SPORTFISHING TRIPS BY THE ENSENADA BOAT BAD DOG
Aug. 22, 2005, Steve Ross, Bad Dog, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico:
Last week I promised "Alex," our Marinero, that the next marlin would be his for the first marlin of his life. Sure enough, Bad Dog delivered.
Fishing on Friday, August 19th, with marlin fever, Gail, Alex and I departed Marina Coral at Ensenada with 50 pieces and a tank of 'dines and ran to Vanian's numbers for the first of the blue water on the way to the 1140 finger.
With news of 2 marlin being spotted by Alex's Dad and another commercial fisherman on the Banda Bank I decided not to waste the whole morning searching for the Holy Grail and then finding myself SOL with 40 more miles to travel to where I know they really are.
I ran 30 miles out of Ensenada and put in the jigs. We pulled 2 yellows off of a paddy, mine on iron weighed 25 pounds, Gail's on a sardine weighed 19 pounds, and a dorado on the troll weighed 19 pounds.
The fishing water was fairly flat with little wind.
Arrived on the 1140 finger and failed on 6 marlin knock downs, while "Christina Lynne" from Southwestern Yacht Club with Harry Okuda on board released one in the same area.
Fishing on Saturday, August 13th, we departed Marina Coral, Ensenada, with Gail, Alex, and guest Juan Lu, and I and headed straight for the "Lower 500" in a stiff 15 knot wind and 5-7 foot blue 68 degree seas.
We found a kelp paddy and trolled by it and snagged a 15 pound yellowtail and had to maneuver in the swells to retrieve the jig and pull the yellow out of the weeds. Then we hooked a dorado on the troll and I reeled up a nice 12 pounder.
Next, right on top of the numbers, we jig hooked Alex's marlin on a Black & Green "Collector" purchased at Hook, Line and Sinker and chosen for it's weight to stay in the swells. Once again the Mustad 7732 6/O hung on when the fish came up jumping and then tried windshield wiping action to try and throw the jig just off our bow and slightly out of gaff range. That didn't work for him and Gail gaffed with the straight cane pole and Juan Lu with the flying gaff given to me by Kenny Schilling.
Next, a single jig strike for nada and a double or triple, no one was sure, with crew failure on the drop back. There was so much going on that they all stood there with their mouths open while I was shouting instructions to deaf ears.
With catches of yellowfin tuna just West of us, I headed EAST to jump in the middle of 8 SUPER seiners. And I mean SUPER. They were the around the world way up in the multi millions of dollar seiners, the biggest they make. They were all in a set with a chopper and an airplane above me as I trolled through their green dye the air guys dropped into the water to mark the spot.
In an hour of figure-eights around these pros we did not get one jig strike. They were catching tons and not one little tuna got away for us. They got 'em all, every last one. I'm not an expert on this, but well read on the subject, and these experts don't drop their nets unless they are guaranteed 10 tons at least. So do the math on 8 seiners, all with nets in the water 6 miles East of the Lower 500. I also saw another Super Seiner heading on back up the line. For him either (A) fishing was very good and he was full, or (B) fishing was very bad and he's going home disappointed; you pick A or B. Are they fishing legally or illegally? Either way, it sucks for the sportfisherman. We caught no yellowfin tuna while fishing the area where the commercial fleet was fishing and went home happy with our earlier results.
The ride back to Ensenada was awful, with Gail getting thrown out of her resting place and only being able to travel at 12 knots crashing through the wind blown 7 foot swells head on.
The 50 foot Mikelson "Melody" was next to me going back to Marina Coral at 8 knots after 2 marlin releases from the same area of the 500. Also, an Ocean named "Great White" released a marlin next to me as well. And San Diego Angler Club member and Point Loma plumber, Ski's Plumbing, Ski Plikaytis released a marlin from his 26 foot Skipjack "Um Bwana" also in the same area of the "Lower 500" this same day Saturday.
Also, let it be known that there is more than red tide in Ensenada Bay and the Marina Coral. It is toxic beyond belief. If you come into the Marina Coral with anything alive in your bait tank, it will be dead by time you fuel up at the gas dock. Our bait receiver is empty; and not by choice. Nothing will live in it. I ran my bait tank in my slip for ten minutes and pulled out my bait nets full of some thick yellow goop of some type. Have no clue what that was. Washed off the nets and shut down the tank.