Mulege, Mexico



June 17, 2005, Rick Barber, Mulege, Mexico Fishing Report:

The highlight of this week's fishing in Mulege was the first annual Pelican Reef Dorado Tournament. The tournament was held on Wednesday and Thursday with the award dinner on Friday evening. All the entry fees went into the prize jackpot.

All fishermen in the tournament had high expectations because there was a 55 pound dorado caught right in front of Mulege on Tuesday, the day before the tournament began.

First prize in this 2-day tournament was for the biggest dorado. Second prize was for the best 2-day combined weight. Third prize was for the largest yellowtail, fourth prize was for the largest "other" fish, and fifth prize was for the most unusual fish. A "Special" prize was given for billfish as they were in a catch-and-release category. All fish were weighed in between 2 and 4 p.m. on each day and then they were excellently filleted by Rafael Rodriguez Meza, a local fish vendor.

Prize winners were: First Prize, 1500 Pesos, tee shirt, John Haberman, 33 lb. dorado; Second Prize, 1000 Pesos, tee shirt, John Haberman, 2-day total of 57 lbs.; Third Prize, 500 Pesos, tee shirt, Bart Santos, owner of The Jungle restaurant, 15 lb. yellowtail; Fourth Prize, 200 Pesos, tee shirt, John Dinning, Pargo; Fifth Prize, 2 tee shirts, Hugo Gutierez, waiter at the Pelicano, blowfish. Special billfish prize, tee shirts: Bill Lenox, sailfish "Kalamity"; Jane Brooks, sailfish; John Dinning, marlin.

Judges had a difficult time deciding whether to congratulate, condone or condemn three teams who tried to use a little imagination during the contest. John Dinning and Bart Santos, Gene Lee, and the team of Carlos, Herman and Tanya, all tried floating tarps to attract the dorado. Because the tarps failed to produce the desired results, the judges decided not to castigate the teams but, rather, to give them an "E" for effort! It is interesting to note that someone was poaching on Gene's tarp after it had been in the water only 5 minutes.

We're already looking to the future. A committee is being formed to plan for next year's tournaments. We are planning to have three tournaments during the year with significantly improved prizes and formats. Who knows? We may put little Mulege on the big game circuit in a year or two! That's about it. I need to go lie down and work off my big meal! Another couple of tournament dinners like this one and I'm going to need to put overload springs on my hammock!

The tournament was sponsored by: Pierce and Valerie O'Shaunghessy and Scott Crouch, co-owners of the Pelican Reef Restaurant and bar; the Pelican Reef Realty, which is opening a new office next week adjacent to the restaurant; Caludia and Miguel Quintana's "La Tienda"; and Ana's Restaurant at Santispac Beach.

The fishermen donated the fish they caught to the awards dinner and the restaurant picked up the tab for the rest of the food. Chef Scotty Crouch outdid himself this time. The blackened dorado was superb as was the "pescada" empanizada. The "pescada" included fresh cabrilla, leopard grouper and halibut. Also on the menu was 100 pounds of honey-barbecued chicken. Side dishes included Scotty's famous barbecued baked beans and his equally delicious pasta salad.

(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from Mulege and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for Mulege may be found at's main Mulege page.