Fish caught at Gonzaga

Many species of fish are caught in the Gonzaga complex.  For our purposes the  complex covers the area from Puertocitos to Punta Final.  And encompasses the Enchanted Isles, also known as Las Encantadas.  On our trips there we have caught these fish and others too.  The major players were Spotted Bay Bass, found on almost every rock pile or rubble reef.  Golden Spotted Bass, usually found in deeper water.  Cortez Barracuda, top water around current brakes.  Mexican Needlefish, normally shallow around sandy beaches.  Many different species of Snappers, all rocky reef dwellers from less than a pound to guys over 30 pounds and stories of larger ones around the islands.  Cabrilla like the rocks and a lot are caught in shallow water.  I’ve spotted them in two feet of water sunning themselves on top of a rock.  When they take a top water plug on the surface your heart beats in a rapid rhythm.  If it does not then you are not alive.  These fish explode when they hit and are immediately in their cave or rock, you will have a better chance to land them when they are hooked in deeper water. You still have to stop them from getting to their hiding spot.  Another fish in this same area is the grouper, again many different species.  From the little Ribera grouper, with needle sharp teeth who folds up like a potato chip to the much bigger Gulf grouper who can grow to a couple hundred pounds.

Let us not forget the Cortez Halibut inhabiting the edges of sandy areas, nor the bone fish usually found along sandy beaches and bays.  Then the croaker family, to include the Totuava, White Sea Bass and Orange Mouth Corvina.  There are  Jacks, Yellowtail, Skipjack Tuna and Dorado too.  Those are the major players with the exception of the Rooster Fish, who can grow to over a hundred pounds and the Trigger fish.  There are many different reef and bait fishes to be found along the edges of the Sea of Cortez, life is diverse and bountiful.  Let us not forget the Sharks and the Rays.  So many fish to catch, so little time, that is the Sea of Cortez.  Enjoy it and treat it with respect so our childern and their children an experience it.

Getting a FMM, Mexican Tourist Card

Going to Baja?  You need this card to cross the border, it is easy to get.  Most Baja travel clubs have them available for their members, HOWEVER you need to stop at the border to have it stamped.  Or you can simply pick one up as you cross the border, pay for it and get it validated all at the same time.  If going for less than 7 days it is free.  More than seven days and it costs about $25 USD, in Mexicali you can pay in dollars or pesos, and if you fill it out for 180 days you should be able to use it for multiple trips.  Usually takes 5 minutes or less to get it taken care of.  Now you are in Mexico, enjoy your trip, have fun and stay safe, go lite on the beer and heavy on the tacos.

Getting your PASSPORT

Locate a local passport acceptance facility, this can be a post office, some public libraries or clerk of court office. Some facilities require an appointment or have limited hours.  Locate a regional passport agency, these are Department of State offices that can process expedited passport applications

You may also submit your application on line.

Proof of identity must be presented with all passport applications. Acceptable forms of identification include a passport, naturalization certificate, driver’s license, military ID card or other current government issued ID.  A photocopy of the identity documents also must accompany the passport application.

I got mine through my local post office.  After the passport application was turned in, I waited three and a half weeks to receive my passport and passport card.  I needed both just in case, passport card fits in wallet and gets me into US by car or boat.  If or in an emergency the passport is required to fly back to the US.  I keep the passport in a safe place and the card on me.  Time to get your passport varies, apply early.  Hope this helps and takes some of the frustration out of the process.

Directions to Mako-ville

The sign at the turn off  to PARADISE.  Prepare to be HOOKED!

Credits to my friend Hasheem, aka Mahigeer

This is the road to Mako-ville.  Here is a revised version of directions on how to get to Bob’s place in Campo Las Encantadas. It is based on Bob’s writing and my own travels.

Bob leaves at 5:00 AM promptly from Johnny’s Shell station in El Cajon located at 515 N. Magnolia Ave. Just off of the freeway (8) at the exit #67, N. Magnolia .

From there the caravan stays on the freeway (8) to the exit #98. In about 30 miles farther caravan stops at an ARCO gas station on the right side for refueling before crossing and perhaps meeting others. Then on to the highway (111) and to take right to border crossing. San Diego to border is about 125 miles.
Once through the inspection, caravan parks on the left to get FMM (Mexican visa), or stamped if staying more than seven (7) days.

From there caravan follows the highway Mex (5) through Mexicali, I ALWAYS stay in the center lane until I see the Rio Hardy sign.  Follow signs to San Felipe, Puertocitos, Rio Hardy staying on the highway Mex (5)all the way to San Felipe. Another 125 miles. In San Felipe caravan stops at Tacos Los Poblanos (across from Calimax market) for breakfast about 9 am if tables are available. If not an alternate place is chosen.  Going through San Felipe take right at sign to Puertocitos/airport, go about 9 km to sign saying Puertocitos and take a left. DO NOT go to the airport.
From here is another 95 miles to camp. For about 74 Km the road is rough. Then it is really nice two lane highway.

VADO means dip in the road and years ago they could and would take your rear axle out, SLOW DOWN for them. At km 60-65 be very careful.

When you reach km 134 you went 100 yards too far. Sign to camp will say Campo Turistico and you take a left.   Up until now roads are all good at (60) mph unless posted lower and passable by any car. At turn-off for camp it is unpaved dirt road, (15-25) mph but bumpy. Camp is about 1/2 mile from main road.

It is suggested lowering your air pressure at turnoff on your first trip, to about (20) psi. There is compressor in camp.
Continue until you crest hill and go down to beach, restaurant is on your left. In front of restaurant take a left and follow until you have to take a right at some trees, then go 100 feet and take a left. Please drive slowly in front of the restaurant to keep dust down.

From here the sand gets soft. You don’t need a 4WD and don’t worry about getting stuck. Plenty of help to get out.
However, park in a way so others can pass and walk the rest of the way to a structure on the left.

Parking is limited with more than 10 people in camp.

Welcome to Mako-ville OUR PARADISE.  Tight Lines amigos.

Church of Mako-ville

Our Church exists where ever in the world you happen to be.   Usually it is found outside in a natural environment.  Paddle your kayak down a river or on the open ocean.  Walk a forest trail, drive a desert road, open your eyes to a star filled sky, stroll along a beach at night in the full moon.  Take a walk in the rain and tell me life is not enjoyable.  When in a natural setting it is hard not to get in touch with your inner self and the guiding light in your life.  It does not matter who you pray to, but commune with them.  Open your heart to life and commit to living every day to its fullest.  Now help your family and friends reach that same level of existence.  You are living in the Church of Mako-ville.

I find it impossible to look up at the stars at night in Baja and not know in the depths of my soul that others are looking right back at us.  What would they think of the way we are nurturing this space ship of ours?  Our stewardship could be so much better.  Just look at our oceans, we fill them with trash, sewage and then over fish them.  They are dying, but do we stop, nope we do not.  Our oceans are dying and as they die so does the rest of our world’

YOU and I together can change this .  Most of us are fishermen of one kind or another.  Each of us can play a small part in turning these trends around.  Do not litter anywhere as most of it ends up in the ocean.  Pick up the trash you sea.  Practice catch and release, or make sure to fully utilize the fish you keep, and  encourage others to do the same.  Set an example for others to follow, and praise them for it.  OUR oceans are dying as I type this, for real, not FAKE.  If we all do a small part, others might follow our examples.

It is true our world IS dying.  If we all reduce our footprint things will be a little better.  Ride with a friend, paddle, pedal your yak, if you need a boat, smaller engines are moore efficient to operate.  Go off grid, use solar and wind if you can, they are renewable.  Shower with your steady, water is precious.  Every little bit helps.  Do your part and educate others.  The Church of Mako-ville is open at all.  It is a state of mind, and a way of thinking and living life to its fullest.  Services held daily, hopefully every time you step into nature, much better if shared with family and friends.  This is your church, no collection plate will be used.  Help make all of our lives better and our world too.  Tight Lines amigos.

Above is a lost soul, NOT.  Jim is watching nature on our way to CoCo’s Corner.  The new paved road from Gonzaga to Chapala is about a year away (2018) from completion.  That will connect the Sea of Cortez to Mex 1 and thus to the Pacific side.  The bad thing is is will bypass CoCos Corner.

Mako-ville a state of mind.

Punto Buefeo from Makobob’s place

We can walk through life and just exist, or we can live life to it’s fullest.  I chose to get up each morning and do everything I can, as hard as I can, for as long as I can.  Living my life to it’s fullest each and every day.  Some days I will drive all day to get to Baja,  Some days I will kayak fish most of the day, and other days I might just sit back and read a book.  Now some times I will be working on this collection of thoughts.

Life Is short.  As we get older our lives change direction, priorities change and we move on to new things.  We look back on our lives and dream about the things that we had on our bucket list as we were younger.  That trip to Hawaii, the marlin you never caught, the job you always wanted.  The adventure you wanted to experience is still waiting for YOU.  Being almost 70 I look back on my life and  I am happy,

I’ve lived a full life.  Done most of the things I wanted, reached and accomplished most of my life goals.  I hope you have done the same.  If you haven’t it is NOT to late to start taking care of that business.  Dreams, goals and bucket list items are reachable, yes they are work but they can happen.  My goal here is to get a few of you to reach out and make your DREAMS happen!  In writing I can guarnatee the things in your life that you did not accomplish you will REGRET the most, in your old age you might even dwell on them.  Go out there now while you can and MAKE them happen.

I will talk about Baja, Kayaking, fishing, fly fishing, Solo Skiffs, the church of Mako-ville, trips to Baja and hopefully MOTIVATE some of you to get out and enjoy your lives.  Oh I forgot to include sharing life with your friends, Baja and future trips to Baja.  Tight Lines amigos.  If you like the message please subscribe.