All that's “fishy” from Loreto to Land’s End
Gary Graham-That Baja Guy
If you are into fun, excitement, money, and sportfishing, you picked the right month to be here. Beginning Oct. 13 and for the next 30 days, Cabo San Lucas will be the undisputed center of the universe for BIG MONEY/BIG FISH tournaments. More than $6,550,925 cash is at stake.
All of the events are based out of the IGY Marina, and the weigh-ins of the monster billfish, tuna, dorado, and wahoo take place at different scales. One only has to look for the crowds of spectators to find where the weigh-ins will occur.
Many have public registrations with vendor booths on the malecon surrounding the marina. Both Bisbee tournaments will be held in front of the Puerto Paraiso Shopping Mall entrance. The Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot has theirs in front of the Hotel Tesoro.
19th Bonnier Los Cabos Billfish Tournament Oct. 13-17: $642,300
19th Bisbee Los Cabos Offshore Tournament Oct. 17-20: $1,165,000
29th Bisbee Black and Blue Tournament Oct. 22-26: $3,693,625
2nd Pelagic Rockstar Tuna Tournament Nov. 1-3: $150,000
21st Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament Nov. 6-9: $900,000
Judging from the number of black and blue marlin being released recently, plus the cow-sized yellowfin tuna weighing over 200-pounds brought to the scale, and the ample number of dorado and wahoo being caught, the weigh-ins should be entertaining. It goes without saying, this 30-day period is a good time to be in Cabo to fish.
For the inshore gang, the smaller yellowfin tuna, skipjack, roosterfish, and even jack crevalle all add another dimension to the outstanding beach action for trophy-sized fish.
Up in the Sea of Cortez at Loreto, in spite of a little rain, the smaller dorado are dominating the catches – along with limits of reds, pinto bass, and firecracker yellowtail – plus a few smaller roosterfish along the shore.
At La Paz, if dorado were the target species, the fall fishing has kicked in. Typical of this time of year, the dorado can be found in numerous areas around Cerralvo Island, Espirito Santo Island, Punta Perico, Punta Mejia, and Bahia Muertos, as well as localized spots like the floating buoys.
The dorado are mostly up to 15 pounds, with lots of smaller ones getting released. There are a few larger fish up to 30 pounds also being hooked. Fishing can be a daily pick-pick-pick with only a fish-or-two here and there.
Or, it might be pandemonium if you hit a school, and the fish crash the boat with every rod getting bent simultaneously in a wild melee of jumping and fighting fish!
Not much in the way of tuna now, but that could be because the dorado are so easy to find and the tuna are either fast moving, or it takes full focus to chase them down or to find a spot, especially when the boats around you are all hooked up on dorado!
Of greater interest are the big dogtooth/cubera snapper that have shown up in the shallows outside of Bahia Muertos. Using whole bonito or needlefish as bait for these toothy armored beasts has them biting almost every day, although it takes an enormous effort and a lot of luck to pull one out of their rocky hiding places. Perhaps only one per day is getting back to the beach for the big photo session.
These fish have been 40 to 50 pounds or more, and one that weighed 68 pounds on the scale at the beach was just a few pounds short of the IGFA world record. Additional species lately included roosterfish, jack crevalle, big bonito, sierra, pargo, snapper, pompano, amberjack, and rainbow runner.
East Cape has transitioned from late summer to early fall quite nicely with sea temps holding steady at 85 to 88-degrees. The yellowfin tuna are still in the neighborhood, with some as large as 100 pounds. There are plenty of dorado spread out through the area with limits not being uncommon. Wahoo are few and far between now, while bill fishing continues to be extraordinary, blue and black marlin, mixed with the striped marlin, along with a few sailfish are being found in the warm water.
Closer to shore, big pargo, pompano, and Almaco jack have been taken off the bottom, and there are plenty of large roosterfish along the beaches in both directions.
At Puerto Los Cabos, the mainstay remains dorado and yellowfin tuna, an occasional wahoo, a limited mix of bottom species and some scattered billfish action. Significant boat pressure on these same grounds, combined with large concentrations of natural food sources, has caused the yellowfin tuna to be finicky. Best chances for the tuna were with sardina and strips of squid; a few also were striking on larger baitfish. Catches ranged from one to over five tuna per boat, weighing up to 70 pounds.
Dorado were found a bit closer to shore than the yellowfin; however, there are still scads of very small-sized dorado, with a lower percentage of keeper-sized fish in the mix. Sardina for bait was the best bet, but also trolling hoochies and feathers, as well as drift fishing with strips of squid worked.
Bottom fishing highlights included a few monster Almaco jacks to 95-pounds. A scattering of pargo, pompano, and triggerfish rounded out the bottom action. A few smaller-sized roosterfish were caught trolling inshore stretches near the local marina.
Marlin anglers were limited, as more anglers were now targeting the tuna; though a couple of black marlin hook-ups were reported; some big fish ended up being lost after hours of battle. Some smaller-sized blue and striped marlin were also reported daily in limited quantity.