La Paz, Baja California Sur (MX)
La Paz is a beautiful modern city on the east coast of the Baja California Peninsula, and the capital of the state of Baja Ca...Read more..
La Paz is a beautiful modern city on the east coast of the Baja California Peninsula, and the capital of the state of Baja California Sur. It’s also one of the best places to have a low-key fishing adventure. If you are headed to Baja California Sur and you want something a little different, La Paz is sure to please.
Perched at the mouth of the Sea of Cortez, on the Bahia de La Paz, this city provides excellent access to all sorts of fishing – both inshore and offshore. La Paz has held the world record for roosterfish, a 114 lb whopper, for over 50 years. The areas in and around Bahia de La Paz offer fantastic fishing for pargo, yellowtail, and roosterfish, and the bite is always good. Offshore, into the Sea of Cortez and on the east side of Isla Espiritu Santo, dorado, sailfish, swordfish, and striped marlin are waiting to be reeled in.
You can fly into Los Cabos International airport, or San Jose del Cabo airport, but either way you’ll need to secure either a rental car, private van, or bus to get to La Paz. If you take a bus, make sure you take the Todos Santos route (it’s shorter).
La Paz has several options for charters and fishing. There are plenty of small pangas to rent with local guides who will take you to spots where you can catch pargo, roosterfish, grouper, snook, and yellowtail. Some will even take you farther out to catch larger pelagic fish species. If you plan on fly fishing bring your own gear, but otherwise you’ll find that the local captains will have what you need, and anything else can be purchased in town.
The Sea of Cortez is teeming with dorado, which can be caught from pangas, either with medium tackle or on the fly. Anglers use the currents, weeds scum lines, floating debris, and frigate birds to pinpoint dorado, as well as flying fish, water temperature and color breaks. You may wish to use some chum to entice strikes, and then pitch Pacific flat iron herring, known locally as sardinas, into the strike zone before casting the fly.
In December and January in the Sea of Cortez swordfish are plentiful, and the numbers increase with the full moon. In the summer, striped marlin are hot in the Sea of Cortez between La Paz and Loreto.
North of La Paz is Loreto, a smaller town with excellent beaches and beautiful waters. Five islands just offshore provide a range of ecotourism activities, and Loreto is a quieter, less commercial beach that those on Cabo San Lucas.
In the bays and along the shore in the fishing is rock oriented, which means using heavy tackle (50lb gear) and reeling in 20 – 40 lb fish on average. Flat calm days are better, because when the winds are blowing, the fishing is difficult, so pay close attention to the wind report.
La Paz is known as a fishing hot spot. Each year tournaments are held with significant cash prizes. That is no coincidence, with locations like Tecolote Beach, Espirito Island, Cerralvo Island, Los Cerritos Beach, and many others, there is absolutely no shortage of opportunity or variety of species to pursue here.
There are as many as 900 fish species in the Sea of Cortez including the most prized gamefish in the world like Marlin and Rooster Fish all potential catches. Most of the summer and early fall seasons are prime time for both fishing success and to take a relaxing beach vacation outdoors. These are the most popular species in La Paz:
With it’s distinctive dorsal fin and striped scale pattern, the Rooster Fish is a true stand out. Like many fish species, big roosters take big baits and live bait generally produces more sizeable catches. However if you seek the challenge of enticing your catch, poppers and swimbaits can absolutely produce as well. Especially if you’re seeking some entertainment value, their topwater strikes are quite the spectacle to be seen. Early morning and late afternoons from May through August are the best times to boost your probability of success catching them.
Mahi Mahi are known for a variety of attributes among saltwater species but when it comes to table fare, the Mahi Mahi is hard to beat. Renown for their flaky white tender meat, the Mahi Mahi is highly desirable. They also happen to be a blast to catch! Summer and well into fall are great times to catch Mahi Mahi. Espirito Santo Island is known as an area to produce solid catches.
Tuna are also one of the most desired edible gamefish of the seas, be it saltwater or freshwater. Yellow Fin Tuna will challenge your tackle with long runs and powerful fighting prowess that is more than a match for most any angler. They do not have great vision so the lower visibility hours of the day and using bait can prove successful. Los Cerritos Beach is one location known to produce good Yellow Fin Tuna action and the winter season is known to be a great time for them.
There are few images more iconic to an angler than the outline of a Marlin leaping from the ocean over the backdrop of the summer sunset. Marlin are famous for a variety of reasons including their acrobatics, enormous size, distinctive bill, and are sought after trophies given their gorgeous beauty. The peak of summer is prime time for Marlin beginning in June and a great location to give a try is Tecolote Beach for near shore angling.
La Paz offers a great summer through fall getaway for anglers. It’s a perfect escape destination after a long winter stuck indoors for many of the tourists that come to town. May through September is considered peak season for fishing while well into the fall can also be a great time for fishing inshore.
Fishing in La Paz is good year-round, but there are distinct times of the year when you should come if you want to catch certain species. Here are some favorites:
Roosterfish: March - June
Striped Marlin: June – October
Blue Marlin: June – October
Sailfish: June – September
Wahoo: June – November
Dorado: May – November
While true of many fishing endeavors, you will want to try the early morning hours or later evening hours to improve your chances of angling success in La Paz. The most desirable gamefish species are on the move during these hours when limited daylight means less visibility for prey, setting the scene for some of their best hunting and therefore your best catching.
Slack tide is the preferred time to fish from shore in La Paz. These run the 2 hours before and 2 hours after a high and low tide. The quieter beaches away from the city center are preferred and you will need to stay 820 feet at a minimum from anyone in the water.
La Paz offers a variety of highly reputable and reviewed charters to choose from. There’s real value in hiring a professional for a lot of things you want to accomplish in life. Especially with a limited window of time available on vacation in a world class location like La Paz, invest in a great experience by hiring a guided charter trip.
La Paz is an ideal getaway for the angler looking for not only fishing adventure but also alluring natural beauty. Some creature comforts of home like fine dining await you with a climate conducive to a variety of outdoor activities. Balandra beach is one of the best in Mexico with amazing sunsets. You can even swim with sea lions and whale sharks once you’ve had your fill of catching fish.
Visit Isla Espiritu Santo, a Unesco World Heritage site which includes 244 islands in the Sea of Cortez. Isla Espiritu Santo is surrounded by azure waters and secluded inlets. An easy day trip, you can rent a kayak and go snorkeling while you bask in the fullness of nature’s beauty.
Go for a walk on the Malecón, La Paz's waterfront, with its wide sidewalk, beaches, pier, sculptures by local artists and unimpeded views of the sunset. It is 3.5 miles long, (5.5km), from the Marina de la Paz in the south to Playa Coromuel in the north.
Learn about gray whales at Museo de la Ballena (Museum of the Whale). Audiovisual displays explain the lifestyle and migrations of gray whales that live and breed in the local waters. The museum's foundation promotes the study and conservation of whales, and as you walk through a soundtrack of whales in the wild might make you want to go on a whale-watching tour, there are several in Baja California Sur.
Go Whale Watching! Through the months of January and April the Sea of Cortez is home to migrating whales that have traveled 20,000 miles from the Bering Sea to reach the warm and calm waters of La Paz.
If you are fishing from the shore, you will not need a fishing license. However, Mexico has strict fishing regulations for fishing from boats. Essentially, every person aboard a boat that has fishing equipment on board is required to have a license.
You can purchase a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly fishing license via CONAPESCA.
You can find more information on their website, Conapesca
If you plan on using a fishing charter, most charter boats include fishing licenses in the cost of the charter, but to be sure it is best to ask when booking your trip.
Depending on the size of the charter fishing boat and on the duration of your fishing tour, you’ll pay more or less for the tour. The price for a private 8 hour La Paz fishing trip with a panga (this is typical open mexican type of boat) is around $475 to $500. An 8 hour private trip with a 40ft charter will cost you $1200. You can book a magnificent luxury fishing yacht from $4375 for the day.
The price usually includes the captain, fishing tackle, fuel & lures. On every listing we indicate whether drinks and food are included.
Make sure you know if bait, the lincenses and the local tax (16%) is included in the price or not as this can make quite a difference in the final price.
Once you’ve made a booking, the captain will contact you to arrange the meeting point and the departure time. Also, we recommend you contact the captain a couple of days before the tour to confirm the weather forecast.
|Avg Capacity:||5 people|
|Popular fishing techniques:||Bottom Fishing, Tuna fishing, Trolling|
|Average price:||$0 per day|
|Low season price:||$475 per day|
|High season price:||$4375 per day|
|Included:||Fishing tackle, WC on board, Cabin|