Having an idea about what to expect when fishing Cabo San Lucas (especially if this is your first time) can certainly make things more enjoyable, as well as help insure a successful and fun filled adventure. We cover a few of the more popular questions below – but also, feel free to check out our FAQ page for more questions and detailed answers.
What do we do when we arrive at the marina in the morning?
If you are arriving to one of our charters before 9am – Go directly to Dock D, one of our crewmembers will be there to meet you. If you are chartering with us after 9am come in and check in at the office (see the map on our charters page for both locations). No need to worry about your Cabo fishing license – it is taken care by us (included in your fishing charter purchase).
Upon arrival at the boat, you’ll be introduced to the crew. This is a good time to tell the captain what type of fishing your are looking for, if you plan to keep or release your fish, and anything else that might be helpful to make your trip a great experience.
Most of our early morning start times are approximately between 6:15am and 6:45am. Getting out early does help set the day up for success, but things do come up. So don’t worry, we will wait until you are ready to go.
What is provided for food and drink?
We provide coolers with ice and water – as well as lunches for full day charters. It’s been a little difficult to try and satisfy all the different beverage tastes of all our clients – So, we’ve chosen to solve this by having clients bring their own drinks, and any extra food/snacks that they prefer with them. There is not always a great selection of soda or beer at the marina stores, so please consider buying your items the night before to make sure you get exactly what you want. And yes, alcohol is allowed on board! Most importantly – please buy your drinks in cans. We don’t need any problems with broken glass on the boat decks… Thanks!
What about bad weather issues?
There is a “Port Captain” for Cabo San Lucas, and he is responsible for determining if it’s safe enough to fish offshore or not. If he feels that the weather conditions are too unsafe, he will shut down the port and no fishing charters are able to leave.
Unfortunately, we very rarely get any advance warning. You may show up only to be told we won’t be able to fish. If this happens, we will do our best to re-schedule your trip for another day during your stay, or if no other options are available, we will refund your money 100%!
On the positive side – there is only an average of 6 days a year that bad weather doesn’t allow for fishing in Cabo.
How much time is spent actually fishing?
Our first stop will be at the bait pangas to get the live bait. The bait is caught each morning by local fisherman, and sold to all the boats as they head out to fish. The live bait is included in the cost of your charter. There are times when live bait is gone, especially if you leave late (after 9am),
The travel time to the areas we will be primarily based on the length of the charter you booked (full or half day), the fishing/weather conditions, and of course the type of fish you are wanting to target. Cabo is blessed geographically, as it has a protected area that is right outside the marina, so we can be fishing within 15 minutes from when we leave, where some of our other Cabo fishing trips will take us out 30-40 miles to get us to the target areas.
Besides the above times where we are not fishing – are lines are in the water!
What do we need to know about how to fish?
First of all – there is no experience necessary. We are here to help and guide – and the amount of that will depend on your experience and comfort level. Please feel free to ask any questions, or for help during any process of your fishing outing.
Most of the fishing is done by trolling – dragging lines behind the boat with lures, teasers and live bait to attract fish. So there are no physical requirements from anyone to do this. Trolling is both the easiest and most effective way to catch fish here in Cabo San Lucas. Once in awhile, depending on the target fish and conditions the mates will cast live bait at fish on the surface to entice a strike.
When we get a fish on, the mate will be the one to set the hook and then they will then hand you the rod to enjoy the fight and finish the job. Depending on the fish that you are catching you may want to stand, or sit in the fighting chair to land your fish. Your choice, just let the mate know what you want.
You will get coaching from the mate with regards to how to hold the rod, when to reel, and when to allow the fish to take line out.
When we go to land the fish, it is your choice to keep or release the fish. We recommend that you release any fish that you are NOT planning to eat. This is especially true for billfish (Marlin and Sailfish). And yes, we can make sure to get that perfect Facebook photo with you and the fish in the water, or bring it aboard for a quick photo opportunity, and then release it.
If you choose to keep your fish, there is a fillet station back at the docks where your fish can be properly cleaned and filleted – as well as vacuum sealing, so you can take your fish back home with you. There is an additional cost for this… We recommend having your fish prepared by one of the local restaurants that night – Talk to your captain about some of his favorite restaurants to go to.
A special note
Though well intentioned, some people think that keeping a fish and giving it to the crew as a form of a tip is a good idea. However, we are fisherman and have plenty fish at home that we have caught ourselves. And more importantly – charter boat crews are strictly prohibited from making any financial gain from taking your catch.
What happens if the fish aren’t biting?
There are absolutely no guarantees with fishing. Fishing is called fishing for a reason… The captain and crew are just as anxious as you to land you some fish. They rely on a lot of different factors to help make this happen: information based on the previous days fishing results, local reports, current conditions, and the crews intuition/fishing experience.
If the bite is not on, feel free to ask the captain what he’s thinking and what his strategy is. He’ll be able to give you some good answers based on what his electronic fish finders are showing, the water temperatures, the currents, and what might being happening on the surface to indicate if and where fish are feeding. Our crews are the best in Cabo, and have the experience and the well-trained eyes to always be assessing – feel free to pick their brain and learn something new.
But also know, that our charter boats have one of the most successful catch rates out there – championing greater than a 90% average catch rate year after year.
What is a customary tip for a Cabo fishing trip?
First of all tips are earned, and never mandatory. Tipping is always at your discretion, but we do encourage you to “thank” those mates and captains for a job well done – as tips are a significant part of any crew members income. The charter fishing industry standards follow the same guidelines as most service professions – 15% is appropriate, and 20% for great service. The tip is traditionally given directly to the captain, and he will divide the tip amongst the crew. But again, it is up to you.
An experienced and knowledgeable boat crew is a critical part to every successful charter fishing experience. From preparing the boat, rigging up the lines, changing bait, and helping make sure you land that monster fish – their job is relentless and doesn’t just end when you return to the dock.
We know that you have choices when choosing between all the different Cabo fishing charters. And that you are investing a good chunk of change into trusting someone to provide you and your group with a fun, safe and successful Cabo fishing adventure. Choose us, knowing that year after year we are the most reputable, productive, and trusted Cabo fishing charter company around. We look forward to serving you, and having you as part of the family! Click on the button below to book your trip now!