Private boaters and pangas as far north as Rosarito Beach are able to access an uncountable number of excellent inshore spots to fish for ‘reds’ in various sizes, often departing from the new marina at Puerta La Salina.
A few miles south of there, The waters off the rugged point directly below the El Mirador outlook are miles away from urban development, and offer a deep, jagged terrain that is an ideal habitat for various rockfish species.
In addition to the excellent fishing for Pacific red snapper that can be found adjacent to Islas Todos Santos west of Ensenada and off the tip of Punta Banda, there are several other areas further south that can be even more productive.
The somewhat primitive conditions in places like Puerto Santo Tomas and Ejido Erendira are counterbalanced by the greater proliferation and larger size of fish that are generally encountered there.
Certainly one of the most dependable places to pick up a cooler full of fat ‘reds’ is Bahia San Quintin, where deep holes around San Martin Island manage to kick out chunky bottom fish throughout most of the year.
Although it’s a bit longer drive, the northern end of the bay features a solid cement launch ramp as well as lodging, food and outstanding charter fishing accommodations.
Pacific red snapper yield thick, white, delicate fillets that are absolutely toothsome.
For those with a desire to try something a little different, here is a tasty suggestion from the California Seafood Council that is delivered in the true spirit of La Cocina Mexicana
California Seafood Council’s Recipe for Pacific Red Snapper Veracruz Style
- 1 lb. Rockfish (Pacific red snapper)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced 1 bell pepper (red, green, or yellow), thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tsp. jalapeño or serrano chile, chopped (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper
- 1 lemon sliced, Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 ripe Hass avocado, sliced
- Cilantro sprigs
Place the fillets in shallow baking dish. Sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil until vegetables are limp. Add herbs, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Pour this mixture over fish and arrange lemon slices over top. Cover tightly and bake at 325 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, just until fish turns opaque in center and begins to flake. During last 5 minutes, check for doneness and add liquid if needed. Continue to bake uncovered until fish is done.
This recipe serves four, and is especially good when accompanied by Mexican-style rice, spicy green salsa and warm tortillas.
But however you may choose to enjoy them, fresh Pacific red snapper fillets can truly be ranked among the sea’s most magnificent gifts!
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