Bordering the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Sea of Cortez, and the Caribbean Sea, angling in Mexico speaks for itself. Holiday-makers from the US uncovered the riches of these coastlines long ago, but not everyone has fully explored what we think makes coming here so special. That’s why we’re here to talk to you today about deep sea fishing in Mexico.
We’ll cover the waters you can wet a line in. We’ll run through the species you can catch, and when you can do so. And we’ll even talk you through some things you can expect when fishing in the deep, here. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be wondering how come you’ve never headed offshore from Mexico before. And if you already have, you’ll be itching to come back for more. So let’s dive in!
Where is the best deep sea fishing in Mexico?
Before you plan your Mexico deep sea fishing adventure, just like with every vacation, you need to choose where to go. Now, we’ve already let you in on how many different bodies of water are at your disposal, so don’t be surprised if picking a spot ends up being a little tricky.
The good news is that you can’t go wrong! Pretty much wherever you head on any of Mexico’s coasts, you’ll find a deep sea fishing charter waiting for you. But that hasn’t stopped us from giving you a rundown of some of the best spots.
The Pacific Ocean
We’ll start our journey out on the west coast of Mexico – or should that be “coasts“? There’s a range of incredible coastlines and different waters to explore here. So much so, that it probably deserves an article of its own. But we’ll try to do it justice in the following sections.
If you’ve ever been deep sea fishing in San Diego, you may already know about Mexico’s deep sea scene. Charters north of the border sometimes head to these waters for a piece of the action, and for good reason too. The Coronado Islands lie just 8 miles offshore and are home to Mahi Mahi, Yellowtails, Wahoo, Tuna, and Sharks.
Head further out, and the creatures get even bigger and there are more of them to boot. We’re talking four kinds of Tuna, and monstrous Billfish who’ll give any angler worth their salt a run for their money.
Explore the coast from Tijuana and keep dropping down, there’s no way you’ll be disappointed. From Rosarito to the charming town of Ensenada, there are deep sea fishing options for any visiting angler. And all of this can be done within a single day trip from the US!
Baja Califonia Sur
We said it keeps getting better the further south you go, and that’s true for Baja California Sur. This peninsula is home to some of the most prominent resorts in Mexico. From family-friendly establishments to party towns, there’s something for everyone.
Towns like Cabo San Lucas need no introduction. But we will say one thing – the fishing here is incredible 365 days a year!
Deep sea fishing in this part of Mexico is up there with some of the best in the world. The waters get deep very quickly thanks to the nearby continental shelf. That means that, even on a half day trip, you could come face-to-gills with some serious big game creatures.
Expect the likes of Mahi Mahi and Tuna, naturally, along with Sailfish, and Blue and Black Marlin. Double-digit Billfish catches are not uncommon here, so it’s the place to come if you’re looking for that exhilarating experience.
The Sea of Cortez
Head around the tip of the BCS peninsula and you’ll reach the Gulf of California. Or, to use its proper name, the Sea of Cortez. This body of water is a natural wonder, providing an incredibly warm habitat for big game fish year-round. You can take a trip out of Los Cabos, or attack the waters from its east, north, and west sides.
La Paz is a favorite for Billfish enthusiasts, with its constant population of Striped Marlin. These are added to with the arrival of Blues and Blacks in summer and fall. Keep going up the coast, and it’s Yellowtail Amberjacks that are the stars of the show – purely for their sheer abundance, along with plenty of Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Wahoo.
If you’re based in Arizona, why not head to Puerto Peñasco, or, as most of us know it, Rocky Point? It’s just 60 miles from the border and offers incredible angling from spring through fall. Even winter can be good, but beware of the sandstorms that can make it unpleasant. Expect the same fish as elsewhere in the Sea of Cortez, with the addition of delicious Mackerel.
Sinaloa to Chiapas
When talking about the “best of the rest”, it’s probably not fair to lump every spot on a 2,000-mile-long stretch of coastline in one section. But we’ll give it a shot.
The rest of Mexico’s Pacific coast has options for anglers of all levels, with resorts and fishing excursions tailored to everyone’s needs. Explore charming beach towns and villages where life revolves around the water. Or hit the bigger towns like Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, and Puerto Escondido.
Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed, with three kinds of Marlin and Sailfish starring among a worthy supporting cast of Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Tuna, and more.
The Gulf of Mexico
US saltwater anglers will know that some of the best fishing in the world can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. You may be most used to tackling it from Florida, Texas, or any other southern state. But why not give it a shot from the country where it got its name from?!
While the northern part of Mexico’s Gulf coast is mainly reserved for inshore fishing, the further south you head, the more exciting it gets. As tourist activity gears up, so does the fishing, with the diverse town of Tampico kicking off a worthy coastline to explore. Head offshore, and you’ll be guaranteed an angling experience you’ll never forget, as you face off against Sharks, Wahoo, Tuna, and Billfish.
And it just gets better from there. The Billfish bite, in particular, is stronger the further toward the Yucatan Peninsula you head. Base yourself in Herroica Veracruz, Ciudad del Carmen, or the colonial town of Campeche – or even Cancun, but more on that below – and you’ll get the fishing vacation of your dreams.
The Caribbean Sea
Speaking of dreams, nothing can surely beat the Caribbean. White sandy beaches give way to crystal clear waters, while palm trees provide some shade from the blissful sun. What more could you want? Deep sea fishing, of course!
You may know the resort towns of Cancun and Playa del Carmen for their RnR reputation, but their deep sea fishing will get the pulses racing even more. The peninsula that separates the Caribbean from the Gulf is part of the migratory route of hundreds of thousands of pelagic fish. And that means exciting angling action, pretty much whenever you visit.
Just 15 miles out, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Blue and White Marlin, and even Swordfish are all on the hunt for food. They’ll also be eager to gobble up your bait, that’s for sure. Other than January, when the focus is inshore and on the reefs, there’s offshore fishing to be had whenever you come.
Wahoo and Sailfish arrive in late winter and stay through late spring, with Tuna and Mahi Mahi joining them. Marlin season dominates the summer scene, but there’s still plenty to go around come fall. There’s surely no better incentive to make deep sea fishing in Mexico the focus of your next vacation.
When to Go Deep Sea Fishing in Mexico
So we’ve given you a quick rundown of what fish you can catch where, and even let you in on some of the seasons. But let’s dive in a little deeper and see what you can catch where and when.
In the Pacific, you can expect great fishing whenever you visit. While spring through fall is the most popular time to visit, there’s actually incredible action to be had towards the end of the year. If you’re looking for “grander” Marlin, November and December are the prime months to visit. Of course, the Sea of Cortez’s warm waters promise plenty of fish even at the start of the year. What better excuse to escape the winter blues?
On the flip side – quite literally – deep sea fishing in the Caribbean peaks in summer. Head out of the Riviera Maya under the glistening sunshine, and work up an even bigger sweat by going for a Billfish Grand Slam! These creatures are available year-round, but they’re at their most active come the hottest months of the year. Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna all provide a stellar supporting cast in spring.
What to Expect When Deep Sea Fishing in Mexico
You’ll have figured by now that you need a boat to go deep sea fishing in Mexico. As the weather is usually reliable – and the fishing grounds aren’t too far – you can often do these on smaller vessels. Despite this, big offshore sportfishing vessels guarantee more comfort on any adventure.
In any case, you’ll want to have your sea legs ready. Even though the weather may be good, the waters can still get choppy offshore. And you’ll especially feel it on a smaller boat when one of your party is rocking the boat as they battle a big one!
Speaking of battling a big one, you’ll most likely be trolling to grab the attention of your prey. This involves dragging multiple lines behind the boat, mimicking bait fish that swim near the water tops. Hungry fish will be drawn to your bait, so get ready to leap into action at the sound of the screeching reels. It will be “fish on” like never before!
Most Mexican deep sea charter operators have a first mate on board, and they usually work for tips. Packages range from basic all the way up to all-inclusive. The latter will give you drinks (including beer and sometimes tequila!) and snacks, and may even cook up some fresh ceviche on board.
Mexico Deep Sea Fishing Rules and Regulations
Before we let you go, we’ll just fill you in on some of the rules you’ll have to abide by when deep sea fishing in Mexico. First of all, you’ll need to get a fishing license. These are easy to get online, but some captains offer to get them for you before your trip. Check with them in advance if that’s the case so you avoid paying any unnecessary costs.
You should also be aware of regulations concerning your catch. A general rule of thumb in Mexican waters is that every angler can keep up to 10 fish. However, you can only keep five of each species except Billfish, which are limited to one per person per day. Not only that, but they also count as five of your 10. We suggest releasing all Billfish for conservation purposes – unless you happen to land a record catch!
Just beware that different captains have different policies regarding who keeps the catch. While you’ll often split the catch (and some may even prepare some fresh fish for you), others may insist that they take the fish home. If you want a fishy feast at the end of your day, make sure to check with your captain before booking.
Deep Sea Fishing in Mexico: Added Spice to Your Vacation
Forget about the chilies and forget about the chipotle. It’s deep sea fishing that will spice up your holiday in Mexico. With serious action all but guaranteed, this is an activity you simply must engage in – either side of enjoying the beach, eating hot food, and sipping tequila, of course.
Mexico is the land that has it all for your vacation. Why not make the most of it and make it your next fishing destination?
Have you ever been deep sea fishing in Mexico? Where did you go? Any tips for someone planning their next vacation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!