Islands Isla Cedros Report, July 19-23, 2021

Cheech

Member
Sep 11, 2008
443
303
Tustin, CA
Name
Jeff Cheechov
Boat
Skipjack 24FB, AD41P diesel
I've been trying my best to get to Isla Cedros since learning about the Cedros Sportfishing operation. Bruce and I were booked in 2018, only to have the trip canceled due to a hurricane. More issues conspired, business issues in 2019, and Covid in 2020. So damn it, we were going this year! Bruce's group of five all are dorymen from Pacific City OR. Most are also long range fisherman, and just generally nice guys to hang out with. I'm from OC, and Bruce and I have been friends since we went to HS together in OC. So we had a great group of six, and Rosie booked our group in the upper three rooms and fishing in two pangas. Good call, Rosie. We did participate in a Cedros Sportfishing webinar, loaded with great info about CBX, special packing instructions, information about the lodge and most importantly, fishing tackle and techniques hosted by Luke Burson. Luke is a surface iron guru and one hell of a fisherman. You may have seen Luke, it's hard to miss him at Fred Hall sporting his huge Sam Elliot style mustache. Hey Virgil!

Rosie met us at the CBX location, and had 100% of our paperwork ready in personal manila folders, we just needed to supply our passports and our vaxx cards for boarding. The flight was about two hours, 310 NM from Tijuana. We were greeted by the CSF crew in a van, with a cooler full of beverages. Nice! Monday was our transfer day, so in the afternoon we chilled and rigged up. Tuesday was our first fishing day. It's a five minute van ride to the harbor, and we boarded our respective pangas, already loaded with our gear, rods and coolers! Let's roll. Our panga was tidy, fast, and well set up, including a Lowrance plotter and 115 hp Suzuki outboard. I can only describe Javier's fishing style as "Run & Gun". We ran hard all morning. If there were no strikes or the life disappeared, we were hammer down and hang on. Javier spent plenty of time on the binos looking for birds & life. This place is huge, and only a handful of pangas were fishing it. We chased an assortment of birds of many types, seagulls, pelicans, cormorants, and a few different tern species etc. The birds were on huge boils of bait, sometime over a reef with visible kelp streaming upward. Just an incredible amount of biomass and life! In my head I'm picturing SoCal fishing decades ago, and what it was like to maybe be the first guy to cast a jig on the Farnsworth?

Tuesday was the best weather day, clear skies and smooth sea conditions. Gary had three quality YT in the box first, all on Shimano stick baits, and Bruce and I hadn't been bit yet! Then Bruce and I found our groove a bit on the wind, and the surface iron began to get bit, and the count went up. We had ten quality fish in the box by 8:00 AM! Awesome. We had a 15 fish limit of quality YTs by Noon, and we elected to return to the harbor.

Wednesday was Victory at Sea as we came around the point into the more exposed fetch of water about 7:00. We pounded hard and worked the area for more fish, then retreated as it was getting pretty gnarly, Blowing 15-20 knots and whitecaps everywhere. Bruce and I both had bigger fish, 30 & 33 lbs. on JRI surface iron. My 30 pounder was a PB for me. These fish fought hard over the shallow reef, and would power into the kelp. You know the drill. I fished 30# & 40# topshots, and Bruce stuck to 80# spectra with 50# f/c on his Tranx 500. This was a great setup on his (newish) Terramar two-piece jig stick. Gary was throwing the stick baits on two Saltist spinners with 65# braid, and getting bit like crazy. We put 14 YTs in the boat, and worked hard for them. Due to the rough conditions, we took a beating and were loving it. We retreated to a calm spot over by the salt operation and popped a few more in easier conditions. Then ran back to the harbor where we offloaded and enjoyed a cold beer and weighed fish. Then out to the veranda at the lodge for beverages, rerigging and had a late snack. We had a few afternoon treats during the trip, ceviche, fried YT bites with tartar sauce, and chips with pico & guac. Excellent and all very fresh. The meals were all very good. I have some dietary restrictions, which were met with a smile and great substitutions.

Thursday was different again. Before sunrise, we noted heavy overcast and a light breeze from new wind direction. Good, we thought maybe less wind would be nice today. I had the drill down better now, with two days of fishing here under my belt. I was already stoked with a PB fish, and near limits. Our group of six decided to pool the fish as best as we could, to work hard to fill all six anglers with the 50# weight limit of fish. There's more to this story, as the smaller aircraft does have firm weight limitations and you can't just take all you want. We were also respectful of the local regulations and our take. Thursday we had the drill down, and we each found our corner of the panga. The boat slid in, and jigs would fire out. We had another amazing day on stick baits and iron. My white/mint Tady 7X stuck a brute of a fish that put my on the rail. Javier motored over the fish and I gave it all I could on my Trinidad 16A setup. And after a serious tug-fest, bang and other amazing PB at 34 lbs! We fished hard, and we all hung fish over 30#, all on surface iron and stick baits. By this time, I was pretty worked casting iron, so I grabbed a stick bait and my Lexa 400 setup. Damn, on again! This is a freakin' amazing YT fishery. We boxed another 13 YTs. I gotta say that we were really focused on the Yellowtail fishing, and that's why we went. But... we all released huge Calicos 5# to 8#. We didn't even photo them. The OR boys didn't quite understand the SoCal addiction for Calico fishing, so I tried explaining it. Hey, these guys hammer the Oregon coast for Cod, Bass and monster Lingcod all day so whattaya say? We also caught a boat load of Calicos, Bonito, and a few "pencil" Barracuda. The pangaros also put some anglers on a Halibut bite on the cobbly south beach. We didn't try it.

There's a lot more to talk about, but I'm about typed out here and gotta return to reality soon. If you want to do some amazing fishing in a pristine Mexican environment, visit Cedros ASAP. Rosie, Richard and the team at Cedros Sportfishing are organized, polite, responsive and did a super job. Pull the lever!

A couple of notes:
The pic with the masks and life jackets was only a Harbormaster requirement. We wore masks in the Harbor area and at the airport only. The shopping downtown is closed to visitors due to Covid, so the lodge crew did all the shopping for us.

We have fished in Baja for over twenty years, and the care of our catch is very important to us. We feel that if we are going to take from the resource, we need the catch to be cared for with good standards and no excuses. The locals do not always agree or look after things the way we do. In the past, I have flown with a fish vacuum packer! The fish processing here is exceptional. The lodge owners decided to set up their own fish processing unit. It's very nicely done, with a clean a/c environment (zero fishy smell). Skilled personal butchered our catch and packed it in nice size portions on a commercial vacuum packing machine. And no additional fee was charged, all inclusive. Exceptional and huge kudos to Cedros Sportfishing! All Baja fishing resorts should take note.

Thanks for takin' a look -
Jeff


1 depart.JPEG


2 flight.JPEG


3 landing.JPEG


4 lodge.JPEG


5 beach.JPEG


6 first jeff.JPEG


7 jeff.JPEG


8 fishbox.JPEG


8 gary.jpeg


9 masks.JPEG


10 offload.JPEG


11 day 1.JPEG


12 verada.JPEG


13 bruce.JPEG


16 jeff 30.JPG


16 panga.JPEG


17 day 2.JPEG


17 gary.JPG


18 offload crew.JPEG


19 javier.JPEG


20 javier 34lb.JPEG


20 jeff PB.JPEG


22 rob.JPG


22 tom.JPEG


23 boat 2.JPG


23 fishproc.JPEG


24 fishproc.JPEG


25 beach.JPEG


26 verada.JPEG


27 dining.JPEG


27 fishproc.JPEG


28 staff.JPEG


29 dinner.JPEG


30 dessert.JPEG


31 cedros airport.JPEG


31 depart.JPEG


32 bye cedros.JPEG
 
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hucklongfin

Deep release specialist
Jul 3, 2003
9,510
7,927
Mission Viejo
Name
MarkT
Boat
Blazer Bay 1860
Great trip! I'll be there the week before Labor Day after getting cancelled last year by Covid.
 
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Unassailable

Professional Amateur
Aug 26, 2009
1,356
750
San Diego
Name
John B
Boat
BW
That's rad! You have me pumped up. I'm heading there towards end of August. Trying to "thin the heard" to meet the weight limits.

Any major "do's or do nots"? Anything you wish you would've brought or left home? Also, did you reserve any of their Seekers?" Thinking this may help with weight restriction.
 
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Willdoggy

Willing Member
  • Jun 25, 2014
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    Chula Vista
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    Will
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    Purr-Sea-Stance / Montauk 170
    Awesome trip, report and photos. Rosie Flowers runs a tight and professional operation wherever she goes! We 💌 Rosie!
    Glad you and your friends had a great time. Fish processing looks super professional. Last time, I heard about the Cedros crew providing a new vacuum packing service. Is that happening now for the turn key service? I can see a machine in one photo.
    Sounds like a really fun time.
     
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    Cheech
    Cheech
    The new fish processing at the lodge is exceptional. It's only for the guests and there are no additional charges. I added a note above to better explain.
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    grahams98

    Member
  • Jun 25, 2008
    200
    271
    Dexter, OR
    Name
    Steve
    Boat
    18 FT Ranger Chief 380
    Thanks for the great post! My brothers and I will be there mid-September. Doing the same drill on the tackle where I had 26lbs in my bag before clothing or rods versus a 30-35lb limit.
     
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    Cheech
    Cheech
    Bring plenty of terminal gear (jigs) and top shots. I only took a few weights and left them with Captain Javier. We left some tackle with him too, he earned it. Go light on clothes, as the lodge has an overnight laundry service!
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    grahams98

    Member
  • Jun 25, 2008
    200
    271
    Dexter, OR
    Name
    Steve
    Boat
    18 FT Ranger Chief 380
    That's rad! You have me pumped up. I'm heading there towards end of August. Trying to "thin the heard" to meet the weight limits.

    Any major "do's or do nots"? Anything you wish you would've brought or left home? Also, did you reserve any of their Seekers?" Thinking this may help with weight restriction.
    I'd also like to know the stick bait recommendation if you would.
     
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    Cheech

    Member
    Sep 11, 2008
    443
    303
    Tustin, CA
    Name
    Jeff Cheechov
    Boat
    Skipjack 24FB, AD41P diesel
    We used these 140gm stick baits. They cast well too. The Calicos attacked them. Gary had two CBs on one bait... twice!
     
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    neversink2

    Here fishy fishy fishy...
    Oct 9, 2004
    808
    115
    48
    HUNTINGTON BEACH
    Name
    Chris
    Boat
    31' Cabo Express
    Killer trip and excellent write up Jeff.
    You should consider writing these types of reports for a publication, or BD front page.
     
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    Cheech
    Cheech
    Thanks for the kind words Chris. Let's go whack a few local BFT so I can write about it... 8-)
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    Willdoggy

    Willing Member
  • Jun 25, 2014
    2,279
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    Chula Vista
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    Name
    Will
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    Purr-Sea-Stance / Montauk 170
    Awesome trip, report and photos. Rosie Flowers runs a tight and professional operation wherever she goes! We 💌 Rosie!
    Glad you and your friends had a great time. Fish processing looks super professional. Last time, I heard about the Cedros crew providing a new vacuum packing service. Is that happening now for the turn key service? I can see a machine in one photo.
    Sounds like a really fun time.
    Awesome!! Thanks for the update on original post. That is really turn key and nice to know your catch is so well cared for.
     
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    Cheech

    Member
    Sep 11, 2008
    443
    303
    Tustin, CA
    Name
    Jeff Cheechov
    Boat
    Skipjack 24FB, AD41P diesel
    Luke Burson is on-island now, at Cedros Sportfishing this week. I'm sure he'll have more specific intel when he gets back home. He had a lot to do with our successful trip. He's "Luke" here on BD.
     
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    DOGHOUSE26

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Feb 22, 2004
    2,412
    2,298
    63
    Escondido, CA
    Name
    jeff meeker
    Boat
    26 Blackman Billfisher
    Congratulations on a great trip and Thanks for the awesome report! Glad to see Cedros has finally re-opened.
     
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    Cheech

    Member
    Sep 11, 2008
    443
    303
    Tustin, CA
    Name
    Jeff Cheechov
    Boat
    Skipjack 24FB, AD41P diesel
    That's rad! You have me pumped up. I'm heading there towards end of August. Trying to "thin the heard" to meet the weight limits.

    Any major "do's or do nots"? Anything you wish you would've brought or left home? Also, did you reserve any of their Seekers?" Thinking this may help with weight restriction.

    That's rad! You have me pumped up. I'm heading there towards end of August. Trying to "thin the heard" to meet the weight limits.

    Any major "do's or do nots"? Anything you wish you would've brought or left home? Also, did you reserve any of their Seekers?" Thinking this may help with weight restriction.
    I'm not familiar with the Seeker Rods, other than seeing a rod rack of them in the storage room. They were next to the beer supply. I'll post a gear response down below.
     
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    Cheech

    Member
    Sep 11, 2008
    443
    303
    Tustin, CA
    Name
    Jeff Cheechov
    Boat
    Skipjack 24FB, AD41P diesel
    Thoughts on what to bring:
    1. Bring all your terminal tackle and top-shot needs. The shopping is minimal. We were getting bit on JRI-4s and Salas 7X surface iron best. Larger jigs were better for us.
    2. Bring a few packs of Sabikis. Leave your Sabiki rod at home.
    3. Don't go under-gunned. 40/50/60# rigs. You can always drop down on the top-shot if you needed to for any reason.
    4. Be prepared for rough conditions, with the right shoes & jacket. You are not in Cabo or PV, just 300 NM south of the border.
    5. Get vaccinated. Your life will be simpler in Mexico.
    6. If you drink hard liquor, bring your favorite with you. Our group was well-equipped and didn't leave a lot behind for the next crew.
    7. If you are a Nat Geo type like me, consider taking a GoPro in a housing with a handle. I really wish I had taken mine with me. They are compact & lightweight. I'd like to have shot some u/w video, like a look under a bait ball when was in high gear!
     
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    egarratt

    Member
  • Aug 11, 2005
    760
    627
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    Name
    Eddie G
    Boat
    None
    Did they ever resurface the runway at the airport? Just wondering.

    The report and pic's were great, bring back memories. That east side for Calico's is pretty fun stuff.
     
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    Cheech

    Member
    Sep 11, 2008
    443
    303
    Tustin, CA
    Name
    Jeff Cheechov
    Boat
    Skipjack 24FB, AD41P diesel
    Did they ever resurface the runway at the airport? Just wondering.

    The report and pic's were great, bring back memories. That east side for Calico's is pretty fun stuff.
    Yes the runway does have some repair work and the coming and going had no issues. Is it smooth as glass, not! The Calico fishing on iron was just crazy. We were targeting YT on big jigs, and caught a ton of quality CB along the way. The CB just hammered the 140 gm stick baits. We released all the CB.
     
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    Luke

    Uses alot of bait!
    Aug 19, 2006
    641
    754
    Laguna Niguel
    Name
    Luke
    Boat
    none
    Our trip followed Jeff, Bruce and the Oregon crew. We fished 4 1/2 days and each day was different from the others. That included the weather and where we caught our fish. We tried to figure out why since most of the time at Cedros the fishing is consistent day to day. All we could think of was the moon phase, it was full when we arrived. With that said we too experience outstanding fishing. It was the best CB surface iron fishing we have ever had and that includes many, many trips. The YT fishing was slow the first 2 days but the last 2 days made up for it. On day three our panga had full limits by 10 AM of slug YT between 25 and 36 pounds. Surface iron caught all but a few and for us the smaller JRI DW1 in dark mint/green was the hot jig. Everything bit it…..YT, CB, Bonita (lots of Bonita) and a few Barracuda. Day 4 was even better YT fishing but in a different area on 15-17 pound fish. We only kept a couple, all the rest were released and we stopped counting at 35 by noon. The big fish for the group of 12 was 42#, 36#, 36# and 34#. No one weighted the others that were right at 30#, there must of been another 10 that size. Great YT and CB fishing but again every day was different. Because the panga Captains communicate so well everyone was able to get in on the good fishing.

    Once again the Cedros Sporfishing, BC Mexico experience was amazing: easy travel to/from via the CBX, all aspects of the lodge, the food, the pangas/Captains, the fish processing and the best of all was meeting some new fishing friends. One of the things I did miss was the interaction within the town of Cedros. The town is taking a conservative approach regarding visitors to insure Covid is not introduced. We all understood and respected their decisions, we were grateful we were allowed to experience the amazing fishing at their beautiful island.

    Next trip is in September and maybe some YFT and Dorado will be there to catch.

    Luke (the guy with the big mustache…….I am not I a surface iron guru but I do take fishing surface iron fishing very seriously!)
     
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    TOTW

    Time On The Water
    Dec 23, 2005
    1,344
    2,069
    San Diego
    Name
    Chris L
    Boat
    Leo's
    Luke (the guy with the big mustache…….I am not I a surface iron guru but I do take fishing surface iron fishing very seriously!)
    Sounds like a barn burner of a trip! Our trip earlier (and a little to the north) this year, reminded me of how fun it is to fish yellows on surface iron! Too bad they wanted only the mini jigs. I was really hoping to see a 14 hanging on one of those 30+ units.
     
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    Tunahead

    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    10,394
    4,189
    Costa Mesa
    Name
    Ron
    Boat
    several
    GREAT REPORT and Pica,Info. Boy I miss the 5/6 day trips
    to Cedros winding on tanker yellows like you all caught.
    Great trip and NICE FISH everyone! Solid Work
     
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    Cheech

    Member
    Sep 11, 2008
    443
    303
    Tustin, CA
    Name
    Jeff Cheechov
    Boat
    Skipjack 24FB, AD41P diesel
    Our trip followed Jeff, Bruce and the Oregon crew. We fished 4 1/2 days and each day was different from the others. That included the weather and where we caught our fish. We tried to figure out why since most of the time at Cedros the fishing is consistent day to day. All we could think of was the moon phase, it was full when we arrived. With that said we too experience outstanding fishing. It was the best CB surface iron fishing we have ever had and that includes many, many trips. The YT fishing was slow the first 2 days but the last 2 days made up for it. On day three our panga had full limits by 10 AM of slug YT between 25 and 36 pounds. Surface iron caught all but a few and for us the smaller JRI DW1 in dark mint/green was the hot jig. Everything bit it…..YT, CB, Bonita (lots of Bonita) and a few Barracuda. Day 4 was even better YT fishing but in a different area on 15-17 pound fish. We only kept a couple, all the rest were released and we stopped counting at 35 by noon. The big fish for the group of 12 was 42#, 36#, 36# and 34#. No one weighted the others that were right at 30#, there must of been another 10 that size. Great YT and CB fishing but again every day was different. Because the panga Captains communicate so well everyone was able to get in on the good fishing.

    Once again the Cedros Sporfishing, BC Mexico experience was amazing: easy travel to/from via the CBX, all aspects of the lodge, the food, the pangas/Captains, the fish processing and the best of all was meeting some new fishing friends. One of the things I did miss was the interaction within the town of Cedros. The town is taking a conservative approach regarding visitors to insure Covid is not introduced. We all understood and respected their decisions, we were grateful we were allowed to experience the amazing fishing at their beautiful island.

    Next trip is in September and maybe some YFT and Dorado will be there to catch.

    Luke (the guy with the big mustache…….I am not I a surface iron guru but I do take fishing surface iron fishing very seriously!)
    Hi Luke and thanks for posting your detailed update. The daily fluctuations in the bite reminded me that, yep, it's still just fishing and "your mileage may vary". We didn't pull out the tide chart or examine it all too closey, we just fished as hard as we could and enjoyed every minute we spent on the water. My first Cedros experince was exceptional. I'll be back.
     
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    Dubya

    Newbie
    Aug 10, 2019
    20
    8
    31
    Oregon
    Name
    Dubya
    Boat
    Boatless
    Thanks Luke and Cheech for the detailed reports! I'm headed down to the island later this month and have a couple questions regarding tackle (first trip to the island for me!)

    1) For the shimano sinking coltsniper, any particular hot color?

    2) Rosie and I were discussing the "hot" JRI jig in question and were unable to definitively hammer down which exact color it was. Was it the one below? (marketed as "detroit diesel") Think that one best matches your description.
    1627863843169.png


    3) Any other tackle recomendations for halibut/grouper/calicos? Swimbait fishermen mention any hot color heads/tails?

    Thanks again for the informative report!
     
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    Cheech
    Cheech
    The CB will bite the paint off the boat! They were eating everything we tossed. I responded further down.
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    hucklongfin

    Deep release specialist
    Jul 3, 2003
    9,510
    7,927
    Mission Viejo
    Name
    MarkT
    Boat
    Blazer Bay 1860
    I like irons with mint. Solid mint, mint/white, etc. At the end of the month I'm taking a dw-1, 45, 7x, jri 4... should be something there they'll like.
     
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