Far from the busy waterfront of Cabo San Lucas, Magdalena Bay remains a quiet destination with a huge diversity of incredible fishing opportunities. Bahia Magdelena, known as “Mag Bay” and its adjacent waters are sheltered from the Pacific Ocean behind three barrier islands. The connected inland waters are over one hundred miles long and thirteen miles across at its widest point. The northern sixty five miles are a narrow complex of mangrove lined islands and winding channels with three “bocas”, or openings to the ocean. The southern fifty miles include two wide open bays, Bahia Almejas and Bahia Magdalena, with the largest opening to the ocean,”la entrada”, nearly four miles wide.
The protected mangrove channels within the bay provide critical breeding and feeding habitat for a wide variety of species, including snook, croaker, bonefish, spotted bass, snapper, golden trevally, broomtail grouper, sierra, halibut, jacks, roosterfish, and many others.
Outside the bay, ocean waters flow southward in the California Current bringing cool nutrient rich water from the north, meeting warm waters flowing from the south, trapping massive amounts of plankton and krill against the structure of offshore ridges. The fall months have long been renowned for massive congregations of baitfish outside Mag Bay and all the predators that feed upon them, including striped marlin that readily eat a well presented fly.
The Reel Baja provides a unique fly fishing experience complete with skilled boat captains, English speaking guides, and outstanding regional cuisine. Each day consists of offshore fly fishing for marlin, dorado, and other pelagic species, or inshore fly fishing in the mangrove lined estuary for cabrilla, snook, grouper and others. The choice to fish offshore or inshore each day will be made the evening prior, after consideration of the latest fishing reports, weather conditions, and your desired species of fish. Their boats are modern center console pangas designed for efficient fly fishing, operated by experienced captains that understand fly fishing anglers, with a savvy fly fishing guide on the deck. The Reel Baja provides all the fishing tackle necessary to be successful on the water. Whether you are a fully geared angler with an arsenal for all occasions, or new to saltwater fishing, The Reel Baja has your fishing needs covered.
Reservations & Rates
5 night / 4 days fishing $3,975
6 night / 5 days fishing $4,770
7 night / 6 days fishing $5,565
Single angler pricing is an additional $550 per day
Double occupancy casitas with private bath, daily maid and laundry service. All meals, beverages, domestic alcoholic beverages during happy hour. Closing night traditional Mexican dinner with staff, captains and guides. Sportfishing vessel with captain and fly fishing guide for each day’s fishing. Rods, reels, flies and fishing tackle as needed.
Transportation to and from The Reel Baja in Lopez Mateos. Gratuities for boat captains, guides, and staff. Alcoholic beverages beyond the evening’s happy hour.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend RedPoint and Global Rescue (IMG) coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
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Seasons at The Reel Baja at Magdalena Bay
Due to fluctuations in water temperature, the fishing at Mag Bay varies greatly throughout the year.
Resident species including cabrilla, halibut and grouper are available year round. Migratory species travel with currents providing their preferred water temperatures along the coastal zones and the offshore ridges and banks. Roosterfish can show up along the beaches as early as June, while the striped marlin populations typically peak during November and December.
The offshore fishing typically begins in August with the arrival of migrating yellowfin tuna. During the fall months, the warm waters of the Davidson Current collide with the cool waters of the California current, creating an upwelling of nutrient rich water along the pinnacles and ridges. Bait fish then congregate, feeding on the phytoplankton. They’re followed by mackerel, herring, and sardines, and finally striped marlin, dorado, yellowtail, wahoo, and more that feast upon them.
The weather during the fall months at Mag Bay is characterized by cool, calm mornings and sunny, light wind afternoons. The ocean and bay serve as temperature moderators, with water temperatures typically in the low 70’s. Air temperatures in the morning are generally in the low 60’s, making it comfortable to wear a sweatshirt or light jacket, especially when motoring to your fishing destination. The day often warms up into the mid 80’s, with a wind around 10 mph. There is occasional coastal fog in the morning, clearing off to a sunny day and afternoon. Rain seldom occurs, and is rare during the fall months.
Getting to The Reel Baja at Magdalena Bay
Its remote location has kept Mag Bay off the destination list of many anglers for decades. The nearest airports with international connections are in San Jose Del Cabo, and Loreto.
San Jose Del Cabo (SJD) and Loreto (LTO) are serviced daily by many airlines. Major airlines to consider include Alaska Airlines, Aeromexico, Delta, American Airlines, Air Canada, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines.
Please note that airlines may have specific rules, requirements and costs associated with bringing rods, reels, and other equipment on the plane. We encourage you to check with your airline for specific information. San Jose del Cabo Los Cabos International Airport allows each person to bring a total of 4 fishing rods without penalty.
Ground transfers to Mag Bay
Trip specific ground transfers are arranged by The Reel Baja.
The daily schedule will vary based on the weather conditions and run time to the fishing grounds.
Coffee is typically ready before six, with a delicious breakfast following shortly thereafter. An earlier start time may be decided upon, depending on the fishing location for the day. The guides meet you after breakfast, and you take a short 5 minute shuttle ride to the boats.
Lunch and drinks will be stored in the iced cooler, and you’ll be on the water for the day. The boats generally return to the dock around 4:00 PM, with appetizers and cold drinks waiting when you return. After your shower and time to relax, dinner is served between seven and seven thirty.
Departure from Mag Bay
Prior to your departure, the lodge staff will arrange ground transfers for your return trip to the airport.
Lodging at The Reel Baja at Magdalena Bay
Lodging at The Reel Baja Mag Bay The accommodations are located in the small town of Adolfo Lopez Mateos. Three modern casitas surround a large palapa area, lush with palms and native plants for relaxing and sharing fishing tales.
Each casita features two queen beds, private full bath, small kitchen, and a private screened porch. The area has high speed internet, cell service, twenty four hour electricity with a generator for backup up power, and its own fresh water filtration system.
Dining at The Reel Baja Mag Bay
Chef Crystal and her staff prepare gourmet dishes focused on local seafood and traditional Mexican fare, using local organic foods and produce. Breakfast includes a rich fruit and yogurt buffet, with main dishes such as omelets covered in a mild chile poblano sauce, huevos rancheros, French toast, fresh juices and good coffee. Boat lunches are ordered the night before and prepared for each individual angler, including burritos, torta sandwiches, chips, snack bars and fresh fruit. At the end of your fishing day, you’ll be greeted with fresh ceviche, crab, or guacamole and chips for appetizers, served with cold drinks around the patio bar. Dinners are a unique experience as Chef Crystal often cooks on a mesquite fired grill, specializing in shrimp, lobster, clams, scallops and fish. She also prepares traditional Mexican meals using fresh local ingredients and produce.
Fishing at The Reel Baja at Magdalena Bay
The fishing program at The Reel Baja Mag Bay
There are three separate fisheries accessible from the small town of Adolfo Lopez Mateos, the home base for The Reel Baja Mag Bay. A series of barrier islands form a complex of inter connected bays and mangrove channels. The interconnected bays include Bahia Almejas, Bahia Magdalena, and a series of smaller bays ending at Santa Domingo to the north. The sand beaches, rocky shorelines, and mangrove lined channels provide extensive habitat for a wide variety of species including snook, corvina, bonefish, spotted bass, pargo, snapper, golden trevalle, broomtail grouper, sierra mackerel, halibut, and roosterfish.
The nearshore waters that lay just beyond the barrier islands team with Sierra mackerel, roosterfish, corvina, halibut, pargo, yellowfin tuna, grouper, and yellowtail. Casting into feeding blitzes is common in these nearshore waters, as gamefish surround schools of sardines and mackerel, feeding explosively on and near the surface.
The Mag Bay offshore fishery is legendary, the heart of which is an area known as The Ridge, a series of offshore seamounts, pinnacles and banks that hold huge concentrations of fish in the fall and early winter months. The cold waters of the California current and the warm waters of the Davidson Current meet over this structure, trapping massive amounts of plankton and krill against the structure. The bait fish congregate there, as do the predators that hunt them. Huge fish boils are still the norm here, providing the fly fisher with the opportunity to cast a fly into the churning waters with equal chance of catching dorado, tuna, wahoo or billfish.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• Mag Bay is very remote and difficult to access, and out of range for the majority of Cabo based fishing captains and boats. You may need to put a bit more effort is reaching Mag Bay, but the pay offs are immediately recognized when you arrive. Welcome to Old Mexico.
• The ecosystem is spectacularly healthy, unspoiled and life is abundant. It is not uncommon to see whales, thousands of dolphins, birds dive bombing bait balls, tuna crashing the surface, big dorado surrounding floating structures, and countless free swimming marlin. Simply put, Magdalena Bay is a blue water fly fishing paradise, extremely rare to find these days.
• Like the name implies, “Reel Baja” this is about as close to what Baja was before it was discovered by sport fishers from around the globe. Far from the hustle and bustle of Cabo San Lucas and its mega resorts and tourism industry, Bahia Magdalena and Lopez Mateos are sleepy, off the beaten path and off the radar of most anglers. This all translates into an unpressured and special fishery with lots of happy fish
• The sheer variety of sport fishing opportunities accessed from Bahia Magdalena, both inshore and offshore, are overwhelming. One day you can be offshore casting flies and light tackle to floating striped marlin, frenzied tuna or Mahi Mahi and the next sneaking along a mangrove line shore, sight casting to cruising snook. Or maybe spend the day teasing roosterfish to within fly casting distance, it’s all here. The toughest part of your trip to Reel Baja is deciding upon what species you are going to pursue each day. That kind of variety keeps your trip interesting, stimulating and you head in the game.
• Jeff deBrown is a professional outfitter and sport fishing guide with decades of experience operating in remote locations like Alaska, Argentina, and Chile. Jeff is a Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) certified fly casting instructor and speaks fluent Spanish. Expect to be well looked after by Jeff and his team, they’ll take care of all the logistics and the fine details that make a good trip, a great trip. Relax and enjoy Old Baja California Sur, Mexico, it’s special.