Before fishing in Mexican waters all
anglers must have
a valid Mexican Sport Fishing License. This license covers all types of
fishing and is valid anywhere in Mexico. These licenses may be purchased a
day, week, month or year. Aboard private boats in Mexican waters everyone
must have a fishing license if there is any fishing gear, fish,
or fish parts on board. The boat operators normally provide licenses for
people fishing on charter sport fishing boats, but check before you go
out on the boat. A fishing license is also required for underwater
fishing. A fishing license is not required when fishing from land.
Fishing License Fees (USD)
Effective January 2008, boat fishing
permits are no longer required for vessels practicing sportfishing in
Fishing licenses are
available in San Carlos at the Convention and Visitors Office.
You may also order licenses
via postal mail from the
Oficina de Pesca (Department of Fisheries) in San Diego,
here to download the application form.
Only one rod or line with hook is
permitted in the water, per person, but there is no restriction regarding
the number of replacement items.
The fishing license allows you to capture only fin fish. It does not allow
you to capture any mollusks or crustaceans, and their capture by anyone is
strictly prohibited. Totuaba, turtles and marine mammals are under
protection of the Ministry and may not be captured at any time.
To capture bottom fish, up to four hooks on a vertical line may be used.
The use of electric reels is restricted to disabled fishermen only, after
written authorization for the Ministry before use.
In ocean waters and estuaries the limit
is a total of ten fish per day, with no more than 5 catches of a single
specie, except of the species of Marlin, Sailfish and Swordfish and Shark,
of which only one specimen of either is allowed, and which counts as five
toward the overall 10 fish limit, or Dorado, Roosterfish, Shad, or Tarpon,
of which only two samples of each specie are allowed, and which count as
five toward the overall 10 fish limit.
Limit on inland bodies of water (rivers, lakes, dams, etc.) is five fish
per day, whether of a single specie or in combination.
Underwater fishing is limited to five fish per day, using rubber band or
spring type harpoons, and only while skin-diving.
There is no limit to the practice of "catch and release", as long as the
fish that exceed the bag limit be returned to their environment in good
Where sportfishing is conducted from boats out at sea for longer than
three days, the bag limit will be the equivalent of three times the
amounts mentioned above.
is illegal to sell, trade, or exchange the fish caught. Fish should not be
cleaned on board at sea but should be brought to fish cleaning stations in
the marinas. Fish can be eviscerated and filleted, but a patch of skin
must be left to permit identification.
It is illegal to capture and maintain alive any fish for ornamental
It is prohibited to receive any financial gain from the product obtained
It is prohibited to dump trash, litter or substances that harm the
aquatic flora or fauna, whether on lakes, river banks, shores or oceanic
It is prohibited to collect shells, corals, sea anemones and snails, or
to disturb the original ecosystem environment.
It is prohibited to practice sportfishing 250 meters or less from
It is prohibited to use artificial lighting to attract large quantities
It is prohibited to discharge firearms in Mexican waters.
Fish caught under a sportfishing license may not be filletted aboard the
vessel from which it was caught
It is requested that all unusual activities, occurrences or record
catches be reported to the nearest office of the Oficina de Pesca, or to
its representation in San Diego, CA., in order to ensure the preservation
of natural resources for the continued enjoyment of all fishermen.
Note: Sea turtles are protected under US law and may not
be brought into the US.
Be prepared to show a Mexican fishing license to US
Customs if bringing fish back into the United States.
Source and thanks to:
Oficina de Pesca
2550 Fifth Avenue # 15 San Diego, CA. 92103
Ph: (619) 233-4324 Fax: (619) 233-0344
Practice Catch & Release!!