Every spring, summer and fall a few of us from both coasts spend a week panga fishing at Cerralvo Island/Punta Arena area. Yellowfin tuna, skipjack, Pacific jack crevalle, dorado, five species of pampano and snapper and rooster fish keep our rods doubled over. The food is fantastic. We have two fantastic local cooks who prepare all of our meals, but you will have to open the cooler door to get a icy cold beer. Special dietary needs? Just let us know.I have had the same cooks since 2006 and the meals get better every year. Fresh sashimi, ceviche, sushi and incredible fish tacos and even rib eye steak is typical fare. The barbecue is very busy! And the camaraderie is even better. Your single occupancy air conditioned room and our dining room with an on the beach view of Cerralvo Island and Punta Arena . makes for a casual fun atmosphere. Most everyone enthusiastically makes a date to return at the same time every year. Our season starts in April and ends in October.
What time of year is best? April and May are cooler and cooler water species like snapper, pampano, jacks and roosters are more prevalent than dorado and some of the tuna family that appear more often as the water warms.The trophy roosters have been around through our whole season for the past 4 years. June and july is when the Gulf really begins to warm up and dorado become more numerous too. Billfish start to appear along with many other species. July is about multiple species including big dorado, billfish, wahoo and multiple species of the tuna family. In August and September I expect, and usually get, many dorado, yellowfin tuna, black skipjack, true skipjack and the occasional billfish. Water temps climb close to 90+degrees F. Some anglers return after there spring or summer trip for the fall variety!
Price includes seven nights single occupancy in a beachfront lodge with daily maid service, three great meals per day with beer and soft drinks, local taxes, fishing licenses, panga fishing (two anglers) for six days, and local surf fishing in front of the hotel. Airfare, hotel transfer, bait, and tips to guides and staff are not included. Our English speaking taxi service, led by Betty Perez, will be waiting for you at the airport. Ground transportation to the panga fleet is provided by us for the entire week. See trip documents for more details.
Sit on top kayaks and SUPs to paddle near the hotel are included. If you wish, and live a short flight away, bring a small ice chest and freezer bags for transporting some of your catch home. We encourage catch and release!
Gary will provide tutelage as needed in fly fishing in the surf, and from pangas (boats). Instruction will include casting, knot tying, leader building, and fly tying or whatever you want to work on. The captains are from fishing families that have fished in Las Arenas environs for generations. Gary has built a strong relationship with them over the 32 years he has been fishing here. They are the very best fly fishing captains in the area. Learn flies and methods specifically adapted to the climate, habitats and species of this rich area on the Sea of Cortez. This is prime time for some of the best fishing at Las Arenas and Cerralvo Island, which always offers a large variety of fish to target. In the opinion of many, including me, there is no better place to fish in Baja because of all the different types of habitat-and the abundance of species. Because of our multiple opportunities to cast to fish every day, you will be a much better angler at the end of the week. But most importantly, we have fun!
La Ventana is located in an isolated area about one hour from La Paz. It is a small wind surfing village in the winter with very friendly people and a quiet atmosphere. We are right on the very fishable beach, but there is no pool, ATMs, nightclubs or mall shopping nearby. The hotel atmosphere is casual and clean. Clean (no writing or tears) US dollars are very acceptable and in common usage. For packing, gear, and transportation information see Trip Documents . Or contact Gary here and request a registration packet.
The cost of the trip per person is based on single occupancy. A fifty-percent deposit and Registration and Acceptance of Responsibility forms are required to reserve your spot. The total must be paid in full 90 days before the trip, payable in US dollars by cash, check or money order. Sorry, no credit cards accepted. These trips are first come first serve and are limited in size -and many clients now reserve a year or two in advance.
My experience in Baja and elsewhere as a flyfisher has always involved more than just fishing. I spent many years visiting different parts of Southern Baja, learning about the flora, fauna, geography, people, and their history, food and weather. Consequently I don’t feel that isolation as a tourist in a large city and driving a long distance for a fishing session works for me, and I feel that most other people who flyfish in unfamiliar parts of the world would rather have a fuller experience of the area they are visiting also. Our staff made up of local talented friendly folks. You might get to know their kids.
So what else, you may say, what can I expect?
Transportation to Baja: After you book with me and go over your packing lists and information sheets, you should book a flight (your cost) and forward your itinerary to me by email.
San Jose del Cabo: The majority of us fly into Cabo San Lucas, about two and half hours from our resort. Try to book a flight that arrives mid day and a flight that leaves in the latter half of the afternoon. This will allow you plenty of time to arrive, eat your first meal, attend a casual orientation, set up your equipment and recover from traveling. Additionally, you won’t keep fellow travelers waiting. After I receive everyone’s schedules, we put a spreadsheet together for our taxi service.Typical individual fare taxi van fare in group to the hotel will be about $40 per person each way (your cost). If you come at a odd time your individual taxi fare will be about $200 minimum each way. The driver will make a stop at a larger market so that you can purchase wine or spirits or any personal items or snacks you might want.
La Paz: The airport in the capitol city of Southern Baja is only about 45 minutes from your destination but at this time the flights are a minimum of 11 hours routed through Mexico City of Guadalajara-not worth it! If you reside in San Diego area, you can get a shuttle to TJ and fly to La Paz reasonably with Volaris Airlines.
Upon arrival your assigned room will be shown to you with a quick tour of our facilities. Dinner is served around seven PM. In the meantime rods and equipment are made ready.
Breakfast is served somewhere around 5:30 AM. After breakfast, lunches are assembled per boat from premade sandwiches or burritos, drinks etc. After breakfast we load a van, drive twenty minutes to meet our captains and fish until 1:30 or 2 PM. Snacks, refreshments and conversation and or siestas, flytying, beach fishing compromise our afternoons. WiFi is available and free.
Most of us fish barefoot and wear good shades, tropical fishing clothing, including tropical fishing gloves and a “buff”. Our bait service is already out there making bait for us and will keep us supplied.
Learning to double haul before the trip will enhance your fishing enjoyment and success, but is not essential.
Our Captains are invited over for the Friday night dinner. Before dinner is an ad hoc casting competition-captains teamed with gringos. You can cheer or participate. Lots of laughs and fun. Usually any small gifts to the captains or their kids are handed out that evening too.
We eat fresh sashimi, sushi, fish tacos and or special regional fare and other delights every night. I am often told that the trip is worth the price just for the incredible food.
Saturday morning is a late breakfast of Huevos Rancheros before the prearranged taxi service returns you to the airport.