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MINERVA'S: HOOK, LINE AND ZUKERS


The name 'Minerva's Baja is the right place to load-up on fishing tackle designed to conquer Baja gamefish. Here you can find the right gear, the right boat and the advice you need to make the most of your time on the water; The shop and owners Minerva and Bob Smith have been sponsors and supporters of the Tuna Jackpot from the beginning.

BY RICHARD CHUDY Special to Western Outdoor News

Anglers know the role that quality gear and a wide variety of lures and terminal tackle plays in hooking and landing fish. When the fish you're after run into the hundreds of pounds, perform acrobatics like circus veterans and have the strength of a freight train, you'd better be set up and set up right.


BOB AND MINERVA SMITH, co-owners
of Minerva's Baja Tackle in Cabo San Lucas.

Good news, whatever you need to handle Cabo gamefish, you'll find it at Minerva's Baja Tackle.

Started over 20 years ago when the port village of Cabo San Lucas was but a flyspeck on a Baja map, Minerva's Baja Tackle is the product of a love of fishing and the courage to start a business that the owners knew little about running.

Bob Smith, former transmission repair shop owner and recreational fisherman, first thought about the idea of owning and operating a fishing tackle shop after having experienced the thrill of fishing the pristine waters of Baja Sur long ago. So with the love of the sport and the area in his heart, he asked his wife, Minerva, how she'd fell about making a major change in their lives. He showed her where it was he would like to be and with her strong sense of adventure, she decided to follow Bob in pursuit of his dream.

Let's see, trade a toolbox and customers you only see when they have a problem for a tackle box and customers that only see you when they're happily arranging for a day on the water. Hmmm... not exactly that hard of a choice, is it?

When they first arrived in Cabo and set up for business, there were a total of 12 boats, a few small hotels, dirt roads and no marina. As a matter of fact, when they acquired their first boat, the local game warden rented it from them. Soon, the word was out that if you were searching for a place where the most sought after game fish in the world congregated in huge numbers just a mile or so offshore, Cabo was the place to be. The rest, as they say, is history.

  
THE DOWNTOWN SHOP IS A MAINSTAY for anglers who want the best
tackle and advice about Cabo Sportfishing.

Minerva's Baja Tackle has grown into one of the most successful local businesses catering to anglers. The shop now boasts the largest selection of tackle in all of Baja, and if you venture into the store, you'll have to agree. It's like a candy store for sport fisherman. Everywhere you look you're met with a rainbow of colors in the form of trolling feathers, hard-bodied lures like marauders, rods, reels, terminal tackle and clothing for the hard-core angler. The only problem you'll have is running out of cash or room on your credit cards as the selection makes it difficult to stop adding more items to your purchase list.

Bob and Minerva stock only the best gear as they know that the species targeted in these waters will test the equipment to the limit. Penn reels, Calstar rods, Aftco roller guides, Luhr Jensen marine electronics - all par for the course here. In addition to the quality of the merchandise, prices are more than fair. Add over 25 years of experience fishing these waters and the knowledge and advice that they give out are worth their weight in gold, though Bob and Minerva dispense it free of charge with childlike glee. From first-time Cabo anglers to stoic veterans, anyone who wanders in looking for a bit of local information walks away feeling as if an expert themselves.

The two have managed to grow from a one-boat charter operation and small-scale tackle shop to a three-boat fleet with all the trimmings one could ask for. Their fleet now consists of: MINERVA II, a beautiful 33-foot Bertram Sport fisher powered by a pair of caterpillar 3208 Turbo Engines; MINERVA III, an extremely fast 31-foot Bertram Sport fisher powered by a pair of 250 HP turbo charged Cummins that just went through a stern-to-bow retrofit and refinishing; and the flagship of the fleet, MINERVA IV, a 40-foot Custom Sport fisher powered by twin Detroit diesels that sports two big game fishing chairs. Not bad for folks that knew nothing about the business and the difficulties associated with it.


THE MINERVA III, ONE of many fine boats in Minerva's Cabo

Minerva's Baja Tackle is located in downtown Cabo San Lucas at the corners of Marina Blvd. and Madero. To reach them by phone, call (011 52) 624 143-1282, or visit them online at www.minervas.com. Their site includes an easy to use reservation request form to make booking your trip fast and easy. As mentioned before, their boats and crews are excellent so demand is high, book well ahead of time to make sure you get the boat and the days you want.

Richard Chudy is the President and co-owner of CabosBest.com, a travel portal dedicated to Los Cabos and Baja Sur. To learn more about Los Cabos, visit http://www.cabosbest.com.