Cabo San Lucas as a tourist destination was built on big-game sport fishing. But there’s a big difference between reeling in tuna or marlin from the comfort of a cushioned fighting chair and an up-close battle up to 130 feet beneath the Sea of Cortés.
In the first circumstance, the angler has every advantage, from fish-finding equipment to a crew ready to take over the fight the moment fatigue sets in. In the latter, the fisher must track, shoot and subdue his quarry, all in the space of one breath, in an underwater environment much more friendly and familiar to the prey than the predator.
Enter Spearfishing Baja, the first company of its kind licensed in Los Cabos and the go-to resource for experienced and would-be spearos seeking memorable undersea adventures in one of the world’s most abundant marine ecosystems.
Spearfishing Baja owner Niko Bolduc pulls in a large grouper — Photo courtesy of Spearfishing Baja
The Sea of Cortés meets the Pacific Ocean at Land’s End, with warm and cold waters creating an upwelling effect that translates to a nutrient-rich environment capable of sustaining an immense variety of marine life.
Spearfishing Baja’s half-day tours give participants a chance to benefit from this bounty, free-diving inshore reefs to hunt for feeding snapper and grouper.
Deeper water divers, meanwhile, can spend a full day targeting offshore pelagic species like dorado, wahoo, tuna and marlin, whose weights may range anywhere from a healthy 30 to a robust 600 pounds!
Despite the intimacy of the sport, in which shots are taken at close range, pesca submarina is the oldest and most environmentally-friendly form of fishing. The extreme level of difficulty involved in “one breath” diving, as well as the various legal limits and quotas, prevents overfishing and limits the stress put on any particular species.
And since juveniles are not targeted, there's minimal damage to the reproductive cycle, too.
Private and semi-private tours are offered for up to eight people (maximum four guns per group), and each Spearfishing Baja outing includes diving opportunities in several diverse locations, chosen according to current conditions and the types of fish being targeted.
Boats typically leave in the morning or afternoon from the Cabo San Lucas Marina, but departures from San José del Cabo are available upon request.
Diving and spearfishing gear are included in all tours.
Safety, of course, is paramount in spearfishing, and owner Niko Bolduc and his crew – all of whom are licensed FII (Freediving Instructors International) divers – hold detailed briefings with clients before each tour, discussing topics such as free-diving and fish hunting techniques, as well as conservation practices.
Any questions or concerns are addressed before departure, and the first dive is always at a beginner level – just 10 to 30 feet – in order to accurately assess the capacities of tour participants.
Additionally, each boat is outfitted with life preservers and other emergency equipment.