Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Mexico

Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Mexico

To the north, Mexico is bordered by the United States and to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean and the southeast by the Caribbean Sea, Guatemala, and Belize. Mexico is rich in adventures when you want to take a vacation and one of those adventures is fishing. In addition to being bordered by the Pacific Ocean, it is also bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. All of this open deep water gives fishermen ample opportunities for deep-sea fishing. There are also a lot of lakes and rivers inland for fishing. Mexico has over 6,000 miles of coastline from which many choose to fish.

Where to Fish in Mexico

Cabo San Lucas

Although Cabo San Lucas draws over a million visitors each year for their stunning beaches, there are also many places for you to go deep-sea fishing. Many refer to it as the World Capital of Deep-Sea Fishing. In and around Cabo San Lucas, there are many fishing competitions and events that take place. All you need to do is book a charter and you will be provided the bait and gear before you are taken to some of the best places to fish. Here you will find many saltwater fish like Dorado, Striped Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Snapper, Mackerel, and more.


This is another great deep-sea fishing area and is located on the Pacific Coast. When fishing here, you can find the Sailfish from March-February. The Blue and Black Marlin found there can weigh as much as 500 pounds with the peak time being December-May. About five to ten miles off-shore you can find large schools of Dorado (Mahi Mahi) and Yellowfin Tuna. There are also Barracuda, Grouper, Roosterfish, Mackerel, and closer to shore.

La Paz

This is another spot for deep-sea fishing on the Sea of Cortez. You can rent a boat or take a guided tour. Fishing here you can catch Dorado, Tuna, Roosterfish, Marlin, Tuna, Snapper, and more.

Los Cabos, Baja

This fishing area comprises Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, and San Jose del Cabo and is one of Mexico’s largest sports fishing areas. All of these areas hold many world records. The collision of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez churn up a variety of sport fish. There are some that estimate that there are as many as 50,000 Sailfish and Marlin combined in this area. The best months to catch Black and Blue Marlin are June to December. Sailfish are more plentiful from April to October.

Mazatlan, Sinaloa

This is one of the top coastal destinations for fishing in Mexico and has the title of Billfish Capital of the World. It is a year-round fishing spot but some fish have certain times when they are more plentiful. Here, Marlin is from December-April while Sailfish is May-November. If you want, you can take an excursion to nearby El Salto or Comedero Lakes that are stocked with plenty of bass.

Puerto Vallarta

The ocean waters off here are some of the most fertile waters for fishing and it can be done year-round. You can fish for Sailfish, Marlin, Bonito, Tuna, Shark, and Red Snapper. 

Sports Fishing in Mexico

This is a fun and exhilarating way to fish. One type of sport’s fishing is deep-sea fishing but if you do not want to go out on a boat, you can enjoy surf fishing or fly-fishing. Just go to the beach, cast your line, and see what you can catch.

Mexperience discusses more about sport fishing in Mexico.

Bass Fishing in Mexico

If you want to go fishing for black bass, then you need to visit one of the four top black bass lakes in Mexico; Lake El Santo, Lake Agua Milpa, Lake Huites, and Lake Baccarac. They are all located on the Western side of the coast of Mexico. Most of the bass you will find at these four lakes are large. 

Lake El Salto

Here you will find some of the best inland bass fishing lakes in Mexico. This lake is world-renowned. The lake fills 25,000 acres and each year it is stocked. This is one of the four best black bass lakes in the world. The lake is on the Western side of the coast of Mexico. The bass in this lake is relatively large in size.

Lake Baccarac

This lake is also known for bass fishing. The lake takes up 30,000 acres and is filled with trophy largemouth bass. You can stay on the shore of the lake to fish if you choose so you do not have to travel into the water to fish. To fish here you do need to arrange a guide.

Lake Huites

If you are fishing for large fish, visit this lake.

Lake Agua Milpa

This is one of the newest of the four black bass lakes so there are a considerable number of them in this lake. Because it is newer, the bass are a little smaller.

Regulations for Fishing in Mexico


 To fish in Mexico you will need to have a fishing license, which you can get for one day, one week, a month, or a year. You will need to go online and fill out a form to get your license.

General Regulations

If you bring your boat to fish in Cabo San Lucas, you will need to purchase legal and liability insurance coverage. When you enter Mexico by land or sea for sport fishing, you have to register at the first port of entry for your Individual Immigration Visa.

Mexico has strict regulations about fishing. On boats, every crew member and passenger on board must have a fishing license, whether they are fishing or not. You are allowed only one rod/line per person to be in the water at a time. There are also regulations about how many rods/reels each person can take on board. Turtles are protected by law and all crustaceans and mollusks are off-limits. There is no limit on how many you catch-and-release but there are limits on how many you can catch and bring back to shore. 


  • When you fish in the estuaries or ocean you are limited to catching ten fish a day but not more than five of the same species. 
  • You will only be allowed to catch one Marlin, Shark, Sailfish, or Swordfish. Catching one of the larger fish will count as five of their ten limit restriction due to their size.
  • You can only catch two each of these; Dorados, Roosterfish, Tarpon, or Shad. When you catch two, it will count as five of your ten-limit.
  • In lakes and inland rivers, you can only catch five fish a day, whether it is a mixed species or a single species
  • When underwater fishing, you can only catch five fish per day.

Fishing Charter Boat in Mexico

Many charter operators are local and will deliver the ultimate sports fishing experience you have ever had on the ocean. These trips generally begin in the early morning and will last to early afternoon or early evening. They will have a boat that is specially adapted for this type of fishing. They will come fully equipped with a crew that is knowledgeable, trained, and licensed with all the necessary accessories and gear to make your trip fun. Always check out the charter company before booking to make sure they have all the aforementioned things. If not, look elsewhere. Ask at your resort for a good charter company.

You should also ask your charter captain what services and facilities they provide. You should also ask about their policy for safety and the safety equipment on board. Also, make sure that there are enough life jackets on board for everyone. You also need to find out if they provide drinks and/or food for lunch or snacks. During the high season, you need to make sure that you book your charter boat well in advance. Make sure how long the trip is that you are scheduling for; half or full day and time you are allotted.


Always make sure that you have your camera, especially if you are going deep-sea fishing so you can have pictures documenting your trip and your catches since most are catch-and-release. You can catch and photograph as many as you wish as long as you release the fish immediately afterward. As you can see, there are many varieties of fish that you can catch while on your fishing excursion in Mexico. Just remember that you do need to have a fishing license in order to fish here.

What more could you ask for when fishing? You have warm sunny weather, warm waters, and numerous fish to catch whether you are fly-fishing, shore fishing, or deep-sea fishing. Make sure if you want to charter a boat that you do it well in advance for your trip and the same goes for reservations at the resorts. Everyone knows that Mexico is a great vacation and fishing destination so book early. Enjoy your fishing excursion to Mexico and catch a big one.

Try fishing in different countries! Check out: Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Belize

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