Magdalena Bay- Desert and Sea...
Click Photo to Enlarge
South of California Peninsula, Magdalena Bay, 250 Km North-West from La Paz, another area nearly impossible to describe by words, another untamed magic spot!
Mexican outback, middle of no where, desert and ocean, that is all! Miles and miles of unexplored reef, pinnacles and bank that just locals and professional fishermen know, an oxtail area that doesn't know the word tourism.
An almost inhabited cost line, a lonely bitch that runs as an imaginary border between the hot sandy desert and the Pacific blue Ocean. A location hard to reach, a few town and no possibility of any kind of accommodations relatively close to fishing grounds. We need a reliable logistic organization to settle a camping with tents and main indispensable needs as drinking water, a kitchen in order to live the desert outback with a minimum comfort. We are talking about a fishing grounds where it is not possible fly over there, find and hotel, a local guide and his service and go fishing, this is a really true adventure living an untamed outback fully, a wild area burn by the desert sun, an oxtail world that makes clear that we are not welcome, another paradise on heart that does not seem created for human being.
For European Union Passport as USA and Australia citizens, for a period of time of 90 days maximum, NO visa is required.
Mexican Pesos (MXN), rates exchange are: 16 MXN x 1 EUR, 12 MXN x 1 USD $
Flying to Mexico City, from Europe it takes 15 hours about, then a second fly from the capital to La Paz that takes a couple of hour about.
Airline connects the Mexican Capital with La Paz, the route is daily and well served.
Once purchasing the fly ticket remember to ask about because Aero Mexico Airline still requires the way back ticket reconfirmation.
Once arrived in La Paz we must travel to the Pacific Coast, as I am going to explain in details, the fishing grounds chosen are in the middle of nowhere in a truly sense, nobody is living this Mexican desert outback area, we must count in a local contact capable to offer the proper service, a professional guide with logistic organization skillful who is going to establish our camping area: tents, kitchen and the main necessary needs as fuel for the boat, ice and drinking water, a local professional guide capable of make running the proper supply cause we are going to settle in the middle of the desert, 3 to 5 hours far from the first inhabited village. A professional guide able to provide such kind of service, able to organize the transportation, the camp logistic organization and run a proper supply.
Click Photo to Enlarge
Mexico is a huge country, 2 different time zones, the capital, Mexico City, time zone is -6 hours than Greenwich, Magdalena Bay and the Pacific Coat is -8 hours than Greenwich. We must remember that in most of Mexico day light saving time begins at 2:00 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in April. On the last Sunday in October areas on daylight saving time fall back to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m. local time. Central Standard Time (CST) becomes Central Daylight Time (CDT), and so forth.
Mexico is not a "dangerous" zone, no particular vaccination is required, just an important precaution: drink clean water! Avoid raw food, ice and fresh vegetable unless we are sure about their origin, as example eating in small restaurant on the city streets. Contaminated water brings intestinal infections really common on this country with severe complications. Common hygiene precautions is what we need to keep us safe and healthy.
As already explained we are going to camping in the Mexican desert outback, tents, kitchen, ice and drinking water, these are the main and only comfort available, no toilet, no running water for shower. Living many days in this hard conditions is not easy and it doesn't work for everybody, it is the price to pay for an unique experience that we will never forget. Living conditions that however can debilitate even the most strong and use to healthy body.
In my opinion a price wort to pay for a unique experience where the encounter with the game that we often dream about wont be a remote possibility.
Click Photo to Enlarge
La Paz is the main geographical point of reference, the city where we are going to lend, is the main Baja California South area airport in reach from Mexico City or other international destinations. Magdalena Bay is almost a non uninhabited area, it takes several hours by car from the first populated town to the chosen fishing grounds main area. Puerto Lopez and Puerto San Carlos are the Magdalena Bay 2 main towns, commercial harbours that serve the coast. Depending on the fishing area chosen, we have to drive first to one of these 2 Harbours, then to the chosen spot on the outback of the Mexican desert, hot sand and blue Pacific water are waiting for us, nothing else!
My point of reference for Pacific Coast and Cortez Sea is my friend Chay Ochoa and his business "seasniperbaja.com", Chay is a skillful guide capable of organize professional charters also in extreme situation as this one. We can count in Chay house as our logistic base in La Ventana bay, El Sergento small village, south - East from La Paz on the Cortez sea Coast; Magdalena Bay is located on the California Peninsula opposite side.
Click Photo to Enlarge
Going to El Sergento village takes one hour by car about from La Paz. Seasniperbaja offer the transportation service too. Chay is going to welcome the speros on La Paz airport bring them home by his huge Ford track. Magdalena Bay takes 3 to 5 hours by car from El Sergento depending on the fishing main area chosen. Moreover, once landed in La Paz, we must rest in a town where take a rest because the long journey, organize, then leave to Magdalena Bay. As already told we can not go to Magdalena Bay without a proper logistic organization, assuming indeed to count on Seasniperbaja services, from La Paz we are going to El Sergento, spending there a few days at Chay place. A couple of days to rest and may enjoy Spear fishing Cortez Sea too. Organize and decide the last details: which side of Magdalena Bay chose as main fishing area depending on Chay friends professional fishermen last days report, weather and marine conditions, etc and finally leave to the Pacific Cost and its magic spots where our camp is already established a few days early on before our arrival.
Geography, Weather, When:
Another untamed, inhospitable corner of the globe.
Settle down in the desert outback, just sand and sea, nothing else, a camping made with a proper organization must be established a few days before our arrival: comfortable tents and kitchen, ice and drinking water that local professional fishermen are going to supply every a few days, that is all we can count on, no toilet, no running water for a proper shower. Chay and his workers are professionals who runs this kind of business since several years, they build up a solid experience about Charters generally speaking and organizing Spear fishing trip with camping in the desert outback too. Our camping is going to provide us main basic comforts to leave the Mexican desert as better as possible, however living conditions will be hard because we are not use to; in my opinion a price to pay that is going to reward us with an unbelievable experience that very a few fisherman can tell about.
California Peninsula desert is characterized by its unique environment: a lonely land where huge cactus stand as solitary kings of a harsh terrain where often wind is blowing persistently, hills over there at the horizon, a land scape dried by the sun hit, an incredible view that no words can describe in all the untamed beauty. An hostile world that meets another, the windy blue Pacific waters, 2 endless dimensions that touch a long sandy bitch that stands there as an imaginary border between tho worlds where human being does not belong to.
The desert outback is characterized by an unique weather, the day hits is replaced by a temperature that suddenly drops at sun down, turning in a cold night and the following morning, temperatures drop several degrees down and we must be prepared with proper cloths that keep us worm during the night.
Winter begins in October until March, during these months the temperature changes between day and night is particularly severe, minimum temperature around 10-18 Celsius, on the desert outback it could drop even more.
March to July is spring time if we can call like that the season, the desert outback is characterized by a continental weather my summer and winter period of the year, no middle season between. The weather is always hot, temperature differences between day and night are still relevant however not severe as it happens in winter. Summer time goes until end of September, this is the hottest period of the year, the water temperature gets hot too and some species tend to avoid the hits moving to deeper areas. August until the end of September is the hurricane season, it is the only period of the year where it could rain, storms and sometime hurricane can hit the coast hardly, better to plain our trip in a different season because this is a very unpredictable period of the year. It is a very good season for spear fishing, weather is nice, almost no wind, the sea is calm, it looks like no waves at all however storms and hurricanes can hit hardly.
Generally speaking these are the main whether conditions true a year on the coast line, on the desert outback the condition could be much harder. In this area it never rain, with the hurricane season exception, the weather conditions wont never be a problem, forget about a rainy season typical of tropical locations, here the sky is blue with no clouds at all 300 days x year, the main problem will be the hard conditions of the desert outback, the suddenly temperature change between day and night and the real and main matter, the wind.
A trip organized at the beginning of winter, in November, a period of the year excellent for fishing, will be characterized by temperatures that are turning down quick, and the harsh change could be even more severe due to the desert outback environment. The October still hot temperatures will suddenly drop in changes between day and night particularly intense as it is typical of the desert where, a very hot day, is turning in a very cold night after sun set. Temperatures will drop suddenly forcing us to dress the 5 mm wet-suit after the few first days in which the 3 mm was warm enough.
The wind blow is the main problem, this could be a serious concern.
We are going to spear fishing at open sea very often, do blue water hunting required proper fishing spots as we know, pinnacles, banks. With the Pacific Coast unpredictable weather conditions changes, a nice day fishing at open sea can turn very quick because the wind. It suddenly blows stronger and stronger, turning in bigger waves in a very short period of time, over there conditions could be very unpredictable.
However the wind could be a serious treat mostly between February and May. I have completely trust on Chay and his guides skillful, they build up a solid experience about Pacific waters too, they know very well how to read the sea and weather signals, in order to anticipate and handle windy days or a suddenly change in weather conditions. Moreover, planning a trip between February and May, months in which wind could be more unpredictable, wont be a serious problem, during strong wind days we can spear fishing the protected inside of Magdalena Bay, a huge lagoon characterized by untamed and gorgeous reef, many wrecks that Chay and his skippers know very well. I already tested Chay and his skippers as Everardo or Cornelio skillful, with these seaman we can be sure that safety it will always comes as first, nothing to worry about, very experienced fishermen, they fish this waters since childhood, they know all those areas very well. Skillful seaman and capable fisherman too, they know very well what Spear fishing means, professional involved in many years Spear fishing Charters organization that can handle every situations seas trow at them and, most important, very capable fisherman that knows how to read the sea and weather signals and prevent hazardous and dangerous situations.
The Organization at Land:
As already told my point of reference for Pacific Coast and Cortez Sea is my friend Chay Ochoa
and his wife Linda, their business seasniperbaja.com.
Going to Pacific Cost, to Magdalena Bay means count in a proper logistic organization, it is impossible do without, we must count in professionals as Chay that know very well how to do Spear fishing extreme Charters as this one.
Indeed, referring to Sesniperbaja as our reference guide, once landed in La Paz, Chay will welcome us on the airport, driving by his huge Ford truck to his home where we could settle for a few days in La Ventana Bay, El Sergento small village on Cortez sea California peninsula coast.
Chay house will be our logistic base, we can spend there a couple of days, go fishing Cortez Sea and decide the last details before leaving to Magdalena Bay. About fishing on Cortez Sea, the accommodations in Chay home, El Sergento village, etc you can read the Cortez Sea article where i already explained all the details about.
Go Spear fishing in Magdalena Bay means count in a proper organization, this is an unavoidable must, I repeat the concept more than once cause we can not do without, camping in the desert outback is not a joke, a proper organization can be offer only by professionals as Seasniperbaja, seamen that build already a long time experience about such kind of unusual trip. Once in El Sergento we can decide the last details: which main fishing area once in Pacific Coast will be decided once there listening Chay friend professional fishermen reports, last days weather conditions too in order to increase as much as possible the chances of amazing encounters, indeed our camp will be settle a few day in advance by Chay worker who is going to leave first to establish the camp and every logistic details. No matter the main fishing ground chosen area our camp will be established in the desert outback, far away hours by car from the first populated town, a proper organization represented by comfortable tents, a kitchen, ice and box to store the landed games, drinking water, fuel for the boat engine and a proper supply logistic, is something that must be prepared as best because the conditions over there wont be a joke, living the Mexican desert and fishing the untamed Pacific water is an unbelievable experience that could not be accomplished without the right logistic organization, that means a trip that very a few people can experience and most of tell about.
Seasniperbaja offers this kind of service since several years already.
Chay was capable to build up a solid experience for a unique service that very a few business are capable to offer on the market. We are not talking about settle a simple camping area but how to do it in a proper way in an hostile land, far away from civilization, where harsh conditions can stand the toll of everybody. In order to offer a proper and professional service we need locals that know the zone and have experience about living in the desert outback and spear fishing generally speaking too. This is possible thank to Chay experience and locals who are working as guide for Seasniperbaja. Professional fishermen and captains of commercial vessels. Skillful sailors that be guns swimming before walking, very experienced fisherman too that know Magdalena waters in a truly sense. Due to these professionals huge experience Seasniperbaja build up an unique service, a proper organization that will care every single details to allow the best as possible living conditions in a really hostile land taking care the fishing aspects too.
Before living we can decide all the trip details, sharing e-mail between all the participants we can debate and settle every single aspects then, once there, spending a few days in El Sergento at Chay home, go spear fishing in Cortez Sea and decide the last details basing our observations referring to local professional fishermen reports and weather and sea conditions during the last days, then finally leave to Magdalena Bay where our camping area is already settle a few days before our arrival. Just desert and sea are waiting for us, nothing else....., desert, sea and an adventure that we never forget!
Magdalena Bay extends in a 250 Km wide area from Magdalena Island in the North to Margarita Island on the South. In this lonely desert location we can find 2 main towns, Puerto San Carlos and the forest North Puerto Lopez Mateos from El Serghento. We must drive to one of these 2 harbours first, it depends on the main fishing ground previously decided: Puerto San Carlos takes 3 hours about by car from El Serghento, 4-5 hours to the forest Puerto Lopez Mateos.
Beyond these 2 main tows there will be nothing else, just desert outback and blue ocean waters.
Once the main fishing ground is decided a guide will leave a couple of days before our departure, going there to settle the camping area that we will find already established and working once arrived: comfortable tents, an well equipped kitchen, gasoline for the boat engine, drinking water and ice and a proper supply thank to the local fishermen that can provide for us what we need every a few days. These are the basic and main comfort available, no toilet and no running water for shower, obviously no electric light, phone and Internet. The same guide is going to take care the camping area while we are going fishing, keep it in order and clean, preparing the games landed and cooking for us.
As folks that already experienced this kind of amazing adventure know, living the desert outback even with an excellent logistic organization, is not a joke at all. Hard conditions that could stand the tall to strong and use to bodies too. Therefore i suggest to spend there 5 days about, no more as main plane decided before. In this very lucky situation we can go back to El Sergento fishing the Cortez waters without loosing even a single holiday day. In case the hard living conditions wont be a problem to anybody, every speros are felling well without experiencing tiredness or sickness, we can decide to remain in Magdalena Bay for a longer period.
This is our holiday, we don't have to ruin it because fishing, my suggestion in this sense try to avoid every unwanted matter, sickness and bad time to anybody that could be easily avoided. On the contrary, living the desert outback hard conditions than the comfort in which we are use to, is a really small price to pay, believe me! For a life time experience that very a few fisherman can tell about, hard living conditions that can stand the tall to the strongest athlete too for a such incredible and unique adventure where we can live the nature in the truly sense, explore reef that barely now what human being means, waters that never sow tourist's where the chances to meet the dreams game wont be a remote possibility.
Sell games landed by sport gears is strictly forbidden.
Pneumatics guns alongside every other propulsion systems are not permitted, the only one allowed is the rubber gun.
It is forbidden Spear fishing at night and with scuba gears.
A sport fishing license is required, it will be issue in a few working days. With Seasniperbaja services the fishing license is include, Chay will take care after, it costs 29 $ weekly, 45$ monthly, Chay is going to pay the fees for us, we can settle the bill once there.
Some species that belong to Serranidae Family as Giant, Goliath Grouper, etc (refer to
"Reef Species Chart"), are protected species and could not be hunt.
Every given Spear fishing valuable species has a minimum number of pieces that can be hunt daily and a minimum weight allowed.
May those laws can change depending where we are Spear fishing, Pacific Coast, Cortez Sea, therefore better to be informed and periodically refresh our informations about.
An experienced guide as Chay could answer our questions about showing us in details which species we can hunt, which one are protected, how many pieces for a given species we can hunt daily and their minimum weight.
About Games Landed:
After a few fishing days most often we already end up with huge number of fish, we must live the experience and enjoy these unique waters to understand it fully, how much the Pacific Coast side is rich, it is impossible to describe it, often people do not believe when I tell about. We are living in a camping area in the middle of nowhere, Seasniperbaja organization is excellent however let be realistic, the living conditions are not easy, local fishermen can supply ice every a few days, plastic boxes that work as refrigerators with ice will be available in number and can store part of the games landed, a part will be given to fishermen who are helping our camping running and supplying, by the way store the games landed wont be easy as it works for a normal situation. Despite our attention too, hunt just the biggest games do not waste any meet, it probably wont be enough, it is incredible the quantity of fish that Pacific can provide! Therefore, because no one of us is going to spear a fish that wont be consumed, you are probably asking a logic and right question: "what about the games landed? What we are going to do exactly with all the meet considering the conditions in which we are going to live Magdalena Bay to?" As already told part of the games will be given to local fishermen that are helping us making the camp running. If the catch will be so much as often happens, we can bring home the last days games landed, enjoy them in a nice supper once back at Chay home in El Sergento, bring home with us some of meet if we like and our country laws allow to import frozen meet and most of give to the local Church and to an independent organization that is working in El Sergento with orphan children and indigent; refer to Cortez Sea article where I already explain in details what we are going to do with the fish that we can not eat.
Sea- Geography and Fauna:
Click Photo to Enlarge
No words to describe what Magdalena Bay really is, which incredible encounters could preserve. In my opinion, such rewarding experience, not only because Spear fishing itself, must be experienced at list once by everybody, we must try it to fully understand what I am felling about! However not every aspect of this unique trip are shining, once there the harsh conditions immediately will make us clearly understand that we are not welcome, that place was not made for human being! These harsh conditions in fact are preserving intact an unique place on heart, one of the sea life richest place that remains today protected by its severe environment. In order to give you a small taste about what you probably are going to enjoy, I would like to tell you a fact that Chay experienced, the welcome that Magdalena Bay gave to him one of the first time he went there. He told me about before my first trip to Mexico while we where preparing, knowing each other, sharing @mails and since then that story was an inspiration of my many dreams about that I can not simply forget.
One of the first time that Chay went to Pacific Coast, to Magdalena Bay with Conejo, I already met and enjoy this professional fisherman company and sympathy, a sailor who works as captain for commercial vessels that sail these waters. On his free time Conejo is helping Seasniperbaja cause his incredible knowledge about Magdalena Bay and these unique waters, Conejo is Chay main guide point of reference for Pacific Coast and we are talking about a professional fisherman who is an experienced spero too, definitively the best guide possible. He is truly "The Man" for this unique job, in which safety will be the first prerogative ever. They where fishing by rots at open sea, all around huge Yellow Fin Tuna schools, pelagic everywhere! However land a tuna begun to be a nearly impossible task, really hard to accomplish........ every baits was biten by striped marlin first, they did not give any chances to tunas always arriving first! Chay landed and realised 9 Marlin in an hour about before land is first Yellow Fin Tuna. Can you imagine why this real story keeps coming back on my mind as inspiration of many dreams!
Magdalena Bay unique conditions alongside the harsh terrain, preserve a perfect habitat for the giants of the blue depths. Inside the Bay water is cold, must dress the 5 mm almost 12 months a year. Miles over miles of unexplored reef, many wrecks where we can meet monster groupers, Pargo as the locals call the Cubera, and Cabrilla, another reef species that belongs to grouper family (Seranidae Family), size could be enormous!
Over there we can also spot White Sea Bass, Croacker, Halibut, Snook and Giant Barracuda. During the winter months waters are characterized by an outstanding visibility, 30 mt plus, in this season groupers use to settle in more shallow water. Inside the Magdalena Bay lagoon it is possible find real monsters in just a few mt of water ,
I am talking about Groupers that can weight 100-200 Kg. However land such power nature wont be a joke even in the Magdalena shallow, it always wont be easy land so massive fish and that must always be kept in mind in order to decrease as much as possible the chances to kill a beautiful animal for nothing, an animal that as rich a world record weight in a very long life time, 50 years, probably more.
The outside Magdalena waters are characterized by many pinnacles and banks: Thetis Bank, Potato Bank, Lusitania Bank e Petrel Bank, just a few names of know and famous spots signed on the map that locally became famous for the incredible games landed in these spots. There are many more, most of them know by locals, pinnacles and bank that are not signed on maps where nobody ever went there spear fishing, just the few local professional or very a few speros that know how to organize such unique trip as we are doing. Depending on the season, in Magdalena open water outside the bay we are going to do Bluewater fishing hunting for Yellow fin Tuna, Marlin, Wahoo, Dolphin Fish and different species of Seriola. Water at open sea is warmer than the lagoon, 5 mm wetsuit in winter time, then 3 mm for the other seasons. Over there we are at open sea in a truly sense, from Mexican coast just Pacific blue water in front of us, a completely open area where conditions could suddenly change. Always bring with you the 3 and 5 mm wetsuit just in case because conditions could be unpredictable and could change depending on a particular year too.
On the picture table is shown the best periods of the year in which there is the most concentration pick for a given species pelagic and sedentary as well. The lunar phases and their influence on the tides plays a fundamental role about games availability, most of if we are interesting in Bluewater Hunting and pelagic.If we decide to live an adventure with Seasniperbaja, the moon phases will be one of the first subject that Chay will mention, the arrival and departure dates possibly will be decided following the moon phase of the chosen month. Despite the country and the guide chosen, when we are planning our adventure we must always keep in mind this fundamental aspect deciding the dates of our holiday as far as possible form the fool moon of the chosen month.
Check Extreme "Web links"
section whereyou can find helpful sites about worldwide forecast, winds and moon phases.
The most used type of boat here is called "Panga", 230 feet about hull with powerful 90 – 150 hp engine. The boats must be put on the water and bring on shore every day. In this area, luckily in a way, there aren't any small harbor or natural landing sites where let the boat at sea. The wind can be also a serious danger too.
The coast is characterized by long beach, almost no rocks, just sandy beach, the desert that ends where the sea begins. Indeed put the boat on the water is very comfortable, it could be done from almost every beach .
The boat will travel with us from El Serghento, we can carry it easily by Chay huge Ford Track with a 6000cc engine. Moving easily with the possibility to carry the boat will allow us to move from a spot to another comfortably without loosing precious time in case we decide to cover particular fishing areas.
The Organization at Sea:
Every crew boat is made by 6 passengers maximum, counting Chay and a guide who always be on board, 4 speros are the maximum allowed number x single boat. I strongly suggested 3 passengers as speros, no more than that if possible. As already told the crew counts Chay and a local guide who will always be on board, a local professional as the boat captain and guide, a professional sailor who knows this unique waters very well, a truly seaman who build his experience as professional fishermen and captain for commercial vessels that sail the Pacific Mexican waters.
A guide who knows the area really well, we must see these guides in action to really understand their amazing skillful level, they can read every signal that the sea is trowing translating them as " find the fish" in every situation possible and I really mean that. We are talking about experienced speros too who know very well what fishing with a gun means, how a boat must behave while speros are at sea doing Bluewater Hunting. The boat will always be at sight while speros are at sea, ready in any case of emergency. We can be sure that a very experienced professional is watching about us, a seaman that always think his crew member safety as the first and most important prerogative. I already went spearfishing with Chay and these professional and I trust their experience fully.
As already told we are going to Spearfishing reef and wrecks inside the lagoon and bluewater hunting in pinnacles and bank at open sea. We can rent weights belt and floats for bluewater hunting from Seasniperbaja, asking before leaving what we exactly need, we can rent the gun and other gears too. At list flying without weight belt and solid floats will be much more comfortable and could spere us unwanted extra tax for over weight luggages. Obviously we are going to bring our fins, mask and wetsuit.
About specific details about gears: guns, bluewater hunting floats set-up, etc, you can refer to Extreme "Gear" Section where every subjects about proper gears are explained fully.
About wetsuit, especially in winter time we will need 3 and 5 mm wetsuit, for Magdalena Bay I strongly suggest to always bring both of them no matter the chosen season, just as precaution because in the Pacific Coast conditions could be really unpredictable.
About every question that you would like to ask in details fell free please to "Contact Me".