Headed South

Jan 6, 2016 by Vince Deadmond

tarpon-fishingI understand, you have family commitments, you had everyone over at your house for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, check, check, check and check. You finally have all of the holiday decorations put away, and you are no longer excited about any fishing that involves an ice auger to access the fish. You long for sunshine, cloudless days, sand between your toes, and you would really like to feel another fish tug the end of your fly line. The bank is still accepting payments on your winterized motor home, it would be a really good idea to load that baby up and head south to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. There are plenty of other housing options for those of you that would like to rent a condo or stay at a really nice resort. I find the Playa de Oro RV Park an unpretentious, friendly place for anyone who enjoys spending time on the beach, camping, whale watching, doing some fly fishing, and trying to escape winter. The RV Park accepts tent campers as well as big motorhomes.

Puerto Peñasco is also known as Rocky Point, a beach town that has fewer rainy days than Phoenix or Tucson. As a vacation destination Rocky Point has the Sea of Cortez, great beaches, wonderful places to eat, quad riding on sand dunes, scuba diving, fishing, and is still a good value for the money. As a saltwater fly fishing destination you will need a 6-8 weight fly rod with a matching reel. I use sinking fly lines, and match the hatch with bait fish patterns like the Clouser Minnow. You will be more successful if you learn how to “double haul” and your cast is at least 50 feet. We have many wonderful fish at Rocky Point that can be caught from shore or if you bring your pontoon boat you will be able to cover more water. I have caught over 30 different species of fish at Rocky Point. Most of our saltwater fish have a hard mouth and your Trout set of lifting the rod tip will allow most of them to get away. You will land more fish if you master the technique known as the “strip strike”.

There are many videos on the internet that show this technique, but practicing it in the Sea of Cortez on a warm sunny afternoon is the best way to learn it. If you decide to fish from shore I suggest that you walk the beach at different times of the day, this will give you some idea of the structure that may attract fish. Note, rock piles and drop offs are good places to fish when they have water over them. The tide changes from high tide to low tide can be as much as 20 feet or as little as 6 feet. That changes where you are going to have access to fish. Something that will increase your reach is to own an inflatable pontoon boat. These inflatable boats allow you to go with the tide and fish structure that you may not be able to reach from shore. One of my favorite pontoon boat trips is to launch at the Mirador Beach (Playa de Oro RV Park) on an incoming tide. The tide will carry you into town. I usually use a 400 grain fly line with my 8 weight to bounce Clouser Minnows off the bottom.

I usually catch a good number of fish on my way to the Viña Del Mar Hotel, my usual turn around spot. When the tides are right, you can stop for breakfast or lunch then wait for the tide change. When the tide changes it will take you back to your launch site. The tide will push you along without you needing to work very hard to get where you want to go. For me heading south and enjoying the Sea of Cortez in the sunshine is a better option than complaining about the cold. Hope you get the opportunity to head south, and if you do don’t forget your fly fishing stuff, we may even be fishing the same water. Vince Deadmond “The Fly Fishing Hardware Guy” can be reached at Best Hardware 237 Apache Trail Apache Junction, AZ, vince@ajbest.com and at 480 982 7461.

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