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How to Plan a Baja Fishing Trip

  • Joel CZ 
  • 5 min read
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The Baja Peninsula has access to two of the most productive ocean fisheries in the world.

From big marlin to beautiful roosterfish, you will find some amazing opportunities with access by road or boat.

Getting there is easy, and it’s a beautiful place that should be on every angler’s bucket list.

Getting to the Baja Peninsula

The Baja Peninsula is remote, but there are plenty of ways to arrive.

Airports are available in San Jose del Cabo, La Paz, Loreto, Ensenada, and Tijuana.

Flying into any of these locations and renting a vehicle is convenient for fishing the peninsula.

You will also find great guides and sportfishing outfits throughout the coastline.

Driving is the other option, and it opens more potential in terms of fishing locations. Many areas are remote, and having a 4×4 vehicle and camping equipment is ideal.

To reach Baja by vehicle, Mexican residents can take a ferry from Mazatlan to La Paz or drive through Sonora.

Driving across the US border to Mexico is also a popular option. You can cross at San Ysidro, Tecate, Mexicali, or Los Algodones and continue south to reach many exciting destinations.

At the border, make sure to obtain an FMM tourist card (visa) and buy Mexican auto insurance online ahead of your trip.

Temporary policies are easy to find at reasonable rates and are legally mandatory. You will not need an import permit for your car in Baja, which is very convenient.

Lastly, grab a fishing license for Baja. Technically, it’s not needed for anyone fishing from shore, but I always buy one to support the local fisheries and to have ready when going on boats.

Pacific Ocean vs Sea of Cortez

fishing in baja

Baja is unique because the peninsula is bordered by two very productive seas.

The east side has the Sea of Cortez, where visitors find tranquil turquoise waters and excellent fishing.

The west side has the Pacific, where surf and big fish are caught in-shore and off-shore.

The species have some overlap with similar options in both fisheries. The Sea of Cortez has less surf, making it a great place for fishing directly from the beach.

Both coasts have great surf fishing, however. It’s one of the few places in the world where big sportfish are frequently caught directly from the beaches.

Choosing between the oceans is really a matter of preference. Both are incredible; folks who drive down or have access to a vehicle can cross the peninsula with a short drive in many places.

For example, driving from Loreto to Magdalena Bay is only a few hours.

Fishing in Baja: Destinations

These are just a few of the destinations that are popular with anglers.

They are great places to visit because sportfishing captains are readily available to take you on the water and are known for great fishing.

Loreto

The town has an airport, great lodging options, and immediate access to the national park with protected islands, beautiful mountains, and some very productive fishing.

The yellowtail bite can really turn on here, and anglers find consistent dorado (mahi-mahi) fishing from May-November.

La Paz

The city itself is vibrant and is amazing for restaurants and culture.

The Malecon is perfect for evening walks, and you will find good fishing surprisingly close to town.

Read more about La Paz and Pichilingue.

Many whale-watching and kayak tours begin from La Paz because it’s geographically convenient and is surrounded by a healthy marine environment.

Bahia de Los Angeles

If you want a remote destination, drive down and take the turn to this far removed bay.

It’s an incredible destination with no cell coverage and a wonderful community that lives for fishing.

Read more about Bahia de Los Angeles.

San Felipe

If you don’t want the long drives, cross the border at Mexicali, and you will be in San Felipe very quickly.

Located on the northern end of the Sea of Cortez, San Felipe has a quality fishery, RV sites, and plenty of beachfront lodging.

It’s also an off-road paradise for visitors wanting to do something between fishing trips.

Cabo San Lucas

While Cabo is known as a resort destination, the location is perfectly situated where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean collide.

The ocean currents are strong, and the waters are fertile. It is indeed the best spot if you want to chase big marlin.

San Quintin

One of the most productive zones on the Pacific side, San Quintin, is accessible from Highway 1 south of Ensenada.

It’s another great place to chase yellowtail, rock bass, and more. It’s a great winter destination with productive in-shore fishing.

Seasons and Fish Species in the Baja Peninsula

fishing in baja

The fishing is productive year-round, with species availability that changes based on water temperature.

The warm summer brings roosterfish, dorado, wahoo, marlin, and sailfish, while the winter is great for yellowtail, sierra, and big jack crevalle.

Triggerfish, ladyfish, bonito, and red snapper are all common catches in the near-shore fisheries.

Rock bass and grouper are caught year-round, and the pacific has some excellent opportunities for halibut as well.

While these make up the major sportfish species, tons of other species are caught randomly.

Be prepared for anything, as the fishing in Baja is world-class.

You may want to read: Top Fishing Destinations in Mexico: Saltwater & Freshwater

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