VAGABUNDOS DEL MAR 2006 SEA OF CORTEZ SMALL BOAT CRUISE REPORT
July 1, 2006, Baja California, Mexico, Rick Fisher:
Here is our report from the Vagabundos del Mar 40th Baja cruise this week. Many of the boats went from Bahia de los Angeles to Loreto for the dorado tournament. We had to come back home.
The Vagabundos 40th anniversary cruise to commemorate the first trip by Ray Cannon was started on June 25th with about half of the boats starting on the mainland of Mexico from either Kino Bay or San Carlos and the other half putting in at Bay of Los Angeles.
We launched (24-foot Seaswirl Striper, AlleyJack) from BOLA on June 24th and spent the night at Don Juan Cove. We had no problem making bait early in the morning in the cove for a mix of Mackerel, spotted bay bass, and some kind of smelt looking fish.
The next morning we were crossing the Sea of Cortez to Tiburon Island for a night at Dog Bay. On the way across, we stopped to fish at Isla Partida. The SST’s showed that the warm water had come all the way up to Partida but not north of it. At the island the water was about 75 degrees. When we pulled up to the south side of the island, birds were working and it looked promising. We put out a couple of MirrOlures (orange was the hot color for us) and as soon as we caught up to the birds, whamo, we were on. This was on 50 pound line and it was peeling line. I threw out the biggest mackerel we had, which was a monster, and I was on also. The large fish on the lure went 26 pounds and the small fish was about 18 pounds. We stayed and caught and released some more then headed south past Isla Esteban towards Dog Bay. The water on the eastern side warmed to almost 85 degrees. Just outside of Cactus Pass we ran into a school of skipjack. But these were the only other fish the first day.
The second day we fished the south end of Isla San Lorenzo. There were lot’s of yellowtail here but we could only get one because of all of the Humboldt squid. We did battle with them for a while. One reached up and grabbed my fishing pliers. These were big units 3 to 4 feet long. Eventually we made the crossing to San Francisquito. I few of the boats got Dorado during this crossing but we stopped to fish for grouper north of San Francisquito. We had several lingcod, sculpin and various other bottom fish.
Bait was everywhere in San Francisquito. The warm water to the south held great promise for Dorado but we were tight on gas and had to stick to our schedule. The third day we went to Isla Salsipuedes, the north slot. Just outside of the slot we picked up a nice grouper about 20 pounds on the blue MirrOlure.
The forth day we started where we left off outside of the north slot at Isla Salsipuedes. One 30 pound yellowtail and 2 more grouper were caught on MirrOlures. Then on to Isla Partida. Lot’s of fish were breezing but the water had warmed up 2 degrees from the first day and the fish didn’t want to bite. We crossed back over to finish up at Bernabe Rock and picked up 3 large yellowtail on the MirrOlures and heavy jigs.
We pulled out on the 29th back at Bahia de los Angeles.
It was quite an adventure crossing the Sea of Cortez in our little boats. We put 250 miles on the water and caught 10 different species of fish. The water was almost flat calm at least in the mornings.
There were about 20 boats the first night at Dog Bay. Each night several of the boats would leave to go off in another direction. By the final night, there were only 3 boats left on the original schedule.
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