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

Thanks for everything. I've been to Cabo many times but this was one of our best vacations. Villa Del Arco was great - gorgeous accommodations, friendly staff, and great food. Transportation was easy. I also appreciated you working with me on very late notice to set up our ride. I will be in touch regarding future vacations.

M. Riley, Seattle, WA

What a great trip! We absolutely loved Cabo. It was our first trip to Mexico and we weren't sure what to expect. Thankfully you had sent Destination Vacations Welcomes You To Cabo download. It was amazingly helpful to us in planning transportation, shopping and activities. Our transportation through Transpacifico was seamless including a planned stop at Costco! Our room at Villa Estancia was gorgeous and spacious. Our three daughters 18,15 and 10 had plenty of space to change their bathing suits hundreds of times without running into each other. We loved the pool, swim up bar and beautiful beach. The water was cooler than we had expected but it didn't stop our girls from playing and swimming in the waves. We loved the Villa Del Palmar Fiesta with the dancing and Mexican buffet. With so many activities to choose from, we have to plan another vacation back to Cabo. Maybe next time without the kids! Thanks again for your prompt response and helpful information, Lynne

Lynne K., Chanhassen, MN

We had a great time and everything went very well. The place was great and the view everyday was spectacular. Thanks again Steve H.

Steve H., Durham, C

We had a great time, the condo was amazing and spacious which was great for both children and adults. We also like the fact that is was on the lower floor, always a big plus when a 2 year old is around. We enjoyed the fact that a back door was available to walk to the pool and SPA. The service from La Estancia personnel was very good. They are very attentive and always make sure things happen in a timely manner. We had an issue with the internal internet, but the hotel sent one of their technician and he was able to reset the modem. The other issue we had was the washing machine which needs to be either fix or replaced. Fortunately the hotel includes a room full of washing machines so this was not a big deal. We would definitely like to go back to your place and recommended to future guest.

Joel , San Diego

Our trip was fantastic. The property was everything that was promised, thank you. We enjoyed many of your restaurant suggestions, went snorkeling and sport fishing. My son caught a 150 pound marlin :) Staff at the resort are fabulous, very attentive and helpful. The weather was great and the waters calm. It rates among our best family holidays. I look forward to connecting with you in the future.

Todd F., Kamloops, BC

My experience travelling as a single person was great with all your help. I have no complaints and everyone was helpful and friendly, and the transportation service was on time and the driver was very personable. Thank you for making my trip a good one! Sincerely, Sher C.

Sheri Cohen, La Jolla California

I wanted to just send you a little note thanking you for being so great to work with on our vacation. We had an absolute blast! It was everything you said it would be and you delivered on all your promises too. That is VERY important these days. Our next vacation is going to be somewhere in the Caribbean so if you can facilitate that, we would love to go through you again. Also, we would entertain a cruise there as well.

Michelle F., Oregon

Dear Bob, All we can say is THANK YOU sooo much for a wonderful vacation in Cabo!!!!! The penthouse was lovely and very comfortable. The couplke that joined us are already talking about coming back with us next year! They has a great time also. We will definitely use you and your company for any further trips to Cabo and anywhere else you are involved with. We also will never use any other ground transportation other than TransPacifico. They are the BEST!!! Thanks again, Linda & Greg L.

Linda L., Carpinteria, CA

As I have already relayed to you, my family and I absolutely loved your condo unit 1501 at Villa del Palmar. We had a wonderful time there. The resort was nice. We didn't participate in the All Inclusive Plan as we go into town for dinner each night, but we did enjoy breakfasts at the cafe and lunches on the beach. The only complaint I could have is the beach service is extremely slow and not very accurate with your orders, but it didn't bother us all that much. We are very interested in renting this unit again next year.

Milissa, Seattle

There isn't anything you didn't think of. Everything is in a good place, we love it. The housekeeper was very thoughtful and pleasant. The villa is both clean and vibrant, we have never been to a villa that is so clean. Thanks for sharing your home with us. P.S. we will tell all friends about 1208!