up around the Golden Gate and San Jaime banks.
What's that mean, you ask? It means we could very well be in for one of those banner Winter bites that can only be described as truly epic. The last time we saw conditions like this at this time of year it manifested an incredible striped marlin bite with double digit days at the Golden Gate and, believe it or not, into the hundreds when some diehard fishing nuts took to the Finger Banks further north and came away with counts as high as 197 stripes in a single day, on a single boat!!
On the Sea of Cortez side of the Cape, we'll be working a couple of areas, namely the Gordo Banks, Cabrillo Seamount and the 95 and 1150 spots. Those areas all hold fish year-round but can be especially productive in Winter. Tuna and dorado are prime targets but deep-dropping for snapper and grouper as well as early season yellowtail is always an option. The key is to ready to change tactics if your target species isn't biting. With big tuna making as impressive a showing as we've ever seen – some folks calling it the best tuna fishing Los Cabos has ever seen – try and get a hold of some sardinas. Getting these big fish to bite can take some time and work and chumming with sardinas then using chunk baits or live bolito down deep is the winning ticket. Just don't under estimate the potential for a cow tuna taking your bait so heavy line and heavy leader on 80W or larger reels is a good idea.
Looking further down the road into January, 2013 we expect to see a nice Winter yellowtail bite develop, often just outside the marina over rockpiles and structure near Land's End. Striped marlin will most likely be the hot ticket but don't leave out the possibility of the rogue black marlin making an appearance and these late season fish tend to be big. Come February and March, be on the lookout for swordfish sunning themselves on top and be ready with a pitch bait on heavy rigs. That'll wrap up our forecast for now but check back often as we're always adding fresh reports whenever we get into a great bite or when we hear good things from our fishing friends down in Los Cabos.
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