Totuaba and Rock Point or Rocky Point
There are countless stories related to the great marine life in the Sea of Cortez at the beginning of the twentieth century. This sea was said to be so rich with fish that American, Canadian, and even Japanese fishermen migrated here to take advantage of this sea which was teeming with fish. It was those foreign fishermen who introduced and first used the "drag fishing" technique in their search for fish, namely Halibut, Shrimp, white Clam, and the Totuaba, which is similar to the White Sea Bass.
The Totuaba thrived in the deep, rocky waters of the Sea of Cortez, and thus, the Totuaba fish became very great in number. The most economic, and efficient way of fishing the Totuaba was through a hook and line instead of the more costly method of drag fishing. The ideal places to fish Totuaba were near the mouth of the Colorado River. The great demand of this species of fish made it attractive for national fishermen, mostly from Nayarit, Sinaloa and south of Sonora, to establish their settlement at the Puerto Peñasco, or Rocky Point. By 1927, family fishermen were already feeding their families with the profit of their daily catch.
The first settlers used the caves and natural refuges among the rocks of the "Whale Hill" (now the Old Port area of Puerto Peñasco). They pick Whale Hill overChoya Hill because Whale Hill had a natural estuary next to it which meant calm waters that were ripe for fishing, and provided protection for the fishermen's fragile boats. In the 1970's this estuary was dragged and it became the refuge for the modern shrimp fishing fleet that is so well known by Penasco today. Little by little, cardboard and wooden houses were built on the north east side of the Whale Hill.
Back then shrimp was not yet appreciated as a part of Rocky Point as much as it is today, so it was fishing the Totuaba that made it possible for Rocky Point to be what it was, and is, a precious rock set between the desert and the Sea of Cortez.
To be continued...