Los Cabos is located at the end of the Baja California Peninsula, and has become a mecca for sportfishing lovers around the world. Once a sleepy fishing village, Los Cabos has evolved into a thriving city attracting visitors from around the world to test their luck on these astounding waters filled with a wide range of species pretty close to shore. Due to the singular combination of the cold currents of the Pacific Ocean meeting the warm, nutrient-filled waters of the Sea of Cortez, this world-class fishing destination has become renowned for its record breaking catches.
While some prefer to venture on a boating journey from San Diego, we highly recommend flying in and renting a charter for your fishing experience. There is a variety of charters offering services from 20 foot-long pangas (small boats) up to luxurious yachts, for 3 or even 12 passengers. Many of them operate directly from the Marina, which is located downtown Los Cabos and is completely state of the art, featuring security, shops, fuel docks, launch ramps, basically everything you need for your journey. Some of the most recognized charters include, Awesome Sportfishing, Cabo Magic Sportfishing, Fiesta Sportfishing, and Picante Bluewater Sportfishing.
You can choose between half day, full day, and multi-day excursions. When renting a charter, it typically includes, the boat, a crew, local taxes, rods, lures, reels, ice, and if you’re renting a luxurious yacht, expect state of the art equipment, and they sometimes even include a private chef. Normally, tipping and bait are not included.
Los Cabos is famous for its vast variety of species. In these waters more marlin is caught offshore than anywhere else in the world. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll be able to catch marlin even if you’re not an experienced fisher. Tuna is also prevalent, as large as 100 pounders. Some other species which can be caught include snapper, striped marlin, yellowfin tuna, mahi-mahi, sailfish, wahoo, yellowtail, shark, dorado, pargo, roosterfish, and cabrilla.
You can expect the best offshore action from May to November, however you can always expect an amazing fishing experience year-round. It is sunny basically 365 days a year in Los Cabos, so there are no worries that your fishing trip could be cancelled. During the winter, temperatures range from mid 60s to 80s, in the summertime, it ranges from mid 80s to 100. There is little rainfall year-round, and although rain season is from August through September it’s very rare that fishing is suspended even during peak season.
We highly recommend you bring along a hat, a long-sleeved cotton shirt, polarized sunglasses, and lots and lots of sunscreen because the sun hits harder when on water. And if you’re planning on a fishing trip that’ll last a few days, bring along a light jacket for the evening and nighttime.
If you’re interested in sportfishing in Los Cabos, a license will be necessary. You can obtain it at local shops at the Marina and you can choose from daily, weekly or even annual passes. These licenses are valid from the day they’re issued. There is a catch and release policy on most trophy fish species, mainly to protect Baja’s waters. One marlin is permitted per boat, and you are able to keep mahi-mahi and tuna.
Typical Fishing Day
Mornings start early, and there’s a bustling vibe at the Marina of crew members loading boats with fishing gear. The dock is basically empty around dawn. Once leaving the Marina, boats stop around the harbor to purchase live bait. Next, the boats cruise over towards Finnisterra (Land’s End) to view the astounding rock formation, El Arco, Los Cabo’s most famous landmark. Later the boats head out to sea to fish, but the great thing about Cabo is that you don’t have to venture a great distance, all catches are relatively close to shore.
There’s nothing better than the sensation of heading back to the Marina with colored flags showing your catch of the day. Red triangles stand for a released marlin, blue triangles stand for a caught or released marlin, white flags stand for tuna, and yellows flags stand for dorado. And even if you head home “catchless”, you won’t regret this remarkable experience filled with sun, great company, cold Pacificos, and stunning views, including seeing up close species like dolphins, turtles, whales, and seals!
Due to its fish-filled sea waters, Los Cabos is home to several international fishing competitions with millions of dollars in prizes, which draw fishers from around the world.
Don’t forget to check out Los Cabo’s most extraordinary competition, Bisbee’s Black and Blue Tournament. This year it will take place from October 22nd-26th. This top-notch competition reunites fishers pursuing 4 million dollars in prizes. The first tournament took place in 1981 with only 10,000 dollars in prizes and six teams. Since then, it has gained international popularity and over 100 boats participate. Fishing lovers venture down to test their luck.
The contests last five days, the first day is for enrollment and there’s a cocktail party, the second day is truly thrilling as all the boats align waiting for the famous shotgun start and head out to test their luck. The last day is for official prizes and awards and a dinner. The competition is broadcast live online and on radio. Even if you’re not that competitive, the tournament is truly an unforgettable experience.
Fishing in Los Cabos is a phenomenal adventure. I mean, you’re fishing in the world’s aquarium! Aside from getting a huge catch, you’ll make many lifelong memories! And even if you don’t get a catch, remember what they say, “a bad day fishing beats most days doing anything else”.