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At a quick glance, Cabo San Lucas is a beautiful arid region which meets the pacific and creates a plethora of sporting opportunities. Sandy beaches and rocky bluffs mark the border between land and ocean. Just beyond the surf, the bottom drops rapidly to 500 feet, then a little further and it begins to level off at 1,200 feet. The rocky terrain, jagged geography, and tropical climate make Cabo San Lucas a paradise for anglers and sport fish alike.

Landing A Striped Marlin In Cabo

What to Catch and Where

Cabo is home to many of the most desirable pelagic species in the world. During peak times of the year, these fish occupy different areas around the Baja Peninsula. Knowing these general areas will help you pick a trip that gives you the best chance at hooking into one.

Nearshore Fishing in Cabo San Lucas

The nearshore waters on the Pacific side of Cabo have depths between 300 and 1,000 feet. This is where the dorado and wahoo push into every fall. This initial steep drop off from shore to several hundred feet deep happens quickly. This creates an environment where these typically open-water predators can hunt close to the rocks and surf where baitfish school up in the thousands. Dorado and wahoo push close enough to shore that even anglers with surf rods can target them. For more on surf fishing in Cabo, you can read about my initiation into the sport here.

Fishing charters that are shorter in duration will spend more time targeting these nearshore waters because shorter travel times mean more fishing. Additionally, wahoo and dorado hunt in schools which can result in more bites and more fish on board. A four or six-hour charter will likely spend part or all of the time targeting these delicious fish.

Cabo San Lucas Marlin Fishing

When it comes to fishing in Cabo, marlin are some of the first fish that comes to mind. Thanks to “the world’s richest tournaments”, the Bisbee Black & Blue is one of the largest marlin tournaments in the world. These events are massive bringing in a swarm of massive offshore boats, anglers, and spectators. The fish that get caught during these events continue to remind people that Cabo has some of the best marlin fishing in the world.

The three marlin species that can be caught in Cabo San Lucas include black, blue, and striped marlin. Striped marlin are year round residents but they also tend to be smaller than the other two. Black and blue marlin typically migrate through cabo during the warmer months of summer into early fall. If a trophy marlin is what you’re after black and blue marlin are both capable of growing over 1,000 pounds.

Fishing for marlin in Cabo takes place a little further offshore in around 1,000 feet deep. However dont expect to have much down time because you can reach areas with water that deep in about 15 minutes despite having the shoreline in view. Captains will troll for marlin starting right just offshore then work their way out.

Cabo San Lucas Tuna Fishing

While marlin, wahoo, and dorado can be caught just around the bend from the marina, tuna require anglers to cover more ground. Tuna fishing grounds are no less than 25 miles offshore. A typical boat ride to a tuna spot is about 30 to 35 miles where the ocean floor becomes a dramatic canyon landscape where the squid and baitfish reside in mass.

Fishing charters will troll or drift for tuna using a variety of artificial, frozen, and live bait. If the offshore fishing in Cabo couldn’t get any better, there are four species of tuna to chase while you’re out there. The tuna species you can catch out in the canyons are albacore, bigeye, bluefin, and yellowfin. Each of these tuna can grow to massive proportions which is only part of what makes them so fun to catch. Tuna and their relatives are pound for pound some of the strongest and toughest fighting fish. They refuse to give up making long runs and deep dives which seem to effortlessly peel out drag. However, if you’re able to land one, your efforts are well rewarded with delicious tuna steaks.

Cabo Sailfish Charters

The sailfish is an outlier when it comes to offshore fishing in Cabo. While sailfish can occasionally be caught in other areas around the Baja Peninsula, the protected waters of the Sea of Cortez are loaded with them. Here, these lightning-fast fish feed on sardines, octopus, and squid. Sailfish are the fastest fish in the ocean reaching speeds of almost 70 miles per hour. This means that trolling happens at much greater speeds which helps cover more water. Drifting and the various sub-variants like kite fishing also take place when targeting sailfish on the Sea of Cortez. While they are on the smaller end of the billfish species, their scorching speed, signature sail fin, and still large size make sailfish a trophy bucket list fish.

Cabo San Lucas Fishing Charters

This is an area that has it all when it comes to offshore fishing. From big tuna 30 miles out to stunning sailfish on the backside of the peninsula, whatever trophy you’re after, it likely calls Cabo home. With all of the fish hunting in different areas, be sure to book a trip for long enough to reach the fish you’re targeting. If you just love fishing and want to get on the water, book a trip and let the captain put you on the best bite. You can read about my family fishing trip to Cabo here.