Fishing in Cozumel: All You Need to Know

Studying Time: 10 minutes

Cozumel is separated from Mexico’s mainland by a small stretch of beautiful blue ocean. A go to to this island, nonetheless, couldn’t be additional away from the everyday resort city expertise! Untouched wild surroundings, serene sandy shorelines, laid-back vibes…after which there’s the angling motion. From deep sea waters to shallow lagoons, fishing in Cozumel is so various that it reels in anglers from Riviera Maya’s mainland and past.

One thing else that makes casting a line in Cozumel so thrilling is how little time it takes. We’re not speaking about time spent on the water, in fact. We wouldn’t blame you for desirous to spend day after day cruising the Caribbean, rod in hand. Nope, we imply journey time.

Due to the pure underwater canyon that’s been fashioned between Cozumel and the mainland, you’ll be capable to attain waters over 2 meters deep simply minutes after departing this island’s shoreline. And with deep waters comes world-famous large sport fish!

It’s not nearly deep sea fishing in Cozumel, although. You’ll additionally be capable to plumb the depths of the Mesoamerican Reef (often known as the Nice Mayan Reef), the place a bounty of tasty bottom-dwelling species lurk.

Then there’s the flats fishing motion on supply. The northern finish of Cozumel is dwelling to 3 lagoons, that are an actual mecca for fly fishing and lightweight sort out fans. There actually is one thing for everybody on this island!

Learn on to find our favourite catches within the space, one of the best methods to forged a line right here, and hotspots you shouldn’t miss out on…

What can I catch in Cozumel?


Ah, the Bonefish. Identified around the globe because the “Ghost of the Flats,” because of its sneaky, slippery nature, it’s actually earned a reputation for itself as a prime catch for anglers fishing in Cozumel.

Why? Properly, its feisty nature signifies that hooking it’s one thing of an artwork type. Additionally, it thrives in extraordinarily shallow waters – and what can you discover within the northern a part of Cozumel? Three enormous lagoons. They’re the proper Bonefish habitat!

In reality, Bonefish love Cozumel’s shallow flats a lot that yow will discover this species right here year-round. Probably the most plentiful months, nonetheless, are between March–Might and through late fall, round October. It is because the bigger species usually transfer to deeper waters when temperatures begin to rise.

One of the simplest ways to focus on this fish in Cozumel needs to be on the fly, or utilizing mild sort out. Check out these strategies both by poling a flats vessel and even wading within the lagoons. Accessing the waters on this manner means you gained’t spook your goal. Simply ensure you persist with cloudy, grassy fishing spots, as Bonefish are skittish and don’t spend loads of time in clear waters.

This species may not be the largest, often measuring in at round 6 kilos, however the battle of wits and expertise they provide is significantly enormous. Wish to go one step additional and hook the Cozumel Inshore Grand Slam? Goal Tarpon and Allow on the similar time, and also you’ll have a powerful fishing story to go dwelling with!


From one Grand Slam to a different! Should you’re extra into Billfish than Bonefish, then don’t fear – Cozumel’s bought you coated on this space, too. An “underwater canyon” is positioned simply minutes from the island’s shoreline, the place the seafloor instantly drops. This implies you’ll be capable to do battle in opposition to Marlin, Sailfish, and extra, with out the lengthy journey that often is an enormous a part of deep sea fishing.

One thing that lures deep sea fishing fanatics to Cozumel specifically is the potential of hooking a Billfish Grand Slam. How does this occur? Easy – you reel in a mixture of three of the next species: Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, and Swordfish. With deep waters being so near shore, the potential for incomes a Billfish Grand Slam in Cozumel is fairly nice. The pure brute power that these species show is unmatched, too.

The island boasts a year-round fishery, which suggests you may technically goal Billfish everytime you’d like. One of the best time to forged your line for these beasts, nonetheless, is between March–August. One thing to concentrate on – locals observe catch and launch in the case of these majestic creatures, and we strongly advocate you do the identical.

Though you don’t need to journey far to succeed in the Billfish hotspots, a fishing vessel is important. Hop aboard, and also you’ll usually be trolling for these deep sea monsters. Due to this, newbies and hardened anglers alike can expertise some Billfish motion. It is perhaps partly a ready sport, however nothing fairly beats recognizing the sail of your chosen fish simply earlier than it bites!

Mahi Mahi and Wahoo

Making an attempt to resolve between these well-known large sport fish was so difficult, we determined to only embody them each! Typically grouped collectively because of their hard-fighting natures, they’re the proper addition to a Billfish battle.

Each of those fish present some unforgettable rod-bending motion on the finish of a line and might be present in abundance on a Cozumel fishing journey. In reality, the deep waters across the Mesoamerican Reef are an actual playground for these species.

Let’s begin with Mahi Mahi. Not solely does it placed on a spectacular present when hooked, leaping out of the water, but it surely seems to be fairly improbable too. There’s nothing like recognizing the shining scales of your Mahi as you troll the Caribbean. Bringing alongside a digital camera is a should!

You’ll positively desire a snapshot of your Wahoo hookup, too – that’s, for those who’re fast sufficient to seize a photograph! This fish is thought and beloved around the globe for the scorching runs it makes when hooked. Weighing in anyplace between 15–35 kilos, you’ll want to make use of all of your wits and expertise to reel ’em in.

Just like the Mahi, this fish might be hooked by trolling the waters of the Caribbean. And when your Wahoo bites, you higher maintain on tight to that rod! In search of a strategy to hook your Wahoo that’s much less standard? You’ll be able to spearfish for this beast – however extra on that later…

Snapper and Grouper

With the Mesoamerican Reef a mere stone’s throw away, it’d be foolish to not embody some bottom-dwelling fish on our record! You’ll discover large sport species akin to Mahi Mahi and Wahoo lurking these waters, however you’ll additionally discover loads of tasty desk fare, too. Yep, we’re speaking about Snapper and Grouper.

Firstly, there’s the Cubera Snapper. This much-loved species is significantly tasty, grows to large sizes, and fights surprisingly onerous on the finish of a line. In reality, its first run as soon as it bites is claimed to be one of the difficult round! The Cubera Snapper can be barely complicated – because of its maroon shade, it’s sometimes called the “Purple” Snapper, but it surely’s an entire totally different beast to its Atlantic cousin.

Native anglers advocate utilizing braided heavy sort out for those who’re planning on going after this fish. Assume Marlin-grade traces! Not so positive in case your arms are prepared for such an intense exercise? You’ll additionally be capable to backside fish across the reef for Yellowtail, Mutton, and Mangrove varieties, too.

The place there’s Snapper, there’s typically Grouper. This holds true in Cozumel! You’ll discover primarily Black, Broomtail, and Goliath varieties patrolling the Mesoamerican Reef – and never far behind them, you may spot a spear fisher or two. This uncommon approach is a well-liked strategy to goal these tasty species in Cozumel. In any other case, you’ll be capable to backside fish for ’em.

How can I fish in Cozumel?

On a Boat

Cozumel could solely measure round 30 miles in size, but it surely packs an entire host of angling alternatives into such a small area. Which means, in the case of exploring what these waters have to supply, hopping aboard a neighborhood fishing constitution is essentially the most time-efficient and productive possibility.

Not solely will you be armed with top-quality fishing gear, bait, and lures, however you’ll even have your captain’s skilled data at your disposal. Seeking to hook a kind of Grand Slams, or goal a particular fish? Your captain will ensure you forged your line in one of the best spots, and can share suggestions and tips too.

Relying on the kind of fishing you’d love to do, your constitution journey may look barely totally different. Depart from Cozumel’s shorelines for a deep sea or reef journey, and also you’ll seemingly be stepping aboard a state-of-the-art, high-powered fishing machine. Seeking to cruise the flats for Bonefish and extra? Your captain will seemingly pole you throughout the waters in a skiff or flats boat.

With a Spear!

Above, we talked about {that a} in style strategy to catch Grouper in Cozumel is by spearfishing. Should you’re on the lookout for one thing a bit of totally different, that is the proper strategy to expertise Cozumel’s waters. Come face-to-gills with some unbelievable fish and the Mesoamerican Reef, all on the similar time? We’re in!

You’ll discover most spearfishing outfitters positioned wherever there are constitution boats. In reality, some captains even run spearfishing journeys alongside their standard fishing journeys, offering all the required gear. Though anybody can technically spearfish, it’s essential to notice that you’ll be “free diving.” It’s important to be in comparatively good condition and a assured swimmer.

Should you tick these packing containers, although, there’s nothing fairly like “searching underwater,” as Cozumel locals prefer to name it. Captains are used to introducing novices to this sport, too, so why not add it on to your angling bucket record?

Can I’m going fishing on foot in Cozumel?

Though it would seem to be Cozumel’s quieter seashores and shallow lagoons are constructed for on-foot fishing, most locals advocate avoiding this feature. The lagoons within the northern finish of the island could also be shallow, however wading your manner via the marshy mangroves to one of the best Bonefish spots might be exceptionally difficult, and even harmful.

Equally, though it’s attainable to forged a line from the seaside shores, it’s a must to ensure you’re no less than 250 meters away from swimmers. You additionally gained’t be capable to attain any supersized fish this fashion. Generally, a ship will get you to the most well liked spots extra shortly. It is going to additionally enable much more “wiggle room” if the fish aren’t biting in a selected location.

Should you nonetheless wish to get your fill of on-foot fishing, you’ll discover many captains within the space who mix boat journeys with wade fishing. They’ll take you to fish-filled waters, and from there you may leap into the water and do your factor!

The place can I fish in Cozumel?

Due to its measurement, fishing in Cozumel is superb just about everywhere in the island. The one space to actually keep away from is across the Nationwide Marine Reserve Park, additionally recognized regionally as “the protected park zone.” Aside from this, the world (or island) is your oyster! Listed here are some locations to get you began:

  • Montecristo, Paso Balem and Rio de la Plata Lagoons: Ah, Cozumel’s well-known lagoons. These waters are surrounded by wild surroundings and mangrove forests, and are dwelling to Bonefish, Tarpon, Allow, and extra. If it’s flats fishing you’re after, there actually is not any higher place to forged a line.
  • San Miguel de Cozumel: The principle “metropolis” on the island, so it’s price paying a go to simply to get a style of native life! It’s additionally positioned proper alongside Cozumel’s northwest shoreline, so that you’ll discover loads of deep sea charters departing from this location.
  • Playa Caletitas: Hear rigorously to native spearfishing fans, and also you’ll in all probability hear this title crop up a couple of occasions. It’s Cozumel’s unofficial spearfishing hotspot, because of the plethora of corals and underwater buildings hidden near its shoreline.

Anything I must know?

The native guidelines and rules, in fact! As is the case all through Riviera Maya, you’ll want a legitimate fishing license to discover Cozumel’s waters. Fortunately, for those who’re fishing alongside a neighborhood constitution captain, they’ll often embody your license for you inside the price. The identical goes for spearfishing, too.

Should you’re fishing in Cozumel alone, you’ll must buy a license, which might be finished on-line. It’s a easy course of, and often prices round $8.40 for a one-day license.

Though catch and launch is changing into increasingly more in style right here, chances are high you’ll in all probability wish to preserve a few of your fish. That is attainable, however every angler is restricted to 10 fish per day. Nevertheless, not all fish had been created equal. Right here’s a fast breakdown of the foundations as they at present stand:

  • A person angler can bag not more than 5 specimens of a single species (e.g. Grouper, Snapper).
  • An angler can preserve just one pattern of Marlin, Sailfish, or Swordfish per day. Every fish counts as half of your every day bag restrict.
  • An angler can preserve two Mahi Mahi or Tarpon on a single day, amounting to half of their every day bag restrict.

Cozumel: Uncover the Serene Aspect of Riviera Maya

Should you’re able to swap tequila for tranquility (and loads of trolling, in fact), then the island of Cozumel is asking your title. One thing that makes this space of Mexico so magical is its various mixture of places that cater to individuals from all walks of life. We love that you could expertise Cancún’s unforgettable seaside events someday, earlier than hopping over to Cozumel and getting misplaced in nature.

This range is mirrored in Cozumel’s unbelievable fishing scene. Whether or not you’re trying to pole the lagoons for Bonefish, hook a bonanza of Billfish, or spear your very personal tasty meal alongside the reefs, there’s one thing for everybody. Selection is the spice of life, in spite of everything – come uncover it for your self!

Have you ever ever been fishing in Cozumel? What did you catch? Tell us within the feedback under!

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