I arrived back in Baja on Tuesday and had to wait until Saturday to fish, as the season's first northwesterly blow was upon us. For most of the week it's been windy out of the northwest at 15-20 knots, dry hot Santa Ana style winds kicking off the start of that season down here. Air temperatures at Santa Rosalia are in the low 60s during dark, heating up to a 80 degrees in the afternoons. Water temperatures are still in the 80-82 degree range and we have very good visibility of 60-plus feet offshore and about 30 feet inshore.
I did get in one day fishing this week, with my son Michael as well Chris Lorens, a part time resident of San Lucas, and his son E.G. Lorens of Grand Lake, Colorado, down for a visit.
I should have planned the day better.
I had gas in the boat 3 weeks ago. But did I bother to check it? I should have. The bait was up at Santa Rosalia and I'm thinking I can get gas from Chris at San Lucas Cove. But, is there still enough time to run to the bait grounds? No.
So with one foot in the fish grave already, I made a call to Jim. He told me he had lots of bait and could share, but Jim was already 4 miles off Isla San Marcos and heading to Isla Tortuga!
At Tortuga, I pulled along side Jim's boat for 12 pieces of bait. Without Jim I wouldn't have even fished. The bait lasted two drifts off the south point of Tortuga. Total fish count, 1 nice leopard grouper caught by E.G. of about 10 pounds, and a few fish lost in the rocks, so the fish were there, but slow on iron, and we had only three baits left for slow trolling sailfish farther out.
In slow trolling, not 30 seconds in the water and E.G. gets picked and lost one bait to a fish. Within the next hour E.G. got a second chance and put the hook on a 70-80 pound class sailfish. The fish was fought to just boat and the hook was pulled. Can't count it as a catch-and-release, but we did get everything the fish had to give without taking it's life.