March has fishermen poring over maps, swapping sea stories and planning trips with friends in search of the big fish. It is the start of the sport fishing season in the Mexican Caribbean.

Marlin and sailfish move through area waters following huge shoals of migrating sardines, anchovies and mackerel. Snapper, dorado, bonito and wahoo are also plentiful and even first-time fishermen are sure to catch a barracuda. Knowledgeable local fishermen will take you right to where the fish are running.

From Cancun charter boats set sail to the east of Isla Mujeres and Contoy to the deeper waters of the Yucatan Channel and to the Arrowsmith Bank. Others head north towards Cabo Catoche and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Puerto Morelos is another of the most popular spots in the Mexican Caribbean for sport fishing, just a short boat ride away from the rich fishing grounds along the deep ocean trench between the Riviera Maya coast and the island of Cozumel known as the Cozumel Channel.

Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Punta Allen also offer fishing charters. Other good fishing grounds in the area lie further south along the Costa Maya and are accessible from the fishing villages of Mahahual and Xcalak.

Bone fishing
The still, shallow lagoons along the Quintana Roo coast offer a different challenge – they are rich in bonefish such as tarpon, permit and snook and attract fly fishermen from all over the world. There are fishing lodges in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and Holbox and the Isla Blanca wetlands north of Cancun are also good spots.

Catch and release is the policy in the Mexican Caribbean
Local marinas adhere to the catch and release policy to help conserve fish stocks and we urge you to join their campaign. The thrill of being out on the waves on the lookout for marlin and sailfish, the fastest fish in the sea, should be enough and we hope that you will liberate any game fish you catch.

If you enjoy fishing and are planning a day out on the high seas or want to go bone fishing, Thomas More Travel offers fishing trips and boat charters.