Fishing Ensenada

From calico bass to yellowtail tuna, Ensenada’s healthy array of fish attracts hundreds of fishermen to its waters.  In the Mexican state of Baja California, Ensenada is a large deepwater port that is 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.

yellowtail and dorado
yellowtail and dorado

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 reel in some bigger boys like tuna, albacore, and mahi-mahi (dorado).  The most commonly caught fish Northern Baja’s waters include:

  • Calico Bass
  • Black Sea Bass
  • Halibut
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Bigeye Tuna
  • Yellowfin Tuna
  • Bluefin Tuna
  • Albacore
  • White Fish
  • California Barracuda

Snappers and marlin are also typical catches on a good day.  Whether you come to Baja for bottom fish or to battle the sport fish, both types are in these waters.  Many fishermen also like to boat to the nearby Todos Santos 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

Sunrise view of fishing rod on charter fishing boat on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Mexico BCS
Sunrise view of fishing rod on charter fishing boat on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Mexico BCS

With such a thriving tourism industry, Ensenada has many excellent chartering companies with top-notch captains. Many—maybe even most—chartering businesses offer all-inclusive services.  The cost of your trip should 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 can research in advance the best charter for your group.

More Tips for Fishing in Ensenada

Licenses are essential for fishing. Even people in your group who spectate should procure a Baja fishing license.  Be sure to double-check with your charter service about whether or not a license comes with the 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 Trip

After a long day at sea, you’ll find that the small town of Ensenada has a lot of great restaurants.  If you’re cooking your fish, the markets have everything you need. Prepare your seafood feast from spices to fresh vegetables.  Ensenada also has many types of accommodations. You can rent a house, villa, or condo or stay in fine hotels or travel lodges.  In addition to sport fishing, Ensenada is also famous for off-roading, surfing, and more.  There’s likely something to suit every taste, making this a fantastic place to plan a vacation.

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