The first time I fished Baja California was in the mid 80’s. Loreto was a small fishing village back then and was just starting to get popular with fly anglers. I have been back there a few times and have seen it grow and become more popular. I have wanted the boys to experience the famed pull and aerobatics of the dorado so we booked a trip there pre Covid but decided to cancel due to a certain angler that frequents the place. Our fly fishing club in Chico has been going multiple times a year to a place called La Ventana. I have heard their stories and have seen their pictures for years. This year I could not wait any longer so the boys and I, Meng and Jerry, booked with Palapas Ventana. Our main contact was Fabi. She manages the “resort” and was very helpful in answering all the questions we had.
The accommodations were good and the A/C was cold. That part was important! I would have rated this trip one of the best all around trips I’ve ever been on except we were very disappointed with the food. We all love Mexican food so it would not have been difficult to please us. I would say it was mediocre at best. The main issue was they overcooked all the fish they served. We were expecting maybe a shrimp dinner one night or maybe a lobster ( we would have paid extra if we were asked) but we had no such delicacies. We did have the kitchen prepare our catch for fresh mahi sashimi every night for appetizers and that basically made our dinners better.
Meng and Jerry fished with a couple of really good guides. The boys and I had “novice” guide the first day and then a really good guide the next 2 days, then a not so good guide the 4th day and then back to the really good guide the last day. The good news is, the fishing was so red hot that we caught plenty of dorado even with the bad guides. If the fishing was tough, the two not so good guides might have struggled.
Now…to the fishing. Did I mention the fishing was red hot? It was the best dorado fishing we’ve ever experienced. The sheer numbers of fish and their willingness to eat our offerings were mind boggling. After the morning session of non stop dorado action, we would change it up and go look for roosters. We found roosters everyday but the really big ones eluded us. Even with live bait.
The fishing was good from the get go and by the morning of the last day, I had thought there’s really no way it could get any better. Boy was I wrong. That morning was the calmest of the week and the dorado where on the chew big time. There was almost no need to throw sardinas at them. They were eating any fly thrown at them and with a vengeance. We had 3 rods bent in our boat just about all morning. The average fish was also larger which made for a spectacular way to end our trip.
During the final dorado mayhem, Michael had a tangle in his line after he cast. He only saw a needle fish around his offering so he continued to detangle his line when all of a sudden a big dorado grabbed the bait and jerked the rod and reel out of his hand and overboard. We were all stunned as we watched the reel scoot away just under the surface. I don’t think he’ll make that mistake again but we’ll have something to talk about for years LOL!
If I were to rate this trip just on the fishing, it would easily be a 10. Outstanding fishing for 5 days straight with great weather is rare. I would say fishing the Sapsuk for silvers was the same scenario. Outstanding fishing with great weather all week is unheard of on the Aleutian Peninsula. Hope my luck continues.
Getting the Syns together along with my brother from another mother (Jerry) was a highlight of the trip. We are not getting any younger and I hope we stay healthy enough to do trips like this many times. Lots of memories made.
Back to fishing the lakes and rivers around here….which seems anticlimactic.
THINGS TO REMEMBER FOR NEXT TIME:
40# or more leader
Extra SS swivels
Stronger SS snaps
Extra Band Aids and medical tape.
Stouter travel rods
More plastic/rubber baits.
Longer connection time during layover (no customs in SJD)
Soft sided ice chest for fish (Yeti Panga 50 or 75 is good)