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Old 07-30-2018, 09:21 AM   #1
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Cedros Island trip with Stoked On Fishing. 7/23-27/2018.

I got an opportunity to travel with the crew of the Stoked On Fishing to Cedros Island. They produce a TV fishing show from various locations.

They would be filming about fishing at Cedros Island and in particular through an operation called Cedros Outdoor Adventures.

I had been there before in 2014 and had a great time catching yellowtail, calico and a lot of other fish.

If you have read my previous reports; you know that they are sort of a travel and informational reports with of course some fishing action included.

Lots of photos and various details included to make the reader feel like they are traveling with me.

Some tips would be in green to help the future clients travel easier.

Hope you like it.

Monday, July 23nd 2018

I arrived at Brown’s Field Airport in San Diego around 4:30 AM after leaving the Pechanga Casino. I was the first one there, so I took a short nap in the car while waiting.
First driver showed up around 5:00 AM and after that second driver and other anglers arrived.

Once we loaded the two vehicles, we headed for the border. No waiting to get our FMM (Mexican visa) forms stamped and get on our way.

1-The idea was to bring back some nicely fillet fish. Picture from the 2014 trip.

2-The ride from San Diego to Ensenada was very easy with good road and comfortable air-conditioned van.

The driver spoke English and conversation with him and other passengers made the trip seem not too long.

3-Beautiful Pacific Ocean. No matter which part of it you see still is impressive.

4-Some of the many high-rise buildings we saw on the way. Not all of them were finished, but hopefully someday.

5-Our two drivers having fun while we stopped for provisions. A short drive before the airport.

There is about a two hour or so travel time before a stop in Ensenada. An even much longer time before we arrive at the Magic Lodge. This stop would be to pick up food/drink if desired.
A small lunch cooler with a sandwich and drink would be useful. However, avoid drinking too much liquid since bathrooms are far apart.
None are on the plane!

6-The group is waiting for the luggage and gear to be weighed before x-ray inspection.

7-Jose who owns the operation with his wife on the left. Andrew the CEO of the Stoked On Fishing on the right discussing the trip.

We did not know it at the time, but the angler on the far right became my “panga mate” for the last three days of the trip.

8-The anglers waiting patiently for the “all aboard” announcement. The lovely lady in the back facing the camera is Jose’s wife which owns the operation with Jose.

9-The plane that travels between the island and Ensenada.

10-I had the seat behind the pilot. It was not easy to get to my seat due to lack of space between them.

The A/C on the plane is not very cold. The Baja sun is hot on the left (port) side of the plane going down and right (starboard) side coming back. I had socks and a slightly tight shoes. I was on the sunny side both ways. It made me little too warm.

Scenery was better tough.

On the way back it was sandals and tee shirt and shorts. A neck pillow and headphones would have been really helpful.

Flying into the Cedros island---recording by others

11-Some shots from the air.

12-You can see Jose in the back.

My future fishing partner next to me. The young man in black tee-shirt is Andrew Jr.; the son of the Senior Andrew.

13-More shots from the plane.

14-Approching the landing strip on the island.

After we exited the plane, the gear was placed on the tarmac and the military staff with dog would inspect them. Although we had gone through x-ray inspection at Ensenada, this was a second inspection.

Carrying contraband is definitely not recommended.

I think it was about 12:30 PM that we were at the lodge. They had some delicious burritos made for us. Jose gave us our assigned rooms. Some including me had one to ourselves.

Some anglers set up quickly and got on the pangas to go fishing. I took my time to unpack and setup my fishing gear.

15-Jose has built this perch for this local Osprey.

16-Every room at the Magic Lodge has this fantastic view.

You can surf fish from this area if desired, but after fishing for 12 hrs. or so, no one wants to. Too tired.

17-There are kayaks available free of charge to use if desired.

With exception of Mexican fishing license, vacuum packing and alcohol, everything is included in the package price.
There is a recommendation for how much tip (not included) to leave for the deserving staff.

18-This is where our meals were prepared and served.

19-Due to the success of the business; more and more clients are taking the trip. Thus, more cabins are being built to accommodate the future clients.

I was on the water around 4:30 PM after the second group including Shea arrived on the new plane from San Diego.
They were on the maiden flight of the new plane.

New this time was a wrist band that was issued to us to wear for the duration. Some sort of proof of permit to fish perhaps.
There was a $ sign on it, but was free for us.

20-My first fish of the trip and one of many. Spelled Bonito, but Pronounced Bonita. Go figure!!

21-This angler using red color Salas lure caught three yellowtails. This was the biggest. Later he lost it to a barracuda.

The boats always come back at 6:00 PM for safety reason. Believe me after getting up at 5:00 AM for fishing from 6:00 AM, you are done by 6:00 PM.

After a quick shower and some pre-dinner drinks, the dinner bell rings promptly at 6:30 PM.

22-One of many delicious meals that was prepared for us.

On the upper left corner, you may notice some sashimi.

Everyday someone would donate fresh caught fish for ceviche or sashimi. I donated some ocean whitefish for ceviche. It was delicious.

23-Andrews, senior and Jr. (father and son) are loading up their dinner plates.

24-If you ever watched the Stoked On Fishing TV shows, you should recognize this young man. Shea McIntee; the Executive Producer of the show.

He and his brother are very classy people. I had the pleasure of being on the same trip with them.

I had the closest Spanish translation added on the tee-shirt. Not easy to find the true translation of word “stoked”.

25-This angler was there for fly fishing only. An expert angler who caught a lot of fish.

He caught this fish a burrito grunt. May have been a record for fly fishing setup.

26-Then there was “JT”. He entertained us after dinner with his songs and guitar playing.

He is an expert angler as part of the Stoked On Fishing crew. He even had a special song about SOF.
What a character. Lots of fun to be with.

With each group at the first night of dinner, Jose does a welcome speech which includes important information. Some of the topics were; a) zero drug policy…b) “please no political discussion” especially at dinner time. It was welcomed by all.

After dinner some stayed up to enjoy the night scene, weather and talk about…you guessed right --fishing.
Finally, and reluctantly I went to bed for the 5:00 AM wake up. It was the same every night of the trip.

Tuesday, July 24th 2018

27-A typical breakfast every day of the trip. The Mango Ricante hot sauce (in the back) was the favorite for the egg dish.

28-The group is waiting to get on their prospective Pangas.

29-Shea sees me taking pictures. He thinks I am intruding on his business and wants to fight with me!!

30-Just kidding guys. He wanted me to be in the pictures too. What a nice guy.

His brother Ryan who actually traveled with us is another classy young man. All very professional and accepted this old “Mahigeer” as their friend.

31-The Magic Lodge and the cabins.

32-Notice that every room has the ocean view.

First plan of the day was to catch mackerel as yellowtail bait. I had brought with me a pack of squid and it was going bad, so I used a dropper loop and fished squid till it was gone.

33-Looks like the 405 freeway!! everyone was trying to get mackerel for bait.

34-By the time that we left the island, this ship was filled with salt so the red area could not be seen.

35-I fished the last three days with this Panga driver. Hard working and a pleasant fellow.

36-The only yellowtail that was caught by my “panga mate” on this trip.

The squid bait yielded some bass and ocean whitefish.

37-A barred sand bass caught by yours truly and released.

38-One of the ocean whitefish that became a delicious ceviche.

As the rule, by 6:00 PM we were at the dock.

39-As soon as we were done with picture taking, the catch would be fillet expertly and packaged for freezer.

40-Can you say yum, yum? The fried stuff on the right were whitefish, I was told.

The food went well with the various flavors of Ricante hot sauce, pictured in the back.

41-Tired, but happy the group is enjoying dinner and talking about the day’s fishing adventures.

Needless to say, but I will anyways; there was adult beverage enjoyed by many.

For me it was Raki. The Turkish national adult drink. Some of the group tried it too. It is an acquired taste.

Wednesday, July 24th, 2018

As usual the breakfast was ready before 6:00 AM, coffee at 4:30 AM!

We headed to the Marina after our gear was loaded onto the waiting pickups by the staff.
There were young helpers quietly waiting for us to wake up, so they can take our gear and tackle to the trucks. During the entire trip the young helpers transported our gear and tackle back and forth from lodge to truck to boat and vice a versa.

42-We saw a lot of these red tuna crabs swimming on the surface when leaving the marina.

I had our panga driver make a “u” turn back to the entrance of marina. I had a collapsible small bucket with me along with a net.
I scooped what I thought it was enough crabs for one day and placed them in bucket full of water. Turns out I could have used more.

After that, we tried to catch bait using Sabiki. Later we did a lot of trolling for yellowtail with no action. We would catch so many bonito that we had to move.

We alternated between trolling, fly lining for yellowtail and fishing the kelp area.

43-You can see the fat belly that perhaps is full of red tuna crabs.

I always wipe the camera lens, but some pictures seem to have water spots on the lens.

44-Mahigeer is fighting a sheephead in the kelp jungle with an Okuma travel rod and Okuma reel.

By taking travel rods I did not have to pay extra. I did have three one piece rods never the less.
An Ahi bait rod which is hollow to store the Sabiki hooks in it was very useful.

45-One of many sheephead caught using red tuna crabs.

46-More fat calico which was caught with………..wait for it…….you guessed right……tuna crab.

47-A barracuda caught while trolling. Varity of fish that is caught there is more than just yellowtail and calico.

48-If you look closely, you can see small water splashes on the water surface. That is baitfish escaping the predators.

A cast-a-bubble rig imitates the same action which attracts the predatory fish.

49-Calico boil, hitting the guess what?

At closer look you can see some bumps on the surface. The great free bait, red tuna crabs.

50-Can you smell the chicken being grilled?

Meet the new staff to help Jose with the operation. The handsome Carlos.

51-Pretending to help the cook!!

He was there last time that I was there. September 2014. He may have even been there even longer.

Most of the staff have been with Jose many, many years. Shows he is good boss to work for.

52-I will be carrying a laminated wallet size of this picture in my pocket.

Anybody who says bonito is not good to eat, will be shown this picture.

It was prepared by Andrew Sr.. He loves to cook. I don’t know if I trust a skinny cook though!

I have freezer full of bonito for lobster bait. Perhaps I should reconsider?

53-My guess is that it is a hogfish.

54-Sea lions resting in the kelp bed.

We had very little problem with sea lions. One took a small bite of a sheephead that I had caught, but let go. It was released along with many female or small ones.

55-Crabs were even hiding in the kelp leaves.

56-Normally I would not risk losing tackle to cast over this kind forest.

However, dropping a dropper loop rig straight down was the key. When the fish was caught the hook would be in the fish’s mouth.
Thus, only struggle at times was to get the fish swim out of the kelp jungle.

57-A vast area of the kelp to fish for sheephead and calico.

I even caught a halfmoon. Can you believe it?

58-We had a bigger bucket this time.

I had the driver de-claw some and keep it in a smaller bucket. Those suckers can pinch the skin. This way we did not have to deal with the claws.

59-The last day of the trip and on the second visit of the day to the kelp forest, we encountered fast moving swells. Not possible to drop the rig straight down.

The driver took upon himself to tie us off to kelp to anchor us.

60-We had full rack of rods.

Seems like one can always use more rods.

61-Last day’s catch. One of many.

62-This was what we were served the last night of the trip.

63-With the exception of the young lady in the blue, the rest of the kitchen staff were there in 2014.

They prepared delicious food for us for the duration.

64-We were treated with a full moon scenery at the Magic Lodge.

It would be hard to leave this place, but all good thing must end sometime.

We packed and removed the reels and prepared the rod for traveling.

Friday, July 27th, 2018

Last breakfast of the trip and we headed for the airport.

65-The staff is waiting for us to leave before going back. They gave us water bottle for the plane ride.

It is the combination of this kind of thoughtfulness that makes this operation a great one. There was new to me this time a land line to use free of charge to call home. Very valuable for me, since my older style phone that I had would not work in Baja.

Umberto (blue shirt) who is in charge of overseeing the fillet and packaging of the fish operation.
His sons help him. Our driver happened to be his brother.

Young man third from right spoke English which was very helpful.

66-Some shots on the way to Ensenada.

67-Since we are going back, I took picture of the back of the heads……..get it?

This time I was smart and was the next to last to get on the plane, avoiding the issue of squeezing between seats.

68-This is the new addition to the Cedros Outdoor Adventures operation. A brand new plane.

For those who want to fly to the island from San Diego. It makes it possible for more fishing time and also avoids the long wait at the border.

69-We stopped on the way to have delicious tacos.

70-I ordered my favorite kind which is called Taco El Pastor. Yum, yum.

71-The gang. It was a pleasure to meet and fish with these anglers.

Once again the ride from Ensenada to the San Diego was in a comfortable air conditioned van. It got a bit warm due to stop and go at the border line. Once we crossed the border after about 1.5 hours waiting in line the vehicle speed helped the A/C unit.

It took only few minutes to get to the Brown’s Field airport parking lot and unloaded our gear.

The frozen bags of fish were removed from the van and placed in the corresponding coolers in the vehicles.
I had mine vacuum packed at $1.00/bag. Well worth it I think.

We said our so-long’s and each headed to their home I would think.

Fish caught: Barracuda— barred sand bass--bonito—calico bass--halfmoon---hogfish--puffer fish and of course lots of sheephead.

Fish fillet brought home---Sheephead.
Mission accomplished.

It seems like when a trip like this is planned the time stands still or passes very slowly.
However, once the date gets here and the trip starts, it makes up by passing extremely fast. Oh well.

Hope to go back again in not too distant future.

The End.

Last edited by Mahigeer; 09-01-2018 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:26 AM   #2
summers in kuwait
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Oh boy!! What a trip!
I always love your posts. Great detail and imagery and this is no exception.

Thanks for sharing. I am very jealous!
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:48 PM   #3
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:06 PM   #4
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25-This angler was there for fly fishing only. An expert angler who caught a lot of fish.

He caught this fish and we are trying to find the name of it.


New development:
According to the angler’s research, the mystery fish is Burrito Grunt.

World record is 10 lbs.

No fly class record. He caught it on fly. Perhaps a world record.
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:21 PM   #5
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What a great write up thank you! I personally really like SOF and remember when Shea was filming for Michael Fowlkes Inside Sportfishing. I think I first met Shea at Fred Hall in 2015. It sticks out to me because my son was 5 at the time and he loved watching the show with me. He spotted Shea and walked over to him yelling "Stoked, on fishiiinnng!" Shea was so cool to my little dude.
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:18 PM   #6
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I am glad it is liked here.

Shea is a very nice guy. As well as his brother.

What I noticed is that since he and others could be on camera anytime,

they watched their language.

During the whole trip I heard very little profanity from the entire group.

These days it seems the profanity is just part of every sentence.

It was refreshing.
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:51 AM   #7
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Very cool trip report!

I love the SOF show. Pretty awesome you got to spend the trip fishing with that team!
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:45 PM   #8
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Old 08-07-2018, 01:32 PM   #9
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The fish has been identified as male Mexican Hogfish.
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