Cancun Fishing Tours – Find the top-rated excursions!

If you are looking for an adventure to get you off the beach and out into Cancun’s turquoise waters, check out a Cancun fishing tour.

The clear blue water is not just pretty to look at, it is home to a variety of fish to go out and try to catch.

Whether you are an experienced fisherman or just looking for a fun activity to share with your family and friends, there is a fishing tour option for you. 

Cancun is a popular vacation spot for tourists all year round, with the peak tourism season running from December to April.

There is fishing biting off the coast of Cancun all year round, so you can book a fishing tour whenever you visit Cancun.

If you are an experienced fisherman who is looking to catch a certain fish, you will need to check when is the best season to visit.

For example, you have the best chance of catching a Mahi Mahi between April and July. But, if you are more interested in the experience of reeling in a fish and do not care what kind it is, you can book your tour anytime! 

Want to learn more about Cancun fishing? Keep reading to find out what types of fishing you can do, how to book the best charters, and some tips to make your fishing tour an unforgettable experience.

blue fishing boat at sunset
Photo from Canva

The best Cancun Fishing Tours

The majority of the fishing excursions that you can book in Cancun are private charters. However, there are a few fishing tours that you can sign up for as an individual, without having to rent the entire boat.

This saves you the cost of needing to pay for the entire fishing charter and is ideal for individuals traveling alone or in small groups.

Keep reading for some of the best fishing tours in Cancun. 

1. 6-Hour Shared Fishing Tour

4.5⭐ 27 Reviews

This tour will take you deep-sea fishing for grouper, snapper, Mahi Mahi, and yellow-finned tuna. Lucky guests will pull in a blue marlin and be able to take pictures with it before returning it to the sea.

Your tour includes an experienced captain and crew who will help take you to the hot spots for fishing.

Fishing licenses as well as all the necessary fishing gear are included. The tour includes cold beverages and lunch and is ideal for novice or experienced fishermen. 

2. Sport Fishing in the Caribbean Sea. Enjoy an amazing time with friends & family

4⭐ 5 Reviews

boats in Puerto Morelos
Puerto Morelos beach with boats – photo from Canva – BOOK YOUR TOUR HERE

This four-hour tour leaves Puerto Morelos and you will have the option to troll for fish as well as bottom fishing.

There are a maximum of ten people on the tour so you will get plenty of time with the attentive crew. The crew can help prepare any of the fish you catch.

Cold beverages, dock fees, bait, fishing licenses, and all the gear you need are included.

The attentive crew will help teach you tricks to give you the best chance at catching something. 

3. Maroma Beach: Anglers Fishing

4.5⭐ 34 Reviews

Maroma beach, Riviera Maya
Maroma beach, Riviera Maya – photo from Canva – BOOK YOUR TOUR HERE

Head out for some deep-sea fishing on this tour that can accommodate up to 6 people. You will enjoy the personalized attention the captain and crew give you, and they do their best to help you reel in some fish.

All the fishing equipment you need is included in the price, including live bait, a special fishing chair, and local fishing licenses. Water, soft drinks, and cold beers are provided.

The experienced captain and crew will take you to the best fishing spots and help you pull in a prize.

You can keep your catch and have it prepared free of charge at the tour company’s restaurant- you will only pay for side dishes and drinks!

At the end of the tour, you will have free admission into Maroma Beach to enjoy the rest of your day. 

Note: This company offers fishing tours or private charting depending on what you want. If you want a private tour, they will help you customize the tour, including deciding how long you want to go out fishing! 

Cancun Fishing Charters

Fishing charter
Fishing charter – photo from Canva

The majority of fish excursions in Cancun are private charters. This means that you will pay to rent the entire boat, regardless of how many guests go on the excursion.

The tour operator will tell you the maximum number of guests who can go on the fishing charter. With your boat rental, most charters include an experienced captain and crew, a fishing license, bait, and all the fishing supplies you need, as well as drinks and a light lunch.

Fishing charters are an excellent option for serious fishermen who want to decide what time of the day they head out and how long they will spend on the water.

They can be a great deal if you have a group of people to fill the boat, or expensive if you are a solo traveler or small group. Here are some of the best fishing charters in Cancun. 

4. Cancun Fishing Charter

5⭐ 10 Reviews

You can decide how long you want this private fishing charter to last, between 4 and 12 hours! If you head out and are having a great time, you have the flexibility to extend your excursion while onboard.

Before heading out to go deep sea fishing, the crew will find out what kind of fish you are after.

father and son on charter fishing boat
Photo from Canva – BOOK YOUR TOUR HERE

They will take you to the spots where you are most likely to catch them! You can customize your trip, with stops in Isla Mujeres to swim or eat at a restaurant or have the crew prepare your catch onboard.

You can also take your catch with you if you prefer.

This charter can accommodate up to 9 guests, and the crew will film and photograph all catches. They will share this footage with you at no additional cost.

Dock fees and fishing license fee is not included in the price. The attentive crew makes this a great option for inexperienced fishermen or families with young kids.

Snacks and drinks are included. 

5. Fishing Cancún Charters

4.5⭐ 44 Reviews

Head out for a day of fun with Cancun Fishing Tours. You will go out on their 31-foot Bertram sportfishing boat. You can choose from a 2, 4, 6, or 8-hour charter, and the charter accommodates up to 6 people.

You will head out from a marina in Cancun to the waters off the coast of Isla Mujeres in search of marlin, tuna, dorado, wahoo, or barracuda.

You will have the chance to try your hand at bottom fishing and trolling. Fishing rods, life vests, and bail are all included in the price.

Cold water and soft drinks are included. Dock fees and fishing licenses are not included in the price. 

Cancun Fishing Basics

Types of Fishing Tours

Before you book your Cancun fishing tour, it is important to learn about the different fishing options available to you. If you are a die-hard fisherman, you probably already know what kind of fishing you are interested in.

If this is your first fishing adventure, here is an explanation of the types of fishing you can do.  

There are two major fishing options in Cancun: inshore fishing and deep sea (sometimes called reef) fishing.

Inshore fishing is in shallow water, usually in lagoons or inlets. Here you can try your luck at either bonefishing or flying fishing.

Not sure what the difference is between these two? Bonefishing is fishing in shallow water for a silverfish called a bonefish!

Man holding bonefish
Bonefish – photo from Canva

Bonefish are known for their speed and strength, and their color makes them hard to see – that is why catching one is a big deal in the fishing world.

The lagoons near the Cancun Hotel Zone and the coasts of Isla Blanca and Isla Mujeres are full of bonefish, making them a great spot to try this type of fishing.

If you are like me, you have heard the term fly fishing your whole life, but still do not really know what it means.

Fly fishing is when you use an artificial fly to attract fish. The fly is a kind of bait that is lightweight and sits on the surface, tricking fish into thinking it is an insect that they want to eat.

Fishermen enjoy the challenge that using a fly gives them. You can inshore fish in the shallow areas around Cancun all year round.

When you book an inshore fishing tour you will be picked up in a lightweight skiff, or flatboat, that can quietly cruise in the shallow waters without disturbing the fish.

In addition to bonefish, you can catch tarpon, permit, and jack crevalle. 

If you are imagining a big boat, decked out with rods, reels, and outriggers, with you fighting to reel in a big catch, you will want to book a deep-sea fishing tour.

Sometimes referred to as reef fishing, these tours will take you from a marina in the Cancun hotel zone out into the Caribbean Sea to fish for bottom-dwelling species.

The types of fish you will be hoping to catch depending on the time of the year, and some of the most sought-after fish include sailfish, Mahi Mahi, blue marlin, and snapper.

fishing boat and blue marlin fish
Blue marlin fish – photo from Canva

Cancun is considered one of the top destinations in the world to fish for sailfish. Many of Cancun’s fishing tours are “catch and release” deep-sea fishing tours.

Catch and release allow you to have the thrill of pulling in a big catch. You will have the opportunity to weigh, measure, and snap some pictures of you with the fish before it is returned to the ocean.

This is the most sustainable form of sport fishing because it does not deplete the number of fish in the area.

Make sure to check with your tour operator to know if you will be doing catch-and-release fishing, or if you will be allowed to take your catch with you.

If you can take your catch with you, you can ask a local restaurant or your hotel to prepare it for you. 

Best Season for Fishing in Cancun 

There is no bad time of the year to go fishing in Cancun. There are some species that you can fish all year, while others have seasons in which they are most commonly found.

Spring is a great time to travel to Cancun. It is the shoulder season, which means the high-season crowds have died down, the weather is hot but pleasant, and the fish are biting.

If you go inshore fishing in the spring you will find bonefish, tarpon, and permit. Spring is a great time to go deep-sea fishing.

Deep sea fishing
Deep sea fishing – photo from Canva

The highly prized sailfish are most prevalent in the area between February and July – so spring is a great time to try to catch one.

In addition to the sailfish, white and blue marlin are most commonly found from late March to August. During the spring it is also common to catch snapper. 

Summertime in Cancun is hot and humid, and it is the wet season. It is common for it to rain a bit every day, usually a quick passing shower, which is followed by hot sunshine.

The summer months are great for inshore fishing.

The flat areas have a lot of fish activity, and there is large tarpon. You can find tarpon up to 40 pounds! You can also find bonefish, barracuda, and permit this time of year.

Many of the large fish that people want to catch deep sea fishing stick around from the spring into the summer, so you will have a good chance of catching something. 

The fall in Cancun is the peak of the rainy season. September and October are the wettest months of the year, and peak hurricane season.

Despite this, it is possible to have good weather in the fall. If you decide to book a fishing tour in the fall, be prepared to get wet and pack a raincoat.

If you inshore fish in the early fall you can find the end of the season of tarpon and permits. Later in the fall, you can find snook, jack crevalle, and sea trout.

If you go deep-sea fishing in the fall you can troll for wahoo, king Merkel, and barracuda. 

The winter months are the most popular time for tourists to visit Cancun. The weather is consistently good, with a clear sky and comfortable temperatures.

If you go inshore fishing in Cancun’s lagoons or head to Isla Blanca you will have a great chance to catch snook.

If you want to deep-sea fish in the winter it is common to catch snapper, cubera snapper, and amberjacks. 

There is not a bad time of the year to go fishing in Cancun. There are fish biting all year round, and tours with experienced captains and crews will know the hot spots to take you for the best chance to catch something. 

Best Fishing Practices in Cancun

Woman deep sea fishing
Photo from Canva

For many people, there is nothing better than a day on the water trying to catch some fish.

From calm, inshore waters, to the open ocean with a deep sea fishing excursion, there is something thrilling about pulling a fish from the water.

When you sign up for a fish tour, it is important that you and your tour operator follow sustainable fishing practices.

Trustworthy tour operators will make sure to have all the necessary permits and fishing licenses necessary. If you plan to keep your catch, make sure to talk to your tour operator about maximum catch limits and be sure to respect them.

The catch limit in Cancun is 10 fish per person, with additional restrictions. Fishermen can only keep five fish per fish family.

Larger fish such as marlin, sailfish, and swordfish count as half of your total catch limit. You are only allowed to keep two tarpons or Mahi Mahi, and they also count as half of your daily limit.

Your captain and crew will be able to explain these rules in more detail to you. These rules are implemented to help prevent the waters near Cancun from being overfished.

If you keep your catch, you should make sure that none of the fish is wasted. If you have more than you and your party will eat, make sure to give some to the captain and crew.

If you want the thrill of catching a fish but do not need to keep it, catch and release is a great option.

You can experience the excitement of a day on the water, get some great pictures, and release your catch back into the ocean.

Read reviews of past guests and be sure to ask your tour operator all your questions before booking. 

Tips for Enjoying Your Fishing Excursion

A great fishing excursion could be the highlight of your vacation in Cancun. Nothing will ruin your day (or the rest of your vacation) faster than getting seasick or a terrible sunburn.

Here are a few tips to help make sure you have a great time.

Eat breakfast. It is easy to trick yourself into thinking that if you do not eat breakfast, you will not get seasick. This is not true! A full stomach can help prevent nausea and give you the power you need for your excursion!

Take Anti Sea Sickness Medicine. Even if you believe you will never get seasick, it is a great preventative measure. You do not want to experience seasickness for the first time in the middle of an all-day fishing charter. 

Wear sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves. It is easy to get a terrible sunburn out on the ocean. The sun will reflect off the water, so even if you stay in the shade you can be exposed to it. You will probably notice your captain and crew keep their heads, faces, and arms covered- follow their example. You do not want to ruin the rest of your trip with a nasty sunburn!

Stay hydrated. It is easy to forget to drink water while you are sipping on Cerveza, but you do not want to risk getting dehydrated. In extreme cases, dehydration can be dangerous, or just give you a terrible headache.

Cancun Fishing Tours FAQ

How much is a fishing trip in Cancun?

There is a big range in prices for fishing tours and charters. Shared fishing tours usually cost between $100-200 per person.

Charter costs can start around $600 for four hours, and the cost goes up depending on how many hours you choose to book.

Charter costs depend on how long you book the boat.

If you have a large group and can put the maximum number of guests on the charter, the per-person cost goes down compared to chartering a boat for one or two people- which can be very expensive.

Is there good fishing in Cancun?

Yes! Cancun has year-round inshore and deep-sea fishing. The rich waters off the coast of Cancun are home to large species such as sailfish and marlin.

If you go deep-sea fishing you have the chance to catch barracuda, grouper, and snapper.

If you fish the shallow waters with inshore fishing you can catch bonefish, tarpon, and permits.

tarpon fish
Tarpon – photo from Canva

Do you have to have a fishing license to fish in Cancun?

Yes. Check with your tour operator if the fishing license is included in your excursion cost, or if it will be an additional cost.

Your tour operator will get the license for you. 

Can foreigners fish in Mexico?

Yes, you can book a fishing tour or charter and go fishing in Mexico. Your tour operator will get the proper fishing license for you.

Your captain and crew will also be familiar with all the current catch limit rules to make sure you are in compliance with all regulations. 

Can you fish from shore in Cancun?

Yes, you can fish from the shore in Cancun. You can find locals casting a line from the shore. Local rules say that you must stay at least 250 meters away from swimmers while shore fishing, so make sure you are paying attention.

The early morning is a popular time for locals to go shore fishing and you can often find them standing on the white sandy beaches or fishing from bridges. 

Can you bring fish back from Cancun?

United States citizens can take legally caught fish back into the United States for personal consumption. The amount that the government considers personal consumption is 50 pounds.

Although you can take fish back with you, many tour operators do not recommend it. It is usually easier and more delicious to have a local restaurant cook your catch for you. 

What fish are in season in Cancun?

Mackerels – photo from Canva

You can catch some fish species all year round in Cancun, while others are seasonal. Sailfish are most commonly found in the waters off of Cancun from December to the end of March.

If you want to catch Mahi Mahi, the best months to fish are from May to July. In the summer months, you can also catch blue marlin and Mahi Mahi.

In the fall you will have a good chance of catching mackerel. You can catch snapper and barracuda year round.

If you want to do some inshore fishing your best chance to catch bonefish, permit, and tarpon is in the summer.

You can check a fishing calendar to see what fish you will have the best chance of catching in the month you plan your trip.

Remember though, the ocean is an amazing place and you can always be surprised by what you catch. 

Where is the best fishing in Mexico?

Mexico is known for great fishing because of the biodiversity in the water. The best fishing locations in Mexico in addition to Cancun are off the shores of Baja California.

La Paz and Los Cabos have great fishing.

Los Cabos is considered some of the best deep-sea fishing in the world, and you will have a great chance to catch a marlin there. 

La Paz beach Mexico
La Paz, Mexico – photo from Canva

What fish is caught in Cancun?

If you go inshore fishing in Cancun you can catch Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit, jack Caravella, and sea trout. If you go deep sea or reef fishing you can catch sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Kingfish, Grouper, snapper, and tuna.

If you go inshore fishing you will have the opportunity to reel in Bonefish, Tarpon, Jack Caravelle, and permit. 

Fishing in Cancun Final Thoughts

Nothing compares to a day out on the water trying to catch some fish. Whether you prefer the excitement of pulling in a big catch with deep sea fishing or trying your hand at inshore fishing in the calm lagoons around Cancun, a fishing excursion is a tour you will never forget.

Cancun is a great spot for both experienced fishermen and new fishermen who are looking for an adventure.

High-quality tour operators work with experienced captains and crews who will help you have a great time, and respect all the local laws regarding sustainable fishing.

Everyone who goes out fishing hopes to reel in a great catch, but some days despite your crew’s best efforts, the fish will just not bite.

If that is the case, remember to enjoy the experience and natural beauty of a day out on the ocean. 

Adrienne diving

About the Author

Adrienne Banka is a Michigander and fell in love with diving at 16 years old. Now she is an island living dive instructor turned brewmaster, turned mom.  When she is not in the water she enjoys riding her bike and chasing after her dog and her little girl. 

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