La Bocana Baja California

Discussion in 'Fishing Reports' started by CAPTAMB1, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. CAPTAMB1

    CAPTAMB1 Guest

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    Left San Diego 1-18-07 @4:000pm headed for La Bocana BCS, which is located some 500 miles below the Mexican border on the Pacific side of the peninsula. I was ridding with my good friend Dave who has been fishing La Bocana for over 10 years and knows the local people as well as the hot spots to fish. This trip was mainly made to deliver a motorcycle to one of the local fisherman's sons but we took our fishing gear along as well. The Fishing season for the exotics runs from August to January, this is the time to catch Marlin, tuna, dorado, and grouper. The grouper average around 65 pounds and hook up to land ratio is about 1-5 as the fish are tough to keep out of the rocks. Fishing these giants requires a 2 speed real with 80 pound main line and 150 pound leader. The other big fish in the area are giant black sea-bass which are very similar to the Jew fish. We knew we were a little late for the grouper as the water temp. had dropped to the mid 60's but the Black sea bass were there year around.
    We drove the first day until we were about half way there which required us to drive at night which is not recommended in Baja because of the cows that freely rome the roads, and speaking of the roads there are typically no shoulders to them and the lanes are only 10 feet wide. There is only one road that runs from the tip of Baja to the Mexican border it is app. 1085 miles used by the long haul truck drivers, when one goes by in the opposite direction there is only about 1 foot between you and him you just hope he stays in his lane.
    We arrived around 2:00pm located Dave's friend, Joaquin who is a commercial fisherman working for the fish coop that is located there. We would be staying with him in his house as there is little in the way of accommodations for tourist in this small town of 1500 people.
    La Bocana is situated on a lagoon with an unprotected entry in to the Pacific.
    Beach launching every day was the norm there is no launch ramp but the sand is hard packed and if you can tow it you can launch at La Bocana.
    After arriving and getting the boat ready for the next days adventure we met up with Juanchy who is Joaquin brother and also a commercial fisherman, he took us in his boat to fish the lagoon for the last couple of hours of sun light and it was no stop action on small plastics for spotted bay bass.
    Day 2 had us launch at sunrise, the temp was in the low 30's and very cold for this part of the world, it rarely gets below 50 here and the cold snap would play a roll in our fishing. The locals were heading out in there open skiffs to pull the lobster pot as it is lobster season and that’s what makes them there money this time of year. We made our way out the entrance of the lagoon and quickly made a couple of dozen small mackerel for our live bait.
    We headed south about 15 miles to a reef that was a know spot to catch Black Sea bass we set up on anchor in 119 feet of water and baited our big sticks with live macks and sent them to the bottom. We rigged up heavy iron jigs on 40 pound out fits and started jigging the bottom which resulted in a fish every drop some times a sand bass and some times a calico or yellow tail but every drop was a fish. As Dave was pulling up a fish I looked over to see his big rig go bendo, I yell at him and he turns just in time to see the fish come un buttoned, this was a big fish as it had bent his heavy rod almost all the way to the water. This would turn out to be our only shot that day at one of the big ones. We managed some nice keeper bass and a few Yellow tail for our efforts for the day.
    Back at the entrance to the lagoon we find the out going tide raging as we navigated between the lobster buoys we clear the entrance and as we made our way now between the anchored skiffs to the beach Dave does a good job of nosing the boat up on the beach to let me off to get the truck and trailer backed down in to the water. We had to position the trailer at a 45 deg. to the beach as the tide was running hard out, it took a couple of stabs at the trailer to get it right but once on it was easy to pull the boat out.
    We pull the boat back to the house and gas her up for the next day. There is no gas station in town so we had to bring our own gas in 55 gallon drums. The local cooperative that everyone works for gases up the locals from the Cooperative pump. Dinner that night would turn out to be fresh lobster and fish at Joaquin’s small restaurant that he runs next to his house; it has only one table and a bar. We were treated to a dinner prepared for us by a visiting chief from the New Port Yacht Club who had been coming down to La Bocana for over 20 years.
    Day 3 had us repeat the scenario of launching and making bait but this day would be spent looking for grouper at a bank that was 40 miles from La Bocana, the bank showed to have warmer water according to the latest SST chart. The weather had improved from the day before with little or no wind and calm seas. We made it to the bank and set up a drift with the heavy gear in the water we also sent our jigs down to look for other fish. I looked over to see my rod go bendo picked it up and set the hook line started pulling of my 50 SW at a rapid pace, Dave yells button her down which as I reach fro the leaver the line goes pop rocked, but we were in the right place so we go up current and set up again this time it’s David’s turn he gets hit hard with full drag and there was no stopping it.
    I get hit next and get the fish off the bottom I am thinking I am home free with this one, I crank her up in low gear about 20 feet off the bottom as I reach to reduce the drag just a bit the fish makes a run and Snap goes my 100# leader [email protected]$ I yell. Well it just was not our day to catch a big one but we caught more fish in the last three days than we had caught most of the summer. Back to La Bocana and back on the trailer and again a great supper before turning in.
    Day 4, our last day which would be a half day of fishing as we had to leave the next day for home. Today we took Juanchy with us; he had some numbers to a rock up north for a shot at a Black Sea Bass. We launched and made bait and the wind was blowing out of the north at about 15 knts. We headed for the numbers dead into the wind as the wind and seas built it became rougher but we pressed on. We found the rock and set up anchor and started fishing again every drop to the bottom caught a fish most we released but we did manage a few nice sheep head and some nice Yellow Tail. The sheep heads out hear look total different than the ones you get in Texas as you will see in the picture below.
    We fish until 11:00 am and then decide to head back towards the lagoon but stopped on the way at a place that Dave call Calico heaven, he told us he found a rock a couple of years ago that produced 5-6 pound bass with every drop. We arrived there with the wind blowing now at about 25 knts we drifted the high spot and sure enough we were catching Calico after Calico bass anywhere from 3 pounds to 8 pounds on heavy iron dropped to the bottom. The drift was more like trolling as we were going about 3 knts as the wind pushed us along. In 3 drifts we caught more than 30 bass.
    We headed in and after pulling the boat up there was a couple of local guys coming in they had managed to get a nice 80 pound black sea bass.
    All in all it was a great trip, we will return sometime before the next fall to work on the boat, Dave leaves his boat down there at Joaquin’s house because to pull a boat all the way there takes twice as long due to the road conditions which makes it very nerve racking to say the least.
    All in all it was a good trip made new friends and got to pull on a lot of fish.
     

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  2. CAPTAMB1

    CAPTAMB1 Guest

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    Sorry about the pics they were all taken with my cell phone.
     

    Attached Files:


  3. Pope

    Pope Senior Member

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    Sheepshead, calicos, bass, tails and grouper. The grill will be hot for a while. Great report, photos and fishing. Thanks for sharing! It has been 11 years since I drove down HWY 1. It looks like the road is better now than it was then.
     
  4. Deep_Sea_Gull

    Deep_Sea_Gull Lifetime Supporting Members

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    Great report and pictures.
     
  5. lite-liner

    lite-liner troll enforcement Staff Member

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    Nice Callies in the box! I sure miss Pac. coast bass fishing!
    -Brian
     
  6. lite-liner

    lite-liner troll enforcement Staff Member

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    Nice Callies in the box! I sure miss Pac. coast bass fishing.....
    -Brian
     
  7. Bret

    Bret Senior Member

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    Great report. thos pics made me reminisce about our trip through Baja.
    its a great place.
     
  8. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    Excellent report and thanks for sharing the pictures!

    A fishing trip is not complete until you get to chase the sheepies! LOL

    Are those red/black fish the sheepies you refer to?
     
  9. CAPTAMB1

    CAPTAMB1 Guest

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    Sheepshead, calicos, bass, tails and grouper. The grill will be hot for a while. Great report, photos and fishing. Thanks for sharing! It has been 11 years since I drove down HWY 1. It looks like the road is better now than it was then.

    Thanks Pope, and yes the roads are better maintained now.

    Thanks to the rest of you for the kind words and yes Baja is a magical place. :)

    Ragman those red and white fish our the sheep-heads out here on the west coast. the funny thing about these fish is they are all born female and as they grow depending on the school some of them become males.
     
  10. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    Hermaphorodites! Wow!

    They certainly are a striking looking fish!

    I bet they're even more striking in person and fun to catch too on light tackle!