Fishing in Baja

November 2000

What a great experience. In three days, I managed to learn a lot about fishing, a lot about flying, a lot about Baja, and had a terrific time doing it.

Four of us flew down in a Cessna 182. One of the ASO Sales guys invited me to join himself, his father (the pilot) and his cousin. It was a pretty tight squeeze. Check the fishing poles between the pilot and me.

Another C-182 was going at the same time, with three more guys in it, so there would be seven of us.

We flew from Fullerton (Southern California) to San Filipe, which is on the coast at the Northern end of the Sea of Cortez, on the Eastern side of the Baja Peninsula. From there, we flew for 200 miles along the coast of Baja, all the way having stunning views of desert and sea, to the beautiful fishing camp called Punta San Francisquito

We didn't waste any time getting out on the water, with our guide Jose, who has to be the best fishing guide in the region, and a great guy as well. He also speaks very good English, which is a huge advantage when we are at sea (with Chuck Decker and Jose).

In only about one and a half hours, we had really done well. We were fishing for Yellowtail, which are very exciting fish to catch. The big ones range up to 40 pounds, although the large ones we caught were in the 25lb to 30 lb range. Catching a Yellowtail is like having your line tied to a very large concrete block which is attached to the sea floor by a very strong bungee cord.

Check out this impressive collection of fish and fishermen. I lucked out and got the largest. We got back late, it was a full moon, and you can see the full moon rising in this shot of me with Craig Decker and the fish. The boats in the background (called "pangas") are the ones we fished from. They get them up the beach by hitting the beach at full speed and full throttle. Great fun for all.

You'd think Jose would have seen enough fish, but he gets as excited as we did whenever we had a successful outing.

As the day ended, we sat on the wall of our huge suite, which was really the "Don Quixote Bar" where we had been accommodated, as all the huts were occupied. We were a very happy group which made the trip about 10 times more enjoyable.

Did I say something about the full moon rising? As the evening turned into night, the full moon just flooded the whole region until it was almost like daylight.

The next morning, the dawn was spectacular, viewed from my bed in the "Don Quixote Bar" and was followed by an even more spectacular sunrise.

The views at sunrise looking North along the beach and looking South along the beach show what a really superb place this is.

Then, looking back at the camp with the "Don Quixote Bar" on the right, it's easy to see why they say "When the sands of Baja land on your shoulder, you can never shake them off."