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

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

Mel and I had a wonderful stay! As we arrived home in Portland to snow flurries late last night, I reminisced about the warm sunshine we had so loved this last week. The incredible location, however, was only the window dressing for a most stellar suite. The accomodations were amazing and the service pleasant. I would give Villa Del Arco a 10, a 5-star rating! We will remember it always! I want to thank you for all your help through the booking and confirmation of our destination. My sincere thanks for your attentiveness. Please, at your convenience, would you please send me recommendations of resorts in Puerto Vallarta that would be suitable for our future vacations. Thanks again. We have no doubt that friends and family of ours will someday be guests at Villa Del Arco!

Harriet V., Oregon

I really enjoyed myself and am eagerly looking forward to my next visit. My family had the best vacation of their lives, and I got to eat some really great food and drink delicious sangria. I highly recommend this place to all interested parties.

Bob, Everything was exactly as you promoted. I was happy with the accommodations and your service. I especially appreciated the planning/tip information you sent to me. Thank you! Maria

The place was great just the internet was a bit difficult at times but worked it out. The lady that came out to trouble shoot the problem was great and at the end it all worked out. Thanks for the great place we all had a blast.

Pat G., Dana point, CA

Thanks Bob we had a wonderful vacation in your villa. We caught a 150 lb. tuna on the ninja and had some exquisite meals here at the villa. Deanna #1 thank you from our hears! Much Luck, Art and Deanna Phoenix AZ 2009

I just wanted to drop you a quick email to let you know we had a wonderful time in Cabo. Villa Del Arco was beautiful and we could not have asked for a better room or room location. I also wanted to thank you for quickly taking care of the small snag for us at check in so quickly. I was starting to sweat it but it turned out seamless. We are interested in maybe staying at the Villa Group hotel in Cancun next year during Christmas break. Would you be able to help us with those reservations? Laurie

Laurie, San Jose CA

My wife and I absolutely loved our 10 day stay at Villa La Estancia in Los Cabos. We stayed in Villa 1208 and the unit was amazing! With the hotel units being owned it is calmer and more elegant than most of the other resorts there. One of the highlights of our vacation was going out of the Marina on the "La Gringa Boat Tour" with our new friends. It is Cabo's newest powered catamaran tour, offering unforgettable whale watching, snorkeling and fun filled sunset tours that include the iconic Cabo Arch at Land's End on the confluence of the tranquil Sea of Cortez and mighty Pacific Ocean. The La Gringa crew was fun, informative, friendly and entertaining. They served us up a delicious lunch and snacks, chips, guacamole, and Mexican salsa with complementary open bar and soft drinks. We saw Blue whales and had a fantastic lunch then enjoyed snorkeling the calm, fish filled shallow waters off a secluded beach. The entire trip was first class and a great value, we are looking forward to going back soon. Thank you! David & Tricia

Dave and Tricia, Lake Oswego

We had a great time! The villa was excellent & the transportation to & from airport was right on time! Perfect- we'd do it again!

Lisa F., Roseville, CA

Your low rates surprised us. (We go to Cabo often and like to stay at Villa del Palmar.) On this trip that we booked through you, our suite had the best location of any of our trips! Thank you.

Shelley Richey, Sugarland Texas