Fly And Salt Flat Fishing In The Yucatan

Upon arriving on the Boca Paila Fishing Lodge without delay at 7:30 am, we noticed the place was by now jumping.  Visitors had been  polishing off breakfast and the guides were getting the last of their gear within the boats while being expertly directed by  Chico, the general manager and the main host of the property, this was not any typical tulum hotel.  Undoubtedly this was not the first time these guys had done  this, in actual fact Boca Paila has been present since the late 1960s.  To say these guys are pioneers of fishing in this area is  a real understatement, they have been the only game in town long ago and it had been a two hour drive from Tulum, not 20 to 30 minutes as  it is now.

We arrived for the fishing and they were equipped on behalf of us.  Subsequent to brief introductions with Chico, he informed us that our boat and  guide Alfonso were by now waiting at the pier in favor of us.  A quick review of our tackle and off we went.  Chico made sure we  also had a few of the very best flies and jigs on behalf of the area and season before we departed and handed those to our guide Alfonso  after he personally escorted us to the boat.

Once on the water, Alfonso didnt squander much time and we took off across the glass lagoon in search of our first fish of the  day.  There was a brief stop at a slice within the lagoon, where it meets the ocean, and Alfonso said we needed to stop on behalf of  something there.  Without giving away all of the secrets and techniques of the region, the stop proved to be rather beneficial during the day.

Subsequent to the “stop” where the lagoon meets sea, we made our approach to the opening of many of what I imagine are Alfonsos favorite  spots within this magical lagoon.  There awaited at the very least 30 miles of nearly untouched and protected wetlands and  interrelated unaffected waterways.

Alfonso killed the engine as we arrived at the opening spot and he started poling us over the black rooted mangrove shores as  he surveyed the water with his proficient vision.  Inside 10 minutes he saw the bone fish and we were directed to “11 ‘o  clock about 30 feet out,” and then a swift request to “strip it, strip it, strip it!” We followed our guides command and  bingo, my Dad had our primary fish on. Inside two minutes, an additional good sized bone fish was caught and released by me.  This  was going to be excitement!

Further along the shore, Alfonso continued to survey the waters from his 3 foot platform for the next catch.  This time it  was Permit and I had one on the line.  If you have never caught a Permit fish on a fly rod or even light tackle, its hard  to explain just how much entertainment it really is.  It had been run of the mill size on behalf of the region, about 10 pounds nevertheless it fought for 15 minutes  before relenting and subsequent to a quick photo {it was} released.  What a blast and what a beautiful fish!

a number more Bone Fish and a mixed bag of Jack, Mud Snapper and Porgy and off we went into the next spot.  I thought to myself,  if many of the spots are like that, one of my arms may not make it the day.  We had some issues with the line on my rod and had  to return {to the} lodge more line which procured Alfonso no occasion to get back up and running. 

After about an hour of poling along in the brackish waters near our first prize pool we had caught a variety more of the  undesired Snappers, Jack and Porgy so we decided to maneuver down again.  I should point out that there is seldom a uninteresting instant  on the lagoon.  Even when you arent catching fish, theres quite a lot to catch sight of.  Throughout the day we probably saw 12 rays of  various species and witnessed a number of cases of Mullet boiling, bursting and leaping from the water to escape from the  striking Barracuda with countless birds of countless species and colors.  We also saw a nesting couple of Sea Eagles  (Osprey).

We crossed the lagoon at great speed the afternoon fishing before gliding in, engine off and back into the poling for  Alfredo.  I should mention that Boca Paila Fishing Lodge has an extremely gifted fisherman and guide in Alfons.  I didnt  see a tenth of what he spotted for us, however he was sitting up 3 feet higher than us, but he was amazing.

Just before lunch I got into my second Permit and this one was closer to 15 pounds and he planned to run.  The Permit are  rather common within the Tulum, Boca Paila area of the lagoon so I shouldnt have been too startled to catch sight of Alfonso making lunch  while I fought this fish.  What did amaze me was that when I said “I think he’s coming in, get the net”, Alfonso didnt  stir.  The fish gave me my answer when he took off on another long run and I caught a dry smile from Alfonso and went back  to my fish.  another 10 minutes and I did finally land that one, and yes, Alfonso had the net ready this occasion.

Following lunch, which was fantastic by the way, a ham sandwich, chips and a beer. Following being {in the} sun for 4-5 hours, it had been one  of the very best lunches I have had in a while and Alfonso showed us the Mexican way of adding various hot sauce into the  sandwiches{it was} good.  We moved nearer to shore and again began to stalk the next catch, it was hot and the fishing  appeared to slow somewhat within the afternoon heat, but Alfonso was relentless and when he caught me sitting on the bow he demanded  that I stand up. “You can’t catch fish sitting downstand up ready!  I was up and about straight away and was somewhat  embarrassed but that ended quickly after I hooked into another Permit, this one was a little smaller, probably 8 pounds but  the struggle lasted 10 minutes and the thrill was without doubt not gone.

We stalked a few more small groups of Bone Fish and Permit pairs, landing a few more run of the mill sized Bone Fish before  moving on once again.  This occasion, as we came across the new spot, Alfonso informed us that this was a large channel and one  of the deeper parts of the lagoon.  Still only 12 to fifteen feet deep but we changed up the tackle and went to a large jig with  a heavy leader.  I am guessing about 20 to 25 pound test.

This is where things got very interesting.  We must have hit that channel as a school of baitfish were passing through or  had just passed since it was a feeding frenzy!   The opening casts for both my father and I produced two large Snook within the  20 pound sort, pretty respectable fights for both, but pound for pound I believe the Permit is tough to beat.   Anyway, as things  got crazy, and cast after cast fashioned larger and larger Snook, I started pondering the mysterious “Super Slam”; Bone  Fish, Permit, Snook and Tarpon.  I would have been ecstatic to possess such a great day and fall short but then as if on queue  another big strike and out of the water it arrived, the Tarpon ran past the boat at full speed then made a run back by means of  another spectacular jump.  While it was comparatively undersized for Tarpon at about 10 pounds, it was the icing on a perfect day  of fishing.

We stayed at the channel 20 minutes roughly and I was so tired and wholly pleased that I handed my rod to  Alfonso and watched him catch a variety more Snook while my Dad did likewise and brought in a few more Bone Fish respectable  measure.

All in all, I have got to say that this was the very best day of fishing EVER.  Between the company, the Boca Paila Fishing Lodge, one of the most unique tulum hotels I’ve ever stayed at,  services and the brilliant variety of fish we caught, this one will be tough to beat.  I would like to again personally thank  the staff at Boca Paila for this wonderful experience we are going to both never forget!

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