|Mag Bay Adventure|
The world’s best striped marlin fishing may be right at your doorstep.
By Rick Gaffney — March 2002
They say that dozens of striped marlin per day is an average catch, and some boats report releasing more than 50 billfish in a single day. Others report even more. Magdalena Bay, on the Pacific coast of Baja California, has long had a reputation for being the ultimate destination for striped marlin fishing, which is why I’d jumped at the chance to visit there when Tom Ellsworth, Riviera Yachts’ San Diego dealer, invited me to take a closer look. We met in Cabo San Lucas, at the southernmost tip of the long, arthritic digit known as Baja California, and after the setting sun had painted extraordinary pastels in the sky behind Cabo’s famed arch, we clambered aboard Team Riviera and cast off for the roughly 250-NM trip north.
It was immediately apparent that our 43 Riviera would be an excellent vehicle for our adventure. Solidly built, ergonomically practical, and well-thought-out, she has the range, accommodations, and open-ocean capability to run hard and fish effectively for several days. Powered by a pair of 635-hp Cummins QSM-11 diesels, our 43 had all the speed we could use. As I would learn over the next few days, that power, along with Twin Disc electronic controls, provide remarkably agile maneuvering, especially in the thick of the striper bite.
A smoky gray dawn opened the next day, and at first light we hung out some lures and started fishing while still south of our intended destination. As we neared Islas Magdalena, the radio was crackling with input from skippers who appeared to be racking up impressive catch numbers on other boats. We spoke to Capt. Rich Hamilton, who was delivering the 73-foot Knight & Carver Mil-So-Mar to Cabo with some friends from the San Diego Marlin Club when they were hijacked by packs of striped marlin.
This article originally appeared in the February 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.