An Adventurer's Guide to Hunting and Fishing in Mexico: Tips, Tricks, and Top Destinations

Experience the thrill of hunting and fishing in Mexico's abundant and diverse natural scenery. From famous international fishing tournaments to hunting regions of extraordinary beauty, immerse yourself in nature and revive the ancient rite of the hunt.

An Adventurer's Guide to Hunting and Fishing in Mexico: Tips, Tricks, and Top Destinations
Exploring the vibrant streets of Mazatlan's fishing district, where fresh catches and local culture meet 🐟🎭 #mexicantraditions #travelgram #fishermanswharf". Photo by Cyndi Struven on Unsplash

Escape the hustle and bustle of urban life and immerse yourself in the grandeur of nature with hunting and fishing in Mexico. This exciting adventure offers a unique opportunity to test your skills and revive the ancient rite of the hunt. Whether you're a national or international enthusiast, Mexico's abundant and diverse natural scenery is sure to awaken your passion for these sports.

Hunting and fishing have become strong tourist attractions in Mexico, with both activities duly regulated for the protection of the country's rich fauna. Along the extensive coastline of the republic, famous international fishing tournaments take place in Tampico, Los Cabos, Mazatlan, and Acapulco, among other ports, where large species such as tarpon, marlin, and sailfish can be caught. Even in smaller coastal points, you can find popular spots for catching smaller species with the necessary facilities and equipment.

But fishing isn't limited to Mexico's coasts; there are also plenty of inland lagoons, dams, and rivers teeming with fish where you can rent boats and enjoy the thrill of the catch.

In addition to fishing, Mexico boasts numerous hunting regions of extraordinary natural beauty, ranging from forests and jungles to ravines, plains, deserts, and highlands. Here, you can hunt a variety of game, from puma, deer, and bighorn sheep to pheasants, ducks, and chachalacas. As with fishing, hunting in Mexico is subject to strict laws and regulations, which must be observed.

Embarking on these activities is a fantastic way to experience the multifaceted beauty of Mexico, commune with nature, learn to respect it, and appreciate its rich gifts. It's also a great way to spend time with your family, live together in a rustic way, and relish the joy of being worthy of ourselves in countless aspects.

Before embarking on this exciting adventure, make sure to inform yourself of the regulations regarding seasons, permits, and other important details. You can contact the 162 offices of the Secretariat of Fisheries and the 31 state delegations of the Secretariat of Urban Development and Ecology for more information. Once everything is in order, get ready for a memorable vacation!

Early morning scouting for waterfowl in Mexico.
Early morning scouting for waterfowl in Mexico 🌅🦢 #birdwatching #naturephotography #mexicooutdoors". Photo by Alex pixel on Unsplash

What and where to hunt in Mexico

Seasons according to species and zones, permits, and other requirements and details can be consulted in any of the state delegations of SEDUE, where the Hunting Calendar can also be obtained free of charge.

Type I Waterfowl:

  • Black or Pacific Brama
  • Blue-winged teal
  • Brown teal
  • Green-striped teal
  • Redfish
  • Canada Goose
  • Ross's Goose
  • White-fronted Goose
  • Snow Goose or Blue Goose
  • Grey Crane
  • American Merganser
  • American Wigeon
  • Hooded Greylag Goose
  • White-winged Grebe
  • Black-crowned Grebe
  • Greater scaup
  • Little wigeon duck
  • Red-crested pochard
  • Red-headed duck
  • Coacoxtle duck
  • Ruddy duck or Mouthed duck
  • Chalcuan duck
  • Golden-eyed wigeon
  • Monk duck, humpbacked duck
  • Ruffed duck
  • Epaulet duck
  • Swallow duck
  • Pajiji or pichichi duck
  • Pichihuila duck
  • Pintail duck
  • Tepalcate duck
  • Texan duck
  • Corn Muscovy duck

Type II Pigeons:

  • White-winged pigeon
  • Rock pigeon or clay pigeon
  • Collared dove
  • Collared pigeon
  • Mountain pigeon
  • Purple Pigeon

Type III Other Birds:

  • Snipe
  • California quail
  • Douglas quail
  • Gambel's quail
  • Mountain quail
  • Yucatan quail
  • Masked or common quail
  • Scaled quail
  • Striped quail
  • Montezuma quail or pinta
  • Chachalaca
  • Sandgrouse

Type IV Small Mammals:

  • Agouti or guaqueque
  • Ring-tailed squirrel
  • White-tailed squirrel
  • Curved-tailed squirrel
  • Albert's squirrel
  • California squirrel
  • Collie's squirrel
  • Douglas squirrel
  • Harris's squirrel
  • Rock Squirrel
  • Peters' squirrel
  • Nayarita squirrel
  • Gray squirrel
  • Mexican squirrel
  • Spotted squirrel
  • Spotted squirrel
  • Armadillo
  • Audubon rabbit
  • Rainforest rabbit
  • Eastern rabbit
  • Scrub rabbit
  • Mexican rabbit
  • Coyote
  • Black-tailed hare
  • Grey hare
  • Raccoon
  • Coati or badger
  • Tepezcuintle
  • Tlacuache

Type V Limited:

  • Aoudad or Barbary sheep
  • Collared pheasant
  • Bobcat or lynx
  • Wild turkey
  • Collared wild boar
  • European wild boar
  • White-lipped wild boar
  • Ocellated turkey
  • Partridge or tinamou
  • Partridge or royal tinamou
  • Puma
  • Mule deer
  • White-tailed deer
  • Texan white-tailed deer
  • Red brocket deer
  • Brown brocket deer
  • Gray fox

Type VI Special:

  • Bighorn sheep
  • Sonoran mule deer

Note: Species not mentioned in these lists are subject to a permanent ban because they are in danger of extinction and also subject to changes.

Mexico's Hunting Regions

Mexico is a country rich in natural resources, including a diverse array of wildlife. The country offers a variety of hunting opportunities in different states, with species ranging from waterfowl to bighorn sheep. Here is a guide to the different hunting regions in Mexico, including the permitted zones and closed areas according to the SEDUE Hunting Calendar.

Northern Mexico

The northern states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas offer hunting opportunities for waterfowl, pigeons, and small mammals, with limited access to other species such as bobcat, wild turkey, collared and European wild boar, bighorn sheep, mule deer, white-tailed deer, and gray fox.

Central Mexico

Central Mexico states like Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Mexico, Morelos, Puebla, Querétaro, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz offer hunting opportunities for waterfowl, pigeons, and small mammals, with limited access to other species like gray fox, collared wild boar, and white-tailed deer.

Southern Mexico

The southern states of Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatán offer hunting opportunities for waterfowl, pigeons, and small mammals, with limited access to other species such as wild boar, puma, deer, temazate, and gray fox.

Note: Hunting regulations in Mexico are subject to change, and hunting without a license or outside of designated areas is illegal. Ensure you have all necessary permits and comply with all regulations before engaging in hunting activities.

Plan Your Hunting Trip to Mexico

If you're interested in hunting in Mexico, it's essential to plan your trip well in advance. Research the hunting regions and species available, obtain the necessary permits and work with a reputable outfitter or guide to ensure a safe and successful experience.

Remember, responsible hunting practices help protect and conserve wildlife for future generations to enjoy. So, always follow the rules, respect the environment, and have a memorable hunting experience in Mexico.

Colorful fishing boats lining the shores of Veracruz, ready for the day's catch.
Colorful fishing boats lining the shores of Veracruz, ready for the day's catch 🎣🌊 #fishingculture #mexicotravel #sealife". Photo by Roberto Carlos Román Don on Unsplash

What and where to fish in Mexico

Mexico is a popular destination for sport fishing enthusiasts from around the world, thanks to its rich marine life and diverse freshwater bodies. In this guide, we'll take a look at the best places to fish in Mexico and the main species you can expect to catch.

Getting Started: Fishing Licenses in Mexico

Before you hit the waters, it's important to note that you'll need a fishing license to practice sport fishing in Mexico. You can obtain a license from any of the 150 offices of the Ministry of Fisheries located throughout the country. As in the case of hunting, it is necessary to have the respective license, which can also be obtained in these offices.

Saltwater Fishing in Mexico

Mexico's coasts are home to a vast array of saltwater fish species. Here are some of the most commonly caught saltwater fish in Mexico:

  • Albacora
  • Bluefin tuna
  • Blackfin tuna
  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Bigeye tuna
  • Skipjack
  • Barracuda
  • Bonito
  • Sea bass
  • Smedregal
  • Dorado
  • California sole
  • Giant sea bass, grouper, or schema
  • Striped bass
  • White sea bass
  • Mackerel
  • Marlin
  • Peto
  • Swordfish
  • Roosterfish
  • Hammerhead sharks
  • Mousefish
  • Sailfish
  • Snorer
  • Rubio
  • Shad
  • Black and red drum
  • Sandbar shark
  • Mako shark
  • Tiger shark

Freshwater Fishing in Mexico

Mexico also boasts several freshwater bodies that are ideal for fishing. Here are some of the most commonly caught freshwater fish in Mexico:

  • Catfish
  • Carp
  • Horse mackerel
  • Black sea bass
  • Jack mackerel
  • Sea bass
  • Rainbow trout

The Best Sport Fishing Centers in Mexico

Mexico offers some of the best sport fishing experiences in the world. With an extensive coastline and a variety of freshwater lakes and rivers, the country boasts many excellent locations for anglers. In this guide, we'll explore some of the main sport fishing centers in Mexico, organized by region.

Baja California Peninsula

The Baja California Peninsula is a popular destination for sport fishing, with its clear waters and abundant marine life. Here are some of the top fishing centers in the area:

  • Bahía de los Angeles
  • Buenavista
  • Ensenada
  • La Paz
  • Mulegé
  • Loreto
  • Los Cabos
  • San Carlos
  • San Felipe
  • Santa Rosalia

Pacific Coast

The Pacific Coast of Mexico is home to some of the most famous fishing spots in the country, attracting anglers from all over the world. Some of the best fishing centers on this coast include:

  • Acapulco
  • Kino Bay
  • San Carlos Bay
  • Guaymas
  • Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo
  • Manzanillo
  • Mazatlan
  • Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido
  • Puerto Madero
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Salina Cruz
  • San Blas
  • Topolobampo
  • Barra de Navidad

Gulf of Mexico

The Gulf of Mexico is another excellent destination for sport fishing. Here are some of the top centers on this coast:

  • Alvarado
  • Frontera
  • Veracruz
  • Tampico
  • Tuxpan

Caribbean Sea

The Caribbean Sea is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and coral reefs in the world, making it a popular destination for sport fishing. Some of the top fishing centers on this coast include:

  • Campeche
  • Cancun
  • Cozumel
  • Celestúm
  • Chetumal
  • Isla Mujeres
  • Lagartos River
  • Alacranes Reef


Mexico also has many excellent freshwater fishing spots. Some of the best include:

  • Catemaco, Veracruz
  • El Fuerte, Sinaloa
  • Coyuca Lagoon, Guerrero
  • Abelardo Rodriguez Dam, Baja California
  • Alvaro Obregón Dam, Sonora
  • Don Martín Dam, Coahuila
  • Falcón Dam (de la Amistad), Coahuila
  • Marte R. Gomez Dam, Tamaulipas
  • Santa María del Oro, Nayarit
  • Valle de Bravo, State of Mexico
  • Yosocuta, Oaxaca

International Sport Fishing Tournaments

For avid anglers and fishing enthusiasts, Mexico offers a range of international sport fishing tournaments that take place throughout the year. From Baja California Sur to Veracruz, these tournaments offer the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills and compete with fellow fishermen from around the world.

One of the most popular tournaments is the International Charity Tournament in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur. Held annually, this event is not only a chance to showcase your fishing skills, but also to support a good cause.

Another must-attend event is the International Sailfish Tournament in Manzanillo, Colima. With its pristine waters and abundant sailfish, this tournament is a true test of skill for any angler.

If bass fishing is more your style, head to Presa de la Amistad, Coahuila for the International Bass Fishing Tournament. This tournament is known for its challenging conditions and is sure to test even the most experienced bass fisherman.

For those looking for a more varied catch, the Marlin, Sailfish, and Dorado International Fishing Tournament in Kino Bay, Sonora is a great option. With its diverse range of fish, this tournament offers something for everyone.

Other notable tournaments include the International Tournament Robalo De Oro in Tampico, Tamaulipas, the International Tarpon Tournament in the mouth of the Panuco and Tamesi rivers, Tamaulipas, and the International Corvina Tournament in Matamoros, Tamaulipas.

And last but not least, don't miss the International Sport Fishing Tournament in Cancun, Quintana Roo. With its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, this tournament is a great opportunity to combine a love for fishing with a relaxing vacation.

No matter which tournament you choose, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience and the chance to catch some impressive fish. So, pack your gear and get ready to compete with some of the best anglers in the world.

Tourist Services

If you're a sports fishing enthusiast, you'll be pleased to know that the localities we've highlighted as sport fishing centers have top-notch lodging and dining options nearby, if not right on site. And, of course, you'll have access to all the equipment you need, including boat and equipment rental.

Hunting fans, on the other hand, will find a wealth of options at the many hunting ranches that offer lodging, meals, guides, and other amenities. To learn more about these options, we recommend reaching out to the state delegations of SEDUE or any of the numerous hunting clubs throughout Mexico.