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Mexican Fishing Licenses and Boat Permits

Insurance for Mexico

Mexican Fishing Licenses and Boat Permits

How to obtain a Mexican fishing license and boat permit

If you will be fishing on a boat in Mexico, you will need to obtain a fishing license for all members who will be present in the boat and a permit for the boat. If you are not planning on fishing, but will be boating, the Mexican government says you do not need a boat permit. Many boat owners obtain one anyway just to cover themselves. If Mexican officials find even small amounts of tackle or fish on board the boat you risk getting the boat confiscated or paying a fine. See below for Mexican sportfishing regulations.

Fishing licenses and boat permits may be obtained from some local tackle shops or from the Mexican government's CONAPESCA (Comisión Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca) office in San Diego. You will need a copy of your valid boat registration for a boat permit.

The only CONAPESCA office in the U.S. is located in San Diego. They will issue a license and permit for you even if you don't live in the San Diego area. Make sure to call them for current pricing and they will fax you an application. You may mail it in to them with your money order or cashiers' check, your valid registration, a self-addressed stamped envelope and they will send you your documents by mail. They recommend using certified mail for both envelopes.


Oficina de Pesca
2550 Fifth Avenue Suite 15
San Diego, CA 92103
Telephone: 619.233.4324
Fax: 619.233.0344
Hours: Monday - Friday 8am - 2pm

Accepted forms of payment: only money orders or cashiers' checks in the correct amount and made out to Oficina de Pesca.

Prices subject to change.
Fishing license pricing:

  • One week: $22.90

  • One month: $32.80

  • One year: $48.20

Boat permit pricing:

“Boating permit has been cancelled for this year to promote tourist fishing"

  • Small (17' - 22' 11"): $32.55

  • Medium (23' - 29' 11"): $65.10

  • Large (30'+): $97.65

If you are driving through or live in San Diego, the Fisherman's Landing located in Shelter Island makes it convenient to obtain a fishing license and boat permit in a matter of minutes. If you are an avid fisherman, you will be impressed with their selection of tackle and their friendly staff as well.

Fisherman's Landing

2838 Garrison Street
San Diego, CA 92106
Telephone 619.221.8506
Fax 619.222.0799

Hours: Winter 7am - 6pm; Summer 7am - 11pm
Seven days a week

Forms of payment: cash, personal checks, major credit cards

Fishing license pricing:

  • One week: $30

  • One year: $53

Boat permit pricing:

  • Small (17' - 22' 11"): $44

  • Medium (23' - 29' 11"): $77

  • Large: Must go to CONAPESCA office

Mexican Sportfishing Regulations from Oficina de Pesca San Diego

  • In order to operate a boat that carries fishing equipment in Mexican waters, it is necessary to hold a valid boat permit and personal fishing licenses for everybody aboard the boat, regardless of age and whether fishing or not. A fishing license is not required when fishing from land.

  • Only one rod or line with hook is permitted in the water, per person, but there is no restriction regarding the number of replacement items.

  • This fishing license allows to capture only fin fish. It does not allow to capture any mollusks or crustaceans, and their capture by anyone is strictly prohibited. Totuava, turtles and marine mammals are under protection of the Ministry and may not be captured at any time.

  • To capture bottom fish, up to four hooks on a vertical line may be used.

  • The use of electric reels is restricted to disabled fisherman only, after written authorization from the Ministry before use.

Bag and Possession Limits

  • In ocean waters and estuaries the limit is a total of ten fish per day, with no more than 5 catches of a single species, except of the species of marlin, sailfish, swordfish and shark of which only one specimen of either is allowed and which counts as five toward the overall 10 fish limit, or dorado, roosterfish, shad or tarpon, of which only two samples of each species are allowed, and which count as five toward the overall 10 fish limit.

  • Limit on inland bodies of water (rivers, lakes, dams, etc.) is five fish per day, whether of a single species or in combination.

  • Underwater fishing is limited to five fish per day, using rubber band or spring type harpoons, and only while skindiving.

  • There is no limit to the practice of "catch and release" as long as the fish that exceed the bag limit be returned to their environment in good survival condition.

  • Where sportfishing is conducted from boats out at sea for longer that three days, the bag limit will be the equivalent of three times the amounts mentioned above.


  • It is illegal to capture and maintain alive any fish for ornamental purposes.

  • It is prohibited to receive any financial gain from the product obtained through sportfishing.

  • It is prohibited to dump trash, litter or substances that harm the aquatic flora or fauna, whether on lakes, river banks, shores or oceanic waters.

  • It is prohibited to collect shells, corals, sea anemones and snails, or to disturb the original ecosystem environment.

  • It is prohibited to practice sportfishing 250 meters or less from swimmers.

  • It is prohibited to use artificial lighting to attract large quantities of fish.

  • It is prohibited to discharge firearms in Mexican waters.

  • Fish caught under a sportfishing license may not be filleted aboard the vessel from which it was caught.

  • It is requested that all unusual activities, occurrences or record catches to be reported to the nearest Oficina de Pesca, or to its representation in San Diego, CA., in order to ensure the preservation of natural resources for the continued enjoyment of all fisherman.






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