AN ANGLER’S PARADISE: CABO COMES THROUGH
HEAD TO LAND’S END ON THE BAJA PENINSULA FOR STRIPED MARLIN AND MORE
Head to Land’s End on the Baja Peninsula for striped marlin and more By Mark MacKenzie
The advertisement promoting the 2018 season of
Sport Fishing Television was sitting on his desk as the show’s producer (and my boss) Shawn Bean shook his head. “This looks amazing, except for one small detail,” he said. “The main image features a marlin, but we’re halfway through filming and we haven’t caught one yet. Cabo had better come through for us.”
As the only member of the team who had fished out of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, I’d convinced Bean that the striped marlin capital of the world was a lock when he was putting together the show’s schedule months before. The fall tournament season in Cabo had produced a stellar bite, with anglers releasing more than 300 marlin during three weeks in October. Charters were reporting 10 to 15 marlin releases a day. With the fishing that good right before our scheduled departure in early November, I started getting nervous that it might not last.
After an easy day of travel from central Florida, we landed at the modern Los Cabos International Airport in San Jose del Cabo around 4 in the afternoon, where we cleared customs and were greeted with a warm smile and cold cervezas by Raymundo “Mundo” Burgos. Mundo is an old friend, and owner of Burgos Transportation; he helped us load our gear as we headed to the Solmar Resort, our home base for the week. Upon arrival, we unloaded piles of camera cases, rod tubes and reel boxes, plugged in enough chargers and batteries to power a small village and piled back into Mundo’s Suburban. Our first stop was Fisherman’s Landing, where Jorge Tellez, the restaurant’s owner and our fishing host for the trip, confirmed the details of the week ahead. Several hours and several margaritas later, our plans were set and we headed back to the hotel, ready to hit the water early the next morning.
DAY ONE: SWING AND A MISS
At 6:15 a.m. sharp, we loaded up for the short ride from the Solmar Resort to the marina, where we boarded the crown of the Gaviotas charter fleet, Tellez’s custom 45-foot Bertram, Don Luis. After a quick stop to pick up some live bait from a panga in the harbor, Capt. Manuel Arballo had us pointed due east on a course for the Santa Maria Canyon, 9 miles off the coast.
With striped marlin being our primary target, we set out a spread of 6- to 10-inch skirted trolling lures on the outriggers and flat lines, and a split-tail mackerel on the shotgun line. Two of the most popular lure combinations for the Cabo area are the Mean Joe Green, green over black, and petrolero, a combination of orange, red, brown and black. But the skipping mackerel proved to
With Cabo San Lucas as a backdrop, one of the Gaviotas charter boats heads to sea for a day of fishing (above). Striped marlin (right) are the most prolific billfish species found in these storied waters. They are targeted using a wide variety of...