Mexico 2012 – part twoPosted on 3 November 2012 by Vincent
Time for our second – and last- part of pictures about our trip to Mexico. After fishing in Boca Paila we visited our friends in Cozumel: Nacho and his two sons Alberto and Nacho jr.
During our trip in Mexico we stayed in a resort in Playa del Carmen. The nightlife there is simply amazing. We dare to say it’s better than Cancun’s nightlife. Fly fishing in Playa del Carmen itself however isn’t great. Sure, there are some possibilities near the beach, but it’s not great flats fishing. That’s why we take the ferry to Cozumel. Cozumel has some world class flats fishing in the north lagoons, and when the wind doesn’t come from the north, fishing on the seaside can also be amazing.
The only problem is, you’ll need a boat and some local knowledge to reach these areas. There are no roads in this area, and it’s too far to paddle with an inflatable kayak. That’s where our friend Nacho and his sons come in (www.bonefishcozumel.com be sure to check them out whenever you visit Playa del Carmen or Cozumel!).
You’ll find all the species you’d expect on a flats fishing experience: Bonefish, Tarpon, Permit (sometimes lots of them!), Snook and lots of other species. Permit had our special attention this time, because they are so hard to catch. We’ve been to Cozumel several times before, but we never had the luck to hook one of these bitchy and picky ghosts. When searching for permit, you’ll encounter lot’s of other fish, so it’s perfectly possible to look for permit all day, and catch loads of bonefish, or even tarpon and snook.
Bonefish on Cozumel are plentiful. Most of them are small bonefish in the 1 or 2 pound range, just like the more well known Mexican destinations in the south. However, there are lagoons that contain large schools of bigger bones of about 4 to 6 pounds. You’ll even find some single fish that reach double digit numbers, up to 16 pounds. That’s a pretty decent size!
We couldn’t find any permit in the lagoons. After searching for several hours, Alberto suggested we’d check out the outside of the lagoons. The seaside area. The wind came from the right direction, therefore the sea was very quiet, and visibility was perfect.
Boy spotted a dark profile cruising on the reef. Triggerfish! Boy casted his fly towards the fish, and the triggerfish immediately took his fly. Incredibly how strong this fish was!
After 2 hours of looking for permit, we encountered a big school of sardines. Some fish where feeding on them. Boy took his rod and started fishing for the big predator. It was a very big barracuda! The barracuda didn’t show any interest in Boy’s streamer.
A few minutes later I spotted 3 feeding permit just behind the big school of sardines. Big ones! Alberto immediately poled the boat in the right direction, and I started to cast to the feeding permit. Damnit!!! My first cast was terrible! The sight of 3 actively feeding permit makes you very nervous, I can assure you! New cast… This one has to count! Perfect cast, the crab lands just 1 or 2 feet away from the permit. Immediately one of them noticed my fly and started to swim towards it very nervously. I very slowly retrieved the fly. I felt a small pull so I tried to set the hook with a short strip-strike. Damnit! I couldn’t set the hook. I let the fly sink to the bottom some more, and the permit started to follow it again. Another small pull, but again, I couldn’t set the hook… WFT… Again, I let the fly sink for a couple of seconds and the permit inhaled my crab. This time I could set the hook and the fight was on!
A strong fight followed. The permit was taking line like a mofo! Now I know why you need at least 200 yards of backing. A started to see some arbor on my reel (containing 250yds of backing…). Luckily I could stop the permit’s run before it could clean out my backing. After 20 minutes I could finally land my trophy! Alberto pushed the boat to the shore so we could take some good pictures of this fish.
Ricardo was lucky enough to catch a tarpon in one of the lagoons. He made some great video footage of it, but here’s a snapshot of his catch.
We have a lot of video material, so expect to see a video about our trip online in one or two weeks! Here are some more pics of the fishing in Cozumel.