Anglers Required To Obtain Visa To Fish Mexican Waters

Recently an article from the Log caught our attention. It's related to anglers now required to acquire a visa to fish on Mexican waters. Below is a copy of the article. For more details, please visit TheLog.com.

Anglers Now Need a Visa to Fish Mexican Waters

By: Taylor Hill

A new immigration law in Mexico comes with a price for U.S. anglers to pay, as all U.S. citizens fishing in Mexican waters -- whether at sea or on land -- are now required to obtain a visa.

The law was enacted May 25, 2011 by Mexico’s immigration department (INAMI) “in order to create in our country a framework of guarantees to protect the rights of the individuals in our country, facilitate and manage the migratory flows to and from Mexico, favoring the protection and respect of human rights of Mexicans and foreigners, regardless of their origin, nationality, gender, ethnicity, age and immigration status,” INAMI stated in a release.

According to INAMI, Articles 33, 44, 46, 50, 153 and 154 of the new immigration law require that all foreigners entering Mexican territory -- which includes Mexican territorial waters and contiguous waters 24 miles from shore -- must have a visa.

The cost will be added on top of the $11 Mexican fishing license fee U.S. anglers already pay when heading into Mexican waters for fishing.

Enforcement began Jan. 1, and anglers have been given several options to obtain the visas -- which will cost from $33 for a three-day visa up to $250 for a FM3 work visa good for one year.

Option 1
: For anglers fishing aboard Sportfishing Association of California (SAC) member vessels, FMM visas can be obtained through a program sanctioned by INAMI that is being administered at five sportfishing landings in San Diego: Fisherman’s Landing, 2838 Garrison St.; H&M Sportfishing, 2803 Emerson St.; Point Loma Sportfishing, 1403 Scott St.; Seaforth Sportfishing, 1717 Quivira Road; and Dana Landing, 2580 Ingraham St.

SAC represents more than 200 commercial passenger fishing boats in Southern California from San Diego to Ventura and has been working with MX Tour Assist -- a Tijuana-based company created to administer the new visa program -- since the law’s implementation.

All anglers going out aboard San Diego’s sportfishing fleet vessels will be responsible for purchasing a visa on top of their regular charter fare, if that boat goes across the border.

Option 2:
Private boaters can go through the visa process at Dana Landing, which has purchased three-day visas from MX Tour Assist for distribution to private anglers. Dana Landing is the only location currently offering visas to private boaters.

John White of Dana Landing said the three-day visas cost $35.

Troy Williams, MX Tour Assist liaison to the United States, said that Fisherman’s Landing has also been involved in discussions about offering the visas, and it may sell private boater visas in the future.

Option 3
: Boaters can report to the Port of Ensenada point of entry and contact the INAMI office to obtain a visa there. The cost for a visa obtained at Ensenada is $21, since there are no handling fees.

Entry points along the U.S./Mexico border will only be able to issue “land” stamps to the FMM visa, which will not be accepted while fishing in Mexican waters.

“Sea” stamps are required on all visas administered by Mexico’s immigration office for fishing in Mexican waters, and they will be processed by MX Tour Assist. The turnaround time for a sea-stamped visa is expected to be about three days from the date of purchase. It will be issued to boaters upon arrival at the landings. A form of identification is required upon issuance of the visa, but a passport is not required.

An option for anglers who choose to go out on a last-minute fishing trip without getting a stamp is to start the visa process prior to leaving. They will be issued a stamp upon return.

“That was included for rare occurrences when someone decides to go fishing last-minute, and doesn’t have time to complete the process,” Williams said. “It’s not expected to be a part of the normal operation.”

Williams said MX Tour Assist will look into creating more ways for private boaters to gain access to visa applications, but wanted to give the San Diego sportfishing industry the first opportunity.

“If the landings want to issue them to the public, then we’ll let them do that -- but if they choose not to, then we’ll start doing it ourselves,” Williams said. He added that online or mail applications could be future options for MX Tour Assist.

The added cost of the visa will mean increased costs for charter boat trips and private boat trips into waters south of San Diego. Enforcement of Mexico’s new visa requirement began on the same day that the South Coast Marine Protected Areas closed 15 percent of California’s coastal waters to fishing.

The new rules laid out by INAMI include:

* All U.S. or international tourists traveling to Mexico must have a visa to enter, called an FMM permit. This permit must go through a different process, depending on whether visitors are entering by land or by sea.

* INAMI has authorized a third-party organization (MX Tour Assist) to initiate the water entry visa process at five San Diego landings for tourists with passage on any SAC member vessel.

* The cost of the visa will vary depending on the length of the trip and the value of the Mexican peso.

* INAMI will monitor the border and execute random inspections of all vessels crossing into Mexican territorial waters, including monitoring the private marine recreational sector.

* If a visiting boat is boarded by INAMI, they will ask for a national ID and a Mexican visa.

* The visa must be processed and paid for ahead of time.

* All FMM visas are to be returned within 24 hours upon return to the U.S.

* Vessels traveling through the territorial waters of Mexico, not engaging in activities, but seeking only “innocent passage” while en route to international waters, will not be required to have a visa.

* Crewmembers will be required to have an FM3, which can be obtained through the third-party company or in an INAMI office.

The price of a visa (FMM permit) is based on peso value and will be adjusted on the first of every month. Visas will be issued per trip, with three tiers: one- to three-day trips, four- to nine-day trips and trips from 10 to 30 days.

Prices for January per person: Three days or less: $28; Four to nine days: $33.06; 10-plus days: $38.06.

Prices for February per person: Three days or less: $33.06; Four to nine days: $38.06; 10-plus days: $43.06.

Crewmembers will have to have an FM3 work visa, which can be obtained through MX Tour Assist for $250.

According to Williams, the FM3 permit “trumps” the FMM permit, so anglers who already have an FM3 permit will not need to apply for an FMM permit.

For more information, contact MX Tour Assist representative Troy Williams at (619) 318-3118 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To view this article, please click here.

Let's Catch a Super Cow

So you wanna try your luck in catching a cow? The thought of possibly catching a cow or even a supercow can be very exciting and extensive but sometimes the prize is worth all the effort. Just recently our friends at the Royal Star had a remarkable day fishing on a 10 day trip. The big tuna were reported on the Lower Baja Banks.

Royal Star Trip

Courtesy of Royal Star

It's trips like the ones that are mentioned on the Royal Star's current conditions section that make it all worth while. On one of their trips it was reported that Herb Jenson from Alaska caught a 225# beast. Think about that? Can you imagine the epic battle that goes on when you are fighting with a 200-300# cow? The sweat, the sore arms, the adrenaline rush, the balancing act, and the sense of victory once that big cow is in the boat. It can be very refreshing and one of the most memorable vacation's ever!

So you're hooked and now getting ready for your trip. There's alot of planning and plenty of checklists to cross off to make sure you have all the necessary gear. Here's a few tips from the gang at the shop that you might find helpful:

Let's start with tackle:

Hooks

Plenty of the long range fishing boat website's have a terminal tackle list. We recommend you visit some of them to get a feel for the tackle of choice.

The staff here at the shop are fans of the:

  • Super Mutu (Steve's personal favorite for long-range)
    Size 4/0, 5/0, 6/0
  • Offshore (One of Sam's favorite for long-range)
    Size 5/0, 6/0, 7/0
  • Gorilla (Ed's favorite)
    Size 6/0
  • Mustad Sea Demon Hooks (Allan's personal favorite)
    One of the reasons why this is a favorite is because it has a small wire diameter. They are XXX strong, forged, and have a knife edge long point.
    Size 7/0, 8/0, 9/0, 10/0

Owner - Offshore Hooks
Owner - Super MUTU™ Circle Hooks
Ringed MUTU™ Hooks
MUTU™ Circle Hooks
Ball Bearing Swiveled Super MUTU™Hooks

Fluorocarbon

Our staff member, Allan, recommends the Seaguar Fluoro Premier. I asked him why he likes it so much and his simple statement, "because it works!"

Recommended fluorocarbon to carry in your bag 50#, 60#, 80#, 100#, and 130#.

Reels

Pull out the reels you are going to take on your trip and look over them. Get them serviced ahead of time so you can guarantee your gear is working flawlessly. Don't start checking your gear a few days before the trip, do this several weeks ahead to make sure your gear is worked on properly.

Some of the more popular reels for long range are the 30W, and 50's from AVET and Accurate. The Shimano Talica II TAC20II, TAC25II, TAC50II are also a trustworthy option.

The Okuma Makaira 20II and 30 Special Edition has been a big hit here at the shop. It doesn't hurt that this reel is backed up by a 5 year warranty. The folks at Okuma are pretty confidant about the design and durability of this reel.

 

Rods

Choosing the right rod can be tricky due to the many factors in fishing conditions. Generally the Calstar 7' Tuna 770 Series are a good choice. One factors you may want to consider before buying a rod is how much recoil does the rod have? This is important if you are going to be fishing the rail. You want to look for a rod that is going to have plenty of backbone and help you in not working so hard to get that cow in the boat.

We recommend coming down to the shop and having one of our staff member custom fit you with the right rig. If you already own a few rods, come down and we can help you in figuring out which one would be best for your trip.

Mono/Spectra

If your reels already have existing line, look over and inspect the line and the spectra. When should you replace your line? Much of it depends on how much exposure it has had to the saltwater elements and how well you maintained them. If you fish and never wash your reels after use, then more than likely the spectra will last about 2 years. If the spectra is maintained and thoroughly washed after use, it can last up to 10 years.

With mono it's a bit trickier. As soon as the mono has been exposed to the saltwater elements it starts to decay. Combine that with a minimum of maintenance and the salt starts drying on the spool causing oxidation. It is always recommended to wash down your reel after each use. If you are getting ready for a big trip and you've had mono on the line for some time, don't be cheap. Change your line. You don't want to spend all this money on your fishing trip and have gear that won't bring in the big cow.

Additional Tips

Practice Makes Perfect

Now remember with all this gear, you are going for BIGGER fish, therefore your gear is going to be BIGGER. You might regularly go out on local boats and be a great caster, but with the bigger gear you will need to adjust.

A tip from Sam at the shop is to get familiar with the tackle. Take out your gear in the backyard and practice casting and walking around with the bigger gear. Imagine yourself in the middle of the battle and start practicing. The more you are familiar with your gear, the better chance you will have in catching the super cow. It's amazing how much heavier super cow gear vs our everyday fishing gear can be. Don't be that guy, that's hurting right at the beginning of the battle.

Downtime on The Trip

Don't forget this is a vacation and it's all about having a great time, getting away from the rat race and getting refreshed to do it all over again.

Bring some of those comfortable items. Sam at the shop has a few essentials for the downtime:

  • iPod/iPad loaded with your favorite movies and tunes.
  • Small fold-able chair to enjoy on the sun deck.

Other items:

  • Favorite book.
  • Cards
  • Your favorite micro brew or something something to keep you warm at night.
    Might we recommend a nice bottle of 1942 Don Julio to sip with and enjoy the sunset? Live it up, live it up!

2011-2012 Lobster Season Oct 1 - March 21

Lobster Hooping Favorite's

Lobster Gauge
Promar Filet Gloves
6 LED Headlamp
Glow Sticks
Promar Wire Cage
PVC Foam Floats
Promar 36 Stainless Steel Hoop
Promar 32 Deluxe Hoop Net
Promar Hoop Kit
Promar 36 Eclipse Hoop Net
Saturday, October 1st

is the official day of recreational spiny lobster season. Mark your calendars and get your gear ready to catch this delicious treat locally.

There's nothing better than the taste of sweet lobster meat that has been grilled and then dipped in butter. Yumminess is the only way to describe this.

With all that being said, let's get down and dirty and talk about some of the important factors.

First off, the official dates are :

Saturday, October 1, 2011 through Wednesday, March 21, 2012. To get the nitty-gritty and learn more about spiny lobster identification, biology, habitat, geographic range, and fishing methods visit the Fish and Game site.

So now that we've cleared that, what are we going to need to start the season right? Here's a list of a few essentials:

1 An essential: License and report cards. See fish and game site for more details or visit us at the shop to get a license, we are a certified state license center. This is the only item that's considered mandatory everything else is just fluff.

2 Lobster nets: to catch the sweet goodness.

3 Bait: To lure the sweet goodness into the net.

4 Bait cages, to house the bait into the nets. Some people add the bait to the cages and when done with the fishing process, they freeze them to get them ready for the next trip. Bait cage and all.

5 Gauge: once caught a must is to measure and make sure what's been caught falls under the fish and game guidelines. Make it easier by investing in a gauge and verifying correctly.

6 Gloves: Puncture resistant gloves make life easier to get the sweet goodness into the bag, which takes us to the next essential...

7 The holding bag: Don't let the sweet goodness escape, keep them secure.

8 Floats and Reflective tape: You invest too much in the hopping nets to lose them. Floats, are required item for your nets, but most importantly..reflective tape to spots those nets late at night.

9 Lights: It's always easier with lights. Head lamps that are water resistant to survive the elements out there. Glow sticks to attach to those nets will ensure you can spot them and not lose the sweet goodness.

There some great sites out there that give helpful tips on improving your odds to catching the lobster that we have been looking forward to all summer long. Here's a list of some of our favorites:

promarnets.com | Great products to catch our spiny buddies. We sell their entire line of products. If there's something you don't see on our website, contact us directly to get more details.

sabaslayer.com | Tips for hooping at night.

getbent.com | Helpful Tricks and Tips for Hooping


A Visit to Rancho Leonero

FURTHER ADVENTURES IN BAJA - A VISIT TO RANCHO LEONERO

Approach to Rancho Leonero

A few years back, John Ireland, invited me to visit his resort, Rancho Leonero, down in Baja.  I never had a chance to take him up on his offer, but when Rancho Vista closed, we were up into trying a new resort.  We  made our reservations and were timing our visit with  the Dorado Shoot Out, which  takes  place every July at Palmas De Cortez, the flag ship resort of the Van Wormers.  We decided since we since we were going on a new boat, that we would fun fish the Dorado Shoot Out, and then fish another four days to fill up the cooler.  We flew out of LAX on Alaska, the trip was pleasant and uneventful.  We arrived at Los Cabos where we were greeted by Fernando, our shuttle driver and proceeded to the resort of course stopping off to get a cold cerveza.

When you get to the turn off, you now have to go another 8 km to the resort on a bumpy dirt road through the desert brush and cactus greeted by the occasional cow or goat.  After several minutes we arrived at our destination and were greeted by Julianna, who is the daughter of our regular tournament captain.  After throwing our gear into the rooms, we caught another cab over to Palmas to check in to the tournament and say hello to all of our old amigos.  We then stopped off at El Chipitos to get supplies and headed back to the hotel.  For our first night we had one of the upstairs newer deluxe rooms which was nice except the air conditioner was too small for the spacious  rooms.  We made arrangements to meet our boat early and were informed our boat had broken and we would have another boat for the tournament.  Okay, it is Mexico, we can deal with that, except the following morning we were left waiting on the dock as our boat was late getting us to the start of the  tournament on time.  We fished the shark buoys with no luck and continued on to several areas the Captain thought might produce a Dorado.  With no luck at all for the day, we headed back to the resort for dinner.

We skipped the awards dinner as we figured since we hadn’t won anything  and the $40 cab ride there and back between the resorts could be saved.  We also got moved down to one of the original rooms, which found to be more Baja and a lot cooler.  The next morning we met up with the boat we were supposed to get the first day and headed out looking for yellow fin tuna.  We went around 35 miles south of Los Frailes and found a huge pod of porpoise.  We trolled cedar plugs and were rewarded with a couple  of decent footballs in the 25 to 35 range before the pod spread and sank out.  We worked our way back inside and baited a marlin in which the knot  failed from the deckhand from the day before and proceeded to head in. 

Day 2 we went out only to be greeted with strong winds out of the south so we worked the area outside of Cabo Pulmo and ended up with 2 striped marlins and a dorado which we released.  Unfortunately, one of marlins could not be revived and was brought in.  Day 3we went out for roosterfish and had a awesome  morning catching a 25, 35, 45, and a 50 pounder.  We then went out and caught another striped  marlin to complete our day.  Our last day we went on a mission to catch some dorado for table fare and in the last hour caught our limits.   That night we enjoyed a nice platter of coconut mahi mahi and another picture perfect sunset.

As our shuttle driver took us back to the airport, he stopped at his house where his mother had made us a fresh bag of Mexican pastries to enjoy on our way back.  With all of the garbage on the news about Mexico, we still find the people gracious and kind and the land peaceful and scenic.

Reviewing the resort, we found it to be like most of the resorts we have visited before in the Cape region.  Most of the staff have been working there for more than 10 years.  The resort itself was clean and well kept.  Drinks at the bar were reasonable and most of the meals were delicious with rare exception.  Most all of the pangas are new and modern, but the cruisers although mechanically sound needed some TLC.  No matter what, it was good to be in Baja again and enjoy the things that make it the spectacular place on Earth that it is. Hasta luego, amigo ... until we return again.

Ed Tschernoscha / BAJA FISH GEAR

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