Started way back when the tiny port village of Cabo San Lucas was but a flyspeck on a Baja map, Minerva's Baja Tackle is the product of a love of fishing and the courage to start a business that the owners knew little about running. Bob Smith, former transmission repair shop owner and recreational fisherman, first thought about the idea of opening a fishing tackle shop after having experienced the thrill of fishing the pristine waters off Cabo himself on a trip with friends. So with the love of the sport and the area in his heart, he asked his wife, Minerva, how she'd feel about making a major change in their lives. He showed her where it was he would like to be, and with her strong sense of adventure she decided to follow Bob in pursuit of his dream. Let's see, trade a toolbox and customers you only see when they have a problem for a tackle box and customers that only see you when they're happily arranging for a day on the water. Hmmm... not exactly that hard of a choice, is it?
When they first arrived in Cabo and set up for business, there were a total of 12 boats, a few small hotels, dirt roads and no marina. As a matter of fact, when they acquired their first boat, the local game warden rented it from them to do his patrols. Soon, the word was out that if you were searching for a place where game fish congregated in huge numbers just a mile or so offshore, Cabo was the place to be. The rest, as they say, is history.Minerva's Baja Tackle has grown into one of the most successful local fishing businesses. The shop now boasts the largest selection of tackle in all of Baja, and if you venture into the store you'd have to agree. It's like a candy store for sport fisherman. Everywhere you look you're met with a rainbow of colors in the form of trolling feathers, hard-bodied lures like marauders, rods, reels, terminal tackle and boat supplies like flying gaffs and nets. The only problem you'll have is running out of cash or room on your credit cards. The selection makes it tough to stop adding more items to your basket!
Bob and Minerva stock only the best gear as they know that the species targeted in these waters will test the equipment to the limit. Penn reels, Calstar rods, Aftco roller guides, Zuker and Black Bart trolling lures - all par for the course here. In addition to the quality of the merchandise, prices are more than fair. Add nearly 40 years of experience fishing these waters and the advice they give out is worth its weight in gold – though Bob and Minerva dispense it free of charge. From first-time Cabo anglers to stoic veterans, those who wander in looking for a bit of local information walk away feeling a bit like of an expert themselves.
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A FLEET OF FOUR TOP-RATED CABO FISHING CHARTER BOATSThe two have managed to grow from a one-boat charter operation and small-scale tackle shop to a four-boat fleet with all the trimmings one could ask for. Their fleet now consists of: the flagship of the fleet, Minerva II – a 33' Bertram sportfisher with twin Cat diesels that just had a complete refurbishment completed in 2011; the Minerva III – a super clean and fast 31' Bertram sportfisher powered by a pair of 250 HP turbo charged Cummins; the Minerva V – a 33' Ocean twin engine; and the Minerva VI – a 33' Tiara also with twin diesel engines and a fighting chair. Not bad for folks that knew nothing about the business and the all the challenges that come with the venture.
FRIENDLY AND PROFESSIONAL CAPTAINS, CREWS AND IN-STORE STAFF MEMBERS
It's never just the owners that make a business successful. The people who work for them play a huge part. Fortunately for Bob and Minerva, they've developed long-standing relationships with their staff members that seems more like a family than a group related by work alone. Take Captain Pimi Fiol for instance. Pimi's been with Minerva's for decades and you'll usually find him booked solid aboard the Minerva II. He's been a client favorite for longer than we can remember and has a dedicated roster of repeat customers. Most of the crews that work Minerva's boats have years if not decades with the fleet as well. Inside the shop you'll find the same dedication. Juan Marcos serves as a jack of all trades tending to tackle repairs, respooling reels, manning the counter and booking charters while constantly sporting a beaming smile that's truly contagious and young mother Raquel helps in just about anyway she can.
You don't even have to be a fisherman to have a reason to stop in at Minerva's shop. In addition to a wide variety of tackle – from rod and reel packages to lures and terminal tackle – you'll find a nice selection of shirts, shorts and hats, too! We've never been able to stop in and just and say hello, book a charter or pickup some lures because we always seem to find a new shirt design we just have to add to our collection. The shop also carries a nice line of sunglasses from Costa Del Mar, Maui Jim, Rayban and more.
Service is a pet peeve of mine, when I feel that I'm not getting the service I should, I complain. However, when I get more than I ever expected, I rave. Here it is, a rave review from a pretty hard person to please. These folks know their business. Bob and Minerva run a fine charter fleet and tackle shop so if you're searching for quality boats, quality crews and hands-on, genuine owners, look no further than Minerva's Baja Tackle.
One last thing, if all of Minerva's boats are already spoken for they'll refer you to other boats of which they have personal knowledge. They take no commission for arranging the charter for you – they simply want you to have a good time that leads to a repeat visit to Los Cabos. When someone does something for no compensation, it's a great indicator that the referral is made strictly based on who fishes hard and consistently and not based on lining one's pockets. My hats off to them both for the success they've achieved and the service they provide. Bravo amigos, we'll be coming down to see you again real soon!