Had a great time in Cabo, although the fishing (particularly for marlin) was way below what I've experienced in the past at this time of year - the water was very cold and green close to shore and even 35 miles out, not that real deep blue that marlin like. Apparently it's been that way for the past 3 or 4 years - el nino/la nina weather patterns, currents etc making things difficult. Actually saw very few marlin but luckily the ones we did see were hungry.
The first day I was out on my own on the super-panga Santi 1 with Victor (great boat with pretty new 115hp 4-stroke Mercury outboard) and after not spotting any marlin for the first couple of hours, we decided to go after tuna (Victor said there were not many marlin about, so we had got 15 smaller livebaits rather than the usual 10 larger ones in the morning). On finding a good school of yellowfin, rather than troll accross the front of the school, Victor would position the boat about a quarter mile ahead of them and we would cast livebaits out with the boat moving slowly forwards and let out about a third of a spool of line, then he would put the engine in neutral and wait for the tuna. It was a great way of doing it as it didn't spook the tuna (like it can with trolling) and we only caught the better fish. I ended the day with 10 good yellowfin between 25lbs and 40lbs, one of which was on light spinning tackle and took about a half hour to land! Great start and a great way of fishing - rod in hand waiting for the bite, some of which were real screamers. Other boats on the troll were getting nothing and even those bait fishing didn't do nearly as well as us - Victor assured me that it was due to the fluorocarbon leader I had brought with me .
The second day was a family day on the Guerita 2 and we had only been on the water for half an hour when we spotrted two marlin, one of which the deckie, Gabriel hooked up. I took the rod and started to play the fish but unfortunately it spat the hook on the first jump - I still had on a circle hook from the previous trip with Victor, which Captain Efren doesn't like as he says they lose too many fish.......
Anyway, 10 minutes later and we saw another school of 3 marlin but unfortunately they didn't seem hungry and went down.
Another 5 minutes passed and we found yet another marlin, which ate the bait straight away and the 'J' hook held firm right in the corner of the mouth for a clean release 10 minutes later - a small stripey of around 100lbs.
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful however, but at least we got a marlin.
The next two days were with Victor again on the Santi 1 - the first of these I was on my own again and pretty much matched the first day on the tuna apart from losing a bigger one around 60-70lbs when the hook pulled close to the boat.
The following day I shared with another guy and I hooked up a big stripey (200lbs) right at the back of the boat which was spectacular but unfortunately the CIRCLE hook pulled after about 5 minutes. They work great on the tuna, not so sure about the stripies. That was pretty much it for the day as although we found some tuna, they weren't really biting.
The 5th and 6th days were on the Guerita 2 again and were both shares - the first of these was pretty slow - my share partner had a couple of small yellowfin fall off and we caught a couple of skippies but he spotted a mako shark on the way back and as I've caught a few of these in the past and it was his first game fishing trip I let him take it and he was stoked.
The last day we went right out wide and not long after sunrise Captain Efren spotted the sunlight reflecting off 3 marlin tails a long way off (he has incredible eyes) and as we came up to them, the deckie and I cast baits, both of which were engulfed in seconds - Gabriel hooked his and passed it to my partner but unfortunately I pulled the bait out of my marlin's mouth before he'd had time to eat it - not enough practice this trip!. The other one came in for a clean release after about 15 minutes and was about 130lbs.
We didn't see any more marlin that day but did get a few yellowfin on the troll.
Normally I would have expected to catch 10-15 marlin plus dorado and wahoo but like I said, the baiit and the water quality just wasn't there this year. Cabo has certainly grown a lot since I was there last but we all just totally 'chilled' within 24 hgours of getting there and found some really good places to eat and drink, which if anything were cheaper than when I was there years ago, so although the fishing wasn't the best, the trip was still really enjoyable and Captain Efren still managed to catch marlin for us 2 days out of 3!
If fishing on your own, I would highly reccomend Victor and the Santi 1 (he now has a website: www.santisportfishing.com or his email is : firstname.lastname@example.org His daily rate for 8 hours is $250 (I paid $225 as I booked 3 days).
One thing I really wanted to do on this trip was swim with whale sharks but after speaking to Cabo Expeditions and not getting a very clear answer as to whether the sharks were there or not, let alone if they were seeing any, decided to forego the $175 tour and do our own thing. We ended up hiring a car ($ 70 inc all insurances) which we did online and were able to pick up at 7.30am and drove to La Paz. The road is pretty bad at the moment but it still only took us two and a half hours to get there. Down to the marina and were able to hire a panga for 300 pesos each for 2 hours and they supplied fins and snorkling gear (there were four of us) - it was a fantastic experience and a lot more intimate than being on a larger tour boat with 10 or more on board and a fraction of the cost of a tour (175 USD per person from Cabo!!!). We did quite a few other things that day, including stopping off at Todos Santos and "Beer and Arts' on the way back and ended up getting back pretty late - however I certainly wouldn't recommend the road in the dark!!!
Also got Victor to take us out one evening on the Santi 1 to see the grey whales (as I had fished 3 days with him he only charged us $80) which again was awesome - we found plenty of whales with no other boats around and with no wind, the sound of the whales breathing was amazing. Oh yeah! The sunset was absolutely incredible too!!!