Fishing with Ramone in Ejido Erendira on 04/20/19 and on 05/25/19

SaltH20Angler

I'm not superstitious... cuz it's bad luck.
Aug 6, 2016
1,131
1,489
SoCal - Corona
Name
Christopher
Boat
I know a couple guys...
To provide some background, I have never had the opportunity to fish Baja Mexico until my good fishing buddy Benny hit me up about 2 months ago. Benny and I have been fishing pretty hard for the last two years on his 20’ Triton Center Console. We have fished many of the local spots as far north as Catalina all the way down to San Diego fishing offshore for pelagics at the 425 and most of the spots in between.

In early April, Benny and I were looking to fish somewhere close to Ensenada as he has a friend who had a place for us to stay locally. We really enjoy catching (and eating) yellowtail and optimistically hoped that the YT or White Sea Bass might be running further south than San Diego. After doing a research we kept finding good recommendations to fish with Ramone in a little fishing town called Ejido Erendira.


April 20, 2019:
So that Friday, we took off and headed south to Mexico. We spent the night just north of Ensenada and woke up early to get to Ejido Erendira by 6am that Saturday. Prior to this trip, it was a very long time since I stepped foot in Mexico. To be honest, I was apprehensive to go back to Mexico because of a couple of bad experiences twenty years ago in Rosarito while partying with good buddies. Nothing we caused ourselves, but I learned then that when you speak little Spanish and are a tourist, it doesn’t matter what happened when you find yourself having to defend yourself from people looking for a fight. Nevertheless, @Benny Mora speaks Spanish fluently and assured me that we have nothing to worry about. The dreams of catching Baja fish were stronger than my fears of what could happen to me as a tourist in Mexico to fish rather than to party.

We woke up at 4:30am and loaded the Honda Civic up with our fishing gear. It was me, Benny and his little brother. The plan was to meet one of Ramone’s skippers at 7am. The drive down the Highway 1 through Ensenada was pretty smooth with only a few spots to look out for potholes until we got to some construction around Santo Tomas. They are doing road work there and only one lane can go at a time. Its seems that the northbound lane goes for 30 minutes, then the south bound goes for 30 minutes. If you are lucky, you can just breeze on through. If you are unlucky, you will have to wait for a maximum of 30 minutes until it’s your turn to go down the one lane.

We made it through the construction with no issues and about 30 minutes later, we saw the well-marked exit pointing us to Ejido Erendira off to the right. We followed that road does for about 10 miles until we came into the little town of Ejido Erendira. You are going to know you are very close when you come to a speed bump that is steep enough to rattle your vehicle. The speed bumps made the small Honda Civic we drove sound like we cracked the oil pan. We slowed for the second one and still scraped, then we drove sideways and still scraped. Nothing happened to the car, but in hindsight I would recommend having the passengers get out when you go over the speed bumps (There are about 5) just to respect the driver’s car. If you are in a truck or SUV with clearance you have no issues at all, just drive on over.

There is only one road that takes you to the fishing area, which is the same road you take when exiting the 1 highway. If you stay straight, you will eventually come to where you are overlooking the big blue ocean from the top of a cliff. You can see Punta Colonet as you look south from that cliff. To get to the spot to meet the skipper and Panga, you just follow that road to the right. As this point, there is no longer asphalt, you are driving on a dirt road. We had no issues with 3 people in a small car so don’t let the speed bumps worry you. It’s just the speed bumps you need to be aware of and the dirt road itself is not bad at all. If you stay straight for about a mile, you will come to an area where Castro’s Fishing Place is located. You cannot miss the big red sign painted on a big white wall that says “Restaurant”. This is where you will meet the Pangero and you will load up right there.

There is a safe parking lot right next to where you load up the panga. They charge $2.00 for parking and we were told that the money goes to help support the local kid’s soccer program. There was a guy there who spoke English and it seemed he was there to interpret. There is a place to use the bathroom, but this is a bare minimum toilet with no frills at all, but it sure beats taking a dip in the water to go number 2. Tip: Bring a roll of TP as you will likely need it in this public bathroom. After using the public bathroom, we loaded up on the 24’ center console panga with the Pangero, Jo-Juan. I know I am spelling his name wrong, but I believe that is how he pronounced it. Jo-Juan spoke little English but honestly, he knew enough English to communicate needed information. The panga had a nice bait tank, about 12 rod holders, and fishes 4 people with gear and a bunch of ice comfortably.

The launch ramp was small but protected from the surf. It is really cool to see how they launch the panga in almost no water. There were boiler rocks all around the after launching and it was incredible to see how Jo-Juan knew where every boiler rock was without even looking over the side. Within 5 minutes or so, we were outside of the surf break and on our way out. Despite hoping that YT and WSB were running, Jo-Juan advised that it would be less chances of catching those species and recommended we fish for rock fish. Knowing that he was the expert, we tied on some dropper loops and pointed the bow to the west and made our way out about 15 miles or so. After about 45 minutes, we were at the spot and ready to fish.

Jo-Juan provided the bait (dead anchovies and squid) and on first look at the bait, I was sure we were going to have a slow day. We fished in about 300’ of water and I was wrong, it was wide-open on a smorgasbord of different rock fish species. Tip: I recommend bringing a box of frozen squid as it stays on the hook better than the dead squid provided. What I really enjoyed were the size of the rock fish. I caught my personal best in several species that day. We were pulling them up as fast as we could drop them down. Jo-Juan did a great job of positioning the panga in the 15-mph wind so that he kept us straight up and down by bumping the throttle in reverse every couple of seconds. He was a true professional and I felt safe with him all day. We caught fish until our arms were so tired we just couldn’t do it anymore. I was relieved that I had a two-speed reel with me as it sure helped when my arm was tired.

We pointed the bow back towards the launch ramp and started heading in at about 3pm or so. After about 15 minutes of motoring, I saw a bunch of birds diving about a ½ mile to the north. I pointed them out and despite having a long day, Jo-Juan didn’t hesitate to push the throttle forward and give chase to the diving birds. Benny and I were rushing to tie irons on our jig sticks and had one cast to make it pay as whatever it was sank out as we pulled up. The birds were also thinning out fast as I have seen so many times and memories of finicky bluefin came to mind (not that I thought these were bluefin, but just the way the action stopped as we pulled up). We both got one decent cast and each came back without getting bit. Although we didn’t get bit, I was thankful that Jo-Juan gave chase to the zone and at least we had one chance at what I think was yellowtail.

We got to the launch ramp and trailered the panga in no time. When we got to the top of the hill, a guy met us to fillet the fish we caught. I was surprised to find that the filleting was included in the price. The fish were thrown in the back of his truck and we followed him for about a ½ mile to the fillet table sitting right behind a couple of small cabins. He did a great job filleting them up and we had them on ice in no time. Tip: bring plenty of gallon ziplock bags (or food saver and bags) and make sure you get ice before your trip as you come into Ejido Erendira or Ensenada. You can buy ice in a couple of small markets in Erendira for about a dollar for 10 lbs, but the sooner you get the fish on ice the better. Tip: I recommend setting aside 20/30 bucks (total) for tipping the skipper and fish fillet guys. It is a great service they provide, and it is nowhere near the cost that you pay deckhands for filleting fish on a sport boat. Not required, but certainly appreciated.

Before we packed up to head home, the guy filleting the fish asked Benny if he wanted to look at the cabins that are about 200’ from the cliff edge overlooking the pacific. I didn’t even know they were for rent, but when Benny looked, he said we have to come back and stay there at the cost of $40 a night. The cabin had a small kitchen, fridge/freezer, microwave, coffee pot, stove, all utensils, a propane bbq, fire pit, and 4 bunk beds with blankets and pillows provided. There was also a small bathroom with clean towels and with hot water. After seeing the cabin and knowing the price, Benny and I decided we were going back as soon as we could.

May 25, 2019:
We - @Hismosa and @Benny Mora - got to Ejido Erendira at 10:30pm on Friday 05/24/19. The plan was to stay Friday night, fish Saturday, and then stay again that Saturday Night before leaving for home early on Sunday. The thought of relaxing in the cabin on Saturday instead of making the grueling drive home after fishing all day was really enjoyable. We stayed in cabin #1 (the doors are marked) and the key was right where Ramone said it would be. Just as before, the cabin was really clean, beds were made with clean blankets and pillows. The cabin and bathroom floors were so clean, they shined when the light reflected. There was a slight odor when we first arrived, but we knew that was from the plumping (p-Traps being empty). We opened the windows and ran water in the bathroom shower, sink, and kitchen sink to fill the p-traps. The odor was gone in less than 10 minutes. We were settled in, hopped in the bunks and knocked out in no time so we could get some rest before the big fishing day.

The fishing plan was to make bait (macks) first thing so that we could target YT and WSB throughout the day. We brought 6 cans of frozen cat-food with a home-made chum bucket. We read reports that they caught YT the week before and were again optimistic that Hamachi would be on the plate that night. We met Ramone at 6:30am the next day. Ramone showed up with a 27’ panga and just like last time, we launched with smoothly with no issues. Boat had more than 12 rod holders, a big bait tank, super nice casting platform, and rails around the bow.

We pointed the bow south and headed to the spots that Ramone knew to make bait. Apparently the water turned and we were dealing with dirty red-tide looking water. No Bueno, said Ramone and all of us knew this was not good for making bait, or for catching the fish we came to target. Ramone was committed and we hit bait spot after bait spot. The cat food and chum bucket worked well as there was a huge cloud of cat food behind us, but there were just no macks to be found in the dirty water. We headed further south where the water got to a greener color (not blue) and we kept trying to make bait until it was clear that we better start heading towards Punta Colonet (without bait) if we had any chance of killing YT.

About 3 miles short of the point, Ramone points out a bunch of birds diving, and pushes the throttle forward to get there quicker. As we approach, we can clearly see the dolphin, terns, pelicans, and seagulls working. Benny got the best cast into the action and immediately was bendo. Whatever it was hit as soon as the surface iron hit the water. It hit like a freight train and took line so fast that Benny was going to get spooled on his Lexa 400. He tightened the drag and seemed to have turned the fishes head, but seconds later, the line went slack. No surface iron and no yellowtail. Glenn and I kept throwing our surface irons in the same general direction but did not get bit. We wondered if it was a YT that Benny hooked or if there could have been a chance that he snagged one of the many dolphin in the area. We talked about it later and decided it was likely the dolphin, but truth is we really don’t know. In all my years fishing, I never snagged a dolphin.

After the birds and life disbursed, we decided that we should troll a few rapalas in the area to see if that would help us find them. We trolled in greenish water for about 45 minutes without any luck. It was at that time that us three guys needed to decide to continue to hunt for yellow tail and possibly go home empty handed or to cut our losses and fill the cooler with rockfish. Based on the water condition, the life in the area, our inability to make macks, and the 4 hours we spent chasing with no luck, we decided we better head to Ramones rock fishing spots.

Within a matter of minutes, we were on a spot and just like the prior trip we began killing the rockfish as quick as we could get them up. The bite was instant, if you weren’t on, you lost your bait. We started with double dropper loops, then to single jigs (swim baits and also flat falls) tipped with the squid we brought. We were catching some of our PB reds, several sheephead, and ginormous whitefish (up to 5 lbs apprx.) that looked like small yellowtail when they came to color. It was a beautiful day on the water and the wind died down most of the day. If we had to wait more than 2 minutes for a bite, Ramone picked put us on to a new wide-open bite. We fished for several hours filling up the fish box with solid whitefish, reds and other rockfish, plus some great sheephead.

As we headed back, we saw some small signs of life with a pelican and a couple of terns and gulls diving. Ramone stopped and told us to give it one more try with our surface irons. I threw my trusty mint and white and also tossed a heavy chrome krock for about 20 minutes before we knew the yellowtail had us beat that day. Within 20 minutes, we were up on the launch ramp and to our cabin after unloading the boat. Once again, there were a couple of guys waiting there to fillet the fish. We went back to the cabin, cleaned our rods and reels, took hot showers, while the guys cleaned our fish. We brought a food saver and Glenn vacuum sealed the fillets before putting them into the freezer. Tip: Bring pre-chopped ingredients to make ceviche as that is what our neighbors did. The ceviche they made was super delicious.

I want to give a special shout-out to @michael e. Bingham as he is familiar with the area and gave us some really good advice leading up to the trip. We ate dinner at Gloria’s restaurant and all I can say was it was some of the best Mexican food I have ever had, completely authentic. I had the mole’ chicken enchiladas and my mouth is still thanking me for it. The plate was only $5 plus a $1 tip. You cannot go wrong with eating there. We drank our fill of Tecate beer with lime and salt, before knocking out pretty early (10pm or so) in our clean cabin. I slept like a baby and was so thankful to start the trip home after a good night sleep. The next morning, we explored the beach-side cliffs and beaches before heading home.

I know this is a really really long read, but I wanted to make sure to give a good fishing report as well as give good information about the lodging and getting there. We didn’t take very many pictures because when we were trying to get the fish, we were super focused. Besides, you already know what good sized rockfish, whitefish, and sheepshead look like. All in all, I highly recommend fishing with this outfit. The locals are very nice, I felt 100% safe so much so that I already made an appointment for my wife and son to get a passport. We are going to be back again as soon as possible. Booking for Ramone’s Fishing can be done via telephone at 011-52 (646) 154-4180. He said he has a facebook page, but I cannot seem to tell which one is his. I am not affiliated with Ramone’s Fishing, just a really happy and satisfied customer.

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stairman

......
May 16, 2009
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ramona /ca/usa
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doug
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yak and lowe duck hunting skiff but they identify as sportfishing crusiers
you would have loved it even more 40 years ago
 
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SaltH20Angler

I'm not superstitious... cuz it's bad luck.
Aug 6, 2016
1,131
1,489
SoCal - Corona
Name
Christopher
Boat
I know a couple guys...
you would have loved it even more 40 years ago
I bet you are right Doug. That was a common theme I heard from more than one person when we were eating at Gloria's Restaurant.

We chatted with a couple groups of guys that had been fishing there for 30 years or so. They said there was no road when they first came so they had to drive down the dry river bed to get there.
 

michael e. bingham

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 26, 2015
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Pura Vida
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Pura Vida 30' Custom Panga
40 years ago it took 6 to 7 hours to get there from SAN Diego, the road going in wad brutal, there was no bridge crossing the first part or the river that ran along the road long before the town , we would cross on big wooden planks , the river in those days was always running , there was even a gas station in town owned by the Garzon family , fishing boats with a cabin were 20 dollars a day , no trailers for the boats they used round wooden pila and would keep the boat moving by running to the front of the boat to drop another 3 to 4 pilas to a boat , if the weather was nice boats anchored out over nite , fishing was insane old wooden boxes with a compass and a watch and we hit fish every time , follow the heading and time the distance , I still have a house down there and have a great respect for the people and they have the same for me , I always say you turn the clock 100 years because you can still live in the old days where time just crawls , people need to take 2 to 3 days out of there lives and get to know the people in this sleepy little community and of course it dosent hurt that it can be world class fishing
 
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michael e. bingham

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 26, 2015
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Pura Vida
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Pura Vida 30' Custom Panga
The water now is 61 degrees just a few miles off the beach and Crystal clear , my son in law Edgar Castro is at the house with my Daughter and said the weather is Beautiful and fishing for Reds and Lingcod , I was there in January and we were still catching yellows ,
 
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SaltH20Angler

I'm not superstitious... cuz it's bad luck.
Aug 6, 2016
1,131
1,489
SoCal - Corona
Name
Christopher
Boat
I know a couple guys...
Fishing right now is good and I think it's going to be a great year with the sea bass showing up in April ,I'll be down there the end of February and will keep you guys posted
Hey Mike!!
Thanks for the updates man. Keep us posted with how your trip goes this month. We (Benny and I) are already agreed we are heading back down in April. Can't wait!!

Maybe we can connect with you this year. We would love to fish with you down there and learn more about the WSB and YT fishery. So far we have had great days catching rock fish and white fish, but the YT and WSB have done a fine job eluding us. I'll PM you as we get closer and have more details on the dates.

Last year's summer/fall fish have been eaten (haven't really fished this winter), so the thought of fresh cevechi or beer battered fried fish has been sounding really good lately. WSB or YT would be icing on the cake.

Oh yeah... I forgot to post that my family (wife and 16 yo daughter) and a small group of friends went back to Ramone's for 4 days (3 nites) in October last year. We brought some off road toys and spent more time chillin on the beaches and taking turns riding/exploring the trails than we did fishing. I should write a super late report because that trip was incredible.

Highlights for me were...
The nights spent in good company around the front door fire pit.

Having comfy beds, furnished cabins, warm showers, and a full kitchen set up.

Having our personal choice of miles of beautiful beaches to ourselves.

The food...Although we brought almost everything from home in coolers, Ramone hooked us up with fresh live lobster which was waiting on our doorstep when we came back from a day at the beach. My daughter and I snorkeled the rocks by the cabin and got a bunch of nice purple sea urchin and ate them as appetizers with the lobster dinner.

I could go on and on... This place is a gem!!
 

michael e. bingham

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 26, 2015
812
1,102
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Name
Pura Vida
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Pura Vida 30' Custom Panga
Sounds great let me know the dates asap and I'll see if i can make it happen , I go to Florida in april with my oldest daughter but im not sure of the dates I will get back to you on this and see if we can make it happen ,im also hoping to get a trip going with Leslie Christain and his buddy this year
 
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michael e. bingham

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 26, 2015
812
1,102
63
Name
Pura Vida
Boat
Pura Vida 30' Custom Panga
I leave for Florida april 13th and come back the 20th