Santa Rosalia, Mexico: Yellowtail And A Big Gulf Grouper Caught In Isla San Marcos Fishing

Nov. 24, 2006, Jim Anderson, San Lucas Cove, Baja Sur, Mexico:

Santa Rosalia area water temperatures are 71 to 73 degrees, night air temperature 55 to 58 degrees, day air temperature 78 to 85 degrees.

Inshore fishing action has been very good all week on small yellowtail and cabrilla. Santa Rosalia area small boat anglers have been trolling along the cliff area for great results and great meals of fresh fillets.

Offshore, the weather has been great, maybe even too good, and the yellowtail fishing has been very good one day and then nothing at all the next day.

One day we went out in the Moosea Boat and had the cooler full of quality yellowtail by 10:00 a.m., but the next day we sat in the same spot with no bites to speak of at all.

Today started off that way and Larry Sovern managed to put three nice fish in the box while the rest of us watched him catch fish. Later in the day we lost a couple of really quality fish and I managed one 27 1/2 pound fish and a couple of nice cabrilla. We decided it was such a nice day that we would stay and fish for awhile longer since things were slow.

About that time I got a bite that was really slow to take and I waited until I knew the fish was connected before setting the hook. When I set the hook, I knew immediately I was into a really big fish and figured a 40 pound class yellowtail.

When the line started peeling off the reel with no slow down in sight, I knew the fish was big, and at one point wondered if maybe I had hooked a seal like another angler that day. I did manage to slow it down after half an hour and started gaining line even though I knew I could not force this fish in and it would only come in when it was ready.

Somewhere during the second half hour I started gaining line and felt like I might actually land the fish. When I saw deep color in the water I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw the size of the fish attached to my line. Then I wondered what to do with a fish that I could not obviously lift into the boat.

I opened the transom door and with a strong rope attached to the jaw of this fish, I managed to drag it onto the boat.

When we got back to shore, we put the fish in a wheelbarrow and hauled it down to the squid camp where we weighed it at 150 pounds. Quite the gulf grouper. It was caught at the north end of San Marcos Island, on a live mackerel with a 5/0 Mustad hook, custom built rod, and 50 pound test Trilene Big Game line.

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