View Full Version : Boca Paila Area Lagoons and Beaches

02-13-2008, 12:01 PM
First I would like to thank all who have taken the time to share their considerable knowledge on previous posts on this forum. The traditions of sharing knowledge with fellow anglers is indeed commendable and a tribute to our sport.

I am one of those strange people that would rather catch one fish, that I have found and fooled myself, rather than catch 10 in which the puzzle was solved for me thus "do it yourself", unguided fishing is very appealing to me. I fish almost exclusively with fly fishing gear but am always open to any method or information available.

If anyone would be kind enough of to take the time to share any current information relating to the following questions I would be very appreciative and would share detailed information upon returning from my trip:

1. I have searched the internet extensively to try and find out if I can legally use a kayak and fish on my own in the lagoons in the Boca Paila Area of Sian Kaan Biosphere but have not found a definitive answer. Does anyone know for sure or has anyone used any type of craft other than a Panga with a guide to fish this area? Does anyone know of anyone who has fished from a boat of any type without a guide, that has been told to leave, been fined or harrased in any way? I have waded the large flat west of the Boca Paila bridge and had some success wading and fishing the mangrove edges in this area but felt a bit out of my element when a large crocodile made it clear to me that the mangrove inlet I was wading was his/her territory.

2. Has anyone had any success fishing the beach areas north or south of Boca Paila such as Punta Yuyum or Punta Xamach? It would be great to catch Bonefish, Tarpon, Snook or Permit but I am not too proud to enjoy Jacks, Ladyfish, Snapper and Barracuda if the glamour species are tough. I enjoy each species for the sport it provides.

3. Can anyone share with me their opinions on the fishing in the Lagoons(Laguna Camechen, Laguna Boca Paila, Laguna San Miguel and Laguna Xamach) compared to the flats and lagoons in Ascension Bay? I especially enjoy fishing Mangrove edges for snook, baby tarpon and other species that inhabit these areas.

4. Would I better off driving the extra distance and fish the Xcalak area by kayak and wading?

I will be in the area in late March, early April. As I said earlier, any information, of any kind would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much


Benzie Rover
02-14-2008, 10:59 AM

Your search is should of given you quite of bit of info. as this area is getting nearly a popular as Eluethra DIY, but obviously with much less available space.
With that said, I feel a need to keep my comments fairly limited just to protect the very small bit of proprietary info I have accumulated. Plus, I will be there a week after you and can not give away all my knowledge :)... anyway, please do not take offense, but, it is becoming quite difficult in this area to find a spot to fish for those of us that would rather go skunked for 3 days and hit 2 fish one day when we finally get the conditions right and the fish patterns dialed in and you score on your own pattern... it is all very Zen for sure. Anyway, not to digress, to your first point, yes, it is legal to kayak anywhere in the Biosphere as well as sport fish. I have had fairly unclear answers about keeping 1 snook for dinner, so have not 'crossed the line' yet with that yet. I have asked the 'guys at the gate' as well as the info center dudes several times on the kayaking and also flyfishing on my own and it was all with them. The fishing camp guides that work in the park are not happy about I am sure, understandably, so expect some glares, but i have never seen or heard of enforcement issues there. But then again, it is Mexico, so who knows when or if a rule will be created or changed. I have also read posts from guys that have taken inflatable canoes there and elsewhere in the region. Yes, watch the crocs... have yet to encounter one myself, but have heard. Also, I heard that gringo rental car damage is going up for those of us parking and then hiking off to fish, just fyi... unfortunatley probably best to have non-fishing folk drop you off and pick up or just leave nothing in el auto and have insurance for broken windows... It has not happened to me yet, but, has my friends, one of them over x-mas lost his passport to window smashers, so I am prepared for it someday because I hear about it all the time these days.

Beach fishing is possible, and can be very good in the spring, but is entirely weather dependant with out a skiff to pole along with and be up high. So, if you get off shore conditions, hit the beach. If it is blowing, tough to see and I would stick inshore.

No idea on the lagoons, never fished them. But there is a A LOT of water there.

I have 'heard' DIY in Xcalak can be good, espeically for tarpon, but have not been. There are a few very infomative posts on that place as well, but I have also heard to be cautious about poking your gringo head off the beaten path in that area as well... so go with caution.

good luck,


ps... I actually consider Cudas to be a 'glamour' species... they can be one of the hardest things to catch on fly at times...their ability to commit and pull back from striking at the last second is insane... and they have some serious 'fence post' cudas in that area as well...

02-14-2008, 11:25 PM
Matt, you made my day!!! As I said earlier, it's more about the whole and complete fishing experince and not just the catching. I can't wait to loose myself in the labyrinth of mangrove lagoons and flats.

I have fly fished from a kayak for many years and have been lucky enough to fish in some great places. A kayak, with it's low profile, can be an incredibly stealthy fishing platform and one can see a lot of water in a day. Hopefully I will be able to alternate wading and paddling to avoid the dreaded "kayak butt". I also intend to spend some time wading and fishing the beach in that area.

Thanks for the tip on auto break in problem. I will be fully insured. Am considering sleeping in the car if camping is not allowed on the beach.

No problem on the proprietary info. You payed your dues and earned the right to reserve that information.

Have you tried Lefty's "tease the dog" method on cudas?

I will be staying in Puerto Morelos and will have access to computer and email thus will be happy to contact you with fishing details between the end of my trip and the beginning of yours. When will you be down there? I plan to break away from the family plan to fish three or four days out of the 12 days down there and will be heading home April 7th.

Thanks again for all the info, good luck on your trip.


Benzie Rover
02-15-2008, 01:51 PM

you should have plenty of water to yourself if you are inclined to paddle... couple comments from my last trip down (Nov 07)... the jungle tour boat operators fly around the mangrove channels in big pangas loaded to the hilt with touristas and try and run as fast as they can through the channels to give their guests an extra thrill I guess... but anyway, if you hear an engine coming, get the hell out of the way!! and be prepared for a BIG wake...

also, I recomend a 5-6' tether for your yak for wading... I found it was no problem to drag it around rather than tie it up and then be 1/4 mile away when you wanted a cold beer to pass time when a cloud is passing overhead...

RE: camping and sleeping in the park...that is tough to figure out, but from what we figured out, you can camp anywhere. I was also there last Easter (07), and if you are there then you will see that it is a huge destination for all of the Yucatan... the bay south of BP inlet was pretty well lined with tents made up of whole familys and extended familys all camping on the beach for 4-5 days for the big national easter holiday...anyway, cool to see I thought.... but anyway, seemed like locals will camp anywhere, but the park will encourage you to camp at the cleared area on the beach side of the road 3km in from the gate... the palm trees on each side of the enterance drive have 'CAMPING' spray painted on them in black. We tried to set up our tent there on our first night this fall... got camp all set up in the afternoon, we went up to Zamas just up the road from teh park enterance at dark for dinner... did not leave anything but the tent set up and sleeping bags... came back 2 hours later and there were fresh tracks in the sand ALL around the tent by 4-5 people and the zippers had been opened and not closed to where they were, so they went in the tent too... anyway, this is pretty damn un-nerving when it is just you and the wife out in the middle of a biosphere, in Mexico, with no cell phone.... so, needless to say, we packed up camp @ 9pm at night and had to drive up to the beach/palapa zone and find a place that would let us camp cause we were on a budget... anyway, finally found 1 place that will let you put up a tent... Mar Caribe on the north end of teh beach strip, near the Ruins... coincidently, it is the local fishermans co-op beach as well and all the local dudes launch there pangas every morning at sunrise, cool to see how they do that...anyway, if you want to get some groupers/snapper for tacos, these guys will run you out to the reef for $100 or so...and you can probably talk them down if you have all your own equipment.... just a side note there...
so, in summary, I would definately camp in the park, IF, I was with a group of 5-6 people... just myself and 1 other person felt to me like you could find yourself in a hispanic version of Deliverance maybe... but in reality, I am sure it is safe, it is only possessions they would be after... and again, if I was with 5-6 people and had a few tents set up, no worries, just would never leave anything there when someone was not around camp, but would not have any saftey issues with a small group of folks...

Not familiar with Lefy's technique on the Cudas? please describe...

I will be staying in Soloman Bay from April 12-19th, so no worries on the live updates, but I would be interested in talking more before you head down and then after you got back... PM me here or I can give you my email as well...