Just got back into town last night from my trip down to Cedros. Wow, what a trip. We had the whole lodge to ourselves. Great weather, good food, good accommodations and awesome fishing. Day time highs seemed in the low to mid 70s and night time lows seemed in the 50s. Sunny everyday with some morning fog that burned off. I wore a pull over fishworks hoodie in the am and during our ride back to the marina, but while fishing I didn’t need it. We stayed in Jurel #1 at the lodge which had double beds, and sliding glass doors with screens and curtains. Every night, we slept with the sliding glass doors open/screened closed and it was like having the ac on. For those of you who stayed at the hotel in town you know how warm and down right hot it can get, even with the ceiling fans on. Nothing like falling asleep to the sound of the surf after a long tiring day. Being right on a bluff, I can’t imagine the rooms getting hot at night even in the summer months with the sea breeze. We saw two mosquitos the whole time and no ants or other bugs. Oh and the room we were in had high ceilings so we didn’t have to worry about scraping our rod tips on the ceiling. Jose has a rod rack next to a freshwater hose and bench which made rising gear off at the end of the day easy. Big improvement imho over the hotel in town.
The drive down to where the Panga picks you up seems about the same distance although the road to the water is a bit more convoluted. Alberto the driver has his two sons and grandson helping us with our gear. It’s easy to get spoiled having others carry your stuff from the lodge to the boat and back. We helped out, but could have easily let them do all the work. They even rinsed off out gear at the end of the day and cleaned our two yt. Fishing was from 6am until 6pm.
I fly fished most of the time while my son fished conventional and spinning gear using plastics, iron, stickbaits, a wax wing and even a crankbaits. The majority of the day was spent Calico fishing because that was what we wanted to do. Nonetheless each day we were there we would spend some time making bait and fishing for yt. Bait was mostly Spanish and greenie macks about 11 to 12 inches long. We frequently hooked other fish like puffer fish, calicos, blue perch short barracuda and some time of grunt looking fish while trying to make bait. We honestly only fished yt a few hours a day. Although we saw spots of yt popping up throughout the trip the big volume I’m used to seeing in the summer months and early fall didn’t seem present. Not entirely sure why, but in the summer I’m on a long range boat with much more sophisticated 360 degree electronics. We also had wind and swell that limited where we could fish. We only fished the leeside of the island and off the salt mounts and air strip. Only on one day was the swell really big. I would guess it was about 5 ft with wind. Saw the Shogun on an eco tour with a bunch of scientists and went up and said hi to Aaron and his crew. Great guy. Saw one of the Shogun crew hooked a yt on the long rod, only to get robbed by a seal. I landed my 35 lb yt in the same vicinity and almost lost it to a seal as well. and after 3 days we managed 8 bites, but only landed three. Of the fish we landed one went 23lbs, the other 35 and the third was just a rat, but caught on a crankbait. YT were hooked on surface iron, rapalas, buttefly jigs and bait.
So how was the fishing? Fly fishing in a nutshell it was good. I caught 30-40 calicos a day on the fly with fish from 6 inches long to 4 lbs. A few fish rocked me and even with 20lb tippet and a 10 weight rod I couldn’t keep those fish from busting me off. I also caught 3, sheephead that were about 16 inches long, and a half dozen barracuda each about 22 inches long. Interesting thing about the barracuda was that they didn’t look like the ones we catch up here. These cuda had vertical dark striped similar to the great barracudas in Florida but the mouths were like the ones we catch here. Missed a ton of fish and had a bunch come unbuttoned. Only once did it blow so hard fly fishing wasn’t possible, but that lasted only 2 hours of so. The conventional and spinning gear was phenomenal for my son. Yes, he caught tons of fish on the swimbaits, but the surface stuff was plain sick. Using surface iron, stickbaits and wax wings he KILLED them. Who would have known in March the surface action would be so good. But then again water temps were from 71-66 the while time we were there. It got to a point where he was catching bass so consistently on the spinning rod using surface stuff I quit fishing to video record him and got 3 clips. Most of his fish were in the 2-3.5 lb range with a few smaller and a few bigger. His biggest was an estimated 8lb. Many times while reeling in a fish he had wolf packs of calicos trying to steal the lure from the hooked fish. I finally wised up and decided to cast my fly to the wolf pack and on one occasion as soon as my fly hit the water a big bull calico inhaled my fly. Unfortunately I had too much slack line and I couldn’t strip set the hook. Ugh. For those of you who are going to fly fish I believe this will be a more consistent way to get bigger fish. Total number of fish caught during our 3 days and a few hours of fishing? My son caught 154 calico bass, two yellowtail, one 23lbs and the other a rat, one sheephead, 4 barracuda, one “grunt” fish. I caught 107 calico using a combination of the fly, plastics, surface iron, stickbaits, waxwings and bait, one yt, baaracuda, and sheephead. All calicos, barracuda, sheephead, grunt and the rat yt were released except for 6 that were bleeders which we decided to keep. I’ll post pics now.