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Suck my Mexican shrimp!

Posted on 6 October 2011 by Vincent

“Look there, 60 feet, 11 o’clock! Nervous water! Wait… Wait… Cast now!! Wait… Wait… Strip, strip!! Set the hook!!! *BANG* Fish on!” These are the words you will be dreaming about after a full day of fishing in Mexico.

Back again

We went fishing in Mexico, for a new chance at some nice bonefish, permit and tarpon. We’ve been there before, but somehow we want to go back every year. In Playa del Carmen you can combine some world class flats flyfishing on the Cozumel island during daytime, with some world class nightlife on the mainland at night. Good ingredients for a perfect holiday.

Playa del Carmen beach

Flyfishing in Cozumel

Cozumel is fairly underrated when it comes to flyfishing. There are lots of great flats and lagoons, where you can fish from a boat, or wade your way to some good bonefish, permit or tarpon. Mexico is known for it’s large schools of bonefish, but also for the fairly small size of bones. Well, whoever said that hasen’t been to Cozumel. The bones in Cozumel are good sized bones, and you can expect to catch bonefish up to 12 pounds.

Good bonefish

You can also expect to see good numbers of permit, in excess of 30 pounds. But as many of you probably know, permit isn’t the easiest fish to catch. Permit is around all year, but the best chance to catch one is in april and may. Your casting and presentation has to be absolutely perfect to be able to catch one of these beauties. We haven’t had the luck to catch one of these illusive permit. But we know they are around, because we have seen (and spooked) lots of them! But there will be time enough for a rematch next year!

In search of the mighty permit

Another species that you can expect to catch in the whole Yucatan area is baby-tarpon. Cozumel is no exception. Theres a lot of baby-tarpon around. We’ve had several baby-tarpon attack our flies, but we were only able to land one fish into the boat. According to our guide we have to try some heavy-duty circle hooks next time. With normal hooks your landing rate is 1 out of 10 eats, and with circle hooks you can increase this rate to 5 out of 10. And another piece of advice: Don’t EVER use light ASP hooks on tarpon! You can see the result here:

The result of a light-duty hook

Some more pics

Nacho jr & Vincent
Tarpon release


The gear we used for the tarpon fishing was fairly light. We used 8-weight rods and normal saltwater floating lines. But a 9 or 10 weight rod is no overkill. Be sure to use a shock tippet of at least 60 or 80 pounds. Tarpon don’t have teeth, but they sure can destroy your 30 pound tippet in a second. For permit it’s the same. There are some serious permit around on Cozumel, so again a 9 or a 10-weight might be a good choice. A tippet of 20 or 30 pounds should be enough. For bonefish a 7 or 8 weight is perfect. 10 Or 12 pounds tippet is fine. For the flats and lagoon fishing on Cozumel you will only need floating lines. Lines with a tropical saltwater coating are better for casting, but they are not really necessary. If you don’t visit the tropics a lot, you can use your “normal” WF lines.


The fishing

During our trip we caught a lot of bonefish, some garfish, a few small barracuda’s, some small jacks and one tarpon. As said before we didn’t catch permit this time, but we will be back next year! We can look back at a couple of good days of fishing on Cozumel, we were all very satisfied with the results. Big thanks to Nacho Euan and his sons Alberto and Nacho jr for their outstanding guide services! If you ever visit Cozumel, you should visit them:

The gang

More pics

Boy and bonefish
Boy looking for tarpon
Sea turtle breeding area
Alberto releasing bonefish
Ricardo with bonefish
Double hookup
Small bonefish
Vincent releasing bonefish
Drill Ricardo
Drill Vincent
Drill Boy
Bonefish Vincent
Bonefish Vincent front
Ricardo bonefish
Garfish Boy
Vincent Beach
Bonefish Vincent
On the road

3 Responses to Suck my Mexican shrimp!

  1. on 23 April 2012 at 14:14 Snakedoctor said:

    Based on your write up I too went to Cozumel. It was different to Cuba but still enjoyable. Keep up the good work

    • on 23 April 2012 at 14:17 Vincent said:

      Good to hear that! Caught anything special? Did you go fishing with Nacho?

  2. on 23 September 2012 at 15:15 Snakedoctor said:

    No I went with Alberto (his son) but to the same location. The bones are smaller to cuban bones but plentiful. Saw only 1 tarpon and that was it. Next time perhaps.

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