Cabo San Lucas is becoming one of the most popular tropical vacation destinations in the world. The beaches are beautiful, the water is a deep blue, and the tequila never seems to stop flowing. If you stay sober enough to walk, going around town will give you the opportunity to experience authentic Mexican cuisine. And with the strength of the U.S. dollar, this is all quite affordable.
But if you’re like me, when you’re close to water you’ve only got one thing on your mind: fishing. Sitting on the beach with a book is great, and I’ll never turn down a margarita, but how am I supposed to just sit there when I know there are fish so close I could spit on them? That’s not gonna happen. I gotta put a bend in a rod.
Well, if you’re lucky enough to bfe planning a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, you’re in luck. Not only does this place have more than enough entertainment for the average person, but it’s also a fisherman’s paradise.
The fishing in this area provides a wealth of opportunity for different types of angling, and the local guides are willing to take you out on the water for relatively cheap. In fact, if you’re brave enough and aren’t prone to seasickness, you can get a guide to take you out on a Panga for around a couple hundred bucks.
But don’t get overwhelmed with all your Cabo Fishing options. There are two things you have to do if you’re a fisherman in Cabo.
Surf Casting for Roosterfish
I have fished all over the world, for dozens of different species, using every method and tactic you can think of. I’ve fly-fished for bonefish and snook. I caught marlin, tuna, and even a 200-pound tarpon. Name a species of trout, and I’ll show you a picture of me holding one, grinning ear to ear.
With that being said, I have gone surf casting for Roosterfish in Cabo three times, for a total of approximately 15 hours, and I have caught exactly 0 fish. And, I still think it is the most fun, interesting, unique, and exciting way to fish in the world.
Let me paint you a picture.
You meet up with your guide near the beach just as the sun peaks above the morning horizon. You’re nowhere near the five-star resorts, restaurants, or nightclubs inside town- you’re in the middle of nowhere. You spooked a couple jackrabbits on the way, and your guide tells you about the time he saw a mountain lion on the beach.
Your guide tells you to load up. You step onto a 4 wheeler, release the parking break, and floor it as you try to keep up with him. The engine screams as it climbs the dunes, and the sound of crashing waves welcomes you after descending the other side. After your guide stops, you do the same, imitating his every move. He hands you a 12-foot fishing rod with an oversized spinning reel. Filling the reel is braided line at the end of which is a 14-inch lure with treble hooks attached.
“Watch this,” your guide says as he runs towards the water and you question his sanity. Standing in the ankle deep surf he quickly brings the rod behind his shoulder, bending the cartoonishly long piece of fishing equipment to the point where you’re sure it will break, before avoiding splintering the graphite by subsequently whipping the rod forward.
The lure has been launched what appears to you as a mile, but in actuality is a few hundred feet and change. Before it even hits the water, the guide turns around and sprints back towards you to avoid the crashing 10-foot wave.
When he gets back to your side he begins to reel as fast as he can. Nothing bites this time, but you don’t care. The possibility of catching anything at all is enough for this to be worth doing. But y’all aren’t targeting just any fish- you’re after Pez-Gallo.
The Roosterfish is a large, aggressive, hard fighting fish in the drum family. Basically, take your typical redfish, cross it with a sailfish, and drop it in the Pacific Ocean. You have to see them to believe fish that look like those are even real. The chance of hooking into one of these monsters will have haunt your dreams after you leave the beach and fly back home.
If you’re looking for a guide to take you out surf casting in Cabo, give my good friend Martin at Shore Fishing Baja a call. This type of fishing is a challenge, but his passion wills clients to success.
If you’re a seasoned saltwater angler, there’s chance you’ve caught a tuna before. Fishermen who fall into this category don’t need to be convinced they need to catch more of these fish. Tuna fight harder than any other fish in the ocean and are deservingly a sought after trophy.
But tuna fishing in Cabo is done a little differently, so it’s story time again.
We’re not riding ATVs today; instead you’re sitting on a fishing yacht inhaling diesel fuel. Your guide is perched above, eyes glued to binoculars. Your confusion over the situation leads to an internal dialogue within your conscience: how are binoculars going to help us find fish when the fish are under the water.
To further your bewilderment, the captain screams “birds” and hits the gas. After a few minutes, you see a tower of birds on the horizon. Thousands of them, diving into the sea, then returning to flight like plane crash footage stuck on instant replay.
The oddity doesn’t stop there, as the captain screams “PORRPPOISEEE.” You can’t contain it anymore, so you ask the deckhand why in the world are we chasing after dolphins. Unsure he even understands your English, the young man says nothing and simply points.
Then you see it.
Below the birds, beneath the foam, and between the feeding dolphins, you spot a tuna the size of a middle school shortstop. Before you even recognize the size of the beast, it erupts to the surface and out of the water, a baitfish in its mouth and drops of blood speckling its face. The sound of drag awakens you from your trance.
You grab the rod, set the hook, and strap in. What follows is a 10-minute battle that leaves your biceps bulging and calluses on your hand. You weren’t watching the clock, though, so it felt more like the second half of Old Man and The Sea.
Just as the soreness begins to fade and you realize your body is shaking from adrenaline, the reel begins to scream again. You grab the rod and get back to work.
That’s what tuna fishing is like in Cabo, and the fun keeps coming.
If you get the chance to go, nobody on Earth knows more about catching Tuna than Renegade Mike. Give him a call and reserve a trip: I promise, it’ll be an experience that you will never forget.
Fishing in Cabo
What started as a relaxing tropical vacation can quickly turn into a high-octane thrill seeking fishing trip if you’re going to Cabo San Lucas. If you get the chance to go, be sure to cross off these two bucket-list fishing experiences- you won’t regret it.
Now that you’re craving a margarita, get on the Internet a book a flight. Cheers!