120 VOLTS HOOKED TO A FLY
By Jose Wejebe
Back about 23 years ago, I had the good fortune to fish out of Cabo San Lucas. It was then that I first heard about Magdalene Bay. Mag Bay lies about 160 miles up from Cabo and we were told it was virtually unfished, but because of logistics it was impossible for us to get to at the time. Ever since then, I’ve dreamed about getting on a boat, living aboard it and fishing the waters off Mag Bay. Twenty-three years later, I finally got to do just that.
We left Cabo before first light and some 60 miles later came across a huge log in the water. It was loaded with dorado! We started by throwing plugs and captured some up to 20 lbs. The fish stayed with us and it’s for just these times that I keep some fly rods rigged. The GLX Mega 10/11 was perfect and I was able to throw some of the larger popping bugs and fight some of the bigger fish that came along.
The most impressive part, though, was getting in the water and filming the life around that log. Seeing schools of yellow fin tuna in the depths, then looking up at the log surrounded by a school of dorado so vast you couldn’t see past it is a sight that defies description.
Finally, after a few days of traveling and fishing estuaries along gorgeous remote beaches, we reached our destination. The striped marlin run at Mag Bay.The first day was phenomenal. We caught II stripers. The fishing was so good that the film crew caught the last two and I got some great underwater shots of these striking neon purple-and-blue fish.
Marlin have a phosphorous pigment in their skin that lights up when they get excited. The best way to describe it is to say they look like someone plugged them into a wall socket. They’re actually glowing when they come to the boat.
But the ultimate was fly fishing for these 60 to l70-lb monsters. We’d troll bookless teasers made with dolphin belly baits until the fish came up, and then yank the baits out of the marlins- mouths, teasing them up to the back of the boat. Now imagine a fish that’s glowing neon blue, that weighs over 100 pounds, and that’s really angry at having his lunch get away from him. This is about the time you cast your fly.
When first hooked, these fish shake their heads, and then it’s off to the races with grey hounding jumps, sometimes as many as 20 in a row. Inevitably they go deep for a while until you basically manhandle them back up. In the end you grab them by the bill, hold them up for a quick picture and release them.
After wanting to do a trip like this for so long, longing to see a fishery that few people have witnessed, I can’t tell you how gratifying it was to finally do it and have it turn out to be everything I’d hoped it would be.
To look down in that water and see those amazingly beautiful fish at the end of my line made this one of the most unforgettable trips I’ll ever take.