Mexico is a world-renowned destination for beach lovers and fishing enthusiasts alike. With its vast coastline, of nearly 6000 miles, and abundant marine life, surf fishing in Mexico is some of the best in the world. The country boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it’s also home to some of the best surf fishing spots.
With coastlines on the Pacific ocean, Gulf of California, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, Mexico has a diverse range of fishing opportunities including some awesome surf fishing destinations that are just waiting to be explored.
If you’re planning a fishing trip to Mexico, this guide will help you find the best surf fishing destinations and provide you with tips and tricks to make the most of your experience. Mexico has a long and diverse coastline, making it an excellent destination for surf fishing.
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, there are plenty of surf fishing destinations to explore along Mexico’s stunning coastline. Let’s take a look at some of the best surf fishing destinations in Mexico, including where to go, what to catch, and when to plan your trip.
Top Spots for Surf Fishing in Mexico
Baja California is one of the best destinations for surf fishing in Mexico. It’s a long, narrow peninsula that stretches southward from California into Mexico, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Sea of Cortez on the other.
Baja is a paradise for anglers, with its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and abundant marine life. It’s home to many species of fish, including yellowtail, roosterfish, grouper, and snapper. You can surf fish from the beaches, or from a boat. Some of the best surf fishing spots in Baja California include:
- Los Barriles: Located on the east coast of Baja California Sur, Los Barriles is a popular spot for surf fishing. The area is home to a wide range of fish species, including roosterfish, dorado, and yellowfin tuna.
- Punta Abreojos: Situated on the west coast of Baja California Sur, Punta Abreojos is a remote fishing village that offers excellent surf fishing opportunities. It’s known for its large waves and strong currents, which make it a challenging but rewarding spot for experienced anglers.
- San Quintin: Located on the west coast of Baja California, San Quintin is a popular spot for both beach and surf fishing. The area is known for its large yellowtail and white sea bass, which can be caught using a variety of techniques.
- Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas: Surf fishing is a great way to spend time exploring the coast of Los Cabos and the East Cape. You’ll find many well-known spots such as “Rooster Alley” in Los Frailes as well as discovering some of your own secret spots. There are companies that offer guided surf fishing trips, some that utilize ATV’s to cover more shoreline.
Sinaloa is a state on the Pacific coast of Mexico that offers some of the best surf fishing opportunities in the country. Some of the best surf fishing spots in Sinaloa include:
- Mazatlan: Known as the “Pearl of the Pacific,” Mazatlan is a popular tourist destination that also offers great surf fishing opportunities. The area is known for its sailfish, marlin, and dorado.
- Topolobampo Bay: Located on the Gulf of California, Topolobampo Bay is a beautiful destination that offers excellent surf fishing opportunities. The area is known for its snapper, grouper, and yellowtail, which can be caught from the surf using a variety of techniques.
Sayulita is a small fishing village on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, great surf, and excellent fishing opportunities.
The waters around Sayulita are teeming with fish, including dorado, tuna, and marlin. Surf fishing is particularly popular from the local beach.
Punta Mita is a luxury resort town located on the northern tip of Banderas Bay, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, world-class surf breaks, and excellent fishing opportunities. The waters around Punta Mita are home to a variety of fish species, including tuna, mahi-mahi, and sailfish. You can surf fish from the beach or hire a boat for deep-sea fishing.
Zihuatanejo is a fishing town located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, just north of Acapulco. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, excellent surf breaks, and fantastic fishing opportunities. The waters around Zihuatanejo are home to a variety of fish species, including roosterfish, snapper, and grouper. Surf fishing is particularly popular from the beaches here.
The Mexican State of Oaxaca is another popular surf fishing destination in Mexico, with its stunning beaches and warm waters. Some of the best surf fishing spots in Oaxaca include:
- Puerto Escondido: Known as the “Mexican Pipeline,” Puerto Escondido is a world-famous surf spot that also offers great fishing opportunities for both boat and beach fishing. The area is home to a wide range of fish species, including sailfish, marlin, and yellowfin tuna.
- Huatulco: Located on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, Huatulco is a beautiful destination that offers great surf fishing opportunities. The area is known for its roosterfish, dorado, and yellowfin tuna.
- Zicatela Beach: Another popular surf spot in Oaxaca, Zicatela Beach is also a great place for fishing. The area is known for its large waves and strong currents, which make it a challenging but rewarding spot for experienced surf anglers.
Yucatan Peninsula is a popular tourist destination that also offers some great surf fishing opportunities. Some of the best surf fishing spots in the Yucatan Peninsula include:
- Cancun: Known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, and excellent fishing opportunities, Surf fishing is particularly popular from the area beaches. The Cancun area is home to a wide range of fish species, including snapper, grouper, tarpon, snook, bonefish and barracuda.
- Playa del Carmen: Another popular destination on the Yucatan Peninsula, Playa del Carmen offers great surf fishing opportunities. The area is known for its sailfish, marlin, wahoo, jack crevalle, barracuda, snapper and grouper among others.
- Cozumel: Located just off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Cozumel is a beautiful island that offers excellent surf fishing opportunities. The area is known for its snapper, grouper, and barracuda.
What Can You Catch Surf Fishing in Mexico?
Mexico’s waters are home to a wide variety of fish species, depending on the location and time of year. Some of the most popular species to catch include:
- Roosterfish (fun to catch but not for eating)
- Sierra (great eating species of mackerel)
- Groupers (mostly leopards)
- Snappers (including cabrilla and pargo)
- California Yellowtail
- Jack Crevalle (fun to catch but not great for eating)
- Pacific Snook
When to Go Surf Fishing in Mexico?
The best time to go surf fishing in Mexico depends on the location and the species you want to catch. In general, the winter months (December to February) are the best time for surf fishing in Mexico, as the waters are cooler and many species are more active.
However, some areas may have better fishing during other times of the year. It’s always a good idea to do some research on your destination and the species you want to catch to determine the best time to plan your trip.
There are similar sites for the different areas of Mexico. FishingBooker.com is also a good source of information on all types of fishing worldwide.
Tips for Surf Fishing in Mexico
If you’re planning a surf fishing trip to Mexico, here are some tips and techniques that will help you make the most of your experience:
- Research your destination and the fish species you want to catch before you go.
- Research the best time to fish: Different fish species have different migration patterns, so it’s important to research the best time of year to catch your target species.
- Use the right gear: Make sure you have the right gear for surf fishing, including a sturdy rod, reel, and line. You’ll also need a variety of lures and bait, depending on the species you’re targeting.
- Be prepared for the weather: Mexico can have extreme weather conditions, so make sure you pack sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing. You should also bring a rain jacket in case of unexpected showers.
- Follow local fishing regulations: Mexico has strict fishing regulations, so make sure you follow them to avoid any fines or penalties. You should also practice catch-and-release to help preserve the local marine ecosystem.
- Consider hiring a local guide who knows the area and can offer valuable advice.
- Keep safety in mind at all times, especially when fishing from the shore or in rough waters.
One key to successful surf fishing in Mexico is using the right lures and having a long surf casting rod matched with a quality spinning reel. The other key is to talk to locals, especially those that make a living guiding trips or selling the appropriate tackle.
If you’re thinking about bringing your own gear, at minimum a 7-9 foot medium stiff rod paired up a good quality spinning reel spooled up with 30# braid. A good selection of spoons like Krocodiles, Johnson Sprites and Kastmasters along with an assortment of crank baits, poppers and surface walkers should be in your tackle box.
Essential Surf Fishing Gear:
- Surf Fishing Rods, surf rods are typically longer and heavier duty than standard rods. – read more.
- Surf fishing Reels,larger and stronger with greater line capacity to handle big fish. – read more.
- Surf fishing Rod and Reel Combos, pre-matched rod and reel set ups for surf fishing – read more.
- Sand Spike Rod holder, holds your rods securely while you wait for that big bite. – read more.
- Surf Fishing Rigs, terminal tackle for fishing the surf. – read more.
- Surf fishing Carts, for beaches that won’t allow vehicles you need a way to carry your gear – read more.
- Rod Racks for Vehicles, carry your rods out of harms way and easy to access- read more.
- Beach Camping Gear, in case you want to fish all night or for several days – read more.
Bring along some wire leader material as well if you’re likely to encounter some toothy critters like sierra and wahoo that will cut you off without a wire leader. And, that can get costly both in cost of replacing tackle and lost fishing time while re rigging or shopping for replacements.
Soft plastic swim baits work well rigged on 1/2 to 4 ounce lead head jigs. Select a few different colors like red, white, blue and glitter. Scented baits like Berkley Gulp, Fishbites, and D.O.A. lures are extremely effective as well.
You’ve Picked Your Beach, Now Where to Surf Fish?
The easiest answer is: Just about anywhere. However, sandy beaches with a good current running along the backside of the surf break are a great place to target roosterfish.
Beaches with a mixture of sand with rock piles past the breakers are prime locations for sierra, and at times, dorado. Also, rocky points with areas of submerged reefs or rock ridges are excellent for a California yellowtail.
Beaches with rocky outcroppings you can cast from are good locations to catch hogfish and several varieties of snapper and grouper. And, of course, anywhere you have fresh water running into the sea such as the San Jose del Cabo Estuary or other areas that offer brackish water can be excellent for Pacific snook, a great fighting and great eating fish.
Surf Fishing Safety Considerations
When surf fishing in Mexico, it’s important to keep safety in mind at all times. Parts of Mexico can be dangerous for travelers. The popular tourist destinations however are typically safe. If you plan on traveling to more remote beaches, it is recommended that you hire a local guide.
They will know where to go and where not to go. Here are some additional safety tips to help you stay safe and enjoy some outstanding surf fishing.
- Wear appropriate clothing, including a hat and sunscreen, to protect yourself from the sun.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Be aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards, such as rocks or rip currents.
- Never fish alone, and always let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
- Use caution when fishing from the shore, especially in areas with large waves or strong currents.
- Always wear a life jacket when fishing from a boat or in areas with strong rip currents. Heck, just to be safe, always where a life jacket when fishing PERIOD.
Surf Fishing in Mexico: Frequent Questions
1. Do I need a fishing license to surf fish in Mexico?
Yes, you’ll need a fishing license to surf fish in Mexico. You can obtain a license from local authorities, online, or from a local fishing store.
2. What is the best time of year to go surf fishing in Mexico?
The best time to go surf fishing in Mexico depends on the location and the species you want to catch. In general, the winter months are the best time to go, but it’s always a good idea to do some research before planning your trip.
3. Can I hire a local guide for surf fishing in Mexico?
Yes, hiring a local guide can be a great way to improve your chances of catching fish and stay safe while fishing in Mexico.
4. What kind of fish can I catch while surf fishing in Mexico?
Mexico’s waters are home to a wide variety of fish species, including yellowtail, roosterfish, grouper, snapper, dorado, tuna, marlin, sailfish, tarpon, snook, and bonefish. The best fish species to target when surf fishing in Mexico depend on the location and time of year.
5. Is it safe to surf fish in Mexico?
As with any outdoor activity, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind while surf fishing in Mexico. If you follow basic safety precautions, such as watching out for strong currents and wearing protective clothing. Use common sense and be aware of any potential risks and to take appropriate measures to avoid them.
Surf Fishing in Mexico: Final Thoughts
Mexico is a fantastic world-class destination for surf fishing, with its beautiful beaches and diverse fish species. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, there are plenty of destinations to explore along Mexico’s stunning coastline with numerous beaches and surf fishing spots. By doing some research, bringing the right gear, and keeping safety in mind, you can make your surf fishing trip to Mexico a memorable and successful one.
Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, there’s something for everyone in Mexico’s surf fishing destinations.
From Baja California to the Yucatan Peninsula, each location offers a unique fishing experience that’s waiting to be explored. So pack your gear, book your trip, and get ready to catch some big fish surf fishing in Mexico!
As always, stay safe, enjoy the journey and please try to leave it cleaner than you found it. If you have any comments, questions, ideas or suggestions please leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you asap.
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A life long surf fisherman with 50+ years of experience, I am also an avid hunter and outdoorsman. I will be sharing my passion for the outdoors with you so be prepared for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking and more. Along with gear reviews and the latest trends and innovations in the outdoor industry.