WRONG-WAY FISHING TRIP IN THE 2006 PUERTO SALINA TOURNAMENT
Sept. 24, 2006, Steve Ross, Bad Dog, Marina Puerto Salina, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico:
Our boat, Bad Dog, ran 206 nautical miles this Saturday and burned 250 gallons of diesel fuel in defending our last year's first place finish of this fishing tournament.
We arrived on the Butterfly Bank in the dark at 0600 hours and began trolling. After a few hours of zilch we found a kelp paddy and from the bridge I saw one dorado come to our boat. She was curious to see what was invading her privacy. She ran back into the paddy and with Juan Lu and Gail throwing baits we hooked her and Gail reeled her up and we put her on ice. That left that paddy barren.
On my radar were a lot of targets. These wound up to be San Diego party sportfishing boats. We never saw a bent rod.
During the day, and on our way uphill toward the 43 we found many kelp paddies with no one home. The seas were blue, 68 degrees, and the winds were calm. You couldn't ask for a better day.
We got within sight of San Clemente Island and that's when we realized that we had made our way out for nothing.
On my radio were complainers which I deduced were all San Diego private boaters. On man hooked a marlin on straight 30 on a kelp paddy and that lasted about 30 minutes until they broke it off.
In order to make a 1700 weigh-in at Puerto Salina we had to leave this far off area, 85 nautical miles out, by 1230 hours, which we did, just back of full throttle.
We attended the La Salina fishing tournament awards dinner. They served left over paella from Friday night and the portions were for children. That's all I got to eat on a plate. We packed up and left in daylight for Ensenada's Marina Coral.
At approximately 1900 hours, we ran out of fuel at Punta San Miguel right off from the lighthouse. Had Juan Lu not been on board with his Amigo cell phone we would have had to drift all night. We raised nobody on the VHF.
In about an hour Juan's brothers showed up in Botes Juanito's tow boat and took us back to our slip at Marina Coral arriving at about 2100 hours. They gave us a bill for $300 which we paid and tipped both brothers $40 each.
Today, Sunday, our boat is in the slip and filled with diesel. It pays to know the right people in Mexico. It paid off big for us.
On the beach, we learned that the 238 Inner Bank went off for Yellowtail, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna and Skipjack.
This is the closest bank to Marina Coral.
So we went the longest distance to catch one fish, when the shortest distance paid off the most. Go figure.
Had we not entered this tournament, which placed us north, we would have fished local banks and scored big, caught a lot of fish, saved maybe $1,000 when you add it all up, and caught more sleep. If this isn't a fishing story, I don't know what is.
(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.