May 2008

Our Pick For Baja-Bound Anglers

The Book We’ve Been Waiting For Is Out:

Zack Thomas’ The Angler's Guide To Trailer-Boating Baja
Towing your own boat into Baja California and exploring and fishing its wild, rich, mysterious waters on your own is an adventure in the truest sense — it never goes quite according to plan, it's a bit risky, and it requires considerable planning and preparation, but you can pretty much count on seeing and experiencing things you'll remember the rest of your life.

          But, that first trip below the border can be intimidating. Unfounded horror stories abound about corrupt cops, terrible roads, rampant theft, and "Montezuma's revenge." And, getting straight, definitive answers about things like insurance, licenses, visas and regulations can be nearly impossible.          

Covers All The ‘Brass Tacks’

Zack Thomas's new book, The Angler's Guide to Trailer-Boating Baja, dispels the common Baja myths and covers all the "brass tacks" a first-timer needs to know about — not just paperwork, but also preparing boats, trailers and tow vehicles, what parts and supplies are and aren't available below the border, driving conditions and drive times, and more.

          For those who already know the Baja ropes, the book details more than 30 launch spots, ranging from full-service marinas to remote beach launches. In addition to descriptions and photos of the launches themselves, each chapter includes complete logistical information — where to buy ice, food, and drinks; where to stay and how much it's going to cost; where to wash down your boat; which Pemex stations are most convenient for truck-trailer rigs; navigational hazards to be aware of; where to catch/buy bait, etc.          

Author Himself Wanted This Kind Of Book

"I first decided to research and write this book," Thomas says, "because I wanted a copy of it myself. Like a lot of do-it-yourself Baja guys, I was stuck in a rut. I was going down three to five times a year, but always to the places I already knew — San Quintín, Mulegé, Loreto and Mag Bay.

          "I'd been wanting for years to hit the remote Pacific coast of the Vizcaíno Peninsula, but I just couldn't find the information I needed. Were the roads really that bad? Could I launch a deep-vee 21-footer anywhere out there? Where was gas available, and how dependable was the supply? How about diesel for my truck? Should I plan to camp, or were there hotels?

          "You can get answers to those things on the Internet, but every one you get is different. Everybody's an expert in cyberspace, and you have no way of knowing who's reliable and who isn't. So I figured if I wanted a book like this, other people probably did too."

Guide Based On Firsthand Research

Everything in The Angler's Guide to Trailer-Boating Baja is the result of firsthand research. "The thing that sets this book apart," Thomas says, "is that between November 2006 and November 2007, I towed my own boat to every corner of Baja and scrounged up every scrap of information you'd need to plan a trip to any launch spot on the peninsula. I was always thinking, 'What would I want to know if I'd never been here before?'

          "Need a secure place to leave your rig for a few nights in Puerto San Carlos? Wonder what the camping is like at Ensenada de los Muertos? Looking for ice in La Bocana? Out of two-stroke oil in Santa Rosalía? Don't know where to flush your engine in Loreto? It's all in there, and it's all based on recent firsthand research."

Additional Information

  • Released March 26, 2008;
  • Book is $29.95 plus $3.50 shipping through;
  • Also available through numerous Southern California fishing tackle shops, plus Seabreeze Books and Discover Baja in San Diego, and in Phoenix, from Phoenix Fishing Supply, 4810 N 16th St. More Arizona outlets expected.
  • 320 pages, 8-3/8" x 10-7/8",
  • Updated information based on Thomas’s own trips and readers' trips is available at the Web site  —

Sample chapter, Preface, and Table of Contents are available for free at .

(As Thomas says, “Folks can read a sample chapter and the preface on my Web site, so they'll know they're not spending $30 on another sloppy and/or poorly researched "fluff piece.")

About The Author

  •     Former lead editor of Pacific Coast Sportfishing and FishRap
  • Current contributing editor to FishRap and Go Boating magazine, regular contributor to Western Outdoors
  • Member of Boating Writers International
  • Member of Outdoor Writers Association of America
  • Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of California
  • OWAC Writer of the Year 2003
  • U.S. Coast Guard-licensed Captain