Cancun Sailfishing
Part 2

Cancun's sailfish may be small
but they're plentiful.

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Off the Mexican Caribbean coast, Cancun sails tend to run in the 30-50 pound range, so spinning and conventional tackle from 12-20 pounds is the most favored. Fish are so plentiful that a few anglers will test their luck by using very light spinning rigs (only 8 pound test) or cast to the fish with fly rods.

Dragging wrapped ballyhoo is the most popular method for raising fish, but it's considered unsportsmanlike to use live bait.

The reason: catch-and-release is the standard practice and many local captains believe live bait causes deep hook-ups that often kill fish. Further, some also argue that using live bait makes it more difficult to raise sails to a trolled bait.

White marlin are often mixed in with the sailfish, so you can never be exactly sure what will turn up. Wahoo, bonito, dolphin, blackfin tuna all hang out here.

Farther out in deeper water blue marlin can be found year-round but are generally ignored during the sailfish season.

A grand slam of a sail, a white and a blue marlin appears to have occurred only a few times, the first in August of 1985.

Charters operate both out of Cancun and Isla Mujeres, a small island situated eight miles offshore. Although a ferry runs hourly between Cancun and Isla Mujeres, charter captains based off the mainland at Isla Mujeres are accustomed to picking up anglers in Cancun.

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