REEF FISHING TRIP OFF ROCKY POINT
Aug. 9, 2006, Ric Felder, Fishing off Rocky Point on the boat End of the Line, Rocky Point, Sonora, Mexico:
My last fishing trip to Puerto Peñasco was on Saturday, August 5th from my boat End of the Line.
The water temperature at the surface had cooled a couple degrees to about 86 degrees.
The first reefs we fished were 100-120 feet deep and the reef fished later in the day was 150-180 feet deep.
We managed to get a decent day of weather at Rocky Point on Saturday after a couple weeks straight of high winds according to the local Cholla Bay residents.
My uncle Neil and I hit the water at Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) at about 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, and we made a short run a couple hundred yards out into the middle of Cholla Bay where some birds were diving. We got into a pretty good bite of nice 16-20 inch sierra mackerel.
After picking up about a dozen sierra, we headed another mile out to get some spotted bay bass and grunts for use as live bait.
After getting about 40 good baits, we made a 13 mile run from Rocky Point to the southwest, to a few productive reefs, and started fishing.
We had no luck on the first reef after 5 good drifts, so we headed about a mile south to another small reef and made several drifts on that one, also with no luck.
I then headed the boat a couple of miles to the northwest, to one of my favorite fishing reefs that already had one boat on it.
Upon arriving at the fishing reef, I found that the boat that was already there was anchored right over my favorite spot on the reef, with the best rock on it.
I had to set up my drift so we would pass at least 50 feet away from the other boat.
On our second drift, we got a nice 18 pound leopard grouper. We made a couple more drifts with no luck. Then the other boat decided to pull anchor and try something else.
Once they had moved a good distance away, I was able to make a drift right over the good rock, and we had a double hookup on nice pinto bass on the first pass over it. One pinto bass went 25 pounds and the other went 15 pounds.
We drifted that reef and several others for an hour with only one more leopard grouper at 12 pounds caught, but no hits from gulf grouper.
I decided to to some deeper fishing water.
We made an 11 mile run to another reef with a high spot that sits at about 150 feet deep and arrived right at the same time that "Crazy Charlie" was arriving at the same spot.
The top of this reef is very small and there was just enough room for our 2 boats to anchor over it without getting in each other's way.
We both set up and started fishing. We were fishing with live baits on heavy rigs and cut mackerel, and whole sardines on lighter rigs. We had action pretty quickly when another 18 pound leopard grouper hit one of the sardines.
Ten minutes later we had a 40 pound grouper hit a live grunt on one of the live baits. A few minutes later, Neil stuck a nice 12 pound barred pargo on a piece of cut mackerel.
The action was slow on the other boat so they pulled anchor and set up a little closer to where we were and dropped their baits again. Charlie landed a nice 10 pound corvina pretty quickly and then one of the other guys on the boat hooked up with something very big which he struggled with for about 15 minutes when a large 100-110 pound grouper came popping to the surface. It was a beautiful fish.
We had one more strike on a live bait which was another 12 pound leopard grouper and then the bite tapered off.
Right at the end of the day we had a 20 foot whale shark come up to the boat and hang around for a least a half hour, slowly circling the boat and sometimes bumping it with his nose, and no, I did not try to hook it. We pulled anchor at about 5:30 p.m. and headed back to Cholla on a nice calm sea.
(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.