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

It was a wonderful trip Bob, made better by the quality of the resort and all aspects of the service from booking the trip through to landing back home. We won't hesitate to turn to you again in the future. A few things I thought worthy of comment: -The vendors on the beach were as pervasive as ants at a picnic, but without exception were polite and deferred to a restated no, thank you. -Service everywhere, on property and off, was excellent, with the occasional slowness I hope people would expect of a vacation destination. -The food at La Perla and poolside was very good. -The food at the Italian restaurant at La Palmar was okay, but not worth the walk from VDA. -I wish the resort had informed us that the Japanese restaurant was closed on Thursday. -People should be encouraged to take the drive to Todos Los Santos, if they have a car. The drive is desert pretty, but very much under construction. The town, once you get there, is beautiful and worth the investment of the drive. Early evening dinner in the courtyard at the Hotel California was fabulous. -The Office restaurant is a must do. Much better in the evening, but good for lunch too. -Really enjoyed the food at Pancho's. Didn't need any of the 575 tequilas, but loved the frozen coconut ice cream dessert. -Costco is, down to every detail, a pure execution of an American Costco store. -Walmart is a true Mexican adaption based of the Walmart theme. -For good tennis (courts, pros and staff), you can't beat Palmilla Tennis. Its a hike from VDA, but if you have competitive players with you who need the workout, it's a good place to go. -One thing I noticed, maybe due to my lack of Spanish language skills, was that I had a very hard time determining addresses for things. Asking Google Maps for directions without them, is hard. Again, we loved it and we'll keep going back. Thanks for your help Bob.

Marty, Washington

This was a great trip. I got the opportunity to see so many of the things that I have only seen on TV. The fishing was a blast and I know that we will talk about it for a long time. Thanks so much for making all of this happen for us. We will be back some day. How much more enjoyable could anyone stand! Great time, good people, sights and fishing. Certainly we will be enjoying the area again. Thanks so much to our hosts!

The trip was great and the all inclusive package you supplied was a great value. We couldn't believe how much was included. The transportation to and from the airport that you arranged was seamless and very comfortable-thanks. One suggestion, add La Fonda to your list of restaurants - it was outstanding. And yes La Gringa Adventure tour was great a good value and lots of fun and we saw 3 whales-a Pop, Mom and Baby... All the best for the new year.

Gary S., LA

We immensely enjoyed our vacation in Cabo. We would definitely go back. In fact, when we asked our children where they liked better, Cabo or Disney World, they both said Cabo hands down!!! The resort was beautiful, and I felt fully prepared for what awaited us, thanks to you. The service was great, the beaches were some of the best I have ever been on. The girls enjoyed the Kids in Paradise program (at Villa del Palmar). They even made some new little friends that they are keeping in contact with through the mail. I parasailed for the first time, which was awesome. And we rented a car for a day and drove to Todos Santos. It was definitely a calm and relaxing vacation - one I look forward to taking again. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely keep you in mind when we are ready to return to Cabo.

Kelly Bolger, Independence Missouri

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

Thank you! Kate and I had a great trip to Cabo for our 1 year anniversary. We definitely will be returning and wouldn't hesitate to book through DestinationCabo again! Thank you so much for your help, really everything couldn't have been easier for us from the transportation to check-in to check-out. The room was very nice too! One small snafu was just that for most of our first day, the hot water wasn't running, but the hotel had it fixed by that evening so it wasn't a big deal.

Mike Sprouse, LA

Thank you so much for such an easy and worry free vacation on such short notice. The villa was beautiful and very comfortable. The additional amenities (USA phoneline & internet access with computer) kept us very accessible to all of our work responsibilities. Transportation was also effortless and ran exactly as planned. We had such a wonderful time and would have liked to stayed longer. The only thing we wish we could have organized in advance is grocery shopping and to have the groceries in the villa when we arrived. Thanks again, Shelley

Shelly , Denver

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

I just wanted to let you know that we really enjoyed our Mexican vacation and the resort was beautiful.

Michelle N.

Thank you for your assistance with our last minute reservation to Cabo. We have stayed many times at Villa Del Palmar, and this time was just a great as every other visit. We appreciated the quick response and good price and everything was arranged just as reserved. I had never stayed in a studio here before, and was pleasantly surprised at the size of the room and especially the full size kitchen. Much more comfortable than studios at other resorts that I have been to. My daughter and I had a great time! Thanks again, and I have already recommended you to my sister. Susan

Susan C., Sammamish, WA