Turtle Bay To Magdalena Bay

By Chris Foster 3/4/19

I awoke to the starting of the engines on Friday morning in Turtle Bay.  Some very low clouds framed the nearby hillsides where they met the sea.  The bright sun shining under the dark clouds made for some fantastic light.

About 1:00 we pulled into Bahia Asuncion about 65 NM to the south.  The village of Asunción is fairlysizable mostly without vegetation.  Quite a few small houses and buildings ran up the hillside and along the beach.  Pangas were moored just offshore.  There appears to be a canning operation there.  We pulled in as close as possible trying to catch a digital cell signal with no luck.  (Posting the blog would have to wait another day…). The sun was shining, however a chilly wind whipped across the bay forcing us out of the shade and into the sun wherever we could find it aboard.

An hour later we were back offshore headed south toward Mag Bay in seas with medium chop.  Alex re-took the helm and the rest of us found somewhere to enjoy an afternoon nap.

Sashimi Made From Bonita??

Near sunset Tebe brought out a fabulous serving of sashimi that he made up from a Bonita that we had hooked up the previous day.  To date it had been our practice to throw any Bonita back considering them a very low grade tuna, however this time we had bleed the fish and put it on ice immediately. We were all surprised just how great it looked (like sushi grade Blue Fin) and tasted. Needless to say, we served it with Black River Caviar!

Saturday. As I went upstairs just after dawn the next morning, Tebe was at the helm and Alex was in his usual nighttime spot on the pilot house sofa just behind. No incidents to report.

Aerial Photo and Underwater Geographic Map of Thetis Bank and Mag Bay
Ted and Roger in Front of a Deck Full of Wahoo Aboard Coastal Estate in Nov. 2017 Off of The Thetis Bank

The Thetus Bank lays just to the west of Santa Maria Cove about 20 miles north of Mag Bay with the bottom raising from 2000+ to about 135 feet below sea level.  We have had great luck on the bank in years past (last year we pulled in about 25 marlin and 5 wahoo within a 24 hr period in the area), so notwithstanding that we are in the “off” season , we decided to troll and make some stops to jig. No real luck this year though.

Aerial Map Of Mag Bay (From Mexico Boating Guide)

Magdalena Bay Saturday Afternoon

Mag Bay is on the south west pacific coast of Baja about 245 miles south of Turtle Bay and 160 miles north of Cabo San Lucas. The abundant life just outside and within this huge bay (about the size of San Francisco Bay) is remarkable.

Tricky Navigation In Mag Bay (From Mexico Boating Guide)

As in years past, we headed in the bay and up the mangrove river. Navigation in Mag Bay can be a bit tricky as there are numerous shoals and the channel takes many turns.

The mangrove rivers are one of the coolest parts of the bay providing endless hours of exploring and small tackle fishing for Bass, Snook, Jacks and many other species of fish.

The best fishing takes place when the tide is moving, and boy does it move! Tebe, Alex and I took off in the tender as soon as we could get it down after anchoring. The first few casts in some of our favorite spots turned up nothing, but then they hit!

Dinghy Trips Up The River Inevitably Lead To Grounding Incidents. Here, Alex Had To Get Out To Push…

The mangrove rivers provide many small tackle fishing opportunities. The Leather Jack bite was wide open with a hit on almost every cast.

Embajadore Anchored in Mangrove River Next To a Beautiful Sand Dune. (Photo Taken By Alex From His Drone Flying Overhead)

Another amazing aspect of the mangrove rivers are the sand dunes. We anchored next to this one.


MOn Monday morning we decided to move Embajador to a new anchorage in another finger of the river closer to Puerto San Carlos.  This is a dusty and not so scenic town catering to fishermen, whale watchers, shrimpers and fish processing.  The town regularly floods with a rising tide so there is plenty of mud everywhere.  Still, there are services there including a couple of hotels, gas station, and diesel available from the pier (when the pumps are working).

Pulling up and tying to the pier is a bit risky as it is designed to accommodate (dirty and smelly) shrimp boats, covered with guano deposited by the numerous birds feeding on sardines being unloaded for processing, etc.  At low tide the pier is very high and requires some gymnastics to climb onto.  Often one must climb over other boats tied to the pier before you.  The guidebooks offer a word of warning, “Never allow a rusting shrimp boat to tie outside your boat at the pier”.

We all pretty much stayed inside to boat hiding from the wind for the afternoon. Roger did go for a paddle on the sea kayak.

That night Tebe prepared a spaghetti dinner during which we all discussed the 2-day transit plan toward Puerto Vallarta. There was much controversy as to whether or not we should make a stop in Cabo San Lucas.

Follow us and our travels at www.embajadoradventure.com and check out our other posts.

Buy some Black River Caviar at: www.blackrivercaviar.com to keep us in tortillas down here!

Categories: Destinations, Fishing, FoodTags: , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I love all the maps which allow the reader to have a point of reference. Nice work on all the details in this post from personal pictures to area pictures and maps.

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