La Paz, Mexico



June 16, 2004, Joe Flores, La Paz, Mexico Fishing with Tortuga Sportfishing:

Just got back from La Paz, and had one of the best times ever. My friend, Max Lizarraga from La Mirada and I stayed at Tortuga Sportfishing.

What a first Class Operation!! The owner, Gerardo, really knows how to treat his customers well. Everything was excellent. The rooms were great, the place was clean, food was great, and what made it even nicer is that he vacuum seals your fish for you. Wow!! He is a great host and will do almost anything to make your stay exciting and comfortable.

We had one of the best La Paz sportfishing captains to go out with, Jorge Hirales. This guy is awesome. We fished La Paz’s Las Arenas area this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and we did well compared to the others that we talked to. We were always the first boat to leave and to get bait!! Jorge had plenty of gas to go anywhere and wasn’t afraid to use all of it to look for fish. He also took his time in filleting the fish making sure no meat was wasted.

Friday, June 11th, Las Arenas, La Paz:

We were the first boat to go out. Bought bait on the back side of the island and proceeded to troll live bait at the shark buoys looking for Dorado. Along the way we spotted several Marlin on the surface but passed them up.

No luck on the shark buoy. However we spotted a school or pod of porpoises and our captain Jorge was excited. He asked us to quickly change to Tuna feathers and we started trolling into the porpoises.

Within a minute we were on, a double hook-up. These fish were good sized 30-35lbs. They were jumping out of the water chasing bait. What a sight. We finally pulled in our two yellowfin tuna and trolled again. Meanwhile Jorge was on the radio calling everyone to let them know that we found tuna.

All of a sudden boats came out of nowhere and were fishing along with us. Another double hook-up. We lost one of them and fought the other one and boated it.

Once again we were off to hook up one more time. Another double hook-up. By this time all the boats were running all over the place and drove the tuna down. I asked the captain where we were fishing at and he told me the outer 88 spot. In the end we caught five nice quality tuna.

Saturday, June 12th, Las Arenas, La Paz:

Again we were the first one out. Bought bait and headed back to the shark buoys. Trolled live bait and had several hook-ups on dorado but lost them. As we got closer to the end of the buoys, we saw the porpoises again. Change to feathers, Red and white and the other a bleeding mackerel and got hit instantly.

These were much smaller tuna, 12-15 lbs. We managed to get 6 of them. With all the pressure of the boats going back and forth the tuna disappeared. So we quickly headed to another set of shark buoys leaving the rest of the boats behind.

The first two had nothing under them. The next one had several dorado. I managed to hook one on a live sardina and had a great time fighting it. We got that one in, but there were others that didn’t want to bite so we continued. I hooked one more and brought it in.

We continued till it was almost time to head back in. Our captain suggested that we try for wahoo just before going in. Max put on a Rapala, blue and white CD 18, and I put on Mega Bait Mega Diver 30. We trolled back and forth for about 45 min. without getting a strike so I suggested we troll close to shore to see if we could pick up a roosterfish.

We moved in and the lines went out. Within a few minutes I had a nice Pargo hooked up on the Mega bait diver 30. This fish fought hard. We finally brought it in and the captain was really excited. We headed in. Again we did great compared to others. Total, we had 6 Yellowfin tuna, two Dorado and a nice Pargo.

Sunday, June 13th, Las Arenas, La Paz.

Again we were the first ones out. Did the same routine as the other two days.

Max managed to hook-up a nice dorado at one of the buoys. Several other dorado were swimming around but would not cooperate. Max boated the fish and off we went. We saw several other dorado strike our baits but no solid hook-ups. There was a huge bull that swam by and we threw tons of bait at him but won’t hit our lines.

We finally went looking for the porpoises. We searched and searched and couldn’t locate them. We headed out farther but found nothing. We finally decided to troll back slow with feathers to see if we could raise a tuna or dorado.

Hours went by for nothing. We decided to pull the lines in and head for another set of shark buoys. We changed back to trolling with live sadinas.

About the fourth buoy we were just about ready to leave when our captain spotted a huge bull. He quickly threw a ton of bait and got the bull chasing everything that he threw. Max’s line all of a sudden took off. He was on!!! He was hooked to the big bull dorado. I reeled in only to find my bait had disappeared.

Max’s fish was jumping all over the place. The fish managed to get tangled in the shark buoy and our captain quickly took over and instantly got the fish untangled. Meanwhile a smaller dorado was swimming around. I was casting a small Mega Bait live jig. The dorado would follow it up to the boat but wouldn’t hit it. After several times of this I finally gave up, grabbed Max’s video camera and started taping him. After 40 minutes of fighting this fish on a Penn senator 113H, Max finally had the fish. Captain Jorge quickly set the gaff on this beast and the battle was over.

This fish was huge. Max had a big grin, ear to ear. His first ever huge fish. We headed back in and had a crowd around us. Everyone had heard about the Dorado.

Gerardo Jr. came down with a scale and the bull weighed in at 52 lbs. Total for the day 2 dorado.

We took several photos of the fish and our captain quickly filleted them. In the cooler the fillets were placed and we were off.

We arrived at the Tortuga house and Gerardo and his son quickly went to work on vacuum sealing the fish. In the meantime we sat down had a couple of cervezas and had our shrimp cocktails that Margarita had made us. Went up stairs showered, took a long siesta.

That was our trip. 5 days 4 nights and three great days of La Paz fishing thanks to Tortuga Sportfishing!!

I will be coming back again and so will my friends.

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