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Old 01-12-2014, 01:50 PM   #1
greenscales
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Late Baja

Wanted to do a 5 day trip down Baja for the New Years, but work delayed me until Thursday and then got stuck for 3 hours in the border closure from the CHP shooting. Crossed after 1 AM Friday and pulled an all nighter to El Rosario in time for sunrise at the ecological reserve just North of town. Pics are limited because I forgot my camera and only had my Iphone.
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Got distracted exploring all of the cool sights - waiting for my caffeine fix to kick in - launched from the fishing village by Punta Baja at 11 AM, paddled 1.5 miles South, 1/2 way to the island, to a 60' deep ridge about 200'l x 10'w in 90' of water. When over the right spots, the meter was full of fish and double hook ups abounded. Kept 8 assorted rockfish, all over 5lbs. this first day, including 2 reds and a huge whitefish. Even an 8lb. Cabrilla that spun of a 10+ sheepshead of the second hook of a Lucanus they were fighting over. Smoked by what was likely a WSB and busted off by some beasts busting hooks or rocking me - likely the tanker goats that I got into last time. Paddled back for sunset and rented a room next to the ramp for $20, owner helped me clean fish in the back w/a $5tip he wasn't expecting.

Late start again the second day because I was so exhausted from the prior 48 hours - so paddled West at 10 AM to a new spot above the point, short sleeves in 80 degre weather. Found another ridge parallel to the one 2 miles South with almost identical conditions/depths. Hardest problem was reading through the sonar scatter caused by all the whales hanging next to me each day. Huge Calicos and another ton of fish, capped by loosing what would have been a PB Ling Cod. Spit out a 14" brown rockfish that had my hooks in it when I tried to use the lip gripper. Probably 30lbs. - no BS. Probably a total of 100 fish for the 2 days there and kept another 10 over 5lbs. the second, & least a dozen species.

Drove up to PST for the last night, but everyone was a sleep, so emptied the truck and slept in it up a 4x4 road. Sammy was insulted I didn't ring the bell and wake him up to get a room or set up a camp. Launched late again because of the lack of sleep, and headed out to the islands in a t-shirt again. Current was ripping and made it tough. Couldn't find Sammy's spot North so went west to a high point and tried to work the slopes, w/a nice Cabezon for the first fish.
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Was tempted to go to the shoreline to fish the points, but weather was too good outside not to hunt for the bigger fish. Current finally down at 3 and hooked this huge 19lb. Sheepshead on the first drop.
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1/2 hour later this 17lb. Ling.
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Over 50lbs. of pure filets kept, with torn up hands and little bit of a sunburn - not bad for the first weekend of the year. Many of the fish were full of octopus and using strips on various lures was the key. Paddled in for a beautiful sunset.
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Sammy is looking at going non-profit to host church or teaching groups, so he would welcome kayak fishermen to come down sooner than later - realbaja@gmail.com. As for Punta Baja, from what I gathered from the locals, I am the only kayak angler they've seen in their village. The drive down around the toll road closure was easy and up through Tecate on the way back was even better - no wait at all. Only car at the booths at 10PM. Anyone interested in going down, feel to reach out to me. I may try again before the LJ beach access is reopened and would welcome partners, but may not be able to get the time away from work.

Forgot to mention what the locals told me as I left. The commercials had netted a bunch of Yellows, Barries, and WSB just a few days prior - and fishing was still amazing. But also a few commercial Panga fisherman trying to "earn" some extra money went afoul of a cartel in the area and were found dead down the coast. So I felt safe the whole time, keep your nose clean still. If you do not pose a threat or flaunt something of value they want, no one will bother you, but keep your head down none the less.

Last edited by greenscales; 01-12-2014 at 02:18 PM. Reason: forgot to add something
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:03 PM   #2
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Going old school with the scampis... Thanks for the report
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:12 PM   #3
greenscales
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When in Baja do as Baja

Wish they were the old Scampis - Kalin's and Gulp's instead. The Kalin's lasted about 3-6 fish brought in and were shredded. The Gulps would have the tails torn off after just a few drops - but would get hit even faster and more aggressively. The old school plastics would probably have slowed the bite a tiny bit, but would have made up for it in down time constantly readjusting and replacing the plastics with as good as the bite was.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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Another great Baja story, nice report.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:34 PM   #5
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So Punta Baja is about an hour south of San Quintin?

How do the fishing areas compare?
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:01 PM   #6
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nice! never done Punta Baja, PST was the first and second Bajapaloozas

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Old 01-12-2014, 03:14 PM   #7
greenscales
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hey Buddha - Yes, about an hour south. But when I've looked into conditions at SQ - it was always too long of a paddle to where the fish were hanging. Punta Baja doesn't have the protection if the weather is out of the South or West, but I believe the fishing spots were closer than from SQ Bay.
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Old 01-13-2014, 07:40 AM   #8
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Cool report! Awesome feeesh
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:16 AM   #9
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Killer trip! Thanks for all the details.

A few of us went to kayak Punta Baja some years back. We were catching yellows near San Quintin the day before and the locals were only catching rockfish when we got to Punta Baja so we opted to head further south to BOLA for more action on the yt's. I always wished we would've explored the Punta Baja area. Cool to see it paid off for you!
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:55 AM   #10
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Nice catch Richard!! come out to La Jolla so I can see you?
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
nice! never done Punta Baja, PST was the first and second Bajapaloozas

How old is that picture?? It's been a LONG time since I've seen so many Cobra FnDs together, with no Pro-Anglers in-sight!
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:38 PM   #12
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How old is that picture?? It's been a LONG time since I've seen so many Cobra FnDs together, with no Pro-Anglers in-sight!
I think I had a F&D on this trip

2004, some Scupper Prosand an Extreme in the mix too
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:02 PM   #13
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I think I had a F&D on this trip

2004, some Scupper Prosand an Extreme in the mix too
Wow 10 years ago, how time flys when you are having fun in BAJA!
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:02 AM   #14
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That was an awesome report! Thanks for sharing!
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