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Cabo marlin, big tuna gone wild

Stripers have moved down from pileup in Mag Bay and Finger Bank and that has meant hooking and releasing 20 marlin a day just offshore from the Lighthouse if you have the stamina; Big tuna are still on the porpoise outside Cabo with 200 pounders being landed, reported Dreammaker Charters, topped by a 259 pounder at the Jamie Bank 


In a report today, the 27th, from Pisces Sportfishing’s Rebecca Ehrenberg, the billfish bite continues this week not only at the Finger Bank 50 miles up the Pacific side but the bite is closer to the Cabo area, and dorado numbers have climbed drastically as well. Those looking for tuna have also found them, as we see again this week large tuna of almost 200 pounds still being caught by our boats. 

"It's another great week of fishing here in Cabo; kicking off a winter season like we haven’t seen in a long time!" said Ehrenberg.


She added that the biggest and best news of the week was the seizure of a commercial fishing panga and fishermen that were capturing and killing marlin illegally at the Finger Bank by CONAPESCA -- Mexico's fish and game department --  and the Mexican Navy. 

"Our boats fishing the Finger had seen these boats many times harpooning marlin and using other illegal techniques to catch and then sell them — even though they are a species that are exclusive for sport fishing," said Ehrenberg. " Although our crews reported these sightings, legally there was no way to do anything unless they were caught in the act.”

She added, “This week, our sport fishing industry and government worked together to finally take action. Of the 4 pangas that were fishing and killing vast amounts of marlin illegally one was caught. And although they managed to dump much of what they had caught, 8 marlin (only the body, as heads and tails were cut off) were seized along with the illegal fishing equipment. The panga is in government custody and the fishermen have been detained. This is a big win for sportfishermen, CONAPESCA and Conservationists alike.”


Now for more on the catch-and-release fishing at the Finger Bank. 

"We had Pisces 31-foot Ruthless head up there this week and  catch and release 21 striped marlin in one day, the fish around 120 pounds each," said Ehrenberg. "Anglers were David Pewitt and Leah Dienger from Texas. The Rebecca also hit the Finger this week, landing 15 striped marlin between 100 and 140 pounds each on mackerel and sardines, Anglers were Bob, David and David Sandwich and Donley Sowders from Seattle, Washington.

The Bill Collector also had a solid  week, she said, not only at the Finger where they caught and released 12 striped marlin from 100 to 180 pounds on mackerel, but also later in the week, with anglers Tim and Scott McCulloch from Castle Rock, Washington. They landed 5 striped marlin between Golden Gate and Gaspareno on mackerel. All fish were released. Thanksgiving day, which also happened to be Tim’s 61st birthday, they headed out again, this time looking for tuna. They landed 7 yellowfin total,including a nice 132 pounderby Tim!  All other were about 25 to 30 pounds each. They headed out to the 220 Spot to find them. 

TIM MCMULLOCH on his 61st birthday (and Thanksgiving) weighed in a tuna at 132 pounds, while fishing aboard the Pisces Bill Collector.

A few days before that catch, Pisces British  anglers who fished the whole week before  and landing a 415-pound blue marlin on the Andrea, landed  another  nice blue, this time of about 180 pounds on mackerel about 21 miles out from the Old Lightouse. They also landed an impressive 190-pound yellowfin on a guacamayo lure at about 12 miles out. The Brits  were Dave West, John Bowman, Mark Jones and Steve Murphy. 



A 180-POUND tuna caught aboard the Pisces Andrea

Others found luck with tuna as well, even when not targeting it specifically. Pisces 27-foot Boston Whaler BajaMark,for example, caught2 nice yellowfin tunaof about 12 pounds each on cedar plug lures. They also landed1 dorado of about 15 lbs on a petrolero lure and 1 striped marlin of about 120 pounds on mackerel, which they released. Still, 2 silky sharkstook their mackerel bait, and they were released. They fished about 34 miles south, with anglers David and Leah from Texas onboard.   

"The newest addition to the Pisces fleet, the  52-foot Cabo Free 2 Play, made its debut with an impressive day of fishing, even though anglers only wanted to fish about three hours!" said Ehrenberg. "Well, Free 2 Playmade it count for Billy Gowen and Jay McGraw (yes, that Jay McGraw) who took their small children out for some fun. Captain Alan Garcia managed to find the kids some well-suited, pint-sized marlin, perfect for their first ones ever caught! They landed 2 marlin total,one of about 30 pounds and the other about 50 pounds. These hit on ballyhoo at the Old Lighthouse. They kept close to shore and had fun with the small game, landing another 30 small fishwhich they released."


 In other Cabo actionCapt. Mike Tumbiero of Renegade Mike Sportfishing in Cabo reported the fishing for striped marlin is off the charts now that the fish have moved closer to town. The action at the Finger Bank and areas farther north like Mag Bay has been going off, but the fish have moved down into waters just off the lighthouse and 20-fish days are possible — if your arms hold out.


“We had a great day of marlin fishing with 7 marlin released by 11 a.m. and the clients called it a day even though we were scheduled for a full day,” said Renegade Mike, one of the most popular and skilled captains in the area. “No telling how many we would’ve released if we would’ve stayed out another four hours. Marlin fishing is really picking up and we expect December and January to be very good.” 

And on Tuesday, the 27th, Tumbiero skipped the marlin and went after the tuna, and scored a big one swimming with the  porpoise on the outside. The yellowfin was weighed at Griselda's Smokehouse scale and weighed 186 pounds. 

THE RENEGADE MIKE scored a big tuna in the porpoise on the outside, the fish being weighed at Griselda's Smokehouse scale and weighed 186 pounds. 


MARLIN ACTION OFF Cabo has moved closer and in numbers not seen in several years. This action, with seven fish hooked and released by 11 a.m. just 12 miles off the Arch came on the charterboat Renegade Mike with Mike Tumbiero at the helm.


THIS 259-POUND yellowfin was caught at the Jaime Bank by Thomas Slaughter of New Jersey aboard the Dreammaker. It took him three hours, 11 minutes.

 Tumbiero scored a big tuna in the porpoise on the outside, the fish being weighed at Griselda's Smokehouse scale. It weighed 186 pounds.

In other words, it’s time to get back down to Cabo for striper fishing, and also the big tuna. The nearby banks are holding some big fish, the biggest reportedly a 259 pounder by Thomas Slaughter of New Jersey at the Jaime Bank aboard the Dreammaker, but the majority of the 40 to 80 pounders and a several cows over 200 pounds are working the porpoise schools with flying fish baits, Yummee Lures and various other methods. The action has not diminished on the yellowfin since the Nov. 7-10 Cabo Tuna Jackpot accounted for eight tuna over 200 pounds topped by a 272 pounder and many more in the 150-pound class.


THIS 247 POUNDER was caught by top Gordo Banks Fleet pangero Chame who turned his customer Kelly onto a great experience. Gordo Banks Pangas out of Marina Puerto Los Cabos had a tougher week than normal due to winds and the full moon but some bigger tuna were landed in between the mix of 40 to 80 pounders. One other tuna caught by the panga fleet was a 208 pounder.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas confirmed that the Pacific side was giving up some amazing striper fishing, and the big tuna are still in play, including two over 200 pounds weighed in at the weigh station at Marina Puerto Los Cabos.

Brictson filed a Saturday report that the Thanksgiving week was up in tourist numbers with great weather, although visitors felt more wind, blowing out of the north as well as the south.

“This contributed to rougher ocean conditions for anglers, at times limiting options and opportunities,” said Brictson. “Water temperatures were in the 78 to 81 degree range. Crowds of anglers were slightly less than previous weeks, due to tougher conditions and it being the time we see a decline in anglers, as there usually is between holiday periods.”

Overall the fishing was more scattered. On the Pacific side’s banks of the Jaime, the Golden Gate, the 95 Spot and the Finger Bank there was “incredible, wide-open action for striped marlin, not seen like this for many years,” he said. “All the way from Mag Bay, to Finger and Golden Gate Banks, more than 20 marlin per charter was reported. Fleets from Puerto Los Cabos Marina were mainly fishing the grounds from the Gordo Banks, to Iman and San Luis, as far north as Vinorama. These areas were producing yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo.”

“The tuna action was less productive this most recent period, north winds made drift fishing even more challenging, being swept off the spot so fast and then having to reset. Full moon period also never seems to help the yellowfin tuna action, though tuna were still being caught every day, but more like a one, two or three per boat average. Sizes ranging from small footballs, to 40 to 80 pounds and there were also two yellowfin tuna over 200 pounds landed this week, one a 208 pounder and the other 247 pounds.

“Wahoo were striking on the grounds from Iman to Vinorama, the best odds for enticing strikes were on slow trolled baits, such as caballito and chihuil, some ‘hoo were also taken on higher speed trolling lures, sizes ranged from 10 to 40 pounds. No huge numbers, but some more fortunate anglers landed as many as four or five wahoo, other anglers lost that many strikes without landing one, that is how wahoo fishing can go. We look for this bite to improve in coming weeks, as crowds and heavy boat pressure lighten, should be a great December.

“Early in the week we saw more dorado action, particularly later in the morning just south of Punta Gorda, this is where bait schools were attracting hungry schools of dorado, boats arriving on this scene were quickly able to limit out on nice quality fish as large as 20 pounds,” said Brictson.

“Surprisingly roosterfish were still roaming the shoreline, most of these were smaller juvenile fish, fun sport on light tackle and please remember to always catch and carefully release these game fish. We heard of at least one snook being landed off of the beach in front of Marriott Resort.”

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 162 charters for the week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 3 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 115 dorado, 84 wahoo, 125 yellowfin tuna, 18 bonito, 22 white skipjack, 15 red snapper, 8 yellow snapper, 11 cabrilla, 6 sierra, 16 roosterfish and 140 triggerfish.


ELIJAH AND TAMMY Rush from El Cajon, Calif. fishing with Tailhunter Sportfishing were able to get a nice tuna, some dorado and some pargo for the cooler under cloudy skies at Muertos Bay.

LA PAZ —Touch and go is about the way to describe this area’s action. As Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter described it, “It wasn’t as bad as it has been when it’s been windy and rough with port closures. Actually, it was pretty nice overall. Sun’s out and a nice time to be in town with daytime temps like a postcard in the high-70s to low-80s and night time temps in the high-60s. Breezes kicking up to about 15 mph, but mostly later.”

He said snowbirds are in full flight to the area, and the charter business is pulling in folks from Minnesota, Canada and North Dakota.

“No matter how ‘bad’ our weather is, the only snow you’ll find is in a margarita glass,” said Roldan. “But, by the same token, not many folks are fishing. Almost no one, as a matter of fact. The folks coming to town are looking for sunshine and putting their toes in the sand.”

One duo had only one day to fish but made it a good one as Elijah and Tammy Rush from El Cajon were able to get a nice tuna, some dorado and some pargo for the cooler under cloudy skies at Muertos Bay.

Roldan said that while fish were still around, the waters are still rougher than normal.

“In fact, last week several days the port was closed to all boat traffic coming or going. So, even if it’s calm in the bay, it can be crazy outside. Even inside the bay it can be churning,” said Roldan. However, Tailhunter did get a few folks out. On the days it was really windy, they stayed on the beach.

“If it was moderately windy we were still able to fish inshore for some cabrilla, snapper, bonito and jacks,” said Roldan. “Weather permitting, if we could get just a little outside, there’s some dorado and tuna still hanging out. Live bait has been an issue because of the rougher weather pounding the shallow bait areas so we’re using mostly dead bait or lures lately.”



THE PACIFIC SIDE is still churning out a nice mix of yellowtail and bottomfish. Here, K&M charter customers on a 2-day run scored yellows and rockfish, and broomtail groupers were the targets of Lawrence Quigley of Fishworks clothing at Abreojos where he has a home.

SAN QUINTIN/ABREOJOS — K&M Sportfishing with Oscar Catian at the helm out of San Quintin Bay had some killer trips on the their 25-foot Parker for clients on a two-day run, loading up on rockfish and yellowtail. In another report, Lawrence Quigley of Fishworks clothing had a phenomenal day of fishing broomtail grouper off Abreojos, releasing several beauties near his surf/fishing getaway home.

LORETO – Rick Hill of Loretotours.com reported, “We had a mix of weather this week that felt more like winter is around the corner. The water is still warm enough (78) to give us good counts on late season dorado with many in the 15- to 20-pound range. These fish were probably the dinks we were releasing in June! Cabrilla, roosterfish and lots of snappers continue in the mix.” 

Outpost Charters reported that over the weekend the charter boat Cast 'N Reel's owner Jay Yadon took his father John Yadon out beyond Catalan Island to the trench and found tuna under the porpoise. Not many, but some, and Yadon said that would be the season's final foray into the tuna grounds for the charter company based out of Marina Puerto Escondido as the water is cooling. 

JOHN YADON on the Cast 'N Reel got into the tuna over the weekend on the outside trench area.  OUTPOST CHARTERS PHOTO


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