Fishing Story From Mexico’s Bahia Concepcion

By JOHN M. DERBY
TIMES PUBLISHER
March 23, 2017

No winter in Mexico would be complete without a Fishing Story, and to be honest this has not been the best winter for fishing off the eastern coast of the peninsula state of Baja California Sur.
For instance: The Annual Yellowtail Tournament had barely enough fish to feed all the entrants, and some of the people who had fished the tournament for years came home skunked.
However, almost one week later, a couple of men on kayaks were trolling in Bahia Conception, and limited out on Sierra — the beautiful and tasty fish which looks like a huge ocean-going trout migrating in the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of Mexico).
This was enough to set the local fishermen into a frenzy, and it was two days later that we went after the Sierra, which has delicate white meat and is excellent for Ceviche.
Trolling blue and silver Rappalas, we were out on the water early, with big expectations to limit out.
However, that did not happen, and as the hours drifted away, we found ourselves going out of the entrance of the bay to the open water. Before we knew it we were over a depth of 70 feet, and we were not sure what we might catch. Trolling wasn’t working so we switched to bait hooks, and dropped our lines.
At first the catch was light, the small rock bass and other fish which we caught, we did not recognize. Then the rock bass got larger, and one was possibly the largest we had ever caught, and would make a great dinner for two.
Then our first Trigger fish hit, and this was a surprise because something about the weather had made Trigger fish harder to find and catch this year. The Trigger is a small-mouth fish with very sharp teeth, which likes to nibble on the bait before eventually taking the hook.
Probably one of the best tasting fish found in the Sea of Cortez, the Trigger rates at the top as a fighter and will match pound for pound with the toughest in the water. Using light fishing gear, the Trigger fish will give you all the battle you want, dragging the pole under the water and then waiting a spell and then doing it all over again.
Our second catch was one of the biggest Trigger fish we had ever caught and when you get a 4-pound fish on an 8-pound line, you are in for a battle. The fish seemed to sense it was in for a long battle because every 10 feet it would run and take out more line. It took slow and steady reeling to bring the large fish up to the boat and once the fish saw the bottom of the boat, it was off again.
It has been some time since we used the fishing net in our boat and it was hidden under the life jackets when we yelled, “We are going to need the net!”
When the trigger surfaced we were both pooped. There is no way we could have lifted it into the boat with just the hook and line.
It wouldn’t even fit in our cooler chest it was so big, and we just let it flop around on the floor in the back of the boat. The day might have been done except for another Trigger which came out of the same hole, not as big, but very feisty.
All three made for a good dinner enjoyed by not only us, but our neighbors because it was way too much fish for us. We rate this fishing day on the Sea of Cortez as one of the best.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: One week later, John Adams of Hilmar, who was skunked in the tournament, caught three, 20-pound-plus Yellowtail off the coast of Mulege, Mexico, and probably could have caught more but the bait fish were boiling around his boat driving the sea birds crazy.


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