Just days ago I was bereft. My beloved tarpon trip died and untimely death. Too soon… too soon. So hard to lose that trip. The fishing gods seemed to have insisted on a pre-payment plan, paid in karma, over the previous Florida trips with rain, rain and more rain, and no adult tarpon landed. This was going to be the year for the payoff!
Alas… it was not to be.
So I was adrift… slightly buoyed by the fact I’ll be in Belize next week, but still a bit bummed at the dashing of Florida dreams.
But, not all is lost. The world of saltwater fly fishing, maybe even those same fishing gods, seem to give as well as take. And so it was that a new trip possibility emerged in my consciousness. I’ve managed to fish a few places, the Bahamas, Belize, Cuba and the Keys, but I have never fished the Caribbean side of Mexico. Many moons ago I used to have family (different from my current family) trips to Nuevo Vallarta and I fished from the beach there for Jacks and lookdowns and whatever else I could fool with a clouser, but I never made it over to the Yucatan with a fly rod. I really wanted to change that. If only I had some sort of guide to the fishing in the Yucatan. If only there was some sort of book that laid it all out.
Just a couple of mouse clicks later (thanks Amazon) and I was reading said guide and getting more and more convinced this is what I should do.
So… I’m going to the Yucatan. I’m going despite my almost non-existent Spanish (maybe babble.com can help there). I’m going despite not having anyone, for sure, to go with.
I’m flying in July 24 and out July 29. I’m going to be staying in Mahahual, a place I honestly had not heard of until a couple days ago. I’m going to be fishing at least one day with Nick Denbow, a guide working out of Mahahual and co-author of the above book.
If YOU want to come along, well, we could fish with Nick another day. I figure if we want to put a group together, we could do that, probably no more than 4 guys total though, some being guided, some DIY on alternating days.
I’m excited about the trip and about seeing new water in a new area.
My wife is a fluent Spanish speaker and this general area (although I hadn’t thought about going this far South before) is where I’ve been thinking we could target for future family vacations, so I’m interested in seeing what the region is like.
So, let me know if you’d like to come along. Could be fun. I’m perfectly fine to do this trip solo… that way I get all the delicious water to myself, but, ya know, always good to share the experience (and cost).
I don’t like permit and I have a feeling it’s a mutual thing.
Permit. Not a world record, but a frigging permit!
I caught one in Belize in 2010. It was a small permit, but it was a permit. I almost hooked one in Cuba… but I didn’t. I’ve seen a handful, but I haven’t fished for them too much. I haven’t fished for them because I like fishing to a fish that wants to eat and isn’t such a jerk.
I know people get the permit sickness and those who have it have generally already let the bonefish illness run its course… maybe tarpon too. If you have it, there is no cure. It is a chronic condition that will rob you of your free time and spending money.
Now, if that sounds awesome, you should check out a hosted trip that Hatch Magazine has going on. The trip is in February down in Ascension Bay in Mexico, which is, like Belize, a place you can actually catch those bastards.
There are still some openings and that should be a good time, maybe easing the permit sickness just a tad for a couple of months.
Well… this looks like a bit of awesome sauce. Love the slo-mo bonefish eat.
I have yet to fish the Caribbean side of Mexico and I’d very much like to do so. My wife happens to speak Spanish, something a Dr. in California finds need of for sure. I plan to exploit her knowledge.
Got the winter edition of the Drake and I was happy to see my friend Shane (and his wife) in there smacking some fish down in Mexico.
I got to fish with Shane down in Belize, as well as spending a fair amount of time with him on the Lower Sac, Upper Sac and McCloud. He’s one of the best anglers I’ve ever fished with and has been generous with his time and expertise.
Great article, written by Tom Bie, who was also on the trip. They are down in at Paradise Lodge on the southern Yucatan coast and it looks pretty nice.
Paradise Lodge, that is. I think this was a hosted trip that Shane did with his wife. Funny thing is watching his wife blow a tarpon shot and get a little angry… been there, done that and can totally relate to that feeling.
Saw this blog recently, Uprising. Brent Wilson, the author, shares a story about day where the weather doesn’t cooperate for poons and snook, but they still find some bones to save the day.
I’ve never actually fished the Caribbean side of Mexico. I’ve fished just south of Mexico. I’ve fished within a cast of Mexico, but not actually in Mexican waters on the East Coast. I’d like to, for sure.
They are probably out there somewhere.
Brent talks about seeing a bunch of tarpon in a cenote and I remember seeing one myself down there on a snorkel trip down a centote south of Cancun. Pretty cool sight.
I used to go down to Mexico a bit. Really, I’d be there once or twice a year in Vallarta with the fam. I’m divorced from the Vallarta experience now, but I still have a soft spot for Mexico and think often about heading down to the Caribbean side of things to find some bonefish and tarpon to throw a fly at.
Some up here North of the Border have an impression that Mexico is dangerous. “The drug violence!” they cry.
Well, Mexico can be dangerous, if you are are running drugs along the border. Don’t run drugs along the border. In fact, just don’t run drugs.
You avoid running drugs and Mexico all of a sudden is a much, much safer place.
Check out the Yucatan there. There really have not been that many drug related deaths in all of Yucatan and I have a feeling fly fishing anglers are not a target of the drug cartels. The violence is not indiscriminate. In fact, it is very, very discriminate. Drug gangs vs. drug gangs, not drug gangs vs. bonefisherman.
In short… you can go to Mexico without being worried about drug violence. Don’t get overconfident though, you still shouldn’t drink the water.