FURTHER ADVENTURES IN BAJA - A VISIT TO RANCHO LEONERO
Approach to Rancho Leonero
A few years back, John Ireland, invited me to visit his resort, Rancho Leonero, down in Baja. I never had a chance to take him up on his offer, but when Rancho Vista closed, we were up into trying a new resort. We made our reservations and were timing our visit with the Dorado Shoot Out, which takes place every July at Palmas De Cortez, the flag ship resort of the Van Wormers. We decided since we since we were going on a new boat, that we would fun fish the Dorado Shoot Out, and then fish another four days to fill up the cooler. We flew out of LAX on Alaska, the trip was pleasant and uneventful. We arrived at Los Cabos where we were greeted by Fernando, our shuttle driver and proceeded to the resort of course stopping off to get a cold cerveza.
When you get to the turn off, you now have to go another 8 km to the resort on a bumpy dirt road through the desert brush and cactus greeted by the occasional cow or goat. After several minutes we arrived at our destination and were greeted by Julianna, who is the daughter of our regular tournament captain. After throwing our gear into the rooms, we caught another cab over to Palmas to check in to the tournament and say hello to all of our old amigos. We then stopped off at El Chipitos to get supplies and headed back to the hotel. For our first night we had one of the upstairs newer deluxe rooms which was nice except the air conditioner was too small for the spacious rooms. We made arrangements to meet our boat early and were informed our boat had broken and we would have another boat for the tournament. Okay, it is Mexico, we can deal with that, except the following morning we were left waiting on the dock as our boat was late getting us to the start of the tournament on time. We fished the shark buoys with no luck and continued on to several areas the Captain thought might produce a Dorado. With no luck at all for the day, we headed back to the resort for dinner.
We skipped the awards dinner as we figured since we hadn’t won anything and the $40 cab ride there and back between the resorts could be saved. We also got moved down to one of the original rooms, which found to be more Baja and a lot cooler. The next morning we met up with the boat we were supposed to get the first day and headed out looking for yellow fin tuna. We went around 35 miles south of Los Frailes and found a huge pod of porpoise. We trolled cedar plugs and were rewarded with a couple of decent footballs in the 25 to 35 range before the pod spread and sank out. We worked our way back inside and baited a marlin in which the knot failed from the deckhand from the day before and proceeded to head in.
Day 2 we went out only to be greeted with strong winds out of the south so we worked the area outside of Cabo Pulmo and ended up with 2 striped marlins and a dorado which we released. Unfortunately, one of marlins could not be revived and was brought in. Day 3we went out for roosterfish and had a awesome morning catching a 25, 35, 45, and a 50 pounder. We then went out and caught another striped marlin to complete our day. Our last day we went on a mission to catch some dorado for table fare and in the last hour caught our limits. That night we enjoyed a nice platter of coconut mahi mahi and another picture perfect sunset.
As our shuttle driver took us back to the airport, he stopped at his house where his mother had made us a fresh bag of Mexican pastries to enjoy on our way back. With all of the garbage on the news about Mexico, we still find the people gracious and kind and the land peaceful and scenic.
Reviewing the resort, we found it to be like most of the resorts we have visited before in the Cape region. Most of the staff have been working there for more than 10 years. The resort itself was clean and well kept. Drinks at the bar were reasonable and most of the meals were delicious with rare exception. Most all of the pangas are new and modern, but the cruisers although mechanically sound needed some TLC. No matter what, it was good to be in Baja again and enjoy the things that make it the spectacular place on Earth that it is. Hasta luego, amigo ... until we return again.
Ed Tschernoscha / BAJA FISH GEAR
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