Fish Species found in Puerto Lobos
The Gulf Grouper is gray-brown in color, and is characterized by its “grouper-like” appearance, with the fourth and fifth dorsal spines being the longest, and when alive, a series of solid, irregular blotches radiating out from the face area.
The Gulf Grouper’s tail is straight or slightly concave, its gill cover is rounded with a notch, and the tips of its fins are white. The Gulf Grouper might be confused with the Broomtail Grouper, Mycteroperca xenarcha (jagged tail fin, ring-like markings on upper body, rather than solid blotches).
This fish species reaches six-and-a-half feet in length and up to 200 pounds. The Gulf Grouper can be found over rocky reefs at depths that vary with the seasons, typically in the first 100 feet of the water column, but between 100 and 150 feet during the summer.
The Leopard Grouper or Sardinerjo reaches about three-feet in length and up to about 40 pounds. The Spotted Phase can be confused with the Spotted Cabrilla, Epinephelus analogus, although the Spotted Cabrilla has a rounded anal fin, while the Leopard Grouper has a pointed anal fin.
The Leopard Grouper, Golden Grouper, lives in relatively shallow water up to 150 feet in depth with rocky bottoms and close to shore. It is most active just after dark, but also throughout the day, often feeding on Flatiron Herring (for which they are sometimes called “Sardinera”) but also on almost any type of prey smaller than itself.
Cabrilla or Pinto
The Cabrilla or Pinto reaches 20 inches in length and 5 pounds, although 12-inch, 3-pound models are most common, and is found over reefs at a depth of less than 100 feet. It is a solitary predator and feeds around the clock primarily on crustaceans at night and on small fishes during the day.
In Mexican fishing waters , the Cabrilla is found in all areas south of Magdalena Bay on the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, throughout the Sea of Cortez (being most abundant in the upper Gulf), along all parts of coastal mainland Mexico south to Guatemala, and around all oceanic islands. It is easy to catch and considered to be an excellent food fish.
Goldspotted Bass or Estranerjo
The Goldspotted Bass or Estranerjo reaches a length of 28 inches and about 5 pounds in weight, and is found between 100 feet and 500 feet deep in the water column in rocky structure.
In Mexican fishing waters , the Goldspotted Bass is found along the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula and throughout the Sea of Cortez, but is absent from the coast of the mainland and from around the oceanic islands. The Goldspotted Bass is quite commonly caught on the bottom, and is considered to be an excellent food fish.
The Giant Triggerfish is the largest of the triggerfish found in Mexican waters and reaches approximately 38 inches and 20 pounds. On light tackle it might be the toughest foe pound-for-pound in the sea. It is found between 10 and 100 feet deep in the water column.
This fish species inhabits rocky reefs and slopes with bounders adjacent to sand. In Mexican fishing waters, it is found from Magdalena Bay south along the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, in the lower two-thirds of the Sea of Cortez.
The Yellowtail is an open ocean pelagic and found in all Mexican fishing waters including the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula, the Gulf of California, and along mainland Mexico fishing areas through to Guatemala. It is usually found in the first 250 feet of the water column.
Yellowtail are a prized catch in the Cortez and they are often referred to as “Poor Man’s Tuna” for their reputation as a tough fighter. They reach a length of 5 feet and up to 90 pounds although you won’t catch them in Lobos over 30 lbs.. The current world record was caught in Mexican waters in 2004 and weighed 92.1 pounds.
Barred Pargo are not a common catch in Lobos, but every now and then we snag one. It grows to three feet in length but actually catching one this size is virtually an impossible feat since the species is becoming rare and it prefers depths of up to 100 feet “in the rocks with caves.” Getting them out of the rocks or caves is a major undertaking requiring a great deal of strength and luck.
This fish species normally feeds on crustaceans and small schooling fish such as grunts and sergeant majors. The Barred Pargo is also targeted by spear fisherman because it hides in caves during the daytime and thus is a captive. The Barred Pargo is viewed as a good eating fish.
The Red Snapper is a prized game fish and is distinguished by an overall bright red or sometimes a dark pink color, predominant on the head, back, and all fins, which gradually turns into white with a silvery sheen on the lower part of the body.
Although the Red Snapper grows to about three feet in length, it is more common between 18 and 24 inches long, and it is found in the first 250 feet of the water column, over rocky bottoms, close to caves and crevices. The Red Snapper feeds on crabs, mollusks, octopuses, shrimp, and small fish.
Dorado, also known as Mahi-Mahi, are found worldwide in all warm oceans. A ravenous eater, dorado will attack anything and are the most commonly caught big game fish. Dorado also eat anything they can consume. They average 10 to 30 lbs, but can get to 50 and 60 lbs.
Dorado are very short lived, and rarely live past 4 years. They are very common in Mexican waters and can be found with all open ocean predators.
The Roosterfish is widely distributed throughout all fishing waters of Mexico, including all offshore islands. It is viewed as a prized game fish that can generate an adrenaline rush as it chases live bait on the surface. Once hooked it is one of the strongest fishes in the sea. In Mexican sportfishing areas, it is called “pez gallo.”
Roosterfish in Lobos are not common, but are caught occasionally near the Lighthouse and the sandy beaches to the North. They feed on mullet and other surf fishes. While they can exceed 100 lbs, they are usually 30 lbs or less in the Northern Sea of Cortez.
Bonita or Skipjack
The Bonita or Skipjack is normally found at all depths of the water column. The “all-tackle world record,” caught in Mexican waters stands as of 2004 at 47.2 inches and 41.6 pounds, with a length of 47.2 inches. The Skipjack is normally an incidental catch on live sardines, rapidly trolled feathers or hootchies, or off the bottom with chrome yo-yo iron.
In Lobos, Bonita are a common catch and often hit jigs on the way up to the surface. They are also provide great cut bait that is very bloody and great for cutting into strips for jigging.
The Sierra Mackerel is characterized by its elongated body with short snout, bronze green on the back, silver-white sides and belly, and a series of medium-sized yellow spots on its sides. The Sierra is reported to reach a length of three-and-one-half feet (24 inch models more common) and 12 pounds.
Sierra are caught from time to time in Lobos usually by accident while bringing in a jig. They are excellent eating but need to be eaten quickly as they tend to taste pretty strong after a day or so.