Sport Fishing in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Fishing in Riviera Nayarit is considered one of the favorite places to practice sport fishing in Mexico. Find out why.

Sport Fishing in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Caribbean sport fishing in Riviera Nayarit. Photo by Rafael Hoyos Weht / Unsplash

The Riviera Nayarit destination is considered among the favorite places to practice sport fishing in Mexico. Find out why.

Two world records have been set here, one for a wahoo, and another for a swordfish weighing 322.2 kilograms. The Riviera Nayarit hosts important events such as the San Blas International Sport Fishing Tournament, with 53 consecutive editions and which in its last edition gathered around 250 amateurs.

And the International Sport Fishing Tournament of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, which is in its second edition. To go fishing you can rent pangas or large yachts in Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerías, La Cruz, Punta Mita, Sayulita, San Francisco and Lo de Marcos, some of which offer food and lodging.

Fishing in the state of Nayarit

Fishing is one of the most important economic activities in the coastal municipalities of the state of Nayarit. In this federal entity, there are about 45 fishing localities, located from the north, in the municipality of Tecuala, to the south, in the municipality of Bahía de Banderas.

The fishermen of these localities are deeply rooted in fishing activity, which represents a source of employment and income for them. Fishing is an important supplier of food of high nutritional value, representing a relevant factor for the food security of the population in general, as well as for the fishermen and their families.

Coastal fishing in Nayarit is carried out in the coastal strip as well as in estuarine and marsh areas. The coastal fishermen take advantage of the different species that are available in each of the fishing zones. On the central-south coast of the state. The fishermen take advantage of species such as tuna, snapper, red snapper, red snapper, oyster, lobster, and jack mackerel, among others. In Marismas Nacionales, species such as snook, crab, and shrimp are used.

Fishing activity in Bahía de Banderas, Nayarit

Coastal fishing is one of the most dynamic economic activities in Banderas Bay, Nayarit. Fishing is carried out mainly in six localities distributed along the municipality's coastline: Bucerías, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Punta de Mita, Sayulita, San Francisco, and Lo de Marcos. There are also records of fishing activities in other localities such as Las Jarretaderas, Mezcales, and Higuera Blanca.

In these fishing localities, the effort is mainly directed at catching flake fish and other species of local and regional importance, such as oysters, lobster, and octopus. There has been some interest in the exploitation of the tuna resource. All of these catches of the aforementioned resources are supported by commercial fishing permits issued by the competent authority.

Fishing is a productive activity that is deeply rooted in the coastal localities of the municipality of Banderas Bay. A high percentage of fishermen have been dedicated to the exploitation of fishery resources (fishing and/or diving) for more than 20 years. Fishing activity is carried out most of the year, with variations in the periods of activity and changes in the composition of the species caught, depending on the permitted fishing periods, and weather conditions, among other factors.

Fishermen and Divers of Banderas Bay

Fishing in this region is done in fiberglass boats with outboard motors. The boats have an average length of 24 feet and use 75 HP engines, although in localities such as La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Punta de Mita, the boats are longer and the engines have a power of up to 115 HP, which is the limit allowed by the fishing authority. However, some boats have more powerful engines.

With this equipment, Banderas Bay fishermen make an average of four to six fishing trips per week. The distance over which these fishing trips are made can vary depending on different factors such as the target species, the fishing zones to which the fishermen are accustomed, climatic issues, availability of fishing resources, and economic and technological aspects, among others.

Some fishing zones are located at distances of less than 25 miles, for which they spend an average of eight hours a day fishing. Most of the boats have a crew of two to three fishermen. Divers fish four to five days a week, working up to four hours a day.

The fishermen of Banderas Bay in Nayarit are the ones who provide most of the fish and seafood that restaurants in the region use as inputs for the preparation of a wide variety of dishes. This culinary offer based on the excellent seafood from Banderas Bay is one of the main incentives for the thousands of tourists that visit this region every year.

The Sea Market of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

The Mercado del Mar located in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is one of the main suppliers of fish and seafood locally and regionally. In recent years, it has also been an important supplier for other national markets, such as Mercado de La Nueva Viga and Mercado del Mar de Zapopan.

It even exports species such as yellowfin tuna, which is in high demand in the international market. This commercial growth places the Mercado del Mar de La Cruz de Huanacaxtle as a driving factor for the fishing activity in Bahía de Banderas, as well as a reference in the commercialization of fishing products in Nayarit.

The Mercado del Mar of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle began operations more than a decade ago. It is part of the Riviera Nayarit Marina, which has as part of its facilities, two fixed concrete docks for fishermen. As part of the market facilities, there are 12 commercial premises with a storage warehouse, as well as an area for the sale of the product. It also has areas for cleaning the product. For its part, the Riviera Nayarit Marina has implemented actions aimed at maintaining and improving the facilities of the Mercado del Mar.

The Mercado del Mar is a reception center and point of sale for products caught by fishermen from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, but also from other fishing towns such as Punta de Mita, Bucerías, Lo de Marcos or Sayulita.

The variety of products offered at the Mercado del Mar reflects the diversity of species that are harvested by Banderas Bay fishermen. The variety of products on offer also reflects the seasonality of the species and the climatic conditions that are favorable for fishing activity.

There are around 45 species of fish, mollusks, and crustaceans offered for sale at the Mercado del Mar. Among the products are tuna, snook, snook, boot, sea bass, snapper, red snapper, red snapper, jack mackerel, sierra, sole, shrimp, lobster, crab, octopus, and oyster, among others. More than two thousand tons of fish products are sold annually at the Mercado del Mar.