Los Cabos Infrastructure Improvements Pave Way for Rapid Growth
Tue, Apr 25, 2017
Few places on earth have experienced as radical and overwhelming a transformation as Los Cabos, growing from a small municipality of 10,000 inhabitants in 1970 to a cosmopolitan international travel destination with over 280,000 permanent residents by 2015. The makeover has been remarkable, and would have been unthinkable without periodic, graduated improvements in both support services and infrastructure.
The first travel boom occurred in the early 1970s, thanks to major infrastructure upgrades: most notably the completion of the 1,000 mile Transpeninsular Highway from Tijuana to Los Cabos in 1973, and the inauguration of the international airport in San Jose del Cabo in 1977. Dredging also began on the Cabo San Lucas Marina in 1973, but was not completed until the mid 1980s, setting the stage for yet another growth spurt.
The third major infrastructure stage is underway now, with enhancements and advancements of airports, roads and marinas a seemingly necessary step to keep pace with an unprecedented explosion of high-end hotels and resorts. From Hurricane Odile in 2014 to the end of 2018, some 4,000 new hotel rooms will come online in Los Cabos, a 22% increase that will bring total room availability to over 18,000.
Improvements to the Los Cabos International Airport were in large part responsible for the record 4.2 million passengers in 2016. These enhancements include a new international terminal and a new FBO (fixed-base operator) for private jets. The smaller airport in Cabo San Lucas – traditionally the more popular landing spot for personal and corporate aircraft – has also seen upgrades, including the lengthening of the runway to 7,000 feet, and new navigational aids and air traffic control equipment.
In November of 2015, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto flew in to inaugurate a new 45 kilometer long toll road from the Los Cabos International Airport in San Jose del Cabo to central Cabo San Lucas. The new thruway alleviates traffic congestion along the Tourist Corridor highway that traditionally connects the cape cities, and significantly shortens the driving time between San Jose and the Pacific Coast pueblo magico of Todos Santos.
The projected 2o18 opening of the Four Seasons Los Cabos on the region’s scenic East Cape will be accompanied by the unveiling of yet another marina, adding to a collection that already includes world-class, mega yacht accessible nautical facilities in Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Los Cabos (a luxury development located just outside San Jose del Cabo, and the site of the area’s first Ritz-Carlton).
The proliferation of high-profile special events in recent years was made possible by two new state-of-the-art facilities: the Convention Center in San Jose, built to house the G-20 economic summit of world leaders in 2012; and the Pabellon Cultural de la Republica in San Lucas, which premiered in 2010 and now showcases the annual red carpet opening of the Los Cabos International Film Festival. The former hosted U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the latter Star Wars alumni Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor, among other Hollywood luminaries.
Photo courtesy of Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico.
Los Cabos Fishing Report – April 23, 2017
Sun, Apr 23, 2017
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Easter week is now past, businesses are back in operation after extended weekend break, though local schools still have this week off, will be returning Monday for classes. Spring break rush of tourists has tapered off and crowds are moderate now. Weather is ideal, clear sunny skies, high temperatures of about 85 degrees and winds have been light. Ocean water temperatures are ranging 72 to 75 degrees, areas of blotchy greenish water closer to shore, though north of Punta Gorda to Vinorama the clarity has been much improved.
The highlight this week was the yellowfin tuna action, fish in the 20 to 40 lb. class started to bite near Vinorama, about one mile offshore. Angers were using live sardinas, which in recent days were found schooling near the Puerto Los Cabos Marina jetties. Drift fishing and slow trolling baits worked, average catches ranged from 2 to 6 per tuna boat, good action considering this is early in the season for yellowfin.
The snapper action continued on the Gordo Banks and on other high spots, the key was obtaining red crabs for bait, also the drift was very swift at times, which made this style of fishing tougher. Still a great option to have, as these snapper are ranging from 4 to 12 lb. and are excellent eating. In recent days more boats were trying for the tuna action, since it had just developed again. Other rock piles such as Palmilla Point, Iman Bank. La Fortuna and San Luis Bank produced various numbers of amberjack, bonito, pargo and cabrilla, anglers working hard with yo-yo jigs were rewarded with an occasional amberjack up to 30 lb., but overall the numbers were limited.
The way the weather patterns are now, continuing warming trend, anything can happen on any given day, this week it was the yellowfin tuna, next week possibly striped marlin, wahoo or larger amberjack could appear. Things can change fast as we progress towards summer.
Heard of a couple of snook taken by shore anglers, also a few roosterfish taken by slow trolling baits near shore, one in the 25 lb. range. With more baitfish appearing along the beach stretches we should start to see increased activity.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 66 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 165 yellowfin tuna, 13 amberjack, 19 yellow snapper, 13 leopard grouper, 4 pompano, 6 roosterfish, 180 huachinango, 14 sierra, 14 bonito and 70 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric
GORDO BANKS PANGAS
Eric Brictson / Operator
Los Cabos (624) 142-1147
Cabo Summer Slam Fishing Tournament Returns in June
Wed, Apr 19, 2017
In Cabo San Lucas, big-game sport fishing goes hand-in-hand with big-money fishing tournaments. Bisbee’s Black & Blue is the ultimate payday for billfishing anglers – paying out millions of dollars annually – but cash-rich tournaments dot the local calendar, with virtually every season boasting a signature competition. This summer, it’s the Pelagic sponsored Cabo Summer Slam, AKA The Triple Crown of Sport Fishing. Over $100,000 in cash and prizes are expected to be handed out at the 4th annual edition of this now iconic bill and gamefish competition, scheduled to take place June 8–10.
The tournament kicks off in style with a shotgun start in front of Land’s End, the half-mile headland that marks the southernmost point of the Baja California peninsula, and serves as a de facto boundary marker between the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez. From there, teams will compete across four divisions, hoping to earn points for billfish releases (a category that includes blue, black and striped marlin, as well as sailfish and even swordfish), or by bringing in the biggest tuna, wahoo or dorado.
The prize money is largely dependent upon entry fees, which at the basic level are $1,500 per team (before the early bird deadline). As any veteran of the Cabo fishing circuit knows, however, much of the competition and a good bit of the money comes from daily jackpots. Thus, an “all-in” across-the-board entry will set teams back a smooth $10,000. For that , teams of up to four fishermen are eligible to take home the overall championship in one of the four divisions (which pay out 40% for billfish, 20% each for the major gamefish), plus reel in daily jackpots like the ever popular High Rollers 5k Billfish Release Jackpot.
The opening party for Cabo Summer Slam will be held June 8, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Baja Cantina on the Cabo San Lucas Marina. The beloved dockside bar and grill (and long-time Bisbees headquarters) will also host the post-tournament awards cermemony on June 10.
Early bird registration for Cabo Summer Slam ends May 1. For more information, visit the website at https://www.pelagicgear.com/blog/2017-pelagic-triple-crown-fishing-tournament-cabo-summer-slam/, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Pelagic Gear.
Los Cabos Fishing Report – April 16, 2017
Sun, Apr 16, 2017
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This is Easter week, through this weekend the entire area almost shuts down, as local families flock to the many beaches to enjoy their vacation time with family and friends. The weather is definitely cooperating, ideal climate now, lows near 60 degrees, quickly warming up into the 80s as the sun rises, winds picked up for a couple of days early in the week, but then laid back down and anglers enjoyed great conditions on the water.
Ocean water temperatures are in the 70 to 74 degree range, actually a bit warmer and clearer close to shore than it has been farther out. Most consistent fishing action recently has been found from the Gordo Banks, north towards La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis Bank. Main bait source the past week was red crabs, caballito and ballyhoo, not much effort put towards finding the schools of sardinas, since most charters were using the red crabs with good results for the red snapper. Surf conditions continue to be high enough that was more challenging for the bait netters to reach the areas where the sardinas are schooling.
The most productive red snapper (huachinango) action was found on the Gordo Banks, strong currents varied and it would vary from day to day as to where the better bite was found, either on the Inner or Outer Banks, also sea lions continue to be a nuisance, robbing more than their fair share of the catch. The whales have now pretty much vanished from our area, headed back towards their northern summer time feeding grounds. The unusual run of larger sized crabs continue throughout the region off of San Jose del Cabo, though the more usual smaller red crabs have been the mainstay for bait being use to catch the snapper. The fish are sometimes coming up near the surface, but more often holding in the middle of the water column. Average sizes ranged from 3 to 12 lb., these excellent eating fish are highly prized for commercial value as well and this has definitely been the main game going on now.
Minimal surface action was being found, a handful of yellowfin tuna to 15 lb. were taken on the troll earlier in the week, heard of one or two wahoo and a stray dorado offshore. No billfish action to speak of either, by the end of the month we expect to see improved surface activity, but in the meantime we will be concentrating over the bottom structure. A handful of amberjack, most of them under 15 lb., we saw one nice 25 lb. yellowtail, which was also taken on a red crab bait on the Inner Gordo Bank. Some yellow snapper, leopard grouper, bonito and triggerfish rounded out the bottom catch, anglers were using various whole and cut baits, as well as yo-yo jigs for this action.
Although we are not seeing many trophy sized catches recently, the fish that are being caught are of the very good eating variety, this season is turning out to be one of the better in many years for the amount of quality red snapper being accounted for. We expect we will start to see more amberjack and dogtooth snapper appear in these fish counts in the coming weeks.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 75 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 2 wahoo, 1 dorado, 8 yellowfin tuna, 1 yellowtail, 16 amberjack, 40 yellow snapper, 14 leopard grouper, 1 golden cabrilla, 560 huachinango, 9 sierra, 48 bonito, 12 mojarra, 70 black skipjack and 140 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric
GORDO BANKS PANGAS
Eric Brictson / Operator
Los Cabos (624) 142-1147
What Do The Masters Golf Tournament and Los Cabos Have in Common?
Tue, Apr 11, 2017
Sunday saw the concluding round of The Masters tournament, one of the golf’s four major competitions, and an annual rite of spring for North American sports viewers. Spain’s Sergio Garcia won in a playoff, but Fred Couples once again made a strong showing, as the 57-year-old showed flashes of the form that earned him the coveted green jacket at Augusta National back in 1992.
Couples has also been in the news for another reason: the start of construction on the Twin Dolphin Golf Club in Los Cabos. The 64-time professional winner is working with Todd Eckenrode of Origins Golf Design on the course layout, which is expected to be ready for play by late 2018. “We want this to be a course that all players can enjoy,” Couples said. “With its multiple sets of tees, it will vary in length and will feature undulating greens, dramatic elevation changes, impeccable fairways and natural bunkering.”
Named for an iconic Los Cabos resort that was open for decades on the same site, the Twin Dolphin Golf Club is set above scenic Santa Maria Bay, about six miles from Land’s End in the tourist corridor than connects cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
The March 28 announcement that ground had broken on this high-profile project added even more luster to an already unparalleled region for golf. Three of Los Cabos’ 15 operating courses are currently ranked among the top 100 in the world. Six were designed by Jack Nicklaus, who holds the all-time record for major championships with 18; two more were designed by Tiger Woods, who is second on that list; and one each was designed by major champions Greg Norman, Davis Love III and Tom Weiskopf. Woods, Norman and now Couples are all currently at work on new layouts.
In addition to the championship level 18-hole golf course, which is set within a larger 1,400 acre hotel and residential development, Twin Dolphin Golf Club will also include a full practice range, short-game practice chipping areas, practice putting greens, a full-service clubhouse, on-course amenities and service staff, and of course, as befits a former Masters champion’s signature design, caddies.
Want to tee it up in Los Cabos? Contact Los Cabos Vacation Rentals for info on luxurious but affordably priced villa accommodations and custom tailored “stay and play” golf packages.
Call Los Cabos Vacation Rentals 1-888-655-4548
Photo courtesy of Flickr user SN#1.
Los Cabos Fishing Report – April 9, 2017
Sun, Apr 09, 2017
With the spring season now officially arriving, belated daylight savings time also now adjusted, we continue to see increasing numbers of tourists, most schools have now taken off, or are in the process of their spring vacation break. Local schools will be out this coming week and this is also traditionally the period when families take extended time off from daily routines, majority of them going on beach camping excursions, hard to find locals that will be available to work this coming weekend, this is time to spend with family and friends.
Weather patterns have been very pleasant, still dropping down into the upper 50 early in the mornings, days have been mostly clear, plenty of warm sunshine, highs near 90 degrees and winds were moderate, southern swells are becoming more predominate in recent weeks. Businesses have been busy providing services for vacationers, a good percentage deciding to their luck at sportfishing.
With higher surf conditions, the bait netters were not able to reach the schools of sardinas, warmer currents, now up to 73/74 degrees, have brought in more caballito in the marina area, anglers are also using some ballyhoo and squid. Some bottom action is being found with yo-yo jigs and the open water trolling is starting to finally produce some action. The warmer current is now closer to shore, off of San Del Cabo and towards Los Frailes, offshore the water is cooler, down to 70 degrees.
The striped marlin action improved overall this past week, on and off action trolling with lures and dropping back baits, near the 1150 spot, also shifting north off of San Luis, encouraging sign to see some billfish activity, it had been very limited throughout winter, now every day you are hearing about people having opportunities at marlin. Also a few reports of dorado offshore. Yellowfin tuna are striking on hoochie type lures closer to shore near Iman Bank, smaller tuna to 15 lb. Some yellowfin to over 30 lb. were landed from the charters that tried drift fishing over the same grounds, strips of squid is what enticed these larger tuna, though this bite was sporadic, one day s few fish, the next day none.
This week the action improved as the water temperatures warmed, cleaner currents shifted closer to shore north of Punta Gorda and winds laid down. The grounds from Cardon, La Fortuna, Iman and San Luis all showed better signs of surface action, wahoo even became more active later in the week, striking on trolled skirted lures and Rapalas, weighing to over 40 lb., also striped marlin were hooked into and smaller grade of yellowfin tuna striking on lures. These same grounds produced a mix of bottom species, a few more amberjack showing up, striking on yo-yo jigs, one amber weighed in at 90 lb. Heard of one nice yellowtail and a handful of leopard grouper. The big red snapper bite on the Outer Gordo Banks faded out, as the unusual run of larger crabs diminished, commercial fleet has been imported the smaller pelagic red crabs for use as bait for the snapper, though when the bigger crabs were drifting to the surface, those are what really produced the larger grade of red snapper, locally referred to as huachinango.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 78 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 14 striped marlin, 15 wahoo, 2 dorado, 36 yellowfin tuna, 1 yellowtail, 17 amberjack, 24 yellow snapper, , 15 leopard grouper, 380 huachinango, 12 sierra, 10 mojarra, 30 black skipjack and 80 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric
GORDO BANKS PANGAS
Eric Brictson / Operator
Los Cabos (624) 142-1147
Gastrovino Takes Food and Wine to Another Level in Todos Santos
Mon, Apr 03, 2017
Todos Santos has two distinct event seasons. The first takes place during the first few months of each year, when the Pacific Coast pueblo magico hosts a series of cultural festivals celebrating music, art, writing and film. The second begins in May and extends through the summer months, with the focus shifting to the culinary sphere.
Gastrovino is the first and best of these palate pleasing events, an annual food and wine festival that pairs fine fare and lively entertainment with wines from Mexico’s premier growing region, Valle de Guadalupe outside Ensenada. The festival, which returns May 5 – 7, was the brainchild of the owners of La Bodega de Todos Santos, a local boutique that specializes in wine and olive oil.
Over the past five years, Gastrovino has continued to grow in reputation, with auxiliary events like a Friday dinner at the historic Hotel California leading up to the main event on Sunday: a food and wine extravaganza in the town’s plaza publico, complete with musical performances and a silent auction to benefit local causes.
This year, the Friday dinner at Hotel California has been transformed into an elegant White Ball, adding fashionable accents to the traditional feast, which falls on Cinco de Mayo. Saturday brings a GastroTour of the beautiful downtown district, as well as a Blind Wine Tasting Challenge at Jazamango Restaurant, with prizes going to the top three finishers after a flight of 12 wines.
The main event Sunday starts at 2 p.m., and features performances from the winner of La Voz Mexico (a national version of the international television series The Voice), top regional chefs and winemakers, artists painting live, a circus show, and discounted prices on bottles of wine. As always, proceeds are earmarked for charity, with the majority going to the Palapa Society of Todos Santos (which supports children’s causes), and the rest to the restoration of Old San Juan Park. The “after party” starts at the Sky Lounge at Guaycura Boutique Hotel & Spa at 7 p.m.
Todos Santos is less than an hour by car from Cabo San Lucas. Ticket prices vary according to each event, and may be purchased at several locations around Baja California Sur: La Bodega de Todos Santos and Libreria El Tecolote in Todos Santos; Got Baja in La Paz; and the Wine Market and Galeria Pez Gordo in Los Cabos. For more information, visit http://gastrovino.mx/fest/.
Poster courtesy of Gastrovino Food and Wine Festival.
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Semana Santa and Mexican Spring Break
Tue, Mar 28, 2017
Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas is like a series of waves: first come the college students from Canada, then from the U.S., and finally from Mexico itself. The latter phenomenon is typically contemporaneous with Semana Santa – Holy Week, the week before Easter in the Catholic Church – a period in which not only students on mid-semester break, but often entire families take advantage of the holiday period to travel to popular beach destinations around the country.
For U.S and Canadian travelers, the important things to note about Semana Santa are the week-long closure of most banks and virtually all government offices, and of course the increased competition for accommodations of all kinds. Beaches are also much busier than usual. On the plus side, Semana Santa offers an interesting glimpse into the Catholic core of Mexican culture, and provides another good reason to visit the Los Cabos region’s lovely, historic churches.
Parroquia San Lucas Evangelista is the oldest church in Cabo San Lucas, dating to 1950, when a local school teacher named Amelia Wilkes – namesake of the plaza across the street – donated the land upon which it is constructed. There are several interesting features of this church. The bell in the bell tower dates to 1746, when it was consecrated to San Ignacio, and historical documents were placed in a bottle and built into one of the columns at the main entrance.
Parroquia San José has a much older history, its roots in the Jesuit mission built at what is now Plaza Misión (where the site is marked by a plaque) by Fr. Nicolas Tamaral in 1730. Tamaral was killed by the region’s indigenous inhabitants, the Pericú, after an ill-fated ban on polygamy in 1734. The mission closed in the 19th century, and Parroquia San José was built in 1840. Eight years later it played an integral role in the Siege of San José del Cabo during the Mexican-American War. A hurricane badly damaged the church in 1918, and it was not fully restored until 1940. Among its most famous features is the tile mosaic above the main entrance depicting the death of Tamaral.
This year, Semana Santa begins on Sunday, April 9, and culminates with Easter Sunday the following week, on April 16. Both Parroquia San Lucas Evangelista and Parroquia San José offer bilingual masses at noon on each of these Sundays.
Photo of Parroquia San José courtesy of Thelmadatter.
Cheese and Wine Festival Benefits Local Children
Tue, Mar 21, 2017
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Los Cabos has burnished its wining and dining reputation in recent years with an ever increasing series of spectacular culinary themed events, from the enormous annual Sabor a Cabo festival – which features upwards of 50 top local chefs – to chic tasting affairs like ultra-luxury property The Resort at Pedregal’s summertime Art of Taste.
For connoisseurs of cultured milk products and fermented grape juice, however, the standard setter remains the yearly Cheese & Wine Festival, the 5th edition of which takes place this Saturday, March 25, from 6 to 10 p.m.
Proceeds from the high-end foodie fete, as always, go to benefit the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, which for the past 13 years has been working to provide access to pediatric oncology, cardiology and intensive care programs to local children with serious medical issues.
The backdrop for this gustatory celebration will also be familiar to attendees of earlier incarnations: the elegant and expansive Salon Hacienda ballroom at Sheraton’s 270-room showpiece resort in the Cabo del Sol development at Punta Ballena, a whale-shaped point overlooking the Sea of Cortez between cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
Sheraton’s Hacienda del Mar property has long been famed as a special events destination (Hacienda del Mar hosted each of the previous four Cheese & Wine Festivals, and also welcomes participants and guests for both the Los Cabos International Film Festival and the Los Cabos Pro-Am Golf Tournament); as well as for its numerous excellent onsite restaurants, which include Pitahayas (whose chef, Volker Romeike, pioneered pan-Asian fusion cuisine in Los Cabos), De Cortez Grill (home to superb steaks and seafood) and Girasoles (lauded for its traditional Mexican specialty dishes).
For tickets or additional information about the 5th annual Cheese and Wine Festival, visit www.sheratonhaciendadelmar.com, email hacienda.delmar@ sheraton.com, or call (624) 145-8000.
Photo courtesy of Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda del Mar.
Los Cabos Fishing Report – March 19, 2017
Sun, Mar 19, 2017
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A steady flow of spring break vacationers continue to arrive in Los Cabos, also this is the big week for the annual San Jose del Cabo traditional as well, so the town is very busy. The weather is progressively warming up, already feeling like late spring, winds were light in recent days, skies were clear and high temperatures were in the mid-80s, ideal climate now. Still lots of whales being sighted, we expect with this warming trend, that these mammals will start heading north soon.
Schools of sardinas are being found near Palmilla, on most days sufficient supplies were being netted, other bait options included ballyhoo and strips of squid. Most of the local action has now been found from off of Palmilla, to Punta Gorda, La Fortuna and to the Iman Bank. Not much at all being found further offshore for the charters that did scout that out, lack of billfish action at this time, most charters are fishing closer to shore and over the normal rocky structure areas until reports offshore improve
Yellowfin tuna action was very spotty, the tuna were seen at times on the surface, but were very finicky in striking baits, not hitting on lures either. Best chances were found while drift fishing or slow trolling with live sardinas over the grounds of La Fortuna and the Iman Bank, we were only seeing a handful of yellowfin landed each day, anglers were fortunate to land one of them, of the fish we saw, they averaged 20 to 30 lb, though we did see one 60 lb. fish brought in mid-week. There were more black skipjack than anything else.
Off the bottom, on these same grounds, we saw a mix of species such as yellow snapper, island jack, amherjack, cabrilla, red snapper, pargo and triggerfish. Not a lot of larger fish, mostly in the 4 to 10 lb. range, no big quantities either, but all very good eating. Strong currents have been running, this never helps anything, especially when fishing the bottom. Inshore the main action was for sierra while using sardinas, we saw a few nicer sized fish up to eight pounds accounted for.
We have not seen any dorado recently, though we did have big surprise with a wahoo bite developing off of Punta Gorda, this is something we normally would see in December. Even though the water temperature is in the lower 70s, there were sizable schools of wahoo holding in this area, which is less than a mile from shore. Sizes ranging from 15 lb. to 60 lb. Fish were a bit finicky, coming up on baits, most often not striking, other times they would hit sardinas or rigged ballyhoo and many also hit on yo-yo jigs. A few of the local skippers tried other techniques normally used only while trying to snag baitfish such as mullet, not an approved method, but wahoo are very elusive and open game. Of course the word got out of this action by later in the week and then we saw free divers with spears working the same spot, this is always a quick way to spook the fish out of the area. With the ongoing warming trend anything can happen and this wahoo action in recent days has been a prime example of this, as March is not the normal season when we find these prized sought after gamefish.
The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 72 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of: 24 yellowfin tuna, 7 amberjack, 2 island jacks, 1 sheepshead, 33 wahoo, 25 yellow snapper, 14 flag cabrilla, 19 leopard grouper, 62 huachinango, 75 sierra, 60 black skipjack and 110 triggerfish.
Good fishing, Eric
GORDO BANKS PANGAS
Eric Brictson / Operator
Los Cabos (624) 142-1147