Fishing, Diving and Spearfishing Reports and Pictures

Bringing you offshore fishing and diving reports from Jacksonville, St. Augustine and now San Carlos, Mexico!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spearfishing San Carlos, Mexico - 5/14/11

It had been almost 9 months (scary) since I had dove.  Wow I don't understand why I waited so long when great diving is only a few hour drive from Tucson?  We left Tucson Friday afternoon to head down to San Carlos to get an ocean fix in.  Left at 2:30 and margaritas were flowing by 8.

Seriously people, Sonora is not scary.  Please just go and see for yourself.  Don't let the media ruin a shot at a great weekend vacation!

Lalo Munoz ( hooked us up again.  He got us a great place to stay on the water and also put me on some great fish.  His buddy Carlos accompanied us for the day as well.  These guys make me feel like an amateur!  We motored out to San Pedro Island tucking in on the leeward side where the water was calm and the visibility was 40'.  We hoped to catch the tail end of the Yellowtail run before the water warmed too much and they disappeared.  Jackpot!  Water was a chilly (for me) 71 and the fish were there.

I was the first in the water and spotted a Yellowtail in no time.  Spotted was the keyword here as I couldn't get a good shot on one all day.  Lalo and Carlos showed me up.  These guys dove down to 25' or so and hung out waiting for the right shot.  I struggled to get down 15' to 20' and immediately needed to head up for air.  Need more practice!  Carlos only took 1 shot with his spear gun that he didn't bring in a fish with.  Incredible!  Long story short we sat on the top of a nice drop off and watched 13 or 14 yellowtail hit the deck of the boat in less than 2 hours.  A few nice Cabrilla as well.  An epic day of spearfishing in the Sea of Cortez.

It was a great day of diving.  While I am looking forward to some warmer water I do hope I can sneak in another yellotail trip before they disappear.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

San Carlos, Mexico Yellowtail Fishing Report

We hadn't been fishing in almost 6 months and I was starting to get twitchy.  Time to head to Mexico!  Hopefully we could catch a couple of yellowtail, eat some fresh sushi and add a few fillets to the freezer.  I didn't get my hopes up as it was a bright full moon the night before which generally isn't good for fishing the next day.

We met up with Bryan and Arturo on the Margarita IV bright and early Saturday morning.  We also had the pleasure of having Don aboard.  I believe it was his first serious offshore trip (spoiled).  We couldn't have asked for better weather for San Carlos in February - dead calm seas and temps in the 70's.  Perfect!  After picking up a couple of live baits we headed out towards San Pedro Island.

On the way Arturo spotted some birds working some baits.  Out went 4 lines and we had the first yellowtail in the boat within 5 minutes.  This would be the constant for the rest of the day.  We picked up another nice fish and then moved back in closer to San Pedro to join the rest of the San Carlos fleet.  After that we pretty much slayed the fish.  I don't think we had lines in the water for more than 10 minutes without getting a bite.  Arturo and Bryan did a great job of scoring some double headers as well.  I think the final tally was 13 yellowtail up to around 25 pounds.  Awesome day!

If you are heading to San Carlos look Bryan up here ->

My biggest yellowtail, which was smaller than Katie's!
Great ride out

Sitting on the cooler trying to hold all of the fish in.  It was a little packed and the "green" fish were trying to escape.

Ready for Arturo to make some sushi!

He must have been cleaning fish for 3 hours

Katie's big fish of the day


Sunday, August 15, 2010

San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico Spearfishing Report

We headed down for a quick weekend of spearfishing and freediving in San Carlos, Mexico. Barret flew into Tucson on Thursday and we cruised down with an uneventful trip. Who said it isn't safe to drive in Mexico at night? Silly US media...

A big thanks to Lalo Munoz for helping set us up with a condo to stay in, boats for both days and riding along to show us how things were done. He really made our life a lot easier and I am sure our trip was incredibly better than it would have been if we had to figure everything out on our own. If you want to spearfish San Carlos, get in touch with Lalo at

We spent both days diving in awesome visibility at San Pedro Island. Even if we hadn't shot any pargo or cabrilla we would have had a great trip just cruising around and watching the seals around the island. There must be thousands of seals there - all of which are very inquisitive when you are diving! But we did shoot some fish...

Both days brought us home many cabrilla and pargo. We dove mostly 30ft or higher. We saw quite a few bigger fish but they were a bit deeper than we could make it to. Need to practice that breath hold! If we could have dove 50-60ft I know we would have definitely had shots at some bigger fish. None the less we did great. Here are some pictures:

Getting ready to head out

Playful sea lions at San Pedro Island

Up close and personal with a younger sea lion

Lalo with a nice Pargo
Barret with a nice pargo

A good Carbilla I shot at San Pedro
A colorful dog tooth snapper at San Pedro

Barret with a nice Carbilla towards the end of the trip


Monday, December 21, 2009

Wahoo Report! Jacksonville 12-16-09

Headed offshore yesterday after some minor boat issues kept us home on Monday. We left early worried about the fog but fortunately there was none at 4:30am. We got to 145 feet before there was enough light to fish! We pulled lures for the first 2 hours. Popped one off that was either a small wahoo or a king and put a 36# fish in the boat. There was a ton of small tuna and sailfish all over the surface so we switched to baits. From there on we had good action once we found the right area. Most of our bites came from around the 160' mark and most came when we were heading north. We ended the day with 3 nice wahoo to a little over 50#, 1 dolphin, a bunch of bonita (sucks on the WWB) and we caught about 10 big pinks at the end of the day bottom fishing for 30 min. We had quite a few good bites that didn't hook up as well.

Must have seen at least 20 sailfish free jumping. They were everywhere! A great day, perfect weather. Thanks Matt and Brian for doing all of the work while I let autopilot drive I posted a couple videos from the trip:

Picture of a nice wahoo caught on the bluewater 2550

Wahoo fishing Jacksonville at the ledge


Monday, November 23, 2009

Off Topic - Peru!

Fishing is slow, snapper are about to be shut down. Time for a new hobby. Just got back from an awesome vacation in Peru. If you like hiking, mountains, etc then the Inca trail to Machu Pichu is awesome! Check out some pics and details:

Peru/Inca Trail Vacation Pictures


Monday, November 2, 2009

Fishing and snapper closures coming!

Fishing for dozens of kinds of fish could become illegal from Central Florida to Charleston, S.C., because of a federal agency’s work to protect one species, the red snapper.

That could shut down much of the commercial and sport fishing industries in a large swath of the Southeastern coast, with some restrictions potentially lasting up to 35 years.

The restrictions being considered by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council have alarmed many people involved in fishing, who say they’ve never seen such far-reaching plans.

“The red snapper closure will stop fishing, period,” said Vic Lloyd, a Mayport-based commercial fisherman who formerly sat on an advisory board for the management council.

“It affects people all down the line, from the people who manufacture the boats to … people who like to eat fish.”

Advocates for the restrictions say red snapper have been fished until the older snappers — the ones best suited for breeding — are nearly depleted.

They say the government’s research shows the stock of red snapper in the Southeast is just 3 percent of what it was in the 1950s, a conclusion that opponents say is wildly wrong.

“We have a population that’s really, really young and fishing rates that are really, really high, and that’s not a good combination,” said Holly Binns, Tallahassee-based manager of a campaign against over-fishing run by an arm of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

That arm, the Pew Environment Group, campaigned earlier in the decade for legislation updating a cornerstone of American fishing policy, the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Act.

The update that Congress drafted in 2006 required fishery management councils to know which species were being caught too fast to sustain their populations, then adopt fishing rules that would let those species rebuild. Those protective rules had to be adopted within a year of when the management council recognized a problem, the new law said.

The management council hasn’t settled on a snapper plan yet but scheduled hearings in Jacksonville and other cities to get feedback about a range of possible restrictions.

A red snapper stock assessment that was updated this year led council employees to conclude the fish were so imperiled they needed a solution bigger than shutting down snapper fishing.

Because fishermen catch a lot of snappers accidentally while targeting other species, the management council is considering four different plans for shutting down any fishing that might lead to those accidental catches, called bycatch. The plans affect different sections of the ocean, but they all apply to nearly every one of about 70 fish the council lumps together as the “snapper grouper management complex” because they’re found in similar locations.

That last step has people in the fishing industry stunned and alarmed.

“That would devastate a lot of people,” said Gerald Pack, a longtime Mayport seafood merchant.
“It’s a pretty drastic step. I don’t understand the philosophy they take,” Pack said. “A total closure, that’s like closing the highway.”

The closure areas would also apply to recreational fishing, from head boats carrying dozens of people offshore for a few hours to charter vessels and weekend boaters.

But with the impacts spread between more interests, the number of groups questioning the need for all of the restrictions has increased.

Calling the potential rules “unprecedented in their breadth and scope,” an executive of the nonprofit Coastal Conservation Association asked federal officials in July to revisit the idea.

The association, started decades ago by recreational anglers, has a long history of championing fishing regulations, including a net ban Florida voters approved in 1994. But it has balked at the snapper proposal, questioning whether it’s based on good science.

“In this special instance where the potential economic ramifications are so severe, we believe there must be another review,” the association’s government relations chairman, Chester Brewer, wrote to a regional administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Florida Sportsman magazine founder Karl Wickstrom, a leading advocate for Florida’s net ban in the 1990s, joined the new debate by writing in his magazine’s November issue that federal scientists are “cherry-picking” data to support drastic solutions. Two scientists also critique the management council’s study of snapper populations in the same issue.

At dock in Mayport, Lloyd’s son, 36-year-old Brian Lloyd, points to his catch records from two trips in eight days this month when the boat’s three-man crew landed close to 4,000 pounds of red snapper. Fish weighing eight to 12 pounds, a decent size for a snapper, made up the largest part of the catches, according to those records.

Advocates for new restrictions say an apparent abundance of fish right now is a passing illusion, a result of a burst in reproduction a decade ago that isn’t fully understood — and hasn’t continued. They say cutting back fishing is the only chance to stop declines in the snapper population, and that it will take time to see how fast the fish rebound.

“The South Atlantic council needs to enact measures that are as protective as their scientific advisors say are necessary,” Binns said.

“You need to end over-fishing of red snapper for a period of time,” she said, “and I don’t think anyone knows how long that will be.”


Monday, October 5, 2009

Blackened Snapper with Mango Salsa

With all of this snapper being caught I though I would post one of my favorite ways to eat it:

Blackened Snapper with Fresh Mango Salsa
Makes 2 servings

1 cup cubed ripe mango
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 skinless snapper fillets
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons prepared blackened or jerk seasoning
Combine mango and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Brush snapper with melted butter, and coat both sides with seasoning.

Heat a large cast-iron or heavy-bottom skillet until hot. Cook fish 3 minutes on each side or until opaque. Serve with mango salsa.