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
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
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
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.