San Carlos, Mexico



June 12, 2004, San Carlos, Mexico, Long Line Panga Confrontation (names withheld):

My husband and I have been visiting San Carlos, MX for fishing vacations since March 1994. We average 4 to 6 trips a year with family and friends and consider the people of San Carlos friendly, kind, and extremely interested in keeping the sport fishing alive.

These trips and many great, happy memories helped us to decide to purchase a newer, bigger boat that was taken to Marina San Carlos in May, 2004.

The incident I am sharing with you is factual. I hope no other boats will be treated this way when they are fishing the Sea of Cortez. It was a bit unnerving for all the people aboard our vessel. On Tuesday, June 1, 2004 at 7:15 A.M. our 29 foot fishing boat left Marina San Carlos with 8 US citizens and a Mexican captain. We had a glorious day and were about 25 miles out at 220 degrees when we came to a long line.

We paralleled the line but did not go over it. We landed a dorado and as we were trawling [sic] on, a Panga came from the Southeast at a high speed, crossed the long-line and stayed extremely close (5 Feet) to the port side of our boat.

The Panga stayed like this for about 3 minutes then came closer to our boat and 2 men in the Panga stood up and began hitting our port-side fishing rods with long sticks. Much shouting and hand gestures were exchanged. Our captain told me to get the camera. I did. When the Panga men saw me taking pictures, they sped up in front of our boat. They stayed with us for 3 to 5 minutes, before turning back across their long line.

Another sport fishing boat was near us and called on the radio to see if they could help. The two sport fishing boats then went around the Panga to get some closer photos, but the Panga kept turning away. Our Captain, ____ was very professional in his actions. He told the Panga to leave before the Panga men began beating the fishing rods. ____ also called the other boat to keep all safe. Then he radioed the Harbor master and explained to me that I needed to file a report with the Marina. I spoke to _____ that afternoon about 4:00. I will be sending some photos within 24 hours (before 3 pm on June 11). I send this hoping that all parties can agree to safe and friendly actions while sharing the beauty of the Sea of Cortez.

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