Important Fishing License Update September 2013: The online fishing license website run by the Baja California Secretary of Tourism/Best Baja Fishing is not working to issue licenses at this time. We are not sure when their site will be back up. You may need to get the license from another source below if you find it is not functioning.
If you will be fishing on a boat in Mexico, fishing licenses will be needed for passengers on board. As of January 2008, only fishing permits are required, boat permits are no longer required. (You may need vehicle import permits from Banjercito however if you are driving into mainland Mexico with your boat.)
Fishing licenses may be obtained in one of four ways:
- Filling out the online application from the Baja California Secretary of Tourism
- Visiting the CONAPESCA office in San Diego or by mailing in your application and money order
- Some local tackle shops
- State tourism offices in Baja: Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, San Felipe, San Quintín
About the Secretary of Tourism's Online Application - Best Baja Fishing
The online application from Baja's Secretary of Tourism allows you to purchase and print a fishing permit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The website is also has helpful fishing information including a fishing calendar, list of launching ramps, FAQs and a forum to post questions.
Steps - (We tested it out and it was easy!):
- Register by filling out the online application
- They will send a confirmation email to you
- Click on the link in the confirmation to activate your account
- Log in
- For a new permit, click the "Process Permit" button
- Select length of time for the permit: day, week, month or year
- Select what waters you will be fishing in
- Select dates for your permit
- Continue on to pay for the permit
- After paying, a receipt will pop up if you wish to print it
- Click "Continue" to be taken back to the first page of your account
- On the first page of your account you will see your permit listed; click "See Permit"
- Print out permit
Online fishing license pricing:
View online currency converter for current exchange rates
- One day: $110.00 pesos - at a 13.10 exchange rate (as of 7/26/12) = $8.40 dollars
- One week: $276.00 pesos - at a 13.10 exchange rate (as of 7/26/12) = $21.06 dollars
- One month: $415.00 pesos - at a 13.10 exchange rate (as of 7/26/12) = $31.68 dollars
- One year: $553.00 pesos - at a 13.10 exchange rate (as of 7/26/12) = $42.21 dollars
- Keep in mind your credit card may have a currency conversion fee since this is an international transaction
Accepted forms of payment: Visa, Mastercard. Prices subject to change.
The only CONAPESCA (Comisión Nacional de Acuacultura y Pesca) office in the U.S. is located in San Diego. They will issue licenses by mail if you do not live in the San Diego area. Print out an application or visit CONAPESCA's website. Mail the application in to them with your money order or cashiers' check, a self-addressed stamped envelope and they will send you your documents by mail. They recommend using certified mail for both envelopes.
CONAPESCA fishing license pricing:
- One day: $12.40
- One week: $25.80
- One month: $37.00
- One year: $48.20
- Excursion license: $67.00
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.Contact:
Oficina de Pesca
2550 Fifth Avenue Suite 15
San Diego, CA 92103
Hours: Monday - Friday 8am - 2pm
Fisherman's Landing - San Diego Tackle Shop
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 in a matter of minutes. They offer the added convenience of being open seven days a week and have customer friendly business hours. If you are an avid fisherman, you will be impressed with their selection of tackle and their friendly staff as well.
2838 Garrison Street
San Diego, CA 92106
Hours: Winter 7am - 6pm; Summer 7am - 11pm
Seven days a week
- One day: $20
- One week: $39
- One year: $64
Accepted forms of payment: cash, personal checks, major credit cards. Prices subject to change.
About Getting a Fishing Permit at a Baja State Tourism Office
Accepted forms of payment: cash
Addresses of the state tourism offices:
Via de la Juventud No. 8800-2523
Plaza Viva Tijuana
Phone: 011-52 (664) 973-0424
Blvd. Benito Juárez No. 907, Ste 29
Centro Comercial Oceana
Phone: 011-52 (661) 612-5222
Blvd. Lázaro Cárdenas and Calle Las Rocas 1477
Phone: 011-52 (646) 172-5444
Mar de Cortes Av. and Manzanillo 300
Phone: 011-52 (686) 577-1865
Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 178.3
Col. Santa Fe
Phone: 011-52 (616) 165-3645
Mexican Sportfishing Regulations from Oficina de Pesca San Diego
- When operating a boat that carries fishing equipment in Mexican waters, it is necessary to hold a valid fishing license 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.
- A 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 this group 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.