When Fish Hippie ambassadors Finn Dennis and Erik “Pickle” Christensen told us of their plans to “do the southern Baja” over a couple of weeks, we knew we couldn’t let the opportunity to document their exploits pass us by. The plan, in general, was that there was no plan other than to off-the-cuff surf, fish, and explore as they made their way down. This was music to our ears and sounded like the perfect opportunity to plug in our Spring ‘23 line. The guys would put our performance and swim styles to the test, searching out the best surf breaks and fish bites while slipping into our casual styles when they made their way into town.
As we descended over the Sea of Cortez into Loreto, BCS, the trip began to take shape, and the raw beauty and openness of the Baja were first revealed. The guys, along with our hostess Genecee, picked us up outside the single airstrip airport, and we were off and running. A couple of backseat beers were shared to start the proper Baja acclimation process, followed by a stop for waterside tacos, fresh ceviche, and some initial rough planning for the next ten days.
Our first morning was an early one. Out before dawn to San Nicolas, a couple of hours north of Loreto, for some fly casting to roosterfish or anything that would bite. Afterward, we mucked it up with locals who were in the active process of canning bonita from a pressure cooker in their front yard. Yes, bonita. After a few beers with our newfound friends, we left with a fresh can of bonita that we put to good use for tasty ceviche on our last night in Loreto a few days later.
Saying adios to Loreto, we made our way down Hwy 1 through indescribable desert mountain ranges, played roadside bongos with local kids, and settled in La Paz on the Sea of Cortez side for a short one-day and night stint. After taking in some of the local food and drink scenes, we struck off for an afternoon of snorkeling at one rated one of the best beaches in the world, Tecolote Beach. Our photographer captured classic underwater imagery in waist-deep, gin-clear warm water.
Checking the clear waters of La Paz and Tecolote off the list and leaving more new friends behind, we struck out for the Pacific side of Baja with Todos Santos and the Cerritos Beach surf break in our sights. This area being home for our ambassadors Finn and “Pickle,” we settled in quickly and went straight to beach backroads and off-grid pizza spots. We were sure we spotted Lou Diamond Phillips running a rustic open-air pizza spot nestled between the trees and cacti (it wasn’t really him, no lawsuits).
Over two days, we soaked up some sun and tequila, got in some classic surf sessions, and caught dorado 100 yards off the beach on the fly from a panga. We met up with “Pops”, Pickles’ dad, who grew up surfing the North Shore and now spends his days in Baja watching his son surf and reeling ‘em in on the regular. Don’t worry, Pops, we won’t share the rest. For this writer, you can’t beat this area anywhere in the world. Great people and an unmatched laid-back vibe. No time for dirt biking the backroads, but next time for sure.
We rounded out this epic journey with two gratuitous days in Cabo, where we wrapped the shoot around noon the day before we were scheduled to head out. We went full Kardashian the rest of the afternoon, and some of the night, hanging at the rooftop pool and bar of the Gonzo Hotel, where Pickle seems to be some folk hero, probably for all the wrong reasons.
And that was that. Memories and new friends that will hopefully last forever and a trip that, without hesitation, will be repeated in the very near future. Our experienced guides made the trip effortless, safe, and a truly life-changing experience. Baja bent is right. See for yourself, folks.