Los Cabos Fishing
Located at the southern tip of the magnificent Baja peninsula, Cabo has been blessed with what many describe as the perfect climate. For years Cabo was the remote playground reserved solely for private yacht owners. They flocked here to be near “Marlin Alley”, as the waters around Cabo have often been described. The name is well deserved, as Cabo San Lucas is the undisputed billfish capital of the world. The waters around Los Cabos provide some of the finest sportfishing in the world. Fishing is excellent year round for marlin and many other billfish species. In addition, the rockier areas along the gulf side hold many types of groupers, sea bass, snappers, trevallies & neddle fish, while the sandy Pacific side produces largo pargo, colorado snappers, shark, jack crevelle and the ultimate surf warrior, the mighty rooster fish.
The number one fish in Cabo, the striped marlin, ranges in size from 100 to 180 pounds and occasionally gets over the 200-pound mark. Though they are present throughout the year, with peak months being May, June, December and January, 2007 catch records indicate that even in the summer months, the catch per boat varied from one to 10 fish in a single day.
Blue and black marlin frequent the waters from July to mid-November, ranging
in size from 150 to 800 pounds. It is interesting to note, though, that most of the largest fish ever caught in Los Cabos — over 1,000 pounds — were caught in months considered out of season for this species. An indication that Cabo Life is full of little surprises, and you should always be prepared!
Sailfish are fairly large in Los Cabos, weighing from 70 to 160 pounds. They appear at the same time as the blue and black marlin. Swordfish, though fewer in number, prefer the colder months of February and March. People are always surprised to hear that in Cabo we catch this species during the daytime. Most other locations require fishing at night. The largest yellow-fin tuna in the world are caught in the waters of Mexico, with day trip catches ranging from 10 to 300-plus pounds. Tuna move quickly from one location to another, so the bite tends to be less consistent.
Though you are allowed to keep one marlin or sailfish per boat, anglers are strongly encouraged to release these fish, which are considered second-rate eating fish at best.
If you’ve never tried fishing before, Cabo is the best place to get started. The crews here are very experienced and will show you exactly what to do. And, should your strength or interest wane while on the ocean, there is plenty of time for relaxing, sunbathing, absorbing the views, as well as seeing wildlife up close, such as whales, dolphins, seals, turtles and manta rays.
In the fishing world, Cabo ranks in the top five destinations on the planet, while being firmly entrenched as the number one location in the world to catch striped marlin. But media attention is attracted every year by the top fishing tournaments in the world. Bisbee’s Black and Blue, whichrecently had a record payout for first place of more than $4 million is the most attended and anticipated. However, this is not the only competition; the Los Cabos Billfish Tournament and Tuna Tournament are all held within three weeks of the main event, the IGFA World Offshore Championship is held in May, the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot is in November, and the annual Eastcape Offshore Tournamentis in July.
For more information about the customs rules regarding importing your catch into the U.S., click here and here. Make sure also to check the FDA Import Alerts List to be sure your fish isn’t listed here – if it is, you won’t be allowed to bring it into the USA.
If you’re bringing frozen fish back with you, you’ll want to contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at (301) 436-1576 if you have any additional questions. If you’re bringing a stuffed and mounted fish back with you, check with the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife at (703) 358-2104 and your airline to make sure you are fully informed of all regulations regarding, cost, duties, and limits. You can also call the Mexico Department of Fisheries with any questions – they are located in San Diego, California at (619) 233-6956.