Santa Rosalia, Mexico:
Hot Summer Weather Brings Catch-And-Release Dorado Fishing

July 10, 2004, Mike Kanzler, Isla San Marcos, Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur, Mexico:

Second week of July and we got another day off, just as well too, because will be getting into a solid two-week run! Last of the summer as far as I know and just fine with me, it's hot out there! Hot Hot Hot, at least it's dry hot, strange northwest breeze in the morning changing over to southeast by noon, must be high pressure up north or something.

Morning air temps 78-80 degrees with afternoons in the high 80s to 90 degrees. Water temps 77-80 degrees inshore and 80-84 degrees offshore, good vis overall 30-80 feet depending how far from the shore you are.

Fishing been pretty good depending on your target species.

I'll start with the end of last week and the two day fishing trip of Jim Marsh and his son Douglas from San Diego.

The first day started a little slow on the reefs of Isla San Marcos with us taking only two nice Leopard grouper and never getting bit on any Yellowtail that I saw.

However all is not lost, there's still plan B, dorado (also mahi-mahi or dolphinfish). So we run for Santa Rosalia about two miles north and five miles offshore, putting us on the southern edge of Caleta de Santa Maria and like years past the paddies where there with hundreds of fish under them. We caught and released plenty of nice dorado in the 8-15# class and a few close to and right at 20#, keeping 5 of the larger bulls.

On the second day the reef decided to give up the goods. On the very first drift they got a double hookup on what appeared to be yellowtail at first, till mid-way in the battle I noticed the rods weren't throbbing like when one has a tail on, I yelled out! looks like you guys got some Gs on! and sure enough two Gulf Grouper, of 20# and the other about 35# not real big, but the better eating size.

After a few more passes over the reef we caught a small yellow 22# and a real nice Leopard grouper of 12# as well missed quite a few bites too.

Plan B didn't fly, too rough out of the east, large swells of 3-4 feet hampered our decision to run out for Dorado, so we returned early but satisfied.

Middle of the week I went fishing by myself with just enough gas in the boat to go on a very tight game plan, no jumping around to different areas. Well the day, was, how should I say, not a total failure, due to the fact that I learned one very important thing! Where the bait is!

The bait in the last couple of weeks have been a little tough, the reason being is the commercial squid fishermen no longer clean their catch close to shore where the bait usually is, but now clean them where they catch them for two reasons: lighten the load for the run back, saving gas and not stinking up the shore. Thus making bait fishing hard.

So back to my day, scratched up 7 pieces of bait off the haystack in two hours, damn I knew this was not going to be good, takes me about 20 min. on the reef.

Ran out and saw a panga buddy of mine from Santa Rosalia and asked how the fishing was? He had two yellows using squid slabs, but was slow. My next question was, any bait at the marina entrance? He replied, si mon! Looks like longer bait runs are in the near future.

So after blowing my 7 baits with one 14# Cabrilla to show for it, I did a little deep Iron fishing catching one small Sawtail G. and 5 large Gold spotted bass then went home. Oh well, get yah next time now that I know where the bait is.

Yesterday I had the GM of the COMSA Mexico city cousin from San Diego out for a day of Dorado fishing. Picking him, Guillermo Hidalgo Andrade and his son Adrean, up at the Santa Rosalia marina after I made lots of bait easily.

It's rare that I start Dorado runs first thing in the morning. Normally I'll start after 9:30-10:00 once done with reef fishing. It got weird right from the beginning. Dim light plus high clouds most of the early hours made for bad paddy hunting. Couldn’t tell if I was in blue clean water or off color dirty. After 3-1/2 hours of trolling and running I was starting to wonder!

Then a little change in our luck. Sun broke through and at least see that the water was clean blue, never mind about temp. If the waters stained, Dorado don't prefer it even if it's warm.

So now about 12 miles northeast of the marina, looking west I see Boobies flying and diving about two miles away, finally! Once there, fish every where chasing flying fish, large area too, about 3 square miles with big paddies here and there.

We took are limit of bulls by trolling and baiting, releasing all the smaller fish.

Loading boat at Isla San Marcos, Mexico

EASY DOES IT--Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos has it easy when he needs to put his Boston Whaler on blocks for maintenance. He just calls a crane from the COMSA gypsum mine on the isla. “One of the advantages of living in a mining town!” says Kanzler. Photo courtesy Mike Kanzler.

Mexico Fishing Photo

GOOD GROUPER DAY--Jim Marsh and his son Douglas of San Diego fished with Mike Kanzler out of Isla San Marcos for a couple of nice gulf grouper of 20 and 35 pounds. Photo courtesy Mike Kanzler.

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