REMOTE SAN NICOLAS CAMP BAJA YELLOWTAIL FISHING TRIP
Feb. 28, 2007, Richard Spinner, San Nicolas yellowtail camp, Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico:
I am back from a Baja fishing trip to San Nicolas Camp north of Loreto. I went down there on February 15th and got back Sunday.
I have been going on these Blue Water Tour camps since their first one and they have been terrific from all aspects: great service, great camp, great food, great captains, great companions and at times magical fishing and I plan to go next year if possible.
Our group was set up for a 4 day, 6 night fishing trip. There were only 5 of us. The "Let's Talk Hook-Up" group with 14 people was coming down right after us and Arturo and John were going to make sure that everything was perfect for them. The people in my group were all great guys: kayakers Mark Pierpont (he's featured in next month's Western Outdoors Magazine on fishing the Owens with a kayak), Terry Reagan, old salt-Nick Sardo and Dennis Lefstein. All were solid fishermen and standup guys.
Jorge Zatarain was the fishing camp host and is someone you need to know. What a great guy! Everything good in the camp came from him. I went fishing with him in the evening sessions and his company was greatly appreciated.
Claudio was the cook and was pretty good but we arrived with no water and relied a little too much on our own catch for food. The food wasn't bad. No one got sick.
Each person has his own tent. We got the big ones which are nice and roomy. They added some smaller ones as we were leaving to take care of the large group that was coming. The toilet was okay but the pangueros made quite a mess with the TP when they did their bodily functions when you hiked in a bit to enjoy the remarkable scenery. I told Jorge that this was not acceptable. I assume he will take care of it.
The captains were Talpa, a machismo regular and a "run-and-gun" type but a capable captain, Francisco who was low-key, capable and nice and my capitan, Pedro.
The pangas were okay. They had radios and good engines. I love fishing up front from a fighting chair, but while the pedestals were there, they didn't bother to set up the chairs.
We drove from Arturo's Sportfishing in Loreto to San Basilio in a van to be picked up by the pangas and taken to camp. It's such a nice spot.
Session-by-session fishing recap:
There are two fishing sessions each day, one in the morning and one in the evening after a nice siesta. Winds were basically horrific and the water was cold.
Chicas are yellowtail in the 8 to 12 pound range and grandes were anything over 20 pounds. Mark Pierpont had a good set of Boga grips so weights were accurate. I stand by my fish count.
Fishing Session 1: Big Winds, 3 chicas and 3 grandes and 2 medium cabrilla on the iron, scrambled egg and Megabaits.
Fishing Session 2: Big Winds, stay in close and 25 chicas all on iron.
Fishing Session 3: The sea lay down a bit and we made copious Spanish Macs and fished the island with no success. Went to the "bajo" reef near Pulpito (this was the hot spot) and really got some action on the big boys, 14 fish up to 35 pounds, but much bigger ones were lost. All the fishing was done with 8-12 ounces of weight and fished right off the bottom, not my favorite style. I was fishing 50 pound test and getting busted off more often than not. There were some really strong fish and when you fish the bottom and factor in the drift, it's hard to stop the big boys.
Fishing Session 4: Easy bait in the afternoon. Two pargo mulatto on iron and 14 grandes for the other two pangas. I fished inside for the tightlipped cabrilla and got one 20 pounder and one 10 pound dog snapper. Also had one major bust-off on a slow trolled mackerel.
Fishing Session 5: Big Winds again but we make bait and get 19, 20-30 pounders, again with numerous break offs. Bottom fishing for yellowtail is brutal!
Fishing Session 6. Trolled Rapalas and threw iron north of Pulpito in a gaining wind. Ten-foot seas on the outside. One chica, lots of barracuda, one pargo and one cabrilla.
Fishing Session 7: Serious, serious wind. Trolled for an hour and got one more dog snapper.
Fish packaging and fish handling were acceptable. I plan to go again. We got major yellowtail action and brought back full ice chests of fish that were handled pretty well in camp and at Arturo's.
Loreto and Fonatur are starting to build a luxury resort at Pulpito! They have a construction site just north of the morro and a landing strip is being built.