EL GATO BLANCO BOAT'S CATCH INCLUDES A GULF CONEY
April 21, 2005, Mike Doukas, El Gato Blanco, Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Mexico Fishing Trip Report:
Fishing with Mike Auditore on his boat El Gato Blanco, out of Rocky Point on April 16, 2005, we left out from the main harbor about 8:30 and headed out to make bait. Winds were almost nonexistent and water was calm and flat. Using Sabiki rigs we stopped about 3 miles out of Rocky Point and managed a wrasse and small Sand Bass. We decided to try a different spot and headed out to a bait area about 6 miles out of Rocky Point.
On the way we spotted the Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) charter fishing boat Joker and thought we might trade a bit of beer for some squid, as we had forgotten to get any. As we pulled up to them they had about 6-8 anglers bottom fishing, and we asked about bait. They were extremely nice and informed us that they had been hitting bait fish right where they were and had no problem with us dropping a few lines to get some.
We dropped Sabiki rigs and were catching small 10-inch mackerels 4 at a time. After about 30 minutes of fishing, we had between 12 and 20 of them. The only problem was the multiple hookups were tying our Sabiki rigs into huge knots. We went through 3-4 rigs just to keep fishing. Using light tackle, 3-4 ounce weights and a Sabiki rig was the perfect set up.
We then proceeded off shore of Rocky Point. At this point I should mention I will no longer be listing what reefs or spots I fish at. I was so heartbroken to arrive at our destination only to see marker buoys with nets attached. I have no problem with the commercial guys fishing any place I fish. I do have a problem when someone indiscriminately uses nets on a reef. This type of fishing literally rapes a reef of everything on it, including juvenile fish and non-sport bycatch. While most of the fishing reefs are known to everyone, I just don't believe letting the commercial guys know where I am doing well is necessary. I want my daughter to be able to fish those waters as well, and raping the reef is not going to help.
We came across Shawno with his party and asked how they were doing. They had just started so we went ahead and looked for an edge of the reef and anchored up. Again wind was almost zero, water like glass.
We started with double drop #14 stainless circle hooks, with 24-28 ounces of weight. Mike was nice enough to let me use his two speed Penn loaded with braided line. I have to tell you, that Spectra made a HUGE difference. When using mono I can't feel the bottom nearly as well as with the Spectra. I am converted and will be spooling all of my big bottom rigs with Spectra, or some form of braided line as soon as possible.
We dropped lines at 12:30. We began catching fish at 12:35, and that's the way it was all day. As fast as we could drop them they began to get hits. We boated 7 Red Snapper between 10-20 Lbs., one White Sea Bass about 20-25 lbs., one Gulf Coney about 25 lbs. Several times Naughty Audie actually had a double hook up. Bring up 30-50 lbs. of fish from 200 plus feet is work no matter how you look at it. We also boated a stonefish and after taking a few pictures were careful to toss him right back out.
On one occasion Mike was able to hook into something HUGE. It was not a shark, as it didn't have the play they usually have. This thing was all pull. It pulled him into the side of the boat, and then actually leaned him over the side. After doubling the pole over a few times and about 10 minutes of fight it seemed to calm down. Mike proceeded to bring him up; the puzzling thing was it was a lousy 10-15 lb. Spotted Bass, or at least that what we thought, until we looked at the other hook.
Imagine a Stainless Steel #14 circle hook (made by Owner) looking like a needle. Whatever had been on the other end of that double hook up had literally straightened out the hook. Mike has it now and will be taking a picture of it against a black background.
After this we decided it might be time to take a break and make a sandwich. We had been using cut bait as they were responding to it so well, but Mike felt like dropping a whole mackerel down and letting it sit a while. He dropped it down and locked in his pole, turned around to grab the bread and he started getting hit. He was immediately taken to side of the boat with another huge hit. This time not only did the rod double over but we could hear it splitting. Try as he could we just could not get any line on this guy. Finally after loosing about 10-20 feet of line on him we decided to try to hand line him. Using Mike's shirt for a glove I wrapped the line around my hand and tried to pull him up. Those of you that know me, understand I am not a small guy. I couldn't even get this guy to budge. I then took my hand held it by my shoulder and turned a circle to semi wrap the line around my shoulder. I literally walked across the cockpit of the boat to get him started off the bottom. It must have been hilarious to any one looking at us. I am pulling the line and yelling for Audie to take slack, we could have qualified for the two stooges I am sure.
Finally we get him far enough off the bottom that Audie can reel him in, and low and behold a nice big fat Black Sea Bass. I put him somewhere between 85-105 lbs. We hauled him into the boat looked at each other and said, "I think I am done for the day."
(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from Rocky Point and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for Rocky Point may be found at Mexfish.com's main Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) page.