Kusler Yachts Fishing Chronicles Volume III – Cedros Island

October 31, 2014

Recently I got invited to take the 260 mile voyage to Cedro’s Island aboard the 42′ Uniflite “Sauerfish” for some fishing and relaxing.  The plan was for the crew (6 guys) to depart from San Diego Wed 22nd afternoon and return the following Wed.

Sauerfish Crew – Eric Sauerwein, Mark Bowman, Dan Lerma, Stan Nowak, Drew Lawson, Michael Kusler

First stop was loading up with fuel then off to the local bait receivers to load up the bait wells.

Sauerfish loading up with bait in San Diego.

Cedro’s Island 28.1828 N, 115.2178 W located approximately 260 miles South of San Diego California

Target species were Yellowtail, Marlin, Wahoo, Dorado, White Sea Bass, Bass, Tuna etc.  Reports were coming in days prior that the “Ranger Bank” located ~15 miles North of the North end of Cedro’s was holding big Tuna and Wahoo.

Thursday morning we woke to beautiful conditions offshore just North of the “Tuna Hole”, unfortunately the water was a bit off color and relatively lifeless.  As we continued South the water slowly began to approach the lower 70’s to upwards of 76 degrees +.  Once we found the “blue water” almost immediately the jigs wen’t off.  First stop some very nice Dorado with followers everywhere, all of a sudden we had a wide open Dorado bite to 25+lbs.  Everyone started to loosen up and realize this trip was going to be something special.

Michael Kusler with a nice Dorado offshore. Common theme offshore – “doubled up”

Sauercrew with some nice Yellowtail

Continuing South to the “Ranger Bank” the water unfortunately began to get off color and “green” so off to Cedro’s we went.

Sunset on the way to Cedro’s Island

Once we got to Cedro’s Island we woke to some excellent structure located by Captain Eric Sauerwein.  Fishing was in about 130′ feet with plenty of bait and good marks.  The jig of the day was the Salas 6X Jr to the 7X using the Yo-Yo technique (drop down, reel up as fast as you can, repeat until you can’t reel in anymore due to a fish or your arms feeling like they want to fall off) producing home-guard Yellowtail to 40lbs as seen below.

Mark Bowman with a nice 40lb grade yellowtail

Fishing continued to impress for what seemed like all day.  The bite included several nice White Sea Bass and even at one point the Yellowfin Tuna moved in.  We couldn’t believe it when we saw YFT in 130′ water 300′ feet from shore.

Dan and Drew with a nice Yellowfin at Cedros Island.

As night approached I thought it might be nice to pull about to a local Panga for some local Lobster.  Easy enough, first Panga we stopped at the local fisherman gladly gave us 13 lobster tails for a few t-shirts and $20.  Great anchorages located all on the lee-side of the island that are easily approached and out of the weather.

Nice lobster dinner on the hook at Cedro’s

While cooking dinner we decided to turn the underwater lights on and make bait for the next day. We noticed tons of flying fish getting chased outside of the lights and some even flew up onto the boat or crashed into the side (made for easy kite-baits for the next day!).

It’s easy to make bait when they fly onto the boat!

The following day we thought it would be wise to get some fuel before the approaching weather came in.  We pulled into Cedros Harbor located on the South East end adjacent to the Salt Mine.  We found some local’s who came back with (3) 55′ Gallon drums and we siphoned the fuel via gravity and a make shift garden hose (gotta love Mexico).

Local’s looking at us like we are crazy…

Curious on-looker to the fueling process

Once we were fueled up it was time to bet back to fishing.  Some locals informed us that there were some Marlin spotted and Dorado outside the bulk-carriers on the lee.  We proceeded to head offshore for some more warm up action and break from the Yellowtail.

Eric Sauerwein with a nice Dorado

Epic fishing continued for days.  The short version was wake-up, drink coffee, grab your rod, tie a jig, Yo-Yo and your bit.  Repeat step 1-5 for the next several days.  I can’t begin to tell you how many quality fish we released.  Just as an example one day we decide to fish the pinnacles on the weather side of the South end for Bass, we had a wide-open bite on 4-6lb Calico’s for hours and probably release 100+ fish.

The final day of fishing was approaching so we headed off to the North end of the Island in search of some top water action and we found it.  Everyone had Yellowtail going on the surface iron under the terns and it was fun.  The fishing took a minor turn when one of the angler’s got 2-3 treble’s married in his hand.  I won’t get into detail on how we got it out but he is alive to fish another day after a few tears, bolt-cutters and shots of Jagermeister.

What’s a fishing trip without a little pain?

Our time at Cedro’s Island had come to a close and it was time to head back North.  Luckily about 30 mile Northeast of the Island we spotted some great kelp paddies with marks that appeared to be Wahoo.  Once we set up on the paddies we caught a few Dorado and a Nice Wahoo.

Nice Wahoo offshore taken on a Salas 7X

Dan Lerma with a nice Bull Dorado offshore

The water temp soon began to drop from 76+ to 68 degrees and we knew our window for Pelagics might be ending soon.  Mark pulled out the cutting board and took another one for the team and filleted our catch for the day.  All fish were vacuum sealed for weeks of enjoyment!

Mark at the board

The trek was now on to move North into the darkness.  On watch we began too see many boats and seemed somewhat out of the ordinary for the waters.  We soon figured out it was the Baja-Hah-Ha Sailboat rally and had the pleasure of dodging and weaving 140 sailboats heading south to Turtle Bay (on a side note if any Sailors are reading this maybe you can try monitoring Ch. 16 once and a while).

The following day we trolled for hours but something just felt off, the water color, the water temp etc. We continued the trek on the inside back to Point Loma for a safe landing at the Cortez Marina.

I can’t say enough about the crew we had on board, the comfortable boat, the knowledgable Captain’s, courteous nature from the Mexican local’s and fisherman who all contributed to a wonderful trip to the Beautiful Cedro’s Island.  If anyone has not had the opportunity to fish Cedro’s Island I highly recommend it. In addition feel free to contact Sauerfish Charters for information about the trip and or cost associated.

Sauerfish Charters is a San Diego based 6-pack charter company located at the Cortez Marina in San Diego California.  Click here for more information:


Until the next fishing adventure!

Tight Lines,

Michael Kusler

Owner, Kusler Yachts