Catching More than Rays in Mexico
Spearfishing is one of the most primal ways to put meat on the table, and you can’t find many places better suited for an undersea hunt than Baja California. With its gin-clear water and plentiful sea life, Baja is a sport-fishing paradise. Several world-record catches have been landed here, and the variety of blue water species such as wahoo, amberjack, yellow-fin tuna, dorado, and billfish, and reef dwellers such as pargo and cabrilla, keep spearfishers coming back to Baja year after year to partake in the spirited, often hair-raising contest between man and fish.
La Paz enjoys a well-earned reputation as a sportsman’s paradise, and is a prime spot for beginning a seafaring adventure. It can be reached by air from a number of North American cities or, for hard-core adventurers with time on their hands, it’s a few days drive south of the U.S. and Mexico border through the ruggedly beautiful Baja California peninsula. (Some folks fly into San Jose del Cabo, then charter a flight or drive the 2–3 hr. trek to La Paz.) Visitors can choose from a number of good hotels in La Paz, or arrange for a live-aboard experience, where your entire stay takes place on a boat. With a live-aboard, you can travel to more distant fishing spots and choose whether to spend the day fishing, kayaking, diving, or simply relaxing on the beach.
One of the many advantages to this kind of adventure travel is, of course, dining on the day’s catch. Add to that the knowledge that spearfishing is an environmentally sustainable means of fishing that doesn’t contribute to the depletion of fisheries, and you’ve got a meal you can feel good about.
Don’t be dismayed if the fishing—or your aim—isn’t good. La Paz has plenty of active pursuits to keep adventurers happy. Sea kayaking, whale-watching, and hiking are popular options, and a large colony of sea lions on Los Isolotes just north of La Paz will be happy to keep you entertained. —ML
La Paz Tourism Board ( 612/122-5939; www.vivalapaz.com).
When to Go: Apr–Nov.