It’s no secret that giant fish live just offshore from Cabo San Lucas. Cabo is home to the Bisbee's Black & Blue Marlin Tournament, which is the largest marlin tournament outside of the United States. This pristine deep sea fishing destination isn’t just for marlin with plenty of tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi, and so many more.
If it wasn't already, Cabo should be on every angler’s bucket list. Regardless of the fishing, this is one of the most stunning places to spend a day on the water and people have been doing just that in Cabo for a long time.
In 1927, Cabo San Lucas had a cannery aboard a ship that was anchored near where the cruise ships now sit just outside the harbor. Later the canning operation moved on land and in its heyday produced three-quarters of Mexico’s seafood products. The fishing industry in Cabo has grown from 300 cannery workers to having over 800 anglers participate in a single marlin tournament each year.
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Cabo San Lucas is located at the southern point of the California Baja Peninsula where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. The cool water from the pacific collides with the sheltered and warmer waters of the Sea of Cortez and it attracts an abundance of life. bait fish school here for protection from the wind and waves but big sportfish come here to feed. The consistent conditions are part of why Cabo is an amazing fishery year-round.
The fishing prospects get even better with underwater canyons and deep sea ledges running close to shore. This mix of ocean and seascape creates the perfect environment to catch big pelagic species and other sport fish just minutes from port. These hidden features play a big role in Cabo’s reputation for never having a slow season. After experiencing short boat rides to catch sought-after fish it will change the way you look at other offshore fishing destinations.
The diversity of species here is second to none with hundreds of fish inhabiting these waters. Popular billfish are caught here including sailfish, swordfish, and three different species of marlin. Striped marlin are caught with regularity but the giant blue and black marlin steal the show on the water and at the docks.
The pelagic species including mahi mahi, tuna, and wahoo are also found here and can hit lures and bait just as hard as the bigger billfish. With fights that generally last minutes instead of hours, these fish are incredibly fun to catch and also delicious.
Snapper and grouper make for a great day of fishing but still demand respect because pulling a big fish up to the surface is no easy task. Several species of grouper and snapper of varying sizes hang out near the reefs, ledges, and canyons. Dropping bait into the depths is always a gamble because the next fish could be a small mackerel or giant grouper.
Mullet snapper and roosterfish are two very popular and unique fish that can be caught in Cabo. This is one of the only places in the world you can catch a mullet snapper because they only live in the tropical Pacific waters off the coast of Central and South America. Mullet snapper commonly feeds anywhere from the surface to the bottom and you can get a bite on everything from poppers to cut bait.
This is the deepest part of the Tinaje Trough reaching depths of around 3,500 ft and can harbor some giant fish. There are also three underwater mountains sitting on a plateau with the highest peak only 150 ft from the surface and the base at around 600ft. San Jamie Bank sits in the path of an ocean current and is the perfect spot to catch tuna and marlin.
This landmark also happens to be surrounded by great fishing. It’s only a few minutes from the Cabo Marina and will put you on prime feeding grounds for mahi mahi.
Sometimes in order to find elusive giants, you have to cover some ground, and this place might be perfect for that. Located 50 miles from Cabo sits Finger Bank where you will find opportunities to catch many of the pelagic species.
Gordo Bank also commonly called wahoo bank is the perfect place to find wahoo and mackerel schools. These fish come here to feed on the variety of bait that lives here. It’s 22 miles away from Cabo San Lucas but the fishing is worth the trip.
While Cabo is known for not having any bad times to go fishing, there can be slightly more productive months to take a trip depending on the fish you want to target. With that being said some fish like mahi mahi, yellowfin, wahoo, striped marlin, and mackerel are great year-round.
From spring until the middle of summer, swordfish, grouper, and snapper are hitting their peak bite. Once summer sets in the big blue and black marlin come in to eat and hang around through the end of the year. If you are interested in shark fishing, mako sharks are fairly available throughout the year but the best time to catch them runs from March through October.
With the seafloor dropping quickly as you head away from shore, the offshore fish are only a short distance away similar to where you might expect to find nearshore fish in the U.S. The shallow water near the shore is home to some amazing fish that might be smaller than the offshore giants but are still a blast to catch and punch above their weight.
Roosterfish have a similar range and can only be found in the waters from the Baja Peninsula to Peru. This unique fish has a large comb of fins that stick up and resemble a rooster’s crown. Don’t let their odd looks deceive you because this fish can grow up to 100lbs and take out line with ease.
Sierra mackerel school in the shallows to feed on baitfish and can be seen splashing on the surface as they aggressively hunt. Their razor-sharp teeth make using a wire leader a must even though they top out around 20lbs.
Jack crevalle or “toro” are a popular fish for anglers who prefer to use fly fishing equipment. These fish usually weigh around 10lbs but can grow over 30lbs and put up a fight much bigger than they are. While there is no bad time to fish the shallows around Cabo, the best time to target jacks is from December through July where they can be found near rocky shorelines.
Cabo isn’t a tiny canning town anymore but instead, it has become one of the top tourism destinations in the world with plenty of attractions to keep you busy when you get back on land. The blue water and soft sand make a beach day in Cabo hard to resist. Palmilla Beach and Chileno beach have some of the best views perfect for a day of relaxation and swimming.
Cabo has some incredible sightseeing if you know where to look. Over time strong winds eroded the shore and created beautiful rock formations and other naturally beautiful sites. Some of the best spots to check out are Land’s End, Playa del Amor, and Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park.
It’s almost a given that people come to Cabo to cut loose and have some fun. With plenty of options for food and drinks, it’s the perfect place to let go of wherever ails you and have a good time. The Sand Bar sits on Medano Beach where you can hang out in a lounge chair or post up at the bar. The drink menu is not your standard pours with interesting cocktails like a malbec margarita. Wachinango’s is a great place to sit down for a meal in the heart of downtown Cabo. They have the best seafood in the city and it’s sure to be a meal that you will want to relive.
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Updated on May 30, 2023
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