Wednesday September 28 2022

Posted by on May 19, 2015
  • Sailfish in the Sea of Cortez
    Sailfish in the Sea of Cortez

A lot of visitors to Mexico come to enjoy the world famous fishing offered by the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean. Los Cabos is known as the spot were more billfish like Marlin, Sailfish and even Swordfish are taken than anywhere else in the world.

Many tourists who come down to fish just go out for a day or two and are unaware that there are fishing regulations, bag limits and a requirement for a fishing permit. But there is.

Iemanya Oceanica, a binational non profit conservation group based in La Paz, Mexico, is helping tourists to understand and comply with the fishing laws.

"Our focus is sharks and rays,¨ said Arturo Elizalde of Iemanya, ¨and the truth is sport fisherman don't catch too many of these. But we are hoping that once they realize that catching a single shark accounts for half their daily limit for all fish, they will release all sharks live and in good condition."

Sharks do not reproduce quickly, like fish so they are very susceptible to over fishing and their populations are dropping worldwide. 20% of shark species studied are threatened by extinction.

Fishing licenses

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 by day, week, month or year. Purchasing a license for the vessel is no longer required.

The boat operators normally provide licenses for people fishing on charter sport fishing boats, check before you go. A fishing license is also required for underwater fishing. A fishing license is not required when fishing from land.

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. Totuava, turtles and marine mammals are under protection of the Ministry and may not be captured at any time.

The exception to this rule is Marlin, Sailfish and Swordfish and Shark, of which only one (1) of each is allowed, and which counts as five (5) toward the overall ten (10) fish limit.

Additionally Dorado, Roosterfish, Shad, or Tarpon, of which only two (2) of each species are allowed, and which count as five (5) toward the overall 10 fish limit.

Like we said, a little confusing so here are some example of daily limits. Remember you can always come back tomorrow.

Bag Limits

Ok, so here goes the fishing regulations are like this, The daily limit is ten fish per permit holder.

Sounds simple enough but it get´s complicated when you start catching fish like Marlin or Dorado or Shark.

In ocean waters and estuaries the limit is a total of ten (10) fish per day, with no more than five (5) catches of a single species.

Examples of Daily Limit

• One Marlin and 2 Dorado or
• One Sailfish and One Marlin or
• 2 Dorado and 2 Roosterfish or
• One Shark and One Marlin or
• One Marlin and 5 Amberjack or
• 2 Wahoo

That's it, your done, go home, enjoy a nice fish dinner.

Catch and Release

Mexican Law states, “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.”

“Catch and Release” fishing is growing in popularity around the world and especially here in Mexico where we have so many sport fishermen and women from California, USA.

These fishermen realize that fishing resources are not infinite and that without the careful management of fishing, entire areas and species can be lost forever as has happened in many parts of the West Coast of the U.S.A.

Please Release All Sharks

Sharks and rays are especially sensitive to over-fishing because they reproduce at a late age, have very few young and have a long gestation period. The population of sharks and rays has dropped dramatically in the past few years around the world.

by Paul Ahuja



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