October 08, 2017
When you think of a zone where giant calico bass live, you typically think of Catalina, San Clemente Island, Sacramento Reef, Cedros, etc., but there’s a stretch of coastline that has all the makings for trophy calico bass and occasionally, some giant home-guard yellowtail. This zone isn’t far away and commercial fishermen don’t really target these fish. We’re talking about the stretch of coastline between San Diego and Ensenada. It’s been a while since we’ve really been down there on a skiff, so we were long overdue. We loaded up Benny Florentino’s 25’ Ranger and made the trek down to San Diego where we would embark on the 70-mile run down the beach.
We’d fish on the way down before arriving in Ensenada at Marina Coral, which would be our home for the next couple of nights. The amenities were pleasant, and so was the fishing out front. We spent a few days fishing the zone between Rosarito Beach and Punta San Jose, and out to Todos Santos Island. Everywhere we went looked fishy, with water temps fluctuating between 62 and 68, but it seemed like the bass were keyed in on the 65-68 degree stuff on the leading edge of the outside kelp – pretty much where you’d expect to find them. The beauty of the Ensenada zone is variety; there’s every kind of set up. We fished tight boilers, deeper structure, exposed pinnacles, eel grass flats, isolated kelp, expansive kelp forests, and bird schools.
We are working on a new soft plastic bait, so we brought a few prototypes down to test. They were eating the iron well, but the new baits were getting mowed! A picture is worth a thousand words, so the below images should be able to tell the whole story. Enjoy!