Recently we have had a lot of people asking us whats our favorite spot that we have fished within our travels. There are so many exotic places in the world to fish but most take a concerted effort to get there by plane, trains, and automobiles. If you are looking for a fishing destination that has a good population of fish in a very rustic setting there is no better place than Cedros Island. This small gem in the fishing world is located off the mainland of Baja California and is a one hour plane ride from Ensenada airport to the island making it very accessible for anglers looking for a little different surrounding.
There are several outfitters running camps down on Cedros Island that offer daily guided boats with local captains. These package deals offer lodging, food, fishing, and come in 3 to 5 day packages depending on what you are interested in. A popular outfitter, Cedros Adventures, offers a private compound over looking the coast of the island with great accommodations, excellent food, and great service from the staff. Upon arrival they come to the airport to pick you up in vans to take you back to the resort. Usually a full trip will see a 8 to a dozen people which is pretty limited putting two to three people on a Super panga for the daily fishing excursions. These boats are spacious for three anglers fishing all day whether its rating for yellowtail or fishing the beach for calicos.
The tackle to bring is fairly basic. Lure wise a dozen surface irons in colors that include wounded soldier, scrambled egg, mint green, and blue/ white. You will be fishing this on an 8′ or 9′ foot jigstick rated 30 to 50 lb with a 600N size reel with either straight 40 lb mono or 65 lb braid with a top shot of 50 lb leader. Its all personal preference with the line. People use mono since it is easier to cast in windy conditions but others can use a smaller reel with braid 500 size and get plenty of line capacity. This outfit is primarily for surface iron fishing for yellowtail which grow as big as 40 lbs in the local waters of Cedros. They are a member of the jack family and put up a pretty good battle. This is some of the funniest fishing especially if its all casting at boiling fish under bird schools and with the longer rod can really put some heat on you personally pulling on the fish.
The second setup needed would be for fishing metal jigs on the fall in the 2 to 6 ounce size depending on current. You will be doing this with a 61/2 to 7′ rod rated 40 to 60 for coupled with a 500 or 500N size reel with 50 or 65 lb braid. This setup will be for dropping jigs in 100 to 200 feet of water and straight winding the jigs back to the boat. The bite will come anywhere from the bottom to mid way back and its all about turning their heads so a smooth, heavy drag will be important. This rig will have a 3 to 4 foot leader of 50 to 60 lb fluorocarbon, these fish are not shy so fish heavier to start. Make sure your connection knots are solid between your braid and leader. This means cinching connections with knot pullers. Before you go on the trip get on line and look at the Pena knot or uniknot making sure you can tie one effectively. This setup will be used for shallow water rock fish, groupers, and deep water yellows.
The final setup for your Cedros adventure is based on swim bait fishing for calicos and you will need a stout 7 to 71/2 foot trigger stick rod rated for 25 to 40 lb coupled with a 300 or 400 bait caster reel with 50 or 65 lb braid. This rig will be used for tossing either weedless swimbaits or baits with lead heads. You will be using 50 tp 60 lb flouro leader to help cut the kelp with the braid and land these hard fighting saltwater bass. Calicos are awesome to fish for and Cedros has an incredible population of big fish. This fishery is literally right on beach to 50 to 70 feet deep in kelp beds within a mile of the shore. The stout tackle is key here so as not to let them get their heads down swimming into structure or big wads of bull kelp.
Cedros has some really cool places to see on the island that include the lobster camp located up on the northern end of the island with its very primitive set up and rustic catholic church. If you like to surf there is a couple really fun surf breaks off the run way that is accessible by boat.
Cedros hands down is a great place to wind down and catch fish. Its very accessible from southern California as a van picks you up in the states and drives you to Ensenada for the flight to the island. Four day trips start at $1850.00 and cover flight and all accommodations on island except booze and tips.
Looking for that mini vacation off the beaten path check out Cedros island, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Hope all your lines are tight one.