You just went out for the sportfishing trip of a lifetime and are heading back to the marina with an ice chest full of Dorado and Wahoo, but you are unsure of what you are going to do with them. What can you do with our fish? Here is a breakdown of several different things you can do with your catch, from eating the meat to hanging it on your wall.

Catch and Release: If you are fishing for marlin, it is recommended that you use a catch and release method of fishing to help the local conservation efforts. Cabo San Lucas is one of the world’s top fishing spots and we like to keep it that way by letting the big fish go. If it is your first time fishing or you catch the marlin of a lifetime, it is acceptable and legal to bring back in one billfish. If you only want it for a wall trophy, the technology we have today is capable of creating exact replica wall mounts that will last much longer and let your fish live.

Clean and Fillet Your Fish: The fish that you end up bringing back to shore will need to be cleaned, filleted, and thrown on ice immediately. If your charter did not already include the cost of cleaning in the total price, you will have to pay it yourself. Dorado, Wahoo, Yellowfin and other smaller gamefish will cost around $2 per fish and if you bring back a large billfish it will cost anywhere from $12-$30 depending on the size.

Take to a Restaurant: One of the most popular things to do with your fish is to take some of it to either your resort’s on-site restaurant or a local restaurant that will cook it up for you just how you like it. You will be charged a small fee, but being able to eat your fresh catch of the day while enjoying a Cabo San Lucas sunset is one of the most rewarding experiences, and best tasting too! Your charter will have some good recommendations for restaurants that will cook it for you, some of which are located right their on the marina like Captain Tony's and Solomon's Landing.

Smoking and Freezing: If your charter doesn’t include the freezing of your catch in the price, they will offer the service to you once you get back to the marina. Prices range from $2-$30 per fish for your charter to fillet and freeze your fish but if you want them to vacuum pack it there will be an additional $1.50 per pound fee. Smoking adds great flavor to your fish and is around $5 per pound which should include vacuum packing for you to take home.

Taking Fish Home: Unless you drove your own vehicle down, you are probably going to have to cart the fish back on the airplane. Luckily, the San Jose Del Cabo airport is very familiar with people bringing back fish so it shouldn’t be a problem. Don’t worry about bringing an ice chest down with you to Cabo, you can easily purchase one at the local grocery store or Wal-Mart. Buy the cooler, throw in your frozen fish packed tightly, then wrap the chest up really good with duct tape to make sure you don’t lose your fish when they are being thrown around under the plane. As long as your fish are thoroughly frozen, it is not necessary to add ice (unless you are traveling a very long distance). Most airlines have a 44 pound restriction on what you can bring back but you can bring more as long as you are willing to pay the $1 per pound excess baggage fee. Do not forget that this ice chest will count as one of your checked bags, so do not bring two checked bags down to Cabo with you because then you will have to figure out what to do with the rest of your luggage. To play it safe, always check with your specific airline policies ahead of time so there are no surprises once you get to the airport.

Taxidermy: All captains should be using the catch and release method for marlin fishing but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a taxidermy made of your prize fish. Before you release your fish, get an accurate measurement of the size and take a few good photos. When you get back stateside, look up a reputable taxidermist and send in the photos and measurements for them to create an exact replica made of fiberglass. The fiberglass replica will look great and last much longer than a real billfish skin, and promotes the preservation of the beautiful creatures.

For more information, read our complete Cabo San Lucas fishing guide

Reviews

Bob, The family had a great time. We had an unbelievable whale sighting, jumping in the air and all, from our Jet Skis! What a trip. Even got some pictures. The place is really very nice. Unbelievably clean, and employees were very kind a gracious, and spoke pretty good English too! We declined the food plan, and found some pretty good places in town, via the concierge and owners. The vendors were a little annoying, but I guess I wasn't expecting it. Thank you for hooking us up and working with us on the room. We did enjoy room service on our last evening with Grandma and Grandpa and watched the Academy Awards. It was really comfortable. Thank you - Regards, Gail

The Villa del Palmar was lovely, and we had a wonderful room overlooking the ocean. Thank you again for your graciousness and attention to detail. We will contact you the next time we take a vacation.

Melanie Marshall, Sunnyvale California

Bob, What a terrific place...Luis moved us to Villa Estancia (I'm sure due to your relationship here!!) and it's a gorgeous 2 BR (w/ wonderful views and just perfect)!! All you have suggested has been "spot-on"--and our trip has just begun...now on our way downtown, might get sidetracked by some seaside bars/eateries... Again, many thanx...this is looking like a wonderful choice--and I'm glad to have your help!! Best, Michael

Thank you so much, we had an amazing family reunion! All of the reservations were just as we had planned, had no problems with the transportation! Thank you again for everything! I will get testimonials from our other family members and send them to you as well. We were all very impressed.

Matt E., Anchorage, AK

Cabo was fabulous!! Everyone was very pleased with the resort and had a great time. The next time we go back to Cabo I would like to stay at the Villa Del Arco. That was beautiful!! But, the Villa Del Palmar was perfect with all of the kids.

Patty , Hastings, MI

We recently returned from our annual trip to Cabo and this year was the best of the four years we have visited Cabo. The two bedroom suite we rented at Villa La Estancia was very spacious, open viewed, and well decorated. Villa La Estancia is probably the most quiet and laid back of the three resorts located nearby. We also liked the restaurants that was located on the property. For the first time, we purchased the 3 day mini all inclusive package and that worked out very well. One of our more exciting adventures was a deep sea fishing trip that included eight guests with plenty of room to roam around on the charter. The charter company was Sol Mar and we were the only charter that was successful catching a Tuna, a Dolphin (Dorado), and yes, a Marlin. We had the Tuna and Dorado prepared for us that evening and was most delicious. The weather was perfect and actually much cooler than Texas. We could not have asked for a better vacation.

Mark Bauer, Dallas TX

Fabulous trip!! The Villa Del Arco was great. Our room and view were awesome. We took your advice on transportation and that was flawless as well. Thanks so much for being so professional and so reliable. I really appreciate it. Carrie

Carrie C., Southlake TX

Thank you Bob. It was a great trip and very easy booking our accommodations thru Destination Vacations, will use again next year on our next trip to Cabo.

Kelly Lee, Wilton, CA

I think you saved our trip! It was our 5 year anniversary and we really wanted to make it special. We had already reserved accomadations years ago at another Cabo resort and were finally cashing it in. To say the least they were below our expectations. To be honest our first few days there we didn't understand why anyone would go to Cabo. It was just our location I think and that we weren't in the type of accomdation we had expected. Low and behold fate intervened and we toured the Villas Palmar and Villa del Arco and we were impressed. That is what we had expected and once we saw it we couldn't settle. We called you Bob and you made it happen. I cannot believe how excited we were. Even with our other room already paid for we were willing to relocate to have a real vacation. Maid service, a wonderful comfortable bed, windows that kept out noise, and a beautiful view of the ocean. Thank you for saving our anniversary and our vacation. The Villas-This is a spectacular resort complex. Yes, Palmar is the oldest and has a bit of a dated feel, but it is still a beautiful resort and location. We loved the Bella California Italian restaurant, Yimmy and Victor really took care of our last night celebration. They even knew it was our anniversary and they brought out a special plate with delicious Tiramisu and written in Chocolate Happy Anniversary. It was very sweet and romantic. They even dimmed the lights when we asked. We felt very well taken care of. Our room was in the newer hotel Del Arco and it was fabulous. We had a wonderful deck, where we had our breakfasts, thanks to room service. Fresh fruit and the green juice and the sound of the waves. The room was well decorated and spacious. We enjoyed the inroom washer and dryer and will definately make use of that when we come back. We can pack lighter and have more room for souvenirs. I loved the pools, the cash free aspect of the hotel, the pirate ship and of course the easy ocean access. The view of the rocks of Lands' End and Lovers Beach was worth. We only made it for one sunrise, but we vow to make it a priority next visit. Beautiful all the way around, 5 star service, and relaxing. You really outdid yourself and we would love to book again next year. Please let me know how early we can book and get the best deals for next summer. We would love to know how we can choose a room at Villa del Arco that has both a sunrise and sunset view and has two rooms. Let me know if you can help us. Sincerely, V. Hager

V. Hager, Idaho

Hi Bob, Just wanted to let you know the tripadvisor review is finally posted. Our internet name is happy traveler. And the review is titled Stunning location, perfect for our needs, Incredible Staff! We were very thorough and complimentary about everything. Thanks again for all your help. Lela & Joseph