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 Mexican waters.
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, CA.
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 survival condition.
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.
It 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.
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.