From calico bass to yellowtail tuna, Ensenada’s healthy array of fish attracts hundreds of fishermen to its waters.  Located in the Mexican state of Baja California, Ensenada is revered for its large deep water port that has made it a popular cruise ship stop.  Moreover, Ensenada is a mere seventy-eight miles south of San Diego; its convenient location makes it a popular destination for Mexican vacations.  If you’re planning a fishing vacation, Ensenada should easily top your list of prime fishing locales.

The Fish

Sport fishermen love Ensenada for its plethora of fish species.  Short trips typically result in catches of yellowtail, bass, cod, bonita, and barracuda.  If you head further out to sea, you’re likely to reel in some bigger boys like tuna, albacore, and mahi-mahi (dorado).  The most commonly caught fish species in Northern Baja’s waters include calico bass, black sea bass, halibut, mahi mahi, big eye tuna, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, albacore, white fish, and California barracuda.  Snappers and marlin are also typical catches on a good day.  Whether you head to Baja California for bottom fish or to do battle with those monstrous sport fish, you’ll find plenty of both types in these local waters.  Many fishermen also like to boat to the nearby Todos Islands for sand bass and rock cod.  With more than fifty species of bottom fish in the sea around Baja California, bottom fishing is a popular pastime.

Chartering a Boat

With such a thriving tourism industry, Ensenada boasts many excellent chartering companies with boats sailed by captains who are long familiar with the fishing hot spots.  Many—maybe even most—chartering businesses offer all-inclusive services.  The cost of your trip will generally include fishing licenses and a skilled mate who will clean and fillet your catches.  Companies will usually book trips that range between a half day and full day.  Charges vary, but you’ll be able to read plenty of online reviews to help you choose a boat that’s ideally suited to you and your group.

More Tips for Fishing in Ensenada

Licenses are essential for fishing; in fact, even people in your group who simply want to hang out on the boat and soak up the sun should procure a fishing license.  Be sure to double check with your charter service about whether or not a license is included in the cost of your trip.  Also, some captains are better than others so if you find a good one – make a reservation in advance.

Making the Most of Your Ensenada Vacation

After a long day at sea, you’ll be delighted to find that the small town of Ensenada has a myriad of excellent dining venues.  If you’re cooking your catch, the markets have everything you need to prepare your seafood feast from spices to fresh vegetables.  Ensenada also boasts many types of accommodations; you can rent a house, villa, or condo or opt for a stay in one of the fine hotels or travel lodges.  In addition to sport fishing, Ensenada is also well known for other activities like off-roading, surfing, sea kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, and even whale watching.  There’s likely something to suit every taste, making this a fantastic place to plan a vacation.