Loreto survives Sonoma Squidheads
Fishing and hunting
STEVE KYLE with a big dorado he landed during the Sonoma Squidheads adventure in Mexico last month.
(My fishing buddy and chief fishing correspondent, Steve Kyle, recently returned from the annual Sonoma Squidhead adventure in Loreto, Mexico. Here, in Steve's own words, is an account of that trip.)
“The Squidheads, Sonoma's more-or-less legendary posse of angling raconteurs, returned recently from Loreto, Mexico, buffed, tanned and are accepting ‘share n' tell’ party invitations on a ‘take a number’ basis.
“Knowing that large dorado, sailfish, marlin, yellowtail, rooster fish and a smorgasbord of other toothy sea critters were only a short plane ride away, myself, along with Jim Powers, Michael Ross, Dylan Ross, Dave Studdert, Kevin Jaggie and Clem Moore, packed our T-shirts, flip flops, 5,000 SPF sunscreen and as many fly-rods as we could carry and took off from SFO. We were also carrying much-abused credit cards, a large selection of Leland Ranch saltwater flies and a keen sense of adventure as we boarded the quick flight to Loreto, Mexico, for another six days of hot sun, cold beer and first-rate fishing. Also joining us for our seventh annual trek were Clem’s two brothers, Cy and Russ Moore, and father, Ed Moore, all from Tucson, Ariz., and Steve's long-time fishing and blue-water sailing friend from San Diego, Dr. Ken Ott, a well-known neurosurgeon specializing in performing fishectomys using cold Negra Modelo as anesthesia.
“Each day, large numbers of fish were hooked and released followed in the evening by extraordinary doses of BS as one after the other would launch into another admiringly skeptical tale.
“Some of these fellows had never cast a fly-rod, but with a few pre-trip casting lessons from Rachel Andras at Leland's Ranch, they got into it and in short order were hooking big fish on a fly for the first time in their life. They had a total blast and are now, forever more, devoted to fly-fishing and a lifetime member of Club Squidhead. With the exception of a couple of yellowtail and dorado kept for the barbecue, more than 120 fish were hooked, landed and released. The other good news this year is that the Mexican boat captains have finally gotten the message about conservation and are now using large nets instead of gaffs, which makes releasing them back into the water much easier.
“As always, we returned to Les and Linda Clark's spacious accommodations at Las Cabanas de Loreto. These two Sonomans, plus their daughter and son-in-law, have created a wonderfully cozy place with six comfortable casitas, pool, barbecue and palm-tree shaded cabanas where we spent most of our “off” time. If you are looking for a great place to stay while fishing or just to bring your family to relax, check it out at www.lascabanasdeloreto.com. To see a gallery of photos of the most recent Sonoma Squidhead trip, go to http://gallery.me.com/stevekyle#100294. Cheers … Steve Kyle.”
In other fishing news closer to Sonoma, Leland Fly Fishing Ranch announced this week that fly-fishing instructor and guide, Jim Andras, will be offering guided fishing trips in “local waters,” including bass ponds, the Russian River (for smallmouth bass) and the Bay (for stripers). His rate is $200 a day for one or two anglers (July special pricing). Call Jim at 530-722-7992 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to book at trip or get more information. There are lots of activities at the ranch this month, including special fly-fishing seminars for women, a kids camp, and rod-manufacturer demos. To get more information go to www.flyfishingoutfitters.com.
The best fishing this week close to Sonoma was off the coast, where Capt. Rick Powers, of Bodega Bay Sportfishing, said the rockcod and lingcod action has been red-hot. Rick is getting full limits of rockcod and impressive numbers of lingcod virtually every trip. The other good news is that several six-pack boats were out Wednesday and got into a nice school of king salmon. The salmon bite could break wide open soon, Rick hopes.
Inside the Bay, great minus tides started yesterday and will make for excellent sturgeon fishing in San Pablo Bay, said Keith Fraser, at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael. Keith has mud shrimp and other live baits available. He suggests fishing the minus tides in the morning for sturgeon near the Pump House, and then drifting shiners in the afternoon near Paradise, Red Rock or Angel Island for halibut and striped bass.
Joel Sinkay, of Leonard's Bait Shop at Port Sonoma, hasn't seen many anglers near his place, but reports there are a lot of small stripers being caught off the bank by the few anglers that are around. Joel has lots of good live bait available too.
Lake Berryessa in Napa County seems to be the hottest spot for local bass anglers, while Clear Lake and Lake Sonoma are also offering fair action.