We booked a private charter boat that fits 8 via Ensenada-Sportfishing.com on 9/27/2014. The trip began with a drive at 8pm down south across the Mexican border. Driving there is similar to driving through the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway 1) along the California coast. On Friday night, we drove in a van with 6 anglers down the 5 South to the 1D to the 1 and back to the 1D. We were in a van full of non-Spanish speaking guys, so I’ll honestly tell you that I was feeling anxiety the whole way down. If you don’t have a GPS system with a map of Mexico, I’d suggest getting one, downloading an app that supports offline GPS, or paying the international data rates for your phone. We, on the other hand, had balls of steel and were only equipped with Google maps on my phone where I used a little offline Google maps phone hack to save areas that we’d be driving through (learn more about offline google maps). Luckily, the routes required to get to Ensenada are pretty simple, so you might be able to get away with a AAA map or google maps printouts. There were 3 tolls we had to pay on the way there for a total of $7.50 (2.50 US per toll)

We got there at about 12:30am and just hung out for a bit. We met up with the captain Lucas at the Juanita’s dock and boarded the Selenas boat at about 2am on Saturday. There were 4 full bunks and an extension that could fit another 2 people. We went out to the local waters just north of Ensenada to catch some rock fish before going out a few hours for some tuna. We happen to choose the coolest weekend in weeks to fish in Mexico, so after 2 of the guys throwing up from rocky waters and a bunch of rock fish, the fishing day was over before we knew it. The captain and deckhand never stopped trolling and searching for fish for us. We definitely got a good bang for our buck as far as effort goes. The captain also gave us options the entire time as to where we wanted to fish because he knew the waters weren’t that great. He even took us back to the local waters to grab some more rock fish. Once we got back, we tipped the crew and they were extremely appreciative as if tipping were not part of the culture, which really,  it inst, but I would think it’s common with this type of service. What we also didn’t realize was that a case of bottle Arrowhead water and a case of beer, iced in an ice chest was included and available to us the entire time.

After packing away our gilled, gutter and fileted fishes, the captain took us to a local restaurant that would cook some fishes up for us. This was by far the best part of the trip. There  were 6 of us and the bill came out for $64USD. Here’s what we ordered:

  • 5 beers
  • 1 soda
  • 2 guacamole w/ endless salsa and chips
  • 1 large platter of fish tacos individually wrapped in its own tortilla
  • 1 large fish deep fried with a sweet fresh garlic sauce
  • 2x medium fishes deep fried with spicy sauce

On your ride back and while waiting in line at the border, there are various vendors. My favorite was the tamale and the fresh churros (make sure it’s hot/warm).

Here’s a list of things that I would take with me for another trip in the future (I’ll probably be referring to my article in the future as a reference for notes)

  • Passports and/or IDs
  • sea sickness pills aka Dramamine
  • Benedryl, to get a few hours of sleep in right after the boat departs
  • trash bags for the boat
  • large zip lock bags for fishes filleted
  • large ice chest for fishes caught (leave this in the car)
  • small ice chest with any personal drinks (take this on the boat with you)
  • ear plugs or earphones to block out sounds that surrounding anglers might make
  • eye cover to block out light
  • small hand rags
  • your own rods/reels (optional, as they have them for you)
  • weights (6-8oz)
  • jigs, the ones with the piece of metal and the treble hook at the end
  • bait hooks
  • snack bag/bin
  • light jacket and heavy jacket – it can get pretty chilly in the mornings
  • had/hoody
  • boots
  • hand sanitizer

The only thing I wish they had were anchovies. All they provided for live bait were little mackerels. The toilet isn’t that great, which is standard for older boats, so don’t expect to take huge shits and throw tons of toilet paper down the toilet.

Here’s a copy of our private event we posted on Facebook to set up the event.


Tuna and Dorado fishing in Mexico the weekend of 9-27-14. We will arrive on the boat Friday night and will be fishing Saturday. We will head back right away so you’ll have your Sunday to recover and eat your fish.

Landing Address: 20 de Noviembre, 22800 Ensenada, BC, Mexico
Travel Time :5 hrs no traffic
Driving Out: Friday 9/26
Fishing Date : Sat 9/27
Duration: Full Day 2am-6pm
Target: Tuna, Dorado, Yellowtail about 40miles out
Boat: Selena
Anglers: 8

Cost: $275, this includes Tip, License, Food, Drinks, Gas, Fish Processing and possibly even a Lobster Dinner in Mexico if we have extra $$


Here’s a breakdown of some of our costs:

Ralphs 60.62
Costco 35.40
Gas 33.99
Gas 67.89
Fishing License 60
Parking 27
Toll 8

Hopefully this will help you plan your next trip down to Ensenada, Mexico. I’ve included some photos from my iPhone. I know they’re not professional quality, but I wasn’t going to take an expensive DSLR camera with me. Feel free to email me jason [ at ] wideopenfish.com if you have any questions.


Post image for Phenomenal So Cal Tuna Fishing Continues












Fishing has been nothing but phenomenal this summer. With loads of tunas well within our 3/4 day range, all thanks to the spectacular warm water climates of El Nino.

If you have not already taken advantage of the tuna fishing this year, there is still time to fill your fridges with top grade tuna. Some boats to keep an eye out for is the Pacific Queen, New Lo-An, Tribute, Sea Adventure 80, Apollo, Aztec, Grande, and of course the Condor.

If you need help with reservations, make sure to get on our mailing list as we have incredible deals and last minute fishing spot mailers. You can also drop us an email at info@wideopenfish.com

The Wide Open Fish Crew will also be in Mexico next week and will provide updates on the fishing conditions. Stay tuned!


Trifecta Opal aboard the Excel

by on August 4, 2014 · 0 comments

Post image for Trifecta Opal aboard the Excel









It’s unusually rare to even see one of these out on the water but to catch a large opah? I couldn’t tell you how many boat trips that would take. But here in Socal on a sportfishing boat, anglers out of San Diego manage to land three of the brightly colored ‘moonfish’ on the same day.

Lucky Anglers aboard the San Diego-based Excel have spent the past several days Sacking up on tuna and yellowtail, during what many are describing as the most phenomenal bite in regional waters in decades. Thank you El Nino!

But standing out among the yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, and yellowtail are three enormous fish shaped like the moon and nearly as radiant.

They are opah, weighing in at 151, 180, and 124 pounds, caught respectively by Armando Castillo, Joe Ludlow, and Travis Savala (see photo).

To catch one opah on a Southern California-based sportfishing boat (or any sportfishing boat) is rare. To catch three on the same vessel, on the same day, is extraordinary.

This is because the brightly colored fish do not typically swim in large schools. They’re more commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical seas, and their appearance in local waters is often associated with warm-water events such as El Niño. (El Niño-like conditions are what lured the tuna and yellowtail into Southern California waters.)

The Excel has been posting photos of its multi-day trip to its Facebook page. The opah photo is by far the most popular, having been “liked” more than 6,000 times, and shared more than 1,500 times since the fish were caught on Friday.

The opah’s flesh is delectable and served in many restaurants, but there isn’t a direct commercial fishery for opah because the fish aren’t found in large schools. Catches by commercial long-liners, and anglers, are almost always incidental.

Because the species is not believed to be overfished, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Sea Food Watch program rates opah as a “good alternative” to several other fish species.

The Excel stated that five opah were hooked at about the same time Friday, but only the three were landed.


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