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San Felipe, Mexico



Nov. 10, 2006, Ken Jones, fishing at Gonzaga Bay, San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico:

I just got back from Gonzaga Bay.

I went down to Papa Fernandez with friends Chris Gessel and Bret Hambrick during the week of Oct. 28th-Nov. 4th and had a blast while “The Baja Catch” style fishing in our small boat and kayak.

The water at Gonzaga Bay was a pretty constant 73 degrees, and for the most part, the winds laid low and we able to fish all days.

Over 15 species of fish were caught including Yellowtail from 1-10 pounds, as many Sierra as needed (it’s a good day when you’re working Yellowtail boils and Sierra become a “pest fish”), Gulf Grouper, Leopard Grouper, Corvina, Barracuda, Pompano, a bizarre Lizardfish, Spinster Wrasse, Halibut, and the usual culprits: Spotted Bay Bass, Triggerfish, and Ribera Cabrilla.

Gessel also hooked into a 4-foot Hammerhead Shark on his kayak out from El Faro on cut bait and was not the least bit sorry when it shook off the hook near the surface.

The larger Yellowtail were hooked off of San Luis Island trolling on Yo-Zuri’s of different colors.

Hambrick scored fish after fish after fish the first day on blue Rebel Fastracks.

A day trip to Calamajue found rougher waters and slow fishing but Gessel managed to land a Yellowtail from the kayak. Small boat fishing only found Sierra, Bay Bass and Triggers.

While the rough water kept exploring to a minimum, the Baja landscape south of Calamajue is stunning. A few locals helped out with the fishing and launching and the road was fine. Even with four wheel drive you want to stay off the soft sand at the beach.

Coco’s Corner was all aglow with the coming of the Baja 1000.

A gift of a large Sierra to Simona who lives at Papa Fernandez brought back some delicious Ceviche the next day. An interesting style, more pate than the usual found in restaurants.

The weather was fantastic, people wonderful, checkpoints quick, border crossing a breeze and outside a few disgruntled jejenes, a great time was had by all.

We finally found a great use for those small Ribera Cabrilla fillets: cut them up finely, add onions, peppers, cilantro, spices, flour, roll up into balls, add an egg wash, roll in panko crumbs and fry quickly in rice bran oil. Ribera cakes!

(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.