Sportfishing in Los Cabos
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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.
Deportiva Piscis Fishing Tackle Shop. Fishing gear and line are available at Deportiva Piscis Fishing Tackle Shop. Calle Mauricio Castro, near Mercado Municipal, Baja California Sur, 23400. 624/142–0332.
Francisco's Fleet. Long a favorite for its great selection of pangas and superpangas, Francisco's 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 that rent for $195 per day, not including fishing licenses, food, or drinks; 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. Cruisers range up to $560 per day. Baja California Sur. 624/142–1152 or 800/521–2281. www.jigstop.com.
Gordo Banks Pangas. The pangas of Gordo Banks Pangas are near some of the hottest fishing spots in the Sea of Cortez: the Outer and Inner Gordo banks. The price for three anglers in a small panga runs from $210 to $400. Cruisers, which can accommodate four to six people, are available for $380 to $470 per day. 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.
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 superpangas from 23 feet to 36 feet. Egg Harbor yachts and rates range from $200 to $785, all-inclusive for the larger boats. Docked between Gates 2 and 3 across from the Marina Fiesta Hotel, office at Villa Serena RV Park, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 888/522–2442. www.gaviotasportfishing.com.
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 Francisco's 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. Renowned tackle store Minerva's has been around for more than 30 years and has its own fleet with three Bertram charter-fishing boats from 33 feet to 40 feet, and prices ranging from $690 to $900, all-inclusive. Madero between Blvd. Marina and Guerrero, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/143–1282. www.minervas.com.
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, beginning at $325 and rocketing up to $3,850. 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.
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 110 feet in length. Chartering a 31-foot Bertram goes for $1,195, all-inclusive, for up to six people, and trips last for around seven or eight hours. Prices range from $445 to $2,700. Cabo Maritime Center, Blvd. Marina, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/143–1288; 877/286–7938 toll free in U.S. www.piscessportfishing.com.
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 yachts, from superpangas to 26- and 36-footers. Solmar boats and tackle are always in good shape, and its longtime regulars wouldn't fish with anyone else. Prices range from $400 to $750 for a day's trip. Blvd. Marina, Solmar Resort, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/145–7575 or 800/344–3349. www.solmar.com.
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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