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Costa de Cocos, Yucatan, Mexico 03-14-2000

I just returned from Costa de Cocos in early March. In a little less than two days of fishing, I caught two permit and 35-40 bonefish up to 5 lbs. The bonefish proved to be unusually large for the Yucatan. All the bonefish caught were singles or doubles in very shallow water. Many were tailing and all were strong, well-conditioned fish and not educated... at all. I had many shots at permit and some were quite large. In one afternoon, I landed four tarpon up to 25 lbs. This is a sensational spot for a grand slam or even a Super Grand Slam especially in April thru June. -SSH March 2000 trip report.

From the Atlantic side of Central America, the Yucatan Peninsula juts north for over 200 miles into the fish-rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the Yucatan's angling attention is centered around Mexico's Ascension Bay and Ambergris Cay in Belize. Many of the peninsula's most venerable fishing lodges are located near these two areas. But near the border, where Chetumal Bay meets the blue waters of the Caribbean, is a lesser known but just as productive, estuarine system. Because Chetumal Bay is too far south to be reached easily in a day from Ascension Bay, this area has been virtually ignored by the Mexican angling establishment. And while the Belizeans know full well the area's potential, it is illegal for them to cross the border into Mexico. As a result of this happy coincidence of political and geographical isolation, the Chetumal Bay area has remained virtually untouched and unfished.

The Costa de Cocos lodge is strategically located on the peninsula between Chetumal Bay and the open Atlantic making it a perfect base for fishing these prime waters. Built on a beautiful beach two kilometers north of the small village of Xcalak (Ishkalak), Costa de Cocos is located on the doorstep to a fishing paradise. In order to insure the flats are not overpressured and to guarantee a solitary experience, we book only four fishermen per week. Nato Erera is the head guide and has lived in the area all of his life. Nato and his other captains have an extensive knowledge of their local area and they understand the habits of the fish that prowl these waters. These guides have excellent fish spotting ability and have become experts in the needs of itinerant anglers. Two new 19' El Pescador flats boats are moored at the lodge's private dock for the exclusive use of these guides. The local waters have excellent populations of bonefish found on the numerous hard and soft bottom flats. It is important to note that the area's bonefish generally run larger than the fish you will find both north and south of Costa de Cocos. Various theories abound on the reasons for this, but this anomaly delights the seasoned angler accustomed to the smaller fish found at Ascension Bay. For the experienced angler seeking the most elusive of flat's inhabitants, permit are found in the bay and at the lagoon mouths. These fish sometimes school in numbers of 5-20. We suggest the months of May, June, and July for fishermen specifically targeting the bigger permit. Smaller school permit are present throughout the season. For baby tarpon, you can cast to mangrove edges in 6 to 10 feet of water or fish the flats and shallower lagoons for larger fish.

Anglers are housed in individual cabanas constructed of native stone and hardwoods. These spacious rooms have two double beds and a private bath with hot shower... perfect for two fishermen. Three meals per day are included in your package. Breakfast is generally light, but special requests for hardier appetites will be accommodated. Lunch is almost always on the flats, taken on the run between casts. Gourmet dinners are served family-style and include a full range of seafood, local fare, and more traditional foods.

Diving, including full day excursions to Banco Chinchorro, can be arranged through the on-site dive shop. This area is well known for its varied and plentiful marine life and sea kayaks are available for exploring the nearby lagoons and rivers. At your request, we can arrange ruins exploration through Rancho Encantado at Laguna Bacalar. This overnight excursion offers the best of the best in exploring ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula. The best way to get to Costa de Cocos is to fly to Belize City and take the short flight to San Pedro. We will have you picked up in San Pedro for the the 1.5 hour boat ride back to Costa de Cocos. The route to the lodge is inside the reef in the bay so the boat ride back to the lodge is usually quite comfortable with spectacular scenery. If your looking for an out of the way destination with sensational fishing, great people and beautiful flats, we strongly urge you to give us a call today for all the details. With only four anglers booked at any one time, April, May and June of 2001 will fill quickly... so plan accordingly.

Written by Scott Heywood



P.O. Box 845 • Sheridan, Wyoming 82801 • (P) 800-211-8530 • (F) 307-672-3920
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