Fishing in Baja California

Love to salt water fish? If you've fished around San Diego and Del Mar, you're just hours away from some of the finest fishing in the world. Baja's Sea of Cortez is a natural fish trap, about 700 miles long, separating the Baja peninsula and mainland Mexico.

The more famous region at the tip - Cabo San Lucas, La Paz and the East Cape areas are known for their big game fish - Striped and Blue Marlin, Dorado (Mahi mahi), tuna, Wahoo (Ono) and other tropical fishes.

But from San Felipe south to the midriff islands is a lesser fished and visited area, best explored by small boat. Species like Yellowtail, Dorado, Cabrilla bass and lots of other delicious fish are plentiful. Traditional angling is best, but you'll also have great luck flyfishing, too. One of my favorites areas for small boat fishing is Bahia de los Angeles, or "LA Bay" as the gringos call it. It is nearly halfway down the peninsula, just north of Guerrero Negro, famous for Scammons Lagoon, where the Gray whales comes to frolic after a winter in the Bering Sea. But rather than stay on the Pacific side, you take a highway off of Highway 1 east to the Sea of Cortez. The landscape is almost lunar, but once you get to the small town, proceed another 1/2 hour toward Smith Island and at the end of a long spit is an excellent place to camp, launch your boats and enjoy the tranquility.

And the fishing can be unbelieveable! Dorado, Yellowtail, and Cabrilla are the mainstays. The diving is also very good.

Once we took a break from the fishing and took three boats north about 45 minutes and came upon a pod of Orcas, or killer whales.

Like dolphins, they swam up to our boats going full throttle and started following and jumping completely out of the water. Imagine being in a 13' Zodiak inflatable with 25 horse motor and these 2 ton, 20 foot killer whales jumping right behind you.

These are pictures snapped with my small Olympus in my right hand, while my left hand is on the tiller of the 25 horse Suzuki, going full throttle. The pod held 9 orcas, including a few very young ones. We spotted them from a great ditance by their very tall dorsal fins. As we approached, they came out of curiousity, then put on a spectacular show. All the while we never felt nervous or fearful, though they could have easily knocked our small boat over and injured us (or worse.)

On that same sightseeing trip, we also saw a very large whale shark basking on the surface, as well as some giant Mantas flipping further out in the gulf. Check back for more stories of our trips to Bahia de los Angeles and tips on what to bring, tackle, camping area, and some great sightseeing!

There are lots of links on Baja, and you can spend a lot of time scouring the sites. But as a seasoned Baja traveler, if I had to pick one place as my resource, I'd choose the Vagabundos Del Mar Club. They're like the AAA for Mexico, only geared towards the sportsmen - boaters, campers, hunters, and, well, the fishermen.

If you go to Baja, this is your best one-stop resource... Vagabundos del Mar