Cabo San Lucas’ Striped Marlin Hotspot


By Pat Ford

It’s at the very tip of the Baha peninsula.  Once a sleepy little Mexican coastal town, Cabo San Lucas is now a meca for high times and world class sportfishing, especially for striped marlin.  Hunter Ledbetter and I fished out of Cabo with Jim Korchinski, owner of several sportfishing boats between 40’ and 65’operating out of Cabo San Lucas Marina.  (see  We were aboard his 43’ Riviera BLUE SKY and he had a special treat for us….we’d be making a 55 mile run north to Fingers Bank where the marlin were pushing bait balls to the surface and the fishing was spectacular.

We left the dock at 5am bracing ourselves for the almost 5 hour run north by promptly going to sleep in the BLUE SKY’s comfortable bunks.  The ride was smooth and I woke up just in time to snap a few sunrise photos then went back to rest up before I was told that breakfast of ham and eggs was being served.  We’d stopped to pick up live baits along the way and the plan was to spot frigate birds feeding on the baitfish that the marlin were chasing to the surface.  We’d pitch live baits to the surface commotion and hookups were pretty much guaranteed.  Sometimes we’d cast from the bow but just as often we would hook fish from the stern as the mass of bait and pursuing marlin passed by.  In between the surface frenzies, we’d slow troll the baits, then pull in and run to the feeding marlin that could be seen crashing baits.  There was action all day long and we hooked up several doubles.  We probably could have hooked up some triples, but fighting 3 striped marlin at a time is a disaster waiting to happen.  There were plenty of fish, so we tried not to get greedy.

The stripes we hooked were between 100 and 150 lbs and could have been landed on 20 lb tackle.  Jim’s BLUE Sky is outfitted with heavier rods to accommodate the less experienced anglers (anyone can catch fish aboard BLUE SKY), so if you’re a light tackle addict, you probably should bring your favorite rod.  Fingers Bank is an area where the bottom rises up from 3000’ – to 300’ which causes a current upflow that brings the bait to the surface and hence the baitfish and the marlin.  Mid-October thru mid-December is prime time for Fingers but marlin, tuna up to 250 lbs, wahoo, dorado and roosterfish can be caught within a few minutes of the Cabo marina almost every month of the year.  We went 10 for 15 on marlin that day plus a nice dorado. When we ran out of live baits, we settled in for the long run back to Cabo, which wasn’t actually that bad and the mahi tacos the crew cooked up for us for dinner were outstanding!  The ride home was relaxingand welcome after a great day on the water.  Cabo has an extremely active night life but none of us were interested.   We’d had all the excitement we needed.  What a great day!

For more information on this amazing fishery, check out


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