Fishing Baja California: The travel
What has become an annual trip to Baja California was delayed a couple months this year. Instead of going in April, as we had done last year, the group of anglers I went with settled on a date in June.
Our destination was an area on the Sea of Cortez called the East Cape. This is a legendary fishing area made famous by Zane Grey and Ernest Hemmingway. The resort where we stay is Rancho Leonero, a small hotel that is a bit difficult to find since it is off the beaten path. It caters to fishermen and those seeking solitude.
Rancho Leonero is about an hour to an hour-and-a-half drive northeast from the airport at San Jose del Cabo. It is located off of Mexican 1, Baja’s main road. You get there by taking a dirt road about seven miles to the oceanfront location.
Once at Rancho Leonero, you will be greeted by a warm and friendly staff. I noticed that the staff was the same that was there last year, so turnover is apparently not a problem. Getting to know the staff is very easy. They are all so helpful and friendly.
Because there was a tournament going on during our stay, the only rooms that were available were the more expensive bungalows. This made our trip a bit more expensive, but the rooms were well worth the extra cost. Each bungalow has a private covered porch area with a peek view of the Sea of Cortez, and it’s a perfect place to get together to rig up you gear or to have a drink and relax.
At the resort, your room cost includes three meals a day. The meals are very good. We had some of the best Mexican food any of us had experienced. The staff will also prepare fish that you catch and serve it if you give them some advanced preparation time. We had them make ceviche, and grill up various other fishes during our stay. This was all terrific as well.
The weather during our trip was pretty warm. It never seemed to get below the mid-70s at night, even with the air conditioning on in the room. Daytime temperatures were mostly in the 90s, although we had a couple days in the 100s. These temperatures felt pretty good with the cooler temperatures that we had been experiencing prior to our departure from Tahoe.
We caught a flight out of Sacramento on Mexicana airlines. We flew Frontier last year and it was a great flight; however, Frontier cut the service to Cabo so we were forced to go elsewhere. We were a bit concerned with all of the additional costs being levied by other airlines that we would show up at the airport and be hit with additional charges.
As it turned out, the only change was in the amount of baggage that we could bring. We were originally told that we could bring two bags at 60 pounds each, and this was later changed to 50 pounds per bag. For a week-long trip, this was no problem. Both my bags were way under this weight restriction. The others had no problem, either.
The leg room on the flight down was not as good as that on Frontier’s flight the previous year, but we did get an in-flight meal and the open bar was nice if you are so inclined. All in all, it was a good flight that only takes around three hours from Sacramento.
I checked through two bags and carried on my reel bag and two of my fly rods. One of my friends carried on my other two fly rods. Since these represent my largest investment, I did not want to risk losing them. I would suggest bringing travel rods in either a three- or four-piece model. The four piece ones certainly make things easier. You will pay a premium for these rods, but the extra cost is well worth it if you travel much for fishing.
Next week, I will get into the fishing itself and the varied catch. It was certainly the best trip we have had to this destination.
Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.