We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Since winter has arrived in the Northeast, I thought a couple of pictures from my bonefishing trip in Mexico, back in September were in order. You know, to keep the fisherpersons interested and all that.
This was my first time fly fishing for bonefish. www.costadecocos.com The lodge is in Xcalak, Mexico which if it isn’t the end of the world, you can see it from there. It’s about 12 miles north of the Belize/Mexico border and about a 4.5 hour drive south of Cancun.
I fished an 8 weight with little shrimp patterns. I can tell you unequivocally, this is the hardest technical fishing I have ever done. You need to be able to cast 50 feet into the wind and put the fly in about a 3’ diameter circle when the guide points and says “aqui” “aqui”!
I fished about 5 hours each day (30 minute boat ride from lodge to the back bays) and caught 3 bonefish the first day and 2 the second day. The first day, I know I lost at least three that hooked up but couldn’t land and another 2 on the second day, same thing. There are a lot of bonefish. Lots, but I’d be kidding if I said they are easy to catch. However, you’ll get more chances than you will in the Keys and fishing down in Ol’ Mexico is nowhere near as expensive as Abaco and the Bahamas (where the fish are bigger but get lots more pressure).
The flats are amazing – two to three feet deep at high tide and you see small sharks, rays, barracuda and permit in 18 inches of water. Like most saltwater fishing, you try and catch the tides right as the fish will hold in different spots, depending on an ebb or flood tide and where the baitfish sit. Very, very cool fishing and of course, I now have to work on my Grand Slam of a Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit, all on a fly rod.
Great lodge and reasonably priced for bonefishing, Costa de Cocos is more of a small hotel, with restaurant that has a fleet of 22’pangas and Captains. All with 40 hp Yamahas (which seem to be the motor de regieur in Mexico. The Panga builder is also the Yamaha franchisee. Go figure). Food is good and the guy has a small brewery and still on site. There is not much else in Xcalak and the closest town of any size is Felipe del Carmen, about 2 hours or so north on the main road through the Yucatan (101). The drive down from Cancun is interesting, but there is really little after Tulum, until you reach the turn-off from the 101 to Xcalak, which is then another 1.5 hours down the road.
This is a very undeveloped part of Mexico and outside of Cancun and the large hotels, you won’t find a lot of English spoken. I’ve traveled quite a bit in Mexico to hunt and fish as well as on business, and the folks in the less-developed areas are friendly, accommodating and look to practice their English as much as I practice my Spanish. The Yucatan Peninsula is safe, the roads are good, the food is excellent (Mayan/Mexican/Spanish influences) and cold Coronas are about a buck and less if you buy a six-pack. I happen to think Modelo is the better beer and it is priced the same as Corona.
Like most good huntin’ and fishin’ places, when I’m on the plane home, I’m trying to figure out how to afford a trip back ASAP. That goes with Costa de Cocos.
After seeing this post last night, I fell asleep remembering my wonderful bonefishing trips to Andros and Exum in the Bahamas. Costa de Cocos sounds wonderful and similar to Peace and Plenty.
Wind can always be a factor at various times of the year but nothing is more fun than spotting a pod of bonefish tailing on the flats, casting ahead of them, stripping it (usually a clauser minnow) and watching the explosion that follows.
Hope you get your grand slam soon...I prefer to stick to 8 or 9 max weight rods and so am not that ambitious for larger fish.
Am on my way to the coast of Texas to see kids, then on to try my hand at redfishing next week. I'm told it's similar to bonefishing, but we'll see. The guide provides all the equipment. And of course, just getting out in nature is the best way to relax and regroup.