May 31, 2023

Whether it’s snappy, sprinting sailfish from the Yucatán or a bevy of big, beautiful bass in Sinaloa, anglers of every stripe are spoiled for choice on Mexico’s shores.

It doesn’t hurt, of course, that the water is clear and clean, dotted with nature reserves and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and often a stone’s throw from a radiant beach.

With the help of some experts, we’ve found the best lodges and guide services so you can fish what’s right when it’s right.

“One of the best things about fishing in Mexico is the diversity,” said Jeremy Kehrein, veteran fly fisherman and travel sales manager at Orvis.

This world-class fly fishing shop only endorses guides or fishing lodges after thorough research and first-hand experience. An Orvis endorsement is a gold standard for fly fishermen, and Mexico’s three approved lodges make for the diversity of experiences Kehrein loves.

The latest addition to the Orvis fold is Casa Clorinda (four night, three day packages from $4,300 per angler) in Campeche Bay on the Yucatán Peninsula. While the architecture of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a major draw for many tourists, for fishermen it is the more than 100 kilometers of protected mangroves just north of the city.

Fishing trips from Casa Clorinda in the protected mangroves of Campeche Bay on the Yucatán Peninsula are the latest approved by Orvis.
Fishing trips from Casa Clorinda in the protected mangroves of Campeche Bay on the Yucatán Peninsula are the latest approved by Orvis.
Casa Clorinda

It was love at first sight when Enrico Puglisi, a New Yorker via Sicily, first landed 12 years ago and reached the undeveloped mangroves. He built his career as an innovative and highly sought-after hand-tied fly maker, but after that journey he decided to keep a foot in the fishing industry and renovated a 240-year-old home with modern amenities.

He recently opened the house to guests and fishermen flocked to fish for young tarpons that love the warm, shallow waters of the mangroves. With Enrique’s guidance, a day on the water can go from good to gangbusters.

Another state is Quintana Roo, best known for its perfect Caribbean beaches around Cancún and Tulum. Many anglers know to head to Isla Mujeres for billfish, but to really get a taste of the wild Mayan coastline, head to Xcalak (ish-cal-ack), near the Belize border. A flight to Chetumal and a two and a half hour drive brings you to a pristine stretch of beach with the second largest reef in the world.

Exterior of people fishing in Baja.
Keep flying with numerous Orvis-backed luxury fishing adventures available from Baja all the way to Xcalak.

In Xcalak, the Orvis-approved Xflats is the perfect place to post (four night, three day packages from $3,295 per angler).

Non-fishermen can relax on the pristine beaches in hammocks, soak up the sun or enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. Bonefish and permitfish are found there all year round.

The west coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula is very different from the Caribbean. The waves of the Pacific Ocean crash against the shoreline, but are a playground for windsurfers.

The further south you go down Baja, the warmer the water gets, which is perfect for fishing. Of ReelBaja (another Orvis-approved outfit; seven-night, six-day packages from $4,695 per angler), fly fishermen can explore the coastline in search of tuna, billfish, dorado, and the coveted roosterfish.

Fly fishing is about the love of the game; the movements are athletic, practiced and nuanced.

Sport fishing, on the other hand, is like chess, where a fisherman competes against a crafty opponent with only a spinning rod in hand.

Exterior of TV's Captain Jimmy Nelson holding a big fish with a woman in a bikini.
TV’s Captain Jimmy Nelson loves tearing lips. He knows all of Baja’s best season spots.
Thanks to Captain Jimmy Nelson

Captain Jimmy Nelson, star of “Living the Dream” on fishing television, has traveled the Baja sport fishing industry for decades and particularly enjoys the Gulf of California.

“The nutrient-rich waters bring in the big ones,” he said, which is nice for the summer months.

But his best tip is that during the winter the fish migrate to the warmer waters in the protected areas of Magdalena Bay (affectionately referred to as “Mag Bay”) on the Pacific coast, and, “It’s the best striped marlin fishery I’ve seen.” have had.” seen all over the world.”

Captain Jimmy recommends Baja Fishing Adventures (two-day, three-night packages from $1,106 per angler), which take boats along the coastline from Mag Bay to Cabo and the Eastern Cape.

For freshwater anglers, few places really compare to El Salto, an hour outside of Mazatlán.
Named “The Absolute Best Trophy Lake in the World” by Bassmaster Magazine, it boasts an average daily catch (and release) of 70 colossal largemouth bass per boat. But there’s a newcomer just a few minutes away: Lake Picachos.

“It’s the hottest bass lake in the world,” said Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Famer Billy Chapman Jr. “It’s our eighth year on the lake, and so far we’ve got incredible numbers and amazing size. One day a father and son with fly rods landed 324 fish! It’s wild.”

Chapman runs the world famous fishery fishermen’s inn on Salto and Picachos (four-night, three-and-a-half-day packages from $2,195 per angler), a must-visit for any bass enthusiast.