There are still a lot of yellows to be caught inside the bay so why go offshore? The quality of these fish are awesome 15-30 pounders and when you can get a cast a jig into boiling fish it is almost instant hookups. These are fast moving fish so you either run and gun or slowly hunt down schools that pop up next to the boat. The only problem is the seals. They took a nice yellow and a Salas 7X light from yours truly in the morning. They are biting best early in the morning or late in the day. Johnny Valentine, Jason Leslie and Jon Barlock took 7 on a variety of surface lures on the It's 4 Reels yesterday. 6 of our fish came after 5PM! We also caught 3 barracuda along with a few lost yellows due to hooks pulling, a seal and a breakage. Looking forward to putting this weekend’s charters on some more fish.
Had 2 charters this weekend and we caught 15 yellows out of 20+ hookups and 1 large barracuda. Frank "Panche Che" Ayala deck handed both trips.
Saturday the 18th Jeff Kang and his friend Jim chartered the It's 4 Reels for the 2nd time in the last couple of months with excellent results. The info I had was that the yellows were biting best in the afternoon and that they were hitting trolled X-raps and Yozuris. We started fishing around 9AM and decided to use Mirr-o-lures and the results were good. Jeff and Jim caught 8 yellows from 8 to 25 lbs. and 1 large barracuda. We had 15 hookups and lost fish for various reasons so although the catch count was good it did not really reflect the amount of fish that are in the area. 3 of the fish were caught in tight to the north end of Todos Santos Island and the other 5 were caught after 2:30PM inshore off of Sauzal which is just north of Ensenada Harbor:
We finished the day late but I was still able to get back to Tequilas (www.ensenadasportsbar.com) to see the second half of the Kings vs San Jose Sharks game. Too bad the Kings lost.
On Sunday Daniel Cordova (San Gabriel Valley) and his friend Scott Edwards from Utah fished the It's 4 Reels for similar results. We picked up 3 yellows in the 15-30lb range trolling Mirr-o-lures inshore and 1 on the iron when a large school of yellows came up within a long cast of the boat. The bite did not materialize in the late afternoon like it did the day before so we started trolling back to the Marina Coral around 5PM. We had been working with another boat called the "Boricua" and they found birds diving and yellows breaking in the middle of the bay. Trolling lines went up and we ran to the area and there were yellows breaking all over the place. After a couple of casts yours truly hooked up on the tried and true Ironman 5 in chrome. Pancho was using a Waxwing and had several follows to the boat but could not get bit. Daniel also hooked and landed a nice yellow on the chrome jig as well. The fish started to spread out a bit and after chasing several schools around the bay I was able to hook and land another nice fish. Finished the long day at the bar for a late dinner of sashimi, mojo de ajo and breaded yellowtail. Man am I tired...can't wait to get out and do it again.
Had the opportunity to fish on the "Reel Adventure" which is a 37' Blackman owned and operated by Wes Price. Wes also owns the Marina Coral Marine Store which is well stocked with snacks, drinks (beer, wine and soft drinks), a large selection of marine hardware and supplies, and fishing tackle. You can also purchase your Mexican Fishing License here as well. Also on board was Alvin "the Salmon" Mathis, Paul and Kevin O'Neil. The yellows were on the bite the last couple of days as I had heard that a panga had scored heavily on some nice fish. We headed straight for the Bajo and after metering around we stopped on a meter mark where some birds were sitting. We were yo yoing for the better part of an hour and Kevin and I caught and released a couple of large calicos:
A huge school of yellows came up and they were puddeling which means they had their backs skimming the surface and were not very aggressive. A few minutes later they came up boiling next to the boat. I was down deep and started reeling fast to make a cast and got hammered on the way up. A few minutes later this nice 22-25lber. hit the deck:
Wes was also on but his came unbuttoned. That would be it for us on the yellows. Most of the other boats that caught yellowtail got them on the troll. We trolled around and yo yoed and all we showed for it were a couple of nice reds and some lings. That's what I really like about Ensenada you can target one species and not score but you can still go home with some nice fillets. We landed up at the island and started throwing iron just outside the kelp line and the barracuda showed. We landed up catching 15 2-6lb. fish on a variety of jigs. There are a lot of yellows still around so if that's what you’re looking for now is the time.
Had the pleasure of fishing with Jeff, Jim and Eric on Saturday. These guys were hard core as they drove in from the O.C. straight to the dock, fished all day and drove back to the O.C. that same day. The reward for them were 2 for 4 on the Todos Santos yellowtail that were taken on the troll. We were using an anchovy colored rapala and mirr-o-lures in blue mackerel and purple/black mackerel. One of the four was also hooked on a mega bait fished deep. In addition to the yellows the catch included some nice reds, lings and tasty whitefish. Bottom fish hit the dropper loop with cut squid and the larger models were caught on the iron. Looking forward to fishing with them again May.
Craig and his wife Yumi were onboard for Sunday's trip and we hit it hard searching and trolling the island and the Bajo for yellows. Fishing was a little tougher today as I believe the full moon had the fish off the bite. We did manage some nice reds, lings and a couple of whitefish. Yumi out fished Craig and I catching the largest red and a nice sized ling. She could definitely fish and I wish I could have got them on yellows but it was a no show on the yellows for all the Ensenada boats. Maybe next time.
Sunday's charter was with Al and his son Alex, Steve and his boy Ryan and we were in search of the elusive yellowtail. No yellowtail this day but there were a couple firsts. First fish ever for Ryan:
First lingcod for Alex:
Here is Al with a nice red and the kids with a couple of nice lings:
Steve was also catching some nice fish as well. All of our catch came in less than 120 feet of water. It was a good day of catching for this group:
It's Easter break here in Ensenada so my wife Pati and I took the kids out fishing. We left the dock around 11am with just a slight breeze. We fished Todos Santos for 1 ling and a sheephead, then we moved to a high spot just east of the Bajo that has been producing and it didn't fail us. Pati and the kids picked away at some nice whitefish and reds using cut squid. The weather got nicer as the day wore on and around 4pm I saw yellows come up in the distance. We raced over to the area and they sunk out only to pop up again close by. I threw a, Ironman 5 in blue and chrome and got slammed. A couple minutes into the fight a huge school came up boiling in front of the boat. I handed the rod to Pati and I underhand cast a white ironman and took 2 cranks and I was on. A few minutes later we boated 2 nice 20lb. yellows:
We saw another spot of foamers a few minutes later but they sunk out before we could get on them. It was a great way to end a beautiful day on the water with the family:
On 3-15-13 Mike Lovoi and his crew from Sacramento came down with an assortment of Western-Hoegee baits and were looking for the elusive yellowtail. We worked hard in foggy, cold, then clear, warm than foggy, well you get the idea, conditions looking for them at all the usual spots but it would be a no go. We fished many inshore spots and managed a nice haul of lings, reds and rockfish. Those Western-Hoegee plastics were working especially well on the lings.
Saturday the 16th was the same as far as the yellows go but we did manage to get into the lings and rockfish again.
Now about the salmon. Yes on 3-21-13 Alvin Mathis fishing with a Salas 6x jr caught a 17 lb King Salmon on the It's 4 Reels fishing the bajo off Ensenada. The day before Pete Harms and Kenny Rangel fishing on Pete's boat "Pole Dancer" hooked 5 yellows and landed 3 off the north point of Todos Santos Island. That was enough for me to get a crew together and chase them the next day. Well "Pole Dancer" headed out to the area where the yellows appeared the day before while we headed for San Miguel Reef where we have found them the last couple of months. There would be no yellows for anyone this day but while drifting the inside edge of the high spot in 75 ft. of water and with birds all over the place Alvin hooks up to something good. It didn't fight like a yellow but it did take some drag. We finally saw color and it was moving pretty fast which was most probably due to the large seal that was chasing it. At first we thought it was a large bonito but as it came closer to the boat and with the seal all over it I said 'it's a #@?% salmon!". I won't get into the details on how I tried to net this thing that was too big for the net but a perfect gaff head shot by yours truly and we had our first "It's 4 Reels" salmon. The wind came up on us early but we did manage to incidentally catch a nice calico, a couple of reds and lings and assorted rockfish. Water temp was 55-57 degrees on the high spot.
Two charters this weekend netted some nice reds and lings to go along with one hooked, and lost, yellow on Sunday. We used live bait on Sunday to catch 4 nice lings and straight iron to catch some nice reds in less than 85 feet of water. Daniel Schick also hooked a yellow in the shallow part of the Bajo and as I was about to help him out we had yellows come up boiling right next to the boat. I made a couple of casts for nada and by the time I got back top Nick he was already rocked by the yellow. We will be heading for the Fred Hall Show this week so maybe we'll see you there:
As I write this a buddy of mine just called to tell me he had 2 yellows in the box. Fish weighed were in the mid 20's. Hopefully this is the start of the re-bite we were all waiting for.
Sorry for the late report but it was a very busy weekend. Saturday's charter saw Carlos and Javier onboard looking for yellows. Yo yoing for yellows is hard work but all the casting and jigging paid off for Carlos as he landed this nice 25lb yellow on a blue and white 6x jr:
Javier also got some nice fish as well:
The wind came up and we called it a day early finishing the day with 1 yellow, a 7lb calico, several lingcod and rockfish.
Sunday saw a strong Santa Ana condition for us to go along with mixed up seas. We found some calm water inside Punta Banda and started catching some great tasting rockfish. It was very tough fishing as it was wind against current but Jeff and his crew picked up some nice chuckleheads and some tasty reds. They also got a nice 6lb sand bass as well. Most of our fish came from less than 100 feet of water. We ended the day drifting inside Ensenada Harbor but with the wind pushing us in the wrong direction at 2mph it was too tough to keep our baits on the bottom. We all met at Tequilas Sports Bar ( www.ensenadasportsbar.com ) for a nice fresh fish dinner cooked to perfection by Paco our chef extraordinaire!
The weather on Monday started out windier than Sunday but the swell was down. By 9am the wind had died and we were without yellow. We headed north this time and fished from Salsipuedes to just south of Bajamar. Ed, Boomer, Walter and Martin loaded up on some nice sized reds, cinnamons, lings, sand bass and assorted other rockfish. All of our fish came from spots less than a 150 ft. with the biggest red coming from a spot just 80 feet deep that Walt caught on a plastic:
We have 2 charters this weekend and then it's off to the Fred Hall Show in Long Beach next week. Hope to see some of you there.
I was invited to fish on the world famous 47' Rivera "Dos Panchos". Frank Brown Jr, Gordon and Terry were all onboard in search of some homeguard yellowtail. We headed out around 7pm and the weather was downright balmy. Felt like we were on the Sea of Cortez. Flat calm, no wind, miles of visibility and around 70 degrees. We headed for the Bajo for no love on the yellows. Did not see any birds diving and no reports of yellow from any of the boats that were out. And there were quite a few. We ended the day early with some nice lings and a couple of nice reds. It was a great day to be on the water.
Sunday Esvin and his wife Taidy Hernandez were on board the It's 4 Reels and the weather cooled down about 10 degrees. The seas started out a little sloppy but settled down as the day wore on. We started out the same way as the day before as we headed towards the Bajo for a couple of sculpin and some small olive rockfish. We were waiting for something to happen but it never did. Taidy wanted to see a whale so around 10:30am we headed for the island to see if any were around. As soon as we rounded the north end we saw our first grey whale. He/she came up a couple of times and sounded. Seas were calm by this time and we decided to head to Punta Banda to fish for rockfish. We saw another whale on the way to the spot but decided we needed to start fishing. We fished some pinnacles outside the point and Esvin and I caught a couple of nice lings. After a few drifts with very little action it was time to head to my go to spot inside Punta Banda. The wind came up a little and made for some fast drifts but we did start catching some nice rockfish. Or should I say Taidy did as she out fished us 2 to 1 for a while. We were just about to call it a day when the "birds" started to make their move. Something was causing them to start diving and feeding but after chasing them around the southwest end of Bahia Todos Santos for a while we saw maybe only one spot of fish come up, but we couldn't determine exactly what they were because they were quite a distance away from us. Again we were going to head back when we saw another group of birds crashing the water closer to shore so we went in for one more try. This move paid off big as it was wide open calico and sand bass on the plastics. Esvin and I caught fish up to 6lbs. throwing gulp shads in an orange/pinkish color. We had both sand and calicos following hooked fish right to the boat. We made several drifts in the area and landed 15-18 bass. Most of the calicos were released but I did keep a nice one that we cooked whole ate later on at my sports bar (Tequilas Bar & Grill). It was fun fishing using medium freshwater bass gear in less than 50 feet of water. Good times in Ensenada.
Some of our Tequilas Bar customers that have their own boats based in Cruiseport Marina decided it was time to get into some of the It's 4 Reels yellowtail action. Terry, Paul and Lonnie were on board for a trip that left from my slip at the Marina Coral at 6:30AM. We headed for the now famous Bajo in pretty lumpy sea conditions. The swell was tighter than predicted and it made for a slower (20 mph) than normal ride. Once we were at "X marks the spot" on the GPS we had 3 hookups within 10 minutes. Terry and yours truly were able to bring 2 18-20lb yellows caught on a chrome and a blue white jig. We also caught some real nice reds as well:
Birds started to work in an area that had mammals around and I made the decision to go look and I was hooked on a big fish right off the bottom. 5 minutes into the fight I sensed that the yellow was foul hooked and sure enough the hook pulled and it was over. We had a total of 5 hookups and landed 2 yellows. Other boats in the area also scored yellowtail as well. After looking the area over for another 30-45 minutes we headed towards the Punta Banda area in search of some tasty bottomfish. After a few drifts using jigs tipped with squid we loaded up on cinnamon and vermillion rockfish. The wind came up and we decided to call it quits around 4PM. We finished with 2 yellows and limits of rockfish (2-6lbs.). Also we never fished deeper than 130 feet. Good times at Tequilas later that night as we feasted on fresh sashimi, breaded and garlic butter yellowtail and cold cervezas. Good times for sure!.
After taking out a charter of expert iron slingers and catching 10 big homeguard yellowtail on Saturday I had contracted "yellow fever" and needed to do it again. Yalan Cervantes, Cisco and first time fisherman Beto were on board to participate in the hunt. The skies looked threatening but today would be epic. Flat calm seas, miles of visibility that you could even see the Coronado’s, zero wind and best of all no rain. We ran to the San Miguel Bajo at 32mph with no sign of breaking fish or diving birds. We worked an area with structure and Yalan and Cisco caught 2 nice calicos on the iron:
We also started hooking lingcod but a seal got most of them including Beto's first fish:
After losing 4 fish to Señor Foca we made a move to another part of the reef. After drifting for an hour or so the birds started making a move. It wasn't too long that the yellows started chasing bait all over the bay. And that's when the It's 4 Reels crew went to work. The fish would not stay up long enough to cast directly to breaking fish so we would shut down and start yo-yoing jigs. Blue & White, green mackerel, blue mackerel or chrome in the A1, 6X or 7X sizes, they all got bit. We hooked fish casting, straight up and down and on the sink. We even had a quadruple hookup which meant I had to gaff my own fish and the 3 others after that. When the dust settled we boated 11 yellows between 15-30lbs with the majority going 20lbs +:
We finished the day whale watching and drifting for bottomfish hoping for an afternoon bite that never materialized. The weather was awesome with warm balmy conditions, no wind, endless visibility under low lying clouds that looked like they could open up at any second but they never did. Ensenada yellowtail in January....it just doesn't get any better.
Fished this day with Frank Brown Jr, Gordon, Cisco and Greg Mots on one of the most beautiful days you could ever wish for. I also had fished on Thursday the 17th on an equally nice day for several lingcod to 10lbs and an assortment of rockfish and bass:
But Saturday the 19th turned into one of those special days that boat owners and charter captains dream of. The stars had aligned for great weather, an experienced group of fishermen, a willing to learn deckhand, and big yellows that were on the edge of suicide for our lures. And all this at the end of January! After a night of partying at my sports bar (Tequilas Bar) Frank and his crew decided that 8AM would be our start time. Nice....I could sleep in before a charter. The guys were waiting at my slip at the Marina Coral and we headed out around 8:30. Made a beeline for the San Miguel Bajo doing 34mph on flat calm seas. The sun was out and blazing but there was little evidence on the surface of what would soon be a nice pick on some large homeguard yellows. Yours truly started the day with a nice 6lb sand bass on the iron. I made a couple of moves and it was game on. We hooked 15 yellows in a 3 hour period and brought 10 to the boat. All the fish were 20-30lb homeguards and all were caught on a variety of irons yo-yo'd and retrieved off the bottom. We also had a couple of hookups while the jigs were sinking. Mixed in with the yellows were 5 nice ling cod and a few small rockfish. The rest of this report will be "a picture is worth a thousand words":
Ensenada fishing is now officially in winter mode, limits of rockfish, big sand bass, homeguard yellows and lots of ling cod. Two trips last week on the It's 4 Reels produced limits of 2-5 lb assorted rockfish, an addition to a one day limit of large sand bass. All fish were caught in 70-90 feet of water fishing using a variety of plastics, B52's and Magic Metal heavy jigs. The inside areas off Punta Banda were holding large volumes of squid and this is where we caught our fish. We also hooked and lost a large yellow on a magic metal heavy off the tip of Punta Banda. Others fishing over the weekend reported good ling cod fishing using live mackerel. There are no rockfish or Marine Reserve closures here in Ensenada so call and book your next charter today. We can also cook your catch at our sports bar located downtown (Tequilas Sports Bar & Grill).
11-4-12 November Tuna
Headed out on Sunday 11-4-12 in search of maybe the last tuna of the year for us. Conditions looked good so the plan was to head towards the 295 which sits around 40 miles from the Marina Coral. Before we made the long run offshore we spotted birds feeding a couple of miles inside Todos Santos Island. Yellowtail were boiling in a few areas and while soaking mackerel didn't produce a strike a megabait dropped deep produced a 14lb yellow for Angel Garcia. We worked the area for an hour with no more strikes or breaking fish so headed offshore. We started trolling on a temp break 8 miles south of our destination. The plan was to look for kelp paddies while waiting for the trolling rigs to go off. We found a few paddies that were holding small yellows and we picked up a few on mini macks and jigs. We were a couple of miles from the 295 when I decided to turn north towards the Upper 500. Within a couple of miles after making the turn the center troller went off hard and it was game on. A few minutes later a nice 24lb yellowfin hit the deck. After a couple of hours of nothing we finally saw a couple of nice sized paddies that were less than 100 yds. from each other. We trolled in between them and after making the turn on the second paddy we had another blind jig strike and it was game on again. Angel had a nice yellowfin on and just as we were going to gaff it the fish shook the hook and swam away. That would be it for the day. The wind came up and we raced home. It was nice to get another shot offshore before the fishing season changes to bottom fishing and the occasional yellowtail flurries that occur inside Bahia Todos Santos.
11-6-12 Inshore 22 lb. yellowtail
Cisco and I headed to the area inside the island where we saw the yellows a couple of days before. We did not see any breaking fish but I was metering them deep. Cisco, who is new to fishing but has picked it up quickly, dropped a megabait down and hooked up to what he thought was the bottom. I grabbed his rod and felt some serious head shaking at the end of the line. 15 minutes of drag ripping runs on 30lb test produced this nice 22lb yellow:
We finished the day picking away at a few rockfish and whitefish. There are a lot fish showing on the meter throughout the bay but water temps inside are 65-67 degrees and the bottom fish are not feeding that aggressively. With this latest storm hitting north this may be the last of it for the offshore season. Bring on the reds, lings, chuckleheads and the homeguard yellows!
Had 2 local charters this week that produced some deep water rockfish as well as some nice sand and calico bass in the shallower waters form San Miguel Reef, Punta San Miguel and the areas around Salsipuedes. Water is still warm and yellowtail, tuna and dorado are still within range. Call for Monday-Thursday discounted rates.
Ensenada 10-12-12- Jim Heaton Family Dodos & Tuna
The Heatons were in town to try their luck offshore as the weather kept them inshore on their last trip to Ensenada. Well things were looking pretty grim this time as well as the season’s first storm from the south brought heavy rains throughout the day Thursday and early Friday. We arrived at the Marina Coral and the decision was made to go. We picked up a load of nice sardines and headed towards the island to see if the offshore conditions were going to be tolerable. On our way out we saw the end of the rainbow and drove towards it looking for our pot of gold:
Conditions were OK so we kept going and stopped on our first paddy a few miles outside the Banda Bank and we Yelana struck gold with this nice 25+lb dorado on 25lb test using an Accurate spinning reel:
This fish did everything to get away including jumping on the opposite side of the kelp, wrapping itself around the motor and countless dives under the boat. Yelana did a great job on this fish and the end result were some nice filets. After a couple of hours of trolling through the 238 and 5 miles short of the 295 Grigory brought in this nice yellowfin on a trolled natural cedar plug:
Conditions were good until about 1pm when the wind and swell started to come up and all we had were these 2 fish to show for a full day on the water. I was looking hard for that magic kelp or any kelp for that matter and I finally spotted a decent sized paddy out of the corner of my eye. I set up on it and it was wide open yellows with fish coming in between 2 and 10lbs. It didn't matter what you threw in it was an instant bite. We also hooked and lost 2 dorado as well. As usual we didn't get back to the "Coral" until dark thirty but it turned out to be a great trip. We also metered lots of tuna on porpoise but they were not in a feeding mood. Water temps were between 67-70.5 in most zones and as long as they hold steady in this range the fishing should be good for most offshore species.
Ensenada 10-16-12-44lb Yellowfin, Dodos and More
I was invited to fish on the "Tuna 306" a nice 32' Proline Express owned by Martin. He keeps his boat in the Marina Coral and after loading my gear we were off in the fog around 5:30am. We were headed to a temp break that we saw on Fish Dope that was just south of the 295. This would be trolling/jigging trip as there was no live bait available in Ensenada Harbor. We ran into pods of dolphin just outside the Banda Bank and started trolling. No love on the dolphins but about an hour later we had an open water jig strike on a large female dorado. We proceeded towards our destination all the while looking for paddies which were scarce and very small. We finally arrived in the area and saw our first decent sized kelp. We were trolling Halco deep diving plugs and 2 of them were hammered just before reaching the paddy. One came off while the boat was still moving but the one that stuck was this nice 44lber:
We proceeded to troll and the rat yellows came out and hit all the lures. We made another wide pass at the paddy and doubles on the large tuna again with one coming off again as the boat was moving. The one that came over the rail was a nice 35lber. We drifted the paddy dropping megabaits and salas jigs and after one solid hookup on a tuna that shook off it was all rat and slightly bigger than rat yellows that you could want to catch. We spotted a pod of dolphin in the distance and chased them for nada and in the process lost the paddy. The seas were up a little so we started trolling back towards home. As the seas calmed on our ride back in we hooked a large dorado in open water on a purple/black zuckers tuna clone that was close to 25lbs:
We also had a flurry on some nice yellowfin on the Halco plugs trolling an area between 31.32-117.20 to 31.35-117.00. One of the the yellowfin came after sundown. Final count for us was 5 yellowfin, 2 dorado, and many yellowtail with 5 kept and all the rest released. It was great day for some quality fish. Thanks Martin for the invite.
Ensenada 9-14-12-Russ & crew get big dodos and yellows
Last minute charter form Russ and the gang looking to get into some dorado and yellows. The It's 4 Reels came through again with a nice score on some big dodos to go along with many yellows caught in the 8-12lb range. Russ and Ron were the hot sticks as they were on constantly with only a couple fish lost. Aracely and Nick also did their share of hooking up and catching as well. Aracely hooked back to back dorados only to pass them on to Ron as they were a little too tough for her to bring in. We later feasted on our catch at Tequilas Bar as our new cook Martin prepared sashimi, seared, ranchero, ceviche and garlic butter styled dorado and yellowtail. Weather was a little rough and foggy early but settled down in the afternoon.
Ensenada 9-18-12-Wife Pati at the 1010 Trench-Tuna, Dodos and Yellows
The weather and reports of wide open fishing were a big factor for us heading 55+ miles to the 1010 Trench. Forecasts called for light winds and calm seas but they were way off. We had a late start and picked up some of the best sardines from Ensenada Bait that I have ever fished with. Seas were bumpy the first 30 miles and turned to nasty 4-6ft with an occasional 8 foot mixed swell and wind waves with less than 10 dead baits for the day. We couldn't make the time that I wanted to due to the nasty conditions but we were determined to put tuna and Pati's first dorado in 3 years in the boat. We put the trollers in 8 miles short of the 1010 and 30 minutes later the cedar plug goes off and a nice 25-30lb dorado comes flying out of the water. A few minutes later it's in the boat and despite the crazy water conditions the skunk is off the boat:
After cleaning up and taking pictures and before I could get the other trollers back in the center line that was still in the water gets hit and we are on again. A smaller female is the victim this time:
Reports were coming in from the 1010 so instead of boxing the area for more dorado we continued to pound our way west and as soon as we hit the edge of the Trench we had a double hookup on some football size yellowfin:
The rest of our tour of the 1010 was pretty lonely as most of the boats that were out catching were now headed for the barn. We made our back to the area where we caught the dorado earlier and they were still there:
We found calmer waters outside the 295 and the few kelps we found were loaded with yellows. We stopped and drifted for a while and had some of the best sashimi you could ever hope to eat:
Pati and I got back to the Marina Coral at dark-thirty, tired but happy that we made the run and got Pati her dorado and tuna for me.
Took a quick trip to catch fish for the restaurant. Mission accomplished as we caught 4 yellows to 20 pounds, a couple of lings with the biggest weighing in at 15lbs, sheephead, calicos (7+lber released), barracuda and rockfish. All the fish were caught within 4-5 miles of my slip in the Marina Coral and all were caught on a variety of artificials with most caught on chrome krocodiles and small salas type jigs. Weather was awesome with water temps ranging from 67-70 degrees. Let's go Fishing!
Headed out Thursday 8-30 with Danny Tubbs, Kenny Rangel and Pete Harms in beautiful conditions. Plan was to head for the tuna pens that were sitting offshore in hopes of catching some tuna. We got there and it was a no go on the tuna but Kenny hooked up and brought in a nice dorado flylining a sardine:
With conditions being excellent and with a nice warm breeze I decided to head way offshore and explore the Double 220 area which sits 55 miles out of Ensenada. We were searching for kelp paddies along the way and after running 9 miles west of the pens we saw a sport boat running hard to an area that another boat was drifting. We decided to head in that direction and running at 30+ miles an hour we made it to the area long before the sporty did. The boat that was drifting had several passengers hooked up and after a quick search we found a paddy more than a quarter of a mile away. As soon as we hit the paddy it was wide open on small yellows and some nice sized dorado. You could actually pick your fish as these fish were on a feeding frenzy. As we drifted off the paddy it was straight dorado. The bite slowed after a couple of hours so we decided to troll. We saw porpoise feeding and hooked up on a cedar plug only to have it fall off after about a minute into the fight. Found one more paddy and put 2 more dorado on the boat before our bait died. Headed back to the Marina Coral at 30+ miles an hour. Awesome day on the water:
Saturday 9-1 was another story as the remnants of a hurricane down south made for some rough seas offshore. Jim Heaton along with his wife Yelena and son Grigory were hoping to head offshore but after hooking into yellowtail and calicos right outside the Marina Coral we stayed inshore:
It would be a good decision as all the boats that had headed offshore were reporting terrible conditions with most boats turning back. We had great conditions until about 11:30 when the washing machine waves and swells hit inshore as well. It was also reported that 30 foot waves were pounding the north end Todos Santos Island. We finished the day drifting inside Ensenada harbor for a nice 15lb. halibut the Grigory caught while bouncing a chrome krocodile:
September and October fishing should even be better as long as the water temps stay high (70+ degrees) and the wind stays away. We should be seeing yellowfin very soon.
Ensenada has been experiencing the best dorado fishing since 2009. Paddies are hard to find but most of them are holding fish along with many open water strikes on cedar plugs and feathers. Bait availability at Ensenada Bait has been inconsistant but spanish mackerel are easily made in different parts of the bay. There are also bluefin and yellowtail still around but the yellowfin have yet to arrive. David Broyles chartered the It's 4 Reels on Saturday and they were able to pull these nice bulls off a couple of paddies 10 miles off Todos Santos Island:
Ed McRae and Carlos were on a charter this Friday and caught numerous yellowtail with the afternoon being the most productive time. Fishing should continue to be good as long as the weather holds out.
The week started out offshore in the most beautiful conditions we have had all year. Myself Angel Garcia hit all the high spots where tuna, yellows and dorado had been located, 238, 450, 1140, Lower 500, Peanut Bank etc. Kelps paddies were few and far between but we did manage 7 yellows out of several hookups. We also saw dorado, jumping makos, a sea turtle, pilot whales and flying fish. It was flat calm warm and sunny all day.
Saturday the It's 4 Reels was chartered for a local trip. Lou Garcia brought down his son Anthony and 2 nephews, Victor and Andres along for a chance at catching there first fish. Mission accomplished as everyone caught some nice calicos, sand bass and rockfish. It wasn't wide open fishing due to the full moon but there were some quality calicos that were caught and released. I explained to the boys that calicos were slow growers and releasing big calicos would bring them good karma on their next fishing trips. Here is Andres CPRing a nice calico:
Victor with a keeper calico:
Anthony with another catch, photograph and release calico:
I also was able to get into the action with this nice 35 lb yellowtail that ate a surface iron that I cast right off the kelp after seeing some big boils off Punta Banda:
Reports are also coming in that large volumes of yellowfin are coming up the line. It's time to go fishing!
The week started with rough weather and ended with the same. On 7-24 we wished our good friend Tom Arnot a farewell as he was able to fish with us one more time before loading up his boat on Yachtpath for the trip to Florida. He was able to catch a nice 28 lb yellowtail on a sardine:
Hopefully we will be able to get down to Florida to fish with him one day. Thanks Tom for taking care of us on the It's 4 Reels and at Tequilas. We also saw a marlin free jumping 8-10 times very close to the boat. Very cool.
The Western Outdoor News (WON) Offshore Fishing Tournament held at the Marina Coral was a lot of fun. Some hardcore fishermen made it down from the north in some of the worse conditions you would never want to fish in. WON and the Marina Coral always put on a first class event. There were lots of raffles and giveaways that included Avet reels, watches, fishing knives, lures, tackle etc. etc. Our team consisted of myself, John and Eric Spaulding. We were determined to win and left on the It's 4 Reels as soon as the Captains meeting ended. We made mackerel in the bay and proceeded to Santo Tomas to drop the anchor and spend the night so we could get the earliest possible start to the fishing grounds. It was pretty rough and the wind was blowing 30 mph with gusts around 50 mph while anchored in the cove in front of the town of Santo Tomas. The swell laid down later in the evening but the wind never stopped. We woke up at 5AM and headed towards the area known as the Lower 500. Water temps were nice once we were offshore but the further west we went the water got a little colder. We decided to head north towards the 450 and were able to stay in water that averaged 65.8 degrees. The swells were building and were criss crossing making it tough to find kelp paddies that we hoped would be holding big yellowtail. One of the first paddies we found did not hold yellow but some nice dorado that John and I were able to get lucky enough to hook and bring to the boat. These are the first dorado for us in Ensenada since 2009. Lots of fun and super delicious:
Hopefully this will be the first of many! The rest of the day was spent trolling and looking for kelp paddies. We were getting tossed around and drifted at 2-3 mph each time we stopped but the good news is that we were finding them. We also found yellows as well. Final count was 3 yellows and 3 dorado. The 3 yellows were good enough for 41 lbs and 2nd place in the tournament.
That netted us $600 which would be just the beginning of our luck. The three us also won prizes in the raffles as well. The really good news was that everyone was entered into a drawing that involved randomly picking the type of fish and the weight. If no one had the exact weight for that type fish then the closest weight below and above would qualify for a drawing for $5000! The fish picked was a yellowtail and the weight was 20.2 lbs. No one had it exactly but we had a 19.7 lber and the closest above the 20.2 lb weight was Team Borracho that had a fish 20.9 lbs. The two of us filled out slips of paper with our team name on it and wouldn't you know it after what seemed like an eternity the marina manager, Fito Espinoza finally picked Team It's 4 Reels as the winners of the big check! Yeah !
Thanks to Eric being hardcore and doing whatever it took in challenging conditions to win. We wanted first place bad but we'll take the money Thank You
Whew! I came to Mexico to relax but on the other hand things are real busy down here in Ensenada. The bar has been doing good charters have been coming in and the fishing is taking off. On 7/12/2012 Glen Piper and his wife picked an offshore trip and after rescheduling towards the end of the week due to bad weather we were off to the races. Paddies were hard to find but we did find a couple that were holding fish. We went to 1 for 2 on this nice 30lb class model:
Things were slow so we headed in early stopping at the island for a couple of small lings. After dropping our charter at Marina Coral myself and a couple of buddies went back out and fished some reefs out front and proceeded to kill some nice sand bass fishing plastics and magic metal jigs. It was fun fishing on light tackle:
On Monday 7/16/12 Johnnie Hernandez and his girlfriend Monica went on a local trip on the It's 4 Reels and the goal was to get Monica her first fish. We were able to accomplish that and then some. She out fished Johnnie and myself catching big barracuda, sand bass and assorted rockfish with all fish being caught on lures. I think she is now hooked for life:
On Friday I was invited to fish with Tom Arnot and Eric. We headed out Thursday night and headed towards some numbers provided by Fish Dope. When we arrived it like a little city had sprung up as there 15-20 boats sitting on the grounds waiting for day break. Here is a shot of the radar as we were sitting in rolling seas:
We took off at grey light looking for tuna and to our amazement most of the lights were from the 15-20 seiners that we would see throughout the area:
We were looking for paddies but stopped on a couple of big meter marks for nada. I really believe that if we had floro (which I forgot on my boat) we may have picked up a couple of bluefin as the seiners were making sets all around us. There were also several San Diego sport fishing boats in the area and they seemed to be making several stops. We abandoned our bluefin plan and started concentrating on finding kelp paddies. It didn't long and the first decent paddy we found had big yellows on it. I hooked up immediately and fought a nice sized fish for a while when it started to head for the surface. As luck would have it a @#$%&! seal was on my fish! Tom was determined that I get that fish in the boat and we backed down on the big dog while I( free spooled and we almost had him to the boat a couple of time but that seal would not give up either. In the end we landed up busting the transom door lock on a wave and a rush of water ended the tug of war. Damn you foca! We continued to find paddies with some holding yellows and others empty. We ended the day with 12 yellows between 5 and 35 lbs. 8 of the fish were 20-35 lbs.
There are also dorado in the area as well as I have seen a couple of them being weighed in at the Marina Coral. There are a lot of fish out there with more coming up the line. It's starting to look like may this will be the year we get back to normal.
This would be the second day of a 2 day period with little wind and swell outside. We hit all the numbers outside of Colonet and we couldn't even find a kelp paddy or any sign of breaking fish. Water was a deep blue and 64-65 degrees. We headed inshore towards the San Jose area and finally saw signs of life. We stopped on some meter marks that turned into wide open blue shark fishing. Pretty fun for the girls to pull on something after all the hype we gave them about yellowtail being wide open on the kelps. We proceeded inside towards the point and caught some nice reds, lings and assorted other rockfish. Wind was up inside as well.
Kevin O’Neill and his friend Paul chartered the It's 4 Reels on Friday and we headed for Todos Santos Island. Just before we arrived at the island there were 15-20 finback whales feeding in every direction. It was unbelievable as they were popping up all around us. I've seen many whales before but never so many in such a small area. It was pretty awesome. After fishing a few spots around the island and at San Miguel Reef in no current and no wind conditions for pretty much nothing we headed for the coast and San Miguel Pt. Again there were fish on the meter but very little current. We started to make our way to my spots off Salsipuedes when the wind came up. And it up pretty hard. By the time we got to the spots it was blowing strong, and we were drifting at 2.2 mph. We had a load of big sardines so we tried drifting inside along the shoreline for halibut and white sea bass. After an hour of drifting we had 1 raked bait to show for our long drift. I was running out of spots and ideas when I remembered a spot I had marked last year that produced some nice bass and rockfish in 60 ft. of water. After one quick drift produced 2 nice sand bass we anchored on the re-discovered reef and picked away at some nice sand bass and rockfish fishing the plastics. Kevin had never fished plastics before and landed up catching a nice 6.5 lb. sand bass. We landed up with a nice catch of quality bass and rockfish for our efforts. If this wind would ever die down for more than a week we would have a legitimate shot at some offshore catching.
It's been a good week with many charters and a variety of fish taken inshore and now finally offshore.
The week started with some pretty good calico and sand bass fishing for Yalan Cervantes. We fished many areas with San Miguel Pt. being the spot for the bass. Yalan pulled out a nice long cod and John hauled in some big calicos fishing chrome Tady's.
Thursday charter was a little slower with Sayed Najmuddin fishing locally for a variety of bottom fish.
Friday Ralph & Monique Guerrero and Lucas & Shawna Villareal came down from Phoenix to try their luck on the It's 4 Reels. Fishing started off great with the biggest barracuda ever landed on my boat, a whopping 10.03 lber that Ralph caught on a jig. Most of the barries were all between 6-10 lbs. The girls had never fished before and after a couple of fish were fighting them like they were professional fisher
girls. The action slowed so we went looking and hit a few spots for a couple of fish. While trolling
mirr-o-lures a calico and a sand bass hit the same lure! One on each treble hook. Pretty cool!
We landed up on a reef in Salsipuedes and Ralph and Lucas did a number on some nice reds, a sheephead, a cabezon and a variety of rockfish. All the fish were caught in less than 150 feet of water. That evening they feasted on their catch at Tequilas Sports Bar & Grill (www.ensenadasportsbar.com). We prepared their fish 4 different ways along with rice, beans, tortillas some shrimp poppers and margaritas and it was all good.
The big news is we had our first offshore run of the season. David Ramirez and Joel chartered the It's 4
Reels and we made a run to the Lower 500. We found a kelp paddy that was loaded with yellowtail and after 10 hookups we landed 4 8-15 lbers along with 1 big spanish mackerel. After 150 miles, 110 gallons of gas and many hours in the tower that was the only paddy we found that had fish. In fact we saw maybe 3-4 small paddies all day. We also trolled 16 miles below the L500 and never saw a thing. Water was cold throughout the area (59-8 to 60.3) but was deep dark blue/purple color. Conditions were calm in the morning but turned ugly later in the afternoon.
I will be moving to the Marina Coral today where fuel is available and the amenities (pool, spa, bar etc.) are also a nice plus.
Yellowtail fishing remains fair to good for most. Having a fast boat or panga definitely helps you get on the fish as some days they pop up and feed for seconds at a time. We were able to pull several fish this week as well as some big barracuda. Trolling Mirr-o-lures in black/purple and blue mackerel have also produced some nice catches. Weather has prohibited us from taking a look offshore but with such good fishing so close to home who cares. Fish have been spread out Todos Santos Bay to Salsipuedes. On Monday 6-4 we pulled fish from Salsipuedes trolling as well as casting Tady 45's. It's looking real good for a continued bite as there is much bait in the water with fish feeding on sardines, krill, pinhead anchovies and mackerel.
Yellowtail fishing has been very good the last couple of days so Yalan Cervantes and I decided to try our luck. Fish were showing up midway between Ensenada Harbor and the North end of Todos Santos Island but we couldn't get them to go due to the poor sea conditions. We finally found an area of fish boiling off the south end of the island in slightly better conditions. Fish were feeding in big schools and were eating the Candy Bar jig in blue and white. Casts into the feeding frenzy were instant hookups after 2-3 turns of the handle. We ended the day with 4 fish and would have caught more but the port captain had closed the harbor until 7:30 AM so we got a late start. Also wind and waves were pretty bad which also cut our day short. We also lost a yellow on the way back on a purple and black mirr-o-lure. Water temps were a cool 60.1 to 61.5 with green water. Krill and whales all over the bay as well.
Needed a break from our remodeling of Tequilas Sports Bar to try and cash in on the local yellows that went off this week. Angel, Andy May, wade Nichols and yours truly headed out early to the north end of Todos Santos Island with only the yellows on our target list. Weather was really sloppy with a very tight mixed swell and maybe 10 mph of wind. We spotted terns dipping and diving midway to our destination so we tossed iron out for nothing. We decided that the conditions were going to make it tough to spot breezing fish so we put a purple/black Mirrolure and an X-Rap in the blue mackerel pattern. Twenty minutes of trolling produced a nice yellow on the Mirrolure. My 25 year old Sabre Stroker 540 was snapped in 2 places when the fish hit. Not sure what happened but I think one of the crew members, who shall be nameless (Wade), forgot to set the drag. Ugh! Oh well I guess it was time to sacrifice something in exchange for all the yellows we have been catching this year. We continued trolling closer to the north end of the island than we have been in the past and ended the day with 4 yellows 15-22 lbs. All fish were caught on the troll using the Mirrolures with 3 coming on black/purple and one in the blue mackerel pattern. The yellows did come up a few times but were hard to get to due to the pretty severe wind and waves. Water temps at the island were 60.4 and 62.8 further inside. Lots of fish metered as well.
We also had first on the It's 4 Reels as Andy decided to take a swim in Lake Pacifico. We were headed in with a following and quartering sea behind us when all off a sudden we got rolled by a wave that tossed Andy out of the boat. Angel was in the cockpit with Andy and yelled out "He's gone!" I turned around and said "Who's gone?" and realized at that moment that Andy was missing. We spotted him immediately and never lost sight of him. Thankfully Andy is a good swimmer and never panicked. He was actually floating with his hands behind his head and his feet in the air like he has waiting for a bus or something. We all had a good laugh afterward but it was a reminder as to what to do if this were to ever happen again. Never take your eye off the person in the water, mark your position by using the man overboard feature on the GPS, and always have a life saver or throw cushion ready and handy.
Two trips on Friday (4/20) and Saturday (4/21) produced pretty much all the barracuda you could want to catch. On Friday Mark Fuller fished on the It's 4 Reels and between him and yours truly we caught 20+ barries from 2-8lbs. on a variety of jigs. Color didn't matter much but fixed single hook jigs would do much better on the bite to hookup ratio than the standard treble hook jigs we were using. It was still excellent fishing. We also managed a few nice lings and some reds on the dropper loops and yo yo iron.
Saturday saw Carlos and Javier fishing with us for the first time as well. The barries showed up later in the morning than the day before and we managed to catch quite a few logs to go along with 4-5 lingcod. We had to head back earlier than usual and according to reports the yellows decided to put on a late bite as 5-6 by were caught by the fleet alongside the barracuda. It's starting to look pretty good right now that we might have decent season this year.
Had a few charters this week and the catch of the week was definitely green and ugly. We must have pulled in about 100 ling cod with only a handful being kept. Water has definitely rolled but the temps were steady ranging between 57-60 degrees. Highlights for the week were a 15 lb yellowtail caught by Pete Harms on a small yo yoed diamond jig. Also on Sunday 3-11-12 after dropping off my charter at the Marina Coral I headed out to the reefs just outside pulled out my Shimano Calcutta 150 and fished a twin tail plastic for 7 nice sand and calico bass in 20 minutes. I called in some buddies and they pulled out a few as well. Looks like a storm is approaching so it is time to batten down the hatches and wait it out. Oh and Happy St. Patty's Day!
My wife Pati said she wanted to catch a yellowtail. And I said hell yeah let's go fishing! We left Cruiseport Marina around 7AM with an ice chest full of supplies:
We started our search for working birds. Water temps had dipped to as low as 55.9 at the Bajo and the birds were not as prevelant as they have been. We finally found a small group of birds sitting and waiting. The meter also lit up on what looked to be yellows on bait in the same area. After a few drops with the iron (chrome and blue & white) I was hit solid on the retrieve. After a short fight I was off. Damn! A few minutes later Pati and I were both on. And I was able to get mine to stick while Pati landed up losing hers. She was not a happy camper until she was able to stick my fish then she turned happy again:
This fish hit the lure on the sink which has happened to me a few times during these last couple of months. Trick is to make sure you keep your line between your fingers and as soon as you the line stop or take off rapidly put the reel in gear and swing 2 or 3 times hard. Althought the birds, bait and sun came up later in the day we never saw yellows on the surface or got picked up again. Did I mention the beautiful summer like conditions:
Pati picked up limits of whitefish and reds fishing strip bait live sardines we made on the sabikis. I stuck with the iron most of the day and caught 20+ lings with all but 4 released and a couple of nice reds. The last ling I caught hit just before dark and hit a lizardfish that we had caught earlier. Here is a pic of the strangest catch of the day:
We saw maybe 1 or 2 boats the entire day. All in all it was a great day on the water. I love Ensenada!