Cabo San Lucas Report - guided and DIY
Wife surprised me on 40th birthday with a trip to Cabo San Lucas. She luckily had researched and found a guide service that specialized in fly fishing, so with all her great planning all I had to do was run by a fly shop and pick up some big clousers and sardina imitations, stock up on wire leader, and do some research on beach fishing opportunities. She had setup Baja Anglers, Grant Hartmans outfit. They use the marina in Cabo San Lucas and use what looked to be 25ft Glacier Bay boats that have a small head (a requirement for the wife) and a large aerated bait tank. We took out about 6:30am and ran about 40 minutes to the edge of the Sea of Cortez south of San Jose del Cabo looking for busting bait. They do offshore where you cast to teased marlins, but its a longer run than 40 minutes which I didnt want to put my wife through. Late May and June they switch to fish the Pacific side which is probably a shorter run than 40 mins. They have nice G Loomis rods with 10 wt Abel reels strung with sinking line. The guide's apprentice would throw out a hookless topwater plug and knocked crazy sardines to pull up the sierras, roosterfish and jacks to the top and then all hell breaks loose and you are casting and stripping like crazy. When the roosters are busting the top in a feeding frenzy with their speed and fins sticking out of the water a foot, if your heart isnt racing a million miles an hour your dead. I landed 5 sierras and 1 rooster but had at least that many that got off after several minutes of fighting them. I had a 20lb-25lb jack take the fly but didnt set him quick enough. This is a very fun half day trip that I would recommend.
Next to last day I rented a jeep and explored the East Cape to try some beach fishing. I had printed some fairly detailed maps to help, but the signage in that part of the world can be a bit intimadating as most of the roads to towns like Rancho Beuna Vista, La Ribera, Punta Colorado are dirt and there are many forks etc. Taking a GPS and buying a card for Baja would probably be coin well spent. The wind was a non-factor, until of couse the day we went. My plan was to look for birds or busting bait but birds were no help and when I found bait I would catch one or two baby jacks and it would shut down. I had packed a spinning rod and caught a needlefish with a metal blade spoon type lure, but not a whole lot more success. My guess is from watching a couple of guide boats come by with guys with a topwater plug and baitcaster in the front of the boat at the ready is that they are cruising up and down the beach looking for schools of fish then easing up to them. Hard to do from the beach and the 25knot wind into my face turned my typical fair casting ability into meager. It might be worth getting a panga lined up for this area, as I think they are about $200 a half day. The water is much calmer than near Cabo, but the drive from Cabo San Lucas proper to La Ribera is probably a good 90 minutes. My guide also recommended beach fishing at Medano beach near the Riu hotel first thing in the morning. Based on where its at, its pretty sheltered from the swells that plague the corridor area and might be worth a try.
All in all, for a mix of wife friendly and fishing friendly waters, this is a pretty good locale. Tons of great golf and nightlife around as well.
Were there many roosterfish around?
They just started showing up about two weeks earlier. The guide said that mid-May through June and into July is prime Rooster time. Those are fun fish. If my 5lber pulled that hard, a 30lber would be a ride.
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