Fishing in Nayarit

One of the smallest Mexican states with some of the biggest fishing opportunities, Nayarit is a treasure trove for recreational anglers.
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About Nayarit

Nayarit is located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and is one of the country's smallest states. In spite of that, Nayarit can boast of a long coastline on the Pacific Ocean, including the islands of Marías and Marietas and in the north of the state, the unique Marismas Nacionales–San Blas mangroves, a network of coastal Pacific lagoons and tidal mangrove forests. The state's freshwater fishing offers you a chance to literally rise above the sea level, particularly in the mountain lakes such as Lake Aquampila, located at an elevation of over 2,500 feet. Nayarit’s fishing is as diverse as it is abundant, offering everything from peaceful lake fishing to adrenaline-pumping offshore battles. The area is renowned for its big game fishing, but it's also cherished for its backwater challenges, making it an ideal destination for anglers of all interests and skill levels. As with all fishing destinations, it's important to adhere to local regulations and to practice catch and release when possible to maintain the health and sustainability of the fish populations. Boasting some of Mexico's most pristine and productive waters, including a collection of rivers and lakes inland, Nayarit makes for an outstanding fishing destination. The best time to visit Nayarit for a fishing enthusiast is from October to December, which is said to be the best time for pelagic species like sailfish, yellowfin tuna, and marlin. With 322 days of sunshine a year, and an average temperature of 29ºC/85ºF, it's a perfect place to escape the autumn and winter gloom. The area is easily available through Puerto Vallarta International Airport, and the visitors can take advantage of the hotels and other tourist facilities on the "Riviera Nayarit".

Fishing Types

Nayarit offers ample opportunities for offshore fishing, with the deep blue waters that offer home to big game species as well as a challenging and rewarding experience for serious anglers. Casual and accessible fishing is available on the province's long stretches of beach. Inshore, the coastline gives fishing enthusiasts a chance to target a variety of fish, with the added beauty of Nayarit's scenic beaches and bays. The estuaries and mangroves provide excellent light-tackle and fly fishing opportunities.

Targeted Fish Species

Nayarit's major draw for anglers who are looking for the thrill of big game fishing are, of course, the apex predators: striped, blue, and black marlin and sailfish. Yellowfin tuna and dorado (Mahi Mahi) also belong to popular offshore fishing targets. The pelagics in Nayarit are not only abundant, but also big, with world angling records for wahoo-fishing and swordfish having been set here. In the inshore waters, roosterfish and snook provide excitement with their aggressive strikes and energetic fights. You can also catch jack crevalle, bonito, red snapper, needlefish, among other species. As far as freshwater fish species are concerned, inland lakes and rivers of Nayarit offer bass fishing for those interested in a different kind of challenge.

Fishing Techniques

Trolling is a favored method for capturing marlin and other pelagics offshore. Bottom fishing is ideal for targeting groupers and snappers along the inshore reefs and structures. Fly fishing is growing in popularity, particularly for catching inshore species in the flats and estuaries, and light tackle spinning is the technique of choice to target bass in the inland rivers and lakes, as well as nearshore anglers looking to enjoy the thrill of catching a variety of species from the shore.