Fishing playa del carmen
Playa as it’s know locally is a windy place in January and the town beach is relatively featureless. This means fishing from the rocks or surf is limited. There are also huge numbers of tourists to deal with, so with that in mind I set about looking for a cost effective boat for the day. After walking the beach and chatting to local guides I came across one small but very helpful outfit next door to Hotel El Taj number +529841406945.
They do not have an online presence but they are easy to find just left of the hotel as you look out to sea. You also can’t miss all the boats moored up in the harbour.
They were also one of the few outfits happy to match me up with a fellow angler keen to split the cost. They were also well equiped with Penn and Shimano reels even if the boat wasn’t the largest or the fastest.
For 2300 pesos (about 100 quid each) we chartered the boat with bait, captain and deckhand for four hours of trawling and jigging.
We started off about a mile out in the deep trench between the mainland and the island of Cosimal. We were targeting Amberjack bouncing a heavy metal jig with a single hock attached the the top aimed at mimicking a squid. After a couple of hours of back breaking jigging in fairly choppy conditions we had no lock, a couple of the other boats near us hooked into some heavy looking specimens judging by the bend in the rod and the time it took to bring them up from the deep. Apparently they are quite plentiful this time of year, sadly not on our boat.
So after a quick change around in gear we hooked up four trawling lines on the boat, 2 on outriggers 1 straight out the back and another at depth with the help of a down rigger.
It didn’t take long until the first reel started singing. I quickly leapt up into the fighting chair, and strapped into what felt like a decent fish, stripping a lot of line. As I started to tighten the drag and start the retrieve the hook slipped and the fish was gone…bugger…. I can’t help but think I should have been more aggressive from the start. We reeled in the bait fish and I was expecting it to be ripped to pieces, most of the fish was still intact and there were none of the tell tail signs of a barracuda attack the most likely perpetrator.
The captain listed a number of likely speciesism, but we will never know.
Over the next 2 hours we had 3 more takes all on the surface baits. My fellow fisherman landing 2 very good size Barracuda and myself a smaller Barra.
For 100 quid this was a very worthwhile day, I will never tire of being out on a boat even in rough seas like today.
A word of warning about Playa, the towns night life seems to be ran by the cartel while we were there four people we gunned down in a night club. I couldn’t help but feel we were a bit late for Playa . If you are looking to go to Mexico either for fishing or to party, stick to Tulum the vibe is way more relaxed and fishing opportunities far more plentiful, there is also less mass tourism. Have a look here for my thoughts on Tulum