Fly Fishing in Mexico’s Pacific Coastline
Mexico’s Pacific Coast and especially by the Sea of Cortez is world-famous for offshore, blue-water angling or fly-fishing for Dorado – also known as mahi-mahi – marlin, tuna and other large fish.
But the best fishing in Mexico often comes when fly fishermen stroll along the sandy beach and rocky headlands and cast lures into the surf as you can see by the video in this post.
This is a good strategy for catching the fish that chase their food near the coastline surf.
Mexico’s inshore fishing is simple, inexpensive and brings lots of hookups. Anglers are never sure what kind of fish will bite next, and that’s a big part of the fun. There are over 800 species of fish in the waters on the coast of Mexico and especially by the Sea of Cortez right where the Inn at Rincon is.
Mexico’s Sprawling Coastline
As seen from an airliner, Mexico’s long coastline is pristine and almost untouched. The warm, fertile waters in Baja California and mainland Mexico from Mazatlan south to Guatemala are a paradise for swarms of big, hard-fighting fish. And a diverse, healthy variety as well.
Anglers can expect to see huge schools of small baitfish just off the beaches – and bigger fish, such as the very popular roosterfish, jack Crevalle, yellowtail, ladyfish and snapper chasing the bait almost up to the sandy beach. The small baitfish spray over the surface of the water as they race to escape the big, ravenous fish.
More remote sections of the coastline – especially stretches with shallow, rocky reefs near the beach or rocky headlands in the many bays – often bring hookups on almost every cast. But the fishing can be very good even in heavily populated areas, such as Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Ixtapa.
Swimming and wading tourists often don’t realize that fish are swarming nearby as is a very common occurrence.
When, Where and How to Fish Mexico
Dawn and dusk are the best times to walk a Mexican beach with a light spinning rod or a fly rod, fishing line and a handful of lures or streamer flies.
Small baitfish gathers near the shore during low light, and the big fish follow them. Look for diving pelicans, sea birds or squawking, screaming flocks of gulls swirling over a spot near the shore.
Birds mean lots of bait, and bait means schools of big, hungry fish.
Savvy anglers also look for deep channels between shoreline shallows or reefs, rocky headlands and areas where boulders poke out of the water as such areas are a very popular spot for fish to gather.
Mexican Shore Tackle
A medium spinning rod and reel spooled with 8-pound to 12-pound-test line works well. Lighter line means more hookups; fast casts – and maybe a few lost big fish.
But many anglers slide big fish – ten pounds or more – onto the beach with light tackle.
Simple lures, such as Krocodiles, Kastmasters, Rapalas and inexpensive plastic jigs, such as Mister Twisters, get hammered whenever big fish are around. Anglers should buy these lures in quarter-ounce to one-ounce sizes.
Lures with silvery finishes, which mimic the small sardines and mullet, work best.
Fly Fishing Mexico’s Surf
Fly rod anglers should spool intermediate lines onto 8-weight to 10-weight rods. Poppers, Clouser Minnows, Lefty’s Deceivers and Crease Flies in sizes 8 through 1/0 work well.
Roosterfish – the big, finicky and very popular prize catch of the Mexican surf – demand a fast retrieve of the streamer fly or popper. Rooster fish can get as big as 50 pounds. Be sure to ‘set your hook’ quickly and efficiently.
If the surf is bigger than two feet, it’s a better idea to use a spinning rod, as waves have a nasty habit of tangling fly lines.
But fly fishermen casting streamer flies often wallop the fish when the surf is small.
More Tips for Mexican Fishing
Successful anglers keep moving and casting along the beach until they find concentrations of fish. Staying in one spot and casting over and over again is a recipe for a fishless outing.
Many anglers enjoy the casual pleasure of wearing shorts, walking along the beach and casting toward likely spots.
Often the fish show themselves, as they beat the surface to a froth while chasing little baitfish.
Anglers often use a small shoulder bag to carry spare lures, wire leaders – in case toothy sierra mackerel show up – a pair of pliers and sunscreen as it is sunny most of year round and the fish are really biting in summer, but really covers at least three seasons.
Overall you’ll find the best assortment of fly fishing catches along the Sea of Cortez section of the Mexico Coastline.