The tenth annual Yellow Dog Family Hosted trip took place this past June in a remote section of the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. Surrounded by desert mountains and the “Bay of Dreams”, Bahia de los Suenos was the destination for the week-long trip. Yellow Dog’s saltwater program director and co-owner, Ian Davis, and his family hosted the families, most of which have participated in this trip to the Yucatan and Belize over the past years.
Eleven families consisting of 46 guests were spread out over ten different villas and homes around this expansive and private resort. The social epicenter of the property consists of a large pool, open-air sitting areas, and direct access to the white sand beach and calm waters of the Sea of Cortez. Ian’s wife, Karen Davis, and the outfitter James Shaunessy organized daily non-angling activities, such as morning yoga classes, traditional Mexican cooking classes, snorkeling outings, swimming with sting rays and dolphins, kids’ movie night in the theater, and horseback riding on the beach.
Each day the guides greeted the anglers on the resort beach. Most were excited to target roosterfish along the beaches, which proved productive on the fly and live bait. All the pangas had cushioned seats, plenty of space for tackle, well-stocked coolers, spinning rods, lean bars, and live bait wells. Being a family-focused fishing trip, the guides were able to keep the younger anglers busy with a wide variety of fish species including roosters, jacks, huge needlefish, grouper, snapper, and to everyone’s surprise – both marlin and sailfish. These billfish were amazingly close to shore and could be teased up with regularity. Even a few of the adults landed marlin on fly, which is a small club to be a member of within the fly-fishing community! While most of the boat Captains did not have a strong grasp of the English language, they knew exactly where to find the fish, were friendly, and could communicate enough to get the job done. Many of the younger anglers even landed explosive marlin and sailfish on conventional tackle, which led to numerous photos with big smiles. Everyone caught plenty of roosters, and two monster roosters were landed that were over 50 pounds! This fishing program is ideal for anglers of all levels. Any fishing scenario where young anglers are detached from their devices, and having fun catching exotic fish, creates an ideal family bonding situation.
The families enjoyed meals in the well-appointed restaurant, a short stroll from the main resort palapa and pool. Guests ordered from a menu consisting of fresh fish, traditional Mexican dishes, and American-style offerings such as sandwiches, burgers, and fries. The bar was well-stocked with reasonably-priced beers, top-shelf spirits, and over 150 different local tequilas. The staff was super friendly and fun. After dinner each night the guests racked’em up on the two pool tables while watching the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The social highlights from the trip were the Father’s Day party with a Mariachi band, the family fun day to a remote island for an incredible picnic, and then the final night fiesta group dinner on the beach, complete with two Asada slow-cooked pigs, white table cloths, and tiki torches to aluminate the setting. Dinner was followed by fireworks and a bonfire on the beach, where the staff had set up chairs and kept the beverages flowing.
Travel was easy by flying into Cabo or La Paz. Then private transfers are arranged between the airport and the resort. Medical staff came to the resort to administer PCR covid tests for reentry back into the USA. Everyone received their results within a few hours.
Overall, this was an amazing family experience with wonderful chemistry between the families. By the end of the trip, all the kids were like the Little Rascals and formed bonds that will last until next year’s trip!
The most productive fishing seasons are the spring, early summer, and a few weeks in the fall. We strongly advise booking well in advance since the season is fairly compact.