Great White Sharks in San Carlos, Is the two month ban on Shark fishing have anything to do with it?
This is the second year that Mexico has banned Shark Fishing throughout the whole country. For most of the country the ban starts May 1st and ends June 30th, in the states of Tabasco, Campeche and Yucatán, the ban starts on the 15 of May lasts until the 15 of June and then will start up again on August 1st and end on August 29th. Could the shark ban have something to do with the following tall tale?
It was the middle of March. Jose Luis Ramierz was on a pretty standard snorkeling trip out to Isla San Pedro Nolasco. He had three guys who wanted to swim with the local sea lion population.
It was one of those piece of cake kind of days for somebody with the experience of Jose Luis who moved to San Carlos in 1990 and set up a small fishing shack with his family at La Manga. He has been a commercial fisherman since then who also delves into eco-tourism. His wife Rosita and son Fernando run one of the most successful sea food restaurants in San Carlos called, not surprisingly, Dona Rositas Mirador de La Manga.
“There was a group of sea lions about 100 feet from the boat, then all of a sudden a the shark came up in the middle of the group with a sea lion in its mouth” said Jose Luis.
His three snorkelers were in the water when it happened only about 30 meters away from them and his panga.
“Andaban banadose y cuando salio el animalon lo vieron y andaban en friega para regresar al barco” said Jose Luis.
Roughly translated, the three tourists were swimming when the huge animal hit the sea lion and they hauled ass back to the boat.
“I told them that nothing would happen but with all the blood in the water they get pretty scared” said Jose Luis.
This all happened just a few hundred feet from the defunct light house at San Pedro Nolasco. That light house, which was actually knocked down during hurricane Jimena and is still missing to this day is located in a small bay that is formed by a slight bight on the east side of San Pedro Island. The spot is perhaps one of the most visited on the island and very popular with divers and toursits.
That wasn’t Jose Luis’s only recent experience with a white. In February while bottom fishing for grouper at one of his favorite spots in about 350 feet of depth, and 15 miles offshore, Jose Luis hooked a good one. As he brought the fish to within about 15 meters from the boat something hit his fish, something big. It was then at that very moment a Hemingwayesque battle reminiscent of The Old Man and the Sea began. You see Jose Luis is old school all the way. He was fishing with a hand line, thats right a hand line, real fishermen don’t need no stinkin rods and reels. Jose Luis was pretty sure it was a shark and immediately he lost hundreds of feet of line when his grouper got swallowed so he decided that he would attempt to get the shark as close to the boat as he could where it could then be released. In this manner Jose Luis it could retrieve most all of his monofilament fishing line in the process. He was actually concerned for the sharks well being and didn’t want to think that the shark might have to tow around hundreds of feet of fishing line with him for months. Three short hours later Jose Luis had the shark close to the panga, it was in fact a great white shark. He estimated the weight to be around 250 kilos.
So they are out there and this summer we are going to go looking for some. Anyone interested in a chumming expedition to San Pedro Island? Drop us an email!!
It should also be noted that the pictures I have posted here were taken close to Isla San Pedro Martir circa 1992. The story behind the pictures was this. A sport fisher from San Carlos was fishing close to Martir when they were flagged down by a commercial fishing boat. When the sport fisher came closer someone from the commercial boat asked if anyone had a camera on board the boat. Thus the sport fisher hopped on board the commercial fishing boat and took these pictures. Then a friend of mine took pictures of the pictures that were later developed.