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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got back from a 6-day fishing trip aboard the Royal Polaris from San Diego, CA. We fished at Cedros Island, which is off the coast of Baja Mexico, primarily for yellowtail. However, we got in pretty close to shore, so I got my Graphite USA bass stick and tossed a plastic swimbait towards shore. Bam! I caught two kelp bass (aka "calico bass") in the 3 to 4 lb range. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures.

For those of you that have not seen the saltwater version of the LMB along the western coast, the following is a photo of a calico that I caught off the coast of Islas San Benito several years ago.

I realize this has nothing to do with freshwater fishing here, but thought I'd share. I wish I had some senkos on me to see if it would have worked out there (I'm sure it would have).

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Long Range fishing continues to be a very popular Southern California fishing option. The length of a trip can vary from 3-days to 17 days (even longer ones are available) and most boats depart from San Diego. A six day trip can take you as far south as Alijos Rocks (almost 3/4 of the way down the Baja Mexico penninsula). However, it's a two-day boat ride down there, so you are gambling with limited fishing time. The time of year will also dictate where and what you fish. Going to Alijos is not the norm. The boats will usually hit Guadalupe, Cedros or Benitos islands. Sometimes, they will stay off shore and look for the Albacore tuna and Bluefin tuna.

On my recent trip several weeks ago, we hit Cortez Bank to the west to fish the Albacore tuna. We fish here for two days and got a good number of 30# to 40# fish. They were caught on bait (live sardines), jigs and plastic swimbaits. I didn't bring a camera with me on this year's trip, so I have not photos to share, but I do have some old photos from previous trips. The following is an old photo of frozen Albacore that we caught being laid out right before unloading them at the dock.


We then headed towards Cedros Island, which was a 1.5 day boat ride. At Cedros, we caught Yellowtail and Calico Bass during our one day stay there. The following is a old photo of the group fishing the kelps off of Islas San Benito. The Calico Bass are all nestled in the kelp. Note the huge bait tanks that keep live sardines and anchovies.


We fished the next day further north at Sacramento Reef for rockfish. Then, it was time to go home.

While we do not target sharks on our trips, they often find us. On my previous trips to Guadalupe Island, the local Great White Sharks can be 20feet long and will eat your fish right at the boat. They are clever creatures and will wait for you to fight the tuna and bring it right by the boat. As you are about to gaff the fish, the Great White comes out of nowhere and sinks his teeth into the yellowfin tuna you just fought for 30 minutes. The following photo is a common thing at Guadalupe Island:


At night, the captain will typically require the entire boat to make bait for the next day. This can include catching small mackeral/jacks with light tackle and/or large Humbolt squid. Yes, on certain days, we will use an entire squid as bait with a kite rig. The kites take out the squid several hundred yards out from the boat and keep the bait right at the surface. The larger yellowfin tuna crash on these baits and then you're in for a ride. The following is an old photo of a larger model squid.


The following is a photo of a decent size yellowfin at Guadalupe Island caught on a live sardine using 50# test gear.


My personal best yellowfin was 121# caught right before sunset. Here's the photo:


Some years, there are wahoo to be caught at Guadalupe Island. The following photo is a wahoo that I caught using a "bomb" (jig) on 50# gear.


It's a totally different type of fishing, but it is truly an unique experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There are limits for each species imposed by the Mexican Government. The general rule of thumb is five per person per day of each species. The sportfishing industry down in San Diego is very well organized and they really try to maintian a sustainable fish population.

A typical 6 day will cost around $1,700. This includes all your meals and permits. The meals are awesome. There are usually two chefs that work all day. You are fed 5 meals a day (morning/ mid-morning snack / lunch / afternoon snack / dinner). Beer and soda are a buck each.

Culprit, those are some nice fish. The Dorados are very good eating. Some baracudas are edible, but the Giant Baracudas (typically caught in much warmer climates) are not recommended. The Pacific version caught off the coast of California and upper Baja Mexico are quite tasty. You just have to bleed them as sson as you catch them and ice them down in a cooler.

BTW, sharks aren't the only ones that take your fish. We typically fish yellowtail near the islands and the local sea lions (some weighing more than a few hundred pounds) will take your fish too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
SpecialEd, I am a member of Bloodydecks. I'm usally a lurker though. It's a great site.

Thanks, FishinMatt. I realize this is a freshwater fishing forum, so I don't want to take anything away or veer away from that. I just find that a lot of freshwater bass fishing techinques are completely applicable to fish their saltwater counterparts. I love all types of fishing. I just wish I had the time and money to try all of them.
 
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