Many destinations claim to be the ‘Sports Fishing Capitol of the World’. Cabo San Lucas is the real deal.
What’s more, this picturesque Mexican city located at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula offers something for everyone whether cruising in on a sport fisher, sailboat or megayacht.
Sports fishing has been a big draw in Cabo ever since Hollywood actors like John Wayne and Bing Crosby visited in the post-World War II tourism boom and repeatedly returned to chill-out and reel-in whopper billfish. Today, the three-decade-old trio of Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournaments continue to put Cabo San Lucas on the global angling map by being the world’s richest fishing events. To date, Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore Tournament in July and Los Cabos Offshore Charity Tournament and Black & Blue Marlin Tournaments in October have awarded over $60 million in prize money.
“Fishing year around is the advantage here,” explains Darren Carey, director of marina operations at Island Global Yachting’s (IGY) Marina Cabo San Lucas. “In the winter, there are striped marlin and we will also get blue marlin, dorado (mahi-mahi and cero mackerel. Then in the summer there are more black and blue marlin. Cabo’s claim to fame is that it’s the most ‘catch-worthy’ place in the world. In other words, it has the highest catch rate per boat per day.”
The size of fish caught off Cabo San Lucas is as amazing as the sheer numbers. There have been nearly 70 world records set including the 2013 catch of a 427-pound yellowfin tuna. Two years prior, n 2011, an angler reeled in a reported 1213-pound blue marlin, although most if not all billfish caught today are released.
IGY’s 380-slip Marina Cabo San Lucas provides everything sports fishermen need for a successful day on the water. There’s high-quality high-speed fuel; a floating shop right on the fuel dock that sells fishing licenses, tackle and ice as well as everything from Doritos for Dom Pérignon; and a clothing shop shoreside ready to outfit anglers with brand name apparel such as Columbia, Pelagic, Maui Jim and Costa. There’s also a full-service boatyard with a 75-ton Travelift, dedicated 24/7 manned and electronic security, and regional search and rescue base equipped with a 47-foot motor lifeboat.
Didn’t bring your own boat? No worries! Charters are available on everything from a local 23-foot panga boat to a 95-foot custom sports fisher. Even better, lines in starts from as little as 5 to 15 miles offshore on the productive Inner and Outer Gordo Banks. Best of all, IGY’s Marina Cabo San Lucas has been awarded The Yacht Harbour Association’s (TYHA) 2013 International Marina of the Year Award, an honor only given to Gold Anchor accredited members of TYHA and an honor usually reserved for megayacht rather than sports fishing marinas.
Customer recommendations on superb staff, beautifully-maintained facilities and a reformed price point including special offers at under US $1 per foot is what earned IGY’s Marina Cabo San Lucas the prestigious TYHA award. It’s no wonder. There is a vibrancy here that in addition to the world-class sports fishing also keeps sailors and megayacht owners and crews coming back and coming anew. The marina welcomes sailors each year who take part in the Balboa Yacht Club-hosted Corona del Mar to Cabo San Lucas International Yacht Race in March and those sailing in the Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers Rally in the fall. In addition, the marina can dock yachts up to 375 feet.
One of the most unique features of Cabo San Lucas is that the town has grown up around IGY’s Marina Cabo San Lucas, not the more typical vice versa. This means, for example, that there are scores of restaurants all within walking distance. These range from exclusive eateries serving fare produced by Michelin star chefs to taco trucks where a family of four can eat for under $10. Offshore, Cabo San Lucas offers some of the world’s best scuba diving. The Cabo Pulmo is the oldest of only three coral reefs on North America’s west coast and its teeming with life. On land, there is zip-ling, plus camel riding and off-road racing in the desert. The nightlife is especially awesome. Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo is a big hit with rock-and-roll fans, the clubs along El Squid Roe are prime destinations for the for younger set, and the string of salsa clubs and tequila cantinas offer great local flavor.
“Ninety-five percent of everyone who comes to Cabo comes to the marina,” Carey says. “The marina (IGY’s Marina Cabo San Lucas) is like the town square. It’s in the heart of all the activity.”