We started out our 2015 trip to lovely Rancho Leonero Resort on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico as we always do with a welcoming margarita or glass of wine on the beautiful deck right above a sandy beach and waving palm trees. The azure Sea of Cortez was colored by a glorious red sunset as well.
The first get together is for the purpose of getting ready for our first day fishing on the boats in the morning. The 10 and 12-wt rods were ready and the report of lots of marlin around made it even more exciting. Getting up in the dark in order to be on the water by 7:00 a.m. isn’t nearly so hard when anticipating what we had to look forward to.
The cruiser headed right out to where they’d been fishing the day before, and it turned out that Skip-jack tuna were the fish of the day. We absolutely couldn’t keep them off our flies, no matter which patterns we used. The gorgeous gold-coin spotted Sierra mackerel were also around and we were delighted to see them. They meant excellent ceviche when we got back to the lodge. We also had some of them sautéed to go with dinner, which was an outstanding Mexican buffet, topped off by our Sierra.
We didn’t manage to land any of the marlin that were around although we hooked a few of them, and we had the same amount of success with the Dorado, that made themselves pretty scarce during the trip. We did get some jack cravalle in the current that was flowing in and out of the new marina, but nothing to really put the 12 wts to the test. Our hope was for some rooster fish, which were reported here and there, but which were virtually impossible to raise this year. The guides attributed it to the very warm water.
It seemed like the pelicans were everywhere we fished. They fought and frolicked behind the boats hoping for us to throw them the left-over bait of the day.
One day we headed into the small village of Los Barilles for a walk through the shops and at the large resort in the middle of town. We ate lunch there on the patio and watched the boats launch and bring in their fish. We also were treated to a visit to an exotic bird area at the resort before we headed over to the tiny shop we know of to have our annual ice cream cone while we walked back to our taxi pick-up.
Besides the fishing, the other thing that we really enjoyed this year was the large amount of flowers that were blooming at Rancho. The bougainvillea are almost always decorating the buildings and bushes, but this year there were also the dahlias of different sorts and lots of different hibiscus.
Tuna, dorado, marlin and even rooster fish can be found in the Sea of Cortez in the spring, and we go after all of them. Come on along in 2016 and let’s see what we can catch!