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Los Cabos Travel Guide

Sportfishing

San José del Cabo and the Corridor

The waters off Los Cabos are home to more than 800 species of fish—a good number of which bite all year round. It's easy to arrange charters online, through hotels, and directly with sportfishing companies along El Médano Beach and along the docks at Marina Cabo San Lucas. Indeed, to select a company yourself, consider hanging out at the marina between 1 pm and 4 pm when the boats come in, and asking the passengers about their experiences.

Prices range from $200 or $250 a day for a panga to $500 to $1,700 a day for a larger cruiser with a bathroom, a sunbathing deck, and possibly a few other amenities. The sky's the limit with the larger private yachts (think 80 feet); it's not unheard of for such vessels to cost $5,000 or $7,000 a day. All rates include a captain and crew, tackle, bait, fishing licenses, drinks, and—sometimes—lunch. Most hotels in San José will arrange fishing trips.

All of the Corridor hotels work with fishing fleets anchored at the Cabo San Lucas marina and a few with boats in Puerto Los Cabos, so any one of them can help you set up your fishing trips. The major drawback of arranging a fishing trip from one of the Corridor hotels is the travel time involved in getting down to the water. It takes up to half an hour or more to reach the docks from Corridor hotels, and most boats depart at 6:30 am.

La Leona Fleet. Long a favorite for its great selection of pangas (small fishing boats) and superpangas, La Leona Fleet has boats available at both Playa Palmilla in the Corridor and La Playita in the San José del Cabo area. It has seven comfortable and speedy little rides; it's solely represented by the Jig Stop in Dana Point, California, who also represents the Abaroa, Gaviota, and Ana Mar fleets and a total of about 30 boats. The Puerto Nuevo Marina, Marina, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur. 624/142–1152 or 800/521–2281. www.jigstop.com. From $220 per day, not including fishing licenses, food, or drinks; cruisers range up to $560 per day.

Gordo Banks Pangas. The pangas (small fishing boats) of Gordo Banks Pangas are near some of the hottest fishing spots in the Sea of Cortez: the Outer and Inner Gordo banks. The pangas accommodate up to three. Their cruisers accommodate up to five. La Playa near San José del Cabo, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, 23400. 624/142–1147; 619/488–1859 in U.S. www.gordobanks.com. Pangas from $210; cruisers from $380 per day.

Santi Sport Fishing. Captain Victor at Santi Sport Fishing has a fleet of pangas (small fishing boats) near Cabo Adventures. Rates start at $175. Blvd Paseo de la Marina, Dock #2, near Cabo Adventures, Marina, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur. 624/1–157–1499 cell. www.santisportfishing.com.

Cabo San Lucas

Most vendors are at the Marina Cabo San Lucas. Ships tend to depart from sportfishing docks at the south end of the marina, near the Puerto Paraíso Mall, or from the docks at the Wyndham Hotel. It's very important to get specific directions and departure times, since it's hard to find your spot at 6:30 in the morning.

Gaviota Fleet. The Gaviota Fleet currently holds the record for the largest marlin caught in Cabo San Lucas's waters. The company has charter cruisers and super-pangas from 23 feet to 36 feet. Docked between Gates 2 and 3 across from the Marina Fiesta Hotel, office at Villa Serena RV Park, Marina, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 888/522–2442. www.gaviotasportfishing.com. Egg Harbor yachts from $480.

Jig Stop Tours. Jig Stop Tours is located in Southern California and books fishing trips for a number of Los Cabos fleets like Gaviota, Pisces, and La Leona Fleets. It is one of the best, and easiest, one-stop fishing shops in the United States. 34186 Coast Hwy., Dana Point, CA, 92629. 800/521–2281. www.jigstop.com.

Minerva's Baja Tackle. Renowned tackle store, Minerva's Baja Tackle and Sportfishing Charters, has been around for nearly 40 years and has its own fleet with four sportfishing charter boats from 31 feet to 33 feet. Madero between Blvd. Marina and Guerrero, Marina, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/143–1282. www.minervas.com. From $764, all-inclusive.

Picante Fleet. One of the top sportfishing fleets, Picante Fleet, offers a wide selection of 20 well-equipped, top-of-the-line, 31-foot to 68-foot Cabo sport fishers. If you prefer smaller boats, there's the Picantito fleet, with a trio of 24-foot Shamrock walk-around boats. These are primarily used for fishing close to shore. Picante offers trips and boats that vary in size and price. Puerto Paraíso Mall Local 39-A, near Harley-Davidson Store, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/143–2474; 714/442–0644 in U.S. www.picantesportfishing.com. from $325; up to $3,850 for 8 hours.

Pisces Sportfishing Fleet. Some of Cabo's top hotels use the extensive range of yachts from Pisces Sportfishing Fleet. The fleet includes the usual 31-foot Bertrams, but also has a sizable fleet of 50- to 70-foot Viking, Mikelson, Hatteras, and Ocean Alexander yachts with tuna towers, air-conditioning, and multiple staterooms. Pisces also has luxury yachts up to 156 feet in length. Chartering a 31-foot Bertram is all-inclusive for up to six people, and trips last for around seven or eight hours. Blvd. Marina, Marina, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/143–1288; 877/286–7938 toll free in U.S. www.piscessportfishing.com. From $445; Bertram charter, $695, all-inclusive.

Solmar Fleet. Once the largest fleet in Cabo San Lucas, the long-established Solmar Fleet has been subdivided into several parts and its fleet representatives are now located in both the Solmar Hotel and Playa Grande Hotel. Solmar offers 13 sportfishing boats, from super-pangas to 26- and 36-footers. Solmar boats and tackle are always in good shape, and its longtime regulars wouldn't fish with anyone else. Solmar Resort, Blvd. Marina, Marina, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/145–7575 or 800/344–3349. www.solmar.com. From $400.

East Cape

Outside Parque Marino Nacional Cabo Pulmo (where you aren't allowed to fish), just north of Cabo Pulmo, there are a number of excellent spots to try your luck at hooking a marlin, tuna, giant sea bass, or snapper. It's best to stop by some of the local dive shops and make arrangements for them to take you out.

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