Fishing in Cabo San Lucas: All You Need to Know

Studying Time: 12 minutes

We’ve heard a thousand tales about fishing in Cabo San Lucas through the years. Maybe probably the most correct of all of them is that this single, century-old quote:

9 Yellowfin Tuna, 4 over 150 kilos and the others round 100 kilos, in in the future, for 2 anglers fishing inside two miles of the shore. Repeat that for 3 days and you’ve got a fishery unequaled anyplace.” – Zane Gray, Novelist

That’s how Zane Gray, grasp storyteller and IGFA Corridor of Famer, described the sportfishing potential of Cabo San Lucas some 100 years in the past. The southern tip of Baja California has a longstanding custom of leaving its visiting anglers breathless, as anybody who has fished right here already is aware of. Irrespective of how skilled you’re, these waters will change the best way you concentrate on fishing.

A lot has modified within the area because the days of Zane’s century-old Yellowfin frenzies. In these days, the one solution to attain Baja’s fishing grounds was by setting sail and venturing south aboard your personal vessel. Since then, a complete maze of roads, airports, and accommodations has remodeled Mexico into one of many hottest trip spots on the planet.

You’d be hard-pressed to seek out many similarities between the Mexico of at present and what the nation regarded like within the Twenties. Nonetheless, we’re fairly certain that Zane Gray can be happy to know that the sportfishing grounds of Cabo San Lucas have remained nearly unaltered.

Yearly, infinite colleges of anglers flock to Cabo’s welcoming shores. However not like many different fisheries, these waters don’t appear to be affected by the crowds. Fishing in Cabo is nearly as good because it’s ever been, and we’re about to indicate you why.

Destined for Fishing

The southern tip of Baja California is world-renowned for its pristine seashores. And because of premium scuba diving places just like the El Arco rock formation, Cabo can be the favourite front-page alternative for numerous journey brochures.

Fishing in Cabo San Lucas

When most individuals take into consideration fishing in Cabo, the primary picture that involves thoughts is often a grander Marlin leaping out of the water. And for good motive; the town is house to the highest-paying Marlin match on the planet. This place has in all probability seen extra Billfish document breaks than every other location on the planet.

This child will rely as half of your every day bag restrict

Nonetheless, simply as fishing the Riviera Maya is about rather more than simply Bonefish and Allow, Cabo has a complete lot extra going for it than big Billfish. Learn on to seek out out precisely what makes Cabo San Lucas one of the crucial well-rounded fishing locations within the Pacific.

Fishing Seasons in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo doesn’t actually have a gradual season. Irrespective of should you’re an inshore angler or an offshore fisher, one thing’s at all times ready on the opposite facet of that line. Check out the seasonality for a number of the hottest native gamefish right here.

Deep Sea Fishing

Offshore fishing in Cabo is a kind of belongings you’ve obtained to see to consider. With waters rife with nearly each large sport species you may consider, and new critters coming in every month, “gradual season” appears to be a international idea in these components. Let’s see which species you may catch in these deep waters.

Fishing for Striped Marlin

For ages, Cabo San Lucas has carried the title of “The Striped Marlin Capital of the World.” A tall order for certain, however boy does Cabo have the numbers to show it. In response to, 2018 was an incredible 12 months for Stripes, with various native captains tallying greater than 50 Striped Marlin releases per day!

That’s a variety of Marlin. If you happen to’ve by no means skilled the enjoyment of catching one, all we are able to say is you’re in for a deal with. 

Recognized for his or her acrobatics, Striped Marlin are among the many most energetic fish you’ll have in your line. The sight of them leaping out of the water is one thing you’ll always remember. And if the acrobatics aren’t spectacular sufficient, simply keep watch over their our bodies. When roused, Striped Marlin will placed on a present by lighting up their stripes in sensible shades of violet!

The height season for Striped Marlin in Cabo runs from November to March, however you may catch them just about all year long. After we spoke to Jack Vitek, World File Coordinator for the IGFA, he picked Cabo as probably the greatest Marlin fisheries on the planet.

Trolling stay bait is the strategy of alternative for Striped Marlin. As most (good) guides will inform you, utilizing circle hooks is a should. Circle hooks trigger much less harm to the fish, rising its possibilities of survival post-release.

Need one thing somewhat extra hands-on? Attempt fly fishing! Catching such a strong fish with only a gentle rod in hand isn’t one thing many anglers are keen to strive. Nonetheless, to say that it’s rewarding can be an understatement. Because of the sheer variety of Stripes within the space, there’s no higher place to present this method a strive.

Different Billfish

The offshore waters of Cabo San Lucas are house to many different Billfish. One of many quickest swimmers within the ocean, the Pacific Sailfish (Pez Vela) migrates by way of the realm between January and March. Sails are fairly frequent within the 80–100 lb vary. 

After which there are the massive boys. Blue and Black Marlin usually make their look between July and October. Primarily protecting to the Pacific facet of the peninsula, these guys are frequent guests to hotspots just like the Golden Gate and San Jaime Financial institution.

Most Blue Marlin in Cabo San Lucas are males between 250 and 350 kilos. Fly fishing for a “grander” Black Marlin (over 1000 kilos) is clearly not possible, nonetheless, you would possibly need to hold an eye fixed open for “rats” –  Black Marlin weighing under 200 kilos. Anglers have reported concentrations of those fly eaters round Cabo a number of instances earlier than, so fly lovers – take discover.

Clearly, not everyone seems to be a Billfish fanatic. Fortunately, Cabo’s obtained loads of different fish roaming its waters.

Different Pelagics

Summertime in Cabo is the proper alternative to catch a Tuna or a Dorado. Yellowfins common between 8 and 30 kilos, however monsters in extra of 200 kilos aren’t unusual in any respect. Heck, anglers come down all the best way from San Diego looking for these guys.

As any seasoned deckhand will inform you, colleges of diving birds are the tried and true signal {that a} Yellowfin faculty is shut by.

Mimicking Cancun‘s seasonality, Dorado fishing peaks in July and August. Hungry Mahi usually observe baitfish colleges proper into the shallows, so don’t be too shocked in case your inshore journey ends with quite a lot of of those scrumptious fish within the bucket. Everybody’s favourite bycatch, Wahoo, patrol the realm in the course of the Summer time and Autumn months.

Dorado are a preferred catch round Cabo

Inshore fishing

Whereas most touring anglers will go offshore for his or her catch, exploiting the fertile inshore waterways is definitely simply as enjoyable. Furthermore, for households with children, this may be the proper solution to get them into fishing.


Essentially the most coveted inshore catch in these components is the Pacific Roosterfish, or because the locals name it, Pez Gallo. A member of the Jack household, the Roosterfish is endemic to the tropical waters of the Pacific and may develop in extra of 100 kilos.

Simply as Cozumel is world-renowned for its perennial Allow fishery, the waters of Cabo are brimming with Roosters. If Cabo’s guides are to be believed, the native Pez Gallo inhabitants is bigger than in every other fishery on the planet. Even Costa Rica.

True or not, there’s no denying this fish is extraordinarily enjoyable to catch. Whether or not you’re utilizing gentle sort out or catching them on the fly, Roosterfishing is a blast. Though current year-round, the most effective time to focus on Roosters is within the summertime. Roosterfish like herding colleges of baitfish in opposition to the seashores, so that is your greatest alternative to catch them. 

Sierra Mackerel

One other champion of the shallows, Sierra Mackerel, is a education fish greatest recognized for the explosive splashes it creates whereas looking. The commotion attracts the eye of assorted varieties of birds, which may function pure fishfinders. 

A typical chief might be not going to final very lengthy subsequent to Sierra’s razor-sharp tooth, so a wire is greater than really helpful.

One more reason for the Mackerel’s large reputation? It’s usually the principle ingredient in “ceviche.” This seafood delicacy is greatest served with a facet of candy potatoes, avocados or plantain, and seasoned with chili pepper and citrus juices. Bon appetit!

Jack Crevalle

Jack Crevalle, or Toro (Bull) to the locals, is maybe one of the crucial missed inshore species. Be that as it might, the Bull is thought to place up fairly a battle on the fly. December by way of July is primetime for Jack Crevalle fishing. Toros between 7 and 20 kilos are common catches, though 30-pounders aren’t unusual on an excellent day. 

Very like offshore fishing, there’s no low season for fishing the shallows round Cabo. The rocky outcroppings are an important place for concentrating on the likes of Snapper, Hogfish, or Grouper. These guys will claw their manner again into their lairs should you allow them to, so that you higher hold your guard up. 

Cabo Fishing Grounds

Fishing-wise, Cabo couldn’t have requested for a greater place. To the left, you have got the bountiful Sea of Cortez, with its heat waters teeming with fish. To the appropriate, you have got the Pacific Ocean, a venue for probably the most spectacular angling you’ll ever see.

Each choices boast equally thrilling prospects for angling. Though you’re by no means going to discover a line that separates the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific, the disparities between the 2 fisheries are greater than apparent.

Let’s have a rundown of the most important hotspots all sides has to supply. We’ll cowl species and seasonalities for every of those locales in order that when the time involves moist your line, you’ll know precisely the place to move.

The Sea of Cortez

The Sea of Cortez is house to one of the crucial various marine ecosystems on the planet. Over 5,000 species of invertebrates and numerous colleges of alluring baitfish stay in these temperate waters. Critters like Shrimp, Squid, Herring, Sardines, and Mackerel swim right here of their tens of millions.

To you, that may not sound like a lot, however to the native sport fish, that’s like a feast in a 5-star restaurant. Near shore, you’ll discover loads of Roosterfish, Snapper and Amberjack. Just a bit additional out, issues get critical with offshore stars like Wahoo, Dorado, Tuna, Sailfish and Marlin.

Gordo Banks

Appropriately dubbed the “Wahoo Banks,” this has historically been one of the crucial widespread fisheries in all of Baja California. Doubling as a terrific snorkeling web site, this fishing gem is as shut as 5 miles from the shoreline. Positioned to the southeast of Cabo, the Gordo Banks are literally two fishing spots: the Inside and Outer Gordo Banks. 

The previous lie inside straightforward attain of native pangas – sturdy (and low-cost) open skiffs ranging in dimension between 20 and 28 ft.

The Outer Gordo Banks (about 10 miles out) are among the many most efficient spots within the space. Right here, you may catch your fill of Dorado, Wahoo, Yellowtail, Jacks, Pargo, and Grouper. Huge sport anglers can anticipate to catch Tuna, Marlin, and Sailfish. 

Peak migration instances often happen between April and November. Nonetheless, due to the close by Sierra Madre mountain vary, large winds aren’t that frequent. This permits good fishing alternatives in the course of the low season as effectively.

1150 Financial institution

For these decided to not go away Cabo with no story to inform, the 1150 Financial institution is the proper alternative. The financial institution lies 20 to 25 miles offshore, and sports activities a profitable mixture of underwater buildings and baitfish, preferrred for large sport fishing. An excellent spot for each Marlin and Tuna, the 1150 is repeatedly frequented by a number of species of Sharks as effectively, notably the Mako.

Santa Maria Canyon

Just a little nearer to house, Santa Maria Canyon lies 9 miles due south of Cabo. The canyon is a standard gathering place for Dorado, Tuna, and Billfish. Because of its proximity to Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo, the Canyon is a good alternative for when the seas are tough.

Vinorama Canyon

There’s rather more to fishing within the Gulf of California than heavy-duty trolling for Billfish. Nowhere is that extra obvious than across the Vinorama Canyon. Located northeast from the Gordo Banks, this canyon does require an extended boat journey. However boy, is that this place value it.

Faculties of Yellowtail mark the start of the 12 months at Vinorama, with Dorado and Tuna taking up in early spring. What units this place aside is you could catch a great deal of reef fish right here as effectively. Snappers come right here all year long, so should you’re HEADING to Vinorama, get your coolers prepared.

The Pacific Ocean

Take a proper from Cabo, and also you’ll shortly end up in the course of the open ocean. Right here, the Pacific currents convey the massive and highly effective of the sport fish world. As many as 70 world information had been set in these very waters.The most effective Cabo San Lucas fishing spots within the Pacific are:

45 Spot and the Cardonal Canyon

Simply 6 miles west of the well-known El Arco, the 45 Spot lies on the tail of a 600′ ledge of the Cardonal Canyon. The wonderful thing about this spot is the ocean flooring plummets to virtually 3,000 ft, permitting for some really spectacular large sport fishing. 

San Jaime Financial institution

If you happen to ever wished to fish in waters 3,500 ft deep, that is your probability. Positioned on the edges of the Tinaje Trough to the northwest of Cabo, San Jaime Financial institution is an underwater plateau that includes 3 seamounts which rise as much as 150 ft. These seamounts lure education baitfish, which, in flip, appeal to nice numbers of Tuna and Marlin.

That is Grander (1,000+ lb Marlin) territory, so that you higher convey your A-game if you wish to catch these Billfish right here. 

Golden Gate Financial institution

Stationed north of San Jaime on the opposite finish of the Tinaje Trough, Golden Gate Financial institution is usually thought-about probably the greatest Striped Marlin hotspots in all of Mexico. Right here, the Striper chunk is historically crimson scorching throughout winter and early spring. 

For these of you who’d wish to have their cake and eat it too, this is without doubt one of the greatest spots for Yellowfin Tuna fishing. Yellowfins over 100 kilos are frequent across the financial institution, and you may catch them from September by way of December.

Finger Financial institution

If you happen to’re the kind of person who finds the prospect of double-digit billfish motion interesting, you would possibly need to take a look at the Finger Financial institution. The financial institution lies 50 miles from the Cabo San Lucas marina, and is a quintessential Marlin fishery. 

To succeed in it, you’ll have to go previous San Jaime and Golden Gate Banks. It’s a protracted voyage, and one which not a variety of anglers are keen to embark on. Nonetheless, Finger Financial institution is exactly the place the vast majority of these 100-Striper-a-day outings occurred. Give it some thought. Sure, you’ll spend an extended time getting on the market, however this place gives you 10 days value of fishing on a single outing!

Fishing Rules in Cabo

The waters of the Mexican Pacific boast a formidable variety of each offshore pelagics and bragworthy inshore fish. Earlier than you may wrestle one among these guys, you’re going to wish a fishing allow. By regulation, any non-resident older than 16 wants a sound Mexican Sportfishing License to fish from a vessel.

Roosterfishing inshore, deep dropping for Snapper, or in a single day runs for Marlin all fall below the identical algorithm put ahead by Conapesca.

The Marina in Cabo San Lucas

If you happen to’re reserving a fishing constitution slightly than working the boat your self, there’s an opportunity that your captain will cowl the license for you. The bigger vessels usually tend to function on this manner in comparison with the smaller pangas. Nonetheless, to keep away from any disagreeable surprises on the day of the journey, it’s best to be certain that to ask your information whether or not the licenses are lined or not.

In case your license will not be included, you may simply buy one on-line. The permits value round $11 per day, $21 per week, $30 for a full month, or $38 for an annual fishing license. Fishing from the shore doesn’t require a license. Nonetheless, you need to hold a secure distance of at the very least 250 meters (round 800 ft) from any swimmers. 

So far as different rules are involved, chances are you’ll solely have a single rod within the water at a time. For backside fishing, chances are you’ll use as much as 4 hooks on a solo vertical line.

Bag Limits

A every day bag restrict in Mexico is 10 fish per particular person, with a number of exceptions. You higher get your calculators out for this one. You could hold not more than 5 specimens of a single species, and just one Billfish. That implies that a single Marlin, Sailfish, or Swordfish rely as half of your every day restrict. 

Equally, you may’t boat greater than two Mahi, Roosterfish, Tarpon, or Shad, which additionally quantity to half of the every day restrict.

In different phrases, though chances are you’ll land as much as 10 fish in a single day, it’s crucial to notice which fish these are. Theoretically, you max out your restrict out by catching a single Marlin and two Dorados. Or simply by catching a Sailfish and a Swordfish.

After all, so long as you apply catch and launch, you may have as a lot enjoyable as you need. In actual fact, many native captains advocate catch and launch fishing, particularly for Billfish. Conservation is an enormous deal round right here. It’s truly one of many major explanation why the fishery was in a position to retain its premier standing for thus lengthy.

Catch and launch fishing is an enormous deal in Cabo

The Earlier than and After

Cabo San Lucas is a kind of locations each touring angler ought to have on their bucket listing. Few fisheries on the planet will allow you to expertise a lot, so shortly.

With offshore monsters and inshore fighters aplenty, this place doesn’t make you select between high quality and amount. As an alternative, Cabo allows you to brazenly discover its plentiful waterways, irrespective of if you determine to take action.

By the point you’re finished, this fishing city will see you off as a totally totally different angler. And people bragging tales you’ll have certain gained’t harm, both.

Acquired questions on fishing in Cabo San Lucas?

Don’t know which rod to convey, the place to purchase the most effective inshore lures in Cabo, or questioning about the most effective time to go after that Grander Marlin? Don’t hesitate to ask! We’re at all times comfortable to debate fishing in Cabo.

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