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Top Riviera Maya Deep Sea Fishing Destinations

Top Deep Sea Fishing Charters in Riviera Maya

Deep Sea Fishing in Riviera Maya

No matter where you visit on the Riviera Maya, fishing has to top your to-do list. Some of the best deep sea fishing Riviera Maya has to offer is just a couple of miles from shore. Even when you do need to travel, you’re going to such epic fishing grounds that an hour’s cruise is a small price to pay. 
Riviera Maya’s target species read like a sportfisher’s Christmas list. Blue Marlin, White Marlin, and Sailfish top the action, closely followed by Wahoo, Tuna, and Mahi Mahi. If you time your trip right, you can catch three, or even four Billfish in one day, earning you a lifetime’s bragging rights and your name on the IGFA’s wall of fame.

Where to Go

The fish are pretty much the same wherever you go on Riviera Maya. The very south is yet to be developed for deep sea sportfishing, and towns like Tulum are best left for flats and fly fishers. Your two main regions to choose from are these.

North - Cancun & Isla Mujeres

Up at the top of the Yucatan Peninsula, and not technically on Riviera Maya, the fishing here is just too good to leave off the list. You’ll have to travel 20-30 miles to find the best spots but once you’re there you’ll never want to leave - even with Mexico’s most popular beach town to return to.
What makes fishing out of Cancun or Isla Mujeres special is a little thing called the Caribbean Current. All the major pelagic fish ride it into the Gulf, and it’s just an hour away. Add in the bottleneck that is the Yucatan Channel and you have some of the best big game battlegrounds in the country.

South - Cozumel & Playa Del Carmen

If you can’t stand bare to travel an hour to find fish, then maybe you should stick to shore fishing. Otherwise, just head down the coast to Cozumel or Playa Del Carmen. The waters here are so deep that you can find Marlin just two miles from shore.
The other thing that makes the area special is its elusive Swordfish population. Most charters don’t target them, with so many big game species just asking to be caught. Add them to Riviera Maya’s already incredible species list, though, and you could be on for a Billfish Super Grand Slam. It’s been done more than once here before.

When to Go

Riviera Maya’s deep sea fishing is good year-round for species like Wahoo and Tuna. The Billfish action starts in February with the first few Sailfish and can sometimes run into September. The best time to visit is May through July. This is when all the big game species are around at once and you’ll be battling fish after fish until you can’t carry on.
There are a few good tournaments if you’re the competitive type. Isla Mujeres’ Island Time Fishing Tournament kicks off the season in February, but the biggest event has to be the Rodeo de Lanchas Mexicanas in Cozumel. It has run every May for almost 50 years and boasts over $1,000,000 in prizes. You really have to bring your A-game to stand a chance here.

Fishing Techniques

Trolling rules the waves across Riviera Maya. Dressed Ballyhoo and daisy chains of bright squid lures are the usual bait of choice, but live Bonito and Bluerunners can also be caught on the go. You can expect some major run-and-gun action out in the Yucatan Channel but further south the fish are more closed in, meaning much less ground to cover.

Need to Know

Fishing licenses usually come included when fishing on a charter, but you should always make sure of this before you book. Charter guides prefer to catch and release Billfish but only a few are really strict on it. It's always a good idea to agree on what happens to the fish before your trip if you feel strongly one way or the other.

Riviera Maya

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What People Are Saying About Deep Sea Fishing in Riviera Maya


Karmen Ghisalberti fished with Wasabi Loco Sportfishing – 32' on February 7, 2019

We had a fantastic time with the captain and the crew on our deep sea fishing excursion. My husband and I both caught marlins and the crew made us a little Mexican dish to enjoy on the trip. We were also able to snorkle for a little bit on our way back in. The crew was very professional and so nice and funny. We would love to make our way back again one day!

"Full Day Trip"

Jim Pohlman fished with Cancun Light Tackle & Fly Fishing Tours on October 28, 2018

Jose was our guide and he is fantastic. Knowledgeable, patient, helpful, just an amazing person. We stayed with spinning gear...almost new equipment...and caught tarpon, snook, barracuda, snapper, jacks, look-down, and permit. Only an experienced guide could put us on all those species in October. Highly recommended and we will skip the deep sea trip and stay in the laguna next trip.

"14 years fishing with Juan and Salas"

fished with Gardi Crew on April 5, 2018

I have been fishing in playa for 14 years. I have had over 100 trips with Juan and Salas. Yesterday we caught eight amberjack in two hours. The trip before we caught one sailfish, one blackfin tuna iand an amberjack. Both days we only deep water jigged. Good guys who like to catch fish. They will always be my only choice from the Playa Panga fleet.

Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in Riviera Maya

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)



Marlin (White)

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