The seasonal variability in sea temperatures is reflected in an exciting and diverse range of fishing activities in San Carlos. In the warmer months, trolling for marlin, sailfish, dorado, and yellowfin tuna dominates the action. As the waters cool, the focus shifts to bottom fishing for species such as grouper, cabrilla, yellowtail tuna, and snapper. Annual fishing tournaments draw participants from around the globe to try their luck and can also include spearfishing rallies. Numerous charters are available with experienced and reliable guides and there are even areas where the shore fishing and fly-fishing can yield outstanding results.
As the water heats up, so does the offshore action. The months of June through October offer some of the most exciting fishing an angler could hope for. The secret of the intensity found in this region may lie in the proximity of San Carlos to the Midriff Islands. Located approximately 75 miles north of San Carlos, this series of islands span the Gulf from the Kino Bay area on the mainland to Bahia San Francisquito on the Baja Peninsula. Below these islands are a series of deep-sea channels that focus waters into a region of upwelling. This upwelling creates a curtain of cold water across the Gulf that provides two benefits to fishermen in the area. It brings with it abundant nutrients to feed the food chain upon which the fish depend, while at the same time keeping the sport fish “corralled” as they migrate northward to feed. The net effect is a lot of big fish cruising the waters looking for something to eat!
Abundant throughout the year, smaller shore-fishes including snapper, cabrilla, groupers and various tuna species are largely ignored during the summer months in favor of the bigger pelagic species. As the pelagic species head south for the winter, the smaller species become the target of sport fishermen, and among these, the yellowtail tuna is king. Yellowtails are often found by looking for “boils” at the surface of the water as schools feed on smaller baitfishes. San Antonio Point and Isla San Pedro are some of the best areas to find yellowtail. Skipjacks and corvinas are also abundant in shallow waters, as are humbolt squid when trolling in the 200-foot range.