Booking a fishing charter in East Cape Los Cabos means you are in for a truly immersive fishing experience. Not heading to the region with your own vessel? Here are some tips on how to ensure you’re getting all your questions answered and your needs met.
Not asking what—and whom—is included
As you begin the process of booking a fishing charter in Los Cabos, you’ll be surprised to get quotes that vary significantly. That’s because there are so many factors that weigh into the rates. Here are some great questions to ask about what’s included in your excursion.
- How long will the trip be?
- Is this a private charter, or will other guests share the boat?
- What’s the destination for our trip?
- Does the standard package include a captain, crew, fishing expert, and chef?
- Is the cost of fuel included?
- What gear (rods, reels, tackle, lures, live bait, ice coolers) is included?
- Is this trip safe for children, those who are elderly or differently abled, or those who can’t swim?
With information about what’s standard for each fishing charter company, you can identify what’s always provided versus what upgrades you need to vocalize.
Don’t assume that the full-color brochures in a restaurant lobby are a sure thing. What’s being advertised are not always the best picks for your experience.
Instead, ask a few local anglers who they’d recommend for fishing charters. Ask questions based on your group, experience level, and the type of voyage you’re looking for.
Can’t find any local anglers to ask for fishing charter recommendations? Head to the marina at Costa Palmas to ask the local captains. Or ask your personal concierge at the resort property where you live or are staying.
You can also look for online reviews for authentic feedback and an overview of other adventurers’ experiences. Avoid only reading comments on a fishing charter’s website, as the company may intentionally choose to publish only selective positive reviews.
Ignoring licensing and insurance
Reputable fishing charters will always operate within the law. And they should expect to be asked about licensing and insurance for your and your guests’ safety.
You can usually check the individual charter’s website to confirm this information. Or start your search on a fishing charter portal that requires and confirms credentials before listing a company on its site.
Not asking about experience with target species
More experienced guests might know what species of fish they’d like to catch going into the experience. But if it’s your first time, you may not be familiar with regional species.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the captain or guide regarding their experience with your target species. They should have in-depth knowledge of the fishes’ habitats, feeding habits, and migration patterns. Information that is specific to the local waters will increase the chances of hauling in your catch of the day.
Not disclosing catch-and-release preferences
First time booking a fishing charter in Los Cabos? You may be picturing a giant ice box filled with a “successful” day’s haul, but that’s neither realistic nor necessary.
In fact, it’s often more beneficial to release your catch back into the sea. Unless of course you plan to cook your fish (or have a chef do it) or have it stuffed and mounted for your wall.
Be clear in your intentions around what type of fish you’d like to catch, if you’d like to keep any, and for what purpose. An experienced local captain or guide will also know what you’re allowed to catch and how many of each species you can bring back in a 24-hour period.
Not discussing how involved you want to be in the process
This is YOUR fishing experience, and you’ll get to decide how hands-on you want to be. Do you want to simply enjoy the water, only grabbing your rod when something starts to nibble? Or do you want to bait your hook, reel in your fish, and later gut and clean it?
If you clearly communicate your expectations about what you’re looking for in a fishing expedition, you’re bound to have a better time.
Making assumptions about meals
More luxurious fishing charter boats can go so far as to have meals catered for your guests during their voyage. Others may only provide fishing services, leaving guests to provide their own meals.
If you want your meals to be provided, be sure to discuss dietary restrictions for any of your guests. These include things like allergies, gluten intolerance, vegan/vegetarian diets, or specific requests for children or picky eaters.
Ignoring cancellation policies
Take a few minutes to review the fishing charter’s cancellation policy. This should detail; if you can cancel, if there are deadlines for canceling, and whether you’ll be eligible for a full or partial refund.
You’ll also want to discuss potential reasons the captain might need to cancel your trip. These range from mechanical issues with the vessel and inclement weather to accidental double bookings. It’s also possible that their are insufficient guests to complete the trip (in the case of shared excursions).
Not clarifying what to bring or wear
Although most fishing charter operations will offer some suggestions on what to wear or pack, the following items are highly recommended:
- Seasickness medications
- Rubber-soled sneakers (you’ll need to wear non-slip shoes with light-colored soles to avoid leaving marks on the boat)
- Eco-friendly sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses (for sun protection and to aid in sight fishing)
- Layered clothing (including a waterproof windbreaker)
- A wide-brimmed hat with a tether
- Large storage bags to protect your valuables from sea spray
Even though most charters will provide drinking water, you should encourage your guests to bring their own.
Skimping on tipping or reviews
So you booked a fishing charter, had a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and can’t wait to do it again. Be sure to thank the captain or guide with a monetary tip and a detailed review to help them earn more business.
Although a 15% to 20% gratuity is standard for the recreational fishing industry, it’s not included in your fee. Keep in mind it may be difficult to track down an ATM upon your return to the dock. So if you’ll be paying by credit card, plan to bring cash with you on the day of your excursion.