Complete Guide To Cancun Fishing Regulations

Cancun Fishing Regulations – MX Fishing Catch Limits 2024

Cancun fishing regulations for deep sea fishing charters

Cancun, Mexico, is a premier destination for big game and sportfishing enthusiasts from around the globe. If you’re planning your first fishing excursion in this beautiful paradise, it’s essential to understand the fishing regulations in Mexico to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.


This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about Cancun fishing regulations, from licensing requirements to seasonal restrictions and conservation efforts.

Why Understanding Cancun Fishing Regulations is Important

Before we dive into the specifics, it’s crucial to understand why adhering to Cancun fishing regulations is important. These rules are designed to:

  • Protect marine ecosystems and ensure sustainable fishing practices.
  • Promote fair play among anglers.
  • Preserve fish populations for future generations.
  • Prevent legal issues during your fishing trip.

As long as you choose a reputable deep sea fishing charter, you’ll never have to worry about breaking any rules. The Captain of the boat will secure all licenses and documentation ahead of time. However, keep reading to ensure you fully understand all of Cancun’s fishing regulations, and make sure to ask any questions before your trip!

Cancun Fishing License Requirements

One of our most asked questions is “Do tourists need a fishing license in Mexico?”


Whether tourists need a fishing license in Mexico depends on where they are fishing. If your feet are on land, a fishing license is not required. This includes shore and river fishing. However, if you are fishing on a boat, you must have a license.

Here’s what you need to know:

Where to Get a Fishing License: You can obtain a fishing license from the Mexican government’s official website or through authorized vendors in Cancun. Many fishing charters, including Fishing and Fun in Cancun, get all the documentation and licenses before your trip.


Types of Licenses: Licenses are available for different durations, ranging from a single day to a year. Choose the one that best suits your trip.


Cost: The cost of a fishing license varies based on the duration. For instance, a one-day license is typically affordable, while annual licenses are more cost-effective for frequent anglers.

How Much Does A Fishing License Cost In Mexico?

Fishing licenses can be purchased for a single day, week, month, or year. The price as of 2024 is (in pesos):

  • Day: $262 pesos (around $14 USD)
  • Week: $513 pesos (around $28 USD)
  • Month: $723 pesos (around $40 USD)
  • Year: $932 pesos (around $50 USD)

If you book with Fishing and Fun in Cancun, you won’t have to worry about any extra fees associated with getting a fishing license – it’s all included in the price. However, if you book elsewhere you may have to pay out of pocket for the required fishing license.

Can You Keep the Fish You Catch in Cancun?

Cancun fishing regulations also outline what fish you can keep and which ones you are required to release.


While you can plan to keep most of the fish you catch in Cancun, there are specific regulations you need to follow. The Mexican government has implemented rules to ensure sustainable fishing practices and protect marine life. Here are the key points to remember:


Catch Limits: There are daily catch limits for various species. For example, anglers are allowed to catch up to ten fish per day, but only five of a single species.


Protected Species: Some species, such as certain types of marlin, sailfish, and sharks, have stricter regulations. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the protected species list and their specific rules.


Catch and Release: While keeping your catch is permissible, catch and release practices are highly encouraged, especially for sport fishing. This helps maintain the fish population and ensures future generations can enjoy fishing in Cancun.

Cancun Fishing Bag Limits and Size Restrictions

To ensure sustainable fishing, Cancun’s fishing regulations have strict bag limits and size restrictions. These regulations vary depending on the species:


Daily Bag Limits: Typically, the daily bag limit is ten fish per person, with no more than five of any one species. However, there are exceptions, such as marlin, sailfish, and dorado, where the limit is two per person per day.


Size Limits: Certain species have minimum size limits to ensure that only mature fish are kept. For example, there are specific size limits for fish like grouper and snapper.

Understanding the Daily Bag Limit in Mexico

The daily fishing bag limit can be hard to understand, especially for people without fishing experience. Here’s a quick explanation:

  •  Mexico employs a point system to regulate daily catch limits.
  • Each species is assigned a specific point value.
  • Each fisherman is permitted a total of 10 points per day, but cannot exceed 5 points from a single species.
  • If your fishing trip spans more than three days, the maximum cumulative catch remains limited to the equivalent of three days, adhering to the established point limits.

Here’s a breakdown of the points and limits by fish species:

Species Points Limits
Billfish Species like marlin, swordfish, spearfish, and sailfish are each worth 5 points. You are allowed to catch only one billfish of any species per day.
Shark and Giant Seabass Each of these species also counts for 5 points, with a limit of one shark and one giant seabass per day, ensuring you do not exceed one of each.
Squid 1 Anglers can catch up to 5 squid per day, with each squid counting as 1 point.
Dorado, Roosterfish, Gulf Grouper, and Tarpon 2.5 Each These fish are valued at 2.5 points each. You can take a maximum of two from these species per day, which equals 5 points towards your 10-point daily limit.
All Other Species 1 Each All other species are assigned 1 point each. This category includes but is not limited to, tuna, cabrilla, wahoo, yellowtail, grouper, rockfish, and triggerfish. However, you are restricted to catching no more than 5 fish of any one species.
Freshwater Fish 5 Fish Max The daily limit for freshwater fish is 5, regardless of species combination.
Spearfishing 5 Fish Max When spearfishing, the daily catch is limited to 5 fish, following the same point and species restrictions as above.

Seasonal Fishing Restrictions

Fishing in Cancun is subject to seasonal restrictions to protect fish during their breeding seasons. Understanding these restrictions will help you plan your trip accordingly.


Closed Seasons: Some species have closed seasons during which fishing is prohibited. For example, grouper and certain types of snapper have designated closed seasons.


Peak Seasons: Conversely, some species are more abundant during certain times of the year. Knowing these peak seasons can enhance your fishing experience.

Conservation Areas and Protected Species

Mexico has established various marine protected areas (MPAs) to safeguard critical habitats and species. It’s essential to be aware of these areas to avoid legal issues:


No-Take Zones: Some MPAs are no-take zones where fishing is strictly prohibited. Always check local maps and guides to ensure you’re not fishing in these areas.


Protected Species: Certain species are protected year-round, such as sea turtles and certain types of sharks. Capturing or harming these species can result in severe penalties.

Fishing Gear Regulations

To promote sustainable fishing practices, there are regulations regarding the type of fishing gear you can use:


Approved Gear: Standard rods, reels, and lines are generally permitted. However, some areas may have restrictions on the use of nets and traps.


Prohibited Equipment: The use of explosives, poisons, or any other harmful substances is strictly prohibited.

Can You Bring Caught Fish Back from Mexico?

Cancun fishing regulations also outline specifics on traveling with your catch. Bringing fish back home from your Cancun fishing trip is possible, but there are regulations you must follow:


Customs Regulations: Each country has its own customs regulations regarding the importation of fish. Check with your home country’s customs department to understand the specific rules and required documentation.


Proper Handling: Ensure the fish is properly cleaned, packed, and stored to meet health and safety standards. Vacuum-sealing and freezing the fish is a common practice to maintain its freshness.


Documentation: Obtain a certificate from the Mexican authorities proving that the fish was legally caught. This can be arranged by your fishing charter.


An alternative to taking your catch through customs is to take it to a local taxidermy in Cancun and have the fish shipped to your location.

Tips for a Successful Fishing Trip in Cancun

To make the most of your fishing adventure in Cancun, consider these additional tips:


Hire a Licensed Charter: Opting for a licensed and reputable fishing charter, like Fishing and Fun in Cancun, ensures compliance with all regulations and maximizes your chances of a successful trip.


Stay Informed: Regulations can change, so always check for the latest updates before your trip. Local authorities and charter services can provide current information.


Respect Local Customs: In addition to legal regulations, respecting local customs and practices contributes to a positive experience and supports local communities.

Key Takeaways About Cancun Fishing Regulations

Understanding Cancun fishing regulations is essential for a safe, enjoyable, and sustainable fishing experience. By obtaining the necessary licenses, adhering to bag limits and size restrictions, and respecting seasonal closures and protected areas, you can contribute to the conservation of Cancun’s vibrant marine ecosystem. Plan your trip with Fishing and Fun in Cancun, and enjoy a thrilling adventure while preserving this beautiful paradise for future generations.


For more information on Cancun fishing regulations or to book a deep sea fishing charter, contact us today!

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