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

We had a great time. Meeting up with 12 of our far-flung friends was a real treat. The price was very reasonable for the quality of room and food we enjoyed there. The social scene around the pool was lots of fun, and is probably the biggest reason we would consider coming back to Villa Del Arco.

Dan, Ohio

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

If anyone ever wants to visit paradise at Cabo with the guidance of someone who knows the how, what and where of Cabo, we would direct them to you, Bob. Many thanks for guiding us through the planning, the enjoyment and the beauty of our Cabo Vacation. This was our first time in Mexico, and we felt very at home, and welcomed. Pre-planning with you about how our family would like to live, and play during the precious vacation time made it possible to create wonder each day meeting everyone's preferences. Being within walking distance of downtown yet a bit away from the mellow Cabo hubbub was perfect. Thank you for using your contacts to assure breath taking accommodations, and fun safe activities. The people in Cabo were gracious, fun and ever dependable. Knowing you were an e-mail away with a prompt response if ever needed showed us how flawlessly you deliver top quality in your vacation services. Lucas, Jose, Julio all kindly shared the Cabo humor and excellent care taking in our transportation, whale watching, and snorkeling. Thank you to them as well. Ready to return asap. Gracias! Sandra & Ernest & Family

Sandra D., Vancouver BC

Hi bob. We had a wonderful time. I was a bit skeptical at first when I found you website that somehow I was going to get scammed. Obviously we did not. I would absolutely 100% recommend destination vacations based on my experience We did take the tour but were not prepared to invest. I did conclude that I would like to take advantage of their introductory package but am unable to find the person to whom I spoke. Perhaps with some more digging I can find that person. I believe the gals name was Donna to whom I last spoke and gave me the intro package offer. They only allowed me to take a picture of it. I would have some more questions before I could invest for sure or not Thanks

Thomas K, myatuk4@aol.com

Hello Bob, I wanted to get back with you in regards to our family trip July 15-22. We had a wonderful time. I actually called my source who I met when we were there the previous April. Our rooms were the same as before and the views were even better. As always, we had an amazing time. We only left the Villa Del Arco the night before we left to eat at La Golindrina (Spelling). That restaurant was unbelievably excellent!!! I highly recommend it. The food was amazing, the service impeccable and so kid friendly! Thank you for the wonderful rates! If you ever run any specials at any of your locations, please let us know. Sincerely, Lauren

Hello Bob, Thanks for inquiring about my recent trip to VillaDel Palmar Flamingos. First off, the trip was everything I had hoped for and more. I wish I was still there! In my younger days I've beached it in California, Cape Cod,Florida, Hawaii, Phillipines, Thailand, China ,Greece, Spain, and Portugal, but Mexican people and culture are so much friendlier! Why I've never gone to Mexico before now, I'll never know. This was a rather spur of the moment vacation so I had done next to no research, just picked Palmar resort on line and luckily found your website, which made the trip feasible financially. Turns out I had beginners luck with Mexico! Now I realize you provide background info. and recommendations to clients. Perhaps in the future I can take advantage of your services. This was my first ever luxory beach resort vacation. VillaDelPalmar was perfect for our mom-daughter getaway. It was the most beautiful resort of those there on the beach. I'm trained as a landscape architect, so I appreciated the artistry evident in the layout, design, and materials of the grounds, gardens, and pools. Also the expansive Banderas Bay, the verdant jungle landscape, the tropical heat, and the dramatic weather and thunderstorms provided such a different and exotic experience than we get in our home enrironment. It provided exactly the change we needed. The gym, spa, pools, beach, restaurants, and friendly resort staff all were lovely. My teen daughter, who has not experienced many other cultures or travel, appreciated how safe and family oriented the resort area was. One thing we both liked was that Mexican families were the main resort clientele.......it made the experience feel more authentic and less like we were gringos on holiday. And what a surprise bonus to find out that there were incredible snorkling destinations and wildlife havens as well as more disneyland type dolphin swims, all with tours we could conveniently book right at the hotel. We loved the boat trips to Las Caletas, and the Islas Mariettas. The fun and sassy tour guides made these trips all the more memorable. Between these trips and enjoying the resort amenities, we didn't even get into town! Guess we'll just have to plan another trip for that. About the timeshare end of things, I did take a timeshare tour, mainly to get 20% discount on tours and restaurants, and also out of curiosity. It was my first timeshare tour ever and I am not in a position to buy into something like this, although if I was, I might. We don't take regular vacations. But I can see why one would return here. We were upgraded upon arrival to a one bedroom suite, which was a greatly appreciated surprise......is that a normal part of timeshare strategy? Thanks again for helping make our dream trip come true! Sincerely, Leslie Riley

Leslie Riley, Seattle, WA

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

Hi Bob. Just returned from Cabo and our stay at the Villa Del Arco and wanted to send along a thanks for all your help and info. The Del Arco was a "great" place to stay, your adding the daily breakfast to our package was much appreciated, they treated us very well, and we had a great time all the way around. Ended up on the town side of the building with a nice view of the marina area. We'll keep you in mind when we get ready to go back and I've already recommended you to a couple others I know considering trips to Cabo! Thanks for taking good care of us! Sincerely, the Spencers!

Spencer, Seattle, WA

I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you to say thanks. I know my trip was last minute and I appreciate what you put together for me. The penthouse was as described. My kids were ecstatic when they walked into it, they felt like royalty. You also nailed each resort and its description to a T. That alone without the usual BS is reason enough to use your services again. Our friends who joined us next door plan on using your services in the future. You even nailed the description of Cabo. Thanks again.

Mathew D., Evanston, IL

Thanks for taking the time to come to La Gringa marina to meet us before our sunset cruise! We had a wonderful time in Cabo with our family. The penthouse suite at Villa Del Arco was beautiful. We had our New Years Eve dinner there, steaks on the grill and could see the fireworks from our room. It was great to have a hot tub right there. We ate most of our lunches at the Buccaneer and went into town for dinner. Your recommendations were helpful. The kids enjoyed the kayaks and jet skis. We appreciate all your help in arranging transfers and the sunset cruise. It was a very enjoyable trip for our family. Hope to see you again sometime.

Nancy S., Penn.