April 13, 2024

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Puerto Morelos: The Complete Guide to Fishing

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Picture an idyllic town with direct access to mangrove swamp flats, a gorgeous coral reef system, and deep waters teeming with fish just a few miles from shore. This is what fishing in Puerto Morelos is like. Get ready for a world of diverse angling opportunities and natural beauty at the northern point of the famous Riviera Maya.

If you’re ready for some serious action here, without the crowds of nearby Cancún, Puerto Morelos is an excellent option. It literally has everything a saltwater enthusiast could wish for, from reefs to deep seas. And, the fishing here is hot pretty much all year round!

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the local fishing scene. You’ll learn about the top species, spots, techniques, and much more. So without further ado…

What can I catch while fishing in Puerto Morelos?

In short, you can catch whatever your heart desires when fishing in Puerto Morelos. It’s as simple as that. The list of your potential targets depends on where you go. But there’s always something biting – be it in the deep waters around Cozumel, in the Great Mesoamerican Reef just a short ride from the beach, or in the area’s mangrove swamp flats.  

Inshore

The shallow inshore waters are full of treasures, offering exciting action for both novice and experienced anglers. Here, you can find anything from Permit and Bonefish to Snook, Jack Crevalle, and Tarpon.

Bonefish and Permit

Photo taken by Cancun Light Tackle Fly Fish

This iconic pair are often called the “ghosts of the flats.” That’s how challenging it is to land them! Puerto Morelos Bonefish and Permit are both prized species that inhabit the mangrove swamp flats around the Great Mesoamerican Reef. They thrive in shallow grassy areas and around the edges of the reef, where they prey on crustaceans.

Pack your flies or sight fishing gear and head out whenever you please. The prime season for both species typically runs from March to November, and the bite is especially strongest during the months of April, May, and June.

Snook and Tarpon

A youthful angler in sunglasses and with a hood over his baseball cap holds a Tarpon up to the camera, with water and mangroves behind him on a sunny day
Photo taken by Cancun Light Tackle & Fly Fishing Tours

Two inshore titans, Snook and Tarpon, promise to put up an extreme fight when hooked. If you manage to hook them, that is! They’ll gladly test your angling skills any time of the year, especially in the summer months.

Pack some large streamers or bait fish patterns for Tarpon and smaller ones for Snook if you’re a fly fisherman. For other techniques, live bait and artificial lures can also produce good results. Find a knowledgeable guide to navigate you through the labyrinth of mangroves or the estuaries, where freshwater meets saltwater.

Reef

Everyone knows that the reefs are the spots to be if you’re after Snappers, Groupers, Barracuda, Kingfish, and Wahoo. The Great Mesoamerican Reef is located pretty close to Puerto Morelos’s shoreline, so you won’t need a long boat ride to get there.

Snapper and Grouper

A middle-aged man in a blue shirt, baseball cap, and sunglasses holds a large Grouper up on a fishing boat, with the water behind him on a clear day
Photo taken by Dream Catcher Boat

The reefs’ ledges, caves, and rocky structures are perfect to look for Cubera Snapper that lurk in search of their next prey. These species are around throughout the year, peaking from June to September, when they gather to spawn. 

More bottom fishing prizes come in the form of Red and Black Grouper. These are the reefs’ heavyweights. Snapper spots usually double up as Grouper spots, and vice versa. However, their peak seasons differ. Grouper season happens from January to April, meaning that you’ll want to come then to have the best chance at multiple catches.

Offshore

The bluewater realm is full of potential trophies that don’t disappoint. The good news is, you only have to move a few miles out of the coast to catch some of them, especially Sailfish. The deeper you go, the higher the chances that you’ll come across Tuna and a Billfish Grand Slam.

Tuna

Two anglers in baseball caps and sunglasses hold a Tuna caught while offshore fishing in Puerto Morelos, while standing on a fishing charter with the water behind them on a clear day
Photo taken by Plan B Charters

Chasing Tuna in Puerto Morelos is always fun. You can hop on board a local charter and head to one of the honey holes to go chunking for Yellowfin or Bluefin Tuna or try your hand at trolling with live bait or artificial lures.

Venture to the offshore waters around Cozumel Island, which are known to be the best spot for Yellowfin fishing from May to September, while March–June is best for Blackfins.  

Billfish

A woman stands between two men aboard a fishing boat in Puerto Morelos, as they hold a large Sailfish towards the camera, with the water behind them on a sunny day
Photo taken by Perfect Game

The Puerto Morelos Billfish Grand Slam features White and Blue Marlin, Sailfish, and Swordfish. These superstars are among the most prized catches for trolling enthusiasts, especially around the deep waters of Cozumel Island – or, as we mentioned earlier, much closer if you’re after Sailfish.

Anglers target White and Blue Marlin from May to September, although June and August are the busiest months of the season. Sailfish bite best in the period from April to June, while Swordfish are more active during summer. Speaking of Swordfish, these species are among the most rewarding deep-dropping targets and star on any nighttime trip. 

How to Go Fishing in Puerto Morelos

With such an impressive fishing menu, there’s a wide range of techniques to suit every angler’s preferences. You can try your hand at everything from slow or fast-paced trolling to the finesse of fly fishing. Each method can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Below, we’ll talk about the four most popular fishing techniques in Puerto Morelos.

Trolling

Trolling in Puerto Morelos is a highly effective way to cover a lot of water while looking for top predators. Kingfish, Wahoo, Marlin, and Sailfish are all potential catches. In some cases, you’ll need heavy-duty trolling rods and reels, along with a strong line and good lures like diving plugs.

In essence, trolling involves pulling the lures or baited lines behind your moving boat at various speeds. You can have multiple lines in the water at the same time, depending on which species you’re after. The waters around the National Marine Park and deeper offshore grounds are particularly good spots for trolling in Puerto Morelos.

Bottom Fishing

A man helps a woman battle a fish over the side of a boat, with dark blue waters visible on the left of the image on a sunny day
Photo taken by Balihoo Boat

For those anglers who prefer to target the ocean’s depths, bottom fishing is the way to go. This is a pretty straightforward technique that focuses on Snappers, Groupers, and Amberjack. Or, basically, anything that dwells close to the seafloor. With a heavy-duty rod and reel setup, you’ll drop your bait or lure to the bottom, enticing the fish to bite.

If you’re fishing far away from the shore, you can also try deep dropping. This is essentially the same as bottom fishing, but at much bigger depths. Plus, you’ll be using electric rods and reels. These will help you land some of the biggest fish out there.

Jigging

A shirtless angler bends over the side of the boat, holding a fishing rod in his hands, as he battles a fish in Puerto Morelos near sunset
Photo taken by MarySue Sportfishing

A lot of Puerto Morelos anglers agree that jigging is among the most versatile and engaging techniques around. Jigging involves rapidly jerking a weighted lure or jig through the water column, imitating bait fish. Yes, it’s as simple as that.

This method can be pretty effective for a wide range of species, from inshore Snook and Tarpon to Amberjack and Kingfish. All you need to do is pack a medium to heavy-action rod, pair it with a suitable reel and braided line, and head to the inshore mangroves and flats or nearshore reefs and wrecks.

Fly Fishing

The art of fly fishing in Puerto Morelos is an experience nobody should miss. If you’re already a fly fishing enthusiast, that is. The tranquil inshore waters and mangroves provide an ideal setting for castling a fly for Snook, Tarpon, and Bonefish. Of course, you can always try offshore fly fishing, although make sure to check with your guide in advance if that’s an option.

Locals typically use a lightweight fly rod, reel, and specialized line, along with a selection of carefully crafted flies. The exact fly depends on which species you’re after. But rest assured you can always experiment!

When to Go Fishing in Puerto Morelos

So you know about the what and how, now it’s time to think about when to go fishing in Puerto Morelos. While we’ve already introduced some of the seasons, let’s take a more in-depth look. 

An aerial view of a fishing pier or small wooden boat dock in Puerto Morelos on a sunny day, with the turquoise waters of the sea visible in the foreground and the beach in the middle of the image

The winter months are also packed with action, depending on where you go. Amberjack and Snapper bite well, while January is a good month to kick off the new year with Barracuda and Grouper, too.

Mighty Sailfish make their way to the warm waters around Puerto Morelos around March, luring anglers to hop on board and head to the offshore grounds. As spring unfolds, these majestic fish are joined by Mahi Mahi before the much-anticipated Marlin season begins in May.

The summer months in Puerto Morelos bring good numbers of Wahoo to the area, with Kingfish in and Blackfin Tuna coming a little later. You can also target Bonito towards the end of summer, so there’s plenty to keep you entertained.

Tarpon and Snook steal the spotlight with the arrival of fall. Grouper and Barracuda become most anglers’ focus in October, when everyone hits the local reefs and wrecks. Finally, as the year winds down in November, Sailfish make a triumphant return.

Where to Go Fishing in Puerto Morelos

If we were to name every single spot to go fishing in Puerto Morelos, this guide would need a part two and, perhaps, a part three. Instead, here’s a list of our top picks to wet a line in the area:

  • Puerto Morelos Reef National Park. Located within the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, this marine park offers some of the best fishing opportunities imaginable. Here, you can try your hand at anything from bottom fishing to deep sea and fly fishing.
  • La Roca. This bottom fishing destination is located just a few miles south of Puerto Morelos. Anglers come here to explore the underwater rocks and target some Snappers, Groupers, and Barracuda.
  • Punta Brava. Punta Brava is located north of Puerto Morelos. Any deep sea fishing enthusiast should experience fishing here at least once, as the list of potential targets includes Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, and Marlin.
  • La Bocana. This is a stunning, mangrove-lined estuary located at the mouth of a small river. Here, you can play with your light tackle and fly fishing gear, targeting species such as Tarpon, Snook, and Bonefish.
  • Cenote Route. While the Cenotes are mostly known for their diving opportunities, some areas are actually pretty good fishing spots. If you’re after something a bit different (think Catfish and Tilapia), consider checking out one of these natural sinkholes.
  • Los Arcos. Head just a few miles from shore to experience world-class deep sea fishing opportunities in Los Arcos. Tuna, Sailfish, Marlin, and Wahoo are all in the cards.
  • Petempich Bay. This is a shallow bay based just north of Puerto Morelos. Local inshore anglers come here for some light tackle and fly fishing action for Bonefish, Permit, and Snook.
  • Wrecks. A series of artificial reefs, created from sunken ships just a few miles off the coast attracts a lot of fish species. Think Amberjack, Groupers, Snappers, and more. 
  • Playa del Secreto. Literally translated as “Secret Beach,” Playa del Secreto is a favorite spot among shore anglers. Surf fishing and fly fishing enthusiasts can enjoy some Snapper action, as well as Barracuda and Jacks.

Puerto Morelos Fishing Regulations

An infographic featuring the flag of Mexico, and text that says "Puerto Morelos Fishing Regulations: What You Need to Know" against a dark blue background

Before you start booking your next angling vacation, there are a few more things you need to know. We’re talking about rules and regulations. Make sure you have a valid Mexican fishing license if you’re heading out on your own. Many charter captains offer to buy them for their customers, but check in advance. In any case, it’s pretty easy to get them online.

Other than that, you’ll also want to make sure you’re sticking to the local bag and size limits. The daily limit in Mexico’s saltwater is 10 fish, but only five from the same family. Also, you can only keep one Marlin, Swordfish, Sailfish, or Shark, and this will count as half of your overall limit. Meanwhile, you can keep two Mahi Mahi and Tarpon, but these will count as 50% of your share. 

Fishing in Puerto Morelos: Casting Lines in Caribbean Bliss

A view from the water to a beach in Puerto Morelos, with a number of small, traditional fishing boats docked in the sand, and trees lining the beach on a sunny day

It should be pretty much evident that fishing in Puerto Morelos is every saltwater angler’s dream. Inshore, the mangroves and flats teem with Snook and Tarpon, while the offshore grounds are home to Sailfish and Marlin. However, it’s not just about catching fish. Puerto Morelos is blessed with a wonderful community, which welcomes visitors with open arms. It seems like everyone is eager to share their love for the spot, and it shows. Here, fishing is more than just a hobby – it’s a way of life. Come and experience it yourself!

Have you ever been fishing in Puerto Morelos? Did you try inshore or offshore fishing? Any tips and tricks you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Puerto Morelos Fishing: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Lisa
Title: Puerto Morelos Fishing: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/puerto-morelos-fishing/
Published Date: Sun, 21 May 2023 10:53:04 +0000

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