Some may say he’s the Michael Jordan of surf fishing and even though I wouldn’t go that far, I would say he is in a league of his own. Wesley Brough is a seasoned Baja surf fisherman whose parents moved to Mexico some three decades ago to follow their dream as Christian missionaries. Wesley has made a name for himself throughout the fishing community and social media as @cabosurfcaster, famous for surf fishing Cabo.
After coming back to the U.S. to be born, Wesley spent most of his time growing up near the southern tip of Baja. When other kids were going to baseball practice after school, Wes was going to the beach to fish. Now, he is one of the best surf fishermen on Baja’s Pacific Coast.
Wes (@cabosurfcaster) with a trophy yellowtail caught from the beach.
My visit with Wes all began after I asked Gary Graham (our Road Trekker) to give me the names of a few hot surf fishing guides in Cabo San Lucas. One of his first choices was Wesley. So as soon as the boss called I packed my bags and headed to the warm and always sunny tip of Baja. It’s always tough work being forced to go on such an assignment but I reluctantly agreed to leave in the morning.
Baja always takes a bit of adjustment so as soon as a day of poolside tumbler-in-hand relaxing was done I was on my way to meet the surf fishing pro. It was pitch dark when we hit the road and bumped along the back streets of Cabo San Lucas. Once at the marina mouth we came to a road end and were greeted by two wayward cats and Wesley. He was waiting by his truck with two fellow fishermen, all anxious to leave.
We piled in and headed north along the transpeninsular highway that connects Baja to the world. As the sun began to rise in the East we arrived at Playa Magrino and exited the road onto the beach. Within a few minutes, we were across the wide strip of sand and just feet from the surf.
February and March are one of the slower fishing months down here so our best bet was to rig up and fish for great-tasting sierra. Beaches on the West or Pacific coast of Mexico are quite different in topography and slope than those inside the Sea of Cortez. At Playa Magrino huge waves build up in deep water and crash ashore just feet from dry sand. The power of the surf can be felt on the sand and the air along the beach is filled with spray that covers you like an early morning fog.
Sierra caught by Wesley via his Instagram (@cabosurfcaster)
Fishing here takes very heavy equipment so we rigged up with fourteen-foot spinning rods, and 6000 series spinning reels and loaded them with sixty-pound braid. For bait, we used five and six-ounce Ranger lures (a heavy pencil-shaped chrome lure) and tied them to our main line with one hundred twenty-five pound fluorocarbon leaders. No fish was biting through this line!
Down to the sand where the four of us spread out along the beach. The sun was rising now and with a bit more light we could see several other fishermen scattered along the beach. As we waited between sets of waves to cast we could see fish boiling just outside the surf line. Once the waves calmed down we would cast and retrieve the lure with a pull and reel motion.
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This was action fishing. You would scan the smooth water to find the boiling fish and then run a bit closer and cast out into the boils. Folks up and down the beach were doing the same thing and having good luck but no one was better at catching boiling fish than the locals. They took run and gun surf fishing to a new level.
At first, I thought it might be the military patrolling the beach until they came a bit closer and I could see that I wasn’t in danger. It was merely a small pickup truck with rod holders attached to the back with three guys standing on the tailgate as the driver raced down the beach searching for crashing fish. They would fly up behind you like a pack of Navy Seals, jump to the sand, take matching casts and pull fish to the pickup with military precision. Brilliant!
The morning was productive for sierra and we all had a chance to pull on a few and take them home for our fiesta. The big excitement came when fellow fisherman Rod Watson from Pittsburg Kansas hooked into what would become a shocker of a fish. After a short fight, Rod pulled the fish to shore and up onto the sand. From a distance, it looked very much like a huge catfish. As he bent down to remove the hook he suddenly fell backward and both Wesley and I rushed to see if he was OK.
“Wow,” said Rod “That one’s a shocker”. A good-sized stargazer just zapped him with about fifty volts. It was the first stargazer anyone had seen around here in quite a while but it sure caught our attention and we were happy to see that Rod was OK, being more surprised than shocked. Now I know how it got its name because anyone who handled it was in store for a few stars themselves.
As the wind and sun picked up we made our way to the truck and headed back to town. During the ride, I had a chance to talk to Wesley about his guide service and his years of living down here in Mexico. With so many great memories, it’s a place he has always loved and there is no question there’s no place he’d rather be. If you are ever planning on visiting Cabo and are looking for some adventure I would highly recommend asking Wesley—he’s sure to deliver!
Wesley Brough can be reached by phone (760-680-6710) or on Facebook under cabosurfcaster. His guide service, which runs Monday through Saturday, includes a ride to the beach and all the bait and fishing equipment you will need. Although a Mexican fishing license is not required when fishing from the beach, one is highly recommended.
Fishing the Pacific cape is good all year long with dog toothed grouper April- June, rooster fish June-August, yellowtail March-April and sierra Jan-March. Dorado, tuna and hundreds of other species are available along the beaches throughout the year.
Article By Bill Varney.