Fishing in Baja
As you can imagine, fishing in baja is a huge topic. The very size and length of the peninsula, make for multiple zones and vastly differing conditions and habitats.
To put things into perspective, I will mention three major contributors to the quality of the fishing. First, it is generally accepted that the west-sides of the major continents are areas where huge upwelling of cooler waters occurs. This is certainly true of the northern reaches of pacific Baja. These cooler waters bring with them concentrations of nitrates, phosphates and other nutrients. This phenomenon creates the base of the food chain in the form of microscopic plants and animals that we know as plankton.
The second major factor would have to be water temperature. These warm tropical waters make for excellent environment for all forms of marine life. Coupled with the upwelling nearby, this makes for an abundant marine life zone.
The third factor would have to be the geography of the peninsula. Hundreds of coves, bays and islands form the nearly 2,000 miles of coast. Every rock or reef is a habitat for some form of life.
Although, we cannot claim that Baja has remained completely unspoilt, it is fair to say, it has missed the heavy exploitation of most similar areas of the world.
Good fishing remains all along the coastline. The further south, the more game fish you can expect. Some incredible features, like Magdalena Bay, are hard to imagine unless you visit. This 173-mile long system of mangrove lagoons and inlets is the breeding ground of all sorts of species from shellfish to huge schools of pelagic fish just outside the entrances.
Generally speaking, the fishing gets better and better starting in March and steadily improves until the graph peaks in September and then sharply declines down to January and February. I stress that this is very much a general trend. There can be excellent spells of fishing at anytime.
The ways to fish vary with the destination. Obviously, pelagic fishing takes place from boats. In Mexico, the most popular boat is the ‘Panga’. Anywhere from 18 to 25 feet, these skiffs with outboard motors are the platform of choice. There are many outfitters and resorts that rent these on a daily basis and you should expect to pay between $200 and $300 per day. One grade up from the panga would be a 28-ft. cruiser.
These boats have the advantage of a deckhand and a flying bridge, which is higher off the water and thus allows for better sighting. Generally, they also have a small cabin with a head. There are also many more luxurious options that only depend on how much the anglers are happy to pay! Other forms of fishing are from the beach and from kayaks. Both of these are very popular especially amongst the fly fishermen.