Captain Hook’s Gallery: Offshore Fishing Aboard Baja Cruisers
The panga may very well be the most ubiquitous fishing vessel found around the Baja California peninsula, but major ports like Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas and La Paz have the luxury of modern marinas that can support fleets of larger craft designed for offshore ventures.
To be sure, there are a vast array of fish that can be caught from a panga, but these craft are generally limited to the inshore waters within a few miles of the beach. When it comes to pursuing more glamorous gamefish species such as marlin, wahoo and huge yellowfin tuna, there is nothing more comfortable or effective than a large sportfishing cruiser.
Chartering a vessel of this nature for a fishing trip in southern California during the marlin and tuna season can be an expensive proposition. As an example, at a popular charter operation in Newport Beach, a six-passenger cruiser with captain and mate costs $1525 for inshore fishing between 6 a.m and 4 p.m. Further south in San Diego, a full 12-hour trip of offshore fishing with a top notch outfitter can set you back as much as $2,250 or more.
Fortunately for budget conscious anglers, Baja still represents the best value for getting hooked up with your favorite species, and at prices that can be many times less than those paid to charter stateside cruisers.
Just a little over 70 miles south of the International Border, operating out of Ensenada’s Bahia de Todos Santos, IT’S 4 REELS charters offers a 10-11 hour inshore fishing trip at the productive Santo Tomas Reef several miles down the coast for four passengers in a customized 23-foot Parker for just $525. And a 14-16 hour trip offshore for three passengers targeting tuna, marlin and dorado is only $650.
But when it comes to this type of package, it is truly hard to beat the values offered by legendary East Cape fishing resorts like Hotel Buena Vista, Rancho Leonero, Palmas de Cortez and Punta Colorado. This is a region where billfish, dorado, tuna and baitfish as well as many other warm water migratory species of gamefish tend to congregate as they move up and down the coast of the Sea of Cortez.
Rates may vary from property to property, but remain competitive. As an example, four anglers can enjoy a fishing package that includes three nights double occupancy lodging in a standard room, three meals a day, two days days fishing aboard a 28-foot standard cruiser, hotel & boat tax and even hotel gratuity charges for under $500 per person.
In La Paz, even better deals are offered by The Cortez Club‘s Mosquito Fleet, with packages starting at $399 per person for four anglers, which includes two days of fishing, plus five days and four nights at the La Concha Hotel Beach Resort.
At prices like these, along with the opportunity to experience world class sportfishing, it is no wonder why many anglers are beginning to wake up and see the tremendous value they receive when coming to Baja California for their next offshore fishing adventure.
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