Cabo San Lucas
by Bill Leuchten

I recently spent a week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and got a feel for the great fishing destination that it is. Although mostly known for the beachfishing opportunities and the spectacular looking Roosterfish, there are also large varieties of gamefish, i.e. Tuna, Billfish, Mackerel, Jacks, pompano, and snapper, to name a few. February is an off-peak time to pursue many of the above species, but I had action all day fishing for Sierra Mackerel.

Sierra Mackeral is a strong fighting fish with razor teeth. If you feel a "bump" while stripping in line, it usually results in your fly being sheared in half quite cleanly.

This is the low down on the gear and technique:
I used a 10wt rod with a 400 grain sinking line, 4ft, 20lb leader with wire tippet and casted from a boat that cruised just 200 yards from the shore. One of the guides threw a hookless plug around with a spin casting rod to attract fish. Many times a fish could be spotted streaking towards the plug that was bouncing on the surface. That was the time to quickly throw your fly close to the plug to attract the fish. There was a good probability of hook-up when you threw to a fish that was trailing the plug.

The challenge of the day was setting the hook. Despite extremely sharp hooks, the jaws of the Mackerel shrugged off the hardest of strip sets. After many lost fish, my frustrations caused me to set the hook too hard at one point and I snapped the 20 pound Tippet. I lost close to 15 fish as a result of being unable to set the hook.

One of the last casts of the day resulted in a good hook-up that soon turned into an unusually heavy downward thrust to the sea bottom. I thought it was a very large fish but seconds later, the friendly face of a sea lion broke the surface to say thank you for the meal. I boated the fish but some might say it doesn't count because fish without their tail, dorsal, or much of anything for that matter, don't fight very well. This is true, so technically, I suppose I can only say I boated 4.2 fish that day.

The Culprits

The key to a good day's fishing is finding a good guide.

Baja Anglers was my guide service and I would recommend them.