Cabo Sport Fishing

Cabo Sport Fishing

The fishing in Cabo is known around the world.  It has been an excellent place for sport fishermen to vacation and enjoy the numerous types of fish that exist for several decades now.  With the hot water temperatures that exist virtually the entire year, the fishing usually remains very good with very few exceptions.  Another benefit of the increase in popularity of Cabo San Lucas fishing is the increase in English speaking fishing guides.  Most of the natives who work the fishing charter boats speak very good English and they are almost always very helpful.

Fishing Boats

Just like any other sport fishing capital, the selection of fishing boats ranges from small local pangas to luxury sportfisher yachts.  The pangas are the traditional fishing boat from the Baja peninsula and they are usually about 20 feet in length and use an outboard engine which is usually about 65 horse power.  The pangas usually have just one guide who operates the engine and does most of the other work, but sometimes on larger pangas, you might have a second guide as well.  The pangas have a large area for the live bait, and there is also some other areas where you can sit.

photo of panga fishing boat
panga fishing boat

If you are with a large group of people, you might find it more comfortable to look into getting a really big sport fisher boat that may be over 40 feet in length.  Cabo has boats that will meet anybody’s budget, you just need to select which one you want.  On the totally opposite spectrum from the panga would be a multi level fishing yacht.

sport fishing boat
large sport fishing charter boat in Cabo

Cabo Charters

The best way to get started with actually setting up a Cabo Fishing Charter is to walk down to the marina one day early on in your vacation and just start speaking to the boat captains who are down there advertising.  If you want to meat several of them, it is best to do that at about 3:00pm in the afternoon.  You might even go a bit earlier and look at the fish that are being brought back in from the current days fishing charter.  You can usually get a feel from the passengers how the day went, and you might even want to ask some simple questions about the captain and crew to get any recommendations.  The prices to charter a boat for the full day in Cabo vary considerably based on the type of boat and the time of year.  During the off season months, and especially during the summertime, prices can be less than half compared to the regular school year when more vacationers are fishing.  Expect to pay between $300-500 per day for taking out the panga fishing boats.  Fishing charters for a full day on the larger boats can run several thousands of dollars, with a 50 foot sport fisher running around $2,500 per day.  That type of boat will accommodate over 10 passengers, so if you factor in the amount of people, the prices might not be too bad for you.

Marlin Fishing

Most of the excitement when people go fishing in Cabo is geared around the striped and blue marlin.  The marlin fishing in Mexico is considered to be excellent by most people’s accounts, but there are definitely fishing charters on good boats that come back without any bites.  This is often rare, and usually the captain on a boat that is fishing for marlin is up on the deck watching the water all the time with the hopes of seeing a marlin tail.  After the captain spots a marlin, the real excitement happens.  Marlin like to eat live baitfish when possible, but that is not always how they are caught.  The different types of marlin lures that exist and have become popular over the past twenty years are now what most fisherman use.  While you are out trolling and looking for marlin, the lures allow you to move quickly over the water and to cover much more of the ocean compared to if you were dragging live bait.

Tuna Fishing

In some of the winter months, tuna fishing for both yellowfin tuna and a few other types has been excellent in the ocean off Cabo.  The tuna live in very large schools, so often when your fishing rod gets hit with a tuna, there are more to follow.  You should definitely be aware and alert, this type of fishing is very fun and these fish are the fastest fish in the ocean besides wahoo.  When you fish for the tuna in Cabo, you will probably be using live bait and trolling lures, much like you would for marlin.  The main difference though is that once you catch a single tuna, the fishing guides usually will turn off the engine and start throwing live sardines into the water to attract more of the tuna school.  Once you have a school of tuna swimming around your boat, your day of fishing will be filled with many fish caught.  As for tasty fish, tuna in most people’s opinions is the best tasting fish in Cabo.

Mahi Mahi / Dorado Fishing

Besides the marlin, the Mahi Mahi or Dorado as they are called in Mexico is the most well known.  These fish are a great fish to catch, and there are many of them in the waters off Cabo San Lucas.  They can live very close to land as well as several miles off-shore.  These fish are very fast strikers and they will go right after a live sardine or a lure if it seems like a natural bait.  Just like tuna, these fish live in schools, but their schools are often smaller than tuna.  The male dorado is called the “bull dorado” and once you have him caught on the fishing line, the rest of the fish will follow exactly what he is doing.  It is not uncommon to catch the bull dorado and then to catch five or six smaller females at the same time.  Most of the fishing charters that leave Cabo end up coming back with several dorado all year long.  They taste excellent too.