Tony Reyes Trip

Discussion in 'Baja Mexico Fishing Reports and Discussion' started by sdangler, Jun 7, 2004.

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  1. sdangler

    Tony Reyes Trip

    Left San Diego at 6:15 AM on Saturday May 23rd with fellow anglers in tow. Stopped in El Centro for gas and made our way to Mexicali for insurance prior to crossing the border. Crossed over with no issues and started for San Felipe. Highway was decent till about kilometer 191, then some pot holes. Arrived in San Felipe at 10:45. Made our way down to the harbor and saw the top of our boat, the newly refurbished and renamed Tony Reyes (formerly the Captain Villegas). The Jose Andres was also in and they were loading for their Sunday departure.

    We spoke with the guys from the Longfin and they said that we would be loading later in the day when the tide was up (we were attempting to get a certain stateroom, or at the very least get one of the new staterooms on the boat). There are enough air conditioned staterooms on board for everyone, so don't worry. If you've never seen the tides in a place like San Felipe, it is an experience as the run in the 10's of feet, not 2 or 3 like I am used to. We went into town for some lunch and returned at the appointed time to load. The boat was up high enough so that the gang plank was on the 2nd deck (be careful as at one point the gangplank went into the water and almost took a guy with it). We were too late as almost all of the guys had their staterooms chosen already. Oh well, we still got a decent stateroom with AC (they all have it) on the port side main deck.

    We loaded on gear from our trucks, they let you pull right up to the boat with your vehicle, and there are a swarm of people on the dock to help you. Be careful of your valuables at this time as we caught a couple people rummaging through my center console for change and whatever. I also did a thorough inventory of my stuff on the boat to make sure that all my gear made it on board. All of our rods and coolers went to the top deck (bring your coolers with you as they will load them with your fish and ice on the way in). Quick note here: The boat has it's exhaust topside. It's situated about 3 foot off the deck and the generator and/or the engines are running pretty much 24/7 when on board. Your gear will get diesel soot and crap all over it, keep your reel skins on to protect your line and your reels. Also, there are no rod holders on board. I made my own (thanks Mike) and brought them for my friends and I.

    After loading, we went to town to get some dinner and some much needed liquid refreshment. Most of our party met on the water front and we drank a bit and then went for some dinner. We made it through that without too much embarrasment (well not really; sorry to the 8 ladies in the restaurant that we decided to eat at) and headed back to the boat. Our plans were to sleep on board so we went down to our now hot stateroom (no generator overnight in port) and fell into our bunks with the door and windows open. Do yourself a favor, sleep in town.

    Next morning woke up with many bug bites and a lot of activity starting up on the boat and the docks.

    We watched from the top deck as they loaded the pangas and soon we were prompted to move our vehicles to Tony Reyes' house for storage during our trip. Tony does have a fenced and secure yard to keep your vehicles; in fact, that whole town knows Tony and will go out of their way if they know that you are on a trip with his organization (even the Policia).

    We pulled away from the dock early Sunday afternoon on the incoming tide. Remembered that I had a camera and took some pictures on the way out. We had some sandwiches for lunch and of course some more cold beverages. Most of us sat up topside in the sun and diesel smoke for awhile mating all of our rods and reels together. Since the trip was chartered by Del Marsh there were tons of Accurates and Calstars around. Met most of the people on the trip and just hung out.

    A beautiful trip out of the harbor, not too hot and a great view. Rode all the way down to Salsupedes (I believe) and stopped in the middle of the night. We woke up around 4:30 AM to a squid bite and we launched our squid jigs off the side of the boat. We landed probably 20 to 30 Humboldt squid about 4 pounds, so we had some bait for the day. The pangas were offloaded here and set up to tow. We moved for another hour or two to another anchorage. My buddies ate breakfast and we loaded into the panga at 6 AM.

    We met our Pangero (I won't mention his name here, or his panga number as you will read later) and jumped into our new panga. All of our gear was loaded into the panga: milk crate with rod holders, lead, rods, etc... All pangas are brand new (21' I think) with fish finders, radios, 50HP Yamaha 4 strokes, etc... They are really nice with the exception of some rod holders. We took off and were fishing within 5 minutes, mostly throwing iron as we had no real bait. We scratched around for awhile and ended up trolling with the Mirro Lures that we brought. We hooked up for one YT (#20) and some small Cabrilla. Went back for lunch and saw that it was pretty much scratch fishing for all and we had the only YT. My buddies Dad came in with the jackpot YT for the day at #16, but the scale was well off, so it was probably closer to #23 or so.

    We moved from there farther South in the afternoon. Once again, mostly scratch fishing. I believe that we moved again that night for bait, but got up twice and no bait. Breakfast the next morning and into the panga. We followed all of the pangeros around for some scratch fishing, then they all went somewhere else. Our pangero decided to troll, we didn't want to but catching #2 Cabrilla all day was not very satisfying either. We tied on the Mirro Lures and off we went. We hooked up for about 10 YT in the #15 to #25 range, mostly bigger and we came back to the mother ship with our load and saw that we were the only boat with over two YT. Of course the others came back with tons of large Cabrilla and Grouper. We moved to another anchorage in the afternoon and went fishing late. Pretty scratch that afternoon. Had some guys come up to buy some mirro Lures and since I had a couple extra I sold them at cost to the guys (good fishing Karma).

    Wednesday we awoke at a new anchorage, once again no bait. We went out and fished and didn't catch much of anything, a few scratch YT was all. We moved again in the afternoon and fished that evening for scratch YT.

    Thursday was going to be the day... We got into the pangas and stopped immediately and hooked into two good YT. We then made a run of about 30 minutes, after all of the other pangas were there. We followed birds and boils everywhere. Now here is where it gets interesting; we'd pull up on boils and end up either right on top of it, the boild behind us, or too far away to reach casting. Now we are three pretty decent fishermen, and we're not sitting there pulling out backlashes and casting over each other. Our pangero did not want to fish either. So we are watching everone else get doubles and triples and we have like 4 YT in the boat. So we start trying to guide our pangero who can't see while driving cause he is sitting down (you probably see where this is going). We finally decide to troll and start getting some good hookups, but we are still way behind the others. We came in with 10 decent YT and the other boats were all coming in with 20 to 25 YT. Very disheartening...

    I made a comment to the chartermaster and he tells the owner and we have a very frank conversation about our pangero. I decided not to fish that afternoon due to the "crankiness" factor in out boat. My fellow anglers came in with 4 more nice YT for the day.That night we watched for a couple hours (they were at it for 6 hours I heard) as the crew brought all the fish up and started cleaning and re-bagging the fish. What a sight!

    We moved again and pulled up to a great anchorage. I fished with two other guys so my buddies' father could fish with them. We tooled around and is was pretty rough and we got pretty wet, but the company was great. We got some Cabrilla and stuff then we went to fish a reef and hooked Triggers and all sorts of weird stuff. We drifted past a small rock and I had my Grouper rig ready with the dropper loop and all. I have a hunk of squid on and am on the drop when I feel something take the bait. I throw the reel in gear and my rod drops right to the gunwhale. After taking about 20 yards of line and me putting the drag to full, I feel the rocks and he is gone. My drag was set so tight that I had to pull it out with two hands (#35 at strike?) and I was fishing a 6' all roller Cal Star and an Avet EX4/0 W with P-Line CXX #80. No way that fish should have rocked me. So we try again and my buddy gets rocked, no chance. We are out of bait and decide to head back to the mothership. After lunch it is almost time to go home, so I go up and un-rig all my rods and reels. I can feel the pain in my back and arms and just everywhere.

    We get to San Felipe about 9:30PM on Friday and on the way in the crew brings all of the coolers down and throws the fish in there with ice to go. We arrive and the crew starts to unload all the gear to the pier. We get a ride to Tony's house and we retrieve our vehicles. We decide to stay the night on the boat again and have to endure the heat and the bugs again, but far better than trying to drive or worry about your vehicle with all your gear in it out on town.

    We woke up the next morning and had to take a panga over to the boat launch as the tide was too low to unload directly to the pier. A great trip once again. Tony Jr. was everywhere and always awake. He really makes a difference as he is always willing to talk to the customers, remove a hook from a hand or show you where you are on a map. I plan on going again next year with the same charter and hopefully some of my new friends will go with me and my buddies.

    A couple of things while I remember:

    Have someone you know bring a first aid kit. You will get scratched/hooked/bit and generally abused out there. Bring lots of Ibuprofen or your pain killer of choice. If you get sea sick bring some drugs for that as well.

    The ship and the panga have no rod holders, plan accordingly.

    You don't need a ton of gear (at least the time of year we went), I lost 3 iron and 3 Mirro Lures (not counting the Mirro Lures that seemed to dissapear off my rods and milk crate after the last fishing excursion). Bring good gear that will stand up to the strain of multiple fish and the environment. This was a Cal Star/Accurate trip, they were the predominate gear on board and they performed very well. I brought some Avets along and they performed very well, as good as the other gear.

    The new boat has the best heads that I have ever been in on a ship/submarine (Navy included). Lots of water for showers and general hygiene. You smelly bastards should use them, ugh...

    Can't say enough about the experience and the people, I had a great time.

    It was an epic trip with plenty of new friends met and plenty of fish.
  2. Jason Admin

    Sounds like a pretty fun trip. I'm hooked on catching those cabrilla. The bigger models pull sooo hard!

    What kind of food did they give ya to eat on the boat? How much $ would it take to fish there?
  3. sdangler

    Well we had a shitty Pangero or we would have been into those big Cabrilla. I took two bags home of those fillets and they are awesome.

    Total for the trip was like $900 including tips. That's with three per panga not including your pangero. Truly a cheap trip. I brought back 4 coolers of fish!

    The food was not as good as advertised, but I think that since it was the maiden voyage, they will do better. In all honesty, I would bring some food for one night for everyone and encourage a couple other guys to do the same. We had a chef on the trip that made some squid ceviche that was just awesome! Normal Mexican fare for the rest of the trip. The triggerfsih/squid cevichi that they made was good.

    In all honesty; This is the trip to go on (non-tuna) if you are on a budget and want to fish. Unlikethe East Cape; you are fishing for more hours in the day and they don't just want to troll for Billfish. You are on a boat for 7 days, but it's fun and I highly recommend it.

    Hope that you get a shot at this trip...

  4. Zed

    Thanks a lot 'Dangler, that was a good representation and a ton of useful stuff. Appreciate the time you took to tell it.

    How was the quality of the fileting and temperature of the meat? Better than your average day-boat with no brine?

    Thanks again, I'm drooling.
  5. sdangler

    Since we were in Mex they had to leave the skin on the fish, so that was some work after I got home... The meat was in excellent shape even after I left it on ice for an extra day. I could not tell the difference between fish we caught towards the beginning of the week and the end.

    They have an industrial Food Saver on board, but it required a 220 connection that they didn't have time to get setup before we left.

    Quality of fillets was pretty good, some bones, but not too many. Took me about 4 1/2 hours to clean/seal all the fish. If you get a chance to go on one of these, I highly recommend it, if for nothing else for the YT meat.
  6. MikeyLikesIt

    Thanks, 'Dangler...what a great report. Welcome to the board, look forward to more reports like that!

    Ive always wanted to do a trip like that, looks like the Tony Reyes is the one to take, eh?

    WTG.....always nice to fill the freezer....
  7. jesse

    I was just down there on the ERIK doing one of those midriff trips and it fucking rocked! We lucked out and snatched the best panguero who knew grew up fishing those waters and had tons of holes:D We are scheduled to run to La Paz on Oct. on the same boat and it should be fun.
    those dock rats are pretty funny huh? I had to get a little mean with those fuckers and let'm know that I was not fucking around when it came to my shit. Once you assert yourself they are pretty mellow :cussing: :D
    sounds like you had a killer trip even though your guide sucked monkey huevos:D
  8. Jason Admin

    Thanks for comming back on those questions. It really does sound like a cheap good fishing trip with buddies. So when's the next time you are going down?
  9. sdangler

    It was a charter trip with some friends of friends... They are looking to do a 14 day this fall, and I am thinking about that trip. I don't know though, my wife will probably gut me with a spoon if I even suggested it.

    I will definately be going down with the same charter next year (Del Marsh chartered it) and I think that this has probably replaced my desire to visit the East Cape again.

    Can't beat the friends, fishing, and fun that you have on these trips. If anyone has any questions about it or what to bring, I have a pretty comprehensive list of gear, so let me know.

  10. Jason Admin

    Are the cabrilla there the same "black spotted" cabrilla that they have in the Loreto area?
  11. sdangler

    Sort of black spotted... I think they are the same fish, just real "agro" fish. they pull like a freight train.

    I caught a large squid on the troll and I am not sure that the larger Cabrilla that we caught did not pull as hard as that "parachute" did.