BOLA with Captain Juan Cook 10/4-10/5

BBLDarkStar

I'll fish next to you while you get bit
Aug 13, 2015
82
52
Redlands
Name
Randy Champion
Boat
Pamela E.
Went down with my nephew and met up to fish with my dad and Captain Juan Cook SQ last Sunday and Monday.

Crossed the border at Mexicali I at about 0830 am. We weren't offered the free 7 day FMM by the "helpful" immigration agent so we had to pay for 180 day in cash, no change, no receipt. Sure that went straight into his pocket.

Uneventful drive down. Stopped for tacos at Rancho Grande Market near Gonzaga Bay for some delicious tacos and a cold Coke.

Fished Sunday on a hot, breezeless, totally flat sea with a pretty stiff current for 7 yt, a couple cabrilla, a few sawtail grouper, and the biggest pinto bass anyone onboard has ever seen for our three fishermen. Most of the fish were on the dropper loop. We wrapped up at around 1330 and left the fish biting. The yt were mostly in the 10#-15# range with one between 25-30.
My dad never gave up with the yoyo, but it wasn't very productive.
Making bait in the morning was pretty tough. Took us until about 0830 to feel like we had enough baits to head out for the day. Good thing we didn't give up, because bait was key with slow action on the iron.

Monday was a completely different day. Slightly overcast in the morning, a little breezier, small but tight swells... We were able to make bait a lot easier, right off the launch ramp. We headed out at around 0800 with twice the amount of bait that we had the day before.
Started the day off with the dropper loop again in a different area. Current and wind were in opposite directions and the current was ripping. We were fishing around 300' of water with 16-20 oz. of lead. Nothing much happening at the first spot so we moved to spot 2.
Spot 2 had pretty consistent bites but we really struggled to get fish to the boat. Current was ripping and we were fishing a very steep pinnacle with doubled up torpedoes to make 24 oz. weights. All three of us lost weights at least once and all three of us lost multiple fish for no apparent reason. It's frustrating when you're fishing 6/0-8/0 circle hooks, letting the fish load the rod up, winding on them for a hundred yards or better just to have them spit the hook or take you into the rocks when you think you're well clear of the rocks. In other words, when you feel like you're doing everything right but you're still losing fish.
Decided to move along and go cast for some cabrilla. Had a great time casting for Cabrilla along the beach. We caught plenty of cabrilla and gulf grouper. None that were huge. Mostly in the 10# range with a lot of dinks as well. We somehow managed to have three of us casting simultaneously with no real snarls. We had Captain Juan to keep us on our best behavior.

My dad and Juan both say this was pretty slow for BOLA fishing. My nephew and I were there for the first time and couldn't have been happier with it. Juan fishes hard and doesn't waste time where the fish aren't biting. I can't wait to get to fish with him again either in Gonzaga or over in San Quintin.

Hit the road at 0500 Tuesday morning to head home. My nephew and I nailed a pothole that covered the whole width of the lane about 10 miles outside town and discovered that his spare tire kit didn't have the lug wrench in it. Dad and I headed back into town in Dad's truck to find a lug wrench to borrow or buy. Not just any lug wrench, mind you, a 17mm lug wrench for a VW. Thankfully, Captain Juan didn't have a trip scheduled for that morning. Poor guy. We didn't know what else to do so we went out to his place and knocked on the door to wake him up on what was probably going to be his only day off in who knows how many days. Him and his wife, Maricela, were extremely gracious and offered us coffee and were able to find us a star wrench and a socket set to get us on the road. They even hopped in their truck and came out to where my nephew was stuck to make sure we were able to get the tire changed and grab the tools once we finished so we didn't have to drive back to town again.

We can't thank you enough, Juan and Maricela! Sorry for waking you guys and the girls up!

One last thing... Anybody that has fished BOLA is probably familiar with Brisa. She does it all. She launches boats for all the fishermen and then retrieves them at the end of the day so you don't have to deal with getting out of the boat (with no dock) and parking your truck/trailer. She cuts and packs fish now also. From what I understand, this is a relatively new business for her. It's great. You drop off your fish at the end of the day at her shop right by the traffic circle at the beginning of town and she processes it however you request. I don't know all her prices, but it's $2.50 a pound (finished weight) for filet, skin removal, bloodline removal, bone removal, vacuum packing, and freezing. Her operation is awesome. Everything is done in a cold room so your fish is very well taken care of.
My only recommendation is this: her minimum size per package is 2#. I would recommend asking her if you could pay extra for smaller packages.
You can find her on FB under Brisa Vacuum Packing.

Salud, Captain Juan Cook! Gracias por una visita muy buena!

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jig77

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jun 18, 2012
141
97
huntington beach
Name
michael
Boat
Mako 20'
Sounds like a great time fishing with family. Glad y’all had a successful trip.
 

Jeff Brandlin

Newbie
Jun 20, 2015
15
15
37
Name
Jeff Brandlin
Boat
None
Great write up and thanks for the fishing updates. We are headed down this morning and will give an update as well.
 

denis

Deadhead lures Owner
Mar 2, 2006
1,707
715
64
Colorado
Name
denis
Boat
deadhead luees
Great report I heard the waters hot and fish are deep. That’s why the yellows are caught on bait? Glad u did great on cabrilla also
 
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tecateando

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 11, 2009
474
18
Ensenada, BC, MX
Name
Forrest
Boat
Parker 1801 CC, "La Mañanera"
Great report I heard the waters hot and fish are deep. That’s why the yellows are caught on bait? Glad u did great on cabrilla also
We have been doing pretty well on iron to the south of animas in 180-220 feet of water. Not wide open but steady pick.
 
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Oldtimer2

Well-Known "Member"
Jul 29, 2020
80
133
70
Iowa City Iowa
Name
Rob Malone
Boat
don't got no boat
Very nice report! Great pics and great fishing.

One question: How much fish per person are you allowed to bring back from a trip like yours to the BOLA? Do you have to leave some skin or identifying fins on? Do you get hassled by the Mexican or US border folks for fish? Thanks...I've wondered.
 

clean n up

Member
Jun 7, 2009
43
65
Alta Loma, CA USA
Name
Randy Champion
Boat
n/a
Went down with my nephew and met up to fish with my dad and Captain Juan Cook SQ last Sunday and Monday.

Crossed the border at Mexicali I at about 0830 am. We weren't offered the free 7 day FMM by the "helpful" immigration agent so we had to pay for 180 day in cash, no change, no receipt. Sure that went straight into his pocket.

Uneventful drive down. Stopped for tacos at Rancho Grande Market near Gonzaga Bay for some delicious tacos and a cold Coke.

Fished Sunday on a hot, breezeless, totally flat sea with a pretty stiff current for 7 yt, a couple cabrilla, a few sawtail grouper, and the biggest pinto bass anyone onboard has ever seen for our three fishermen. Most of the fish were on the dropper loop. We wrapped up at around 1330 and left the fish biting. The yt were mostly in the 10#-15# range with one between 25-30.
My dad never gave up with the yoyo, but it wasn't very productive.
Making bait in the morning was pretty tough. Took us until about 0830 to feel like we had enough baits to head out for the day. Good thing we didn't give up, because bait was key with slow action on the iron.

Monday was a completely different day. Slightly overcast in the morning, a little breezier, small but tight swells... We were able to make bait a lot easier, right off the launch ramp. We headed out at around 0800 with twice the amount of bait that we had the day before.
Started the day off with the dropper loop again in a different area. Current and wind were in opposite directions and the current was ripping. We were fishing around 300' of water with 16-20 oz. of lead. Nothing much happening at the first spot so we moved to spot 2.
Spot 2 had pretty consistent bites but we really struggled to get fish to the boat. Current was ripping and we were fishing a very steep pinnacle with doubled up torpedoes to make 24 oz. weights. All three of us lost weights at least once and all three of us lost multiple fish for no apparent reason. It's frustrating when you're fishing 6/0-8/0 circle hooks, letting the fish load the rod up, winding on them for a hundred yards or better just to have them spit the hook or take you into the rocks when you think you're well clear of the rocks. In other words, when you feel like you're doing everything right but you're still losing fish.
Decided to move along and go cast for some cabrilla. Had a great time casting for Cabrilla along the beach. We caught plenty of cabrilla and gulf grouper. None that were huge. Mostly in the 10# range with a lot of dinks as well. We somehow managed to have three of us casting simultaneously with no real snarls. We had Captain Juan to keep us on our best behavior.

My dad and Juan both say this was pretty slow for BOLA fishing. My nephew and I were there for the first time and couldn't have been happier with it. Juan fishes hard and doesn't waste time where the fish aren't biting. I can't wait to get to fish with him again either in Gonzaga or over in San Quintin.

Hit the road at 0500 Tuesday morning to head home. My nephew and I nailed a pothole that covered the whole width of the lane about 10 miles outside town and discovered that his spare tire kit didn't have the lug wrench in it. Dad and I headed back into town in Dad's truck to find a lug wrench to borrow or buy. Not just any lug wrench, mind you, a 17mm lug wrench for a VW. Thankfully, Captain Juan didn't have a trip scheduled for that morning. Poor guy. We didn't know what else to do so we went out to his place and knocked on the door to wake him up on what was probably going to be his only day off in who knows how many days. Him and his wife, Maricela, were extremely gracious and offered us coffee and were able to find us a star wrench and a socket set to get us on the road. They even hopped in their truck and came out to where my nephew was stuck to make sure we were able to get the tire changed and grab the tools once we finished so we didn't have to drive back to town again.

We can't thank you enough, Juan and Maricela! Sorry for waking you guys and the girls up!

One last thing... Anybody that has fished BOLA is probably familiar with Brisa. She does it all. She launches boats for all the fishermen and then retrieves them at the end of the day so you don't have to deal with getting out of the boat (with no dock) and parking your truck/trailer. She cuts and packs fish now also. From what I understand, this is a relatively new business for her. It's great. You drop off your fish at the end of the day at her shop right by the traffic circle at the beginning of town and she processes it however you request. I don't know all her prices, but it's $2.50 a pound (finished weight) for filet, skin removal, bloodline removal, bone removal, vacuum packing, and freezing. Her operation is awesome. Everything is done in a cold room so your fish is very well taken care of.
My only recommendation is this: her minimum size per package is 2#. I would recommend asking her if you could pay extra for smaller packages.
You can find her on FB under Brisa Vacuum Packing.

Salud, Captain Juan Cook! Gracias por una visita muy buena!

View attachment 1209925View attachment 1209926View attachment 1209927View attachment 1209928View attachment 1209929
Great report!
 
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Oldtimer2

Well-Known "Member"
Jul 29, 2020
80
133
70
Iowa City Iowa
Name
Rob Malone
Boat
don't got no boat
TJ-
What is an fmm? What does a "7 day" have to do with the fish you can bring back? Maybe you were answering another post, not mine. If so, sorry.
I just wondered about what fish you could bring back from a trip like that. (Again, GREAT report, BBLDarkstar!) I like to eat fish as much as catch them, and I wondered.
 

Oldtimer2

Well-Known "Member"
Jul 29, 2020
80
133
70
Iowa City Iowa
Name
Rob Malone
Boat
don't got no boat
Why do I get partial posts posted??
How do you delete a post, once it appears?
Daymn, I am such a gluck.
 

clean n up

Member
Jun 7, 2009
43
65
Alta Loma, CA USA
Name
Randy Champion
Boat
n/a
Why do I get partial posts posted??
How do you delete a post, once it appears?
Daymn, I am such a gluck.
Old timer.....The fmm... sometimes referred to as a "tourist visa" is a requirement for traveling in Mexico. In regards to fish quantity, the yellowtail limit is five fish per day as is most species....there are some exceptions. In my 45 years of crossing the border with fish, its never been a problem. You do not need to keep any skin on them. I hope this helps... I'm bbldarkstar's father so I took the liberty of answering your question.
 

Beer Goggles

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 9, 2007
619
614
Trabuco Canyon CA
Name
O
Boat
The Snapper Slapper
Just got back Saturday. 5 fish per day of any species, like posted above. However, usually the Captain and Deckhand will allow you to use them- I.E. 4 People on the boat would be 20 Yellowtail. No problems ever in 25 years with the amount of fish brought back- I had (3) of the 120 quart coolers packed halfway with fish and they weren't even looked at this time by the military checkpoints or the CBP agents.

Lastly, in one of my other posts I wrote something about that Piece of Shit crook at the immigration office at the Calexico West border. He is younger, late 20's, and speaks good English. He tried to fleece us four weeks ago with the same 6 month visa scam. He also tried to have us stop at the border a few days ago as we drove across in my KIA. Since I wasn't driving my big lifted truck, we didn't automatically get inspected. Matt and I heard the douche whistle at the military guys standing next to us as we drove by- but I just kept on driving and didn't stop. Maybe not the best idea, but fuck that little turd.

**Also Captain Juan is a stud and I'm glad to read your report and hear he is doing good, we saw him fishing down there but didn't really talk to him this time**
 

Dogman619

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Nov 6, 2012
258
402
Bahia de los Angeles. Spring Valley
Name
Chris
Boat
Sea Pro 18DC
Lastly, in one of my other posts I wrote something about that Piece of Shit crook at the immigration office at the Calexico West border. He is younger, late 20's, and speaks good English. He tried to fleece us four weeks ago with the same 6 month visa scam. He also tried to have us stop at the border a few days ago as we drove across in my KIA. Since I wasn't driving my big lifted truck, we didn't automatically get inspected. Matt and I heard the douche whistle at the military guys standing next to us as we drove by- but I just kept on driving and didn't stop. Maybe not the best idea, but fuck that little turd.
Love it!!! Fuck that dude! 🖕
 
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Captain Juan SQ

ARLETT DEL MAR.
May 14, 2008
2,457
1,993
San Quintin BCN mex.
Name
Captain Juan SQ.
Boat
parker 23/20.slaptail.
rc it was a playsure meetting you and tylor,thanck you for fishing hard and haveing a good time wile dooing da thing.
randy champion ill seeya in magbay,thancks for the good times my friend,fishonnn&onnn.
 
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