By Nick Honachefsky
As a seasoned traveling angler, I thought I had crossed a great deal of fishing experiences off my checklist. then, in August 2014, i had to film a television show in the East Cape. we left the dock as the sun was ready to pop the horizon and dropped squid jigs a mere half-mile from where we set off. immediately, we were caught in an arm-wrenching battle with an 80-pound Humboldt squid. And that was just the starting course.
It was a sensation I had never experienced. An hour later, our trolling spread was assaulted by a triple header of striped marlin — meaning three marlin on at once — all within a stone’s throw from the dock. It was insane! The day went on, ending with our crew live-lining baits to catch roosterfish and dolphin along the East Cape coastline. I couldn’t have been more astounded by the sheer magnitude of the experience. But that’s what fishing in Los Cabos is all about — exceeding even your wildest expectations.
Where to Fish
Brimming with marine life and fishing opportunities, Los Cabos’ waters are an unparalleled piscatorial playground, and for good reason. Accessibility is a major factor as the main fishing grounds in the Pacific Ocean off of El Arco include a short run anywhere from five to 40 miles offshore to target pelagic species.
Billfish are the main draw in Los Cabos, headlined by three species of marlin — blue marlin, black marlin and, the centerpiece of Los Cabos fishing, striped marlin. Most billfish run between 200 and 500 pounds, with the ever-present opportunity to core a grander marlin — over 1,000 pounds. Double digit catch days of striped marlin are not uncommon. Two other billfish species are also on the roster here: sailfish, targeted by fly fishing anglers looking for a thrill, and broadbill swordfish, targeted with deep-dropped dead baits.
Another prime target on the offshore hit list is the yellowfin tuna, many of which exceed the 300-pound mark. That’s plenty of fresh sushi for dinner! Lightning quick wahoo and high-flying sailfish round out the mix. Offshore methods to land billfish and tuna include trolling large squid spreader bars, cedar plugs and skirted ballyhoo baits, as well as chunking dead baits while chumming them up to come and feed. The offshore sportfishing fleets often gravitate toward noted hot spots off of Cabo San Lucas that include the Gordo Banks, Cabrillo Seamount, Golden Gate Bank, 45 Spot and 95 Spot.
Inshore fishing off Cabo San Lucas entails patrolling the rocky shorelinefrom the tip of Land’s End to the lighthouse and back. Trolling lures and sardine baits entice roosterfish, snapper, rainbow runners, yellowtail, bonito and grouper to come up and hit seductively moving lures. Those fishing by foot from the surf can take a stroll just past Lover’s Beach on Land’s End. The beaches right off El Arco and the Pueblo Bonito Pacífica Golf & Spa Resort offer excellent opportunities to surfcast metal or surface lures before sunrise to catch jacks, rainbow runners, roosterfish and bonito.
Exploring the shores of the Sea of Cortés along the East Cape is like entering a timeless paradise. The shoreline remains undeveloped in most areas, offering wondrous views of untouched landscapes, where the magical beauty of the desert ecosystem greets the seashore. A day troll off the barren and natural golden-sand beaches of Punta Arena will have you battling one roosterfish after another, as the animals’ namesake cox-combed fins spike out of the water betraying their locations. Live-lined sardinas (sardines) will pull pargo (snapper) off the rocks along the coastline. If you want to try something a little different, you can rent ATVs from Terramar and explore the East Cape as part of their ATV Desert & Beach Expedition. Roam for dozens of miles, surfcasting to 50-pound roosterfish, houndfish, snapper and even mahimahi as you move from spot to spot.