FIRST PERSON FISHING REPORT
CEDROS ISLAND, BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR — I just returned from Cedros Island, from a trip with 12 others I hosted on a Reebs Lures charter, and it was my 10th trip to the island. The island’s fisheries just keep amazing me. This one was no different.
Cedros Outdoor Adventures greeted us 12 anxious anglers in San Ysidro, as we loaded our gear into a waiting bus, and headed for the border. Once across, we purchased our visas and it was off to Ensenada. Once in Ensenada, we loaded and boarded a 13-passenger single prop plane and were off to Cedros.
Upon arrival at Cedros the group was greeted by Jose Angel (owner and guide at Cedros Outdoor Adventures). We loaded their gear into pick-up trucks and were on their way to the hotel. A quick offload and a quicker gear up, we were on the way to the super pangas waiting for them loaded with bottled water, soda, and snacks. The weather was perfect, 75 degrees and a light wind from the north. Water temp was 63.
Most anglers chose to target yellowtail the first day. My boat decided on calico bass. We turned left out of the harbor and headed north. A quick 15-minute run and our panga driver "Melon" (pronounced “mel own” ) slowed to a stop. His eyes lit up and said it was a good spot. I fished with Matt Moyer, Nic Dragomeyer, and Stoked on Fishing videographer Shea McIntee. We all casted Reebs 6-inch swimbaits in different directions for triple hook ups to better model calicos on the drop. We all proceeded to get bit throughout the afternoon on swimbaits, Bolt Throwers, and Kelp Assassins. A great first day!
Saturday we were up at 5:15 and ready for 13 hours of more calico bass action. Again, we were greeted by our panga driver at the harbor, and we were off. We tried to reach Punta Norte but the wind drove us back, so we decided to work our way back south. At that point we all witnessed what neither of us have ever seen in our lives: boiling calico bass by the thousands feeding on krill pockets in gin-clear water.
As far as the eye could see in every direction there was boiling fish. We slid up to one boil after another putting a serious number of calicos on the boat for at least three hours, all averaging about 3 to 5 pounds, and all were released. There was yellowtail mixed in, and we watched then storm the krill with the calicos. Unreal! My boat must have logged in 200 bass that day. We fishedhard until 5:45 p.m.
Lobster dinner that night was waiting for us, and it was excellent and we went to bed knowing Sunday we were going to target yellowtail. Right out of the barn Melon gets a call from his brother saying the yellows are full speed to the south. He put the hammer down and we were on boiling yellowtail in minutes. A bit further south and Nic gets railed on the scrambled egg Salas 7x. Quick work and he gets a 35-pound fish. Then another shortly thereafter! We slid up on a spot of fish and we went double hook ups on the yo-yo.
I went full contact for 15 minutes with an enormous seal that had my yellowtail in it's mouth and I lost it. Ten minutes later I picked another quality yellow on the sink with a Salas 6x Mint YoYo iron and landed it. Moyer did as well as Shea. We were done with yellowtail, getting 8 of them, so it was back to calicos for us! We fished the rest of the day over reef getting slammed by larger model calicos on a consistant basis. Carne asada tacos awaited us for dinner. They were amazing and capped a perfect Cedros day.
Monday came, and it was time to leave Cedros. We packed our rods and clothes in dismay. Just then Jose comes into our room and asks if we would like to fish another four hours! We couldn't say no. Would you? Back to the pangas and off to put the hurt on more bull bass. This was the best day ever with T.J Ponder (10 years old) crushing the IGFA Junior World Record with a 6.5-pound calico. Way to go T.J ! We hammered fish for a few hours before we had to finally leave. We repacked our stuff and made our way to the airport, boarded the plane and we were off to Ensenada. We landed, went through customs, and loaded the van that was waiting for us. a short 15-minute border wait and we were in the USA again. Good bye Baja -- for now!
Jose and Cedros Outdoor Adventures did an amazing job setting this trip up, and it went off flawlessly.
Mike Ryba is owner of Reebs Lures, based in San Diego, and is a past winner of the Catalina White Seabass tourney. Also, Cedros Island is the destination for 14 lucky anglers in WON’s second annual September charter trip,
IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE big calicos and yellows, and even a beautiful halibut. The fishing at the istand is mostly calm water is not just outstanding, its classic Baja, the way “it used to be.”