Santa Rosalia, Mexico:
Best Local Yellowtail Fishing Season In Five Years

July 3, 2004, Mike Kanzler, Isla San Marcos, Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur, Mexico, The Condition of Mexico's Fisheries:

I'm all for consevation and better enforcement of commercial and sportfishing regulations, but in my area it's a little hard to do when there's only two people in Santa Rosalia, both which work in the office, old lady, types the permits and the boss signs them, that's all the man power they have, sometimes the navy helps out, but they mostly just check you gringos, I've never been checked in the whole time living here and I'm on the water about 250+ days a year for the last 12-1/2 years!

The doom see-ers view of slow or no good fishing down here, well look from the amount of posts I see from alot of people that cry about slow fishing, you guys maybe fish what? 1-2 weeks a year down here? It's easy to hit a slow period of fishing right. Stright up I've logged every day I've fished here in detail and I'll tell you what, the fishing is as good as ever, some years slower and some years better, it's about cycles, for example this year's been the best yellowtail season that I've seen in over 5 years and all the other species right behind, well the Dorado is a little spotty, but clearly better than last year, the Dorado fishing hasn't been right here ever since the 97' El Nino and that's a fact.

Now what to do about the Commercial pangas, I can't say what goes on outside of this area, but thank god around here we have Squid which everyone fishes from April to Oct along with, seems like more than last year, those shrimp trawlers out of work?, they fish squid during the night and catch a few Dorado in the day for lunch.

Rarely do I see any longline pangas working these waters. After squid season is over, yes there is a season, Most pangas fishing squid get pulled out or leave ( over 60% aren't from here) the rest fish hand line along me and other sportfishing boats, others do gillnet, but what I've seen it's mostly Angel Sharks, Rays and few Halibut.

The bad stuff I do see is the trapnet method they use when Leopard Grouper spawn in tight to shore here on the Island, the minnig company will try to put a stop to it this year! fingers crossed.

Look for most panga fishermen here, it's the only job they have or will ever have to feed there family, there's no resorts for sportfishing or near enough people coming to fish this area and support an income for what a Mexican fishermen earns by doing the commercial fishing he does.

You rich two car, big house and nice retirement check! North Americans up there are so quick to point the finger at whats wrong with everything with fishing down here because, you had a bad fishing trip and there's no more fish down here and all the fish Mexico is exporting and so on and so on. I hear it evey year on the water, someone's not catching fish and they see any trawler and say I guess they took all the fish! even through it was a shrimp trawler on the anchor with the crew sleeping, I tell-em to take a pill! and maybe if you would have gotten up early enough to catch some bait you might have caught a few Yellowtail !

Hey get the check book out and come down here and support my Uncle, brother-in-law, and so forth and their family and they'll stop fishing so you people can catch some!

Word of advice don't hammer the Mexican Gov. too hard, look what happen to the Revillagigedo Islands, guess who gets to fish there anymore, that's right Mexicans only! want that to happen in the Sea of Cortez too? keep tuning the screws tighter and that's what will happen! Hey the fishing is as good as it gets! enjoy life for what it is , god knows I do! thats why I live where I do. If you guys really want to help out tear down Hover Dam and let some water from the Colorado river back into the Sea of Cortez, because thats what made this Sea what it once was the richest in the world!

Here's some numbers. Number of Sardine trawlers I've seen in the last 4 months 0 number of trawlers this year I think there was 7 one day this Jan. or Feb. they weren't real big one's all from Guaymas Son. they work most of the night and left, think I saw a few pairs working in March too on the East side of Isla San Marcos.

Point is after they left still made bait as easy as ever and right now there's so many squid and Sardines here one would never know that anybody was ever fishing them!

Look I don't have a Phd or what ever piece of paper that makes me some kind of expert on the state of commercial fishery like thoes of the NOAA. I'm just some dumb ##### fisherman that doesn't know a bunch of fancy words, however I do fish and spend more time on the water here than anyone from that NOAA! along with diving and constant observance I might know just a little about the state of the fishery around here. The NOAA? ha if I want a weather report I might check them out, but if I want a fish report I'll get in my own boat! As far as I know before the NOAA knew what the EL Nino was they had to ask some pesant third world Peruvian fishermen what it was, where do you think they got the name from?

Now the Mediterranean, how can you compare that sea with this one? One there's been a 1000 times more people living along the coast since the begining of time! Two it's fed through a very narrow channel, Three they invented commercial fishing before Columbus even sailed over here. Hey last I heard they still catch some pretty big Bluefin tuna off of Italy. Last I checked the sea of Cortez was connected to the largest ocean in the world, making pelagic fishes entrance a little easier than the Med and as far as Dorado goes, last I checked they swim in all the oceans and sea of tropical water world wide, live only 4 years and are sexual mature in 8-10 months, be pretty hard to whipe those out. You know what? I'd worry more about the state of your fishery, last I heard there's no more wild run Salmon rivers left in the lower 48, and what about Rockfish? can't fish those any more too, and being born, learned to fish and lived most my younger life in San Francisco, I kind of wonder what the hell I'd fish after the Salmon season's over and I'm talking sport, commercial! that was over when I still lived there.

For now the best thing all tourists can do fishing down here is not kill fish that have no value other than a trophy, I see far too many photos of Rooster fish, Sailfish, and Marlin. Also back on the dorado (also mahi-mahi or dolphinfish) subject over 95% of the people just in my area alone are over the limit on Dorado, most people don't know at the present moment that there's a 2 fish a person a day on those and that they count as 5 fish on any other species. When I fish-em and that's only with friends who want to keep a few to eat, great, but on my own I never or rarely fish-em, I'm a Yellowtail guy year round. Hey I know this and seen it with my own eyes! last time you guys had good Dorado fishing off the coast of So Cal I think the last strong El Nino, don't remember any limit on them, whats up with that? I guess because they don't show all the time it's anything goes when they do. Hey man those fish speak Spanish? Just messing with you guys good fishing all, come visit Mexico it's still great fishing and great people

I was out fishing this morning with some friends, catch and releasing all the Dorado you wanted! more than 100s under weeds just 2 miles north of Santa Rosalia and 5 miles offshore, we played with them for about 90 min. and got bored! guess they didn't get them all.

Sunrise at Isla San Marcos, Mexico

Sunrise at Isla San Marcos, and the yellowtail are out there! Photo courtesy Mike Kanzler.

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