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CEDES

Anyone fished CABO ???

15 posts in this topic

Hey--Wondering if anyone has spent anytime chasing billfish down in Cabo San Lucas ? I will be heading that way at the end of January and I could use a charter reference, what too expect as far as how far the charters travel to the fishing grounds from the marina or just a good 'ol story to take my mind off DECEMBER !!

Thanks in advance !!

CEDES

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I will be just down the road in los cabos the last week of January and I'm going with Gordos Pangas. It's considered in-shore fishing and they came highly recommended.

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Where to begin?? Yup, I've fished Cabo lots over the past 8 years or so. Last was in October, when I fished in a small tournament that a bunch of us on a travel HSOforum have set up over the past couple years. This year we had 11 boats with 44 fisherfolks, and the marlin bite was very good. Most of the action in the fall is on the pacific side, the best spot is the Golden Gate, a pretty good run of better than an hour, The bite has been red hot for a few weeks now. Nov.-Dec has been great the last couple years, too bad you can't move up a month! I used to head down right after new years and always did pretty well during that time frame too, so you should do OK. Mostly striped marlin then, maybe some tuna. For charters, I can suggest several good ones; Redrum (tell em' Terry sent you), Pisces, Marlin Masters, El Budster...all good. Expect to pay about 500/day for a 28, good for 2 or 3 fishermen. I really suggest doing your research and booking in advance; there are a lot of shady characters walking the marina trying to sell you a cut rate deal and lots of horror stories about folks getting taken. Please release any billfish you catch, do a replica mount if thats your thing. Any questions, fire away:)

Oh, you wanted a story...During the first day of the 2 day tourney, we were heading out to get in on the hot marlin bite, and happened on a school of dolphins. The format was 5 of any 1 species per day, and the odds of getting our 5 marlin was pretty good, so we were excited to find the dolphins as tuna often run with them, and if we could get a few we'd be in great shape. The early season tuna are usually what are called "footballs"; fish of 10-20 lbs, so they only score 25 points, but they could make all the difference if a boat fiiled out on dorado and marlin. So we drop lines, and right away hook a small tuna, only to find it's a bonita, only good for bait, no points. Suddenly another rod goes off, and a BIG tuna rolls on the bait, right behind the boat and we all get a good look at it. The captain shakes his head as the fish dives, and when asked "how big??" repiles "150, maybe 200 pounds". An hour later...the fish is still headed DOWN, and it's obvious that the 30 lb. outfit he's hooked on is overmatched. Javier, our captain, say " Maybe 2 hours more" and we can see our tourney hopes vanishing along with the line on the reel:( After 1 & 3/4 hours the line breaks, and we lose the time, and the tuna. We finished 7th out of 11 boats for the 2 day tourney...It was a great fish, but it couldn't have come at a worse time:)

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Navigator; Gordo banks Pangas is indeed a good operation. We fished a day with them after the tourney, although we didn't have much luck. You might want to do some checking to see how they regularly do that time of year...I'm not sure theres much going on then. If the cabo bite holds, I'd get down there and catch some marlin instead! Good luck:)

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TOP NOTCH INFO Traveler !! Thank you ! I have had the pleasure of fishing many different venues and This one (Cabo)has been on my radar for some time. I know the "time frame" isn't optimal for Big Blue's (this fish might elude me another year) but a marlin of any nature is what I quest, and I hear Cabo is the place laugh !! I hear you on the Tuna "footballs" I have tangled with a few and they are as fun as any fish, you have to take the unopportunistic bites with a grain of salt (and tequila) whistle I am VERY excited for this trip south as my 7 year old son will be accompanying my wife and I for the first time to Mexico and his first time fishing the pacific. I promised to bring shark repelant to ward off any sharks that may bite his line wink ( I guess watching Jaws wasn't such a great idea)

I have been researching the boats and I will dig into a couple you have recommended !! Much appreciated !! I am sure I will have a few more questions and by the sounds of it you have Cabo knowledge, I would sure like to hear more about this tournament fishing south of the border. I have often dreamed of fishing Walleye tourneys by summer and Billfish by winter, but the wife doesn't seem to think that is such a great idea frown

Are you from the Duluth area Traveler ? I have alot of aquaintences and real good friends in and around the Duluth area.....

Thanks again !!!

CEDES

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No problem Cedes...love talking about Cabo! I've been looking for a big blue myself for years, and only have 1 small one to my credit. Cabo really isn't the best place for them, but it's hard not to keep going back for the sheer number of stripers there!

I split a charter a few years back with a guy from CA and he brought his 10 year old son, who managed (with a little help from dad!) to land his first marlin! Pretty cool...

That one little tournament is the extent of my tourney knowledge, unfortunatly:( Those affairs are mostly for the wealthy, and that isn't likely to be me any time soon. Actually, thats not true...last year I did a couple stints as an observer in a C&R tourney in Cabo, got to ride along on some awesome boats and see some top notch crews in action. That was a blast, but now I'm back to wanting a rod in my hands when I get down there.

Yes, I'm in Duluth for about 20 years now, originally from central MN.

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That would be cool to be witness to a Billfish tournament, BUT boy would I like to fish in one!!! All my pals went to school at UMD so I have been running around those parts (Duluth) for alot of years, still go back to visit, catch a few Loopers and try my hand at the rivers in the spring wink LOVE Duluth !! My cousin runs the French river fisheries department up there, I do not see him much, but know he is still around, a couple old college buddies work out at RJ sport and cycle and I do have ties to the owners !! GREAT PEOPLE !!!

As far as Big Blue Marlin go, My wife and I had a career day out on the Pacific a few years back, we were fishing out of Zjuatinao and had a 4 sailfish day when another boat called for help, there was a boat of 4 "older" gentelmen aboard that have all but exhausted themselves trying to land one of these critters, our captain offered our services and I got to feel the power, I helped pull this tank through the back of the boat, it tipped the scale at over 900 lbs and 11 feet long !! That was the moment it became my "quest" to fight one of these giants !!!

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wow...that had to be a hoot! Best I've seen in the boat is a 250 blue, but i lost the coin flip for 1st fish so I wasn't on the rod, sigh...A few of the stripers in Cabo will go near 200, not too shabby:)

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I wil be heading to Cabo San Lucas in march. This will be my first trip ever to Mexico and first time deep sea fishing,I can't wait. Just wondering if there are any good web sites to research charter services. I'll be staying at the Rui Sante Fe if anybody is familiar with a charter close to there. And have any of you guys ran into a Humblodt Squid? I saw a show on them on discovery channell and they scare the [PoorWordUsage] out of me!

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Apegs; tons of good charter operations in Cabo, and prices are actually pretty reasonable for offshore fishing due to the competition there. Do a search for:

Redrum

Pisces

Marlin Masters

Talichaser

El Budster ... these outfits I've fished with, and can vouch for.

Also;

Minerva

Picante (very nice boats, but $$)

Cabo Magic

Renagade Mike (comes highly recommended)

Those should be enough to get you started:)

The humboldts usually show up in feb or after, so you should be in luck, depending on what you call luck! I'd sooner catch fish...I've never been down that late in the season so I haven't hit the squid, but friends have and the general concencus was they'd sooner be catching fish:)

The Riu is a few miles from the Cabo marina, you'll need to taxi into town to catch your boats.

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We fished with Marlin Masters last December and had a great time. I would definately recommand them. Great boat, equipment and crew. Five of us caught 12 marlin and 2 Mahi Mahi.

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When you charter, ask if the rigged baits are yours to use as you like. If they are change baits often. Also, save some for bottom fishing on the way in. Rigged ballyhoo are great baits for reef fish.

Either ask to stop billfishing early on a slow day and anchor on a reef and have a ball burning up the bait or ask to drop the balls or slow down to a slow crawl on the way in. Tip big because they won't want to clean the boat and rerig for the next charter.

The mystery fish potential is fun and a good way to turn a skunk day into a picture moment.

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Just to clear up a couple things from your post hanso612; different locations have different methods, not all are applicable to Cabo. The charters don't use rigged ballyhoo (I've never seen one anyway); they troll lures and have live bait in the baitwell for casting or dropping back to spotted marlin. Once in a great while a crew will slow troll liveys, and free lining live bait is popular, but thats about it. The baits go for 2-3 bucks apiece, and they don't want to use them on anything else up in case they come upon surface cruising marlin. There really aren't much for reefs on the most often fished pacific side, or an active bottom fishing bite, although you can always find a panga to take you out to fish the surf for roosters or sierra. The fishing fleet is pretty much tailored to chasing the abundant striped marlin, along with tuna and dorado when they're around, and they do it pretty well:) Plenty of days we've hit 2 or 3 marlin late on what might have been considered a "slow day". You never know when a marlin will show up:)

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Great point Traveler. My only experience is on the gulf. I had two charters last year that were glorified harbor tours with no realistic chance of hooking up with a billfish. These where booked from a cruise ship and really a poor experience. So I was hoping to prevent others from suffering the same fate.

I had had some success the day before in one of the billfish trips on reef fish. I saved the day for a couple from England who booked this "harbor cruise" who had never even caught a single fish of anykind before by siezing the moment. So the other guested agreed to stop early to hook this couple up. I've never caught a billfish and would fish to the last minute as you suggest, but this turned out way better for everyone else.

The baits for this "charter" where pre rigged ballyhoo or pin fish and they were frozen in a blue bin and the top layer was allowed to thaw each day and then the whole bin was put back on ice. The baits were mushy when we got on board. Not good. You could tell they had seen many trips. We picked up some big grouper until the yellowtail moved in and devowered the bait.

The lesson, which I hoped to impart , is to check it out before you book about what is included and if you get there and have a less than perfect operation, it's your time and money don't let the crew stop you from fishing the way you want because that's not how they usually do it. Make lemonade.

The Cabo post caught my eye because my college roommate's parents have a place in Cabo and he fishes the Bissby black and blue. Last year he had on a big money fish for a while. A few years back they had a charter runout of fuel and bobbed in the ocean for hours waiting for another boat from the same opperation to run fuel out(unexcusable)They made the best of it dangling baits. His wife Ellen caught a shark. Carpe diem.

Have a great trip, Hans

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Hans; I figured you'd been out elsewhere when you mentioned ballyhoo; Cabo is actually in the minority as they are used extensivly in many places. Your experience makes a good point; do the research! Too many guys head to vacation spots that might offer great fishing, but they don't research it ahead of time and just go down to the docks to see whats coming in. That might work some time, but having at least some idea of the fishery, prices, available charters, etc...will go along ways towards maximizing some pretty expensive fishing time.

Also, booking through cruise ships is a low percentage option. Often it's the only option, unfortunatly, given the tight timing with cruise ship shore excursions. I'm sure it works out sometimes, but I haven't heard of many guys who were pleased with those outings.

Now, get in touch with that college roomie and tag along down to Cabo and catch some marlin!

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