Have a Baja Moment! Fishing in Mulege
Situated on Baja’s sunny central coast alongside the Sea of Cortez, Mulege is considered by many to be one of the most picturesque locales on the entire peninsula. Located less than 40 miles south of the historic town of Santa Rosalia, this quaint poblado sits between two hills and is studded with immense groves of date palms that line the shores of a life giving fresh water stream that casually meanders down into the sea.
Originally discovered by the Jesuit father Juan María de Salvatierra on his return from a trip to Sonora on Mexico’s mainland, Mulege quickly began its transformation into a captivating oasis replete with hundreds of palm trees, fruit orchards, bougainvillea and other colorful foliage. Since the Jesuits were known to have brought large quantities of dates with them as easily preserved food, it is believed that they distributed the pits near the local water source in the hopes of eventually developing a sustainable resource for the future. It is obvious that they were successful beyond their wildest dreams. They also brought along the seeds of fan palms, which allowed them to fashion thatched roofs for the local structures.
Today the town offers several good restaurants, R.V. parks, a bus station, a nearby airport, and a variety of accessible lodging options. There are also several outfitters that are readily available to help you plan fishing and diving trips, as well as excursions to visit the sites of ancient cave paintings.
Less than 10 miles northeast of this palm lined refuge, Punta Chivato is a popular destination for anglers. For many years, it was primarily visited by hardcore Bajaphiles and RV groups, but since the construction of improved launching facilities and other infrastructure developments it has become an extremely popular destination for private boaters who come to fish its still relatively abundant waters.
There was a time when this area was known as a ‘sure thing’ for those targeting large sea bass and grouper, but several decades of intense commercial fishing pressure have reduced populations of these species to all-time lows. Nevertheless, anglers who ply the deep holes and pinnacles around the small, inshore islands known as Islas Santa Ines can still look forward to a host of snappers, cabrilla, and leopard grouper that are interested in taking their bait or lure.
The offshore bite during summer can be absolutely sizzling in these waters. Yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, dorado, marlin, and even occasional sailfish are available several miles out. And, as with most pelagic species found in open water, almost all of these fish are best located by keeping a keen eye on your sonar while simultaneously looking for working flocks of circling or diving birds.
Just south of Mulege, Bahía Concepción is one of the most beautiful spots in Baja. It is just over 20 miles long, and ranges between 2 and 5 miles in width. This incredible bay was once teeming with scallops, oysters, butter clams, and nice sized fish. Sadly, these days the oysters and scallops are long gone, as are most of the larger gamefish. The relatively few clams and fish that are still available are generally only found along the eastern shore of the Bahia. Nonetheless, Bahia Concepción remains an idyllic destination for kayakers, beachcombers, and RV enthusiasts.
Those seeking the vibrant Baja nightlife so enthusiastically embraced in places like Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas will not find it here. Mulege is a gentle place where, as whales and porpoise cruise just outside a secluded cove, you can sit on the beach and immerse yourself in the true essence of‘old Baja’.
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