Fishing from the Village of La Playita

The small village of La Playita is located one and half miles east of downtown San Jose del Cabo, adjacent to the Tropical Estuary that is fed by an endless supply of fresh water delivered by the San Jose River. The majority of the residents in this village are fishermen and has been so for many generations. There are now over 1,000 people living here, including close to 100 North Americans, who have fallen in love with the unique beauty of this little tropical paradise in Southern Baja. In recent years there has been a boom of development happening along the entire Baja Peninsula and particularly in Cabo San Lucas, where it is now becoming more and more just like another Southern Californian city. Despite the rapid growth and changes that are taking place nearby, La Playita has remained much the same as the old days and has thus retained its charm. There are no launch ramps or marina Facilities here so the only way to get boats into the water is by man power.

The type of boats used by the locals fleets are called Pangas, they are extremely seaworthy, of fiberglass construction and equipped with powerful outboard engines. They range from 18 ft. to 25 ft., but the average sport fishing panga is 22 ft. or 23 ft. Especially practical boats for launching off of the beach and through the surf, with all the luxuries of bikini tops for shade and padded seats. The beach of La Playita is ideal for launching pangas because of it being more shallow than other areas in the vicinity and the surf is more predictable. Local pangeros have .been born and raised here all their lives and are very knowledgeable of all the local offshore fishing hot spots. One of the more well known fishing grounds is the Gordo Banks and the fleet based at La Playita has an advantage in that they are located only ten miles away from this world famous area.


Anglers have the opportunity of catching a wide variety of pelagic gamefish here, including wahoo, yellowfin tuna and dorado ( mahi mahi, dolphin fish ) but perhaps the most challenging fish of all are the black and blue marlin. "These larger marlin can be taken during all the months of the year but the peak season is when the water temperature is at its warmest, July through November. Average weights of these largest members of the billfish family is 250 Ib. to 350 Ib. and every season there are several specimens that are weighed in that tip the scales at close to 1000 Ib. A common question that is asked by visiting anglers is ; Is it possible to catch such a large fish from a chartered panga? Well the answer is; Not only is it possible but it ,is quite an experience, a true hunt, quite different from being in a larger yacht that can back down on the fish for you, in a panga these marlin actually can pull you through the water at a good rate of speed for hours on end and put on a display of power that is unequaled by any other fish. In recent years there have been several marlin over 8900 lb. accounted for from these pangas and at least one. monster black marlin brought in that weighed 993 Ib.

There is also a controversial debate among big game fishermen as to which marlin is the most powerful adversary. From our experiences we have learned that both black and blue marlin can give exceptional accounts of themselves and display tireless stamina that will test the most fit of expert anglers. Blue marlin are definitely the more common species and are best known for their spectacular aerial jumping displays, which can be a disadvantage to the fish that spends too much effort on the surface and ends up actually jump themselves out of energy. Black marlin on the other hand do not jump as often as the blues do and seem to conserve their energy more. It is common for the blacks to jump but typically they will just come up a few times during the fight, unlike the blues that will sometimes come out of the water countless times. The blacks prefer to head towards the bottom and stubbornly pace themselves for the ensuing marathon.

The most popular techniques used by the local fishermen is to troll larger live baits around the vicinity of the offshore banks. Preferred baits are yellowfin tuna, bolito and skipjack. Heavy tackle is suggested and most anglers opt to use 80 Ib. main line, with reel sizes of # SOW common, capacity of at least 500 yards of line Monofilament leader of 200 Ib. to 50C Ib. test is used, with lengths of the leaders being from 12 ft. to 25 ft. Hooks sizes range from 8/0 to 12/0, depending on the particular live bail that is being trolled. Since these larger marlin are not numerous it does take great deal of patience to have the chance of one coming up on your bait or lure. At times the action does get very good and you can have many strikes in one day. The periods around the full noon can be when the big marlin are particularly active and in the feeding mood. Blue marlin have a tendency to strike artificial lures more than blacks do, who have a preference for the live bait. The sizes of the lures most commonly used are 10 to 14 inch in length and though there are endless color combinations that are available it seems that the natural bait colors have the most success, such as dorado colored green and yellow patterns, green and black, blue and purple and squid colored jigs in brown, black, and orange combos can be especially affective.

Not every angler is physically fit or experience enough to do battle with this great monsters of the Sea from a Panga, in fact most anglers are going out for there first time. For the novice blue water anglers the captains will guide you to the locations and the methods to enjoy a day of vigor's fishing in the class of 30 to 70 pounds. We encourage all of our guest to take advantage during your visit to Los Cabos to rent a Panga and spend a 1/2 day fishing out of La Playita. We are very fortunate here in Los Cabos to live along the shore of this great and abundant Sea of Cortez. This is considered the must rich and unspoiled Sea in the World.

To Make a reservation pleas contact Eric Brictson Fleet Owner/Operator Gordo Banks Pangas
Phone/Fax: 011-52-114 2-11-47
E-mail: [email protected]



It is estimated that there are about 15,000 gray whales in the world, and every year about 11,000 swim from the Bering Sea by the North Pole to the southern lagoons of Baja California, a round trip distance of 10,000 miles. This is the longest migration of any mammal in the world.

The pregnant cows start the migration in late summer, with the first wave of migrating grays passing British Columbia in early-December. They travel at about 4 knots day and night, navigating in their mysterious way. In early January they begin arriving at their chosen lagoons, Ojo. de Liebre, San Ignacio and Bahia Magdalena.

Sometimes the cows don't make it to their birthing lagoons, and newborn whales have been spotted as far north as Southern California. By mid-February cow-calf pairs can be seen everywhere. The intimate details of the whales are constantly being studied, but there's still much to learn.

In 1977, a researcher, Storro-Patterson, was fortunate to catch an up-close whale birthing. "The calf I observed surfaced and breathed several times on its own, without any assistance from the cow. The cow actually swam rapidly away from the calf at the moment of birth. After thrashing and tail lobbing for a few minutes, she returned and lifted the calf out of the water. She repeated this a few times during the next several minutes. The calf seemed very awkward and even desperate at times. It would lurch to the surface, appearing to be trying to lift itself out of the water...the calf inhaled water a few times, only to lunge and struggle more energetically at the surface. Within a period of about 30 minutes following birth, the calf calmed down, surfacing and breathing in a coordinated way."

Outside the tranquility of the birthing. lagoons is the activity going on in the open Sea around the southern tip of Baja and into the Sea of Cortez. Mating activity is in full swing with vigorous chases, tail lobbing, breaching, rolling and thrashing in the water. Bulls outnumber cows so trios are frequent with both bulls trying to mate with the cow. The love-making of a pair of forty foot whales is of stupendous proportions.

Then the bulls leave. Around February they start their migration North, even as more whales are arriving. The cows and calves linger, and by late February the calves are eager for the adventures of the open sea, so can often be sited from land and boats from both coasts of Baja California Sur. Look for the sure sign of a whale...water shooting up from their blow hole. The last cows are gone by the end of May.

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All above information is gathered from many sources and is as accurate as possible, but not necessary guaranteed. The reader of this material to verify the accuracy of the content.


Copyright 2001 Monty Bisset. All rights reserved.