CABO SAN LUCAS/ SEA OF CORTEZ BILLFISHING- MEXICO #12

CABO SAN LUCAS/ SEA OF CORTEZ BILLFISHING- MEXICO #12

mexico fishHow would you like a quality Cabo resort offering you three to four days of prime billfishing, with blue water billfishing just a 20- to 30-minute ride from the resort, a huge pool with a swim-up bar, a candlelight dinner on an oceanfront terrace, plus a nice Jacuzzi with natural mineral hot springs, all set in Mediterranean-style excellent private bungalows, each with its own terrace and hammocks, on the Sea of Cortez, all for around $1,000 per person based on a party of four? That’s right; your boats, your meals, and your room for around $1,000! We do suggest strongly that you take advantage of their meal plan at only $46.40 per day! If you prefer more touring and less fishing, it will be even less. This is an awesome deal, folks, and we have been using it for years and have personally been many times.

By way of contrast, many billfishing boats have daily rates of $1,000-$1,600 or more, plus they charge $250 to $350 per day for lodging and meals. That is for ONE day! We can get you a week for that price! This resort caters to fishermen and their families, but it also works well for someone wanting a laid back vacation. It is about 50 minutes from Cabo itself – quiet, peaceful and very secluded. No tourists here except for the guests!

And if fishing does not interest the whole family, they have many other choices: swim in the pool or in the ocean; enjoy the hot tub; take professional instruction on SCUBA and snorkeling; play tennis or volleyball; play golf at nearby world class courses (Cabo has some of the finest golf courses in the world); rent an ATV to cruise the beaches; go shopping in downtown Cabo; do tours and horseback riding; or just plain relax. Luxury at very modest prices, plus outstanding billfishing! At the bottom of this write-up are hints and suggestions for other things to see, to do, and places to golf and eat. And the lodge has a conference room (many fishing tackle manufacturers, such as Okuma, regularly meet there). Such a trip can be a great reward or incentive program for your staff, and morale will jump! This place is great. Hunt Nation founder Butch Manasse and his wife Joan recently returned from their 3rd trip!

This resort has 60 rooms and has 20 boats in its own fleet, ranging from 23’ to 32’. It is lush, with manicured gardens and grounds, a great pool, and all the amenities, but it’s quiet each night by 10PM – fishermen need their rest!

Virtually all the peak fishing months are April through November, although it varies slightly with species. Depending on the season, there are big striped marlin, sailfish, blue marlin, black marlin, roosterfish, tuna, wahoo, grouper, amberjack and a host of inshore species. We prefer from mid-April on. Our own personal trips have mostly been late April into early June, and we have always had exceptional results. Butch and Joan and their daughter and son-in-law took 18 striped marlin in 2 1/2 days and saw 55 to 60 marlin! Inshore they landed 22 roosters in half a day! However, the really big boys are caught in the fall – October, November and even into December. At these times you can tangle with big blue marlin ranging from several hundred pounds to near 900 pounds, some black marlin, a few swords and sails, and more. Year round there are also unusually large dorado which can exceed 50 pounds and make a world class wall mount in your office or den.

GENERAL FISHING INFORMATION: The Sea of Cortez is one of the calmer bodies of water normally, as you are protected from the rougher Pacific waters.
You decide what you want and we will tailor the trip and fishing to your specific needs – conventional gear, fly gear, whatever. You can decide whether to fish inshore or offshore with a cruiser or a panga (a 23’ center console outboard) for many species including billfish, tuna, roosterfish, jacks, snappers and the like; you can choose between single and twin-engine cruisers from 28’ and up; you can select any number of fishing days, any number of nights of lodging, and can decide what activities you desire.
Typically for 5 nights’ lodging and meals, with 4 days’ offshore fishing, based on a party of 4 people, figure around $1,000 each. That price is based on double occupancy, includes two private bungalows, meals, one 28’ offshore boat, your airport pickup, all taxes on the room and boat.

NOT INCLUDED are your live bait (about $20/boat/day), tips to crew (about $50-$75/boat/day) and cleaning and freezing your catch ($0.50/lb.). Soda, beer and bottled water onboard are not included. Just tell us your party size, how many days fishing, and we will propose some options to consider. If you choose a larger offshore boat with twin props, price will go up about $150 per person. And the bigger boats are often more comfortable for non-fishers.

Please note that at the lodge any beer (cerveza), soda or bottled water and liquor is extra. Normally they will take your credit card and give you an itemized bar tab when you leave each evening, then just sign your room # and pay when you leave.

You can also upgrade to deluxe rooms, and can take snorkeling and SCUBA lessons, horseback riding, kayaking, rent ATVs for beach running and mountain exploring, rent SeaDoos, hire drivers and a car for shopping in Cabo, and can also upgrade the boats to twin engines and larger boats. This place has the largest private fleet in the area, with twin engines up to 32’. Bear in mind that the fewer people on board, the more rod time each will have, but of course the fewer the fishermen, the higher the cost per person. Normally we suggest 2 to 4 people per boat. You will troll, but normally you will spot marlin, and then the live bait you bought will be pitched right at the fish. Bites can be spectacular, and doubles are not uncommon. Call us to tailor your trip.

Butch took a large group down here in May a few years ago and here is the report:
I called my son and told him I had some good news, and I also had some bad news! When he asked, I told him the good news: I had bought and paid for his honeymoon by purchasing him 6 days at this resort on the Sea of Cortez, with superb billfishing! When he asked “what was the bad news”, I told him that we, his parents, were coming on the honeymoon too!

We fished on the larger cruisers for several days, then fished both inshore and offshore out of the pangas, being smaller center consoles about 23’ long. Personally, I especially enjoyed the inshore casting and trolling – hands on for roosters, bonita and pargo. We used fly rods and spin rods. Pangas are not fancy, but they are seaworthy and have a canvas top to hold off the sun. I would suggest that anyone going to consider at least one day on a panga – you will not regret it! We had a ball with bonita on our fly rods, lots of doubles, etc. Just throw out a handful of live bait and see the water boil. Then dump your fly nearby and HANG ON! Next time I want to try a marlin and a roosterfish on the fly! Joan caught a huge rooster on light spin gear we brought with us, about 45 pounds. To keep a long story short, our group of 7 actually landed 11 striped marlin and probably raised 30 more; dozens of bonita on our own fly rods (great way to burn your fingers!); jack crevalle to 35 pounds; dorado; pargo; roosterfish to 40 pounds; the list goes on. Marlin were raised every single day by virtually every boat there. Evenings we sat on the veranda overlooking the calm ocean, watching the sunset as our dinners and drinks were served, all while listening to outrageous tales of huge fish caught, seen or lost.

A typical day was up around 5:30, walk down to eat a nice leisurely breakfast, then walk down to the boat dock. Fish until 2 or 3 PM, then take an afternoon hot tub soak; then cool off in the pool with drinks at the swim up bar. Then a big dinner and cocktails Oceanside – tough to handle! It was truly hard to return to reality! But please do realize that fishing is never a sure thing due to weather, bait, and so on.

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Most fishermen know what a cruiser is – a larger sportfishing boat with fly bridge, a head, possibly a galley/salon. However, the terms panga or super panga are not well known. Their super pangas are center console skiff-type boats, the most common type found throughout the Mexican coast. “Super” means they have been upgraded with center consoles, sun decks, a small bathroom, and most are equipped with 90 hp engines or better, as well as electrical equipment. Pangas are the most versatile for inshore fishing, as they can get closer to the beach. They are also more convenient for bottom fishing because you can use the platform to cast and fish jigs. Many anglers prefer this size boat because there’s only the captain and themselves, making for a more “hands on” experience. Pangas are often used to fish offshore under normal weather conditions. They are one of Butch’s favorite styles for great fishing. Two to 3 people at one time is the limit.

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A big highlight has been their Saturday night dinners on the beach. It’s a beautiful scene…the party lights are strung on the beach and create a warm glow on the sand where the tables are set with colorful linens and guests linger at the pop-up beach bar sipping fresh cocktails. Along the stone sea wall, food service tables are set and are piled high with dinner fare, prepared with love by the amazing kitchen staff. Guests have been hugely entertained in by the live music and vocals by “Rafa” and have enjoyed the bonfire and beach lounge area where they go to kick back after dinner. It’s the popular spot for sipping beverages, enjoying the perfect evening weather, and some good conversations.

“Sea to table”
Their “Sea to Table” dinner service is not to be missed. It’s fishing season, and how better to enjoy the freshest bounty from the sea than to have your fresh catch prepared especially for you by their talented chef and restaurant staff? On a recent visit, a group of our guests caught several varieties of fish and they raved about enjoying their fresh catch prepared nineteen different ways over a three-day period! Bring your fresh catch to their El Navegante Restaurant and experience for yourself the freshest, most delicious seafood possible.

DECEMBER SPECIAL! A couple of years ago they added December fishing. They keep a fishing boat in San Jose, about an hour from the hotel, at a new Marina there. If it is windy, they take you there to fish in December, otherwise you will fish right from the resort. Weather in December is a bit unpredictable, but normally they manage to get out. Another plus in December is they offer you a special deal: you will get the 4th night free! Just talk to us about this option. Winter is a good time for marlin, but weather can play a part, of course.

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PEAK FISHING TIMES

Striped Marlin – very plentiful April-July
Black and Blue Marlin – August through November; biggest come in October/November
Sailfish – July-October
Swordfish – April-June
Dorado – May-October
Tuna (Yellowfin mostly) – July-October
Wahoo – September-October
Roosterfish – May-October


RATES:

The resort has 2 room categories (both very nice): Poolside and Terrace. A Meal Plan for $46.40/day is available (best idea), or you can order “a la Carte” from their restaurant menu. All rooms have a relaxed, casual style with identical floor plans. Most include two comfortable double beds, but a few feature king-size beds and all accommodate rollaway beds on request. All feature telephone, coffee pot and semi-private outdoor patio. BRING ALONG AN ALARM CLOCK, AND PACK A HAIR DRYER, AS NEITHER ARE PROVIDED. Premium rooms, located in the areas around the pool, the restaurant and those closest to the beach, have hammocks and a larger, semi-private patio or terrace. Standard rooms are terraced up the gently sloping hillside toward the reception area.
Lockable doors are provided between the rooms for family convenience; all have daily maid service. Laundry service is available on request.

Room Rates Per Night:

Call us for a quote on exactly what you want! One day inshore, two days offshore, whatever tickles your fancy and your wallet. But this will give you a rough idea:

The following rates are applicable for individual and group bookings.
The resort has 2 room categories (both very nice): Poolside and Terrace. A Meal Plan for $46.40/day is available (best idea), or you can order “a la Carte” from their restaurant menu. All rooms have a relaxed, casual style with identical floor plans. Most include two comfortable double beds, but a few feature king-size beds and all accommodate rollaway beds on request. All feature telephone, coffee pot and semi-private outdoor patio. BRING ALONG AN ALARM CLOCK, AND PACK A HAIR DRYER, AS NEITHER ARE PROVIDED. Premium rooms, located in the areas around the pool, the restaurant and those closest to the beach, have hammocks and a larger, semi-private patio or terrace. Standard rooms are terraced up the gently sloping hillside toward the reception area.

Lockable doors are provided between the rooms for family convenience; all have daily maid service. Laundry service is available on request.
Room Rates Per Night:

DELUXE PREMIUM $265.35 per night (double occupancy, including taxes and 3 meals per day Meal Plan)

PREMIUM $223.70 per night (double occupancy, including taxes and 3 meals per day Meal Plan)

Meal Plan: Price is $46.40 per day, per person (tax included). We do STRONGLY recommend the Meal Plan, as you get a number of choices, but you can still buy a different meal off the menu.

Taxes: Rates are subject to 19% Sales/Bed Tax

CANCELLATION POLICY
Off Season (November – March): Any cancellation made 7 days or less prior to scheduled arrival will constitute forfeiture of first night’s deposit.
High Season (April – October): Any cancellation made 30 days or less prior to scheduled arrival will constitute forfeiture of first night’s deposit. No refund if cancellation is made 14 days or less prior to scheduled arrival date.

2020 FISHING PRICING (subject to change without notice until deposit received)
The following rates are applicable for individual and group bookings. Please add 16% tax.

Price is for the boat, split cost among the party.
Super Panga (good for fly fishing too) $350 2 persons capacity
Super Panga 25’ $450 3 persons capacity
28’ Cruiser $650 4 persons capacity
29’ Twin engine Cruiser $750 5 persons capacity
31’ Twin engine Cruiser $1100(twin 315 HP) 6 persons capacity
32’ Twin engine Cruiser $1400 (twin 380 HP) 6 persons capacity

Not included: Tax; Tips to the crew (normally 15%-20% of boat price); fishing tackle ($11 per person); fishing license; live bait ($20 daily normally); fish cleaning ($0 .50 per lb; provide your own zip locks bags); and vacuum packing $1.75/ lb. You can bring your own cooler, or they have box coolers available for about $15 for small (holds 15 lbs.) or large for about $25 (holds 45 lbs.)

All boats are equipped with Okuma Makaira and Catalina along with Penn international reels filled with 60-, 40 -, 30- and 20-pound test line. All terminal tackle is included. Neither spinning reels nor fly rods are available, however, you are welcome to bring your own.

With today’s hassle of bringing rod tubes on planes, we recommend you pack light and only bring 3- or 4-piece rods that will fit in luggage, with reels in your backpack. Beach fishing gear is available for rent at $15 per day.

GETTING THERE
Fly to San Jose del Cabo Airport (SJD). Some sample flight information is shown below, but they do change). If the resort is picking you up, there will be a driver waiting outside the airport with a sign and they collect your baggage. MAKE SURE TO CHECK YOUR AIRLINE’S RULES FOR ROD/TACKLE AND FISH TRANSPORT.

Continental Airlines: Operates 13 non-stop flights weekly from Houston. They also fly from Newark, NJ.

Frontier Airlines: Flies on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from Denver.

Aeromexico: Operates 4 times a week from Ontario, CA on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. They also fly from Sand Diego non-stop daily to Los Cabos.

Delta: Daily non-stop service from Atlanta.

United Airlines: From San Francisco and Denver.

American Airlines: From Chicago, Dallas and from Los Angeles.

Alaska Airlines: From Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, CA.

Mexicana: From Los Angeles.

AeroCalifornia: From Los Angeles.

Northwest: From Minneapolis.

TRAVEL WARNING IF FLYING AMERICAN AIRLINES/AMERICAN EAGLE
If you are traveling to Mexico on American Airlines (AA) flights operated by American Eagle, be aware that as of January 2017 you will be restricted to only one (1) checked bag unless you fly first class/business class. The rule change probably applies as well to fishing rods! Some folks managed to upgrade their flights on the spot to get the additional baggage allowance, while others had to reschedule flights to do so. Some have had to leave bags and gear behind.

According to the American Airlines website, the company enforces seasonal limitations on checked baggage to some destinations. However, those restrictions are now year-round for American Eagle flights going to Mexico. The only exception currently is for first-class and business class tickets. No oversized or overweight bags either, no matter what class you fly. Also important to note is that you will not be able to travel with boxes, which is defined as “any container that isn’t normally used for transporting items for air travel; this includes plastic tubs, containers and coolers.” Other airlines may have different rules.

IF YOU ARE SCHEDULED TO FLY TO MEXICO AND ARE TRAVELING ON AN AMERICAN EAGLE FLIGHT, CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL AGENT IMMEDIATELY. You may need to try to cancel and switch airlines, or upgrade your flight and perhaps be forced to change your travel dates.

PHONE: 1-307-637-5495  email: info@hunt-nation.com

 

NON-FISHING ACTIVITIES:

If you don’t like fishing – or just want a day off – they have an impressive list of water-related sports and activities. If you want to get wet and physical, maybe a day wind surfing or kite boarding will do the trick. Or maybe you’d like a closer look at the Sea of Cortez from the fishes’ perspective, either snorkeling or Scuba diving among them. Instructors available.  Prefer boating? How about being the Captain of your own kayak skimming across a sea that behaves like a gently flowing river . . . even if you can’t see the other bank. Maybe combine exercise and lots of water on a stand-up paddleboard. If you want something more challenging and physically-demanding, how pitting your surfing skills against some of the most famous shore breaks in Baja? The Sea of Cortez has it all.

SCUBA: Regardless of your skill level, our dive tours will delight you. Most of dives are done in the Cabo Pulmo, the only live coral reef in the Sea of Cortez. It  is home to cave-dwelling groupers, wavy-winged mantas, enormous but docile whale sharks and dense swarms of reef fish. The diversity of the park’s dives can challenge even the most advanced divers. One thing is for sure, the amazement you will experience will rank this dive among the best you will ever do in your life time!

The certified PADI dive master tour guide and boat Captain will meet your group with equipment to whisk you off on a fast boat equipped with shade and cooler with ice for the dive of a lifetime. If you’re not Certified, our Dive Master can certify you during your stay.

SNORKELING: For non-Scuba divers, the resort offers an underwater world vibrant with marine life: countless colorful tropical fish, lobster, larger game fish, moray eels and maybe even a turtle. Beneath calm and warm waters, you’ll enjoy a beautiful underwater world that Jacques Cousteau said was “The Aquarium of the World.” Best of all, snorkeling requires no special training or expensive equipment. If you can swim and breathe through a tube, you’re all set to begin your first undersea adventure!

You can enjoy snorkeling right in front of the resort, or go on one of the different tours that they can provide: To Bahía de Los Sueños, to a beautiful setting in a remote high-end community or to Iguana Beach at Cabo Pulmo, or just take one of our boats to Punta Pescadero. All are sure to make for a wonderful day.

KITE BOARDING & WIND SURFING: During the winter months, from mid-November through early-March, the north winds tend to howl down the Sea of Cortez creating ideal conditions for all the wind-driven sports. Kite boarders and wind surfers alike find the wind and water conditions at East Cape ideal; and they prove it by traveling from the four corners of the world to be here. The warm winds blow along the wide open, sandy beaches that frame the warm waters of Palmas Bay to provide safe and beautiful launching and landing areas. There are instructors as well as rental equipment available whether you’re a first time beginner or ranking professional who returns every year. They will cover any areas that you require – from safety, depowering, launching and landing, re-launching, and a safety release up and riding. The calendar may say winter, but it’s pretty warm here.

PADDLE BOARDING & KAYAKING : As one of the fastest growing water sport and with a bay as peaceful as this one in front of the resort, it is the perfect match for Stand-up Paddle boards. For a peaceful morning of exercise and meditation, there is no better than paddling away on a SUP board. The same goes for Kayaking –it is a classic and splendid way explore the awe-inspiring Sea of Cortez along the picturesque coastline; take a look at local beaches at your own leisurely pace.

But if you’re a surfer, this is the perfect place to wait for the perfect wave. From surf breaks that are reachable by our fleet to other spots that are further closer to the tip, they can provide you with the expert tour guides to show you unique surfing spots that dot our coastline all the way to Baja’s tip.
SHOPPING: You can rent a car, or a car and driver. We have done both. Adding the driver bumps up the cost quite a bit, so check on that upon arrival and make a reservation if you want to tour Cabo itself. Also, recent clients encountered reluctance on the Cabo merchants parts to accept credit cards, so bring some extra cash.

                                         MORE TIPS FROM BUTCH:

Fishing boats/tackle: Bring your own Travel Alarm. Get up so you get to breakfast about 6:00. Boats leave from just before 7AM to about 7:15AM. Then, each night at about 7PM you must go inside the bar and over to the desk to talk to Felipe (son of the owner). He discusses the boat you have reserved, makes any possible changes, takes your lunch order (bring your lunch tickets to him!). We fished 2 days on a 31’- very comfortable! Captain was Jesus (hay-sus)- he and his mate were awesome! Most skippers on the larger boats have graduated upwards from smaller craft- so they are normally very good. Both kinds of boats have all the rods and reels, and the gear is decent. If fishing a panga they have spin rods and conventional reels–but we brought our own rods and reels for the inshore fishery- 15 pound mono on spin rods with 30 pound fluorocarbon brought along for leaders.

NOTE: fluorocarbon leaders will out fish everything else!  Bring 60 pound to 100 pound spools for marlin, and bring 20 to 30 pound spools for the panga for the smaller species like roosters, smaller tuna, etc. On the panga, use swivels and at least a 5-foot fluorocarbon leader. The locals do not use it as it is very expensive (but worth it!). For inshore trolling of live sardines, you need small hooks but at least 3X strong – I would guess about a size 6 short shank hook. When fishing, keep a look out for fins – many eyes help find more fish! Don’t just rely on the Captain and the Mate. And tip them well if happy. We gave one guy $125 when we boated 5 marlin that day! And keep $20-$40 US handy each day for bait. Flyrodders should use the above guidelines as well. If fishing from a panga, it is about an hour run to buy sardines, but well worth it. Get a bunch of them; you won’t be sorry. Remember, you can fish marlin from pangas too – great fun. Bring a hat to cover neck and ears. Bring min. 30 to 50 SPF sunscreen and re-apply regularly. Boats have bimini tops, so ask for it if you get too hot. We usually take our reels in a fold up cooler, in their original boxes- and use it as a carry on. We take 3- or 4-piece travel rods that fit into our luggage – Bass Pro has some excellent bluewater rods. Hooks and sinkers too.

If you have a bad back, or question your strength, then bring along a fighting harness, such as the stand-up braid rigs. They go around your back and help with strain, although all larger boats do have fighting chairs. Some muscle relaxants are great after a long day of wrestling big fish! If you worry about sea sickness (most of time the Sea of Cortez is very calm), then get a RX from your doctor.

CLOTHING: Beside the large BRIMMED hat, bring 2-3 pairs of shorts, a bathing suit,  1-2 pairs of long pants if you sun burn; 3 to 4 shirts, and some leather or similar fighting gloves. They will do a laundry for $1 per piece. Bring your video camera and still camera for great pix! Most video is best when fish get close to boat. Bring plenty of heavy weight sunscreen. Drink plenty of water.

GOLFING: Rent a car or take a taxi- arrange it through the lodge (in advance of arrival).

Mayan Country Club:  866-465-7316. Price range: $$; Cabo San Lucas Country Club:   888-328-8501 $$$; Cabo Del Sol Ocean Course :  866-231-4677 $$$$ – A Jack Nicklaus designed course

El Dorado:  877-795-8727  $$$$;  Cabo Real: same as number above $$$$

ENTERTAINMENT/EATING:  Food is included at the resort- you never need to leave. If feeling adventurous, take the 80 minute drive to Cabo itself!

YOUR OUTDOOR ADVENTURE SPECIALISTS FOR OVER 20 YEARS!
307-637-5495 or email: info@hunt-nation.com

 

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