San Felipe, Mexico



June 12, 2004, Donny Harris, fishing aboard the Celia Angelina, Sea of Cortez Sportfishing, San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico:

Here is a picture of a fish I caught on my last trip down the Sea of Cortez on Bobby's boat this season. It was his first 6-day of the year and the water was pretty cold down south where we were.

I got the fish out of one of the coves you see in the background of the picture in about 2 feet of water. We mostly fish Tady 45s, 99.9 percent of the time, but we had to take the panga into the cove to free up my buddy's jig and I had a bass rod sitting aside I had been messing with since the fishing was so slow.

The fish hit a swim bait I flipped into the crevice while we were in tight and I wrestled him out. None of the pangueros could identify it. Some of them had been fishing for over 30 years.

The trip was okay but below average, with the bottom fishing pretty good for other pangas the last days the farther north we went. Aggressive squid made for a pain in the neck everywhere we fished.

Me and my 2 guys in our panga stuck with the 45s and got 20-80 leopard grouper to 12 pounds with 4 pounds average per day out of the shallow waters and some occasional home guard yellowtail to 30 pounds with most being schoolie breezers under 10 pounds.

The last evening I did get stripped like never before in my life by a big grouper or HUGE cabrilla 20 feet from the panga on a quickly retrieved jig in 8 feet of water, and it took buttoned down 30-pound P-line like I tied a piano to the line and dropped it off the 10th floor...until the piano went over the rock ledge and left the line limp, but my heart pounding.

The swirl behind the jig was 5 feet in diameter, easily three times bigger than the swirls the 10 pound fish were making, which by the way, hadn't taken more than 12 feet of line the whole trip. My buddy was convinced it was 5 or 10 different fish boiling on the jig, but cabrilla don't ever boil in situations like that. The panguero said most likely it was a 30-pound plus grouper.

The cool weather was bliss to fish and sleep in, although I'd trade that for crashing yellowtail any day.

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