Los Cabos Mexico – Marlinos, Pelikanos and Banditos

At the 7th november it would start. From Frankfurt with the Iberia-Line via Madrid and Mexico City to Los Cabos. It sounds like a very long journey and…yes, it is. 28 hours ! The time difference (from Germany) is 8 hours.

Los Cabos is the southernmost municipality (municipio) of the Mexican state “Baja California Sur” with 105.469 inhabitants. The most important economic is the tourism. The local administration is in San José del Cabo, the biggest city is Cabo San Lucas.

The holiday center “Los Cabos” includes Cabo San Lucas and the 32km further in the east located San José del Cabo. Between this two places you will find very elegantly Hotels.

In the region of Los cabos the visitor will find a variety of hight mountainn ranges, meagrely sand deserts, beautiful beaches and the deep blue Ocean.

Los Cabos is famous for it´s rock formations, called “El Arco” where the Pacific meets the warm waters of the Cortez sea. In the last years, Cabo San Lucas got a prominent position behind Acapulco an Cancun in the most visited, Mexican holiday locations. You will find a lot of foreigners, mostly US Americans there. The Holiday - resort los Cabos was built from FONATUR, the Mexican authority of tourism and some US Investors.

Our journey-planning included at the begin 6 days stay on the pacific side, after that a 6 hour car-trip along the Sea of Cortez to Buena Vista. There, we want to stay for three days and then, the half way back to “San José del Cabo” (three days fishing in the Sea of Cortez and five days fishing in the Pacific). More details you can find on the map.

Finally arrived and checked-in in the hotel „Pueblo bonito sunset beach”, the suitcases unpacked, the fishing-tackle prepared we wanted to go to the beach. Unfortunately, it swimming was forbidden because of the high waves and the strong current of the Pacific. So, I tried fishing. With my light spinning tackle and a nice popper I made the first throws in the rolling wave

You will not believe, but after the third throw, the first Rooster attacked the popper, but without success. After five further throws I could land my first rooster, a big rejoicing. Martina had a camera with her and so we could make a picture for memory. A successful start.

In the afternoon of the same day we visited impressive the marina of Cabo San Lucas. Unbelievable how many boats there are. And all of them come back with a lot of flags after their fishing exits. You will find all kind of boats. From small pangas to big 200 feet yachts …

The boats and marina are very good maintained and clean but for the one who looks for silence not the right place. A lot of street-dealer, restaurant-, casino- and discoanimateurs tries to make a business. This is the unpleasant side of Cabo San Lucas. Nevertheless, you should visit the marina.

The next days we were always a half hour before sunset at the beach to fulfil our slogan “Long Cast big fish”. So I could catch some Jacks and Garfish. Unfortunately no further Rooster.

From Cabo San Lucas we wanted to start with our first exit to catch a Striped Marlin with the El Budster II. The Stripies were on the Golden Gate Bank, because there were a lot of Baitfish. The Bank is about 22 Miles far out from Cabo San Lucas.

When you want to fish there you need a licence. The price is 13$/day/person. To enter the dock, you have to pay one US-Dollar/day/person. But the most important ist the bait fish in Mexico. You won´t have success without. The price: 2 US-Dollar for one. You need about 10 for one day. You should check it before the exit with the boat-owner. The tip for the crew is between 15% - 20% of the Charterprice. You charter the boat full rigged with a captain and one crewman and enough ice in the box. You have to bring your own food supply or you can order it before charter begin from the boat-owner. It is possible to buy some food on the marina and the gasoline early in the morning too.

The crossing to the Golden Gate Bank takes about one to one and a half hour (the engines of the boat are important). So you can say “The boats with the strongest engines catch the most fish”. For a panga it´s to far out.

In three fishing days we caught with the Edbuster II 15 Striped Marlin and one Dorado. Unfortunately, the boat hasn´t strong engines and so the journey to the Bank takes about two hours.

The fourth and fifth day with the Edbuster I (the same boat like the edbuster II but with stronger engines) became the highlight of the holiday. We caught 10 Striped Marlin on the fourth day and eleven and a Tresher Shark on the fifth day!
Every strike a hookup! Unbelievable fishing!

During the fights, our crew caught baitfish, well done guys! My arms hurted after that hard day and the spa of our hotel made a good work too. A mochito was my reward.

We fished with 20lb tackle and circle hooks. It works very well for Striped Marlin. All the fish had the hook in the edge of the jaw. Normally the fish will be released (dorados too). The people have fish enough.

I can recommend a heavy spinning rod with a good reel. It works very good and it is a very nice kind of fishing.

On the sixth day we drove with our rented jeep the very nice, but dangerous coastal street of the Cortez sea to the Buena vista Beach resort fishing lodge. For this trip you have to plan about six hours from Cabo San Lucas.

In Buena Vista, unfortunately the wind was very strong and so we couldn´t reach the fishing grounds, which are far out too.

So we fished a half day from the shore with the light spinning tackle and could land three rooster and some jacks.

We left that village on the same day and took the highway to San Jose del Cabo. We spent the rest of the days in a nice and silent hotel named “Casa del Mar”.

San José del Cabo is not so busy like Cabo San Lucas. The new Marina is a dream. With all comfort and all you need. All around Cabos San Lucas and San José del Cabo you feel that you are not in Mexico. You feel like in USA.

There we chartered the „Dusty B III“ for two days. We fished in the Cortez Sea and at the “Gorda Banks” for Wahoo – Tuna and Dorado. Catching billfish is not so good then in the Pacific. But you can catch here a lot of Dorados and Tunas. But the weights of the tunas are not very high (20-30lb).

They fish there with live baits on light tackle too. Who wants can get his catch in mouth-fairly pieces packed. All is very professionell.

At the first day on the „Dusty B III“ we caught 2 Tunas – 4 Dorados – 1 Snapper and 1 Garfish. The second Tuna broke my light spinning rod – a shame.

Of course I was very curiously and looked in the bait box of the boat.

The second day got my personal highlight of the journey. After we caught 6 tunas – 1 African Pompano and some snapper I got a hard bite on my heavy spinning rod. We believed in an big tuna but a after 40 minutes fight we saw the fish. A big rooster came to the surface. The skipper were astonished too.

In the Cortez Sea we saw Embossment Whales – we were happy. The species-variety of the Ocean is enormously. And you won´t find there drifting garbage. The beaches are very clean.

On the evening Martina had a little surprise for me on my birthday. We had a dinner for 2 on the beach and enjoyed Mochitos and Coronas until late in the night. I think I told her the story with the rooster about 12 times …

The last 5 days I chartered again the „El Budster I“. We met again the Striped Marlin on the bank but not in such great number. We concerned the last days slowly and tried artificial baits too – far away from the bank. And sometimes we had success too.

My heavy spinning rod caught 23 Striped Marlin before she broke with a loud crack.

We had 4 doublestrikes but only once we got both fish to the boat. Of course that was not really important. If you don´t catch this fish you will catch the next. Normally one skipper was on the bridge and the other caught bait-fish. We hadn´t time for a café ;-) You always have the rod in your hand and in the other hand the line to feel the bite early.

Totally we caught 18 Striped Marlin and 18 tunas in the last five days. The tunas weren´t big but they were in big swarms there – so I missed my light spinning rod.

The Capitano was always fully concentrated. Especially when the Tuna were there. The Mexican´s love the tunas. They cut filets and put them on ice. We always had a very good tendency and we felt good cared from the crew.

During the drive to the bank all the hooks – leader and lines got renewed. A very important thing is the Paternoster-System to catch bait-fish. The cause is simple. Without baitfish you won´t catch. When we saw a swarm of mackerels they started. Of course one bait for marlin is the whole time in the water. And often a Marlin attacked the mackerels who hang on the Paternoster-System. Then the first strike came soon.

The total result is nearly unbelievable. We had 12 and a half fishing exits and caught:
54 Striped Marlin (about 100 – 180 lbs)
01 Tresher Shark (about 140 lbs)
11 Dorados (about 20 – 50 lbs)
26 Yellowfintuna (about 20 – 30 lbs)
04 Rooster ( about 15 – 70 lbs)
and some snapper and other fish.

Summary – HITS and Shits

Cabo San Lucas is a “To Have” for every Big Game Angler.

The variety of different species in the Pacific is unbelievable. Fishing between Whales - Dolphins and Pelicanes is fantastic. To see the big bait balls and the robbing Marlin and Tunas was the holiday worth.

Who wants to catch a Striped Marlin has a warranty between the main months – every boat catchs. The fishery with the caballitos or mackerels – you have to throw them directly between the robbing Marlin is thrilling.

I fished on 4 different boats and all skippers and crews were very experienced. They fish with live-bait and circle hooks. The fish hang in the edge of the jaw and can be released very good (if you wish it). The hooks are small 10/0 ownerhooks and rust between one week totally. In Mexico you have catch-limits. You can take one billfish with you every day. Without this limits you could disturb such a paradise very fast.

Unfortunately you will miss here the romantic of the Big Game Fishing. The cause is the excitement on the banks. You won´t have the feeling to be alone there. Ernest Hemmingway would have had no fun there.

The boats were very good maintained – the light tackle very stressed. Normally you fish there 20 and 30 lb tackle with a 4 meter 100lb leader tied with a about 100m 50lb monofiled line and then a thin braided line (backing). My Stella 20000 with 400m line was always sufficiently.

The fish got normally hooked near the boat and are the first minutes very calmly. Only after registering that he is hooked – the marlin starts up. Often you have the fish after few minutes near the boat but then the game begins again. The striped Marlin have a good condition and you have to count a fighting-time between 20 to 40 minutes. One fish got me for 120 Minutes. But this fish was with his 180lb much bigger then the cut through (120lb).

Specimen Marlin are there very rare. But sometimes they catch big tuna to 250lb. When the bait goes deep you can experience a surprise. My surprise was the Tresher Shark.

Cut offs are very rare. The boats take care to each other. When the lines cross between the boats you will give your rod to the angler on the other boat and you get his rod. After fighting the fish you will get your rod back.

Once we could see how a Marlin jumped in the boat. The crew and angler had to flee on the bridge.

Really all there – from the hotel over car-rent to the boatcharter you will have additional costs. In the first hotel you (as guest) have to pay additional 15 Dollar for the gym there. And that with a expensive cost per night. For a dinner you have to pay about 100$ for two persons. Equal what you drink. A Corona – wine or a bottle of water…..you will pay about 8 Dollar. We think it is to expensive for the “win” you will get there.

You have to pay special attention when you rent a car. There you can fall quickly in the Additional-Cost-Case.

Maybe you want to know whether we will drive there again? Well – we don´t think so. But of course you will have a very good fishing and a good recovery.

The El Edbuster I you can charter. She is her money worth. The El Edbuster II is good to but not for standup-angler because she hasn´t a upholstery on the railing. So you will have after the first day blue knees. Both captains and crews don´t let any wish open. More informations to El Edbuster you will find under www.eledbuster.com.

The best is you contact Jim Dillen. He is a very professional and helpful man who will phone you from California and give you all the informations you need.

With this lures we had good success in Mexico. Beginning from the left – Popper and Tuna-woods. Then little ilander combined with rubberfish – two legend lures – one lure from Mexico (Allure) and one Ilander. The little lures brought us Dorados and Tuna – the Rest produced a lot of Marlinstrikes and some nice hookups.

Stephan Kreupl in November 2008