Surf Fishing in Los Cabos - Where to Fish, What to Use and What You'll Catch

Surf fishing in Los Cabos, Baja, Mexico
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Surf fishing is a great way to spend time exploring the coast of Los Cabos and the East Cape. You'll find many well known spots such as "Rooster Alley" in Los Frailes as well as discovering some of your own secret spots. There are companies that offer guided surf fishing trips, some that utilize ATV's to cover more shoreline. You're not limited to one or two areas along the coast. In fact, just about any stretch of coastline offers up the chance to catch any one of a number of species including fish that make for good table fare. One key to successful surf fishing down here is using the right lures and having a long surf casting rod matched with a quality spinning reel. The other key is to talk to locals, especially those that make a living guiding trips or selling the appropriate tackle. Fortunately, that's not too hard to do. You've got a couple of trusted sources that own tackle shops in town – those include Minerva's Baja Tackle and Jansen's Tackle which recently opened a second store up north in Puerto Los Cabos. You'll find more about those shops below, but first, let's take a look at what you can catch from shore in Los Cabos.


• Roosterfish (fun to catch but not for eating)
• Sierra (great eating species of mackerel)
• Groupers (mostly leopards)
• Snappers (including cabrilla and pargo)
• California Yellowtail
• Dorado
• Jack Crevalle (fun to catch but not for eating)
• Pacific Snook

Yellowtail from the surf in the East Cape of Los Cabos
California Yellowtail fromt the beach? You bet. Pictured is Esaul Valdez, one of three Valdez brothers who operate Hotel Buena Vista Beach in the East Cape, with a fat yellowtail caught surf fishing near their hotel.


Good question... easier answer. Just about anywhere. Sandy beaches with a good current running along the backside of the surf line is a great place to target roosterfish. A mix of sandy beach with rockpiles just a bit past the breakers is perfect territory for sierra, and at times, dorado. Rocky points of areas where submerged reefs or rock ridges come into play are excellent for a shot at Califorina yellowtail, but our experience says that the East Cape is your best bet for those. Next, rocky outcroppings where you can cast from atop make for good locations to target hogfish and several varieties of snapper and grouper species. Last on the list is anywhere you have fresh water running into the sea like the San Jose del Cabo Estuary. Areas like that that offer brackish water can be excellent for Pacific snook, another great fighting and great eating game fish. Snook to 40lbs have been taken from that area and similar spots along the coast on both sides of the the Cape.

If you're thinking about bringing your own gear, at minimum a 7-9 foot medium stiff rod paired up a good quality spinning reel spooled up with 30# braid. A good selection of metal lures like Krocodiles, Kastmasters and Megabaits should be in your bag as should some crank baits including Rapalas and a few poppers and surface walkers. I wouldn't head to the shore without a couple Kabo Killers made by Stephen Jansen either. There simply outstanding performers especially for roosterfish. Bring along some wire leader material as well if you're likely to encounter some sierra. They're toothy like a wahoo and will cost you some lures without the wire leaders. Plastic swim baits work well also. Bring along a selection of 1/2 to 4 ounce lead heads and paint them up in a few different colors like red, white and blue. If you want them to really get bit, get a little glue, some glitter and make em sparkle. Finish those off with a dot of white paint for an eyeball... very fishy!


Stephen Jansen's tackle shop is located next door to the Mar de Cortez Hotel in downtown Cabo San Lucas. If you're thinking about trying your luck casting from shore, then you owe it to yourself to stop and meet Stephen who'll get you geared up. Stephen's done well enough to open a second store at La Playita up north at Puerto Los Cabos. His shop is very close to where you'll find all the panga charters that fish the Gordo Banks area.

There's also Minerva's Baja Tackle that lays claim to being the largest tackle shop in Baja, and rightfully so. Chances are if Minerva doesn't have it, it doesn't exist. If your timing is right, you may just run into Luis, one of Minerva's employees but in all reality, a part of the family. Luis can dial you in on what to use when and where as he spends some of his free time surf fishing himself.


Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort has long been a choice destination for a fising vacation. The hotel sits right on the beach and the fishing fleet is moored just offshore. But that's not the only fishing you can do here. Get in touch with Felipe Valdez at HBV and he can set you up with a guided surf fishing trip – either during the day or at night. He's had some pretty incredible success including catching yellowtail, dorado, roosterfish and more and can put you on some pretty incredible action.

Dave Maynard filmed a surf fishing show in Cabo a couple years ago, and while the audio may not always be the greatest, the fishing action is pretty impressive. You'll see him catching a wide variety of species including roosterfish, hogfish, jacks and sierra. If you love surf fishing, it's worth watching to get an idea of what you can catch from shore in Los Cabos.