Author Topic: Mexico Fishing Trip March 2015  (Read 1178 times)


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Mexico Fishing Trip March 2015
« on: March 27, 2015, 02:44:02 AM »
Mexico Fishing Report March 7-14, 2015.

My family and I just got back from a trip to Mexico.  I was blessed with a few opportunities to go fishing with my son.  One thing that made this trip unique and interesting was fishing in three different saltwater scenarios in this order:

1)   Dock fishing in a marina
2)   Fishing from rock croppings
3)   Fishing from the beach (surf fishing)

I came prepared for the second of these scenarios because that is what I faced the last time I was in Mexico.  I learned that all I needed was:

Line: 8 pound test – Reason? I tried 20#, 12# in the past.  They are nearly impossible to break when you’re fishing about 40’ above the water and can expect to get snagged up in the rocks below.

Weight Type: ¼” Pencil lead – Reason? It allows me the flexibility to adjust the weight needed depending on the strength of the incoming waves. Pencil lead is also very cheap.

Rod Type: Spinning (for my son) and Casting (for me), both 2-piece.  Anywhere from 6’-7” in length; I would prefer using longer rods, but air travel and portability overrule that.

Bait: Shrimp bought from the local market – Reason? It’s what the locals use.  Artificial lures can work but don’t come close in productivity. In addition they are so easy to lose and that can get costly. In the past, I once lost 5 Buzz Bombs, 4 spoons, and 4 Rapalas in one day.  I was not happy.  Besides, when in Rome, do as the Romans.
Fortunately, the choice of gear should be fine for scenario one, which is what my son and I faced first.

Fishing Outing #1

Date: Sunday, March 8, 2015.
Conditions: Bright, Sunny, Hot

My son and I fished off the dock at a friend’s home.

My initial observations of the area showed that the fish in this section of the marina were very active.  You could readily observe a variety of activity ranging from water swirling on the water’s surface to fish splashing and jumping around.  My son believed that these signs were promising.
We had two sessions this day.  The first session took place in the early morning, about 7:00am.  We did not yet have shrimp, so we had to use artificial lures.  We used crankbaits, inline spinners, spoons, poppers and even the hallowed drop shot, but no tactic bore fruit.  However, I was not surprised at all.  We stopped after an hour to have breakfast.

Session two took place in the early afternoon.  This time, we had fresh shrimp.  I set up our rods drop shot style.  Although I was hoping that my son would land the first fish, the honor fell to me.  I didn’t know exactly what it was called in Spanish but it looked like a catfish to me -- a “saltwater” catfish!  Shortly afterward, I caught another catfish.  Then, Erling caught one.  Neither of us knew what it was.  Raul, if you’re still around, tell us what it is, lol.  My son finally got on the scoreboard.  By the end of this session, my son caught three but lost more, Erling caught one (he stopped fishing after catching his fish because he had other things to do), and I landed five.

I drew first blood with a “saltwater” cat.

Erling with a fish we could not identify

My son’s first fish today. It reminds me of a perch with different colors.  I think it’s a Mojarra

Another one I caught.  Mojarra blanka, I suppose.  It looks like the one my son caught but without the stripes.

Fishing Outing #2

Date: Sunday, March 9, 2015.
Conditions: Bright, Sunny, Hot

It was time to face scenario number two, the one I was most familiar with in Mexico’s saltwater environment, and that is fishing on the rocks.
My son was also with me on this outing.  I had other spots I wanted to fish, but since he was with me, I did not dare take him there because those locations were more dangerous spots.

I digress, but if you ever see the rigs the locals use while line fishing (fishing with line in hand, not using a rod. It is an awesome way to fish, with sensitivity superior to even a mighty fine rod), and if you’re a bass angler, you will immediately recognize that what they use in essence is a drop shot rig.  On the line, the weight is placed a distance below the hook.  They don’t use a palomar knot, but a knot that actually allows the hook to sway with the water.  We used the bass fishing version of the drop shot since it is as close as we can get to fishing like locals.  Before we started, I shared with my son all of the things I had learned through trial and error.

1)   Assume as a given that your weight is going to get stuck. This will eliminate getting frustrated.
2)   When you sense your weight is going to get stuck, pop your rod.
3)   If your weight gets caught in the rocks, a strong wave or the strong reverse pull of the water heading back out to sea has the potential to free it.
4)   Remember where the lead got stuck so that you know what to avoid in the future.

Naturally, I set up his rig first. Did I mention he mastered underhand casting at about a year ago?  That was a good and must-have skill for him to have this environment because overhand casting wasn’t going to cut it.  We did pretty well for this relatively short fishing stint, which started at about 4:30pm.  My son had the biggest one hooked but an error on my part made us lose it.  We never saw it either.  Despite losing more fish than we landed, we still had a lot of fun.

My son is getting ready for his first experience fishing among the rolling and crashing and waves.

Looking down at the water minding his line.

My son Max just landed a Cabrilla. I think in English it’s a type to starry grouper. 

A closer look at this Cabrilla.

I caught three of these guys.  They remind me of a blue gill with different colors.

My wife, daughter and mother-in-law paid us a surprise visit. I didn’t realize my wife took pictures of us fishing.


My son got his line snagged up in the rocks below about eight times.  Eight break offs means a good amount of line has been lost.  I used an ironing board and a pen to get the reel’s spool back to optimum capacity in preparation for surf fishing.

Changing Gears

It was time to face the third scenario, surf fishing.  I was not ideally equipped for this setting.  The casting rod I brought was a cheapo 6’ Daiwa casting rod and the spinning rod my son used was 6’6” in length.  Neither was a length decent enough for making potentially needed longer casts with ease.  Worse yet, my ability to control the line will diminish the farther the bait is from me.  Oh well. I roll with what I have.

The hotel employees told me before sunrise was best because the bigger fish come closer to shore.  Sad to say, I just didn’t get to the beach early enough and missed the “bigger fish” windows all three times I went surf fishing!

Fishing Outing #3

Date: Monday, March 10, 2015.
Conditions: Warm, Light Clouds

I was mad at myself for missing the pre-sunrise “bigger fish” window.  On the shore, the waves looked bigger than they did from my balcony on the eighth floor.  The waves varied in height, 2-4 ft.  I wore a pair of old shorts that extended past my knee instead of using my swimming trunks.
I looked out and made note of where the waves started, peaked and crashed.  An older gentleman was already fishing, with of course, a surf rod.  As I am setting up, he hooks into a fish.  He brought it in by the time I got rigged up.  It was a puffer fish.

I found my target, a spot just past where the waves formed before they rolled onto the shore.  I told myself I was going to make easy casts and let the rod do the work.  You know, like my amateur physics-minded self, and self-acclaimed master of the mechanics of utilizing the rod’s flex to maximize a cast with minimal effort, does all the time back home.  Of course, in the moment, I had to make sure my cast could make it all the way to Hawaii.  I made a beautiful cast. It was so lovely that the bait flew off.  #(*@#$ (Q-bert style).  I had to walk back to my stuff re-bait.

Then, as I get into the water just below knee deep, a wave rolls by and drenches me belly high.  My shorts, soaked with water, are now so heavy that I’m almost going “gangsta” with a belt on!  I utterly despise that pants hanging below you butt look.  Luckily, I had underwear on.  I know I looked like a fool each time I had to pull up my shorts with one hand while holding the rod with the other and sometimes needing to jump to get those shorts back up.
My first good cast was on target.  I knew immediately that I didn’t have enough weight.  I could tell because the sea was making my line move all over the place.  Dad-gummit, #&$*#%! (Q-bert style again.  And no, I didn’t curse out loud, just in my mind).  I had to walk back to my stuff and put on an even larger piece of lead.  The next time I come, I am going to bring some pyramid or bell sinkers.

I finally had a fish on, but eventually lost it.  Shortly afterward, I hooked into another one and landed it.  I was feeling really good.  Regrettably, but for good reason, I didn’t have a camera with me.  So I decided to keep it. I could at least give it to my in-laws.  I call it a day and head back to the hotel to clean the fish.

I bumped into a hotel employee on the way back to my room who told me what it was and he said that the fish was good eats, as Alton Brown would say.  It was usually made into a fish ceviche.  Alright!

Phonetically pronounced “chee-roh”.  I suppose I could spell it Chiro.

I cleaned it and put it in the freezer.

Fishing Outing #4

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2015.
Conditions: Warm, Sunny.

I came better dressed this time, wearing swimming trunks, and it made a huge difference.  Now, with a little experience on my side gain from the other day, I got into a good groove and gained some confidence.  I caught two of the same fish as the previous outing.  Not too bad for only an hour’s worth of fishing after the “big fish” window was closed.  I told myself I was not going to miss the next window.

Fishing Outing #5

Date: Saturday, March 14, 2015.
Conditions: Cloudy, Overcast, Lightning, Occasional Rain

I can’t believe I missed the window again!  This was the ugliest of the days and the last of my outings. 
The clouds were thick enough to block the sun where I was.  It was sunny to my far left. I could see fantastic displays of lightning all over the horizon in front of me to my right.  I had an eerie feeling throughout my body and started to wonder what the electrical conductivity of graphite was. With that said, I wasn’t going to be denied.

Another angler was already out there fishing, but he didn’t go past ankle deep.  He asked what I was using and I told him I was using shrimp, he looked relieved and perplexed.  Relieved that he was using the right bait, but perplexed as to why he wasn’t catching anything.  He had the right rod and right bait after all.
Then, I saw his hook. It was a about a 4/0 or 3/0 worm hook!  I asked him, “Do you bass fish?” and he nodded.  I told him that is definitely a good hook but not ideal for this.  I gave him one of my bait holder hooks and showed him that the barbs on bait holder help to keep the bait on the hook a little better.  Yes sir, the strength of the waves could easily rip the shrimp off a worm hook.  Eventually, he called it quits.

My wife took a picture of me from the balcony while I was fishing.  Although not seen in this photo, lightning could be seen just behind the island in the background. That small speck of a person on the shore at the bottom of the photo is me.  ;D

Before I knew it, I was all alone with only the rain and the lightning to keep me company. Not a creature was stirring on the beach.

I managed to catch two more chiros by the time my fishing liberties were about to expire.  So I put on a piece of shrimp and made that infamous last cast of the day.  A lady accompanied by her son approached me and asked if I had caught anything.  Right as I was about to respond, I felt a tug and said, “Yes, but excuse me,” as I turned to focus my attention to the fish.  I brought it in quickly. It was another Chiro.  The lady’s son got really excited.

I only had one piece of shrimp left that I was planning to throw away when the lady asked another question.  She asked if they rented rods nearby.  I told her I wasn’t sure but it was probably not likely.  I could tell on the boy’s face he was bummed out as a look of dejection settled on his face.
So what kind of guy would I be, who has a son about his age, if I were to deny this young boy an opportunity to fish?  It would be better to give this kid a chance at catching a fish with the last piece of shrimp than to throw it away.  I made that “last” cast, handed him the rod, and proceeded to pack my gear.

After I finished packing up, I turned my attention to the boy.  Something didn’t seem right with the line (it looked too limp) so I asked him to bring it in so I could check it.  Unfortunately, the line broke.  The hook and weight were gone and I had no more bait.  I felt bad for the boy and told him I was sorry it happened but maybe next time.

This is the account of my fishing endeavors in Mexico.  I think I did okay for a gringo, lol.  I am truly blessed to have had this opportunity and I will cherish these experiences especially those with my son.  I just wish he woke up early at least once to go fishing with me on the shore.  Then again, he was on vacation.


Gear Used
6’6” Rapala Spinning Rod mated to a size 30 Rapala spinning reel
6’0” Daiwa casting rod mated to my trusty Shimano Curado 201D
Line: 8 pound Spiderwire red monofilament

« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 02:48:00 AM by islandbass »

Jig Man

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Re: Mexico Fishing Trip March 2015
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2015, 07:05:32 AM »
Nice report IB.  Good pics also.  I'm glad your family had a good time.

Ed Gerdemann

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Re: Mexico Fishing Trip March 2015
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2015, 04:47:51 PM »
Great report! Glad you had a good time!  :D
Ed Gerdemann


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Re: Mexico Fishing Trip March 2015
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 08:35:01 AM »
Great report! Glad you had a great time. Great memories will last forever!
Thanks for sharing!