Cabo: The Marlin Fishing Capital of the World!

Thirty or forty years ago, Cabo san Lucas was a sleepy little fishing town where hardcore fishermen were pretty much the only tourists.  Getting to Cabo was quite difficult - those who were fortunate enough to enjoy fishing in Cabo’s pristine waters came via private yacht or were hearty souls who survived extremely uncomfortable transportation to get here with very basic accommodations once they arrived.  Local fishermen spoke little English and weren’t very interested in catering to the tourist trade.

Times have changed!

Enthusiasts from all over the world flock to Los Cabos to take advantage of the nutrient-rich water formed from the converging currents of the Pacific Ocean and and the Sea of Cortez that attract baitfish which in turn attract the much larger game fish.  The fishing is so profound that Cabo has earned the title of “Marlin Capital of the World” and is home to some of the highest paying fishing tournaments in the world.  Fishing in Cabo is an adventure you’ll never forget!



Prices vary depending upon the size of the boat, number of people and what’s included in the package.  

Pangas are the most economical type of boat to charter - around $200 for a half day.  They are usually 20-24 foot fiberglass boats that have been used in Mexico for years, and generally have outboard motors.  Often, the owners of these boats are the most experienced in Mexico and their daily catch ratio is amazing.  Although they generally specialize in smaller species of fish, they are perfectly capable of reeling in marlin, tuna, and dorado.  Pangas are often limited to 2 extra fishermen per boat, and they usually don’t have sanitary facilities.  Super Pangas are usually 26 feet, may have some shade, and perhaps even a rather cramped head.

A small charter that will fit up to four people will generally cost $500 for an eight hour day, exclusive of taxes, fees, gratuity, cleaning and freezing, etc.

For a large group, expect to pay upwards of $1500 per day for a boat and $2,800+ for a yacht.

No matter which size you choose, clarify what is included: license, fishing equipment, water, snacks, lunch, etc.  If not already included in your package, you should tip the captain 10-20% based upon the quality of service, not the number of fish caught.

Never give your money to a non established fishing charter unless you are loading the boat and ready to head out…you may never see your money or the captain again.



Everyone on the boat needs a fishing license, whether they are fishing or not.  Licenses may be obtained at the Marina in Cabo, or, if you want to save some time, there’s a booth at the Mega in San Jose del Cabo that is open until 10 pm. 

Most charters in Cabo fish catch and release.  If you wish to keep the fish you catch, verify with the captain that the captain will permit it before you book your charter.  

The daily limit is 10 fish per day - with specific limitations for certain species of fish such as marlin, swordfish, and dorado.  

If you want to take your fish home, have it packaged by your charter operator and freeze it when you return to Casa Corridor.  Make sure to check in advance with your airline for rules regarding types of coolers for transporting your catch.  Cooler rules vary by airline and are subject to change.



Sport Fishing is year-round in Cabo.  Having said that, the best time to catch a specific species depends upon what you want to catch.  For specific seasons, check out the Fish Calendar at http:/  

There are two general rules regarding fishing: first, fish tend to migrate to Cabo when it’s warmer; and second, populations of fish can be low when it’s a very dry year in the American southwest.



Make your Reservation in Advance - It is recommended that you make your reservations in advance - at least a week if you are coming during high season (Jan - March).  You may want to search on Trip Advisor to see what other visitors have experienced, as well as to get contact info for the various charters.

Be Prepared! - You’ll enjoy the trip much more if you are prepared.  Since most fishing is catch and release, you’ll definitely want your camera!!!  Make sure to take things to protect you from the sun, i.e., a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a towel for if you get wet, and lip balm.  You may want to take a shirt or jacket - both for early morning temperatures and to add a layer of protection from the sun.  

If you think you might experience sea sickness, make sure to take Dramamine (at least 1 hour before) or wear a Transderm-scop patch (the night before).  


Whether you are a rookie angler or a seasoned pro, everyone can have a memorable time reeling in a great catch in the waters of Cabo!