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Costs slightly up on boat permits, licenses: BEWARE! Make sure you have licenses BEFORE you come to Cabo, just to be sure!

Fishing in the Tuna Jackpot? You absolutely need a valid Mexican sportfishing license and a boat permit if bringing your own vessel, and it's a lot smarter to have all the right licenses BEFORE you get to Cabo.

"There's no guarantee licenses will available at the marina, or if they are available, when the officials will arrive at sign-up day," said WON Editor Pat McDonell. "Every year a lot of people stand around worried they won't get a license, and it's not way to start a fun week. Who needs the grief when you should be sipping a margarita or rigging up the boat for the next day's action on the water."

Keep this also in mind: if you have a dinghy or a kayak, it needs a permit.

Licenses and permits can be obtained by mail ó or far more quickly and for an extra handling fee ó by licensed agents at travel agencies and/or tackle shops. A weekly licenses is $22.90, an one month license $32.80 and for one year, a license is $42.70.

A list of current sales agents near you can be learned by calling the Mexican Fisheries office in San Diego at (619) 233-6956.

Fishing licenses are issued for periods of one day, one week, one month and one year, effective at 12:01 a.m. on the date of purchase.

If you receive your application from the Department of Fisheries office, upon completion, applications should be submitted to: Mexico Department of Fisheries, 2550 5th Ave., Suite 101, San Diego, CA 92103.

The office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer any questions. The phone number is (619) 233-6956. Fax (619) 233-0344. Applications sent to the below address must be accompanied by a cashier's check or money order for the exact amount due, made payable to "Oficina Recaudadora de Pesca;" personal checks are not accepted. For mail orders, be sure to include a †stamped self-addressed return envelope. All boats in Mexican waters must have a boat permit. Prices are: Under 23 feet, $32.55, 23 to 29 feet, 11 inches - $65.10, 30 feet or longer, $97.65.

One scenario is to have Club Vagabundos (800 474-2252; website www.vagabundos.com) or Baja Travel Club (800 727-2252, Web site www. discoverbaja.com) handle your paperwork by mail. They can also answer questions on visas and work permits.