Q: Hi. My husband and I are going on a trip to celebrate my birthday. The choices are Los Cabos or Costa Rica. We like all-inclusives, and he will be sportfishing for one or two days. We're looking to travel in September or October but would like your opinion on when the weather conditions are best for fishing and which location might be a better choice.
A: Los Cabos, Mexico, is famous for deep-sea fishing, and the average temperature in September and October is around 85 degrees. So, you can't go wrong there—but don't forget that the city is in a hurricane zone. Hurricane season is from June to November.
Most hotel concierges and fishing-tackle shops can book you on a half-day or one-day charter trip. Prices start at about $375 for a half day. Be aware that the last week of October is when the biggest marlin-fishing tournament in the world takes place, and hundreds of people from all over the world crowd into Los Cabos. You may want to avoid the area then—unless you can stump up $70,000 to enter the competition.
November through May is peak (or high) season in Los Cabos, but if you go in the "shoulder" season (between high and low seasons) in June or in late October and early November, you may be able to find savings of up to 25 percent on hotels. Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa is one of many reputable, all-inclusive resorts that are only minutes from prime fishing areas in the Sea of Cortez (aka the Gulf of California).
The best sportfishing in Costa Rica is found on the Pacific (or western) side of the country. In fall, the weather is normally between 70 and 80 degrees, with occasional rain showers. Since fishing is one of the main draws of the area, hotels are often booked solid during the season. A good option is to book an all-inclusive fishing package that includes hotel, flights, and ocean excursions from a company such as Costa Rica Outdoors.
The Tico Times, Costa Rica's biggest English-language newspaper, also has a fishing forum that can help you decide where and when to go based on what kind of fish you want to catch. For example, if you like marlin, September and October are the best months to catch one.