Late start

When you awake to the call of quail in the desert you know that you have over slept.  You can’t remember the dream.  However it left the impression of walking a desert beach at night with a friend.  Baja does that to me.

Sunrise in Paradise

You should have already been on the water.  Day light is burning.  Really need breakfast but it is time to launch.  The fish are calling.

Time to launch

The wind is a little to flaky to head for the island.  You decide on the beach cobble north of camp.  Grab the light weight spinning rod, and the fly rod.  Time to chase the bass.   The spinning rod is rigged with a crocodile.  You tie a Clouser in tan and white on the fly rod.

In the tackle pack you have an assortment of Clousers, Deceivers, and a few Game changers.  A couple Crocks and Castmasters are added to your mix.  You hit the water and start the short pedal to the rubble reef.  Time to fish.

You let your line with the crock drag behind the kayak.  You have less than a mile to the rubble  You catch 3 triggers and 5 small spotted bay bass by the time you arrive.  probably gonna be a busy morning.

The reef at low tide.

With all the small rocks, you know it is a nursery area with lots of small bass.  You move out to deeper water.  20-30 foot deep water holds larger bass.  Out comes the fly rod with a tan and white Clouser.  On your second cast you get a 2+ pound bass, then it is pick, pick, pick.  1/2 to 1 pound bass, and a few 2 pound triggers when you forget to keep the speed of the fly moving faster.  Two hours in you have caught and released 41 fish.  Pretty good morning.

Tide is coming up and is about 2 hours till full tide.  Prime time.  The reef that was showing at low tide is now covered with 8-10 feet of water.  Back to the beach.  Fifty to a hundred feet off the beach you start casting the fly again.  And again start picking spotties as you cast parallel to the beach.  Time to try a different tactic.  I tie on a game changer fly and cast towards the beach.

About ten casts later I am almost back to the boat when I see a follower.  I let the fly sink out.  Pedal the Hobie 180 drive in reverse.  Picking the fly up from the bottom I get slammed.  A few minutes later it is taco time.  Lunch will be a nice fillet of Sculpin of about 3 pounds.  Over the next half hour moore spotties, triggers and a nice Orange Mouth Corvina all eat my fly.

Brian fly casting the same area from the beach with a nice corvina.

Over all a very nice morning.  Lunch will be a Sculpin sandwich made at the restaurant.  Dinner the Corvina will be done in camp.  Wrapped in foil with butter and garlic, salt and pepper, a slice of onion and lemon will finish it up.  Served over rice and a salad it was wonderful.  78 fish were safely caught and released in about 4 hours.  Two were consumed.

Big fish?  No.  But a very nice mornings catch.  Fly and light tackle fishing in Baja is a blast.  Give it a try sometime.  Let me know if and when you want to join us in camp.  Tight Lines amigos.

 

 

ORANGE Mouth Corvina at Mako-ville

You arrived in camp a day ago, and this morning the incoming tide is perfect for corvina.  You and a friend jump on the quad with Makobob.  Tackle consists of a couple of rods each a few Crocodiles, Cast Masters, a twin tail jig or two.  Sometimes fly tackle works well, so it is a handful of Deceivers and Clousers  and your fly rod.  Drinking water and a towel are in the back of the Rhino.  No gaff is taken, you land these fish or you lose them to your poor tactics.

 

Off you go down the beach, avoiding rocks and soft sand.  Usually 4-5 miles from camp in water that gets little fishing pressure.  A few bass and triggers always show up keep you alert.  The tide is an hour and a half from full.  You are wading up to your knees, in the warm Baja ankle tapping surf.  Casting over the reef you get a follow and he decides not to bite, but you saw him.  A few minutes later 15 feet from your rod tip you get nailed.

Brian the first FLY caught Orange Mouth Corvina of the trip is yours, a nice 6+ pounder.  You wet the towel in the back of the quad and gently wrap him in it.  If you are not ready to head for camp just yet, gut and gill him.  These are prime eating.  Great with butter, garlic, salt and pepper wrapped in foil and laid on the camp fire coals.  Do not over cook to enjoy one of the best tasting fish in Baja.  Serve with mashed potatoes, steamed buttered carrots for a gourmet camp meal.

Orange mouth Corvina about 5 pounds

 

This one was caught on a Crocodile while the angler was wading up to his shoulders,  He was on the outside of the reef at dead low tide.  Alan had walked from camp heading south, where the reef starts he walked outside and around it.  Other Corvina were in the area as they usually swim in small schools.  This one was caught mid September, just a couple of weeks ago.

The end of September and ALL of October are Prime time for Orange Mouth Corvina, and maybe Yellowtail from the beach here in Gonzaga.  But you never know what might take you for a ride, Cabrilla and Roosters are in this same stretch of beach.  You NEVER know what will work until you try it,  Top water poppers, and Scampys work in this zone too.  Tight Lines amigos, and good luck.

 

When picking fly’s

Fly fishing in Baja can be AWESOME.  But what flys do you bring and why?  It kinda depends on the fish you are targeting, AND what they are eating.  When I catch a keeper, I will gut and gill it.  This serves two purposes.  Fresher fish  for dinner, and I then know what it was feeding on.

As a fisherman we have all heard many times, MATCH the HATCH.  I sometimes find myself casting a 4-5-6 inch Popper, Streamer or Game Changer fly, and not getting hit.  But by changing my fly and down sizing to a 2 inch Clouser or Deciever my luck changes.  Why, because most of the local fish were feeding on micro bait.  Matching the hatch works.  That is until a Rooster fish comes roaming in chasing 9 inch mullet.

In the Gonzaga area in the month of OCTOBER most of the bait is micro bait.  This is what most fish are keying on.  You want to keep most your flys 1-3 inches in length.  Some tied full and some tied sparsely.  Match the hatch.  Color can matter, carry a set of color markers, and use as needed.  Match the hatch.

Rods and reels are a very personal subject, others can chime in on this topic, all I will say is that CHEAP tackle will always cost you fish, and tackle too.

I love fly fishing the beaches on foot and the shallows in a kayak.  NOTHING makes my heart beat faster than seeing a Cabrilla take a popper in 5 feet of water.  I know two things, he will rock me, and my dreams that night will keep me mentally ready to do it all over the next day.

Yellowtail and Orange Mouth Corvina are caught off the beaches, Roosters too.  And for some reason the yellows do not seem to rock you, Why I do not know but most of then get landed from the beach.  Sometimes a larger3-4-5 inch fly works from the beach, why?  Might be that there are a few larger sardines in the area.  Again match the hatch.

Going offshore you could get Skipjack, Sierra mackerel, Yellowtail, Jacks, Dorado, Rooster fish and MAYBE even a Marlin.  Enjoy the bounty of the Sea of Cortez and please release those fish not destined for dinner.  Thank you and Tight Lines amigos.