Are you headed to Mexico with the hopes of catching a few fish? Make sure you are legal and have a Mexico fishing license purchased and printed when fishing from a boat or even while operating a boat carrying a fishing tackle.
The country is absolutely loaded with opportunities in freshwater and saltwater. From the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez around Baja to the Caribbean permit and tarpon fisheries, the saltwater alone has a lifetime of opportunities waiting. Inland, Mexico offers world class largemouth bass fishing alongside a number of other freshwater species.
Before you go, check the regulations, grab your fishing permit and know the lay of the land. Overall, the system is simple and easy to understand.
Where to Buy Your Mexico Fishing License Online
Buying a license is pretty simple through the online system. It’s in Mexican currency and you will need to cross reference the latest exchange rate for a price in dollars. It’s affordable and when I purchase with my credit card, the bank does a conversion automatically.
When you reach the site, follow these steps:
- Click “Buy Permits”
- Turn off your adblocker to ensure you can print the permit after completing the form.
- Enter your email, phone number, country and state information.
- Select the start date and duration of the license (day, week, month, annual).
- Enter your name and fishing area (an extra fee applies to Baja Sur).
- Click “Add” to populate your license info.
- Click “Pay” to checkout. Print your license and save a digital copy as well.
The per person prices for a Mexican fishing license in 2023 are as follows:
- Per day = $282 MXN
- Per week = $553 MXN
- Per Month = $779 MXN
- Per Year = $1004 MXN
The exchange is always changing but you can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $70 USD for your annual license. The short term options are cheaper as well.
We also made a quick video to show the process:
Where to Buy Permits in Person
You can purchase a Mexico fishing license in person as well. In San Diego, a few shops sell licenses over the counter. Fisherman’s Landing Tackle Shop on Garrison is a reliable source for Mexican fishing permits. Currently, that is the only source we know on the US side of the border.
When you drive to Mexico or reach a destination, the state tourism offices often sell permits. Tijuana, San Felipe, San Quintin and Ensenada have offices with license vendors. You are likely to find the same in Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, La Paz and places with a strong charter service presence on the Baja Peninsula. Resorts and tourism offices on the mainland might also sell licenses but we don’t have current information to confirm these.
General Mexico Fishing Laws to Know
How do you know when a Mexico fishing license is needed? Also, what are the general rules and catch limits? Follow these guidelines to keep your limit while protecting the fisheries. The laws are not well published and distributed. It’s always a good idea to check with local captains and sportfishing shops for current information.
- No license is needed for fishing from shore. I still buy one because it’s a good practice that helps resource conservation efforts.
- A license is needed for anyone fishing from a boat or watercraft.
- The permit is for each individual. Every single person on the boat requires their own license (regardless of age).
- The daily catch limit is 10 total fish. You may not exceed 5 fish of a single species.
- The 10 fish limit is based on a point system. Most species count as a single point toward your 10 fish/point total. Dorado have a 2 fish daily limit. Grouper, tarpon and roosterfish also have a 2 fish daily limit (2.5 points each). Billfish qualify as 5 points each. If you catch and keep a single marlin or sailfish, it means you have reached 5 of your daily 10 fish/points.
- Freshwater rivers and lakes have a 5 fish daily limit.
- A fishing license only permits you to catch fish. This excludes crustaceans, swimming mammals and shellfish. For example, you cannot catch and keep lobster with a general fishing license.
- Your license also applies to spearfishing. A separate permit is not required for this activity. The daily limit for spearfishing is 5 fish total.
Is there a difference between a Baja fishing license and general Mexican permit?
It’s a little confusing because the government website doesn’t distinguish between the mainland and Baja. When you purchase the permit, it also asks about your destination. For short trips, this is simple. For annual permit buyers however, multiple destinations are likely.
Regardless of your destination, it’s the same permit. I typically fish Baja Sur as one of my locations so I choose this option at checkout. It ensures I pay the additional tourism tax required to fish this region. Other regions don’t have the additional fee and my license remains valid for the entire country.
When you are ready and know your dates, the easiest way to obtain a license is online. Physical locations can work but it’s nice to have your Mexico fishing license bought and printed ahead of your trip. I keep mine in a folder with my car insurance and other important documents and a copy in my fishing bag.