If you are bringing some fishing gear, here are some of the basic rule of thumb for the Cabo Region. Make sure your rods & reels are in the best working order. The fish in Baja are hard running serious fish, and will push the limit of your tackle. Have fresh main line on your reels. have fresh leader line on your lures. Be careful here to not confuse 100# mono leader with 100# mono line. Many manufacturers use a harder, more abrasion resistant mono for their leader material. Most manufacturers also usually under rate their mono leader by 25% or more (300# actually breaks at 400#). A 100# leader of hard, under rated leader material like Momoi is fine for
striped marlin, but a piece of a nice soft 100# line like Berkeley Big Game may get sawed off pretty quickly.
Blue Marlin: 80lb line with 500 yards, with drag set properly, it will generally slow one down and catch the marlin. Or you can have a reel with 50lb line, but with 700 yards of line. Most Blue Marlin caught in the Cabo region are males, in the 250-350lb class. Once you get above that weight, its generally a female. Rods are 5 1/2 ft to 6ft, usually E-Glass, with a minimum of a tip and stripper roller guides. The rod butt must have a trolling gimbal, otherwise it will not set in the boat trolling slots properly, (the reel will turn over).
Blue Marlin Lures & Rigging: There are 4-5 basic lure colors that the local skippers use allot. Green/Black Yellow/Orange
Blue/Pink Purple/Black Green/Blue Lure style & size is a 10-12 inch, plastic or soft, but soft lures are gaining popularity in Cabo. Rigging is 400lb 12ft clear mono leader with a tamdum double hook 12/0 Mustad Big Game.
Blue Marlin Live Bait: Their are several different ways to rigg a large live bait. The mexican skippers simply attach a 9/0 chrome stainless mustad hook, with a 250-400lb 8-12ft leader. They then run the hook through the bonito, tuna's nose. Other techniques include a wire threading and attaching the live bait hook to the baits forehead. More on this topic later.
Stripped Marlin: Leader length for lure fishing 12'-15' of 200# - 300# for striped marlin. 12'-15' of 100# to 150# for live bait for striped marlin and sailfish. The leader is usually tied to the main line with an albright.
Yellowfin Tuna: Leader length of 8' of 80# for live bait or chunking for tuna over 100#. A swivel is optional for live bait, but mandatory for chunking. 5' of 50#-60# for trolling or bait for tuna over 40#; 20#-30# for smaller fish (usually no leader).
Dorado: Leader length is usually 6-8 feet, with 50-80 lb line. Live bait is the same with 60 lb line.
Wahoo: Leader Length of 2'-3' of 60#-100# single strand wire for live bait and trolled lures, 40#-60# cable for iron (Hopkins, Tady, Salas, UFO, etc), and 250# cable for Marauders, Bonitas, etc., for wahoo.
Sierra: Leader length of 5-7 feet with a swivel clipped to a CD4 Rapala Roosters:
Pargo: Leader length of 3' of 30#-40# (green mono may work better than other colors) with a rubber core sinker for for pargo.
Amberjack: Leader Length of 3' of 50#-80# with a dropper loop and whatever weight of torpedo sinker, usually 4-16 oz, whatever is necessary to get to the bottom for Amberjack or cabrilla and other things living in rock piles. Make the dropper with a spider hitch, with a 2' loop and 3' tag, with the hook on the loop and sinker on the tag, and with a half hitch in the tag near the sinker so it busts off first when you get hung in the rocks.
What can I do with my fish:
Cabo Fishing Vacation Inc. believes in the conservation of billfish and therefore requests that you release your billfish, unless it is your first, or you want to take the meat.
It you want to have a taxidermied fish as a wall trophy, it is seldom necessary to kill the fish. Nowadays new techniques have enabled taxidermists to produce high quality replica mounts, which are taken from molds of actual fish. Skin mounts are still possible, but the quality deteriorates after a few years. Our captains are skilled at estimating the size of any fish released and photos are helpful too.
Your catch (on the Fly Hooker only) will be cleaned, bagged, and ready to be frozen. Billfish are cleaned at the main dock, and is subject to rates on the dock, usually $12.00.
Most people take their catch home with them. If you did not bring a cooler with you, local stores normally have a good supply, though they are generally quite expensive. Usually a 42 quart cooler will make the 44lb restriction on most airlines. You can bring a bigger one, but you will have to pay the excess baggage charge, usually $1.00 per lb. Airlines vary, so check with the air carrier on exact cost. Also, the cooler is considered 1 piece of baggage. Most airlines allow you to check in 2 pieces of baggage and 1 carry on. Unless your trip home is extensive, most fish makes it back in a perfectly fresh state.
can also arrange to have your fish cooked at a local restaurant. For
a small cost of about $4.00 per person they will supply the side dishes
to accompany your fish and prepare it in 3 or 4 different ways.
licenses are issued for periods of one week, one month, and one year,
effective at 12:01 am on the starting date specified on the license
application. The prices for Mexican fishing licenses are as follows:
All prices are in US Dollars. These licenses are not transferable, and each license must include the person's full legal name, home address, and telephone number.
for Mexican Sportfishing Licenses can be obtained at the Mexico Department
of Fisheries office in San Diego, however, most people purchase them
through their local fishing and tackle store or Mexican Insurance dealer.
If you receive your application from the Department of Fisheries office,
upon completion, applications should be submitted to:
Applications sent to this address must be accompanied by a cashier's check or money order for the exact amount due, and made payable to Oficina Recaudadora de Pesca; personal checks are not accepted. For mail orders, be sure to include a stamped self-addressed return envelope.
Mexico Department of Fisheries also has offices in Mexico (Oficina de
Pesca), but it is advisable to obtain fishing licenses before crossing
Except when skin or scuba diving, fish must be taken by angling with a hand-held line or a line attached to a rod. The use of nets (except handling nets), traps, poisons, or explosives is strictly prohibited. Skin and scuba divers may only fish with hand-held spears or band-powered spearguns. It is illegal to sell, trade, or exchange the fish caught. Fish can be eviscerated and filleted, but a patch of skin must be left to permit identification.
taking of abalone, lobster, shrimp, pismo clams, cabrilla, totuava,
oysters, and sea turtles is prohibited by Mexican law. Anyone wishing
to purchase any of these species to take into the United States must
first obtain a form from the Mexican Government Fish Commission; only
the Oficinas de Pesca located within Mexico provides this form. All
purchases of these species must be made at designated public markets
or fishing cooperatives.