May 23, 2012 – 2:23 pm
Big Jerry LeCompte, the Chartermaster wrote this amazing trip report;
TRIP REPORT – TONY REYES – MAY 13, 18, 2012
JERRY LECOMPTE, CHARTERMASTER
Before I get to the important fishing stats, here’s some information about the border crossing, construction along the San Felipe highway and inspections/delays we encountered on getting out of the port on Sunday.
Border Crossing – the FREE Visa process seems to be working okay. The agents know what we are looking for as long as you specify that you want the FREE 7-day Visa for San Felipe. Otherwise they will want to issue a “normal” 6-month Visa with an accompanying fee.
Travel to San Felipe – there is considerable construction through the downtown Mexicali route to San Felipe with associated detours around the construction. The new border crossing route 7 miles East of Calexico is free of construction but make sure you know the route through Mexicali to the San Felipe road before going this way. Once on the San Felipe highway you have smooth sailing until about km 90 where the road-widening project starts. There are a few detours but these were relatively short and in good shape.
Inspections/Delays – we didn’t leave the port until after 1 pm on Sunday due to inspections by the Port Authority, Mexican Army and probably others. Not sure if this was just the start-up process for the trips this year or the implementation of new regulations.
Now the good part – FISHING. Started the trip at Partida; then fishing for Yellowtail around La Raza, Sal se Puedes and the local islands. Most of the fish were caught around boils but some were taken on trolling Mirrorlures. Hottest jigs were Blue/White Salas 6X Jr, Yellow/Green DX, Scrambled Egg Cristy II and various surface irons. Big fish for the day was a monster Yellowtail weighing 44 pounds 3 ounces caught by Clark Bennett. We saw a lot of cruising Yellowtail, some of considerable size, but they mostly ignored our lures.
We tried to catch live bait on Monday night with no success – same for squid. Didn’t get any bait all week; so much for having no moon.
On Tuesday we tried fishing around San Franciscito and South on the Baja coast. Eventually back to San Lorenzo. Both locations produced continuing good Yellowtail action but some Cabrilla caught on both jigging and trolling. Big fish for the day was a 33 pound 14 ounce Yellowtail caught by Mike Chesley.
Moved to San Estaben for Wednesday fishing starting with light winds, a little chop and fog around the island – beautiful! Good numbers of Cabrilla were taken on jigs with fair numbers coming from trolling Mirrorlures; Orange and orange/stripe seemed to be the best performers with Hot Pink doing it’s usual good job. One panga (Roman in #4) had an exceptional morning with 80 Cabrilla. Big fish for the day was another Yellowtail – 28 pounds 2 ounces caught by Mark Rascon.
The weather for Thursday was a little rocky after moving along the East side of La Guardia to a spot just South of Refugio Bay. Some Cabrilla were taken but most of the action was Yellowtail with the largest being 18 pounds 4 ounces caught by one of our rookies Cameron Simpson.
Moved to the Enchanted islands with a lot of wind along the way to complete the fishing after deciding to skip trying for the Golden Reef. Still some nice fish were caught, the largest being a 49 pound 3 ounce Grouper caught by our other rookie Kris Casey trolling a Mirrorlure.
The crew did a great job taking care of us – something we’ve grown to expect and appreciate from a Tony Reyes trip. Food was consistently good and served quickly. All the guides kept their pangas neat and really seemed to enjoy their work. Deck hands, engineers and Tony kept the mass of equipment, gear and fish organized and processed with great efficiency. You can’t help being impressed with the smooth operation of a Tony Reyes Fishing Tour. Let me express the thanks of everyone on the charter for a tremendous week. Mucho Gracias Amigos!!
We only had one problem – at least for some – we ran out of beer on the big boat. It is possible to consume 50 cases of beer because I saw it happen but it is rare. We recovered the beers from the pangas on Friday and finished the week in good shape. Since the charter fee covers 50 cases of beer and 40 cases of sodas, if you are worried about a shortage, toss in a 30 pack or so in your coolers for the trip down. The delay in departing the port caused us such angst that we had to relieve it somehow, so we drank more beer – such is the way of fishermen.
Tony did his usual masterful job of squeezing the barka into a too-small spot at the dock. We had the same confusion back at the port but it was complicated with two large semi-trucks with trailers on the dock and not much room for us to unload gear from the boat and get repacked for the return trip. Like most thing in Mexico, this only took a little more time and patience to resolve.
The new border crossing took 45 minutes, which is about average. I’m told the crossing in downtown Mexicali took something over an hour.
Tony just returned from the first 6 day trip of the year in the Sea of Cortez. They started fishing near Partida island with great weather catching a mix of Cabrilla and Yellowtails. They moved to Salsipuedes Island where they found schools of Yellowtail in the 20 to 44 pound range boiling on the surface. They were biting surface jigs and Mirrorlures. Cabrillas were found near the rocks and were eating the jigs well. The next day they moved to San Francisquito and fished near El Barril catching many large Yellowtails. They moved to San Estaban Island where they focused on Cabrillas and limits were caught there. The Cabrillas were biting the surface jigs, DX jigs and Mirrorlures.
Water temperatures ran between 70 to 75 degrees. Bait as well as Squid was tough to get but should get better when the water warms up some. Thursday the wind blew and there was some fog from the south east they fished the Refugio area catching more Yellowtails and Cabrillas. They ended up fishing the Enchanted Islands where they caught a 49 Lb. Grouper with others breaking off the anglers line. More Cabrillas were landed and overall it looks like we are going to have a great fishing season.