BIG GROUPER AND BLACK SEA BASS CAUGHT WHILE FISHING ON OFFSHORE BAJOS
Feb. 9-10, 2007, Jesse White, boat Just Hammered, Rocky Point, Sonora, Mexico:
Here is our report for Rocky Point, for Jesse White and Jeff Boyd aboard "Just Hammered" out of Desert Hills, Arizona, with my uncle Brian Pasha from Warren, Ohio, his first time in Mexican waters
We awoke to glassy conditions on the Sea of Cortez and decided this would be the day to make our maiden voyage to the 51 mile reef. We left out of port at Rocky Point around 8:30 a.m. to absolutely perfect sea conditions.
Making bait was tough at the usual stops between 3 to 8 miles out of Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco). We managed to boat only a few goldspotted bass on sabiki rigs and then used some cut bait to put a few larger ones in the live well. We only caught two mackerel, but knew they likely wouldn't survive the trip to the 51 mile reef. After spending way too much time to get baits, we headed out to the deep water.
Along the way, we stopped to watch a few finback whales and a huge group of porpoises working the surface with tons of birds all around. We trolled some small jointed and regular crank baits and spoons through the mess with no success at all.
We stopped at a few reefs in the 40 to 50 mile range, but our coordinates didn't put us on much structure. We'll have to figure that one out. We fished with cut bait at a few of these stops while Jeff rigged up the heavy gear for our live bait drops. We managed to catch one red snapper, a handful of ocean whitefish, and 6 or 8 nice bass that I think were Calico's based on pictures from Mexfish.com A few of these went up to 6 to 8 pounds. We also caught two long lizard-like looking fish that I still cannot identify.
We finally got to the 51 mile reef at around 4:00 with not much time to fish if we wanted to beat the setting sun. Thankfully we didn't need much time as within about 2 minutes of dropping our first live bait, we were hooked up to a nice fish! We let my uncle Brian take the rod and work the fish, as he has only fished a handful of times and never has had a hookup like this. After about 20 minutes, he boated a beautiful 95 pound black sea bass, the first ever for our boat. With that and a handful of other nice cooler fish, we headed in to Rocky Point in still glassy seas.
My uncle had to head back to the States this a.m. so it was just Jeff and I fishing today at Rocky Point.
After hanging back to help out with the kids in the morning, we didn't get on the water until 12:30 p.m. The seas were once again super glassy and we got out quickly to the bait reefs. We got 4 mackerel on the first sabiki drop and then put 6 or 8 goldspotted bass in the well for bait.
Today's fishing plan was to hit the reefs 12 to 20 miles out of Rocky Point to try for grouper. We had to be back for dinner at around 5:30 so we knew our time was short today. After making our first stop and within just minutes of dropping our first bait, a goldspotted bass, Jeff's pole got hit hard. The fish made a heck of a run and he wasn't able to keep it out of the rocks. We drove in circles for a bit and he was able to free the fish. Minutes later, he boated a nice 80 pound gulf grouper. I had the mackerel down but it never did get hit.
We drifted a handful of times across two different reefs with no other luck, but were happy to head in to Rocky Point with the awesome grouper. We took 3 bags of fresh fillets to Balboa's Restaurant, on the water across from Safe Marina, that night for dinner and it was great! They do a great job there and only charged us a few dollars for our meals, complete with baked potato, veggies, and tortillas.