Sporto10003

Cancun Grand Park Hotel

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Can anyone tell me how the Fly fishing form the surf is?  Going early September and everything close to the hotel looks pretty shallow and wondering if I just walk and cast or go to the point. No idea what to expect just bring my surf bag full of stuff I use for south shore LI?  Seeing some other choices involving traveling and tours but going with the wife and friends who are not happy with my fishing addiction so will sneak out for a few hours in the dawn hours…

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If it were me and I had only two lures down there:  3/4 or 1 oz Kastmaster (silver or silver/green), and a floating or shallow diving (suspending) mirrolure type spook in silver/red or white/red head (perfect for the shallows).  2-3 of each for a 1 wk trip.  Lures have to to in checked bags.  9ft o 4 piece travel surf spin rod and reel loaded with 250+ yards of 30 lb braid.  40 lb mono and 60lb fluoro (tough b/c needed for snook in among rocks) leader material and a pair of floating fishing pliers. Tie non-slip loop knots to lures and skip the other terminal hardware.  File for sharpening hooks.  Sun gloves and hat as well as a buff b/c sun down there can be brutal.  Converse with solid rubber soles and/or sand socks plus dive booties but shuffle your feet.  Light nylon zip off pants and a sun shirt.  Check leaders and knots for abrasion constantly and re-tie.

 

If fly fishing, you will want/need a guide and they will have gear and flies appropriate to the area.  If solo, 9ft 9wt with a tropic appropriate line (float or float/int) and some deceivers in size 1, 1/0.  The Wulff Bermuda lines in float with lost tip are perfect for that.

Edited by Killiefish

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wow awesome info Killiefish !  Yes, will bring both spin and fly gear and most likely walk the beach and cast the spinning gear surf rod set up.  If I can sneak out of the resort one day will go with a guide service to fly fish.  I got 30lb braid and interesting you said skip the other terminal tackle and go direct.  I usually go 30lb braid to swivel to 50 lb fluo about 4 feet to tactical clip but that's my Striper set up.  You are saying skip all that and tie braid to mono to fluro?  If that is is how much of each?  Guess I'm going after fast fish like Snook and Pelagic type which I have never targeted but I know set up has to be minimal and fast retrieve to get them interested.  You've got me pumped to at least walk the beach will most likely get out there pre dawn and fish for a few hours each day.   

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4 hours ago, Sporto10003 said:

wow awesome info Killiefish !  Yes, will bring both spin and fly gear and most likely walk the beach and cast the spinning gear surf rod set up.  If I can sneak out of the resort one day will go with a guide service to fly fish.  I got 30lb braid and interesting you said skip the other terminal tackle and go direct.  I usually go 30lb braid to swivel to 50 lb fluo about 4 feet to tactical clip but that's my Striper set up.  You are saying skip all that and tie braid to mono to fluro?  If that is is how much of each?  Guess I'm going after fast fish like Snook and Pelagic type which I have never targeted but I know set up has to be minimal and fast retrieve to get them interested.  You've got me pumped to at least walk the beach will most likely get out there pre dawn and fish for a few hours each day.   

Yes, and i forgot to mention, for fly set up use lighter fluoro - maybe even 20lb tippet and change it out regularly.  Snook are very leader shy.  When using spinning gear I also tie direct to lures with loop knots because I get more takes.  Flouro material when it abrades, reflects more than mono. But around rocks you will want fluoro and also with snook gill plates being so sharp mono gets cut off easily. 

 

Spin - braid to mono to fluoro bite tippet (~4ft mono, 1.5 ft bite for a 9ft rod should be fine). Knots - see the braid test information at this site for spreadsheet showing knot strength to various braids - use an FG knot for braid to mono, and use any high quality mono).  Seaguar blue is the best fluoro I've found.  Berkeley Big Game mono is tough and perfectly o.k. once stretched.

 

Fly - check the breaking strength of your fly line or assume it's 20-25lb.  Use 20lb mono to make sure it breaks at your knot. Bite of 30lb fluoro should ensure enough strength and abrasion resistance and will likely break at the mono to fluoro knot.  With rocks and snook you will get wrapped and cut off more so bring plenty of flies.  Suggest not using clousers unless bead chain eyes.  Basic flies:  chart/white deceivers, pink/white bead chain clousers or half and halfs.  If you are on the flats, fishing bones, the guide will have flies that work.  If solo, bring some small greenish crab flies and a couple of gotchas in tan/white.

Edited by Killiefish

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Tie up plenty of leaders before trip. Bring an xtra fly line or two.  Report back here after trip, pls.

 

Oh if you need a guide and can pay my expenses (flight, hotel, drinks, etc...) jest let me know...:p

Edited by Killiefish

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If i were staying in cancun for a week, i would definately be booking a day with a guide to fish the flats north of Cancun with the flyrod.  

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If time is short, book a morning 1/2 day trip early in your stay.  That way you can be back with the wife for an afternoon dip in a cenote, all while reflecting on the bonefish and tarpon you landed that morning.  Booking early in the week gives you a chance to either reschedule if the weather sux or book a second trip if the fishing is great. Killie has given great advice on the shorefishing side of things. Do not underestimate the power of the sun and wear your spf and sun protective clothing.

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What he said.  Truthfully the best fishing in the area is not right around Cancun.  Worth a half day early morning (guided) trip to get to the better spots.  My advice was mainly for screwing around solo near to the hotel before your family wakes each day...LOL.

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On 6/8/2021 at 10:55 AM, Killiefish said:

 My advice was mainly for screwing around solo near to the hotel before your family wakes each day...LOL.

ha, that's how all of my fishing gets done.. 

thank you for useful info here. We may be going to Cozumel rather than Cancun, for ruins and snorkeling, but will pack my fly/spin 9ft 10wt and hope.. 

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11 hours ago, DougK said:

ha, that's how all of my fishing gets done.. 

thank you for useful info here. We may be going to Cozumel rather than Cancun, for ruins and snorkeling, but will pack my fly/spin 9ft 10wt and hope.. 

Cozumel is beautiful. North end is fishy. Good luck.

Cheers

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Sounds like you are hoping to find fishing from the resort beaches, and DIY hoping to grab an hour here or there. If I misread your post, adjust accordingly. Part of the fun of Mexico/tropics is self discovery. Consider a half day guided north of Cancun. It will give you an idea of fishing approach and shorten the learning curve. It’s not essential though.
 Haven’t been lately, but the serious crime in Cancun area is low, especially around the resort areas which are gated and patrolled. If you’re worried and going off alone for long, a decoy wallet/phone is an option. I’ve never felt threatened in Mexico. Petty crime/theft of unwatched belongings is high though. Like anywhere else nowadays.

 

  Cancun resort beaches are fishy but very small chance of bones and snook. Bones school occasionally, I’ve never seen/heard of a snook. Maybe the reduced activity during Covid lockdowns will have given the fish an undisturbed window and you’ll find an inshore paradise... here’s hoping.
Bring gotchas and crab flies as was stated. Small flashy minnows on #8/#10 steel hooks. White or Chartreuse clousers and Half and Half’s size 2 and 4. Bite tippet for snook, or Tygerwire 20lb for cuda. For rods, an 8 Wt, maybe a backup, and intermediate line along with a line basket is best all around for the beach surf. Floating line for lagoons/flats. A few pinch-on split shot. Sealed drag reels, don’t need to be massive. 
  Most summer days beach surf is small like Gulf of Mexico but it can get riled. 

If fishing the resort beaches, go early/BOD and be ready to move along as employees set up chairs. I would walk along the beachfront, constantly but slowly moving. Cast deeper at the points. Once there’s bathers, you’ll get disapproval, so start very early. Anybody with a pith helmet is usually security/boss types. There are “public” spots beyond the resorts that are open but again, be courteous of bathers/locals. You can fish later in day but watch backcast and move away if people come downbeach. If resorting you’ll be wearing a colored wrist bracelet ID, so they’ll know where to start looking for you.

 Little public beachfront is available in town, but on foot, car, or bike you may find access to laguna water. This could be an option later in the day or towards evening. Floating line is better here. There may be a chance for many types of fish on foot, you’ll have to see. Use Google maps to mark mangroves and possible access points away from houses. Nothing beats inspection on foot. I once found an abandoned lagoon side house and the caretakers let me fish the property free - they wouldn’t accept a tip. Took several barracuda. 
 There are often several Euros practicing amateur surfcasting beyond the resort boundaries. Your mileage may vary. Rare to see fly fishermen as they usually are headed to Campeche or Asención Bay for guided trips. 

You can catch plenty of shore fish. If your resort has kayaks try paddling out to any structure and casting deep. I’ve caught fish around rocks and humps in 10’ of water. Bring a pear shaped carabiner and some light rope to secure your rod... not your best rod! And rinse everything in a freshwater shower often. 


Small fishing pack or a sling/fanny  pack works well. Keep it on you, things disappear if unattended. The resorts don’t usually have a petty theft problem, but same as at home. Keep flashy/expensive stuff (fishing gear) on watch or locked up.

Always plan for a line basket for beach/flats. If you don’t want to hump a line basket in airport luggage try a collapsible basket from Fishpond, or bring a waist sized bungee and at arrival buy a plastic dishbasin at Chedraui or a home store. Buying is more complex, you’ll need time and transportation as the airport shuttle won’t stop for you. As a compromise I have put a basin in my luggage and fishing stuff went inside, assemble it in Mex, leave it if needed.

 

This phrase may come in handy: Agua fria, sin helio por favor.

“Cold water, no ice please”


Next time book Cozumel or Tulum direct and you’ll have excellent flats fishing minutes away.

 

 The whole place is beautiful and puts women in a languid mood. Don’t forget to enjoy the vibe and your companions, and everyone will want to return. Win/win.

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Used to go down every year for a week in november and stayed further south close to the public beach, I decided to bring my rod down after watching guys have good luck on smallish silver fish right in front of the resort one calm evening, I didn't know what they were catching.  I got a nice snook on a shrimp lure right in the wash and one of the lifeguards took it real quick.  I also saw somebody catch a big barracuda, I walked south and fished the rocky point down near the water park and even tho it looked fishy I didn't get anything.  I didn't try to fish the lagoon on foot because of the alligators.  I think that fishing during the day on the beach around swimmers is not legal, as I got dirty looks from the federales on the atv's just for having a fishing rod in a spike next to me on the beach, fish early and late when they are not patrolling.  

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wow FlukeM great stuff here yes, you nailed it will be heading out way early to fish and back to room by 9am.  It will take me a while to digest everything you said and rally up the gear.  I do think a half day guided trip will happen with the wife as she has done some trout fly fishing and is interested.  I started looking for guided trips and they were a little south of the Grand Park Hotel like less then a mile. You mention North of Cancun for guided trips what area are you talking about ?  I like you idea of doing the guide trip early on the vacation and pumping them for info on how and where to fish by the resort.....nice thanks again all !

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 Isla Blanca, about an hour north. Take a taxi from your resort, leave from Cancun docks. You can show up on your own with a fly rod and $$ and probably find a charter slightly cheaper, but if your wife is coming, suggest pre-booking. If you both want a smooth fun experience and not a haggle, prebook. Many hotels have a tourist travel service which will do it for a surcharge (but date availability can vary) or you can book thru a US travel agent or online. Arrange a clear time and place for meeting, and a clear name of your guide or perhaps a company logo.  
 If you’re using a guide, any fishing Spanish you can learn will be helpful. Think about a conversational dictionary.

 

Dramamine if small boat/ long surf makes anyone seasick. It’s a pull to IB from Cancun docks.


Somebody said something about gators. They are usually small but rarely do inhabit the lagoons and flats. Occasional sharks too (I’ve seen one of each in probably 10 trips). Eyes open and I avoid any murky/deep water spots when on foot. If I ever were to get grabbed, it’s forceps right in their eye. 
 

 Break your cash up into chunks. Get a money belt for some big bills. Don’t bring torn bills, and bring lots of ones for bar tips. Tip the maid staff every night too, don’t wait until end of week. A few bucks really helps down there and will get you primo service besides. $50 small tips for a week is my standard.

 Consider a decent tip $50 half day/100 full day for your guide and perhaps some kind of fishing tool. I’ve left my guides Dr Slick forceps, #6 steel hooks, Columbia fishing shirt, flats boots to one guy’s son (This was after I knew them awhile, though you get the idea.)

 

Have your own flies. Few flies in Cancun and they will be pricey. Same with 10# fluorocarbon tippet. Bring your own.

 

Check that your cards have an international draft. Most credit cards will work but debit cards to a bank account won’t. Travelers checks will only work at a bank or perhaps the hotel, they’re a dying technology. You’ll have to experiment - we always carried US cash but almost everyplace accepts cards now, except for tips and perhaps the guide. That’s why the low key money belt. 
 

Waterproof phone bag or case. Consider a top up device if you take lots of phone pics.

 

Photocopies of passports, all documents and all cards and hide copy in your hotel room just in case. Don’t forget them when you leave. 


* I reread your OP and saw you planned for September. Just be aware of hurricane activity. A far offshore hurricane can definitely roil the surf and you’ll want a surf caster rather than a FF rod for out front. Flats should be good barring a direct hit.

Edited by FlukeM

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