U.S. travelers and the Mexico tourism industry have anglers to thank for turning places like Baja Sur, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta into tourist magnets — fishing lodges were the original all-inclusive resorts. Even the lower reaches of the Mexican Caribbean coast, recently dubbed the Costa Maya and just beginning to draw significant numbers of tourists, have been known to fishermen for decades. More than 500 species of fish, from such dinner candidates as red snapper to the big prize, black marlin, populate Mexican fishing grounds. Mexican law allows unlimited catch-and-release fishing, "as long as the fish that exceed the bag limit be returned to their environment in good survival condition." Some estimates claim as many as 50,000 marlin and sailfish, the most prized species, are pulled out of these waters each year; even the most conservative estimate, around 15,000, puts you in an excellent position to bolster your fishing reputation. The rest of the year, striped marlin and various other species are worthy stand-ins for the stars, while wahoo, dorado and yellowtail, snapper, corvina and roosterfish abound. Mazatlán, Sinaloa Even with newer beach resort areas capturing the spotlight in recent decades, sports fishers join Mexican travelers to keep Mazatlán at the top of the country's coastal destinations. Large schools of yellowfin tuna and dorado (a.k.a. mahi-mahi) await 5 to 10 miles offshore year round, while roosterfish, grouper, mackerel, wahoo, bonito and barracuda prepare for battle closer to shore. Cancún, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya Approximately 500 fish species, including more than a dozen game fish, live in the waters around Mexico's most popular resort area, practically guaranteeing a successful fishing trip.