A Long-Range Journal: Day 4

An editor’s trials and triumphs on his first-ever, 11-day, long-range fishing trip off Baja.

mp day 4

mp day 4

Steve Bosang with a 40-pound class Alijos Rocks yellowtail.

Today was a day of new species.

The morning gray light brought spitting rain, wind and a killer yellowtail bite. Anglers used dropper-loop rigs, baited with sardines or mackerel, to hook into the tasty fish that resembled Florida’s amberjack. Apparently, the yellowtails taste much better! I was busy, walking the decks, taking photos of different anglers when the bite slowed down. When I finally dropped bait down, the bite had stopped and I missed an ideal opportunity.

I told myself after the missed yellowtail chance that I’m going to put the camera down and truly try to target some of these new-to-me gamefish species. Yesterday, I had some chances at wahoo and missed out. Today, the same could be said for yellowtail. Though I’ve learned an incredible amount about these fisheries already, I still want to make sure I’m catching and sampling some of the fish. I’ve got my work cut out for me tomorrow.

The wahoo bite slowed today and yellowfin tuna still haven’t shown, but we did spend time trolling and anchoring at different areas around the rocks. At one spot, we dropped down butterfly jigs and hooked into a number of species including sheephead, rockfish, sculpin and grouper. All the species were new to me, and some had some pretty fantastic colors. The sheephead was red and black, plus had massive teeth like Dracula.

Tomorrow, we’re fishing offshore, looking for kelp paddies and floating debris as we make our way toward the tuna banks. Capt. Ekstrom says to expect dolphin, wahoo, yellowtail, and maybe some tuna too. They don’t have sargassum weed out here, but I bet the style of fishing is similar.

I have some fish to catch tomorrow!