Hey JJ, btw good seeing you in Cholla Bay a few weeks ago. Are those Sardines good for whole dead bait or don't even mess with them? Rock bass and greenbacks damn near last all day in the bait tank. I was doing what the book says and cutting off the dorsal spines for SENOR Grouper. For bait, it's absolutely amazing how much fish a SABIKI rig catches. Someone at SM told us that if you touch the Sardine or handle it they will die immediately in the bait tank so we started using our little sabiki de-hooker tool to just do it right into the tank but they still rolled almost immediately.I'll give you a tip Joe..........
EVERY TIME you get a hit with a trolled jig reel her in and cutoff four or five feet of line and retie the lure. The smallest ding on mono is where it is going to break. I have a habit when fishing in any environment to put two fingers on that last few feet and give it a feel. You are going to save a lot of expensive lures and bring in more lunkers like the fine one in your pix.
I guess we will be eating beer battered Sardinero manana en la noche after you setting off my grouper alarm!
Great catch Joe and you didn't even have to run forty miles out.
So Stu, when I'm live baiting do I hold the rod in free spool or something with thumb pressure? I assume this is to take the initial hit without snapping a rod in half. Also, thanks for the Sardines tip. And yea, the scales come off immediately and get all over the boat.Do NOT put sardines in your bait tank. As you learned, they die immediately and they shed a lot of scale that clogs shit up. We usually throw them in a five gallon bucket with ice. They make good dead bait. Biggest black seabass I've ever caught was on a dead sardine. Halibut will chow them, too. Elephants love eating peanuts!
Also, I never deadstick a live bait. Have had 130 lb graphite roller guide rods snapped like a toothpick doing that. Expensive way to learn!
I admire your dedication and you're obviously learning the ropes! Nice fish, the effort is paying off. Safe Marine is the only way to go in my opinion. Convenience is worth It. Glad ya got your fish itch scratched, sounds like a great trip!
When I'm live baiting, I drop til I hit bottom, then lock the reel with heavy drag and just ping the weight off the bottom as we drift. The rigs you have are perfect. I make my own and use 80 lb. mono to the hook and three ft. of 20 or 30 lb. that runs down from the tri-swivel to the weight. Keeps your bait swimming a couple feet off the bottom and if they try to rock you, the weight line breaks easily but the hook line does not.So Stu, when I'm live baiting do I hold the rod in free spool or something with thumb pressure? I assume this is to take the initial hit without snapping a rod in half. Also, thanks for the Sardines tip. And yea, the scales come off immediately and get all over the boat.
We did have one Boner in the bait tank but it rolled on the ride out to the mark. My bait tank system is kind of pissing me off. The pickup is near the motor bracket on the transom which I've learned is a low pressure area so under motor I can't pump water. Then, not every time but usually most of the time after motoring and coming to a stop you go to turn bait pump on and it's air locked. Won't pump water. So I have to open the battery compartment hatch and reach down in there and quickly open and close the cartridge while the pump is on and then it starts pulling water. The other problem is water level and keeping the water fresh. Under motor the water is sloshing around so bad that we only have half a tank of water when we get to the mark and then I usually either accidentally leave the pump running and flood the hull or forget to turn it on periodically and the water is stagnant and not being circulated enough...When I'm live baiting, I drop til I hit bottom, then lock the reel with heavy drag and just ping the weight off the bottom as we drift. The rigs you have are perfect. I make my own and use 80 lb. mono to the hook and three ft. of 20 or 30 lb. that runs down from the tri-swivel to the weight. Keeps your bait swimming a couple feet off the bottom and if they try to rock you, the weight line breaks easily but the hook line does not.
Also, those first few seconds when they hit is critical. If you're dead sticking it, they can run and will cave you. If you're holding the rod, you can quickly reel hard and get them off the bottom and you'll usually win that battle. Otherwise, they'll break you off. Takes a little practice, but is easy enough. I remember telling a guy on my boat the minute the weight hits the bottom, lock the reel and get ready to get hit by a freight train. He thought I was bluffing. He dropped and locked the reel and just stood there with a dumb look on his face then BAM! He wasn't expecting the strike and it brought him to his knees on the deck and the rod against the rail. He hung on for dear life. The grouper got off. After he stood back up, he looked at me and said "I've never felt any fish strike like that in my life!" I just laughed, yup, tried to warn you.
Live bonefish draw the most vicious strikes.
My understanding is the hi speed pick up is always under the hull. Just not sure I'd have any access to even attempt an installation. Plus cutting a hole in the bottom of the boat is nerve racking to say the least... I wanted to see if there was a way to adapt the hole in the back of the transom but not sure it's possible.They always put the pick-up in a screwy place. Used to have a similar problem until I replaced the pick-up (a brass mushroom) with a clam shell pick-up thru-hull facing forward. That forced water through the pump as I ran.
Made of bronze with extra thick walls for added strength, our ¾" high speed water pickup has a long neck to accommodate any hull and a straight to tapered pipe thread for quick connection to piping or valves.www.boatoutfitters.com
Not a biggie. Use a hole drill and cement it in with MarineTex.My understanding is the hi speed pick up is always under the hull. Just not sure I'd have any access to even attempt an installation. Plus cutting a hole in the bottom of the boat is nerve racking to say the least... I wanted to see if there was a way to adapt the hole in the back of the transom but not sure it's possible.
Great report. Sweet new set up you have there ! Good luck with the new fixesWell... forum gets a little quiet this time of year but for pros like us the fun never stops no matter what time of the year it is so I figured I'd give a little update on the CORTEZ DINGHY. I added a few things to make the boat more user friendly for the captain, me. First, on every one of our first 4 trips we keep leaving the bait tank running and forgetting to shut it off at various points throughout the day. The water overflows into the dry bow storage under the deck which then drains into the bottom of the hull and then the bilge pump kicks on to evacuate. Not necessarily a huge problem but getting fishy bait tank water on our clothes kind of sucked a few times... So. I started looking to see if there were any bait tank timers out there. I found this really cool product from Timershops.com. It's pretty much a solid state relay that is programmable. Has WIFI built into it so you can connect it to your phone and change any of the parameters you want. You can change the duty cycle so the pump can run anywhere from 1-100% and then there are 4 periods you can select for intermittent use.
We had a chance to take the boat out to the lake a week ago and test the bait tank situation using the new Timer Shop relay that I wired into the system. I found a setting that seems to be pretty good. I have it run for one minute at 40% duty cycle, every 3 minutes. The water reaches the top of the drain pipe right as the pump kicks off. Usually within a few minutes of the boat rocking a little the water fluctuates a tad but every 3 minutes it fills back up. This should keep a lot more fresh oxygenated water in the bait tank. And more importantly, once I turn the system on we can forget about it the rest of the day while we're out there. Pretty cool I think. Can't wait for the real test!
The second item that I added for our next outing is a really stout, billet aluminum phone mount. I finally made the smartest decision ever and purchased NAVIONICS by Garmin. You can basically rent the software now instead of having to buy a card for $200... The yearly subscription for US Coast and Lakes which surprisingly covers the ENTIRE gulf of California and the Pacific side of Baja was only $15/year. It's INSANELY good! You get contour mapping with color shading. It's absolutely amazing. Not a lot of contour relief in the Upper SOC but the coast from Cholla Bay to La Pinta has some pretty good mapping and I've already found some amazing spots with this software. My plan now is to run NAVIONICS from my phone and then use the Humminbird for only sonar. If you're a Kayak or Jet Ski fisherman out of RP/Cholla Bay you absolutely NEED this software! I have found some amazing 10ft ledges around Cholla Bay and right out of the Harbor towards the Malecon. Some 10ft drops and ledges near Cholla Mountain. This could be a game changer for INSHORE fishing and snorkeling.
No more fumbling around with the phone looking for my marks in my phone navigation while trying to drive the boat and keep my eye out... Definitely stoking to see how these two additions make our fishing trips more enjoyable and productive.
We're looking to get down this weekend hopefully if the wind report holds true which I believe it's going to. It's supposed to be 80 on Saturday so boating should be fun. If it's calm enough we might even try and make a run towards Bird Island to see if we can find some YellowTail!!!
I'd have to look but I don't believe so. These pumps are your standard bilge pump and many people run 6v to these pumps instead of 12v to lower the duty so it doesn't flow as much water. They draw less than 2ah... doubt there is any heat created with this pump. If my intervals end up being to frequent I can toggle the WiFI and change the parameters while we're out there so not too concerned. I ran a similar set up for a few years out of the kayak for it's bait tank that I had made out of a 5g dog food container. The unit was self contained. I mounted a 6v battery (forum suggested) onto the outside of container inside a small dry box, fused with switch flush mount on the dry box. Never had problems...Just a thought Joe is the bilge pump duty rated? Usually when motors are in variable use they create more heat.
JJ, thanks for the write up. Why is the Super Grouper mark right near the Widow Maker?????? I thought the good fishing was the West side for trolling and a deep drop on the South as you mentioned??????? I have the WM marked in Navionics so no F#cking with that and dying. Shawno has given me some good advice there too. Trolling the west for Sierra and YT, South for Sardineros... I have plenty of plugs for trolling. Various deep and shallow divers. I have some Tady Iron Man 5's for YT. Just bought a few more butterfly jigs and a huge 300g long skinny jig for slow pitch jigging. Just upped our stash and bought 6 16oz Diamond Jigs with hollagraphic wrap. Also re-upped our weight stash with 6 16oz jig heads and big scampi tails and 6 16oz cannonball sinkers with some new Mustad 10/0 live bait hooks for the live bait. I have a few 13/0 hooks if we need to go bigger and a few 7/0 for more inshore like the 12 mile reef... Pretty confident we have everything we need to be successful. Can't win if you don't play.Hey Joe......................
Some Isla San Jorge advise.
I've spent many a-days fishing and Scuba diving that rock pile. There is more meat available there than any other location within a hundred miles of PP.
The general layout there is that the "island" is actually a couple of peaks on a submerged small granite rock mountain range running north west by south east as almost all of the desert ranges on land in this part of Sonora.
On a "calm" flat sea morning you can make that 26 mile trip from the harbor in an hour or so. I always approach it from the west after doing the run farther offshore to avoid the swells that build in the shallow water along the coast. Also, beware of the "Widow Maker" it is another very dangerous rock pile to the north of the range that is under water at high tide. Dive that peak and you will see the remains of several boats that met Senior El Diablo long before they expected to.
The Gringo name " Bird Island" is an example of the general ignorance of the masses as almost every ocean island in the world is inhabited by sea birds where they can avoid land predators. The correct namesake Saint George Island is equally ignorant as that dude was obvious nothing more than a religious Fairy tale about some guy that drove the snakes off of the British Islands where no snake ever lived anyway. Another tale is about his dragon slaying days in the same area.
Anyways the killer spot around La Isla for sure is the steep cliff and fifty foot under water drop off at the southern tip. The rushing currents during tidal changes bring sea bird shit from one side and Sea Lion shit from the other side where they meet as a stinking poop soup that attracts dozens of types of crap eating filter feeders like sardines who are then targeted by apex predators like Barracudas, two species of Sierras, Ladyfish, Leopard Groupers and Yellowtail.
We run the rock face as close as we can doing a speedy troll with deep diver lures and get a fish or two on EVERY pass! You will get burnt out hauling them in Joe. On the westerly side of the island is a deep trench blown out by the changing tides. The depth in that hole is around 100 feet or more and at this time of the year the cold water in that hole forms a layover for Yellowtail, Sierras and the ultra rare Monterrey Sierra. Drop a few diamond jigs there and every hit will be a mind blower. Right now the female Sierras there are fat and loaded with eggs.
If you still want to do a real "meat run" try trolling the ridge to the south east. I locate the ridge with my finder maybe a mile or two out and drop a marker bouy that I made one from a four foot yellow pool noodle. I put a weight and line on it, do the drop then run the ridge back and forth to the cliff a few times until I'm loaded up.
Don't get too greedy as the early afternoon winds from the north will stir up shit so bad that it might take two or three hours to get back to the port if at all!
Don't even consider doing the run home close to shore as it will totally beat the shit out of you and your boat. Solid advise...take a wet suit with you!