Headed to the East Cape for some of the best sport fishing in the world? If you’re fishing from your yacht, we’ve got some tips to help you make the most of your experience. From what to take and where to drop anchor to which fish are restricted and cooking your catch of the day, find out why the Sea of Cortez is one of the most sought after spots to fish.
1. Get advice from local experts
Los Cabos may have started as a small fishing community, but over the past 70 years it has grown into a global destination for some of the world’s best anglers. Although the region’s fishing is spectacular, there are a few spots that are off limits.
If you’re looking for insight into the best “hot spots” in Baja’s waters, your first trip should include a conversation with the Aventura Team at Costa Palmas. The experienced team of sailors, divers, snorkelers, and fishing guides can help you navigate to the best locations to reel in “the big one.” They’ll also advise you as to which spots to avoid due to regulations, boat traffic, or conservation restrictions.
Not sure where to start? Reach out to the Costa Palmas Beach & Yacht Club, who can put you in touch with a local guide.
2. Packing a fishing yacht
How do you plan to fish from your yacht? There’s a wide variety of techniques to choose from, including trolling, spinning, jigging, and anchored fishing. Beyond rods, reels, lures, bait, and landing nets, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got everything you need for offshore fishing. Depending on your approach, you’ll likely need a bucket, long-nose pliers, binoculars, a ruler, lip-grippers, braid scissors, a basic tool kit, and ice.
3. Know your target species’ schedule
Cabo’s peak fishing months are generally May through November, though you’re not likely to come home empty-handed at any point. Earlier in the year, you’re more likely to catch Mako sharks, grouper, snapper, and Pacific jack crevalle. But during peak season you can add blue, striped, and black marlin, mahi mahi, sailfish, roosterfish, wahoo, and yellowfin tuna to your list of likely catches. Don’t be surprised to see seasoned anglers increase around June, when Cabo plays host to the first of several major fishing tournaments.
4. Consider an outing without the kids
Fishing can make for incredible memories but sometimes younger children are easily bored by the long days at sea. If you plan to make multiple fishing trips on your yacht, consider giving the kids their own dream vacation by allowing them to partake in the many activities at Costa Palmas.
The luxury resort is ripe with chaperoned activities for any age, interest, and ability. Sign them up for golf or tennis lessons, scavenger hunts, bike rides, ping pong, beach volleyball, snorkeling, or arts and crafts. Let them indulge in down time with arcade games, Xbox, ice cream, and pool time through the Four Seasons Resort’s daily kids’ programs.
You’ll get some adult time to cast a reel from your yacht while they make new international friends. Spend the evening catching up over a meal from any of the resort’s chef-driven restaurants or while savoring s’mores around your Marina Village residence’s fire pit.
5. Research your fishing limits
The Baja California Sur is known for its conservation efforts, which include not only the land and air, but also the sea. In fact, just 17 miles southeast of Costa Palmas lies one of the oldest coral reefs on the planet, Cabo Pulmo. In 1995, the Mexican government formalized efforts to protect the area, designating the shrine as an official marine reserve.
Likewise, endangered species in the region—including sea turtles, birds, and fish—are protected to preserve the populations. Although some species are simply classified as “threatened” due to their dwindling population, there may still be limitations on per-person catches.
Mexico uses a point system for the number of fish you can catch, maxing out at 10 points per person (five fish max). This might include one billfish (maralin, sailfish, or swordfish) and two dorado, roosterfish, tarpon, or gulf grouper, for example. Some species—such as tuna, rockfish, and trigger fish—are only worth one point. Likewise, the limit on squid is five per day.
It’s worth noting that Mexico fishing regulations allow you to catch and release as many fish as you want, and everyone (even children) need a fishing license. In addition, you can only have up to four hooks on your line and there’s a limit to one pole per person.
6. Save your catch for the chef
As a guest or resident at Costa Palmas, you can leave the details of preparation to an experienced on-site chef. Upon returning from your voyage, simply take your prize to one of the Costa Palmas restaurants where a chef will know just how to season and prepare it for your dining pleasure, complete with your choice of signature sauces and sides.
7. Know your options
Not everyone wants to eat what they catch when they arrive ashore. Some prefer to take their haul home, either frozen or smoked, while others may want to commemorate their adventure with a replica for their wall.
As a luxury resort largely geared around seafarers, Costa Palmas has mastered the process of preserving its residents’ catches. Reach out to the resorts private concierge’s for assistance to keep your fish frozen until your return home or ask them to have it smoked and vacuum packed to enjoy long after your time in Mexico is complete.
Looking to do your part to preserve the fish population? Snap a few photos of your “big one,” take measurements and then contact a taxidermist when you return home to request a replica. You’ll have a lifetime of evidence that you snagged that blue marlin and can sleep well knowing you’ve done your part to preserve the species.