Kayak Fishing Adventures on Big Water’s Edge   Kayak Fishing Supplies

Go Back   Kayak Fishing Adventures on Big Water’s Edge > Kayak Fishing Forum - Message Board > Kayak Fishing Reports

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-11-2017, 10:54 AM   #1
Denis_Ruso
Silver Spoon Crew
 
Denis_Ruso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Malibu, CA
Posts: 354
Updated* Eye of The Storm - Campo La Poma, Baja MX

As always this will be a lengthy recap of my second Campo La Poma experience down at Mako Bob's Paradise.

The drive down was something out of a movie. Long straights, waterfalls, empty deserts, abandoned buildings, sandstorms reducing visibility to just a few hundred feet, rockslides with boulders, downpours of rain , water crossings and creeks running across the road.

Some do say "Baja is for Adventure"


Firstly, before I begin let me back-up. Last years visit and experiencing epic fishing down in Gozaga Bay, I was itching to return. With my birthday coming up I sold this trip to my friends as a "birthday" trip. How else you get your best friends to take off a week off work to play in Mexico? After, much convincing and A LOT of planning, the trip dates were set months in advance. September 1st through September 9th.

2 4x4 cars, 1 hobie kayak, 1 tandem Kayak and 1 L2Fish Paddleboard, Fishing gear, free diving gear, scuba gear and 4 good friends.

With everything coming together and the date coming closer the news of Tropical Storm Lidia made us question our timing and plans. The storm caused some devastating flooding down in Cabo and was headed up the peninsula. All the forecasts called for heavy rains, flash flooding and high winds all the way up into northern Baja. The storm was to reach Campo La Poma on September 2nd.... the day we planned to get there. The question laid heavily on our minds in the days leading up to our trip. "Do we leave a few days late and cut our trip short or do we stick to the plan and drive directly into the storm and ride it out?"


As you may have already guessed, we unanimously decided to leave as scheduled. 3 AM we meet just north of Los Angeles. The drive down showed signs of unstable weather and stormy patterns. There were high wind gusts and hot humid weather at night. Nothing says storm's comin' like 80 degree warm gusts at 4 in the morning. This added to the anxiety of the storm. We make our mandatory breakfast and fuel stop in Calexico at about 7AM. Shortly after, crossing smoothly into Mexico at 8 AM. We were directed to the Tourist Visa office by the border patrol instantly and they even helped us find a parking spot. (way smoother and more clear than the last time we crossed). We picked up our FMM tourist visa which is now 500 Pesos, approximately 30$ a person.

Feeling the accomplishment of being halfway there we departed to the next stop, San Felipe. On our way just out of Mexicali, I was waved off the road by a parked Policia. I get pulled over greeted and asked for my destination and reason for my visit. The officer asks for my driver's license and registration. I am pretty sure I am about to get a ticket as I had been driving 74 KM in a 60 KM Zone. (With oversized tires my speedometer does not read accurately so I was unsure of my actual speed). The Policia officer hands me back my registration and driver's license and sends me on my way. No hassle. No Ticket. No Headache.

After the stop, this leg of our drive produced some spectacular views of the desert and displayed the first signs of the Tropical Storm Lidia. The desert was barren, the wind gusts were beginning to strengthen and before we knew it we were driving through a sandstorm. Visibility was a mere 200 feet which worsened to 50 and then cleared again to about 300. The landscape was surreal, with nothing but a two lane road expansive desert landscape straight out of an old western movie.

The rain began just outside of San Felipe and cleared up very shortly before we pulled into town. The wind was strong and the Sea of Cortez did not look inviting. The sea was producing 3-4 ft waves as far a 300 yards offshore. We stopped at the grocery store to stock up on beer and groceries for the week. Then we drove into San Felipe so my friends could pick up their fishing licenses. This turned out to be a long ordeal as the Tourism office in San Felipe no longer sell fishing licenses. They sent my friends to another guy who sells them across the town. The guy who is supposed to sell them was apparently not working on Saturdays and they returned to the Tourism office in San Felipe. They were directed to a website and they allowed my friends to use their computer to purchase them online. IF YOU EVER GO TO MEXICO, PLEASE REMEMBER TO CALL YOUR BANK AND LET THEM KNOW YOU WILL BE TRAVELING. My friends did not follow this advise although I let them know it would be a good idea. So after the transaction was denied they also had to borrow the tourism office's phone to call their bank. After 2 hours and fishing licenses in hand, we were fueled up and ready to continue on our last leg of the drive.

Leaving San Felipe, it is always interesting to see the amount of failed developments on the roadside. It seems that many have attempted to develop communities, hotels and stores in Mexico but not all have succeeded.

The rain just outside of San Felipe was relentless. The downpour had began and this slowed our drive to a more modest speed. Windshield wipers could barely keep up with the speed of the rain. It seemed that the drainage of water had the same problem. There were deep puddles in the road, most the vados had small creeks running through them. Rocks half the size of cars has fallen on the roads reducing traffic to a single lane for both directions. There were waterfalls pouring down the rocks as we drove through the mountain passes. The valleys once dirt and barren were teaming with water. Streams, rivers, creeks and some places nearly lakes. I now understand how flash floods can really catch you off-guard. What was most surprising to me was that regardless of the rain, there was a crew of 4 clearing the road of rocks and from what we heard that they had cleared everything in the road by the next morning.

Driving through the mountains looking down at the Sea of Cortez the waves have grown exponentially. We were watching 6-8 breakers rolling into every cove, bay and beach. The waves were breaking over every shallow reef, pounding every beach and the water was an eerie brownish green. We were wondering if this would stay through the whole trip.

We pulled up to the "Campo La Poma" sign around 5 PM. Drove down the muddy road down to the beach. The islands were not visible, the rain made visibility a mere 200ft from the shoreline. Waves were breaking on the beach 5-6 ft tall as far as you could see. We stopped at the restaurant to pick up the keys from Bob's place and hid out in the Garage from the storm.

The rain was relentless and as night fell we wondered how long we would be confined to 4 walls...
Attached Images
   
__________________
2015 Hobie Revo 13 | 2012 Malibu Kayaks X-factor

I do not fear the storm as it will teach me how to sail my ship.

Last edited by Denis_Ruso; 09-11-2017 at 03:27 PM.
Denis_Ruso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 10:55 AM   #2
Denis_Ruso
Silver Spoon Crew
 
Denis_Ruso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Malibu, CA
Posts: 354
The next morning the weather appeared to have a break and the ocean was calm. We figured we had an hour or so window to get out and fish. Waves were down to 1 ft. Wind was a steady 1 mph and the rain had stopped at night.

We decided to give the water a quick try. The weather kept improving, and the hour window turned into a whole day of glassy calm conditions. We got caught off-guard and got a little sunburnt. We fished out front of bobs place and landed a few spotted bay bass, then paddled over to Punta Bufeo and picked off at the triggerfish and caught some Cabrilla for dinner.
Attached Images
  
__________________
2015 Hobie Revo 13 | 2012 Malibu Kayaks X-factor

I do not fear the storm as it will teach me how to sail my ship.

Last edited by Denis_Ruso; 09-11-2017 at 11:16 AM.
Denis_Ruso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 10:56 AM   #3
Denis_Ruso
Silver Spoon Crew
 
Denis_Ruso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Malibu, CA
Posts: 354
The following days were absolutely spectacular. The wind never rose above 5mph for the next 4 days until Friday where we had about 3 hours of 10-20 mph in the afternoon with glassy conditions in the morning and the evening. The mornings would always consist of fishing and the afternoons would consist of cooking or eating at the restaurant with the land owner Luis.

Getting off the water on Sunday, we had a fire drill of grabbing our rods and running towards jumping mullet with a 30 lb roosterfish comb following them in 2 ft of water.

On Monday we fished and dove Punta Bufeo. We did both an early morning session followed by a sunset session. My buddy lost a hook to a 10 lb Cabrilla. I landed my first hogfish followed by a 2nd hogfish. A friend of mine who is a newbie fisherman had the best luck of us all on this day. He landed a 17 inch golden grouper. The fish was photographed and returned promptly to the water. It took some explaining to him on how special this fish actually was. We ended the day with some Cabrilla and a hogfish for dinner. The days total was around 30-40 fish with the majority of them being pesky trigger fish. I also caught my first Jack Crevalle, although very small.

The days after that kind of all blend in together but I will do my best to recap chronologically.

On Tuesday, we fished Alfonsinas and Punta Willard. My friends stayed inside the bay and I went for a lap around the island to the inside of the bay. My friend on his SUP landed a 2 lb Cabrilla and I landed one the same size on a reef I marked on my paddle out. The paddle around the island produced small cabrilla. I did however land a few decent 2 lb cabrilla on the surface iron which was very fun around the other side of the island on the inside of the bay. I met a couple of BWE members on my paddle back through the bay Steve (DoD) and I forget his friends name. They had also seen roosterfish in the area. I made my way back and had lunch and some beers at Alfonsinas. My friends excavated some large whale bones on the shore and were in awe of the skeletal structure of the huge mammals.

Wednesday we intended to rent a Panga from Alfonsinas however we were unfortunate to find out that it had to be arranged in advance and we returned back to camp. We took the kayaks back to Punta Bufeo and fished and dove the coves. We found the cove just past the point had a large number of whale bones which we later found out from Luis that him and his family had to move dead whales from their land one year and they moved 27 whale carcasses to that cove. The storm must have uncovered much of what was buried by the sand over time.

We dove the cove but the visibility was not great.

On Thursday we had arranged Luis's brother Rodrigo to drive down from San Felipe and take us out fishing on a Panga. IF YOU DO ONE THING ON THIS TRIP, ARRANGE SOME FISHING TIME WITH RODRIGO. JUST WOW! Rodrigo is a wealth of fishing knowledge and really knows what he is doing in those waters. The truck drove right past our tents and we loaded up into the panga with our fishing and freediving gear. We launched the panga right in front of camp and were on our way to the islands.

We fished many reefs and all seemed barren of life. Unfortunately, we weren't having much luck and asked Rodrigo to take us to a diving spot near the island. During our move we saw a spectacular sight of 150 lb marlin jumping clean out of the water! This was just what we needed on a hot day. The water was 88 degrees. The visibility was spotty from 5 ft to a whopping 25 ft in spots. This was my favorite part of the trip. We saw triggerfish, hogfish, parrotfish, angelfish, cabrilla, damselfish, and many more. The island was full of life. We even got to shoot a nice 5 lb cabrilla.

Getting out of the water and moving farther we spotted a large area of baitfish. The baitfish were jumping out of the water but nothing was chasing them. We fished a football field long baitschool but the bite was very slow.... until it wasn't. A friend of mine landed a nice 8 lb Pargo, and that's when the sierra rolled in. We kept working the bait school and started hooking a few sierra. I got bit clean off on 50 lb fluorocarbon leader. Those sierra teeth are no joke. I couldn't believe it. We landed a few sierra and the bite slowed. We moved a little shallower as it seemed the bait moved and picked through small cabrilla and triggerfish. That's when Rodrigo hooked and handed off a 30 lb Roosterfish. The Rooster headed right for the prop but with a quick hand off and move of the panga we were able to land the rooster and take some quick photos. The fish was put back in the water and swam off on its own.

We fished a while longer and headed back to shore. Rodrigo fillet our catch of cabrilla, pargo and sierra right on the shore and we took out Sierra to the restaurant for dinner.

Friday we were exhausted from going non-stop since we got there and took our time in the morning. We got our scuba gear ready and dove Punta Bufeo from out kayaks. The diving was really amazing. We saw a few big Hogfish and Pargo hiding out in the rocks along with a lot of other life. It was so easy to dive without a wetsuit and it made for long and comfortable dive. I dove my longest dive at 84 minutes that's almost an hour and half exploring boulders and the micro life. Followed by another dive at about an hour.

Friday night was for packing and Saturday morning was for leaving.

Friday night we slept outside and enjoyed the view of a lightning storm over a glassy Sea of Cortez with nearly a full moon to illuminate the landscape and a silhouette of the island.

Heres a short video my buddy edited. https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...&v=hy10huNEU20
Attached Images
    
__________________
2015 Hobie Revo 13 | 2012 Malibu Kayaks X-factor

I do not fear the storm as it will teach me how to sail my ship.

Last edited by Denis_Ruso; 09-11-2017 at 02:07 PM.
Denis_Ruso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 11:39 AM   #4
SDROB
Malibu Stealth 12
 
SDROB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Hollywood, San Diego, Gonzaga Bay
Posts: 399
Nice, I like extreme weather in Baja. I was bummed I had to cancel out but couldn't risk the vados getting flooded and not being able to return on time for work.... I can't wait to hear the rest!
__________________
I don't always tell people where I fish. But when I do, it's a lie

I'm telling ya you have to keep these suckers on a game clip until just before you drop them in the frying pan.(Rossman)

She will keep you warm in the winter and give you shade in the summer (Rossman)
SDROB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 11:44 AM   #5
Baja_Traveler
Senior Member
 
Baja_Traveler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Table 17, Bay Park Fish Co.
Posts: 801
Wondering why you paid for an FMM when you could have got a 1 week one for free. You can even go online and fill out the form, print it out and just hand it to the guy to stamp when you get to the border (along with your passport or card) - goes a lot faster. HERE'S the Link. I'd also recommend getting the fishing license before crossing for the reasons you already encountered.
Baja_Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 12:06 PM   #6
goldenglory18
Senior Member
 
goldenglory18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 509
Awesome dude, I was actually thinking about you guys last week thinking you got hammered by the weather.

Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip....

- KT
goldenglory18 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 12:14 PM   #7
Denis_Ruso
Silver Spoon Crew
 
Denis_Ruso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Malibu, CA
Posts: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja_Traveler View Post
Wondering why you paid for an FMM when you could have got a 1 week one for free. You can even go online and fill out the form, print it out and just hand it to the guy to stamp when you get to the border (along with your passport or card) - goes a lot faster. HERE'S the Link. I'd also recommend getting the fishing license before crossing for the reasons you already encountered.
I agree with the fishing license comment however the Mexican tourism fishing license website seems to have gone down and only the one for Baja Sur seems to be operational. I was able to purchase one prior to that however my friends waited till last minute and were not able to purchase online.

As far as the FMM there is conflicting information online. Our trip was a little open ended to extend it to 8 days and did not want to risk not having the FMM. In addition some online sources indicate that recently rules have changed that travel to Mexico for any amount of time requires an FMM.
__________________
2015 Hobie Revo 13 | 2012 Malibu Kayaks X-factor

I do not fear the storm as it will teach me how to sail my ship.
Denis_Ruso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 01:39 PM   #8
goldenglory18
Senior Member
 
goldenglory18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 509
Well done dude, I'm glad you guys enjoyed the b-day trip.

Let me know when you have recovered and we can go chase some socal yellows....
goldenglory18 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 02:01 PM   #9
Denis_Ruso
Silver Spoon Crew
 
Denis_Ruso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Malibu, CA
Posts: 354
Added my buddies video link to 3rd post.
__________________
2015 Hobie Revo 13 | 2012 Malibu Kayaks X-factor

I do not fear the storm as it will teach me how to sail my ship.
Denis_Ruso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 02:02 PM   #10
Denis_Ruso
Silver Spoon Crew
 
Denis_Ruso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Malibu, CA
Posts: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDROB View Post
Nice, I like extreme weather in Baja. I was bummed I had to cancel out but couldn't risk the vados getting flooded and not being able to return on time for work.... I can't wait to hear the rest!
Hit me up next time you go. I'm dying to get back.
__________________
2015 Hobie Revo 13 | 2012 Malibu Kayaks X-factor

I do not fear the storm as it will teach me how to sail my ship.
Denis_Ruso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 02:20 PM   #11
goldenglory18
Senior Member
 
goldenglory18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 509
That video just sold me on it. Damn, totally regret passing this up!

How far out is that island? From the report you sound totally stoked but it seemed like pretty slow fishing.

How "4WD required" is that trip? Is it the sand/beach launches or is there high clearance required areas? I've never been to Baja so I really have no clue....
goldenglory18 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2017, 03:25 PM   #12
Denis_Ruso
Silver Spoon Crew
 
Denis_Ruso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Malibu, CA
Posts: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenglory18 View Post
That video just sold me on it. Damn, totally regret passing this up!

How far out is that island? From the report you sound totally stoked but it seemed like pretty slow fishing.

How "4WD required" is that trip? Is it the sand/beach launches or is there high clearance required areas? I've never been to Baja so I really have no clue....
The island is 4.5-4.8 miles from camp. I'm also certain that you can arrange a Panga to drop you and your kayak at the island if you wanted to avoid the 10-15 mile paddle. There are actually several islands out there. Some of the footage is from Isla Willard which is actually connected to land during low tide.

I am stoked on the trip, and I do feel that fishing was a bit slow in the sense of the size of the fish not quantity. We were catching 40 fish a day. The storm stirred things up and its also the tail end of the season down there.

4WD is really nice down there and really opens up your launch spots. But it's really not necessary. There is a hardpacked road most everywhere that gets to within 100-150 ft of the water. So all you need is kayak cart. 4wd just gets you up and down the beach and within 5 ft of the water.

SDROB goes down there in his Honda Accord with no issue.
__________________
2015 Hobie Revo 13 | 2012 Malibu Kayaks X-factor

I do not fear the storm as it will teach me how to sail my ship.
Denis_Ruso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 06:00 AM   #13
Baja_Traveler
Senior Member
 
Baja_Traveler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Table 17, Bay Park Fish Co.
Posts: 801
From the looks of the video, you had a great time despite the rough weather start. Awesome to get to tangle with a rooster.
Did you see Bob down there? He was supposed to be down first part of last week to check on the house after the storm.

Last edited by Baja_Traveler; 09-12-2017 at 11:29 AM.
Baja_Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 07:26 AM   #14
Denis_Ruso
Silver Spoon Crew
 
Denis_Ruso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Malibu, CA
Posts: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja_Traveler View Post
From the looks of the video, you had a great time despite the rough weather start. Awesome to got to tangle with a rooster.
Did you see Bob down there? He was supposed to be down first part of last week to check on the house after the storm.
Yes, Bob was there and looked healthy and well. He was down there with a group of people. We had a few conversations with him.
Attached Images
 
__________________
2015 Hobie Revo 13 | 2012 Malibu Kayaks X-factor

I do not fear the storm as it will teach me how to sail my ship.
Denis_Ruso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 09:43 AM   #15
makobob
Baitless on Baja
 
makobob's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Vista California, Gonzaga, San Quintin, Asuncion, Mag Bay
Posts: 3,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis_Ruso View Post
Yes, Bob was there and looked healthy and well. He was down there with a group of people. We had a few conversations with him.

Nice post Denis, good pictures too, love the golden.
ADVENTURE YES, our group had a ball to. EOD and his friend Brian were there too, great trip even if the fish were nt in full bite mode, we got a few Onarge Mouth Corvina off the beach too.
Free Fmm's were a hassel to turn in. Tight Lines amigos.
__________________
http://www.mako-ville.com

Home 760-630-4470
Cell 760-520-2514

YES YOU CAN
makobob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 09:54 AM   #16
Dannowar
Senior Member
 
Dannowar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja_Traveler View Post
Wondering why you paid for an FMM when you could have got a 1 week one for free. You can even go online and fill out the form, print it out and just hand it to the guy to stamp when you get to the border (along with your passport or card) - goes a lot faster. HERE'S the Link. I'd also recommend getting the fishing license before crossing for the reasons you already encountered.


they all got gringo taxed. i don't even get one anymore
__________________
"Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you’ll suck forever." — Brian Wilson
Dannowar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 10:01 AM   #17
Dannowar
Senior Member
 
Dannowar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,748
next time hit up miguel over at bufeo. he speaks very fluent english and knows some reallllly good dive spots. looks like you got a nice little weather window. too bad about the storm, vis could have been a lot better if the water could settle a few more days. very nice report and glad you guys had a fun time!
__________________
"Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you’ll suck forever." — Brian Wilson
Dannowar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 10:14 AM   #18
SDROB
Malibu Stealth 12
 
SDROB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Hollywood, San Diego, Gonzaga Bay
Posts: 399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannowar View Post
they all got gringo taxed. i don't even get one anymore
x2 Ive never got one before. But I do my best to match the hatch. Rumor has it (even thou they have been saying this for years) they are going to be enforcing this in the near future. If this happens ill probably just get my dual citizenship.
__________________
I don't always tell people where I fish. But when I do, it's a lie

I'm telling ya you have to keep these suckers on a game clip until just before you drop them in the frying pan.(Rossman)

She will keep you warm in the winter and give you shade in the summer (Rossman)

Last edited by SDROB; 09-12-2017 at 10:20 AM.
SDROB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 10:21 AM   #19
Druko
Senior Member
 
Druko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 166
Great report Denis! Rob and I were planning on heading until we saw the weather forecast a few days before. Heading down for 10 days in October.
__________________
"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live"
Marcus Aurelius
Druko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2017, 10:25 AM   #20
Druko
Senior Member
 
Druko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannowar View Post
they all got gringo taxed. i don't even get one anymore
I've been driving to Baja since the 80's and I've never gotten one or have been asked to show one.
__________________
"It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live"
Marcus Aurelius
Druko is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2002 Big Water's Edge. All rights reserved.