YELLOWTAIL AND DORADO ON KELP PADDIES
July 25, 2006, Louie Prieto, "It's 4 Reels" fishing report offshore of Ensenada:
I hitched up our Parker 23 foot fishing boat, It's 4 Reels!, and left Ontario on Friday night with my wife Kay and my uncle Jerry De La Paz heading out to our fishing buddy Roger and Norma Cortez' Ensenada beach front home for a couple of days of trying our luck at some of the offshore sportfishing spots with hopes of finding the elusive tuna.
We left Ensenada's Marina Coral on Saturday morning in very humid weather and after loading up on some pretty beat up sardines from a Gordo's bait boat that was parked just outside the marina we headed offshore for the very popular 238 fishing spot 33 miles from Ensenada.
Sea conditions were horrible with 4 to 6 foot seas at 2 to 3 second intervals. Yes 2 to 3 seconds! We were getting pounded and it was difficult to keep on course. There were a couple of times that I wanted to turn back. About an hour after we left apparently a storm hit Ensenada with rain, loud thunder, lightning, and a hot wind that was described as hot as a blow dryer. The wives who didn't accompany us were concerned that we were caught in this freak storm but we did not run into anything more than a sprinkle.
We finally got the fishing area of the 238 and found our first kelp paddy and conditions were fishable. Jerry immediately hooked up and landed our lone dorado (also mahi-mahi or dolphinfish) for the day. After a few hours of trolling we picked a couple of nice yellowtail from a couple of kelp paddies, but most were empty with nobody home until we finally hit the mother lode! Just as a couple of weeks before, it was an early afternoon bite and we landed up with 18 yellowtail from 5 to 24 pounds with most in the 15 to 20 pound range in very nice conditions.
On Sunday, Day 2 of fishing, we weren’t too much in a hurry since the bite seems to take off later in the day. My wife Kay took Roger’s place on the boat and sea conditions were pretty much flat calm, slightly overcast and humid.
The plan was to fish local and Mike Richardson owner of the Ensenada bait barge offered up some suggestions. With the combination of a bait tank full of beautiful small mackerel and some pretty dense fog, we decided to head offshore of Ensenada again.
Ww heard of a couple of fish caught at the much closer Banda Bank but when we arrived we found a diesel oil slick that smelled so bad that it almost made us sick to our stomachs. There was a purse seiner nearby and I think they were responsible for the slick as I did not see any movement on the boat nor did they move from the general area of the slick. Very sad to see.
We left the area and headed for the Ensenada 475 fishing spot and picked up a dorado on a black and purple cedar plug in open water. We cruised by some San Diego fleet boats. They were also looking for the tuna that we never were able to run into for the 2 days we fished.
Just as the day before, we found a real nice kelp paddy a little later in the afternoon that was loaded with yellowtail and dorado which were free swimming and jumping all around the paddy.
We landed 10 yellowtail, releasing a couple of the small ones, along with Kay catching 1 dorado and losing another to a thrown hook after it jumped more than 5 feet out of the water. We also lost a couple of nice ones to the kelp.
It was getting late and were 26 miles from Ensenada so we headed back and stopped for a few more of the ever present quality bonito about midway between Todos Santos Island and the Marina Coral.
These are days that you live for as a boat owner, With excellent conditions, quality fishing with family, and friends with some ice cold cervezas.
After boat and fish cleaning and some great al pastor tortas and tacos at the Trailero stand we left Ensenada and finally got back to Ontario at 3 a.m. I can’t wait to do it all over again, with the exception of the 3 a.m. part.
(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from Ensenada and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for Ensenada may be found at Mexfish.com's main Ensenada page.