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The island of Cozumel has for many years been a fisherman's paradise. The extensive reef system has been supporting a huge population of fish life for centuries. The abundance of fish has long provided the island with a steady supply of fresh fish. Sports fishermen discovered the excitement of fishing in Cozumel's waters years ago, long before diving became so popular.

Today deep sea and bonefishing are major attractions. You'll find a number of charter companies with boats in various sizes with rates from $100 for a few hours on a small boat to $1400 for a full day on a deluxe boat.

The waters off Cozumel abound with white and blue marlin, dolphin fish, sailfish and wahoo. Throughout the year, you can deep-sea fish for tuna, kingfish and barracuda, and you'll find the lagoons good places for bonefish, tarpon and snook. If you decide to fish, be aware that it is illegal to kill certain species; if you catch such a specimen, you must throw it back in the water.

Species that you can catch all year include: Wahoo, Mackerel, Barracuda, Amberjack, Bonito, Snapper, Shark

Best months for fishing are March-April-May-June: Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado, Tuna.

Tour operators include:

Club Nautico de Cozumel:
The fishing headquarters of Cozumel is located at the marina in Puerto de Abrigo north of town, toward the airport. Six fully equipped boats are available for US$400 for a half-day excursion and US$500 for a full day; the price includes lunch and drinks. Annual competitions include the Billfish Release Tournament and the Marlin Tournament, both in early May.

Mon-Sat 8am-1pm, 5:30-8pm
Credit cards accepted: American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Puerto de Abrigo.
Tel. from US: 011-52-987-872-1024 or 1113;
in Cozumel, 872-1024 or 872-1113
Fax. 011-52-987-872-1135

Cozumel Flats
Avid fly-fishers flock to this spot offering bait, tackle and guides to Cozumel's most bounteous lagoons. In the pristine aquamarine water, it is possible to see fish swimming underfoot before even casting the reel. Snook, tarpon and bonefish are the most sought-after species here, and bonefish have a reputation for being especially large.

Mon-Sat 8am-1pm, 6-9pm
Avenida 10 Sur, near Calle 1
From US, 011-52-987-872-4349 or 3181;
from Cozumel, 872-4349 or 872-3181

Fiesta Cozumel Holidays
This tour operator with branches at 15 major hotels offers full-day and half-day deep-sea fishing trips for 2-40 people. Trips cost approx. US $82 per person for a 9 am-5 pm full day, and US $78 per person for a 9 am-1 pm half-day, including bait and tackle. Anglers must also purchase a fishing license that costs US $9. Trips are offered daily.

Open daily 8 am-1 pm, 4-7 pm
Credit cards accepted: American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Calle 11 near Avenida 30

From US 011-52-987-872-0725, in Cozumel, 872-0725
Fax, 011-52-872-21044

Albatross Charters
This operation uses Fin-Nor, Penn International and custom reels and rods. If you prefer, you can bring your own gear to fish. All trips include purified water, soft drinks, Mexican beers, snacks or fruit and light food. Sport fishing in the Cozumel area is primarily done with trolling using outriggers and down riggers with a minimum of 5 lines in the water. Depending on the season you can expect to catch sail fish, blue and white marlin (these are catch and release only), wahoo, grouper, snapper, dorado (dolphin, mahi-mahi) and barracuda just to name a few. During the high season (March through July) you can expect to catch Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sail fish, Dolphin and Tuna. Year round, expect to catch Wahoo, Grouper, Barracuda, Mackerel, Amberjack and Snapper.

For charter sport fishing, boat limit is maximum six persons.
Full day: $575-$650, for up to 8 hours fishing time.
3/4 day: $500-$575, for up to 6 hours fishing time.
1/2 day, $420-$475 for up to 4 hours fishing time.
A $100 deposit is required to confirm any reservation. *
Rates include the 10% IVA tax, but not the new 5% luxury tax. Credit cards accepted.

Toll Free: 888-333-4643
In Cozumel: 872-7904