Cabo San Lucas – Land of Greed, Big Fish and Overpriced Water

Chad's 180 Pound Marlin (Catch & Release)

So I just got back from a quick little 5 day vacation to Cabo yesterday and it was quite different than I remember it 15 years ago (which was the last time I went there).

I consider myself a master at making new meanings out of what would be considered to most as crappy less than desired situations, but this was off the charts. The town itself has grown to a sprawling “time share” mecca where prices have escalated past places like Paris, New York and Aspen. All hotels prime and even sub-prime locations now charge $3-5 for a small bottle of water, pina colada $9, dinner for two $70 – $250. What the hell happened to bargain Mexico?

So prices were ridiculous no doubt, but the GREED of the locals was off the charts. There were a few exceptions, there were some nice locals as always, but the general population had this sense of ENTITLEMENT where they all thought they deserved a tip for everything and anything they did, I’m talking about the guy who opens a door to the kid at the grocery store who bags your groceries to the guy who pumps your gas at the gas station. Some of them didn’t even say thank you for the tip either.

But here was the most memorable buzz kill of the trip. We went to go on an all day fishing trip out to the pacific on a chartered boat we got a steep discount on from attending a time share meeting. $100 for two people, which was fantastic, but of course there was a catch. First I’ll give you the awesome details of the trip, because it wasn’t all bad, we actually had a great time until the end of each activity when someone tried to scam us, rob us or rip us off.

We weren’t more than 30 minutes out of the harbor and the sun had just come up around 7am when our line got a hit. We were trolling at the time and it was totally unexpected so early but what the heck right. So after my date couldn’t make one crank of the reel I jumped in and attempted to pull in a monster from the sea. This thing was big whatever the hell it was. I pulled with my left bicep and cranked with my right hand for about 30 minutes until we finally saw this silver gleam in the ocean next to the boat.

Our 65 Pound Wahoo (Mexican Gold)

It was about 5.5 feet long and about 65 pounds. As I got it up to the edge of the boat the captains mate took his gaff and jabbed it into the fishes gill. the Captain came down and used his mini aluminum bat to knock the fish unconscious then landed it in the boat. It turns out as you’ll later find out that we had landed not a fish, but pure gold in the minds of the local Mexicans. It was a Wahoo, one of the most sought after tastiest fishes in the sea. In fact we caught the only wahoo that day out of all the 200 plus boats that were on the water.

So I went on to catch one more fish which turned out to be the fight of the day. This thing was really big and really powerful. Every time I got it close it would just dive to the bottom of the ocean and I couldn’t do anything. After about an hour of using both arms to pull up and then crank I got this sucker up close to the boat. It was 180 pound Marlin with some serious attitude. I just kept thinking, man if this thing sprang up out of the water it could stab us with its bill and kill us. But these guys grabbed its bill and pulled him up on the edge of the boat for a photo opp.

Finally we headed back to the dock and I asked the Captain about filleting the fish. His first words were, “Oh you want to keep the fish?” to which I said, yeah, and he asked for a fillet and I obliged and he said just pay $5 bucks for them to fillet it. We got to the dock, which was not the dock we left from and there was no boat level exit, so we had to get out at some random place and climb up a wall. We were very confused. Some other random guys came and got our Wahoo and took it to a place where they filleted it. I had to deal with tip of course and I had a $20 and asked the captain for change. He almost died and when into this totally different personality of “ENTITLEMENT”. Now I could have been off in the amount to tip mind you, but he could’ve just said oh this is not standard tipping. But he kinda freaked out on me. And he had already gotten a tip from the other two passengers. He told me $100 to $125 is standard and I was feeling bad for a second, it totally threw me off, so he gave me some cry me a river story and accepted the $20 with a cheerful “we get a fillet of the wahoo?” to which I replied of course.

Now I had to go get bags for the fish and unbeknown to me the Captain left us to the wolves, the banditos and scammers. While I was going to get the bags these bandits tried to steal the Wahoo from my lady friend. I got back just in time, but she caved to their overwhelming pressure and ended up with only half the fish. There were random locals lined up taking our fish with claws, growling like dogs and salivating at the wahoo.

Bandito Who Tried to Steal Me Fish

Then this freaking jerk who filleted the fish wanted like $20 after the Captain told me $5. It was ridiculous, just demons possessed by greed for the Wahoo. This fish made everyone crazy, it was insane, it was like “Mexican Gold.”
Some how we made it out alive without getting shot or stabbed for our Wahoo.  We gave away half of it, but the other half is in my freezer here in San Diego, Wahoooooooooo!  and we are having a Wahoo BBQ party to celebrate our being alive and gratitude for living in the USA.

Of course you could go to La Paz or San Jose Del Cabo or any other sleepy town and get way better deals and nicer people, which is what I really recommend, but Cabo San Lucas is where everyone wants to be.  Just beware of the banditos, everyone wants a handout and its a total buzz kill.

Next trip,  back to Bali.  Peace and Love, Chad

P.S. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have a similar experience or whatever.

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