Playa Del Carmen DIY fishing [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Playa Del Carmen DIY fishing

01-19-2006, 08:13 AM
Hey gang,

I've spent quite a bit of time fishing the resort beaches south of PDC the last 5 years. Specifically around Akumal. I've also done the DIY thing down at the Boca Paila bridge a half dozen times or more. My last trip down in 2005 things came to a head. The casual "no fishing" attitude that used to be at many of the resorts now has become a firm "NO!". You can still get away with it for brief periods in the morning and evening but it still usually ends with resort security approaching you and embarrassing the heck out of you in front of dozens of PETA folks...."Zoneo's Ecologico's Senior!!!"...please no fishing!!!....ARRRRG!!! You know it's really bad when the onlookers applaud when you get kicked off of the beach and humbly walk back to your room to stow your rod in it's tube. The resorts do this because of pressure from the few Non-anglers and "PETA" wannabee's. I've had alot of correspondence with other likeminded fisherfolks who've run into the same thing at different resorts down there. I'ts a plague!!!

DIY fishing at Boca Paila around the bridge is still good but in the same breath, it's also been advertized to the hilt over the internet (I'm in part to blame for that). I've spoken to folks who've not even been able to find a parking space at the bridge. ARRRRG!...again!!!

Everyone, please don't take this post as being negative about the DIY fishing opportunities down there. There are lot's of fish to be had...many of them uneducated (especially on resort beaches...when you consider that I've seen resort patrons feeding 10-20lb permit at their feet "Froot-Loops" from the breakfast buffet). When we anglers are "down-there"...we're in the minority. Most folks just want to see pristine beaches and pretty fish while snorkling. Forbid the thought that somebody wants to catch those fish on a "Froot Loops" imitation...(by the works best...he! he!).

Sorry if my post is a letdown for some folks...just trying to say it like it is!

Finest regards and tight loops,

PS...I'm going to Guardalavacca Cuba next week instead of the Mayan Riviera...not because of the above...but because I want to give the area a chance to recouperate after two major hurricanes in 2005 before visiting again...I'll be back getting kicked off from fishing the beaches next year no doubdt!.

Henry Will
Oshawa Ontario Canada
email =

01-19-2006, 03:05 PM

Long time no talk......

I have heard similar stories about the resorts in the Mayan Riviera not allowing fishing from the beaches. I don't have first hand experience but have heard the stories. This is to bad, but that's what happens with growth. I do a lot of beach fishing and have none of the problems you mention. But then again I'm fishing much farther south and nobody is around to hassle you in the first place. Don't have to worry about hooking a tourist with your back cast. chuckle:

Boca Paila bridge DIY: This was my last experience there,

I did manage to catch 3 bones and saw a permit. But this is what I found astounishing: I saw 4 bones swimming around and put the fly in front of them without getting a look. Put the fly in front of them again and still no look. I decided to experiment with the fish. I purposely lined the fish (and everyone knows what happens when you do this) and they didn't even spook! Lined them again and no spook! I did this on three different pods of fish and got the same results each and everytime. It blew me away.:confused:

Tells me these fish have seen way to many anglers. Your right about lots of cars and anglers being there. I use to fish this area a lot and catch many fish but this has changed over time. The flat at the bridge use to be a secret years ago but not anymore with the use of internet and anglers exchanging information. Lots of fishing pressure from the DIY anglers. There are times I'll be up near the bridge being guided looking for permit and I'll see lots of anglers each and everytime.

Everybody wants to save money and do the DIY thing, and I don't blame them. There are better locations for DIY as you know, Ascension Bay is not one of them. You need a guide and boat to get to the flats of Tres Marias. But the truth is, besides fishing from the beach and the flat at the bridge you are limited to DIY opportunites. I tell people to do yourself a favor and get a guide and experience what Ascension Bay has to offer, since they are so close to some excellent bonefishing. Who knows when you will be that close to some of the best flats fishing again. Bite the bullet and get a guide, at least for a day. You will be able to fish from the beach anytime, but won't be able to access the flats on your own. You'll be happy you did. I know I was.:)

Good luck to you on your trip to Cuba. I know this is not a fishing trip for you, but something tells me you'll get some good scouting done while your down there.

Best regards,


01-19-2006, 03:35 PM
Tim, Henry -

Both opinions are valid and interesting. Your posts (and PMs) are appreciated.

Henry, sometimes I guess we really are 'outsiders' on the water. Sneaking around AM / dusk is a good approach.

Tim the reason I love DIY is not because I want to save money so much but because I like to take the challenge on by my own devices. This mystery solving is close to the core of why I flyfish... perhaps it is the core itself.

What I would like to see more of are outfitters who accomodate the DIY angler in lodging, accomodations, transportation, and safety but not necessarily to lead them to the fish / fishing. They would certainly make good money letting the adventurous types plot their own schemes, a bonefishing reality show, but with clean linens and good cooking between sorties :)

In fact the vast majority are more happy to get guided and led to catching as it is, the DIY angler is a relatively rare and typically solitary beast. For me DIY energizes me in it's victories and teaches me in it's defeats.


01-19-2006, 09:08 PM

That would be neat if lodges would accomodate the DIY angler...good idea. I would be all for it.

"Tim the reason I love DIY is not because I want to save money so much but because I like to take the challenge on by my own devices. This mystery solving is close to the core of why I flyfish... perhaps it is the core itself."

"In fact the vast majority are more happy to get guided and led to catching as it is, the DIY angler is a relatively rare and typically solitary beast. For me DIY energizes me in it's victories and teaches me in it's defeats."

I couldn't agree with you more. I love DIY angling for those reasons and others. I have spent a week where the guide would drop me off in the a.m. with a cooler, rod, and fanny pack. I would fish on my own all day until the guide would return some 6-8 hours later. There is no better feeling and experience to be dropped off in the middle of no where and find and catch fish on your own.:)

Since the thread was titled Playa del Carmen DIY fishing...I was just replying for the DIY angler, besides fishing up and down the beach and the flat at BP bridge, the opportunities for the DIY angler are limited. Since you can't access the flats without a guide or boat, it would be worth ones' time and money to see it first hand and experience a day of bonefishing on the flats.


02-04-2006, 07:54 AM
This is most unfortunate news. Like you, I have stayed at several Mayan area resorts. It was great to land a few bones, and other assorted fish every morning,
head back to my room , and enjoy a DOS XX while cleaning up my gear. It was great to catch fish, have all-inclusive food and drink, all for the price (for 2 people) of 3 days guided fishing , say in the Bahamas. With that said, one or 2 resorts have at least a mile or so, north and south of the "swimming" beach. The Bahia Principe and Palladium come to mind. I have had success both places. Resort security even came by to look at my flies and ran down to where I was when I hooked up, offering cheers when/if I landed fish. Very sad to hear things are changing. Question: Perhaps the close proximity of some resorts in Playa Del C.
is the reason.......looking at perhaps and Andros trip in spring and the Riv Maya in fall........will let you know how things go.....
When can we expect a posting/photo and tying instructions on the "Henry's Orange Fruit-Loop" Permit special ???:chuckle:
Mark Dougherty

02-04-2006, 05:14 PM
Thanks for the timely updates Henry. This is extremely important and vaulable information that will hopefully help folks avoid wasting their hard-earned vacation time.

It seems the world is becoming a smaller and smaller place. We have to work even harder to find a truly remote spot. I too love the challenge of DIY and I think Juro hit the nail on the head. I wonder how the lodges would react tothe idea of hosting DIY anglers?

The web has been a double-edged sword - on the one hand a priceless platform for forums like this to exist, on the other, the loss of peace and solitude at a rate as alarming as the loss of the tropical rain forests.....

02-06-2006, 09:05 AM
Those Peta B@$!@(ds should be forced to swim w/ a school of bull sharks. :tsk_tsk:

02-12-2006, 01:06 PM
I'll add another story, just got back from Mayan Riviera (Barcello resort) and had a good time, had no problem with fishing on the beach, went out several mornings casting on flat areas of rock/coral and sand, caught snappers, croakers, a permit, missed jack crevalle (I think) and missed some bonefish. Had no problem with either the locals (some workers on a jetty were having a ball pointing out fish to the stupid gringo not realizing with the sun on the water I couldn't see the same as they could) and several resort employees were fascinated that you could catch fish with a fly there. I would have to say that fishing was encouraged as another way to keep the tourist happy. Obviously it wasn't good to fish near swimmers or divers. I am very inexperienced with salt water fly fishing so maybe this was an aberration. but I had fun and could still spend time with my wife enjoying time off from work, which was what the whole trip was about.

02-13-2006, 12:07 AM
I must say that either that management at Barcelo has changed their were very fortunate!. I've been to Barcelo 7 times and the last 3 times, I was asked to stop fishing.

I'm surprised that you didn't get into any snook. Lots of them prowl the beaches there.

How did Barcelo fare the hurricanes last fall. We gave our annual trip there a pass because we worried that the resort wouldn't be up to it's usuall 110%.