Los Cabos Fish Species
Sailfish – (Istiophorus platypterus) are dark blue on top, blue-brown laterally and silvery white below. This large billfish is related to the marlin but is distinguished by the enormous sail-like dorsal fin running the length of its body. It can reach a length of 11 feet and weigh up to 200 lbs. This highly prized game fish is known for its incredible jumps when hooked. Extremely fast, individuals have been clocked at speeds up to 68 mph, the fastest reliably reported speed for a fish.
Swordfish – (Xiphias gladius) is a large pelagic member of the billfish family and is exceedingly difficult to catch by anglers. With a broader tolerance for temperature variations than other billfish, the swordfish spends evenings near the surface but dives to depths between 1,000 and 2,000 feet during the day. It feeds on mullet, squid, mackerel and small tuna. The long, flat sword, dark coloring and short dorsal fin distinguish this species. Swordfish may reach up to 15 feet in length and weigh up to 1,300 lbs.
Dorado - (Coryphaena hippurus) also known as mahi-mahi and dolphin-fish, is prized as a delicious game fish. Found in off-shore temperate, tropical and subtropical waters, dorado are distinguished by their brilliant colors ranging from bright blue-green on the sides and back, to dazzling golden hues on their sides. Once removed from the water, the fish gradually fades to yellow-gray. Males feature a prominent, square forehead while females have a more rounded head and are generally smaller. Dorado can reach a maximum length of 6 feet and weigh more than 65 lbs., although most catches are less than 30 lbs.
Tuna – A number of tuna species are found in the waters surrounding Los Cabos, including Albacore, Bigeye, Bluefin, and Yellowfin. Smaller members of the Scombridae family found locally include skipjack and other mackerel. Tuna are powerful swimmers and are highly prized as game fish. One of the most sought-after catches, Yellowfin Tuna (hunnus albacares, also known asahi tuna) can reach over 7 feet in length and weigh up to 400 lbs. Smaller yellowfin weighing up to 5 lbs. are known locally in Los Cabos as “footballs.”
Wahoo – (Acanthocybium solandri), also known in Hawaii as ono, is a dark-blue, elongated fish with an iridescent green-blue back and a pattern of blue vertical bars. A member of the Scombridae (tuna, mackerel and bonito) family, this pelagic species is found from the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula to the east side of Baja. A fierce fighter, this species is extremely difficult to catch. Prized for a thrilling fight and good eating.
Yellowtail – (Seriola dorsalis lalandi) are distinguished by a sleek, aerodynamic body, blue upper back, silver-white sides and belly, and yellow fins. While yellowtail can reportedly reach a length of up to 8 feet and weigh up to 110 lbs., Mexican fish are rarely 50 lbs in weight. Feisty fighter.
Cabrilla – There are a number of different varieties of cabrilla (also know as sea bass or grouper) found in the waters of Los Cabos. These include the Barred Sand Bass, Kelp Bass, Damsel Bass, Starry Grouper, Golden Grouper and other species. These fish are generally found in areas with rocky bottoms or reef structures. The larger varieties are considered excellent for eating.
Pargo – Several varieties of Pargo (also known as snapper) are found around Los Cabos. Varieties include the Mexican Barred Snapper, Blue-Gold Snapper, Colorado Snapper, Dog Snapper, Golden Snapper and Yellow Snapper. Most of the snappers reside in the first 200 feet of water, in shallow reef areas. Prized for eating.
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