Magdalena Bay, Mexico



Nov. 7, 2004, Bill Burkett, boat Fat Cat, Magdalena Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico Fishing Report:

Just returned from a short, but fun fishing trip to the Magdalena Bay area. My wife, Silvia and I pulled our boat (FAT CAT) from our home on the East Cape over to San Carlos, where we met some friends from California, Mike and Arlin, who also pulled a boat down (Unreel).

We were met in San Carlos by Steve Warren of Mag Bay Tours who assisted us with clearing paperwork with the Port Captain and getting the boats off the trailers and into the water.

With final advice from Steve on the best route out of the bay we started off Wednesday morning for Mag Bay Tour's camp at Punta Hughes.

Once out of the Magdalena Bay entrada and into the Pacific fishing waters of southern Baja we were met with a large sea swell with a three foot chop on top, from the northwest. Fairly rough conditions for 21 and 22-foot boats, but we had planned to troll toward camp anyway, so the seas presented no problems at seven knots.

We only traveled about five miles offshore before setting a heading toward Punta Hughes, so we weren't in the warmest water in the area. We had 72 to 73 degrees with a slightly greenish tint. We learned later that the water temps. had dropped about five degrees during the previous week due to strong north winds pushing colder water in.

Both boats managed to get some action on the way to camp. Unreel caught a small yellowfin and missed a Marlin strike and Silvia caught a nice wahoo of about 35 pounds.

We arrived at the camp just before sundown. After anchoring the boats, we were ferried to shore by Cruz, one of the camp hosts. Once ashore, we met Ina, the other camp host and chief cook, who had a great ceviche waiting for us. Both Ina and Cruz were great hosts and the food at camp was top notch. We all highly recommend Mag Bay Tours to trailer boaters that want to fish the remote waters off Mag Bay.

The next morning found calm seas and beautiful weather, which allowed us to target the Thetis bank, which is about 21 miles northwest of camp. We ran out about five miles before slowing to trolling speed and dropping lures in the water.

Fat Cat had been trolling about half an hour when line started ripping off one of the two outfits pulling Marauders. Because of the speed line was leaving the reel, we assumed it was a large Wahoo. That proved to be a wrong assumption as a nice striped marlin started jumping behind the boat with the Marauder firmly in its jaw. After a half hour fight we leadered and released the 140 lb. class marlin. Not a bad start to our day.

A short time later Unreel also hooked up with a marlin. Their fish hit a purple/black Zuker and was also released to fight another day.

Both boats had a couple more bites from marlin on the way to the Thetis that didn't stick. The water temps. continued to rise as we approached the bank and reached a high of 76 degrees on the high spot. The water was clear, blue and there were signs of life every where. The depth finder showed clouds of bait and game fish in the depths, so our expectations were high for lots of action. We didn't wait long before the "catching" began. Both boats were continually hooked-up for the next couple of hours. However, it was about three Skipjack to every Yellowfin we caught. The Tuna were not large, averaging between 5 and 20 pounds, but we all had fun catching them. We caught no Wahoo, Dorado or Marlin, so decided to troll back toward shore. Once back in near shore we caught a couple of Bonita and a small Yellowtail to end our day.

We had planned to stay for two full days before heading back, but a flare-up of a medical condition for one of our party caused us to change plans and head back early. Because the launch ramp is pretty much only usable near high tide, we had until about 3PM to get back to San Carlos.

Before leaving San Carlos for Punta Hughes, we had been given some Lat./Longs. for some buoys about 10 miles out from the entrada where the guys fishing the week before had had some good action on Wahoo and Dorado. So, we made that our waypoint to troll back to before heading in.

On the way to the buoys Fat Cat caught another Wahoo of about 35 lbs. and again missed a marlin bite on a Marauder (they don't know they're for Wahoo, I guess) and Unreel missed three Marlin bites and caught a nice Dorado. Once we arrived at the numbers Unreel caught two more small Dorado, but it was real quiet on Fat Cat.

After working the buoys for awhile, we started trolling toward the entrada. On the way, Unreel hooked another marlin, but it threw the hook after a short fight. At the mouth of the entrada Fat Cat hooked and landed a nice 20 lb. Yellowfin to end our trip.

All and all, we had a great Baja trip to Magdalena Bay. The fishing had slowed somewhat from the previous week, primarily due to the cooling water. It's basically the end of the season there. We're already planning for next year's trip.

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