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Gary Graham – ROAD TREKKER

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Thursday, September 05, 2019
Bye Bye RoadTrek
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot


Magdalena Bay warming up for Fall
As the Baja summer fades away and the fall season creeps in, the noise coming out of Magdalena Bay sure sounds promising. This time of year, a large number of anglers are eager to get updates on the billfish: the usual target from mid-October extending until after Thanksgiving.

Others are partial to the extraordinary wahoo bite that usually precedes the billfish season. Bill Erhard, from Loreto, who fishes offshore every year, posted the following several weeks ago:


“I fished outside Mag Bay for what will be the last time in August and notched my fifth wahoo limit of the month. I’ve made a note of the other rod and reel fishing boats I’ve encountered on the Ridge so far this year, and the total amount is one – if you don’t count three long-range cattle boats out of San Diego.” 


anotherintriguing
ANOTHER INTRIGUING MAG BAY adventure I just learned about was a flotilla of five Hobie Kayaks (four Pro Angler 12s and one Mirage Outback) organized by Joseph Zaragoza, director/manager of Mag Bay Lodge, and his buddies.


A promising start, if – and yeah, there is always an if – the chubasco season passes quietly. Meanwhile, there is also favorable news inside the bay from charter operations like Bob Hoyt’s “Mag Bay Outfitters.” They reported that the snook, one of my personal favorites, were on the chew, adding that they had voluntarily decided to enforce a ‘one captured fish limit’ per day with the rest carefully released. Most of those caught weighed less than 10 pounds, judging from the photos.


However, last year, Capt. Juan Cook was catching some that were much larger. He described one that had gotten away that was well over 50 pounds, which might have been a new IGFA World Record. FYI: The current all-tackle record for Pacific Black Snook is 59 pounds, 8 ounces. News like that certainly enhances the notion of heading up there myself after the October Tournaments in Cabo San Lucas.


Another intriguing Mag Bay adventure I just learned about was a flotilla of five Hobie Kayaks (four Pro Angler 12s and one Mirage Outback) organized by Joseph Zaragoza, director/manager, Mag Bay Lodge and his buddies.


Using pangas as support boats to move them from place to place, they fished the 23 for very little, then moved to the Thetis Bank where they scored on yellowfin tuna, dorado and bottom fish before loading the kayaks on the pangas and heading for home.


The following day, they followed a buoy line aboard the pangas until they stumbled on some dorado, and it was “game on” as they launched the kayaks. Later they spotted a bait ball with marlin. They hooked two blue marlin with one putting on a show and another that they brought to the boat and released. On the way back in, they stopped at one of the pangueros’ grouper spots where Joe was rocked four times in a row. Vowing to return with 200-pound instead of 100-pound fluorocarbon leader material, they succeeded and hooked two blue marlin, with one putting on a show and another that they brought to the boat and released.


theyhookedtwo
THEY HOOKED TWO blue marlin with one putting on a show and another that they brought to the boat and released.

Capping off the trip on the final day, they departed at 9:20 a.m., and traveled down the 45-mile long Mangrove-lined channel to Puerto San Carlos via kayaks. The group fished their way down twists and turns to explore the many “fishy looking” spots along the way, catching and releasing grouper, pargo, jack and corvina as they pedaled their way.


As time started slipping away in the tropical heat, they decided to pick up the pace since they had miles to go; they put fishing rods away and concentrated on navigating to San Carlos. As they pedaled away, the sun set around 7:30 and they still had miles to go.


They finally arrived at San Carlos after midnight, exhausted and hungry after fifteen hours of pedaling – they had covered 45 miles of water, catching fish, fueling up on PB&J sandwiches and smoked ahi. At times, they were lost in the dark weaving through shallow water mangroves before getting to San Carlos.


Some of the locals predicted the flotilla would never complete the 45-mile voyage in a single day, but they were almost proven wrong when the kayaks arrived at the beach in San Carlos at 12:30 a.m.


“The guys and I who made this journey will never forget this challenge, and I can say I am extremely proud of us for completing it. Would I do it again? Probably not! If someone asks me if they should do this same journey in one day, I’d tell them they are crazy!”... Ricardo Holden


With the stunning, rugged, desert landscape shaping a unique backdrop for the hundreds of miles of mangrove-lined channels, Magdalena Bay attracts an overwhelming collection of wildlife unduplicated elsewhere in Baja.


ifishedoutside
I FISHED OUTSIDE Mag Bay for what will be the last time in August and notched my fifth wahoo limit of the month.

Five barrier islands along the West Coast of Baja protects this bay. As large as San Francisco Bay, this 131-mile waterway has remained an enigma, enticing and mystifying even the most seasoned Baja traveler.


Most visitors are drawn to the populated, more popular tourist destinations scattered across the Baja landscape with easy access by commercial aircraft. Even those who drive the length and breadth of Baja’s Peninsula seldom venture the extra 30-plus miles out to Puerto San Carlos or Lopez Mateos, the largest villages on the bay. Therefore, the bay’s location and inaccessibility have allowed it to remain one of those places in Baja that time has virtually left behind.


People frequently ask if I were to settle in Baja once again, with all the magnificent places available, where would it be? Of course, my answer would have to be Magdalena Bay!


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