Boat Fishing in Mexican Waters

Downwind Cruising Guide Page. 28

San Diego, CA

Boat Fishing in Mexican Waters

Boats traveling in Mexican waters can and will be inspected by Mexican officials for violation of their fishing
regulations. Mexico requires that each person onboard any vessel engaged in fishing must have a valid fishing
license, regardless of age or interest in fishing. Having fishing gear aboard automatically indicates to the inspecting
officials that folks aboard intend to fish. Although since January 2008, boat permits are no longer required for vessels
practicing sport fishing in Mexican waters, the individual fishing permit is still required on any private boat engaged in
fishing with boat being defined as ANY floating platform, to include dinghies, kayaks and paddle boards, etc.- so play
it safe! Without assurance that everyone onboard is personally licensed to fish in Mexico then it is very important not
to have any fishing gear aboard in Mexican waters or you may be seriously delayed and/or cited and fined. If you
have the gear, then make sure that everyone aboard is licensed! (Note: A person fishing in Mexico from shore or pier
is not required to possess a fishing license.)
Besides being fun, fishing is terrific in Mexico. Even if you think you will only fish from shore, think ahead and
perhaps get fishing licenses for you and crew for the duration of your stay in Mexico – you never know when you
might have the great opportunity to hit tuna underway – or best yet, to fish for dinner from your dinghy before sunset
in and around your anchorage – pure bliss! Fishing licenses in MX are now issued by the State (i.e. Baja Sur or Baja
Norte) as well as by the Mexican Fisheries (CONAPESCA – Comisión Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca) and can be
easily purchased at several marinas throughout Baja and the Mainland, even some tourist Kiosks in many shopping
However – there are currently only 2 ways to get a Mexican fishing license around San Diego:
• Buy Online – visit the MX sportfishing license site of Baja California Sur (Purchase and Print License yourself.)
• Buy in person at the closest State Tourism Office of Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, San Felipe, and San Quintín.

Note too that persons fishing in Mexican waters are also required to carry FMM Entry permits, (see pg. 18) if they are
not Mexican. Also all boats fishing in Mexican waters need to have secured a valid Temporary Import Permit, (see
pg. 26.) Both the immigration and customs documentation can now all be completed online.
Sportfishing licensing fees are printed in MX-pesos on the license application but are always subject to change;
same goes for the comparable fees in USD listed below (based on current exchange rate of 20.03) but note that the
annual MX-sportfishing license has routinely cost @$45-50 for a great number of years:

Fees for 2022:    $13.08/day     $25.60/week     $36.09/month     $46.52/year (Best Deal!!)
ALSO NOTE that the 1-year license is good for 12-months from purchase date – it’s not just for the calendar year.

Current Mexican Sport Fishing Information:
Note: It’s great fishing in Mexican waters, both offshore and in anchorages – get licensed