More than 800 identified fish species call Baja home, making it one of the most diverse fisheries in the saltwater world.
The Baja California Peninsula is located in northwest Mexico, separating the Pacific Ocean from the Sea of Cortéz.. Starting at the California border near San Diego, it stretches south for 798 miles, ending at Cabo San Lucas. It ranges from a narrow width of 24 miles just north of La Paz, to its widest at 142 miles at Guerrero Negro, and divided into 2 states, Baja California, and Baja California Sur.
Baja has a long and storied sportfishing history, dating back to the 40’s and 50’s, when intrepid SoCal anglers ventured south by vehicle on two-track roads or in personal aircraft landing on roughshod dirt strips. Those adventurous anglers fished the Pacific ocean and and Sea of Cortéz and laid the groundwork which would become one of the greatest and most productive saltwater fisheries in the world!
The Sea of Cortez has some of the world’s greatest oceanographic extremes. Less than 150 miles in width and up to 14,000 feet in depth, the typically calm waters of the Sea of Cortez often look more like a lake than an ocean. The south east coast of Baja Sur, known as The East Cape, is an outstanding fishery due to its underwater topography, warm water currents, and abundant prey species. Black and striped marlin, sailfish, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, roosterfish, dorado frequent these waters, and fishing for these species often begins less than a mile from the beach, as the depths plunge to 6,000 feet less than 10 miles from shore.
On the Pacific side of Baja, the Mag Bay offshore fishery is legendary. Mag Bay is surrounded by a series of offshore seamounts, pinnacles and banks that hold incredible concentrations of fish. The cold waters of the California current and the warm waters of the Donaldson current meet over these structures, trapping massive amounts of plankton and krill – then the bait fish congregate, and the predators that hunt them. Huge feeding frenzies are often the norm, providing the fly fisher with the opportunity to cast a fly into the frenzy with the opportunity of watching dorado, tuna, and striped marlin engulf their fly.
With the diversity in species and destinations, the Baja Peninsula is a year round fishery. Anglers can begin fishing the East Cape for roosters in the spring, continue through the year fishing dorado and tuna, and then slide into the holiday season at Mag Bay, hooking striped marlin and more.