Located on the southernmost rim of the sun-bathed Baja California Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is hailed as one of the best fishing destinations in the world and the marlin capital. With miles upon miles of scenic shoreline and relatively close proximity to Southern California, this tropical paradise is surrounded by waters that are rich with some of the best and the biggest inshore and offshore fish – anglers can look forward to everything from 5-pound mackerels to bulky 1,000-pound blue marlins found in numbers that only a few other fishing destinations can rival. No wonder sport fishing enthusiasts from all over the world are drawn to this coastal resort destination to experience the most exciting Cabo fishing adventures.
If you are ready to take a shot at the heart-pounding fishing action in Cabo San Lucas then Congratulations! You are about to experience world-class sport fishing in Mexico’s fishing capital. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, the diversity of trophy fish and competition in Cabo will surely amaze you – even a lazy day on the water can offer the opportunity to catch some of the best deep-sea fishing adventures. And when you’re ready for competition, Cabo hosts some of the largest prize purses in the world for their numerous annual fishing events. As an example, the Bisbee’s Black and Blue has historically paid out more money than any other fishing competition in the world.
With its unique geographical location where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, Cabo San Lucas provides refuge to a wide variety of fish that inhabit the surrounding waters. No matter what prize-winning catch you are tracking, Cabo San Lucas will position you for absolute fishing success. Listed below are some of the most sought-after Cabo sportfishing species that you can catch while on a fishing charter in Cabo.
Cabo San Lucas is best known for two types of Billfish: Marlin and Sailfish. Although sailfish are closely related to marlin, the Sailfish's giant sail-like dorsal fin sets them apart from their sea cousins. These giant billfish can reach a length of 11 feet and weigh up to 200 lbs. They are also known as the Usain Bolt of the sea, in that they are the fastest – they can attain speeds up to 68 mph! Their spectacular speed and massive size make them an angler’s dream.
At the same time, Cabo San Lucas is known as the “Marlin Capital of the World” and deservedly so. The beautiful blue waters of the Baja Peninsula bubble with bountiful striped, black, and blue marlins. There are more marlins caught here than anywhere else on earth! As a matter of fact, even if you are on your first fishing trip, it is not something unusual to capture one or even more of these prized sport fish. Some of the most consistent catches you will see pulled into the Marina are:
TYPES OF MARLIN
Contrary to what their name hints at, black marlins are not black at all. They are, in fact, slate blue in color and a behemoth in size. Female black marlins can reach a maximum weight of 1,000 lbs and lengths up to 15 feet. They are also crazy fast and very powerful, and represent a unique challenge for even the most experienced of anglers.
Striped marlins, also known as stripers, are the most widely encountered fishes in the waters framing Cabo San Lucas. Unlike black or blue marlins which travel solitary, these large fishes are very social and travel in schools. Stripers can reach over 13 feet in length and weigh more than 450 lbs.
Blue Marlin: One of the biggest trophy fishes in Cabo San Lucas, blue marlins can reach over 15 feet in length and tip the scales at over 1,000 lbs. These long, slender fishes are also extremely hostile and athletic, which makes it difficult to target and catch one.
Also known as mahi-mahi, dorado are one of the most targeted species in the waters around Cabo San Lucas. Dorado are distinguished by their colorful appearance – they are rich blue-green dorsally, silvery gold on the lower flanks and silvery yellow on the belly. Upon being caught and filleted, these colors start to fade rapidly.
Dorado are not as large as billfish and can only reach a maximum length of 6 feet and weigh up to 85 lbs. But their extreme agility and strength makes them one of the most challenging fishes to catch in Cabo San Lucas. While dorado fish can be caught year-round in Cabo, the best time of the year is in the summer months when the water is warmest.
The waters around Cabo San Lucas are also full of a number of tuna species, including the most famous yellowfin. As the name would lead you to believe, yellowfin can be recognized by their unmistakable yellow fins. They are often dark blue on the top of their bodies and have silver bellies.
These fish are excellent swimmers and can reach over 7 feet in length and weigh up to 400 lbs. Their nimbleness and relatively large size make them one of the most sought-after catches in Cabo San Lucas. The yellowfin tuna flocks here due to our warm waters and diverse marine life population that allows them to eat like kings.
OTHER FISH SPECIES IN CABO
Wahoo: Also known as ono, wahoo are not only very difficult to find, they are also extraordinarily fast. Second only to sailfish in terms of speed, wahoo can attain speeds of up to 50 mph. A fierce fighter, wahoos are incredibly challenging to catch and that makes them popular among thrill-seeking anglers.
Yellowtail: Yellowtail have a sleek, aerodynamic body that makes them very nimble. Even though they can reach a length of up to 8 feet and weigh up to 110 lbs., they are one of the feistiest fish in the sea.
Roosterfish: With distinctive dorsal fins resembling that of a rooster comb, roosterfish are very aggressive and (in)famous among the Cabo San Lucas fishing community for their strength and persistence.
GROUPER & SNAPPER
A number of different varieties of cabrilla (also known as grouper) and pargo (also known as snapper) can also be found in the waters surrounding Cabo San Lucas. Both groupers and snappers are also considered to be some of the most delicious fish you can catch in Cabo San Lucas. So, while catching them may not be as exciting, it is definitely rewarding. We know some of the best Groupers and Snappers are found by spearfishermen, who dive deep to find their catch. One of the best locations—although located near the deep blue and treacherous in nature due to its rocky bottom and crashing waves — is the the area in front of the Quivira lighthouse. This Pacific-side refuge provides an incredible opportunity to find schools of these two varieties that seem to be virtually untouched, as reported by many guests that have indulged in the underwater adventure. If you're interested in a different fishing adventure, talk to your Cabo Platinum concierge about organizing an amazing spearfishing tour.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR FOR SPORTFISHING IN CABO SAN LUCAS?
There is a reason that Bob Bisbee organizes his internationally acclaimed “Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Tournament” in October. Taking into consideration the fish migration patterns, water temperatures and water-current trajectory, all of the elements seem to combine for maximum large fish productivity during this time of year. It also doesn’t hurt that the water is still warm from the hot summer months. One of the best parts of this time in Cabo is that the nights begin to cool off and allow for a celebration after a long days work following a Cabo fishing adventure. Below, we will discuss which months are the best for each specific fish. And if you want an in-depth look at the best time to catch each fish in Cabo, check out our Best Time to Fish in Cabo Blog.
If you are a purist and have your eye on one particular type of fish, it is good to know what will be biting during your visit in Cabo San Lucas. Although the different bodies of water in the region are teeming with different varieties of fish, you will have more chances of catching a particular fish that you have been dreaming about if you fish during the right season… so it is worth planning your trip around the time when your 'dream catch’ is most prevalent.
A few Cabo fishing suggestions from our Concierge Team:
January to April are best for Striped Marlin
April to July is optimum for Yellowtail, Red Snapper and Grouper
August to October is a good time to find Blue Marlin
November and December are best for Wahoo and Dorado
CABO SAN LUCAS SPORTFISHING HOTSPOTS ON THE SEA OF CORTEZ
Gordo Banks: Located about 20 miles northeast of the marina, Gordo Banks is arguably the best fishing spot in all of Baja California Sur, let alone Cabo San Lucas.
Vinorama Canyon: Further north from the Gordo Banks is Vinorama Canyon, which is a great spot for some yellowtail, dorado and tuna fishing.
Santa Maria Canyon: Located off the coast of Santa Maria Beach, Santa Maria Canyon is where a trained eye can spot schools of billfish, dorado, and tuna.
1150 Bank: Located in the middle of the San Jose and San Lucas marinas, 1150 Bank is an excellent fishing spot that boasts characteristics of both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean.
San Jaime Bank: The closest bank to the 3,500-foot deep Tinaje trough, San Jaime has three incredible seamounts that rise 150 feet from the surface. This makes San Jaime Bank the go-to fishing spot for local fishermen and professional anglers alike.
Golden Gate Bank: Considered one of the best fishing spots in Cabo San Lucas, Golden Gate Bank has the undercurrent and warm temperature ideal for attracting a wide variety of species such as Dorado, Marlin, and Yellowfin.
The Lighthouse: A landmark that was originally believed to be the southernmost tip of Baja, Cabo Falso Lighthouse is now used as a point of reference for some great fishing action just 2 to 5 miles south of there. This is also home to one of the largest recorded Spearfishing catches in the Baja. Local Spearfisherman and owner of Spearfishing Baja, Niko Bolduc, captured a massive tuna miles off-shore, hung onto his line trailing the beast and was finally able to exhaust it into submission and wrestle it into his follow-boat before the craggly cliffs of Quivira.
45 Spot: Not more than two miles from the Lighthouse is the 45 Spot – a rise at the end of a 600-foot deep ledge of the Cardonal Canyon that makes for great fishing, year-round.
Finger Bank: Although it is located about 50 miles away from the marina, off the coast of Todos Santos, Finger Bank is one of the best spots in Cabo San Lucas for fishing striped marlin.
WORLD-CLASS CABO FISHING TOURNAMENTS
Sportfishing has become a huge part of Cabo San Lucas’ culture. Anglers travel from around the world to experience Baja fishing, in a town that was once dirt roads and taco stands. The resort town has evolved and now hosts some of the largest fishing tournaments in the world, throughout the year. These tournaments have extremely high payouts with winners taking home millions of dollars in prize money. What’s more? You can enter most of these tournaments with a marginal entry fee. So, if you are looking to test your skills against other experienced anglers or have always dreamed of chasing a MILLION DOLLAR fish, Cabo San Lucas is the place to do it.
MOST POPULAR FISHING TOURNAMENTS IN LOS CABOS
Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore: Hosted at the Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort, Bisbee’s East Cape tournament is part of the Bisbee's Bluewater Cup Series. The Bisbee’s Bluewater Cup offers prize money to the top three anglers in billfish, tuna and dorado categories.
Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore: The second longest running fishing event by Bob Bisbee, the Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore tournament attracts anglers and teams with their hundreds of thousands in prize money.
Stars and Stripes: Established in 1996, the Stars and Stripes fishing tournament is, in fact, a fundraiser serving the young people of Southern California as well as the Cabo San Lucas community.
Los Cabos Billfish: A fishing tournament that spans over three days, the Los Cabos Billfish tournament offers daily billfish release jackpots as well as daily jackpots for the largest tuna, wahoo, and dorado.
WON Las Cabos Tuna Jackpot: With its half a million-dollar payout, Las Cabos Tuna Jackpot, hosted by the Western Outdoor News, is one of the largest fishing tournaments in the world.
Cabo Summer Slam/Pelagic Triple Crown of Fishing Tournament: Sponsored by Pelagic – one of the world’s leading lifestyle apparel and high-performance gear brands – and with lucrative payouts over $200,000 on offer, the Cabo Summer Slam, also known as the Pelagic Triple Crown of Fishing, is ranked amongst the most high-profile fishing tournaments in Cabo San Lucas.
Bisbee’s Black and Blue: The big daddy of all fishing tournaments, Bisbee’s Black and Blue is often billed as ‘The Super Bowl of Sportfishing’ and is the longest continually operated annual fishing event in Cabo San Lucas. Although there is an admission charge of over $60,000, the winning team walks away with more than $1 Million – with the largest prize pool being closer to $4 Million! This tournament has come a long ways, considering the first tournament in 1981 was six teams fighting for a $10,000 USD purse. Now Bisbee’s Black and Blue consists of more than 150 teams, with the largest purse won in 2006 to the tune of $4,100,000 USD.
CABO SAN LUCAS FISHING CHARTERS
When an angler is ready to enjoy world-class fishing in Cabo San Lucas, hiring the best team to manage your Cabo fishing charters will provide you with an incredible fishing experience. are you considering decisions like the captain to choose, weather to focus on offshore fishing, inshore fishing, sports fishing, trolling and other factors can be overwhelming. Chartering a performance yacht with crew for sport fishing excursions will ensure one of the best fishing experiences available. Beyond the wisdom of the crew, a great fishing charter will take you to where the action is, so you can test your wits against the marine life of the fishing grounds of Baja California.
Everything you need for a memorable fishing day is on-board and ready to go when chartering with Cabo Platinum. We offer a wide variety of clean, safe and well-maintained technology-assisted, sport fishing vessels as well as pleasure cruisers, ranging from the 38-FT Mediterranean and 55-FT Navigator to 130-FT Sovereign and a 252-FT Expedition. All of our charter vessels are captained by experienced hands and meticulously maintained.
Regardless of the fishing excursion you want to indulge in during your Cabo San Lucas adventure or the number of people you are bringing with, a charter with Cabo Platinum will help you find the right solution. Considering all of the options available, your concierge will manage your interest, understand your priorities and choose a charter that will provide. Our tournament-tested captains have the knowledge and experience to ensure a successful Cabo Deep Sea fishing charter. These hand-selected professionals will help you reach the best fishing areas in the region and make your fishing experience that much more exciting. In addition, our friendly, bilingual (Spanish and English) crew onboard will provide you with valuable fishing tips and instruction, as well as permits, top-of-the-line fishing equipment and fresh live bait.
In the state of Baja California Sur, If you are fishing from the shore, you do not need a fishing license. With that consideration, Mexico has strict fishing regulations for fishing from boats! In simple terms, every person aboard a boat that has fishing equipment is legally obligated to hold a license. Regardless, this will not be a worry, as we will help you obtain your fishing license and any other Cabo-required regulatory and municipal compliance.
CABO SPORT FISHING
Whether you are looking for a Sea of Cortez tussle with the largest marine animals (such as yellowtail,
and wahoo) you can find or just our for a boat ride with beer and friends, then you are surely going to enjoy the surprises that this aquatic paradise between the Pacific and Sea of Cortez promises. With our team’s assistance, deep-sea fishing in Cabo is truly an experience of a lifetime!
When preparing your fishing trip, be sure to review our Cabo Platinum Fishing Packages. Our team has designed a menu of services that have taken all of the guess work our of planning. One package price will provide a full trip package complete with boats, chefs, transportation, groceries and more. Depending upon budget, number of people in your group, and duration of stay; our team has a variety of Cabo San Lucas fishing charter options to accommodate your needs. Considering Cabo is getting busier every day and to ensure plenty of availability for the best charter options, be sure to make reservations as far in advance as possible.