Playa del Carmen Boat Fishing: All You Need to Know

Playa Del Carmen boat fishing (Riviera Maya, Mexico) – Playa Del Carmen is known for its palm-lined beaches and coral reefs. It attracts loads of sun seekers but there’s plenty more to be had! It has a huge fishing heritage as it used to be a small fishing town. It’s the migratory route from the Caribbean to the Gulf. Loads of fish species mate here before going back to the Atlantic sea so it is a certain hotspot for great sport fishing. It runs right through the Yucatán Channel. With average summer temperatures reaching 29 degrees Celsius, it’s the perfect location for sun, sea and fish!

Nice wahoo caught trolling

Nice wahoo caught trolling

There is an abundance of fish species to be caught here and some impressive ones too! Why not read below find out some of the top species you can catch and the methods for that.

Top Species in Playa Del Carmen

The Bill Species

The waters of the Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen are home to the Blue Marlin and the White Marlin. The Swordfish and the Sailfish inhabit the tropical waters off Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras and Tulum. The great thing about big game fishing in Riviera Maya you don’t have to go too far out to reach the fishing grounds.

Blue Marlin

Playa del Carmen Marlin fishing action

Some good Blue Marlin fishing to be had! this predatory specie can reach speeds up to 90 kmph and grows up to 4.5m long! making it a very exciting fish to go after. It’s a family member of the sailfish family with its long spikey bill.


Nice Sailfish: quick pic before release

Nice Sailfish: quick pic before release

Like the Blue Marlin, its easily recognised for its large sail and long spear like bill. Another super-fast predatory fish that will destroy your lures in a flash! Watch for a Sail to be breaking the water’s surface and then get trolling. Be prepared for electric takes, screaming reels and acrobatic flips, certainly one you will never forget!

Other Species


The mean machine! This specie will leave you excited but nervous at the same time. Known for its super-fast speed and razor-sharp teeth, this is one hell of an exciting fish to catch. These are caught all year round and provide excellent entertainment. Heavy, braided lines are needed for these ferocious beasts as they will bite right through your line, so be aware…

Dorado (Mahi Mahi)

Playa Del Carmen boat fishing is known as big game territory for the billed species but there is a home for another sporting giant too – The Mahi Mahi or Dorado. Known for their amazing colours and rod bending battles, these waters hold some astonishing fish. This specie will be found around the Great Mayan Reef. You’ll see a yellow bolt behind your lure and then an explosive bite, Acrobatic flips will follow with a screaming reel, what more could you want!

Bone Fishing

Bone fish in the flats near Playa del Carmen

Fly fishing for Bone fish in the flats near Playa del Carmen

One for the Fly Fishing fans and you don’t have to go out far for this incredible sport! You need to go near the Cozumel Islands and go to its northern flats, there will be a plentiful supply of reel screaming bone fish to catch.


How to Fish Playa Del Carmen

There are a few ways to enjoy fishing around the Playa Del Carmen waters. The most common is by Charter. Whether you want to troll for the big billed species, fish the depths of the reefs or even a bit of fly fishing on the flats; boat fishing is the popular way to explore the Island.

Fishing charter ready to go

Fishing charter ready to go

You will be on the big charter boats going after the big game species but if fly fishing the flats, you will be in skiff or flat boats.

One type of fishing for the speedy billed beasts is trolling, that’s where the captain travels at 6.5 to 8 knots and staggers trolling lures behind the boat and you wait for a big hit! When your captain has located the fish, you wait for the sails to break the surface and then the chase begins! Electric fast takes and you are in for one hell of a ride. Be prepared for the fight of your life!

Another way of fishing will be on the flats, this is popular for the fly fishing fisherman out there. Locating the shoals of the hard fighting Bone fish will make the day fly away!

The best fishing charters in Playa del Carmen


Fishing Regulations

There are some rules and regulations that need to be followed when fishing in Playa Del Carmen which you should read up on but here are some to get you started.

Conapesca fishing license mexico

Conapesca fishing license mexico

If you are fishing by boat, you will need a Mexican fishing license but if you choose to go after your species by charter, that will be covered for you. You can get these licenses online but if you are fishing by foot, you don’t need worry about purchasing one.

There is a daily bag limit for the anglers when you go out fishing and that’s 10 fish per day but it is a bit complicated to work out but you can see the working out here –

– You are allowed to only keep 5 species of the same family to keeps limits fair.
– Catching the ‘big game species’ for example Sailfish or Blue Marlin, they count as half your bag so 5 and you are only allowed to take 1 of these species a day.
– Mahi Mahi count as half your bag and you are allowed to keep 2 of these per day. It is quite simple to understand but a bit of further reading will help you digest and figure out these rules.

So, there you have it, A small, simple guide to fishing Playa Del Carmen. Get yourself down here for a wicked sun, fish packed holiday you will never forget! At Tom’s Catch, we have it all catered and sorted for you so get in touch today for your perfect holiday.