How’s The Fish In Baja?

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Founding Publisher
November 8, 2018

Fish age the minute they are caught. This is the reason why we buy our fish from Luly, who is the wife of probably one of the best fishermen in the region, Alejandro.

When she came by the door of our house on the first day after our arrival, we could not turn down the offer of fresh caught Red Snapper. She also had Yellowtail, which had been caught the same day, and shrimp which had just come off the boat.

Good fresh fish is not that cheap in our area, especially after a long hot summer when there were no tourists to buy the fish. We paid about $6 a pound for a kilo of the Red Snapper and a kilo of large shrimp.

The minute we saw the Snapper our mind and appetite said “Sashimi,” or raw fish served with Wasabi and Soy. As it turned out, those were two of the things we failed to bring down to Baja with us. The Soy is available in Mulege, a town about 14 miles to the north, but the Wasabi is very rare in Mexico, and we were not sure we could find it.

We made a special trip to see if Wasabi could be found, and to our surprise, one of the little stores which caters to the “snow birds” had two small tubes, one of which we purchased for $4.

It turned out very much worth the purchase as that night we ate the Red Snapper and it was beyond compare. This is just something one can not find in our California valley. The shrimp we had on the second night, and it too, was the very freshest.

So, in answer to the question: How is the fish in Baja Mexico, the answer is great!

Catching the fish is always another matter, and we got our fishing reports from various sources on the beach.

Both Red Snapper and Yellowtail were being caught about 10 miles off the Mulege river at what local fishermen named the Snapper Hole. The GPS (longitude and latitude setting) is recorded for those fishermen in the know.

They are being caught at about 320 feet down on gigs or long silver lures weighing about six ounces. Unless one is used to working these lures up and down for hours on end, the effort can be laborious, but in the end rewarding.

Special reels are made for gigging and allow the fisherman to bring in the lures at a much higher speed than using normal reels. Even then it can be arm breaking, specially if the fish is in the 30-pound size.

On the second day here, Alajandro reported he caught a 40-pound Yellowtail at the Snapper Hole. This is a very large fish and all muscle. Such a fish is almost able to pull a 200-pound man overboard in a battle that can take a half an hour.

It is worth it? Once having had the experience, one will never forget it. No help is allowed once a fisherman hooks this fish. The battle is like life or death and sometimes the fisherman wishes he had died rather than continue the battle.

The largest Yellowtail caught by this writer was so big, we only kept one quarter of the fish. Half went to the guide, and his family and friends, and the other quarter went to our neighbors at Posada Conception.


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