The chartermaster Steve did brought in this amazing fish count for me to post. Thank you Steve for bringing this in and may I say “WOW!”, great fish count!
Chartermaster: One of the best anglers I have ever known, Steve Enright
|Rooster Fish||1||25lb Released|
|White Sea Bass||15||10-16lb|
Tony Reyes June 13-18th Report
The more times I fish the Sea of Cortez on the Tony Reyes the more I like it and the more I miss it when I am not there, it is not possible to explain it and pictures do not do it justice.
This is was my fourth June trip on the Tony Reyes on the soon to be world famous Steve Enright Charter and as it usually goes the excitement of the trip started very early in the year. The days leading up to leaving are the longest as wagers were being place about who would win the cool hat and who would catch the biggest fish, what lures or techniques one should use and other scuttlebutt. Dennis and Ann Jacob were gracious enough to give me a ride from Gila Bend down to San Felipe and I made sure to fill most of his truck bed with way more gear than I needed, I just tell myself I am bringing it just in case other people on the boat may need it.
Every year in the past we plan to meet at Jack in the Box at noon, the previous punctuality of Dennis seemed to have spread to the rest of the group and they were all there before we pulled in, most faces were familiar from years past and it was good to catch up and meet a few new people, Martha’s sister Patti was brave enough to join us for the week from Texas.
Once our crew got there fill we headed across the border to San Felipe, there was a little road construction so it took about 3 hours to get there. Along the way one of our group made contact with local law enforcement, Mexicali does not have yellow lights, it goes green, flashy green then red, in Mexicali if the light is red and you go through the local policia consider that an infraction worthy of a fine. I am not saying who was driving but the drivers brothers name is Gary.
We arrived without further incident in San Felipe unloaded most of our gear at the boat and proceeded to the El Caribe to check into our rooms, and as luck would have it we had a reservation, but as fate would have it they did not keep our reservation, there is a Seinfeld episode about reservations that is funny, when it happens to you it is not that funny. We got a few rooms right next door and everybody had a place to sleep for the night, so it was off to shop and then have dinner with the group at the Baja Del Mar. After dinner a few of the braver anglers road the local mechanical bull, and no that is not the name of a working girl it really is a bull.
Sunday morning we were up for breakfast and then off to get on the boat, I jumped on a computer at the internet cafe next to the hotel to tell my wife goodbye and let her know we were all safe. As we pulled up to the dock it appeared the tide was low, very low the lowest I had ever witnessed so we were not going any where for a while, there was some talk of stopping at the Golden Reef on the way to Snake Island but with our late start it did not happen. As soon as the tide was high enough we had a very brief coast guard safety meeting and threw the lines. Tony Jr. was on the trip and was also acting as a pangero as one of the regulars had some minor surgery.
I purposely do not put any line on until I get on the boat, it gives me something to do on the day of travel so we spent the day rigging gear, tying knots eating club sandwiches and of course chili rellenos for dinner. The weather was nice for the travel down, had a little bit of breeze with calm seas.
Steve had a brief meeting in the after noon to let us know the game plan that constantly changes with no warning, and to assign us our pangeros my pangero was again marcos he is clearly the best on the boat.
Monday morning I woke up at 4 with no alarm Thomas and Pat my pongo mates were ready to roll as well, the boat slowed down a little while after and the guys went to work unloading the pangas and by about 6 am we were off to fish Snake Island, I paired my arsenal down to 6 rods and 2 tackle boxes, and with Rockstar Recovery, twinkies, kitkats and jelly bellies in my backpack I was ready, the yellowtail however were not quite as excited to go though we had 10 fish for the morning I was lucky enough to catch the jackpot fish for the day on a popper, it weighed in at 30 pounds. I have never fished a popper before but I will never not bring one again, throw it on boiling fish and pop it once and they will eat it hard. I also caught one of the green and yellow 6xjr and a gold and green jig. We tried and tried to get them to go on the yo yo but to no love from the fish.
I really did not care as I had caught them on the popper.
We headed back for cheeseburgers and a quick move to a reef for some afternoon yellowtail fishing and got a few to go on the 6x jr babyshit color, a big bull seal decided that he wanted my fish more than I did and after a 10 minute fight that consisted of a fine mix of english and spanish swear words he won, that would be the only jig that no longer resides in my tackle box from the trip. We caught a few triggers and big mouth bastards to round out the afternoon and headed back to the boat for dinner and a much needed early bedtime that was cut short by a knock on my door at 11pm saying we are making bait, and make bait we did, lots of it.
We plugged the tanks with macs in about 75 minutes, there is nothing better than having a tank full of awesome bait.
DAy 2 up early again and as customary it is against regulations to eat breakfast if you fish in a panga with me, it wastes fishing time so with the sun just starting to come up and some fresh baits in the well we headed out for a day at San franseequito. We started out with a dropper loop and got hammered right away, of all the ways to catch yellowtail I would say that dropper loop is the most challenging as fish do not lick to come up off the bottom, we banged a few out on the dropper loop and pat always wanting to be different put a nice goat on the boat. We then decided to do some flylining for the yellowtail and it was on, they would eat almost everybait in the water so we had plenty of hookups, the problem was we had a bunch of break offs to go with it, I am not sure why but it was rough for my panga mates, my luck was a little better and I had a great morning managing 2 more fish on the popper both 30 plus pounds a couple on the dropper loop and a few on the flyline.
Hoping for a great afternoon I took a short nap after downing a few tostadas for lunch, but a great catching afternoon it was not, we got skunked even my popper that had managed 4 fish in 2 days lost its juju. I was hoping we would make some more bait and stay to get a few more yellows but as the engines fired that thought was quickly replaced by the fact that you have to go with it and take it as it comes.
Day 3 we were up ready to rock again, I looked on my gps and saw we were on the north part of La Guardia, we headed north to fish a few reefs for some pargo but the bass were thick and eating every bait we dropped, we managed a few whitefish and cabrilla as well.The highlight of the morning was a visit from a 12 foot mako and his buddy mr seal who were currently atan impass in their apparently violent relationship and were engaged in a mexican stand off, Patti got some very good shots of the shark. Like this one
We finished the morning at Refugio where funny enough a dive boat was anchored, just a few short miles from the shark sighting.
We caught a few more small yellows that we let go and I engaged in another battle with a seal over a yellowtail that I won after another profanity laced fight.
The highlight of the morning was Marcos grabbing a jig out of Pats bag that said POS on it and promptly catching 3 cabrilla in a row.
Back at the boat there was a huge bowl of ceviche waiting for us, some opted to fill up on spaghetti but much like the seal I only wanted the yellowtail.
Afternoon was much of the same although it was much warmer, Thomas caught a very nice pargo on the bottom on some squid and Pat pulled an amberjack off the bottom as well, we caught a few yellows to finish out our mixed bag for the day. We saw a few very large whales up pretty close and of course made a visit to the osprey nest and fishermans shrine.
As a treat for the night there was a huge platter of sashimi on deck as we unloaded the afternoon catch, there is nothing better than fresh hamachi sashimi, it was donated by Rich Rose.
The bonito were thick eating a blue and white 6x jr with a double hook ( just a treble with one broken) in a contest Pat and I had who could catch the most fish we stopped counting in the high teens as we kept catching 10-12 bonito on every drop, we most of them with only a pierced lip and kept a few for cut bait. Pat also landed a nice Sierra Mackeral to increase our species count.
After enchiladas for lunch we were treated to an afternoon of fishing for a mix fo things, we got a few cabrilla on the surface iron, the best way ever to catch fish but we never really got the numbers we wanted this year but every year is different. Along with the numerous rays jumping out of the water Thomas suprised us all by pulling up a 5 foot hammerhead shark who promptly snapped the line once he figured out he was caught. We ended up in Gonzaga Bay where I hoped we would make bait and head for the enchanted islands for a morning cabrilla bite.
I could hear the wind blowing as I rolled out of my rack and looked around, I knew we were not near the enchanted islands, instead we were at the golden reef, to go with the wind there was 3-5 foot seas but because I have the best pangero and pongos will not sink we were first out of the gate again, we tried some jigs but ended up dropper looping and were greeted by a lot of very good quality bass, you could catch a few at a time and when you are fish 300-350 feet you want multiples, the current was ripping but as the moring wore on the seas calmed a little and the wind died, around 11 we called it a trip and headed back to the boat to pack our gear and head for san felipe.
As is tradition the yearly dunce cap was convincingly won by Fast Eddie for depositing one rod and reel combo into the drink and various other infractions.
I have since been made aware that there was another contender for said award but the wrongdoings were concealed, that will be dealt with next year I am sure.
We got to the dock around 7 and were greeted by the usual zoo that goes with unloading and headed to our hotel for a night of sleep before heading back to reality.
Jackpot for the trip was a 38 pound yellow, is was very happy with the size of the yellowtail this year, they were brute.
The bad part about the trip is how quickly it is over, months of build up and it goes by in a flash.
It was a great group of people this year, it was a group of people that were easy to live with for a week and as always we appreciate Steve for keeping it together.
As always Tony runs a very good operation, the fish is handled and packaged very well, the boat has clean heads and hot showers, the food is good, the scenery is awesome to go with the fishing, there is no other trip you can do where you get that much quality and quantity of fish for that price. One nice change was the boat now has diet pepsi and diet 7 up along more bottled water than you can drink. You will never find more value for your dollar than you do on this trip.