San Felipe, Mexico



May 6, 2005, Larry Bourne, Puertecitos, Baja California, Mexico Fishing Trip Report:

After all these months, I finally got to go back to Puertecitos again, and it was a bust.

I left Palm Springs on Wednesday morning, May 4, and arrived at Bahia Cristina just before dark, a little after 7 p.m.

The road is worse now than it was last November, and the wind blew just as hard, if not more so. People I talked to at the abarote in Puertecitos were heading home with a load of White Seabass they'd caught down at the Islas Encantadas. They said they had 4 days of beautiful, perfect weather that ended about the time I got to Bahia Cristina. Figures.

I came home a day early, because the wind made it a very bad idea to even think about launching over the beach, and the water was very murky; kind of a pea green color for a long way out.

A group of 3 guys that I talked to at Campo de Costilla had gone out from there on Thursday morning in a 15 foot Gregor Alaskan, and got swamped 2 miles out. They were really shook. Said they'd used the ice chest as a bailer, in addition to the bilge pump, and praised the flotation in the boat. They were loading up to go home when I talked to them.

I did catch one small Corvina by pitching a 1 ounce white leadhead/lime sparkle twin curlytail off the beach, but it was tough going against the wind. Maybe next time, if there IS a next time.

I had a MAJOR problem with Mexican customs when crossing the border at Mexicali on Wednesday at about noon.

When the inspector looked in my boat, a 16 foot center console, he saw the 2 Tempo gas tanks in front of the console, one 11.5 gallon and one 19 gallon, and immediately said, "Put the gas tanks over there," and pointed to the side of the inspection area.

I asked, quietly and politely, what the problem was, and he repeated, "Put the tanks THERE," and walked away. I followed him, and he pointed to a sign that showed a picture of a portable container and said, in Spanish, something about "transportes," which I took to mean "portable." About then, another agent got right into my face and screamed at me to "PUT THE TANKS OVER THERE!" Then a third one got in on it.

I remained polite and asked if I could turn around and go back into the U.S. "PUT THE TANKS OVER THERE!"

There was no way in hell I was putting those tanks anywhere, even if I was physically capable of it, which I'm not. I played dumb, and tried going from one to another, and suddenly no one spoke English. Finally, after what seemed like an hour, but was probably 5 minutes, an officer (?) with two silver diamonds on each shoulder came out to see what was going on. Everyone backed off and shut up, and this guy spent a good 5 minutes deep breathing and scowling at me and my boat and poking at the tanks, then finally said, "Go."

I looked at him, and he pointed south and said, "GO." I went, but I was one pissed off S.O.B. I'm still hot, and it was really hard to keep my mouth shut and a sorta smile on my face through all that. I was dressed clean and casual, and am always courteous and polite with officials, and when in Mexico make a point of using what little Spanish I have as a courtesy. I have a Mexican fishing license and boat permit, but wasn't asked for them.

(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.