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Old 01-31-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
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Default Rpt Sat.. 01-30-10 Ensenada Bottom Critters

Fishing with Mike Slater, on his 48’ Offshore, “Game Fisher”, with crew Rick. Mike had hired Captain Martin to drive the boat and put us on some of his spots down the coast some 40+ miles. We left out of Mike’s slip in Ensenada, at the Marina Corral, at 2:35 am Saturday morning. I drove down Friday evening from my home in Diamond Bar, where new friend Rick met me, leaving at 6:20 pm. We reached the border in San Yisidro by 8:10 pm. I was hoping that arriving at the border this late would negate the heavy traffic going to Mexico on a Friday night. No such luck, as it still took 26 minutes to cross into Mexico? Six months ago this was never a problem; don’t know what has changed since then?

We finally arrived in Ensenada at a little after 10pm. The guard let us in to D dock, and Mike had left the door unlocked. We unloaded our gear, and just as I poured myself a nice glass of Cabernet, Mike came in from dinner. He welcomed us aboard and then headed back out to pick up Captain Martin and his friend Manual. Rick and I chilled out until they returned, and then all of us told fish stories until nearly midnight. Departure time was set at 2:30 am, and boy did that 2.5 hours pass quickly? Headed out to our destination with an ETA of 7am. We stooped a little short of the numbers I gave to Martin that I wished us to start at. Interestingly one of his set of numbers was identical to mind.

The ride down was as smooth as silk, and when we stopped it was still greasy calm, just as the forecast stated. It was still dark at 5:40 am, and I made a pot of coffee to start the day off right. We all fished, but nothing was biting. At grey light around 6:20 am Martin moved on down to my numbers a few miles away. We got great meter readings, but no bites. Captain Martin moved us around to some of his spots in the area, nothing! Five different areas, great meter marks, and absolutely no bites. It was a full moon, and crystal clear skies. That had to have something to do with it. Also the water was filled with trash and debris, was an off color greenish brown, and Martin indicated he had heard that this area was littered with big squid just prior to the storms. Not good! Two hours of fishing and not even one fish caught. Even worse, the wind came up and it was capping well, already a constant 10-15 knots and 4-6 foot swells.

The forecast called for big swells at long intervals, but no winds? I checked Buoy Weather, Wet Sand and NOAA, all forecasts were similar? How do they all get it wrong? Martin made a radio call and fishing and weather was better on the Banda Bank, so he set a course north for 1.5 hours. I was disappointed that an area that had produced so well on my last couple trips here, did not produce. Also we now had to fish deep water, over 300’ versus the pleasant depth of 100’ to 150’ in this area. Oh well the best made plans often have to change, due to the elements? The boat heading up hill into swells and winds took them on quite well. By the time we reached the Banda Bank, the winds followed us all the way there. It required a one pound weight, and constant drop backs to the bottom, as the scope out was very strong. Winds were gusting to 20 knots now, not fun.

We scratched out a bite of 30 mixed fish, Reds, Bocaccio, Starries, Bank Perch, White fish, and one very nice Johnny Bass caught by Rick.

I managed to catch one of the few Reds.

Rick added a nice Red to his catch totals.

Mike caught two of our bigger Bocaccio, but I didn’t get a chance for a picture of him.

At 1:20 pm and the weather getting worse we called it a day. It should have been a rough ride back, but this boat really takes on the waves and swells. Water was washing over the bow, but the boat just rocked a bit, with an occasional harder pound from the bigger waves. Even after passing Todos Santos Island into the bay the washing machine continued. We made the fuel dock just before 4 pm when they closed. Fueled and I filleted the fish while the boat was being cleaned. Martin and Manual did a great job of cleaning. Here is a shot of the GameFisher at the dock:

We were all hungry, as we said goodbye to Martin and Manuel. Drove into town where a couple of Mike’s friends joined us for dinner. I had set aside a couple of Red filets and a big whitefish for dinner. The restaurant we picked out did not open until 7pm and it was only a little after six pm, and we didn’t want to wait. Mike’s friend Ricardo suggested another restaurant, and boy was that a winner. They prepared the fish in three different formats, deep fried, Vera Cruz style, and garlic butter. Wow, the presentation was awesome; they added salsa, rice, tortillas, and a marvelous cucumber salad, and sautéed yellow chilies and onions in a sweet buttery sauce. Yum yum, what a meal, washed down with Margaritas and ice cold beer of several varieties. We ate until we couldn’t move!

It was still breezy when we returned to the boat and it became apparent that Sunday was not going to be a fishing day. Lights out early, over slept, rise and shine at 6:10 am. Made coffee, loaded up the truck, made Rick and myself a sandwich for breakfast. Said our goodbyes to Mike and hit the road to Tecate at 7:10 am. Made the border by 8:55 am,, crossed in 16 minutes.

Mike, it was another adventure in Ensenada, the weatherman let us down, however, we managed to catch a few fish for dinner and more. It was a pleasure to meet you Rick. Let’s all do it again soon.

Hook up!

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Old 02-07-2010, 11:05 AM   #2
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Nice Report Cory!!
Captain "Sternhog"
33' Crystaliner Sportfisher
Huntington Harbor
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