Isla Mujeres is a paradise for water-lovers. Known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant reefs, it's the perfect destination for divers, snorkelers, and of course, anglers. Isla Mujeres fishing charters can get you some of the hottest big game action in the country or guide you towards every inshore gamefish on the IGFA’s most wanted list. Being surrounded by mile after mile of luscious natural reef doesn’t hurt, either. If it’s big food fish you’re after, you don’t have to look far.
And if you ever get bored of the beach or sick of the sea, Cancun is just a short boat ride away. This is Mexico’s top beach destination, where the party never stops and having fun is required by law. Sounds like a dream come true? A lot of people agree - Almost 5 million a year, in fact. And if the crowds get too much, just escape back to your island paradise. Even better, spend the day battling monster Marlin or hard-fighting Bonefish. Isla Mujeres has it all.
With easy access to reefs, flats, and open waters, you’re spoilt for choice around here. Our advice would be to try everything, but if you don’t have time, here are the top picks for you to choose from.
Isla Blanca Flats
Now don’t get us wrong, Isla Mujeres has incredible flats fishing. You can wander out from your hotel and be battling Bonefish within minutes. Ask any Isla Mujeres fly fishing guide, though, and they’ll recommend Isla Blanca. Why? Fewer people and mile after mile of mud, sand, and grass flats. The area's home to Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit, and Snook, otherwise known as an Inshore Super Grand Slam. There are also Jacks, Barracuda, and several other top game species, in case you still needed more.
Isla Mujeres sits on the world’s second-largest natural reef. Head out in any direction and you’ll find Grouper, Snapper, Hogfish, Triggerfish, Amberjack, and Barracuda. If that’s not enough excitement, the waters around Isla Mujeres are a great place to see Whale Sharks. This makes for an unforgettable family day out while putting even seasoned anglers through their paces.
If it’s serious sportfishing you’re after, you can’t get much better than Isla Mujeres deep sea fishing. Head out 20-30 miles, and you hit the Caribbean Current, full of Blue and White Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and Blackfin Tuna. Drop your lines in these waters, and you could be on for a Billfish Grand Slam, with most of the Billfish around for a solid six months. This is the gateway to the Gulf of Mexico, and all its major pelagic fish pass through at some point.
When should I go?
Isla Mujeres fishing seasons depend on what you’re after. Billfish and inshore species are best in spring and summer, while the reefs are most active over winter. Isla Mujeres fishing is amazing all year round, though. You can catch great gamefish on the flats and food fish on the reefs every month of the year. Marlin and Sailfish may tail off in the cooler months, but Wahoo and Tuna are always around and King Mackerel are at their peak. There really isn’t a bad time to go.
Most of Isla Mujeres’ bluewater action focuses on trolling. Live Bonito and Bluerunners are a popular choice here, but dressed Ballyhoo are effective, too. If you don’t fancy using live bait, you’ll find plenty of deep sea specialists trolling spreads of lures to devastating effect.
The local flats are a fly angler’s dream, with Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit, and Snook, all just waiting for that perfectly-placed fly. A sturdy 9-weight is your best all-rounder for the area’s gamefish. Conventional anglers can also have great fun throwing lures with light spinning gear.
Reef fishing focuses on dropping baits and waiting for the fish to come to you. If you want a more hands-on experience, why not try vertical jigging? This style of fishing is so popular here there’s even a jigging tournament every November down in Playa Del Carmen!
Need to Know
Fishing licenses are usually provided aboard Isla Mujeres fishing charters, but it’s always best to check when you book. If you’re heading out on your own, a one-week license costs around $25, and can be bought in person or by mail. You can find all the necessary info here
. If you’re planning on shore fishing, you need to stay at least 250 meters from swimmers and beach-goes. You don’t want them spooking all your fish, anyway!