Fishing the Riviera Maya: Cancun, Cozumel & Playa del Carmen

Fishing the riviera Maya

So you chose the Mexican Caribbean as the next item on your fishing bucket list (pun intended). May we begin by saying what a superb choice that is, given that the angling conditions are just about perfect this time of the year: the real brilliance of that statement being that it rings as true regardless of when you actually came across this post.

Reading this in front of your fireplace in mid-January, clutching your blanket while the worst snowstorm in years rages outside? There are dozens of small panga boats just off the warm shores of Playa del Carmen cheerfully reeling in an army of Marlin and Mahi Mahi at this very moment.

Found this article while browsing for additional ways to cool yourself off during an unprecedented August heat wave? Somebody’s just caught his first permit in what is quickly proving to be the fly-fishing experience of his life, wading in the translucent flats of Cozumel’s north.

In fact, so many game fish annually call the clear turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya district their home, you are very likely to find seasoned career captains swearing you can catch a Blue Marlin any day of the year, and more than one fishing charter is currently spicing up the deal by implementing a ‘no catch, no pay’ policy for their big game fishing trips.

Before we dig deeper into all of the various angling opportunities these places have to offer, it is important to address the rules and regulations you are going to have to abide by.

Fishing Permits, Bag Limits & Fishing Calendar

First and foremost, you’re going to need a fishing license if you plan on engaging in any offshore fishing activities.

Fishing from land, on the other hand, can be done without a permit, the only requirement being that you practice it at least 250 meters away from swimmers. It should be noted off the bat that if you are booking a fishing charter instead of operating the boat yourself, most of them do cover the licensing for you, and simply include it in the overall price (do, however, check with your captain to make sure that the licensing is taken care of). Otherwise, you can easily get a permit online in a matter of minutes, by visiting http://www.bestbajafishing.org/fishing-permits.php and filling out the form.

As far as the cost goes, the license will set you back about $8.40 for a day of fishing, $21 for a week, $31 for the whole month and $42 for a full year.

Only one rod per person is allowed in the water at the same time, without any restrictions regarding the replacement items. If you’re bottom fishing, up to four hooks on a single vertical line can be used.

Your daily bag limit is ten fish per person, but there’s a catch (get it? A catch). You can bag no more than 5 specimen of a single species, and only one sample of Marlin, Sailfish and Swordfish per day are allowed, which counts as half of your daily limit. Similarly, two specimens of Dorado, Tarpon, Shad, or Rooster Fish may be caught on a single day, amounting to half of the said ten-fish requirement. What this basically means is that, say, one Marlin and two Dorados, or one Sailfish and one Swordfish would count as your actual catch limit on any given day.

The good news is that no limits are set on practicing catch and release, as long as the fish leaves your boat in an acceptable survival condition. Keep in mind that, regardless of these rules, many captains do practice a strict ‘catch and release’ policy for all billfish.

 

Fishing Calendar for the Riviera Maya

Fishing seasons calendar for Riviera Maya, Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen
Fishing seasons calendar for Riviera Maya, Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen

 

Once the general grounds are covered, it’s about time we get close and personal with everything fish-related these three destinations have to offer. Starting with:

Playa del Carmen

This past decade marked the rapid transformation of Playa del Carmen from a sleepy fishing community to one of the top Mexican tourist destinations south of Cancun. The city is now a unique blend of ancient Mayan heritage and a bustling international residential population, seasoned with a dash of tropical paradise vibe. But on to the more important things: fish!

You’ll be happy to learn that Playa has been geographically blessed with ripe angling conditions in two major ways: first, the island of Cozumel is located just east of Playa’s shores, and the channel formed between the coast and the island creates what science refers to as a freaking game fish super highway. Second, the entire area is basically situated on the very edge of a large underwater valley, meaning that the ocean floor suddenly and substantially descends just a couple hundreds of meters from the coastline, bringing offshore fishing as close to the shore as you’ve ever had it.

And I’ve only just started with the good news. Sailfish and marlin are abundant off the shores of Playa as they migrate through the channel during the entire spring and summertime. The peak season is March to July, but if you’re the type of angler that appreciates a little peace and quiet with your fishing destination, come September, you can avoid the tourist mayhem and have the best of both worlds. Although these are undoubtedly the best times to go after billfish in Playa, keep in mind that most captains claim that there is a non-migratory, resident population of Sailfish in the area, and yes, that the Blue Marlin can be spotted on any day of the year. In fact, both White and Blue Marlin are regulars in these waters (peak season: March – July), which is exactly why this is the place often cherry-picked by those looking to score a so-called Grand Slam, achieved by catching a Sailfish, Blue and White Marlin, all in a single day: not a rare occurrence here by any chance (1st week of May is considered Grand Slam week around here: don’t tell anyone I told you). Most charter boats require you release any billfish caught, but there are several taxidermists in the area, should you decide you want a replica of your catch. And of course, bring your camera!

As far as somewhat smaller game fish species are concerned, there are plenty of Dorado, Barracuda, Wahoo, Snapper, Grouper, Jack Crevalle, Kingfish and much more, most of them willing to hit your bait year-round. All of these (especially Dorado) make for some of the most premium tasting fish in the world. Although it isn’t allowed to prepare and filet the fish right there on the charter boat, most restaurants in Playa would be more than happy to serve your catch to you (usually for about 7 bucks), along with a side dish of the best that the local cuisine has to offer. Be advised, however, that many of the local restaurants are closed by 5pm.

Types of fishing in Playa del Carmen

Due to the area being a hot spot for Sailfish, big game trolling is naturally what it’s all about in Playa. The best part? Thanks to that whole sitting-at-the-edge-of-a-valley thing, you start fishing in less than five minutes, and as close as half a mile offshore. Expect to see Sailfish, Blue and White Marlin, Dolphin Fish, Kingfish, Wahoo and Barracuda at the end of your line.

A full day private charter including lunch for up to 6 people (31ft boat) will cost $700-800, and $900-$1100 on larger boats(40-50ft) for up to 12 people. Half day trips are $450-$650 depending on boat size & equipment on-board. You can see what’s on offer, compare prices, and book your Playa charter online here.

More of a bottom fishing kind of guy? You can look forward to groupers and a variety of Snappers (Mutton Gray, Yellow Tail, Cubera). Still, most charters recommend a trolling/bottom fishing combos for a couple of reasons: one, if you’re a beginner angler or are vacationing with one, most tend to get bored with bottom fishing rather fast, so what the captain will usually do is troll your way out to the bottom fishing destination, and repeat the motion on your way back. Two, the sea does tend to get a bit rowdy every once in a while, making bottom fishing throughout the entire day a pretty uncomfortable experience on those occasions. Be sure to ask your captain for advice if you’re opting for this type of fishing.

Although jigging is not a traditional technique in Mexico by any standards, there are jigging opportunities in Playa to be found if you look hard enough. A couple of jigging tournaments are organized annually, aimed at promoting this type of fishing, and some charters offer to take you jigging for Amberjacks October through March (winter is optimal jigging time in Playa). Do, however, make sure to bring along your own jigging tackle, as most places don’t offer one. Also, you can thank the Barracudas in advance for losing some of your terminal tackle, so bring extra jigs as a rule of thumb.

As far as fly fishing and some light tackle action go, Playa del Carmen isn’t really flat abundant, which is why your best bet is finding a charter willing to take you a bit more to the south, since the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, Xcalak and the Chetumal Bay (60-90 minute ride) are lauded as prime fly fishing destinations. Some of the previous visitors also recommend you visit the quieter areas of the local Playa beaches early in the morning, and try your luck with a fly fishing rod, armed with spinners or plastic lures.

Finally, beach fishing is a possibility, although most recommend you err on the side of caution and take a 20-minute walk south of the hotel zone, where a couple of remote beaches are located, as most hotel owners will be less than ready to let you fish as soon as the first beachgoers arrive.

Next up:

Cozumel

Located east of the shores of Playa del Carmen and staring back at the entire Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel stands as Mexico’s largest Caribbean island. If for any reason you are worried about its fishing prospects, there are only two things you need to know – one, it is home to the largest reef system in the Americas, naturally vibrant with fish life, and two, almost its entire annual income is comprised of tourism, diving and charter fishing: and let’s just say the island is doing very well financially.

Similar to Playa, there are no lengthy travel times to your fishing destination: the shoreline disappears less than two miles from the pier, and other than being stunningly beautiful, the reefs double as a topographical barrier, keeping all of the game fish very close to home. As far as offshore fishing is concerned, the fish selection and the peak seasons mostly mirror Playa del Carmen, but there are exciting and unique opportunities for those of you looking to spend a day wading in the flats. To be more precise:

Trolling is understandably super popular, with Sailfish and Marlin acting as the primary targets, usually followed by Wahoo, Tuna, Dorado and others. If you’re not the one to worry about the size of the catch that much, bottom fishing offers a solid chance of going after Grouper, Snappers, Triggerfish, Amberjack, as well as various reef fish that populate the area. Drifting at the reefs will get you close to Motton and Yellowtail Snapper, Strawberry Grouper and Amberjack, their fighting abilities paralleled only by their sublime taste.

But all of this is only the interlude to Cozumel’s main dish, as fly fishing in the island’s northern flats is often considered one of the best experiences of its kind in all of the Caribbean. The three spacious lagoons are home to a yearly supply of Bonefish, but if you time it with the season, you can reasonably expect to find these shallow waters teeming with Permit (Peak season: March-September), Tarpon (these three of course, comprising the fly fishing Grand Slam), Snapper, Triggerfish, and you can even take a shot or two at a couple of baby Snook. Furthermore, there are several charter boats that will have no problem arranging an offshore fly fishing trip for you, where going against the likes of Marlin, Sailfish and Wahoo armed only with a fly fishing rod or light tackle rod is bound to make for quite a story back home.

Cancun

Obviously, not much of an intro is needed for our third and final destination, which also happens to be the most popular tourist spot in all of the Caribbean, making Puerto Rico and the Bahamas look like quiet vacation alternatives in comparison. But does Cancun have what it takes to make the best of the world’s anglers happy as well? (Yes. Yes it does.)

Trolling and bottom fishing opportunities are just as good as anywhere else along the coast of the Yucatan peninsula, with all the usual suspects present: Sailfish, White and Blue Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Kingfish, Wahoo, Tuna, Grouper and Snapper have all gathered here, ready to put your rigs to the test. What sets Cancun apart from Cozumel and Playa is that you finally actually have to go to the fish instead of the other way round, with deep sea fishing usually being practiced between 15 and 35 miles from the shore.

As with Cozumel, when it comes to fly fishing and light tackle, Cancun does not disappoint. There are two fly fishing and light tackle areas to choose from: you can try your luck in the lagoons that make up what is commonly referred to as the Cancun Hotel Zone, or you can visit the less spoiled shallow waters of Isla Blanca, notorious for its Bone fishing prospects. The Hotel Zone is located at the Yucatan’s north eastern tip, and is comprised of three lagoons, the major one being the Nichupte lagoon, where you can fish for Tarpon and Snook throughout the year, with the summer months being optimal for Permit and Bone fishing. The Isla Bonita ‘suffers’ from lack of development compared to the rest of Cancun, so this would be your preferred location if you’re looking to get away from all the noise and the commotion. Not to mention that the locals genuinely claim that landing 10 fish in a day in the flats of Isla Bonita is anything but uncommon.

Got questions about fishing in the Riviera Maya?

Don’t know which rod to bring, where to buy lures in Cancun, where to fish for Tarpon… Don’t hesitate to ask! We’ve got a few local captains that will be glad to help you out.

165 Responses to “Fishing the Riviera Maya: Cancun, Cozumel & Playa del Carmen”

  1. Ray

    I am planning to get my two boys (9 and 12) excited in fishing and our holiday in Playa is the best time. Could you advise on what type of fishing would be the best for this?
    I would like to try trolling for a big game but not that sure it would suit the boys.
    Cheers.

    Reply
    • ryan

      My husband will be coming to me mexico in beginning of December we be staying
      At el dorado royal spa resort by karisma were would the best place e for him to of shore fish and he would also want to fish from a boat can u recommended a captain
      Thank u

      Reply
      • Cat

        Hey! 🙂 Sounds like you’re planning a great trip. Here is a very popular charter close to your resort that we would highly recommend: https://fishingbooker.com/charters/view/350. They offer anything from half day to full day trips and can arrange trolling or bottom fishing, depending on what you would rather do.

        The beaches around your resort should have some nice shore fishing spots: the best thing to do is just ask the staff when you get there for some excellent local advice.

        Reply
        • Big Z

          I will be in Cancun at the Moon Palace in October. I am an avid angler and would love to catch a few of the salty beasts in the area. Any suggestions?

          Reply
          • Cat

            H Big Z 🙂

            I’d suggest you take a look at Galileo – this is one of our most popular boats in the area, and it’s highly rated by its customers (the captain is not only a professional angler, but also a trained chef!). Otherwise, take a look at Don Quino – Capt. Abraham really knows his stuff. Have an amazing trip!

  2. admin

    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for your comment. Probably not good to start with big game as they might get hesitant to swim when they see what’s coming out of the water 🙂

    Our advice – take them shore fishing from the beach a few times before chartering a boat. You can probably get small snapper from the beach which should get them interested and accustomed to rods, reels, fish etc. If they’re still keen on fishing after a few sessions at the beach, then you can think about chartering a boat. Just make sure it has an enclosed air-conditioned cabin and toilet. Small children and panga boats don’t play well!

    When you’re ready to charter a boat check out the link below:
    http://fishingbooker.com/index.php/charters/search/mx?search_location=playa-del-carmen

    Reply
    • Ray

      Thanks for the info. Yeap, I haven’t thought it might be frightening for them. I’ll do shore fishing first. One last thing 🙂 How much in advance should I book the trip? I see that all of your charters have a free cancellation, is there any conditions except the date?

      Thanks

      Reply
  3. Richard

    Is shark fishing allowed in Mexico? I tried researching online, but it seems there have been lots of alterations to the rules regarding shark fishing lately and I couldn’t find any conclusive results…

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Richard,

      Sharks tend to reproduce slower than most species, making them much more susceptible to overfishing. This combined with the fact that their population is dwindling worldwide led to Mexico imposing a moratorium on shark fishing in the recent years. The ban primarily focuses on great whites, but all sharks and rays are released. Still, plenty of species left to choose from 🙂

      Reply
  4. Steven

    I always wanted to go fish for a Marlin or Sailfish. What are the chances for catching one in July in Cozumel? Will two day trip increase my chances and how much?

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hey Steven,

      You couldn’t pick a better time for billfishing in Cozumel if you wanted to: the peak season for Marlin and Sailfish is March to July! As far as booking a charter for two days, it would certainly increase your chances, although it’s far from impossible to catch a Marlin in a single day around here. The population count is pretty impressive.

      Reply
      • Steven

        Thanks for an advice, it sure sounds promising. Could you suggest a suitable charter? There will be just 3 of us, and we all are new to a deep sea fishing.

        Thanks

        Reply
    • Shawn

      I am headed to Cancun in the middle of February and will most likely have to do a shared trip. Not happy about that, but the budget is tight. Do you know what they will be catching and any charter recommendations?

      Reply
      • Dino

        Hi Shawn,

        Unfortunately, I don’t really know of many charters running shared fishing trips in Cancun, since most captains that we communicate with almost exclusively offer private charters. I think your best bet would be asking for captain and boat suggestions at your resort or trying your luck at the marina, although shared trips do tend to be pretty difficult to organize on a short notice. As far as fishing, February marks the early start of deep sea season in Cancun with Mackerel, Tuna, Wahoo and Barracuda already productive, while Billfish and Dorado are slowly beginning to migrate to the area. Let me know if you happen to land one 🙂

        Reply
  5. Matt

    I’m headed to Cozumel the second week in May. I’m going with a group of guys who are hard core fishers. Were looking for a recommendation for the best captain and best charter to book through for guys who take their fishing serious. Mostly looking to hook up with billfish, Dolphin, and Tuna.

    Thanks,

    Matt

    Reply
    • Vukan

      Hi Matt,

      May is actually prime Marlin / Sailfish and Dolphin season, but not so good for Tuna.

      How many days of fishing do you plan on doing and how many people? The best charters in your area normally depart from Cozumel (La Casa del Marlin) or Puerto Aventuras (Captain Rick’s). They have the best prices and a wide array of vessels depending on your requirements, since the sportfishing industry is very competitive. Most of the captains are Mexicans and the good ones are part of bigger operators that specialize just in fishing (not sightseeing / cruising etc).

      From Cozumel:
      La Casa del Marlin has 3 boats, 28-40ft depending on group size and budget. Full day trips are $475-$800.
      http://fishingbooker.com/index.php/charters/search/mx?search_location=cozumel

      From Puerto Aventuras (yes, they can pick you up in Cozumel):
      Captain Rick’s has over 14 boats in their fleet, ranging 23-48ft in size. Full day trips $525-$1050.
      http://fishingbooker.com/index.php/charters/search/mx?search_location=playa-del-carmen

      You

      Reply
      • Matt

        Can you tell me any more about Casa Del Marlin, why you recommend them over Albatros, are they better than Ricks.

        The group I’m fishing with is experienced fishing around the world. We are looking for a Tournament quality captain with the same in gear and a boat.

        Reply
        • Vukan

          Hi Matt. I’m not recommending Casa Del Marlin over Albatros or Rick’s, as I’ve personally never fished with any of them. However, we (FishingBooker) we have booked lots of trips with all three, and our customers so far have been happy.

          The problem with Cancun, Cozumel and Playa is that they’re very popular tourist destinations with a hugely competitive charter fishing market, so it’s very hard to find ‘living legend’ quality captains down there that are brands on their own. What I’ve given you are the largest charter services there which also care about their service quality.

          If you want a world class experience spinning / fly fishing, you might want to Google “Carlos Vega”, a famous fisherman from Cozumel that’s been fishing it’s waters since the sixties. He specializes mostly in light tackle and fly fishing though, but has a boutique operation in Cancun called “Aquarius Charters”.

          Sorry but no exact answer here if you’re looking for big game species.

          Reply
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    Reply
  7. arran

    Hi i am looking to fish for Marlin and sailfish when i am on holiday in June. I am staying in Playa del carmen and will be looking to do an 8 hour private boat trip. I can’t decide on whether to go for Captain Ricks or Cozumel charters. Do you have any suggestion as to which is better or are they much the same?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Nemo

      Hi Arran,

      Thanks for asking.
      The charter operators are pretty similar, if you like the simple solution I would recommend Captain Rick since he is docked 20 minutes away from Playa and has organized round trip from your hotel and back.

      On the other hand, I would always go for Cozumel myself especial if you want Sailfish since Cozumel is world know for its Sailfish spots and who knows those places better than local Cozumel charters.
      Be aware that charter operators from Cozumel will charge a pickup fee but I think its worth it 🙂

      Our Mexico specialist will send more details to you in an email.

      Reply
  8. Kevin

    Hi I’m staying in Rivera maya the last week of July into August. I will most likely be alone since my wife and daughter don’t like to fish. Is it possible to join up on another boat or just go out solo? Also any marlin that time of year? Thanks

    Reply
    • Vukan

      Thanks for the comment Kevin!

      Marlin in Jul/Aug: not the best time to get them to be honest, as Billfish are in peak there April – July. However, Tuna & Barracuda bite well in these months as well as Snapper / Grouper which can be targeted successfully year-round.

      Trip sharing: you’ll have a hard time booking a shared charter in advance, so my advice (which works for our clients 90% of the time) is to book a smaller boat on your own and get 1 or 2 people from your group to split the price with you. You get to choose a boat according to your requirements. If you fail to find somebody to split the price with, you can cancel your trip free of charge if you use our service. Most operators have a 3 days in advance Free Cancellation policy.

      Compare charters in:

      Reply
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  10. Andrew

    Hey there, I will be staying at paradisus playa del Carmen July 17-21. I’m going on a corporate retreat with a pretty large group and they have all these activities already planned but unfortunately for me, apparently whoever did the planning isn’t interested in fishing. I only will have one free day while there. I just want to go fishing to fulfill a life long dream. I will be alone and can’t charter a whole boat. Is there a way I could just rent some gear from someone and go do some shore fishing? Or maybe get on a charger as a fill in? Thanks

    Reply
    • Vukan

      Thanks for the comment Andrew 🙂

      Sorry to hear that your colleagues aren’t excited about fishing, but I’m sure we’ll be able to find you something! I can’t help much with shared charters as those are a nightmare to plan out due to frequent cancellations and low fishing quality. What I normally suggest to 1-2 angler teams is to charter a smaller boat like this one:

      https://fishingbooker.com/index.php/charters/view/627

      It will only cost you 220 USD for a 1/2 day with all tackle, bait & beer/soft drinks included. Considering this has been your lifelong dream an important factor is that on private charters you get to choose where you’re fishing and which species you’re going to target.

      If you want more details, call our customer service team: +1-888-341-4281 they plan trips similar to yours daily and will be glad to help you out with making yours an experience to remember!

      Reply
    • Vukan

      P.S. There’s also a company called PDC Fishing Snorkelling near to your hotel for 225 USD / half day:

      https://fishingbooker.com/index.php/charters/view/336

      Reply
  11. Andrew

    Thanks for the tip. I think I’ve found a fishing partner to split a boat with.

    Reply
  12. Denise

    Staying at iberostar parisio on mayan riv. My son is huge flyfisherman. Bringing his 10wt and some streamers and clousers. He cant afford a charter -what can he catch from beach/surf eArly mornings? Tx

    Reply
  13. Denise

    Staying at iberostar paraiso week july 5-12. Son bringing his 10wt flyrod and streamers. What can he expect to catch from beach early mornings/evenings? Thank you

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Denise,

      First things first- when beach fishing in Playa del Carmen, he should make sure to be at least 250 meters away from any swimmers or beachgoers. Although it can get a bit windy for surf casting, and the fish rarely rival charter catches in both size and diversity, there are still plenty of Barracuda and Jacks near the shore to keep him busy.

      There are, however, several low-cost charter options in Playa del Carmen if he really wants to make the most of his trip. Playa del Carmen Fishing Snorkelling offer 4-hour trips for up to 4 persons for as low as 250$. The vessel is equipped with all the necessary fly-fishing equipment, and the crew certainly harbors vast knowledge of the local waters. Either way, we’re counting on a hefty fishing report following his vacation 🙂

      Reply
  14. Paul Martyna

    G’Day,

    Heading to IBEROSTAR PARAISO LINDO Tue, 15 Jul 2014 for a family reunion. I have already packed a 9# flyrod and a bunch of mixed crazy charlies, clousers, crab, shrimp and squid patterns. Will I be able to do any flats casting within a walk of the resort?

    Is the 9 weight appropriate or should I consider bringing something in the 5-7range?

    The boys in the family are interested in doing a charter, though probably not flyfishing necessarily. Something where we could get into some light game dorado etc (where I might still sneak in a few fluff-chucks would probably be the go if that is possible. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    There would probably 5-7 of us interested in the charter.

    I will look into the PDC Fishing Snorkling as well to indulge my fluff-chucking.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Kind Regards,

    Paul

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for the comment. We’ve actually contacted the Captain of PDC Fishing Snorkelling regarding your questions, and he was more than happy to answer all of them 🙂 Here we go:

      You will in fact be able to fly cast withing a walking distance from the resort. According to the Captain, your 9-weight will be more than enough for some nice-sized barracudas currently cruising the area.

      Mahi Mahis are peaking in Playa at the moment, so the boys are definitely in luck there. PDC Fishing Snorkelling can accommodate both their light tackle and your fly fishing preferences (they’ve got their own fly gear ready just in case as well). Their sturdy 29ft-er can take all of you guys for a spin.

      Regarding the dates, the Captain is still open on the 15th, although other dates may be an option as well. Since there’s really no telling how long before the dates get booked, I suggest checking the Captain’s profile here and securing the fishing trip date as soon as possible.

      If you have any more questions, let me know. Looking forward to your fluff-chucking report 🙂

      Reply
  15. jonathan adams

    hey guys have to say love the site gathered more info here about cancun fishing in ten minutes here then days on other sites im going to be in cancun in mid September with a group of well experienced fishermen looking to do 2 days of flats/lagoon fishing and a full day ocean are there any great ocean charters closer to cancun or would i not even want to fish that way(hoping for bill-fish) but tuna and grouper is perfectly fine with me and for the more important (to me) the light tackle fishing for tarpon and snook would i want to be in the lagoons or the flats or would i want to be more toward Cozumel and how different is the fishing in the lagoons then the flats, depth water clarity sight fishing etc sorry for all the questions and bad grammar lol thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Jonathan,

      Not a problem, we’re here to help 🙂 How many of you will be going deep sea fishing? If it’s the standard group of between 4 and 6 anglers, I’d recommend looking into Don Quino or Comocean – both sturdy and sizable vessels, both of them giving you guys enough room for carefree casting. Sorry to disappoint, but September is usually considered the off-season as far as billfishing is concerned-August is pretty much the last train for Marlinville. That being said, how about going after some Tuna, Wahoo, Barracuda, Bonito or Mackerel? All still in full flight in September.

      Cozumel definitely gets better PR as a Fly Fishing haven compared to Cancun, but the northern competitor knows how to pack a wallup too. Both are excellent areas for Permit (not a peak season for Permit in either location, but decent action nonetheless) Tarpon and Bonefish (somewhat more present cruising the northern Cozumel lagoons in September). If you’re looking for a prime fly fishing experience and don’t mind taking a short road trip with the guys, consider Isla Blanca and Ascension Bay as your possible end destinations too.

      Reply
  16. Scott

    Staying in Riu Palace Las Americas in Cancun from August 14th-22nd and would like to do a day or two of fly fishing and maybe a day or two of billfishing and was looking for some help. I am not against bring some tackle and trying somewhere around the resort either. Probably would just be my son and myself.

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Scott,

      As far as billfish trips for 2 go, you can’t go wrong with Galileo– a 31ft vessel equipped with all the deep sea fishing gear you guys will need, a fighting chair and a bathroom on board, it’s also one of the cheapest charters in its size range. August is pretty much the last month for a decent Billfish action around Cancun, as most big game pelagics start migrating at the end of the month. At this time, they still troll for Marlin, Wahoo, Sailfish, Dorado and other usual suspects.

      Fly fishing-wise, there are several guides whose services you may want to consider using. Still, if you don’t mind taking a shorter road trip, I would certainly recommend heading up a bit north to Isla Blanca, some 30 minutes away from the Cancun Hotel Zone. One of the most lauded fly fishing hotspots along the Quintana Roo, Isla Blanca is the go-to place for a Super Grand Slam, which requires a lucky angler to catch Tarpon, Permit, Bonefish and Snook, all in one day. Think you guys are up for the challenge? 🙂

      Reply
  17. Ryan

    I will be heading to Playa and Cozumel in early Sept and am taking my fly rod. I would like to rent a panga boat or other small boat. I am having trouble finding a boat rental that does not include a guide. Know of any places I should look?
    Thanks,
    Ryan

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Ryan,

      There are several smaller charters in both locations that I can recommend, but they all come with a crew 🙂 For an unguided trip, your best bet is to ask around at the marina or your resort.

      Happy fishing!

      Reply
  18. jack

    hi i am goin to riviera maya at end of march 2015 could you recommend any private captains for just 1 or 2 people i prefer them to the big companys with big fleets as i feel they just want your money and will just take you out to catch a few cudas

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Jack,

      The entire Riviera Maya is ripe with both small charter businesses as well as, like you said, giant charter fleets. Personally, I’ve had a great experience with both, but I can definitely recommend an experienced local guide that’s not just a part of a comprehensive charter offer. I’d just need to know where exactly in Riviera Maya you’re going to be staying?

      Reply
  19. Patrick

    I am heading to the Riviera in mid Oct. I am staying at the Grand Serenis, Mayan Riviera and was hoping there were a few local charters. unfortunately my wife does not fish, so I will either have to share or sole the charter. Do you have any suggestions.
    Also I do not fly fish, so what about some shoreline spin casting information.

    Reply
    • Dino

      Patrick,

      I just spoke to the Captain of Paraiso, one of our local charter operators in Playa – he suggests you take a taxi to “Cocobeach” in Playa del Carmen, about 20 minutes down south from your resort. Since you’re on a budget, the Captain does operate one of the most affordable vessels in the area – it’s a 25ft tiburonera boat, specializing in big game fishing, and offering super cheap Half Day private trips. You can check his full offer here.

      According to the Captain himself, spin casting from the shore mid-October will give you a solid chance against Jacks, Barracudas and plenty of Snappers!

      Reply
  20. Dan

    Hi There,

    I’m looking to be in Playa Car either mid-January or the beginning of February. I would like to do some fly fishing and was curious where the best place to go, especially for bonefish (Bigger the better too!)?

    Thanks,
    Dan

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Dan,

      By far the best place to go after Bonefish is gonna be the 3 lagoons north of Cozumel – Montecristo, Paso Balem and Rio de la Plata. They’re teeming with Bones, large Permit and Tarpon, and are likely the best spot in Mexico to try for a fly fishing Grand Slam. So I suggest getting on a ferry from Playa to Cozumel, and fishing the day away on the Cozumel flats. And don’t forget to come back here with pics!

      Reply
  21. Lisa

    Hi Dean,
    I will be traveling with two others the last week of Feb 2015 and will be staying in a resort in the Xelha area. Are there any charters close by or will be need to head up to Playa? Also, what can we expect to catch that time of year? Lastly, what charter do you recommend?

    Thanks – Lisa

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Lisa,

      You should head up north, but not necessarily to Playa – Puerto Aventuras has some great fishing that time of year, and is closer to Xelha (about a half hour drive). As for charter recommendation, if there’s going to be only three of you, I’d go with the Intimidator, a 35ft-er that can do either light tackle, bottom or big game fishing, depending on your preferences.

      February is Wahoo and Tuna time in Riviera Maya – most billfish won’t be around for about a month more, although Sails (and lots of Mahis) will already be making their way to the Yucatan. Since you guys are there last week of February, be on the lookout for some early Marlin arrivals too! 🙂

      Reply
  22. Paul

    Hi,

    I will be staying at the Rui Yucatan in Playacar Feb 22 2015. I’ll be taking my spinning and lure gear.
    I am told fishing the reefs/rocks 15 minutes walk to the right can be productive. I would be grateful if you could recommend any lures that I could prospect with and be successful.
    Thanks
    Paul.

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hey Paul,

      Just talked to the Captain of Playa del Carmen Fishing Snorkelling – he says people mostly use live bait rather than lures when fishing that spot, and that you should get ready for you line getting stuck between those rocks…more often than not 🙂 He suggests possibly using lures for Barracuda.

      If you’re not really a big fan of tangled lines, he recommends you try casting near the end of the pier instead, right around 12 – less rocks, better fishing!

      Reply
  23. Lisa

    Hi Dino,
    Thank you for the information! If we don’t pre book a trip and just go to one of the piers will we be able to book on the fly? If so what time would we need to arrive at a pier to have any luck?

    Thanks-Lisa

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hey Lisa,
      There’s always a chance of booking a charter on the spot, though it’s not something I really recommend, as most quality charters get booked days/weeks in advance. My rule of thumb is to always book your fishing trip the same way you book your plane tickets – prior to leaving for vacation (hopefully 🙂 ). You can check out the charter selection around Playa here. Most charters start their trips between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning, so that would probably be the best time to try and find one on the spot.

      Reply
  24. travis taylor

    Will be getting into riviara maya Dec 26. Staying at secrets silver sands.would like to do offshore trip. I will b by myself wife doesn’t fish do you have a charter in a type of fish that you recommendto go after

    Reply
    • Dino

      Travis,

      If you’re referring to the Secrets Silversands in Puerto Morellos, I’d look into Galileo for a deep sea trip out of Cancun. It’s got stellar reviews, and they cook your catch in their restaurant following the trip for free. Billfish is going to be in low season, but there’ll be plenty of Wahoo, Tuna, Barracuda and Kingfish to keep you busy. Tight lines!

      Reply
  25. Steve

    My wife and I will be staying at Riviera Maya El Cid resort in mid January. I was wondering what the shore fishing possibilities are like. Also if you could recommend a charter in that area.

    Reply
    • Dino

      Steve, when it comes to shore fishing, the lagoon is home to plenty of smaller Barracudas and Jacks: when the bite is on, it’s a sight for sore eyes. I’ve even heard stories about small Bonefish cruising the area from time to time. There have been, however, gator/croc sightings by some shore anglers, and it can get pretty windy if you’re shore casting for a while, so just make sure you take all the necessary precautions.

      As for charter fishing in January, it won’t be Billfish season for another few months (although Striped Marlin bites are recorded aplenty in January), but if you’re a fan of Wahoo, Tuna, Mackerel, Snapper etc, you could still be in for a treat. Depending on how much space you need on board, I’d recommend either Galileo or Comocean – they’re both boats from the same fleet, and the guys even throw in a free lunch at their restaurant after the trip. On the menu – your catch!

      Reply
  26. Steve

    Hello, I am interested in information regarding a fishing trip. Myself along with 10-12 other guys will be in Riviera Maya the week of January 19-23. We are interested in the best chances to catch numbers of fish, whether it’s smaller inshore fishing with spinning rods or offshore trolling. I understand you can’t control the weather and the fish, but we’ve been on a previous trip elsewhere and all we did was troll and didn’t even get a bite, which makes for an extremely boring boat ride. I look forward to hearing from you. Happy Holidays!!

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hey Steve,

      Where in Riviera Maya will you be staying? From what I gather, you guys would probably do great with some bottom fishing action instead of trolling this time around.

      Not only does it produce more (albeit somewhat smaller) game fish, bottom fishing is also generally more exciting and engaging than trolling, as you’re interacting with the tackle much more often, and the bites are way more frequent (at least on average). Of course, it is all relative in fishing, and the Yucatan peninsula does provide some amazing offshore fishing as well, but if you want to increase your chances of actually catching fish and not just enjoying the scenery, bottom fishing would likely be the way to go. Besides, January isn’t really billfish season in Riviera Maya, so if you guys are looking for anything resembling a Marlin, you’re likely going to be out of luck either way. As I said, just let me know where you’ll be staying and I’ll recommend a few good options.

      Reply
  27. Steve

    Thanks for replying. We will be staying at Oceans Coral and Turquesa. With the bigger size group we have we were thinking we would split up and use 2 boats. As far as what species of fish we go after all we care about is having the best chances of catching numbers instead of one big fish.

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hey again Steve. Just got off the phone with the Captain of Galileo – Amberjack, Snappers and Groupers are the likeliest catch when bottom fishing in mid-January. By all accounts, that’s going to be your best bet at catch quantity and making sure that the entire group has a good time. I’ll shoot you a couple of options for a larger group like yours in an email shortly.

      Reply
  28. Steve

    That sounds great. I think all those species of fish would make for an incredible time for the guys, hopefully the bite will be on! I look forward to hearing from you.

    Reply
  29. Claude Duquette

    Can someone tell me what are the edible fish for human can i have this info on the net some where
    Thank you
    Claude

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Claude,

      I’m assuming you’re asking about game fish in particular? One of the most sought-after game fish in Riviera Maya is also a terrific table fare – Dorado! Also known as Dolphin Fish or Mahi Mahi, it can be caught almost year round, although its peak season (in Playa del Carmen particularly) is during the spring and summer months. Many say it tastes better than almost any other seafood, and unlike most fish they’ve ever tried. There’s a variety of other game fish that make for a great meal, so it would help if you could be a bit more specific with your question.

      On the other side of the spectrum, Billfish is considered too valuable a game fish to kill and eat, both in Mexico and around the world. To that end, many Captain practice a strict catch and release policy on all Billfish.

      Reply
  30. Neil Tarbet

    Hi there will be staying at Grand Sirenis mid Jan 2015 planning on throwing some lures around late afternoon to early evening from the shore having booked the hotel for its rocky shoreline any suggestions on types of lure and probable target species? Thanks in advance. May persuade the other half into a half day charter for two all suggestions also welcome.

    Reply
  31. Claude Duquette

    Thank you very much it is help me when i go fishing in puerto aventuras this winter
    Claude
    (Excuse my poor english)

    Reply
  32. Claude Duquette

    A nice place for fishing in riviera maya is arpon spearfishing it cost 70 $ per person if you are 4 people you can arpon merou http://www.spearfishingplaya.com
    And other good fishing bait here in puerto aventuras you can ask the fisherman for bait or take shrimp from the grocery

    Reply
  33. Breann

    We are going to be heading to Rivera Maya in March and we were looking to fish for Sailfish or Marlin. If we were to catch one of these fish are we able to keep the fish? We wanted to know if we would be able to have it stuffed and shipped back to the US? If so what are the charters that do this? Thanks so much for the help.

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Breann,

      As far as we know, according to the regulations, every charter should be able to keep 1 marlin or 1 sailfish per group/trip. Regardless of what the law says, however, many charters enforce a strict catch-and-release policy on all Billfish as part of their conservation efforts (though some find it ironic, fishing Captains are often more interested in keeping our oceans bountiful and alive than most people). To that end, most of the captains we work with do promote releasing all billfish they catch, so I don’t really have one to refer you to. Your best bet would likely be asking for charter recommendations at your resort. Shipping the fish back to the US following your trip shouldn’t be a problem in itself.

      Reply
  34. Cindy

    Hey guys! Great site! Big group heading back to riviera maya, near puerto Morelos in late June early July. Really want to go out fishing. We may have up to 10-12, mix of adults and kids, who would want to do a 4-6 hr trip. Any recommendations?

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Cindy,

      Two charters you might want to look into are Finatik and Big Fish. Both boats can take up to 12 people on board, although Big Fish is a bit more spacious, which might be worth taking into account when looking for the right charter, since having several hooks in the water while on a crowded boat with lots of kids, or reeling in an energetic snapper and bringing it on board is not the safest combo. Also, keep in mind that, due to federal regulations, you’re only allowed to have up to 6 lines in the water at the same time per boat, so if you’re planning a 4-hour trip not all may get to fish, or at least not for very long. A 6-hour trip should take care of that issue. Also, I’d recommend bottom fishing over trolling, as it tends to be more fun for the kids, and the chance of catching fish (albeit smaller) is greater. From what I know, both boats can incorporate snorkeling into their packages, but again, it all depends on how much time you have on your hands.

      Reply
  35. Scott

    Nice information here. I have a question. Staying at the El Dorado Royale the first week in March. Bringing the in-laws with us, and I’m planning on taking my father-in-law for a 6 hour trip. I have been on charters in the past where a service was provided to vacuum pack and freeze some of the catch for return to the states. Is this available in the area? I’m planning on chartering a boat for just the two of us. Any recommendations? Thanks for any help[ that you can provide.

    Reply
    • Dino

      Scott,

      From what we know, there are two ways you could go about sending the fish back to the states. You could ship it back, which may be a preferred option of the two, as it saves you from the potential hassles which tend to arise when transporting the fish yourself.

      If you’re set on taking the fish home with you, here’s how a few people described the process:

      You declare the fish with the US Customs, leaving the skin on so they can identify the fish if they decide to inspect it. The airlines are likely to require that the fish be put in a secure hard-sided cooler, but will probably take issue with filling the cooler with dry ice to keep the fish frozen. Also, it tends to count as an extra piece of luggage.

      As for charter recommendation, I’d suggest inquiring with Captain Abraham and his 31′ Galileo in Puerto Morellos (about a 15-minute drive from the El Dorado Royale). Apart from being a Captain, Abraham is also a great cook with his own restaurant, where he prepares your daily catch after the trip for free! In the end, that’s probably your best option anyway 🙂

      Reply
      • Scott

        Thanks for the info. I have brought back fish from the Cabo area in the past. The charter was able to help provide vacuum packing/freezing services. After this was done, we were able to pack the fish in a cooler on wheels with ice for the trip home. This worked perfectly. I was looking more for a business that could provide vacuum packing and freezing.

        Reply
  36. David

    I will be staying at the Excellence Riviera Cancun (1/2 way b/w cancun and playa del carmen). Trying to find a very good charter for targeting billfish exclusively. Not sure how far we will be from Capt. Ricks and have also considered going to cancun and taking he ferry over to Isla. What would you recommend based on location and best fishing? Also, open to options I did not mention.

    Reply
    • Dino

      David,

      You’re going to be about 10 minutes away (by car) from Galileo, a 31′ Shamrocks operated by Captain Abraham in Puerto Morelos. Abraham specializes in big game fishing for a variety of species, but is always open to customizing your trip whichever way you’d like, including targeting billfish only. As far as the best location for billfishing, May is the peak season for Marlin and Sailfish in both Cancun and Playa, so you should be good to go either way!

      Reply
  37. Alicia

    Hi, I’m sorry if this is repetitive or has already been addressed, but I’m not a fishing person (and perhaps need the information filtered down for me).

    My husband and I are going on our honeymoon at Playa del Carmen at the end of May/beginning of June. He’s goes deep sea fishing off the coast of San Diego a few times a year, and I thought it would be nice if I bought him a 1/2 or 1 day charter for him to enjoy on his own one of the days we’re there.

    1. Is it best to book in advance or look around for charters/random people with boats?
    2. What kinds of fish could he expect to catch at that time of year?

    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Alicia,

      Not a problem at all. Not sure if hubby intentionally timed your honeymoon with Playa’s peak fishing season or it was just a lucky coincidence, but he should have a great time on the water either way 🙂 May and June are traditionally some of the best months to catch a pelagic in Playa; in particular both Blue and White Marlin, Sailfish, Dorados, Barracuda and a few more species will be in the area, so I wouldn’t recommend waiting to get there before booking a charter. If your husband will be going out by himself, any charter up to about 30ft should do him just fine – check out Juancho or Capt’ Ricks 31′ Bertram as a few affordable options in the area. Whether you should get him a 1/2 or a full day trip comes down to what species he’d like to target- if he’ll be happy with a Dorado or Wahoo, a half day should be enough. However, if he’s more of a Billfish kind of guy (meaning Marlin, Sailfish etc), anything less than a Full Day is likely not going to cut it. Hope this helps!

      Reply
      • Alicia

        Thank you sooo much for your reply! I actually picked the date and then thought of it after the fact. He’s invited me to weekend fishing trips with him, but I didn’t think I’d be able to cut it. However, I think I could manage a 1/2 day trip or let him do a full day by himself if he wants more time =)

        Reply
  38. Nick

    Hi,

    My future wife and I will be staying at the excellence riviera cancun this upcoming july. We are looking to maybe do some flats fishing with light tackle gear. Trolling is not really our thing. Just curious if you can recommend a nearby charter that offers this type of fishing. From what I have researched we will most likely have to make a trip over to cozumel to get in on good flats fishing. Thanks in advance for your help

    -Nick

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Nick,

      Congrats on getting married! Cozumel is definitely one of Mexico’s most prolific fly fisheries, but Cancun holds its own pretty well. It’s not unheard of for anglers to claim their first Fly Grand Slam in the Cancun flats, with Bones, Permit, Tarpon and even an occasional Snook roaming the area. That said, I’m afraid I am scarce with contacts of charters specializing in fly fishing in Cancun, as it’s still mostly a trolling and bottom fishing-dominated town, as you can see from Cancun’s charter selection here. You can still inquire if any of these guys would be willing to squeeze in a fly fishing trip into their schedules, just keep in mind they are big game fishermen first.

      Reply
      • Nick

        Thanks for the info. We would actually be looking to do light spinning gear rather than fly fishing. Is it possible to do this sort of flats fishing in cozumel? Thanks again for the help.

        -Nick

        Reply
  39. Matt

    Hey bud, we are staying at the Cozumeleno hotel first week of April. We are looking to do some diy bonefishing on and off the island (we have a car). On the island, can we access the northern lagoons by foot? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hey Matt,

      90% of the lagoon area actually fished can be waded (flats boots essential). Also, the coastline itself – all the way from Punta Norte to Macabi point – has some great shallow reefs and sandy flats that Permit and Bonefish frequent. You can reach those by foot as well, but you might still want to ask locals for a bit of help in guiding you to the hotspots 🙂

      Happy bonefishing!

      Reply
  40. Ben

    Hello, I’m from Belgium. I’m going to stay in the Ocean Maya Royal in the second half of June 2015. Is there something to catch from the beach there. I’ll bring a 14 feet surfcasting rod. Can you fish directly at the resort or are there great places in the direct neighbourhood. I ‘ll bring also a 9 ft rod. I’ve read the hotel offers fishtrips as well, anybody experience with them?. Anyone staying in the same period and that is thinking of doing a fishing trip, to shaer costs. Thx Ben

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Ben,

      You won’t be able to fish at your resort, since the law mandates you need to be at least 250 meters away from any beach used for swimming in order to fish from the shore. The rods you’re bringing along should be more than sufficient for some quality shore fishing action.

      If you don’t mind taking a walk, there is a wooden fishing pier at the foot of 14 calle in Playa del Carmen. The place is not only good for fishing, but mingling with the local anglers as well. Other good places to try are the more unaccessible parts of the beaches north and south of the city.

      Hotels take a commission on every trip they organize, so you will get charged extra. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with charters organizing shared fishing trips, but if you’re on a budget, consider asking Juancho or PDC Fishing and Snorkelling for a free quote. They’re both affordable options for a single angler, and are pretty flexible in customizing the trip to your own fishing preferences.

      Hope you have a great time on your vacation!

      Reply
  41. Francesco

    Hi, I would like to fish during my next thollidays in July in Carmen. I’m alone is it possible to share a boat with others persons ?

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Francesco,

      We mainly communicate with Captains that run private charters exclusively, since shared trips are more difficult to organize and tend to undermine the quality of a fishing experience, since you need to compromise with other anglers as to the type of fishing you’re looking for. That said, a few budget-friendly options in Playa that we often recommend for single anglers or small groups are either Juancho or PDC Fishing and Snorkelling, both affordable panga boats, primarily focusing on inshore fishing.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  42. steve s

    staying in Riviera Maya in May at the grand riviera, what’s the closes/best boat for a charter? Maybe doing two days one offshore and one inshore

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hey Steve,

      How many of you are planning to go fishing?

      If there is up to 3 of you, you may want to consider Juancho , a panga boat with an experienced captain for inshore fishing.

      As far as offshore trips go, since you’re staying in the northern part of Playa, I would probably recommend a charter out of Puerto Morelos instead. Galileo not only has a devoted crew, but the guys also own their own restaurant where they’ll cook your catch for free following the trip.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  43. Anders

    Hi,
    I’m staying in Cancun from March 13. until the 27.
    I plan on hiring a car and go to the Isla Blanca, trying to wade the flats from the shore sides flyfishing for different species (C&R).
    I understand that the season is not quite right for bones and permit, but I will give it a go. Snook is probably in season, so hoping for some luck there.
    Does this sound like a possible plan?
    Any advice? Any dangers?
    From what I’ve read on this site, I do not need a licence for this type of fishing, right?

    Best regards,
    Anders

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Anders,

      As far as your timing, it’s certainly not peak season, but you should still have a decent chance at bones, tarpon and permit (and yes, snook should be there as well). You don’t need a license for shore fishing, just make sure you’re not fishing inside of a protected area or a national park. I’m not too familiar with shore fishing in Isla Blanca myself, but they are pretty confident in the quality of their sand and grass flats. Try picking the brains of the local fishermen while in Cancun, Isla Blanca is just about 30 minutes north, so they should definitely have some inside knowledge. And tight lines!

      Reply
  44. Fishing in Cabo San Lucas: All You Need to Know - FishingBooker Blog

    […] just as fishing the Riviera Maya is about much more than just Bonefish and Permit, it would be unjustly shortsighted to limit […]

    Reply
  45. Mick Addison

    Hi there,

    I’m staying at the El Dorado Maroma, in Playa Maroma, near the marina from June 16th. Can I fish the shore line there away from the hotel? Is there any guided flats fishing nearby and can I get a four hour deep sea charter in this area?

    Thanks
    Mick

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Mick,

      You should certainly be able to fish from the shore – there are some areas around resorts that are usually off grounds for surf fishermen, but just a bit further away is fair game. Just must make sure you’re at least 250m away from any swimmers.

      The area around Tulum has some amazing fishing. Unfortunately, as far as charter recommendation goes, the closest deep sea options I know of are in Puerto Aventuras, about 20 minutes from your hotel. If that’s not too far for you, feel free to get in touch with our customer service team at [email protected], so they can suggest a few charters based on your preferences.

      Reply
  46. Abs

    Hello,

    Looking to book a surprise holiday for my partner next year. He only really likes shore and lagoon fishing.

    Please could you suggest ta good destination?

    I am running out of steam and feel I hav not got very far.

    Thanks in advane

    Reply
    • Dino

      Hi Abs,

      Don’t give up! As far as I know, the Nichupte lagoon (right in front of Cancun’s Hotel Zone) is a great place for Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit and Snook, depending on when you’re planning on visiting. As for Cozumel, it is famous for the 3 northern lagoons (Montecristo, Paso Balem and Rio de la Plata), which are typically abundant with Bonefish and Permit, and these lagoons seem to have a more resident population of game fish. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Bill

        Hello. my wife and I will be in Cozumel the last 3 weeks of February 2016. we are interested in booking a 6 or 8 hour charter. what are the chances of catching Mahi Mahi? Sailfish? Tuna?
        what would you recommend in terms of the type of fishing at that time of year? Some deep sea, some bottom fishing?
        I’m also curious as to what is considered a reasonable tip for the crew.
        thanks

        Reply
  47. BDW

    I will be visiting Puerto Morelos the first week of April 2016. We have booked an ocean front house and I want to fish off the beach. Would this be worth bring a pole down for my 10 and 14 year old boys? Also, what gear would you use? and would a license be required?
    I wouldn’t mind getting a fishing charter from Puerto Morelos too. Any advise for a fishing charter?
    Thanks for the advise.

    Reply
    • Ksavier Francuski

      Hi, Puerto Morelos is an excellent destination for deep sea charters! Off the beach fishing won’t be that productive – if you want your boys to pull a big one out of the water, try going with captain Abraham and his 34′ Comocean. Reach out to our customer support so we could help you plan a trip of your lifetime!

      Reply
  48. Bill

    my wife and I will be visiting Cozumel for the last 3 weeks of February 2016. I have seen numerous fishing reports that seem to be a little contradictory. some say sailfish and mahi mahi fishing will not be good at that time, others say it will be good to excellent. what are your thoughts on that?

    we are considering a 6 or 8 hour charter when we are there, and will most likely do a combination of trolling and bottom fishing.

    these trips don’t come cheap, and so I am wondering what is considered a reasonable trip for the deck hands? also does the captain get a tip as well, or just the deck hand(s)?

    thanks
    Bill

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi Bill! Thank you for your comment! Mahi is not that good in February, sailfish should be better. Barracuda, amberjack and wahoo should be good at that time as well. Also, this really is a year to year/day to day matter dependent on many factors, hence the mixed reports.
      If you’d like to charter with us, I’d recommend the Grand Slam. Let us know, we’ll be happy to help book a trip to remember! As for the tip, the customary amount is 10-20% if you’re happy with the charter. This is for the deckhands, they earn their living this way 🙂

      Reply
      • Bill

        thanks for the info. if anyone is reading this blog and will be in Cozumel during the last 3 weeks of February 2016, and is interested in sharing a charter with another couple, we would be interested in trying to organize a shared charter with you. we are a 55+ couple and would like to find another couple (hopefully around the same age, but not essential) to share a charter with. you can contact me directly at [email protected]

        Bill

        Reply
  49. David

    Hi. We are staying at Grand Sirenis Riviera from Jan 4-11, 2016 and want to charter a boat. Who do you recommend and what will be the best fish to catch during that time? Tried to do this in Cuba last year but we waited to long to book so we are determined here lol. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi David, thank you for your comment! Puerto Aventuras is an excellent choice for your vacation! I would recommend the 38′ Flyin Fish or one of the boats from the excellent Capt Rick’s fleet! As far as game goes, Jan is a really good month to target amberjack and barracuda, with some bonito, kingfish, wahoo and albacore around. Contact our customer service team for more info or just book from the links provided!

      Reply
  50. Bill

    my wife and I will be visiting Cozumel for the last 3 weeks of February 2016. I have seen numerous fishing reports that seem to be a little contradictory. some say sailfish and mahi mahi fishing will not be good at that time, others say it will be good to excellent. what are your thoughts on that?

    we are considering a 6 or 8 hour charter when we are there, and will most likely do a combination of trolling and bottom fishing.

    these trips don’t come cheap, and so I am wondering what is considered a reasonable trip for the deck hands? also does the captain get a tip as well, or just the deck hand(s)?

    thanks
    Bill

    Reply
  51. Brian

    Hello, and thank you for this website/blog!

    My wife and I will be arriving in Cozumel just after Christmas this year, and are interested in booking a 1/2 day bottom fishing trip. The cruise line offers this for only $80, and I would appreciate your input/advice.
    Sadly, there isn’t any deep-sea fishing trips available, as we are only on shore for the day, and leave Cozumel at 6pm. The details are:
    Leave for fishing about 8:30am, fishing for 2 1/2 hours, returning to port around 12pm.
    This should give us about 4-5 more hours on shore in Cozumel.
    Do you think it will be a waste of time?
    What kind of fish do you think we will be catching (if any)?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi Brian, thank you for the comment! The minimum length for deep sea charters is 4h, and our offer includes only private charters, which cost drastically more than the rate your cruise operator offers.
      Check these out and let us know if you’d consider a private deep sea charter though!

      Reply
  52. Joel

    Hello , Im coming down with a friend Feb 13-20th of 2016 and staying at Azule Sensatori in Riviera Maya. I am a full time fishing guide in Charleston SC and try to take a couple of charters everywhere I go. I really want to catch roosterfish on light tackle. I like to fly fish as well but really prefer gear fishing. If I go a second day I would like to do some Tarpon fishing. We have Tarpon, but the numbers are not like they are down there. Any suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Joel

    Reply
    • Catherine Tyack

      Hi Joel,
      If you’re still looking for charters in the area, Comocean is located very close to your hotel and is very popular. While they tend to offer deep sea fishing (as this is what a lot of their customers are after) they also fish with light tackle and know their stuff closer to the shore as well.

      Reply
  53. Carissa

    Hi. Im staying in Aukumal for the next week. I see a lot of sea urchins on the rocks. Are they legal/safe to take of the rocks and eat? I cannot find the answer anywhere online. Thanks!

    Reply
  54. Bryan

    I am taking my family to Maya in march 2016 and I would like to take my two young adult sons sail fishing. Just wondering should I book a charter prior to my trip or wait until we arrive in the area. If I pre-book any suggestions or contact numbers that anyone can provide would be appreciated. Thx

    Reply
  55. Mike Ware

    Im in the process of booking a trip now for May 2016. Its a anniv trip for my wife, and she loves to fish,, we will be staying at El Dorado Royale.. What is the best charter to book once we arrive? and from what im reading we are coming at a prime time for some good fishing?

    Reply
    • Catherine Tyack

      Hi Mike,
      This charter runs from very close to your hotel. If you’re happy to travel a bit further for a really luxurious service this charter in Cancun looks like it could provide a great anniversary experience. Another great choice would be this charter running from Playa del Carmen.
      In May you should be in with a good chance of getting close to some billfish like Marlins and Sailfish – as you said, this is a great time to come!

      Reply
  56. Tom and Rose

    Hi,
    We are planning a trip to Playacar in the middle of January, and hoping to do some shore fishing while over there. We are planning to take a couple of 10ft spinning rods, fix spool reels loaded with braid, assorted lures, shallow diving poppers, and float and light terminal tackle.
    We would be grateful if anybody who has had experience with this tackle could share any tips, or has any advice for us?

    Reply
  57. Adam Payne

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    Reply
    • Xavier

      Adam, thank you so much! We put in a lot of effort to bring our visitors prime time content. Stay tuned, much more to come!

      Reply
  58. Lucas Wilkins

    Im obliged for the article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Thank you too, Lucas, for reading through! We appreciate your time. More great content coming soon!

      Reply
  59. Colin Gray

    I am constantly browsing online for ideas that can facilitate me. Thx!

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Thanks for your comment, Colin! Reach out to our customer service team if you need any help picking out the perfect charter!

      Reply
  60. Evan Nolan

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    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi Evan, thanks for your comment! Good luck in your work and reach out to us if we can help out with some tips.

      Reply
  61. Beth

    Hi! I am surprising my husband with a trip to Mexico for our one year anniversary in early April. I am torn between Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Cozumel. He’s already been to Cabo on a fishing trip so I wanted to try the other side of Mexico. He does a lot of bass fishing but will fish anything.. Which area do you think would be the best fishing experience and where he would be able to catch more fish…?

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi Beth, thank you for your comment. Sounds like a great surprise! To be honest, fishing is pretty much the same in those waters, with excellent charter guide services all around, so your question comes down to where you’d like to stay. When you get that set up, reach out to our customer service team and we’ll help you find the perfect charter.
      A quick tip – Cancun will be the most expensive, Cozumel is in the middle and Playa del Carmen the most affordable. Click the links to see the guides I’m referring to.

      Reply
  62. Scott

    I would like to take my son who is turning 16 sport fishing he loves to fish and we live in Florida. We want to come down from March 12-19. What kind of fish are good to catch at that time. Also a good captain that has a great reputation.

    Reply
    • Catherine Tyack

      Hi Scott,
      Thanks for your comment. Mid March is a great time to fish for Barracuda and Sailfish in the Riviera Maya. Blue and White Marlins are just coming into season then, so you might be lucky with Billfish! Otherwise there should be good fishing for Mahi Mahi, Bonito, Albacore Tuna and Wahoo.
      Which area are you planning to stay in?
      Grand Slam is one of our most popular charter boats in Cozumel, while if you’re staying in Cancun take a look at Don Quino. Juancho is popular with customers and is based in Playa del Carmen.
      I hope you and your son have a great trip!
      Cat

      Reply
  63. Jason boos

    Staying At dreams tullman febuary 10th – 17th want to go private deep sea fishing the 12th what do you recomend

    Reply
    • Catherine Tyack

      Hi Jason,
      I’d recommend taking a look at Flying Fish . This is located about half an hour north of where you’ll be staying – it’s a popular charter that catches lots of game fish.
      I hope you have a great trip!
      Cat

      Reply
  64. David

    I am taking my family to tulum in the end of march. We are drying to decide on weather to fly fish the flats or take a charter ofshore. Which one would be more productive and with whom would you sugest chartering with. Thanks

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi David, thank you for the comment! Tulum is a very interesting choice for a family vacation.

      Weather is actually not looking that hot by the end of March – plenty of showers and some storms are predicted. If you’re bound to get wet, we’d recommend going all the way and trying out some spearfishing with Spearfishing Today. This is a great family activity. If not, then definitely go for offshore rather than flats. We have plenty of boats to choose from in Playa del Carmen/Puerto Aventuras.

      Either way, let our customer service team know what you’re looking for and they’ll take care of you!

      Reply
  65. Lesley

    Hi, I’m very interested in fishing roosterfish from the shore. Where is the good place to stay and when is the season?

    Me & husband also planning to catch bone fish and tarpon. Any recommendation for place to stay and charter? Is it the same season as the roosterfish?

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi Lesley, no Roosterfish on the Atlantic side of Mexico unfortunately. Bonefish, Tarpon and Jacks should be alright throughout the summer, though this region isn’t very good for surf fishing and few people do it. Big game fishing is what’s popular here and large boats make the rough seas easier to handle. If you’re fixed on fishing from the beach however, you should consider Playa del Carmen/Cozumel rather than Cancun. Otherwise, for flats fishing, we’d advise chartering a panga such as Juancho or Aquadventures 21′ Tauro. Let our customer service team know if you need help!

      Reply
  66. Nicolas

    Hi, a couple friends and I are staying at the Grand Bahia Principe Coba in Riviera Maya in June we all love fishing and would love to do some fishing from shore. We are wondering if this is allowed off of the beach, and what we would need in terms of licenses? We also know that the hotel rents out paddle boats, how good are our chances of getting some fishing gear out on a paddle boat to get away from the busy beach? Also which fish would we most likely be targeting?

    Reply
    • Xavier

      Hi Nicolas,

      Thanks for commenting! Shore fishing is allowed off the beach and the law states that it must be done at least 250m away from swimmers. Best to find a secluded one if possible. Licenses aren’t necessary. As for the paddle boat fishing, you will need to check with your hotel if something like that is allowed. Species you can get from the shore will most likely be small snappers, possible ‘cudas and JC’s. Keep in mind that beach fishing is not done too much down there.
      You can also consider trying some spearfishing in the nearby beautiful and historical town of Tulum, or some big game fishing for very affordable prices in the nearby Puerto Aventuras.

      Let our customer support team know if you have any questions!

      Reply
    • Chris

      Hey Nicolas – I will be at Coba on June 9th-15th with my wife and young son and plan on bringing my fly rod. If you’re there during the same dates and would like to shore fish let me know. I think it’s a pretty safe place but I’d prefer to go out with other peeps.

      Chris

      Reply
  67. Nicolas

    Hi there, I’m going to be heading to the Grand Bahia Principe Coba in mid June with two friends and we would love to do some deep sea or bottom fishing. What do you recommend?

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Nicholas, Captain Rick has some great deep sea and bottom fishing options and he’s one of our must trusted captains in the area. I hope you enjoy your trip!

      Reply
  68. Kelli

    I am taking my family to Playa Del Secreto (in between Puerto Morelos and Playa Del Carmen) in early May. My father would like to shore fish in front of the condo we rented. The area where we are staying looks pretty remote. I read some articles that say no fishing license is needed for shore fishing. He would like to bring a cast net to catch his own bait. Is that allowed? We’ll probably charter a boat for bottom fishing one day. Any recommendations?

    Reply
  69. Coralie

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    Reply
  70. Andy Rutherford

    I am staying at the El Dorado Maroma hotel and want to do some shore fishing,what tackle will i need,and what baits/lures will i need,and what can i catch?

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Andy. Live shrimp and squid are good choices for the area, while good choices for artificials are topwaters and spoons with titanium/ steel leaders (there’s plenty of Barracuda around!) You could also catch some small Jacks.

      Reply
  71. Joe

    I am going to the grand sirenis hotel in the riviera maya end of July for 2 weeks can you recomend who to book a full day fishing trip and how much it will cost me as I will be by myself for the trip

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Joe,

      What sort of trip are you planning? Captain Rick has a range of boats, including this nice Bertram that might suit you – full day trips are $690. If you’re looking at something a little cheaper given it will just be yourself fishing, you could try Juancho, a smaller boat located a short drive away at Playa del Carmen that runs full day trips at under $500.

      We have many more options in that area so feel free to browse our site or speak to our customer service team. I hope you have a great trip! 🙂

      Reply
  72. Pat

    Planning on June trip to Cancun – Isla Blanca island – staying at the Mia Reef Isla Mujeres.
    Is there a fly fishing guide that can take me onto the flats for bonefish on the island?
    I am afraid of the ocean waters and the seasickness….
    thanks

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Pat,

      I’m afraid most of the charters in Cancun on FishingBooker offer deep sea fishing at the moment, but we’re currently working on partnering with some captains who fish the flats – they are incredible for fly fishing not only for Bonefish but also for Tarpon and Permit! Captains do exist if you take a look on google and hopefully by the time you take your next trip we’ll be able to personally recommend you some from our website.

      I hope you have a great trip.

      Reply
  73. Alex

    Heading to Grand Oasis Tulum at the end of June and had planned on doing some surf fishing in the early mornings before the crowds start to build. Noticed a nice little cut just south of the resort almost a mile and a half down that looks promising as long as its not private. Not really trying to target any specific species just really looking to wet a line while on vacation and catch some new fish! Any info or tips whatsoever would be greatly appreciated! Thanks gain and I really enjoy how informative and resourceful your site is!

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Alex,
      Thanks for your kind words! We’re not sure exactly what you’ll find at the cut, although it definitely sounds like a fun place to explore. Fishing with shrimp is bound to get results, but as far as lures go we’d suggest bringing along some rubber tailed jigs with a few different lead heads and some top water lures to be ready for every eventuality! We always recommend speaking to local fishermen to find out what the bite is like and what techniques the locals have been using lately.
      Hope you have a great vacation!

      Reply
  74. kelly cannon

    Heading to Riveria Maya in mid July. Looking to catch Sailfish. Are there charters out of Riveria Maya or do we have to go down to Playa del Carmen or Cancun?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Kelly,

      We work with a lot of charter operators in the Riviera Maya area – take a look at our map here and you should be able to find one to suit you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our customer service team if you need any help making your decision!

      Have a great trip!

      Reply
  75. tarpon springs

    Really nice style and wonderful written content, practically
    nothing else we want :D.

    Reply
  76. sara

    We will be staying at the secrets Silversands, riviera maya and want to know where the closest and best place to fish would be. Also prices would be great.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Sara,

      There are a lot of options nearby in Cancun – you can take a look at them all here. A good place to start is the Galileo, which is one of the most popular charters in the area and has trips starting from $500.

      Let FishingBooker’s customer service team know if you have any further questions and they would be more than happy to help!

      Reply
  77. John

    My wife and I will be at El Dorado Seaside Suites is there any fly fishing (bonefish, permit) within walking distance of the resort?

    Reply
  78. Philo

    Thanks for this site! I’m headed to Akumal (south of Playa) in a few weeks, staying at a beach house. I’m bringing a spinning rod and wondered about either fishing from the shore or from a kayak away from beachgoers. I’ve done a fair amount of fishing, but most of my ocean fishing has been with guides. I’d love any links or advice you might have about techniques, fish species, and other advice. If you know of a guide in the area who might show me the ropes, I’d be happy to hire him. Thanks for this great site.

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Philo, I’m glad you like the site! 🙂

      You can find some amazing fishing just a few minutes’ drive from Akumal at Puerto Aventuras. We have a lot of recommended captains in that area so who you go for really depends on your budget and what you want to catch. Take a look and I’m sure you will find something suitable.

      You can take a look at our species pages for some more information on fish you might catch, such as Dorado/Mahi Mahi, Barracuda, Sailfish, and a lot more!

      Please feel free to contact our customer service team if you would like any further advice.

      Reply
  79. Cris

    Thanks for all your tips! Will be heading down to Grand Oasis in Cancun Jan 21 to 28. Seems to be a lot of options for charters. It’s only for 2 people. Can you make any recommendations regarding charters I can book for 6 hours?

    Thanks, Cris.

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Cris,

      Yes, there are a lot to choose from! You are free to browse through FishingBooker to find something to suit you, but to get you started, here is one of our most popular charters – Galileo, which does a 6 hour trip at $620.

      I’d recommend you book soon as dates sell out quickly. Hope you have a great trip – let us know how it went afterwards! 🙂

      Reply
  80. Tom Kraut

    I’m coming to Cozumel with my wife and 4 kids ages 11-15 in March. The three boys are fishing crazy right now and they are wondering if they can fish from shore and if there is a place to rent fishing equipment? We are staying at the Occidental which is on the southwest shore. I’m planning on taking them bottom fishing on a charter one of the days but would like to know if they can shore/pier fish somewhere near our resort. What are their options if any?

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hi Tom,

      Sounds like a great trip! When thinking of places to shore fish, you will need to bear in mind that a large part of the Western and Southern parts of Cozumel are a Marine Park. This extends south from the International Pier, around Punta Sur, and up a small part of the eastern coastline to Punta Chiqueros. Here, disturbing the reefs in any way is prohibited – this includes fishing. So it looks like shore fishing near your resort will not be possible, unfortunately, although you will be able to do so if you travel to the north of the island.

      The good news is, fishing charters can travel beyond the protected area. If you would like any help finding a good guide for your bottom fishing trip, please get in touch!

      Reply
  81. Philipp

    Hi!
    I’m travelling to Playa Del Carmen at the end of june and will bring my spinning rod with me. Can you give me some advice for the fishing from shore for GT, snapper etc? Thx a lot!

    Cheers
    Philipp

    Reply
    • Cat

      Hey Philipp,

      Shore fishing can be a little hit and miss because of the crowds (common sense and the law says that you can only fish a fair distance away from them.) But you can get some good results if you head up to the north part of the beach and bring some top water plugs – this should attract the attention of the local Jacks. You’ll find the best fishing by far is early morning and later in the evening 🙂

      Reply
    • James M

      How was fishing Phillip, any luck? I am going to playacar soon and looking to do the same.

      Reply
  82. Josh M

    Hey!
    I’ll be staying in Riviera Maya in June of this year. I’m currently looking into booking a charter for 4 adults at Captain Ricks. I have two quick questions for you. Is there a boat size that you recommend? They have a 31′ to 48′ Also, do you recommend this company? Thanks!

    Reply
    • George

      Hi Josh,

      Thanks for your question!

      We do recommend Captain Rick’s, they’re a great company with great fishermen. When it comes to the boat size, that depends on your needs. I recommend you to call our Customer Service team at +1-888-395-2564. They will be able to find the perfect match for you and your company.

      Thank you,
      George

      Reply
  83. Mag Bay Lodge

    Thank you very much for this informative post. The fishing calendar for the Riviera Maya is really great. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up.

    Reply

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