Marlin University is now Marlin Expeditions! We travel to the best big-game destinations on Earth, at peak times of the year, and teach the most cutting-edge techniques to catch billfish. Check out our 2023 expeditions.
Formerly known as Marlin University, the newly rebranded Marlin Expeditions returned to the southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula in fall 2022 for a sold-out excursion in search of good times and great fishing. And once again, Cabo San Lucas delivered on both accounts. The 16 participating anglers were treated to an excellent striped marlin bite, where they released 91 of these beautifully feisty billfish, along with one sailfish and 38 dorado over the course of four days on the water.
“We had great weather this year, with near-perfect sea conditions and light winds,” says Marlin Expeditions director Jen Dudas. “The bite was taking place generally right out in front, so the boats didn’t have far to run, which is also nice.” With a mix of expedition veterans and novice anglers all excited to learn more about the Cabo fishery, the four professional instructors—Capts. Laurel David, Pete Zabinski Jr., Neil Orange Sr. and Tyler Morris—helped guide the participants through the typical Cabo style of trolling a spread of lures while searching for striped marlin on the surface. Once fish were spotted, the boats pull alongside and have their anglers pitch or cast a live bait, usually resulting in an instantaneous bite from a lit-up stripey. “We fished four boats from the Pisces fleet this year,” Dudas says, “which were Bill Collector I, Bill Collector II, Knot Workin’ and Sea Señora. All the captains and crews were great to work with as well.” Cabo is known for having a large and diverse charter fleet, one of the many benefits of this world-class sport-fishing destination.
Back ashore, the group was hosted by the famed Solmar Resort, located right on the beach in Cabo. Each evening, they visited some of the many excellent restaurants in the area, which were always willing to cook up a catch of fresh fish in a variety of unique and tasty ways. “We felt that it was important for us to get out and patronize the local places, which also gave everyone a chance to get to know Cabo for those who had never been here before,” Dudas says. “It was fun to socialize after a day on the water and get to know your fellow anglers. The camaraderie was really great.”
With three days of fishing and hands-on instruction, it was time for the traditional mini tournament on the fourth and final day of the trip, where participants have the opportunity to put their newly learned skills to the test. With 12 striped marlin releases, the freshman team of Darren Turco, Michael Taulbee, Jacob Adamo and Craig Manseth—fishing with instructor Capt. Laurel David—emerged victorious. At the awards dinner and celebration on the beach right in front of the Solmar and just steps from the Pacific Ocean, Manseth said: “We had a wonderful time in Cabo, and the fishing was phenomenal. We were a rookie group of co-workers who had collectively caught only one marlin [prior to this trip]. During the four days, we released a total of 26 striped marlin and won the tournament on the last day—beginner’s luck, I have no doubt. I highly recommend this program and we will definitely return for another venue. The director, instructors and our fellow anglers were all fabulous.”