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Fishing In Cabo San Lucas- A Complete Guide

fishing in cabo san lucas

Welcome to fishing in Cabo San Lucas, where you’ll experience one of the most diverse and abundant aquatic habitats on Earth. With over 800 species residing in its waters, including stunning billfish like the lightning-fast Black Marlin and sought-after Meat Fish such as Dorado, Wahoo, Roosterfish, and Yellowfin Tuna, Cabo is a true angler’s paradise.

In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about fishing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – from ideal spots and seasons for each fish species to choosing reputable charters for an unforgettable adventure.

Key Takeaways

  • Cabo San Lucas offers a diverse and abundant aquatic habitat with over 800 species of fish, making it a premier fishing destination.
  • The best fishing spots in Cabo San Lucas include the Golden Gate Bank, Mag Bay, Gordo Bank, Finger Bank, Cabo Falso Lighthouse and San Jaime Bank during peak months for each specific species of fish.
  • Fishing techniques such as deep-sea fishing, fly fishing, and surf fishing can be used to catch popular fish like Marlin (blue, black, and striped), Tuna (yellowfin), and Dorado.
  • Local regulations should be followed to preserve the ocean’s fragile ecosystem while engaging in sustainable catch-and-release practices is encouraged.

The Best Time to Fish in Cabo San Lucas

Fishing in Cabo San Lucas is excellent year-round, but certain times of the year are particularly good for targeting specific fish species. Here’s a breakdown of the best fishing seasons and the fish species you can expect to find during those periods.

Fishing Season Fish Species Best Time to Target
High Season: May to November Striped Marlin May to November
Blue and Black Marlin July to November (largest catches in September and October)
Sailfish May to November
Yellowfin Tuna July to November
Dorado (Mahi-Mahi) May to November
Wahoo Year-round, with increased numbers in October and November
Low Season: December to April Striped Marlin December to March
Roosterfish April to October, with peak months in May to July
Yellowtail January to April
Snapper and Grouper Year-round, with increased numbers in the cooler months
Ideal Weather With Big Crowds: December Various species available, including striped marlin, wahoo, and dorado December

Peak Fishing Season: May to November

The high fishing season in Cabo San Lucas is from May to November, which is considered the most productive time for a variety of fish species. Here’s what you can expect during this period:

  • Striped Marlin: Although the peak season for striped marlin runs from November to March, they can still be caught during the high season.
  • Blue and Black Marlin: July to November is the best season to target these prized game fish, with the largest catches typically occurring in September and October.
  • Sailfish: The sailfish season generally coincides with the marlin season, making May to November an excellent time for targeting this acrobatic species.
  • Yellowfin Tuna: You can catch yellowfin tuna year-round, but they are most abundant from July to November.
  • Dorado (Mahi-Mahi): Dorado is also available year-round, but their numbers peak during the warmer months of May to November.
  • Wahoo: Although wahoo can be caught year-round, their numbers increase during the high season, particularly in October and November.

Slow Fishing Season: December to April

The low season in Cabo San Lucas spans from December through April. During this time, there are fewer crowds but still plenty of fish species available for catching. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect:

  • Striped Marlin: The peak season for striped marlin is from November to March, so you can still expect to catch them during the low season.
  • Roosterfish: Roosterfish are primarily an inshore species and can be targeted from April to October, with the best months being May to July.
  • Yellowtail: The cooler months of the low season, particularly January to April, are prime for targeting yellowtail.
  • Snapper and Grouper: These bottom-dwelling fish can be caught year-round, but their numbers tend to increase during the cooler months of the low season.

Ideal Weather and But Very Busy: December

December offers some of the best weather in Cabo San Lucas, with daytime temperatures averaging in the mid-70s Fahrenheit. However, December has more tourists, which could make booking hotels and charters more difficult.

That being said, striped marlin, wahoo, dorado, and other species are still available, making it an excellent time for a fishing trip if you are able to book a charter.

Remember that these are general guidelines, and fish availability can vary depending on factors like water temperature, currents, and local weather patterns. It’s always a good idea to consult local fishing reports and charter captains for up-to-date information on the best times to fish for specific species in Cabo San Lucas.

FAQ’s

Best Fishing Spots And Times To Fish In Cabo San Lucas

Best Fishing Spots In Cabo San Lucas
Fishing Spot Location Peak Months Main Fish Species
Golden Gate Bank 15 miles north of Tinaje Trough May to November Striped Marlin
Mag Bay (Magdalena Bay) Western coast of Baja Peninsula Year-round Marlin, Tuna, Dorado, and more
Gordo Bank Off the coast of Puerto Los Cabos May to November Blue and Black Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi-Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Yellow Grouper
Finger Bank 50 miles from the coast of Cabo San Lucas May to November Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado, Tuna, Wahoo
Cabo Falso Lighthouse Southernmost tip of Baja California Peak months Tuna, Dorado, Marlin
San Jaime Bank Tinaje Trough October and November Striped Marlin, Sailfish, Wahoo, Dorado

Discover the top fishing spots in Cabo San Lucas and the best times to catch various fish species, including the Golden Gate Bank, Mag Bay, Gordo Bank, Finger Bank, Cabo Falso Lighthouse, and San Jaime Bank during peak months.

The Golden Gate Bank

The Golden Gate Bank, a renowned fishing spot in Cabo San Lucas, is sure to excite any angling enthusiast. Located just 15 miles north of the Tinaje trough that runs from San Jaime, this premier destination provides thrilling opportunities for catching striped marlin.

Known for its exceptional and unique marlin fishery, the Golden Gate Bank offers an unparalleled experience – but only at certain times of the year. For optimal results, plan your visit between May and November when conditions are perfect for reeling in this coveted species.

Mag Bay

Mag Bay, short for Magdalena Bay, is a truly world-class fishing destination situated along the western coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. With its rich and diverse marine ecosystem, this premier hotspot attracts countless fishing enthusiasts looking to reel in an exciting variety of fish species such as marlin, tuna, dorado, and more.

From seasoned professionals to curious beginners wanting a taste of what top-notch sportfishing has to offer – Mag Bay won’t disappoint! To make your trip even more memorable, consider joining a reputable charter company that can safely guide you through these stunning waters while providing expert advice and support during your thrilling adventure off Mexico’s captivating coastline.

Gordo Bank

Gordo Bank, a renowned fishing hotspot in Cabo San Lucas, is undoubtedly one of the best locations for anglers in Baja, California Sur. Situated just off the coast and easily accessible from Puerto Los Cabos, Gordo Bank consists of two prime spots – Inner and Outer Gordo Banks – offering a thrilling fishing experience for all types of fishermen.

Fishing enthusiasts flock to Gordo Bank to test their skills against prized species such as blue and black marlin, sailfish, mahi-mahi, yellowfin tuna, and yellow grouper.

The chances of reeling in a massive catch are significantly heightened during peak season between May and November when these fish congregate in the local waters.

Finger Bank

Finger Bank is a legendary fishing spot that is a must-visit for any serious angler in Cabo San Lucas. Located about 50 miles from the coast, this submerged mountain range rises up from the sea bed, creating an underwater structure that attracts a plethora of marine life.

Here, you can expect to reel in some impressive catches like marlin, sailfish, dorado, tuna, and wahoo. The best time to fish at Finger Bank is during the peak season between May and November, when these species are most abundant.

For those looking for an unforgettable experience on their trip to Cabo San Lucas, Finger Bank should definitely be on your itinerary.

Cabo Falso Lighthouse

Located on the southernmost tip of Baja, California, the Cabo Falso Lighthouse is a landmark that serves as a reference point for some great fishing spots in Cabo San Lucas.

The lighthouse marks the spot where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean and creates nutrient-rich waters ideal for various species of fish. Anglers who head out towards this area can expect to find schools of tuna, dorado, and marlin lurking around underwater pinnacles and structure spots like rock formations and weed lines nearby.

The best time to fish around Cabo Falso Lighthouse is during peak months when specific fish species are more abundant in these areas.

San Jaime Bank

San Jaime Bank is a popular fishing spot in Cabo San Lucas, located in the Tinaje Trough. The bank attracts anglers from all over the world due to its reputation for being one of the best places to fish in Cabo San Lucas.

This deep-sea spot is quite productive for catching Striped Marlin year-round, but especially during October and November when the water temperature starts to cool down. In addition to Striped Marlin, other species regularly caught at San Jaime Bank include Sailfish, Wahoo, and Dorado.

High Season Vs. Low Season

Knowing the high and low seasons for fishing in Cabo San Lucas is crucial to optimize your catch. High season typically falls between May and November, with the peak season for striped marlin running from November to March.

During this time, you can expect an abundance of mahi-mahi, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, and grouper as well.

Low season spans from December through April when there are fewer crowds but still plenty of fish species available for catching such as wahoo, dorado or marlin. While December has some of the best weather all year round in Cabo San Lucas, making it an excellent time to go fishing without worrying about overcrowding by other tourists or vacationers, yet still get enough sunshine rays during daytime temperatures ranging from mid-70s Fahrenheit on average.

Types Of Fish And Fishing Techniques In Cabo San Lucas

Fish Species Fishing Techniques
Marlin Deep-sea fishing, Fly fishing, Surf fishing
Tuna Trolling with specialized lures or live bait at high speeds
Dorado (Mahi-Mahi) Fishing around floating logs or debris
Roosterfish Live bait fishing from a panga or shore, trolling, heavy tackle casting, fly fishing

Marlin, Tuna, Dorado, and Roosterfish are just a few of the popular fish species that can be caught off the coast of Cabo San Lucas using techniques such as deep-sea fishing, fly fishing, and surf fishing.

Marlin

Marlin is undoubtedly one of the most popular species in Cabo San Lucas, attracting seasoned anglers and first-time fishermen alike. With three species of marlin – blue, black, and striped – inhabiting the waters around Cabo San Lucas, there are plenty of opportunities to embark on an unforgettable fishing expedition.

Blue marlin can weigh between 250 and 350 pounds, with some reaching up to a staggering 1000 pounds for black marlin! Striped marlin are year-round residents in the area and offer exciting sporting prospects.

Deep-sea fishing charters often target marlin during peak months from April through November when they migrate towards warmer waters.

Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna is a popular and tasty fish that fishing enthusiasts can catch in Cabo San Lucas warm waters. Tunas thrive in the area’s offshore currents, making it possible to catch various species of tuna, including albacore, bigeye, bluefin, and yellowfin.

The best time to go tuna fishing in Cabo San Lucas is from May through November, during the summer months when they are most abundant. Anglers targeting this species should use specialized lures or live bait and troll at high speeds for optimal results.

Yellowfin Tuna is also great for sushi and other raw fish dishes, making it an excellent addition to any angler’s catch for their trip.

In addition to tuning into the best time of year for catching different species of marlin in Cabo San Lucas, as discussed earlier, ensuring you have knowledgeable guides will help make your experience enjoyable instead of frustrating.

Dorado

Dorado, also known as Mahi-Mahi, is a highly sought-after species for fishermen visiting Cabo San Lucas. This fast-swimming fish can be easily spotted in the open water due to its bright green and yellow coloration.

To catch Dorado when fishing in Cabo San Lucas, it’s best to keep an eye out for floating logs or debris on the surface of the water. Dorados tend to gather around such structures since they are often home to smaller bait fish that serve as their primary food source.

When hooked, these powerful fighters put on quite a show with acrobatic leaps and energetic runs that thrill even seasoned anglers.

Roosterfish

Roosterfish are a highly sought-after fish among sport fishers in Cabo San Lucas, known for their strength and fighting ability. They are typically found in high concentrations in the inshore waters of Cabo San Lucas and are known as predators of the surf.

Live bait fishing from a panga or shore is the best method for catching roosterfish. The most common fishing techniques for roosterfish include trolling, heavy tackle casting, and fly fishing.

Roosterfish prefer warmer water temperatures, with an optimal temperature being around 80°F.

Deep-sea Fishing

When it comes to deep-sea fishing in Cabo San Lucas, the possibilities are endless. With a wide array of species that call these waters home, there is always something new and exciting to catch.

One popular option for deep-sea fishing in Cabo San Lucas is trolling with live bait. This technique involves dragging a baited line behind the boat at different depths until you get a bite.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing in Cabo San Lucas is a popular activity for those looking for a unique and exciting way to catch fish. Roosterfish, Striped Marlin, and Dorado are the most commonly targeted species when fly fishing in this region.

The best time of year to engage in this activity is typically during the summer months when these fish are more abundant. Trolling with hookless lures or casting with flies can be used as techniques to target these fish.

Additionally, hiring a professional guide who specializes in fly fishing can increase your chances of success while also ensuring that you have the necessary equipment and knowledge on hand.

Some recommended guides include Pisces Sportfishing, RedRum Sportfishing, and Picante Sportfishing – all well-respected charter companies known for providing top-notch service and expertise in the Cabo San Lucas area.

Surf Fishing

Surf fishing in Cabo San Lucas is a popular and accessible activity for anglers of all levels. No fishing license is required, making it an affordable option to catch Roosterfish, Sierra, Dorado, smaller yellowfin tuna, and more.

Onshore fishing can be done off most beaches on both the Pacific and Sea of Cortez sides.

Whether casting from one of the beautiful sandy beaches or a rocky shoreline, surf fishing in Cabo San Lucas provides great chances to hook some impressive fish.

Fishing Charters And Tours In Cabo San Lucas

Top Fishing Charters In Cabo San Lucas

Embarking on a marlin fishing adventure in Cabo San Lucas? Here’s a list of some highly recommended fishing charters and guides to ensure you have an unforgettable experience:

  1. Pisces Sportfishing: A family-owned and operated business boasting a long-established reputation, experienced captains, and dedicated crews.
  2. Cabo Sportfishing Crew – Ya Sabras: Offering a variety of trips targeting different species of fish, this charter caters to every angler’s preferences.
  3. Black Marlin Sportfishing: With over 20 years of experience, Captain Manuel and his crew welcome you aboard their 31′ Bertram for a thrilling fishing expedition.
  4. BlueSea Sportfishing: As a top-rated fishing charter in Cabo San Lucas, BlueSea Sportfishing guarantees a fantastic experience.
  5. Cabo Sportfishing Crew – Blue Tail: This popular option will surely satisfy fishing enthusiasts of all levels.
  6. Cabo Sportfishing Crew – Reel Tequila: Offering a superb fishing experience in Cabo San Lucas, Reel Tequila won’t disappoint.
  7. El Budster Pride: This well-reviewed fishing charter is a great choice for your Cabo adventure.
  8. Kingfish Cabo: Known for being kid-friendly and delivering an exceptional fishing experience, Kingfish Cabo is perfect for family trips.
  9. Lands End Charters: Providing charter fishing boats with straightforward pricing and excellent service, Lands End Charters is a top pick.
  10. Loveshack Cruises: Offering a memorable fishing experience for families, Loveshack Cruises is a must-try.
  11. Picante Sportfishing: Recognized as the premier sportfishing fleet in Cabo San Lucas, Picante Sportfishing has a 25-year history of dedication to guests and a genuine passion for fishing.

There are many fishing charters and tours available in Cabo San Lucas, from day trips to multi-day excursions and private charters. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience some of the best fishing in the world with a reputable charter company.

Day Trips

Day trips are a popular option if you’re short on time or want to get a taste of the fishing action in Cabo San Lucas. Here are some key things to consider:

  • Many charter companies offer half-day and full-day options for fishing trips.
  • Half-day trips typically last 4-5 hours and can target a range of species such as dorado, tuna, and roosterfish.
  • Full-day trips usually run for 8 hours or more and provide more opportunities to catch larger fish like marlin.
  • Some charters also include additional activities such as snorkeling or beach hopping.
  • It’s important to check with your charter company beforehand to see what’s included in the trip package and what gear you need to bring.
  • Day trips can be a more cost-effective way to experience Cabo San Lucas fishing, with prices starting at around $300 for half-day excursions.
  • Keep in mind that peak season prices may be higher, and availability may be limited, so it’s best to book in advance if possible.

Multi-day Trips

If you’re looking for a more immersive fishing experience, consider booking a multi-day trip in Cabo San Lucas. Here are some key things to know:

  • Multi-day trips typically last 2-4 days and allow you to explore a wider range of fishing spots than a single-day trip.
  • Many multi-day trips include accommodations on board the fishing vessel or at local hotels, so you can relax and recharge between fishing sessions.
  • With extended time on the water, you may have the chance to catch larger or more elusive fish than on a shorter trip.
  • Some charters offer specialized multi-day trips for targeting specific species like marlin or tuna.
  • Multi-day trips tend to be more expensive than single-day trips but often offer better value for money overall.

Keep in mind that weather conditions and sea swells can impact the availability and safety of multi-day trips in Cabo San Lucas. Be sure to research your charter options thoroughly and choose a reputable provider with experienced captains and crew.

Private Charters

When fishing in Cabo San Lucas, private charter options are available for those who are looking for a more exclusive and personalized fishing experience. Here are some important things to know about private charters:

  • Private charters offer the opportunity to design your own custom fishing trip based on your preferences and needs.
  • You can choose between different boat sizes, ranging from 27 to 70 feet in length, depending on how many people you will be traveling with.
  • Private charters provide added privacy and comfort compared to group tours. You can bring your own food, drinks, and music if desired.
  • Private charters typically come with experienced captains and crews who have extensive knowledge of the local fishing spots. They can help you target specific fish species or provide recommendations based on the season.
  • Private charters offer greater flexibility when it comes to scheduling. You can choose the departure time that works best for you, as well as the duration of your trip.
  • Prices for private charters vary depending on the boat size and duration of the trip.

Overall, booking a private charter is a great option for those who want a customized and intimate fishing experience in Cabo San Lucas. It’s important to choose a reputable charter company that has good reviews and safety records to ensure an enjoyable and safe trip.

Choose A Reputable Charter Company

When planning a fishing trip in Cabo San Lucas, choosing the right charter company is essential to ensure a successful and enjoyable experience. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice.

It is recommended to choose a reputable charter company with positive reviews and experienced crew members.

Before making your decision, consider the type of fish you want to catch and your budget. Prices for fishing charters in Cabo San Lucas can vary depending on factors such as the duration of the trip and luxury options like onboard amenities.

Listen To Your Captain And Crew

One key to a successful fishing trip in Cabo San Lucas is listening to your captain and crew. These experienced professionals know the area and understand the behavior of different fish species, meaning they can guide you to the best spots for catching a marlin or any other type of fish you may be interested in.

It’s important to keep an open mind and listen carefully to their instructions, even if it means changing tactics or trying something new. This could make all the difference between going home empty-handed or landing that trophy marlin you’ve been dreaming of.

Remember, your captain and crew have one goal: helping you have a successful fishing trip in Cabo San Lucas.

Tips For A Successful Fishing Trip In Cabo San Lucas

Follow local fishing regulations and be mindful of weather conditions to ensure a successful and safe fishing trip in Cabo San Lucas. Practice catch and release, bring appropriate gear and attire, research, and plan ahead for the best experience possible.

Follow Local Fishing Regulations

When fishing in Cabo San Lucas, it is essential to follow local fishing regulations. These regulations were put in place to protect the marine environment and ensure sustainable fishing practices.

Some of these regulations include catch limits, size restrictions, and certain areas where fishing is prohibited. For instance, fishermen are not allowed to fish within 500 meters of any whale or dolphin pods or 250 meters of coastguard-protected swimming areas.

It is essential to educate yourself about these regulations before embarking on your fishing trip in Cabo San Lucas. You can visit Marina Cabo San Lucas for more information on local regulations or speak with your charter captain about them beforehand.

Be Mindful Of Weather Conditions

When planning a fishing trip to Cabo San Lucas, it is important to keep an eye on the weather conditions. While the area typically experiences nice weather, storms can still occur and impact your fishing experience.

Additionally, sea conditions in Cabo San Lucas can change rapidly, going from calm waters to choppy waves or even unexpected swells. To avoid seasickness or discomfort during your fishing expedition, it is advisable to wear layered clothing suitable for varying temperatures and bring motion sickness medication if needed.

Paying attention to what the crew is doing can also give you an idea of how rough the seas may be and help you prepare accordingly.

Practice Catch And Release

When fishing in Cabo San Lucas, it is important to practice catch and release techniques. Many local captains advocate for this as conservation is a big deal in the area.

Billfish, such as marlin, are particularly vulnerable due to their slow reproductive rates. Additionally, it is essential to understand how to properly handle these fish when releasing them back into the water, minimizing harm and ensuring their survival.

Furthermore, by releasing smaller or less desirable fish species instead of keeping them on board, you can improve your chances of catching larger trophy fish later on during your trip.

Additionally, Cabo San Lucas has strict fishing regulations that should be followed to ensure a successful and legal fishing trip.

Bring Appropriate Gear And Attire

Bringing the right gear and attire is crucial to having a successful fishing trip in Cabo San Lucas. Here are some tips on what to pack:

  1. Sun protection: The sun in Cabo San Lucas can be intense, so make sure to bring sunscreen with a high SPF, a hat, and polarized sunglasses.
  2. Clothing: Dress in layers as temperatures on the water can vary throughout the day. Bring a light jacket or rain gear if you’re going during the rainy season (June-September).
  3. Footwear: Wear comfortable, non-slip shoes that can handle getting wet.
  4. Fishing Gear: Your charter company will provide most of the necessary equipment, but if you prefer to bring your own rods and reels, make sure they are appropriate for the type of fish you plan to catch.
  5. Snacks and drinks: Bring snacks and drinks to stay hydrated and energized while out on the water.
  6. Camera or GoPro: Capture memories of your fishing trip by bringing a camera or GoPro.
  7. Fishing license: Don’t forget to obtain a Mexican fishing license before your trip – it’s required by law for anyone over 13 years old.

By packing these essentials, you’ll be well-prepared for an enjoyable and successful fishing experience in Cabo San Lucas.

Research And Plan Ahead

Before embarking on a fishing trip in Cabo San Lucas, it’s important to research and plan ahead to ensure that you have the best possible experience. Start by deciding what type of fish you want to catch and the best time of year to catch them.

Take into consideration peak months for specific fish species and high season vs low season. Additionally, it’s essential to choose a reputable charter company that can provide quality equipment, experienced captains, and knowledgeable crews.

It’s important not only to know where the fish are but also how they behave during certain times of day or year; this information can help you better target your efforts when out on the water.

Conclusion

If you are a fishing enthusiast, Cabo San Lucas is the ultimate fishing destination for you. Its rich and diverse aquatic habitat offers many species of fish to catch, including Marlin, Tuna, Dorado, Roosterfish and more.

Whether you prefer deep-sea or surf fishing, there’s something for everyone in Cabo San Lucas. Just remember to plan ahead and choose a reputable charter company with experienced captains and crews.

Follow local regulations and practice sustainable catch-and-release practices to preserve the ocean’s fragile ecosystem.

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Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.


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