graphic Baja report


I'm getting married in September, as every groom-to-be knows a bachelor party is not something to be taken lightly. With 5 good friends we boarded a plane to Loreto Mexico with Dorado on the mind. 5 out of the 6 of us had never been before, and 2 people had never done any deep sea bluewater fly fishing. Cherries were about to be busted.

Lucky for us we slipped into the perfect weather window. A low preasure system had pushed out the day we arrived. Our upstairs neighbors had been beached for half a day and were on their way home. They gave us the traditional fisherman greeting of way too much advice and tequilla.

Our hotel was stationed right on the water, a convenient walk in the early morning sun to awaiting pangas loaded with live bait and eager captains.

After the customary drunken first night we woke up early and headed into the Sea of Cortez.

The first day was hot, hades hot, bubble your skin hot. 110 degrees, 130 heat index. My boat cruised around looking for dorado, always on the move to keep us cool. When we found fish it was game on. Having broke off a nice dorado in the Bahamas a couple years ago it felt good to boat my first one, a solid 25 pound hen.

At that point I was happy and content. We continued moving and were greeted by dolphins that insisted on surfing our bow wake and leaping into the sky resulting in refreshing splashes of water.

Not long after landing my first fish I was into another. A 45 pound toro grande. After a couple swipes with the net it was obvious the fish was too large to net, a quick gaff to the belly and the fish was boated. A golden beast.

As the heat rose with the afternoon we changed gears and found several schools of what the captains call "bonita" - in reality they're a mix of skipjack tuna and green jacks.

With tired arms we headed in at 3pm to find out how the rest of our crew had done. Nearly every boat had a great day with some big dorado to hand. One of the pangas had made their way north and found a school of sailfish, they landed one casting and lost a couple others. This was a lucky find on the first day, with day 2 around the corner I decided to try my luck up north for sails.

The next 3 days were a melee of sailfish and dorado. We found a deep submerged reef that had roving schools of sails cruising all within about a 5 mile square area. With the exceedingly calm seas it made it easy to spot fish cruising the surface.

We would pull up, toss in a few live sardinias for chum, when the fish were worked up enough we would start casting. Some fish were weary of the fly, while others would seem to erupt out of the depths and hammer our shock and awes as soon as they hit the water.

Fish were landed, fish were released, fish were lost, gear was broken.

10wt getting the HURT put on it...

Of course a shot of the gear! I was lucky enough to fish a prototype sage xi3 10wt. Pretty sweet stick.

Looking back I don't know that I'll ever see the quality of sailfish fishing we experienced again. The fish ranged from 60-120lbs and were available all day. Going 30 minutes without at least a shot at fish was almost unheard of. As any bluewater fly fisherman knows you can spend a lot of time trolling for fish, with such calm weather we were fortunate to get nearly every sailfish sight casting to fish within 50 feet of the boat. You just can't ask for anything better then that.

Thanks to my crew for the awesome trip and the killer photos.

As for the Bachelor party aspect of the trip, I probably shouldn't post those pics! :)

For anyone interested there are many more photos in my picasa web album.

Pez Gallo

On the hunt for grandes
You guys rocked it! Thanks for the report ibn. I've been on the verge of road tripping up to Loreto to see what up. That report might push me over the edge. The sailfishing sounds pretty damn good.

wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
Wow. Unbelievable, that will remain an unforgettable trip, one you can relive in the depths of some months long Pacific Northwest winter, ....
Great report, great pictures, congrats on the fish and the upcoming wedding- Mike
My Gawd!!! What a trip…definitely the stuff of dreams for most of us. Congratulations on the trip and the upcoming, er…..festivities, Ibn! :thumb:



ibn, what a great trip.... did you feel that the
10wt. was enough stick for those sailfish?
Hey David, in retrospect I would have much rather had a 14wt for those sails. When we headed down there the intent was primarily to target Dorado, which a 10wt is about perfect for. As it turned out, the 10wt was much easier to cast, so a bit of a trade-off.

I switched between a 10 and 12 and did fine with the sails, I don't think it took longer then 45 min to land any one fish. We were using 30lb class tippet leaders and short stroking the fish in. It's amazing how much pressure you can put on your gear if you know what you're doing.

Pez Gallo

On the hunt for grandes
It's amazing how much pressure you can put on your gear if you know what you're doing.
No doubt. Particularly with 30lb class tippet. You can pull like hell on 30lb!

I'm a fan of a 12wt or more for billfish. It's a lot easier on the fish if you have a heavy stick to subdue them quick and send them on their way.


Yeah, I think a 14wt would have been more appropriate. We ended up breaking 3 lines and 1 rod during the 3 days that we were at the hot sailfish spot so some of our options became limited. I will be a little more prepared for anything and everything next time I go back.

On the last day we were there we did 1/2 a day of inshore fishing before our flight. We had several shots at 4-10lb roosters but couldn't seal the deal. Those suckers are picky! Did managed to land 2 dorado and a skipjack in about 10 feet of water. I was surprised to see them inshore like that.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
OMFG! What an awesome report Ibn. Sounds like a truly fantastic trip serving the primal needs for both the bachelor's party and offshore fishing madness. Thanks for sharing, congrats on a great trip and in advance of your upcoming wedding. The Mexico Tourist Board should put you guys on retainer!

Kim Hampton

Not Politically Correct
Ibn...Great trip...I'm jealous...Congratulations on your upcoming marriage.

Question. What do you think of the Panga (I've never been in one) versus your Whaler?