Baja California, Mexico



Aug. 18, 2006, Tyler Thorsen, Baja shore fishing at Punta Maria, Baja California, Mexico:

My son Bryan and I had a great time fishing from the Baja shore south of Punta Maria, July 29 to August 5, 2006, with our friends Tom and Elizabeth Finch of San Diego and Dan and Garrett Close of Del Mar, Calif.

We caught lots of small halibut and a few doormats taken from shore. The biggest halibut was one caught by Dan Close. It weighed 18 pounds and was caught on a Krocodile. Tom Finch dove in the suds to help him land the fish in the rocks as it was way to heavy to lift. We didn't try to fish for a lot of other stuff. Most spots are not deep enough to get Sheepshead with the exception of Punta Maria itself.

The best areas to fish were those areas of bays not directly open to the larger swells. If it had decent surf it was too rough to catch the halibut. The best of those were areas that had a mix of rocks and sand.

The Baja weather and water was unusually warm at Punta Rosarito, the first couple of days much like it was in San Diego when we left. Later, the water got cold and windbreakers were needed at night! Ah, what a relief from our triple digit heat indexes in Texas.

We caught Calico Bass on the rocky kelp points. Surf perch were available on sand crabs in the beach areas with bigger surf, though since they don't taste great I quit fishing for them.

We did get croakers on the sand crabs and on some of the Krocodile lures. The sheepshead came on squid. We tried some of those rock crabs and lost a big one just as we were about to leave.

We use fiddler crabs to catch what we call sheepshead in Texas and it seems like the Pacific variety loved them too. They ar much easier to get than keeping frozen squid around for 8 days. They are around the rocks in the wet areas on the points.

We basically fished for dinner here and there, no meat hunt as we had to have our ice last 8 days. Once we got that big one and another 8 pound halibut we only kept a sheepshead and bass or two for ceviche. The rest of the time was catch and release.

In 6.5 days of fishing with 6 people probably 30 or so Halibut were caught, with most under 4 pounds including the little tiny guys just bigger than the Krocodiles. One day we got 20 and only one over 3 pounds, which went about 8 or 10 pounds.

As for Kelp or Calico Bass, we got about 6 large ones at Punta Maria and another 2 or 3 plus a Cabezon at another point; 6 croaker, 2 of which were over 2 pounds.

We ended up keeping some smaller bass at first, not knowing if we would get any others, and we let go several 4 pound plus after that.

Sheepshead: We only got 2 and both of those were under 10 pounds.

We only fished Punta Maria itself the one day. It was too hard to get out there since we had to run the beach at low tide and stay until it dropped again late in the afternoon. The tides were such that it would have been a pain to get out there later in the week.

The last time we fished the spot we used a 14 foot boat to get out there.

Raul and his grandson Daniel run the camping concession. They ran their gill nets out everyday via a panga launched where we camped but the only thing I saw them bring in were guitar fish, what they called manta rays but look more like cownosed rays rather than true mantas, and an Angel Shark.

There was quite a bit of seaweed at times in some areas or I would have tossed a long rod out with cut bait to see what was there.

We use long graphite rods and can cast out 100 plus yards with bait and 5 ounce sputnik sinkers here in Texas in our surf when we are not plugging for speckled trout or running out shark baits on kayaks using stand up gear and 6/0 to 12/0 reels. A friend of mine caught and released a 12 foot Tiger shark estimated to weigh between 7 to 800 pound on August 5th, fishing the Padre Island National Seashore.

(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from Baja and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for Baja California may be found at's main Baja page.