Que Pasa In Baja?

Rosarito desalination plant update. Congressman Miguel Osuna sent a formal request for information regarding the new Rosarito desalt plant that was supposed to be under construction but isn’t yet, to which the state government responded by saying that the construction plan will be reanalyzed since a lot has changed since its start.

The state government said that they were mostly reviewing the finances of the project, which if concluded, will be the largest desalination plant in Latin America.

“The project has been delayed because of all the bureaucratic procedures that a project of this size requires, the amount of money being invested is considerable and that it has to be analyzed. Of course, the changes coming in the federal government are another factor”, said Ricardo Cisneros, head of the state water commission.

Pest beetles attack Baja. Ensenada municipal government announced that a plague of insects called “Ambrosia Beetles” have been found in Doña Petra Canyon and in Revolución Park.

The plague is known to affect crops so measures to cut down affected trees are being taken in an effort to contain the insects.

About 60 trees are going to be cut down in the Canyon and one more in the municipal park, stated Gabriela Sampedro, from the ecology office in Ensenada.

The beetle is originally from Asia and until recently it was only found in the USA and Israel outside of its habitat.

In 2015 it was detected in Tijuana, and just last year Rosarito and Ensenada where also affected by it.

The Rosarito Tourism and Conventions Commitee (COTUCO) has launched a new campaign to prevent car break-ins from downtown Rosarito all the way to Popotla.

Don’t leave the laptop in the car! Car break-ins have been a problem for years all along the free road, with most of the victims being tourists that forget that it’s not safe to leave your valuable belongings in sight inside your car.

Edgar Orozco, head of COTUCO, said that the campaign consists of several signs that are being installed along the Benito Juarez and Popotla Boulevards, informing people to double check their cars before leaving them unattended.

The tourism police said they would pitch in by doing more patrolling around the area. Incredibly enough, the chief of tourism police stated that “It’s important for business owners to remind their patrons to not leave their valuable stuff in their cars because opportunity makes the thief”.

Are we in or are we out? After much speculation about Ensenada being left out of the newly defined border zone that will cut taxes in half, the new Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) stated that he will review the situation.

Jorge Cortes, head of the coordinated businesses council in Ensenada (CCEE), Mario Zepeda, president of the Baja California Citizens Council and federal congressman Armando Reyes, talked at different times with AMLO regarding placing Ensenada into the tax-reduced zone and they all agreed that he was open about the idea but said that he had to review the matter thoroughly.

Although this seems like a win for Ensenada, who wants to be part of the tax-reduced area, no commitment was made by AMLO to include Ensenada in the border zone, which is comprised of every city that is within 19 miles from the border.

One of them did say that AMLO was analyzing the possibility of including Ensenada in the Border Zone in a second stage of the process.

Jorge Cortes, from CCEE, said that he delivered a letter signed by all the business councils in Ensenada that will be directly affected by the change if it goes through on December 1st, the day he starts his term.

Jacobo Zepeda stated that he delivered another letter to AMLO and about 4,000 signatures of concerned citizens.

Rosarito, on the other hand, has already secured a place in the new border zone, granting them the tax cuts for next year.

Hell in the sky. That’s what passengers from Volaris flight 423 travelling from Guadalajara to Tijuana experienced last week after suffering major “turbulence”, scaring the bejesus out of the 165 passengers and 5 crew members in there.

Sandra Sanchez, one of the passengers in the flight stated: “This definitely felt more than regular turbulence, it felt more like an impact that lasted for around 2 seconds. After that we still had to fly for more than an hour to get to Tijuana. I’m definitely thankful that we’re alive”.

Volaris stated that the plane “Experimented a clear air turbulence during it’s flight”.

Clear air turbulence (CAT) is dangerous as it happens in clear skies and cannot be detected with conventional radar equipment, although it can cause severe damage to the aircraft and injuries to passengers and crew.

Many videos of the aftermath are circulating online, in one of them a passenger is seen laying on the corridor while others shout for a doctor on board.

Several people were hurt, with 12 of them requiring medical attention in Tijuana hospitals.

At the time of writing 2 crew members were still recovering from their injuries, while the other passengers where all discharged from local hospitals.

Fish Report

Tijuana Bull Ring

There’s nothing too exciting to the south — the Point Loma kelp beds are kicking out a few bass, a few mixed-grade bonito and some small rockfish.

Coronado Islands

The poor water conditions continues to put the skids on the yellowtail and bluefin bite!  The best bet right now is the area from the Ribbon Kelp to SKR.

There are also some signs of yellows at the north end of North Island.

The fish are still around and when the water clears up, the bite will likely turn back on. Right now, however, scoring one per rod is doing good. Most years scoring an average of one per rod is outstanding.

This year it just gets a yawn!

Terry Byrns from Bajamar, shows us his yellow tail and bonito catch

Offshore

Coronado Canyon / 226-302 / 425

A few kelps in this area are holding dorado, and we hear that there is one or two near the 425. The area is loaded with skipjack and some skipjack schools also have some small 5- to 20-pound yellowfin mixed in.

371 / 390

There is a clean/dirty water’s edge that runs near the 371. Boats are reporting a lot of skipjack in that area.

Some have a few yellowfin with them and some schools are just straight skipjack. There are some kelps in the general area, too, that are holding dorado. Not all, but enough you need to check each one out when you find it.

The skipjack in this area are very eager to jump on the troll jigs.

Bright colored small jet heads are ideal. The yellowfin are more into the cedar plugs and the Halcos. The dorado don’t care what it is you are trolling; they just want it!

Upper Hidden Bank / Hidden Bank / Upper 500

This zone slowed down overall, but some boats still made big scores.

There are still lots of skipjack, yellowfin and dorado around.

Much of the better action is now coming off kelps. Most jig stops are coming from skipjack and there are fewer numbers of yellowfin mixed in.

There are a few kelps however, that are working well. These have yellowfin and dorado along with a few yellowtail. They often turn into skipjack though after a few minutes.

There is a ton of skipjack in it with some yellowfin mixed in, but the water is green, and the better concentration of fish is in the clean water below the 31.50 line.

Updated general info:

Skipjack are jumping all over trolled jigs. Cedar plugs, pink/white feathers, daisy chains, and Rapalas/Halcos are all getting bit just fine. Occasionally you might luck into a yellowfin jig stop, but most of the good yellowfin scores have come on bait either after a skipjack stop or on sonar schools or kelp paddies. Focus your efforts on general areas with good bird life. You may not see a ton of terns or bird piles, but if there are gulls and shearwaters flying around it’s a good zone to slow down and drop the jigs in for a while.

Fly-lined sardines are working great for all three species. Skipjack will key in on the hot bait, but you might be able to weed through them with a chunk or dead sardine. You’ll get fewer bites but a higher percentage of yellowfin this way. Using 20- to 25-pound test works just fine, with #2 to 1/0 hooks. You can also throw Colt Snipers, Flat Falls, surface iron, poppers, and skip jigs for the yellowfin.

Skipjack have also been eating these surprisingly often at times but in general this has also been a good way to get a higher percentage of yellowfin bites.

Ensenada

Late summer action continues to provide limits of yellowtail and calico bass. A welcome addition to the fish counts this week was not only the yellowfin tuna and dorado under kelp paddies offshore just outside the islands, but the big news was that a few 20-pound white sea bass were caught.

 San Quintin

Great fishing for home-guard yellowtail and calico bass along with yellowfin and dorado a bit farther offshore produced easy limits for locals and visitors either sportfishing or diving. Why, even the surfers are smiling these days.

Cedros Island

Most anglers were looking for yellowtail, which are very abundant, allowing easy limits for some boats. Although not as big (averaging 15- to 20-pounds), they are still lots of fun. For some, afternoons were relaxing targeting calicos, or searching for other species. Some dorado were caught when the school went by the boat, but they are still scarce, and anglers are hoping they will arrive in good numbers soon.  Best results for the yellowtail bite have varied from live bait to Rapalas and jigs. We can only recommend that you try anything in your arsenal. Make sure your lines are fresh and knots are tight.

Weather has been fantastic, breezy around the corner on the fishing grounds (in the 70s).

Bahia de Los Angeles

Hot and humid seems to lead off every fishing report recently.

However, the dorado,
yellowtail and bottom fish aren’t complaining — just biting.

What’s Going On In This Country?

BY SANTIAGO VERDUGO

You can’t make this stuff up. Three people were struck and killed by a runaway truck whose brakes failed while they were helping themselves to the cargo aboard another truck, whose brakes had also failed. This all went down on a big highway on the mainland.

Passersby saw an opportunity after the first truck was stuck on a runaway truck ramp on a section of the highway in Veracruz. They broke into the trailer and began stealing its cargo of cleaning supplies. But minutes later a second truck barreled down the ramp, (Doesn’t anyone in Mexico maintain their brakes? Has anyone even seen a runaway truck using those sand pits?) The second runaway truck knocked over three of the looters like they were bowling pins.

But that didn’t stop fellow looters, who kept right on snatching these coveted cleaning supplies. (Maybe there are some good deals on cleaning supplies on Craig’s List in Veracruz?)

Meanwhile, others started whumping on the driver of the second truck, presumably in retaliation for hitting their fellow looters. The driver of that truck was hospitalized but is expected to recover.

Fake News. Four people were killed in a fake hysteria whipped up on social media. A fake message circulating on Facebook and Twitter and the messaging service WhatsApp, alerted people in several states that a wave of kidnappings was taking place. The gist of many messages was “don’t leave your kids alone, there’s a band of child snatchers within our midst.”

Some messages claimed that children are being abducted by organ-trafficking rings while others called for vigilante justice for anyone believed guilty of the crime. And that’s exactly what happened in two towns on consecutive days last week.

First, an uncle and his nephew were killed by an angry mob, then a man and a woman were killed in the same way the next day. Both were burned alive. In both cases, the prosecutor’s offices said there was no evidence that the victims had committed any crime. Authorities also issued statements declaring that child abduction rings were operating in each state are false and urged citizens not to spread such information.

Authorities in other states where the same fake news has flourished — Yucatán, Durango, Jalisco and Sinaloa — have issued similar statements of their own.

The mother of 21-year-old Ricardo Flores Rodríguez, who was a farmworker and a law student at a university in Veracruz, blamed the mayor of Acatlán de Osorio, because the two men were taken by force from municipal police before they were tied up, doused with gasoline and set on fire.

“I want the head of the mayor because he is responsible for the death of my son and my brother-in-law,” Rosario Rodríguez said. “Why did they kill them? Why did they [local authorities] let them?”

The mother condemned the acts of mob justice, but also recognized shortcomings in Mexico’s justice and legal systems that result in high levels of impunity. “We reproach and condemn [the serving of] justice by one’s own hands, [but we cannot] prosecute presumably illegal behavior by seeking to serve justice with our own hands. We have to recognize that there is an institutional weakness in the procurement of justice, but that must not be substituted by [serving]  justice by one’s own hands,” she said.

Commission chief Pérez warned that as long as the state does not provide  minimal security there will be distrust of institutions and desperation among citizens to see justice served. The commission said there have been 25 deaths like this so far this year.

Dark Times. These are dark times for the town of Motul, on the Yucatán, particularly at city hall. The new mayor was sworn in Saturday, but the ceremony would have been conducted in the dark were it not for rented portable generators: the electricity was cut off due to an overdue account. Incoming mayor Roger Aguilar Arroyo claimed during the swearing-in ceremony that his predecessor had left the municipality in arrears with the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE).

The PRI mayor said the PAN  party’s mayor left an outstanding debt of US $156,000, most of which is owed to  CFE. The new mayor pledged to negotiate a payment plan with the federal utility to have the administration’s power reconnected.

The electricity was cut off four times during the previous mayor’s three-year term. He has blamed his own predecessor for the unpaid debt. This is pretty standard in an administration change.

Same shit, different government. The fine imposed on the incoming Morena party has been rescinded. The fine was for money going missing from an earthquake relief fund on its watch.

The 10.3 million dollar fine was reversed because there was not enough evidence that it was Morena’s hands in the cookie jar. The cookie jar, which was filled with about $4.1 million through donations, was for the September 17th earthquake last year. 3.37 million dollars in cash was taken out of the trust and allocated to members of the party, according to the initial charge.

When the fine was announced in mid-July, President-Elect López Obrador, assured that this was “a vile revenge,” presumedly for winning the election.

We’re going to stop now, because we’re pretty much finished with dispensing bad news.

Wait. Here’s some semi good news. We’ll call it less bad news, as nobody is dead. Mexico’s president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) doesn’t take office until December, but he’s already got a multi-billion dollar dilemma on his hands: what to do with the country’s largest infrastructure project, already in a morass of scandals and corruption, which, if completed, will become one of the world’s most corrupt and most costly airports? Last month AMLO announced that his government would either finish it or expand a military base north of the Mexico City, depending on the results of a a review by engineering experts and a public referendum due in October.

An engineering association threw their support behind the completion of the $13 billion airport, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t also on the take. The already white elephant is in its fourth year of construction, only 30% completed, and $4 billion USD over budget.

Three big contracts, worth $5 billion, are in the hands of a consortia led by Grupo Carso, or other firms owned by Carlos Slim and his family. Slim is one of the richest men in the world, (Warren Buffet and Bill Gates keep trading places with him). Forbes says he’s worth $75 billion. Just how much money does one man need? What is he going to do with more billions? Maybe stealing is just habit with him. An addiction that could be helped with rehab. Slim is the owner of América Movil, formerly Teléfonos de Mexico, or Telmex. Telmex was the old telephone monopoly in the country, akin to America’s AT&T Inc. He was there to catch it when it was privatized.

Que Pasa In Baja?

Goodbye tax breaks. Ensenada can say goodbye to the proposed border tax-break that Mexico’s new president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has proposed. In a meeting with Kiko Vega, our state governor, AMLO has already confirmed that cities in the border zone that will receive these benefits will only be the ones located up to 19 miles from the US border.

There is still some confusion regarding what will happen to cities that are stuck in half, like Rosarito, that has a piece of its land out of the so-called “border zone”. If the measure is strict, everything south of K 34 would not be included; that would be El Descanso, Calafia, Las Gaviotas, El Pescador, Puerto Nuevo, Cantamar and Primo Tapia.

Our Wine Valley is getting water. An agreement has been formalized between our state government and an Israeli company in order to build a water treatment plant in Tijuana and a water line to deliver the treated water all the way to the wine valley.

The $72 million USD project will bring up to 290 gallons of water per second to the valley when the project is completed in June 2020, although it would be able to start delivering about a fourth of that amount in a little less than a year.

The Israeli company, Odis Adversa, has stated that the quality of water will be superior to the one being extracted from natural sources present in the valley.

This new endeavor will allow the valley to grow sustainably while reducing the amount of contaminated water going to the ocean in Tijuana.

More corruption, really? An elaborate network of corrupt officials and import/export companies focused on car imports has been “officially” discovered by federal authorities.

For a $300 USD “fee” per car, authorities allowed the legal importation of cars into Mexico with false documentation that stated that the cars were valued at about 10% of their real cost, thus lowering the taxes imposed on these imports by thousands of dollars per vehicle.

It is said that that up to 80,000 vehicles were imported this way, and the chiefs of the Mexican customs offices in Mexicali and Juarez were involved in the scheme.

It was a productive racket for those involved, who pocketed more than $24 million USD while it lasted.

No jail time has been announced for the corrupt officials yet, and incarceration will probably not happen.

Toll road fee increase, again. For a second time this year, there was an increase on the toll road fees, 1 more peso on the Playas and Rosarito toll booths ($36 pesos), and 3 pesos more for Ensenada ($40 pesos).

This is the second increase this year, bringing the price of traveling on the road up 14% since the start of this year.

The increase was national, with most of the toll roads in the country being subject to surges of varying percentages.

Que Pasa in Baja?

This edition we discuss the beginning of the low season for tourism, the huge fire that broke out in Ensenada, how the Ensenada police is equipping to detect high-volume noise offenders, the new hotel being developed in Cuatro Cuatros, the donation of K-9 agents from the US to Mexico, new investments in alternative energy generation and what the SWAT spring-breakers tourism company is preparing for next year in Rosarito.

Read more

Fish Report

Coronado Islands

The bite has been on the slow side again after cooler water pushed in from the southeast. Conditions across the islands dropped one or two degrees with the larger drops happening on the flats inside the islands and around South Island. Read more

Que Pasa in Baja?

This week we talk about how the totoaba could be back on the market soon, the Margarita cocktail turning 69 (at least in Ensenada!), about how a crooked lawyer swindled money from a group of retired americans, how our beloved Baja’s feelings got hurt, the importance of checking your pets for ticks and lastly about the influx of tourists this year.

Read more

Fish Report

*Coronado Islands*

The islands proper have been on the slower side for yellowtail the last few days but it hasn’t been completely dead; there have been little pockets of both yellowtail and bonito around and some are willing to bite. There were some 6- to 12-pound bonito in the lee of North Island, plus a few 5- to 12 -pound yellowtail scattered throughout the Middle Grounds. Trolling Rapalas is a great way to locate both species; then when you get a bite, shut down and try to keep the school around with chum. Read more

Que Pasa in Baja?

Coastal property rentals on high demand. In a recent statement, Marco Antonio Preciado, head of Baja’s Real Estate Professionals Association (CEPIBC), said that the demand for rental properties in the so-called “Golden Zone” which includes Tijuana, Rosarito, and Ensenada; exceeds the offerings available. Read more

Fish Report

Coronado Islands

Although there are some yellows at the Islands, they are not biting very well. There is some sign of them along the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the Lighthouse and South Kelp. The water is still a bit off color at the spots below South Islands.

Slow trolling either sardine or mackerel are good choices for catching one. Read more

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