Fishing for Suggestions

OK.  The wife and I have been going to Mexico every year for the past 6.  Our daughter was a direct result of one of those trips.  We’ve gone with the in-laws to Puerto Vallarta and I’ve loved pretty much every minute of it.

The next year, as my wife transitions to my ex-wife and with the in-laws none too keen to have me crashing at their place for a week in Mexico, it has become clear that I’ll need to pivot a bit on this whole vacation idea.  I’m not prepared to cede awesome vacations to my ex, but I also know I’ll be on much more of a budget, since I’ll be picking up the tab.

So… I need some suggestions.  I’m looking for a place that is easy enough to get to that my 4 year old won’t transform into a little puddle of child, maybe a place that my folks could get to easily, somewhere not too expensive, but not too over-crowded. With that list of requirements, I’d love to hear some suggestions.  Of course, it wouldn’t hurt AT ALL if there were bonefish in this mythical paradise as well. Extra points if the fishing can be self-guided and if there is something for a grandma to do.

Keys? Kauai? Exuma? Grand Bahama? Playa del Carmen? Cozumel?  Ambergris was great, but the little plane ride might not go well with the folks.

If it is a great secret, I’d love to get an email. Little cabin’s on the beach are totally in play, so long as the surf wouldn’t drown a little girl.

I’m looking forward to building some real authentic and beautiful memories in the years to come as I get the hang of this single-dad thing. Any places you know of that set the ideal backdrop would be really appreciated.


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  1. Try south padre in the fall. Reasonable. The usual beachy stuff to do cheap etc. Only problem is you are going to have to change to reds on the brain. Can easily fish there without a guide. Rent a sit on top tack. drive up about 5 miles from town and put the yak in on the bayside. Fish will be waiting tailing slow cruising etc..

  2. Bjorn: It isn’t such a secret, but I really enjoy going to the south shore of Oahu. I went to Honolulu on my way to Christmas Island (a necessary stop-over), and discovered that I actually liked the Island AND there are some really big bones there as well. We have only stayed in hotels at Waikiki; hotels there for all budgets. Friends rent houses or condos there too. There are now a few guide services and one or two have boats which allow access to more remote flats. I have fished with Ed who guides out of Nervous Waters Fly Shop. Give Sean at Nervous Waters a call for more info. They also have a great web site with info. Lots of things for non-fishers as well.

  3. Bjorn, been a single Dad since 2000 when my wife passed. We had scheduled a trip to the Keys before she passed, was going to cancel for obvious reasons but since it was a few months later I decided to take the kids anyway to get them away from the sympathy and grief overload. It was amazing therapy. We have gone several times over the past 10 years. They were small when we went the first time and never ran out of things to do. The great part is the Atlantic side is not very rough. We found very reasonable accommodations (always water front) on And if you do some homework you can find plenty of flats to fish on your own. Get the book “Fly-fishing the South Atlantic Coast” by Jimmy Jacobs. Matter of fact, send me your address and I’ll send you a copy, I have 2.


  4. Bjorn,
    First time I was in Honolulu many moons ago, I was strolling along Waikiki beach early one A.M. with my wife. Came across a couple of locals who were fishing with conventional tackle. When I asked them for what, they replied, “bonefish.” I laughed and said, “yeah, right.” With that, one of the guys got up off the cooler he was sitting on (their surf rods were in holders buried in the sand) opened it up and pointed for us to look. All I can say is that I almost soiled my swimming trunks. Inside was bone so huge that it hardly fit. Fish was easily 12 lbs. probably more like 15. Was that an eye opener for me! The locals eat them too. The beach wall & jetty in front of the Waikiki Aquarium has huge bones swimming around in schools. They pick off crabs that the waves wash off the jetty. Can’t fish there as it’s a state park, but a great place to show off really huge bonefish to your daughter and Grandma. Frank, who posted earlier is correct about Nervous Waters, great guys with mucho info + a fly tying selection that’s incredible. Never went to Hawaii after that without my 9 weight. There are always cheaper off season direct flights from SFO and some lower priced hotels. I would often do a package deal that couldn’t be beat. Food can be pricy along Waikiki, but if you get off the beaten path & eat in Chinatown it’s the best & dare I say it…CHEAP. Many flats that are DIY and you can catch all sorts of things on a fly rod. Something to consider.

  5. I like the Mother Lagoon but then I lived in Tx twice in my lifetime and have become “acclimated”. I have contacts there who are flyfishermen and have a club, flytying and so on. I hope to get back this coming year. Besides this, if needed you can get to Cancun, and if you get there, you have abundant choices. I very much like Isla Mujeres but you have the ascension bay complex just south and of course the south side of that is Belize(hope to get there this summer as well).

    Sorry to hear of your marital difficulties. Fishing was not good for my second marriage but I have two fine sons who are both flyfishermen from that “bliss”. – dai

  6. Hey! I know this blog post is fairly old but I thought I’d through a comment/question out there anyways. We’ll be headed to PV in April this year, so I’ve been researching this fishery and fly fishing in the area. It seems like a 10 wt rod is in order since I’ll likely be doing a mix of surf (80%) and panga (20%) fishing. If you had to pick one line type based on your experience what would it be? Floating, intermediate, etc.? Appreciate your help and any other tips/resources you might have for fishing the surf in PV.

  7. Boy, that is from a while ago. A 10 is a big rod for the fish I was catching, but I wasn’t on a panga at all, so maybe there are 10 wt. fish out there. I saw one Jack that would have been a 10 weight fish, otherwise… a 7-8 would be ideal. A 9, maybe, but less frequently.

    In terms of line… I liked a clear int. sink. A sly line, they used to call them. That would be my first choice, and a floating line second and way down the list a fast sink.

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