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Subscriber Glen Colton says windy weather and a near-absence of bait made for less than ideal conditions during an otherwise enjoyable hosted trip he took to Baja this past May with Gary Bulla (, a noted angler and trip organizer in Southern California. “The anglers I traveled to Baja with were all great guys,” Colton writes, noting Bulla limits his groups to nine people. “Our trip based in La Venta was an excellent all-inclusive experience. The food was great, the accommodations were good, and the guides were excellent. The whole thing was well worth the money, despite the fishing being pretty slow due to the wind and lack of bait.”

Colton says he struck out on his target species for the trip, roosterfish, but he did catch 20 dorado on the fly, as well as a variety of reef fish. He says all of the fishing was with fly rods from pangas assisted by chumming with bait.

Ten- and 12-wt. rods predominated, with members of the group at various times using floating, intermediate, and fast-sinking lines. They used flies that would imitate the bait available, which turned out to be ballyhoo. Crease flies, airheads, and other patterns with olive over white were popular, with some anglers switching to Clouser patterns for reef fish. Bait was very scarce, Colton says, with no sardinas at all available. For chum, they had to turn to ballyhoo, but even that was limited for two days. What rescued the fishing was the presence of some big schools of dorado.

“This was my first time seriously targeting roosterfish and dorado from a panga,” Colton writes. “It was quite a learning experience. While the fishing was pretty slow for everyone, it did turn on the last few days, especially for dorado, when the wind calmed and some bait appeared. There were roosters around, but getting them is quite dependent on having bait—especially sardines. Several of the anglers were return clients who had experienced great fishing on previous trips, including getting several roosterfish.

Colton concludes saying he would recommend this trip to fellow subscribers. He gives the cost of it as $2,600.

Postscript: Has anyone else fished Baja with Gary Bulla? In the “About” section of his website, Bulla says that several months a year he hosts bluewater fly fishing panga trips out of Punta Arenas/Cerralvo Island (Jacques Cousteau Island) in the Sea of Cortez. In addition, he guides kayak fly fishing trips to Magdalena Island, Espiritu Santo Island, and San José Island. A place on our Subscriber Honor Roll awaits the first angler who books one of his kayak fishing trips. Anyone game?

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