YELLOWTAIL FISHING OFFSHORE AND CALICO BASS AT PUNTA SANTO TOMAS
Sept. 23-24, 2006, Louie Prieto, It's-4-Reels, Ensenada, Mexico:
Fishing aboard the It's-4-Reels, we left Marina Coral on Saturday at 6 a.m. and headed to Ensenada Harbor for some of the best bait of the year. Mike Richardson does an excellent job of finding and caring for his bait. We had nice mix of sardines and mini macks.
If you are launching your boat from the Marina Coral I highly recommend the short run to Mike's bait barge rather than picking up bait at the bait boat that is sometimes anchored just outside the marina entrance.
Fishing with me on this Ensenada trip were Frank "Pancho" Ochoa, and Ruben and Ray Cid. The weather buoy reports showed conditions were improving offshore. Mike pointed us north and said the locals were getting fair amounts of yellowtail around the El Faro area by slow trolling the sardines and mackerels.
We decided to head offshore. Fishing conditions were pretty decent and when we arrived at the Banda Bank we had 67.3 degree water but no real signs of life. We decided to troll to the Lower 500. Conditions improved and it turned out to be a beautiful calm and sunny day.
The fishing water was a beautiful blue and the water temperature moved up to 68.7 degrees. Seven miles short of the 500 spot, we passed a small paddy and the yellowtail charged out and all 3 trollers were hit. It was an awesome sight to see so many yellowtail around our boat. The yellows were the firecracker variety, 4-10 pounds but were a lot of fun on light tackle. Ray also picked up a hen dorado. After catching more yellows than we could count we kept on going to the 500 and 2 miles short of that we had a repeat performance on the yellows.
We decided to pick up and run to Todos Santos Island and try for some calico bass. Only 1 fish caught but it was a nice size Calico caught by Pancho. We called it a fishing day and headed in around 7 p.m.
Pedro Moreno said we should try the Santo Tomas area on Sunday.
Set out on Sunday for the bait barge and Mike confirmed Pedro’s report so we headed to an area that I have always wanted to fish. Conditions were bumpy with a lot of wind. We arrived at the reef and saw a panga slow trolling but no hookups. Lots of birds working but no sign of breaking fish.
We decided to head around Santo Tomas point and the wind picked up something fierce. Had trouble setting the anchor in the huge kelp surrounding the point. We moved to Punta China 3 miles away and were able to set up just outside a promising area of a huge kelp bed in about 60 feet of water.
It was a steady pick of calicos, rockfish, and huge bonito for the rest of the day. Pancho and I also picked up a couple of nice lingcod.
We also had some nice barracuda show up towards the end of the day as well. Not a bad day considering the conditions as it did not stop blowing all day.
It was getting late and we were going to have to travel directly into the 4 to 5 foot swells back to Ensenada.
The anchor was wedged in the rocks. Now we knew why we didn’t move off our spot the entire day. It took some work but we finally pulled it out and it was pretty well bent out of shape. It wasn’t too bad coming back and we did 15 m.p.h. going straight into the chop with very little jarring.
(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.