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Top Fishing Charters in Mazatlán

Fishing in Mazatlán

Mexico’s Pacific coast has been a tourist hotspot for years and it’s easy to see why. Known for its glitzy resorts, friendly vibes, and great beaches, Mazatlan is the archetypal “fun in the sun” destination. If all the soft sands and colorful cocktails become boring for you, don’t worry. Mazatlan fishing has enough action to put a smile on any angler’s face.

Known For

Mazatlan sits right on the mouth of the Gulf of California. Also called the Sea of Cortez, the area is known for its tasty bottom fish and big game pelagics. Just across the Gulf, Baja soaks up the fame with big tournaments and world records. Mazatlan plays more to the family crowd, offering fun-filled fishing experiences without a huge price tag to match the size of the fish. 
 
Just because Mazatlan’s less exclusive, that doesn’t mean it’s any less spectacular. Big game sportfishers can enjoy a revolving door of three different Marlins, with some of the country’s best Swordfish and Mahi Mahi fishing as the icing on the cake. The shallows are just as good, with hard-fighting Snook and Roosterfish combing the bays in search of food. In fact, you can wet a line just about anywhere and bring in something special.

Types of Fishing

Many Mazatlan fishing charters are operated by large fleets, offering off-the-peg trips for different styles of fishing. If you’re up for something more specialized, you can also find smaller, independently-run services which cater to the seasoned sportfishing crowd. Here are some of the ways you can spend your time in town.
 

Deep Sea Fishing

The deep sea fishing Mazatlan has on its doorstep is legendary. Sailfish and Mahi (Dolphin) are caught within a couple of miles of shore when the bite’s hot. Head a little farther, and you can hook into Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin, or drop lines more than a thousand feet down for Swordfish. The water around Mazatlan gets real deep real quick, so even a half day trip can see you battling Billfish.
 

Inshore Fishing

Mazatlan’s coastline is littered with mangroves and estuaries that are perfect for inshore sportfishing. Snook and Roosterfish are the main targets and are bucket list species for anglers worldwide. You’ll also find plenty of Jack Crevalle and tasty Pacific Pompano, as well as a local favorite, Corvina. These trips usually run on small pangas, so they’re a fun, cheap way to catch big fish and take in the sights while you’re at it.
 

Bottom Fishing

If you’re looking to load up on tasty fish, the reefs around Mazatlan can give you a real feast. Mullet, Cubera, and Pacific Red Snappers, White Seabass, Broomtail Grouper, Amberjack, and more show up on bottom fishing trips. You may also come across the Gulf Grouper, a species unique to these waters, as well as Giant Seabass and Goliath Grouper. These species are endangered, though, so enjoy the fight then release them safely if you get the chance.
 

And More!

Mazatlan shore fishing won’t get you on the monsters that guided panga trips offer, but it’s a great way to enjoy some downtime. Fish from the beach or from El Cid Marina itself and you can catch Jack Crevalle, Corvina, and even Snapper, as well as the occasional Snook or Bigeye Trevally.
 
Freshwater lovers, we haven’t forgotten you. Mazatlan Bass fishing trips run out to Lake El Salto, just an hour inland. The lake has been dubbed the “Bass capital of Mexico” due to its 10 lb + Largemouth – monsters by Mexican standards.

Fishing Techniques

Mazatlan deep sea fishing charters focus almost exclusively on trolling. This is a fun way to catch big fish and the breeze will keep you cool on a hot summer’s day. If you’re after something more ambitious, Mazatlan is known for its daytime Swordfish bite, which is about as tough as sportfishing gets.
 
Out on the reefs, you’ll either be bottom fishing with live bait or jigging. Jigging is more of a workout and takes a little getting used to while bottom fishing is better for beginners and kids. Inshore, Roosterfish and Snook make for a ton of fun on light spinning or fly fishing gear.

Need to Know

So you know about the fish, but what about everything else? Here are a few last tips for your trip to Mazatlan.
 

Rules & Regulations

If you want to wet a line in Mazatlan, you’ll need a Mexican fishing license whether you’re on a boat or fishing from shore. Licenses are usually included in Mazatlan fishing charters prices and can be bought online for shore or surf fishing. Week licenses cost around $22 and day licenses are half of that.
 

Charter Rates

Most Mazatlan fishing packages are 4 or 8 hours long. Half-day trips vary from just $250 on a panga to over $500 on large sportfishing boats. Full day trips work our better value, often costing just a hundred bucks more than the half day. You can generally expect rods, reels, and other fishing essentials to be included in the price, while live bait, food, and drinks will cost extra.
 

Getting There

Mazatlan International airport is very well connected. You can fly direct from across the US and Canada, as well as other cities within Mexico itself. You can travel to and from Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, and other Baja cities by ferry if you want to explore the area.
 
If you’re looking for relaxed fun in the tropical sun, Mazatlan is the place to be. Whether you want a beach holiday with some fishing thrown in or a week of boats and big hookups, this Pacific gem won’t disappoint. It’s easy to get to and perfectly set up for hassle-free tourism. In short, it’s the perfect place for your next vacation.

Mazatlán Fishing Seasons

Fishing in Mazatlan in January is great whatever the depth. Striped Marlin roam the bluewaters, Snook swarm the shallows, and Snapper and Grouper can be found on the reefs.

Mazatlan Carnival has been running since 1898 and is reportedly the biggest in Latin America behind Rio. See the parades and the beauty pageants then head offshore for some daytime Swordfishing.

Inshore anglers won’t be disappointed by the fishing in March. Snook, Jack Crevalle, and Cero Mackerel are on fire, and you can run into Roosterfish and Mullet Snapper in the estuaries, too.

The Sailfish bite picks up in April and Striped Marlin are still going strong. Mahi Mahi arrive in big numbers offshore and Roosterfish show up in force in the shallows.

The first few Blue Marlin show up in May, just as the Striped Marlin bite starts to cool off. Sailfish and Mahi Mahi are in full swing, and there are plenty of Tuna, too. Get out there and hook one!

Big game season really gets going in June, with Blue and Black Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, and Yellowfin Tuna. Inshore, this is your last chance for awesome Snook fishing and the Roosterfish are biting hard.

Blue and Black Marlin are at their peak, as are Sailfish. This is your best chance of landing a Billfish Slam, if you can take the heat - the mercury goes above 90 during the day in July.

The summer sun burns on throughout August. Head offshore to get some air and try your luck at Billfish, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna. Otherwise, take on huge Roosterfish in the shallows.

September 16th is Mexican Independence Day. Crowds gather to remember the grito (shout) that kicked it all off. Escape the noise by hitting the water in search of Roosterfish and Marlin.

October is the last month of Mazatlan’s world-famous Bull Mahi season. Head out for your chance to beat the town’s record - a monster 83-pounder hauled aboard in the ‘70s.

November marks the most iconic festival in the Mexican calendar: el Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). See the parades then get offshore to enjoy the end of peak Billfish season.

With average highs of 80 degrees and 4 different Billfish to target, you couldn’t ask for a better place to spend the holidays. Hit the reefs and hook up some Snapper for a real festive feast.

Mazatlán Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Mazatlán

"3/4 day charter with Captain Tony and Sergio on Mahi"

Brian M. fished with Aqua Sports – 28' Super Panga on June 27, 2019

We prefer bottom fishing over deep sea. There are more fish and more action

"6 hour trip on 2 boats"

Ethan S. fished with Bibi Sportfishing- 26’ Mahi Dreamer on June 18, 2019

Bring Dramamine and sunscreen, and it is not a guaranty that you will catch fish.

"[email protected]"

Harold R. fished with Pepe's Fleet - 28' Sport Panga on April 16, 2019

Bring some extra food for yourself especially if you are a big eater. This is a long time to be out on the water if you get hungry. Also confirm the amount of time out on the water and expected time to be at the dock. I thought that we had enough time for some bottom fishing like an hour or so as we had a late start and came back early. Our 8 hour trip was only around 6 hours. Also if you catch a fish get some clarity before you leave as we where told that you can take the fish to a restaurant for them to cook for you or back to your resort. I caught a marlin and we came back with it whole and we didnt leave with it.

"Full day trip with Captain Alex"

Brian J. fished with Bibi Sportfishing - 40’ Paty C on March 27, 2018

Go to marina as early as possible to avoid morning fog.

What would you recommend to anglers fishing in Mazatlán, Sinaloa for the first time?

Top Targeted Species in Mazatlán

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Marlin (Blue)

Marlin (Blue)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Sailfish

Sailfish

Marlin (Striped)

Marlin (Striped)

Marlin (Black)

Marlin (Black)

Snapper (Red)

Snapper (Red)

Wahoo

Wahoo

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