Location: Cancun, Mexico

Sailfish Baitball Diving Expedition

Free dive on baitballs surrounded by the most elegant hunters in the sea!


Photo © Andy Murch

World Class Sailfish Encounters

In the winter months, baitfish mass in their hundreds of thousands on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Relying on the concept of ‘safety in numbers’ the baitfish form huge bait balls that are slowly wittled down by huge aggregations of sailfish and other large pelagics.

We will be staying in an oceanfront hotel in northern Cancun because it is close to the ‘feeding grounds’ and surrounded by warm water that make chasing sailfish that much more enjoyable and your images that much more spectacular!

Staying on the mainland (as opposed to Isla Mujeres) also gives us access to bull shark diving, cenotes and other options if we have any ‘weather days’ which are not uncommon at this time of year.

Other Pelagics

Because Isla Mujeres is a pit stop for many other large pelagic species it is sometimes possible to jump in with manta rays, sharks and schooling golden rays. This is a destination that really delivers.

Leave Your Dive Gear at Home

The ocean may be deep but the sailfish corral the baitfish to the surface which acts like a wall that the helpless fish cannot breakthrough. Once the baitfish form a defensive baitball, swarms of gulls swoop down and dive like missiles into water to snatch fish. That is the visual signal that we look for to find the action. Slipping quickly but quietly below the waves is the best way to approach the sailfish and to keep up with them as the baitfish frantically dash from one spot to the next. Using scuba creates so much drag that it is tough to keep up with the sailfish and the noise of the bubbles makes it difficult to approach them. This is why we dive with nothing more than a wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins.


Freediving with sailfish feeding on baitballs



$TBA per person single or double occupancy


Sailfish Diving
Sailfish Baitball Diving


Lagoon front hotel (for easy boat access) in Cancun.

Snorkeling experience only


  • 4 days of chasing baitballs and free diving with sailfish and other pelagics and 5 nights hotel accommodation
  • Light breakfast
  • Lunch onboard
  • Transfers to/from Cancun International Airport
Sailfish Diving

Photo © Andy Murch

Photo © Andy Murch

Photo © Andy Murch

Photo © Andy Murch


Sailfish are ellusive animals that are easily spooked by large groups of divers. You need a fast boat and an experienced crew to find the baitballs and drop you into the middle of the action. The boat usually holds 12 divers but we are limiting the expedition size to seven guests only so that there are only four divers in the water at any given time. If you want to spend long days out in the blue chasing sailfish and then zip directly back to your beachfront hotel, then join me for the sailfish encounter of a lifetime!

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    Big Fish Expeditions

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    Big Fish Expeditions Founder Andy Murch has spent the last two decades chasing big animals all over the world. Few people have Andy’s knowledge and organizational skills necessary to put together a professional expedition. Have a look through some of the comments from our guests: testimonials.

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