Isla Holbox is located on the on the north coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The island is approximately 12 kilometers long and its surrounding flats, lagoons, channels and mangrove forests are home to a dizzying amount of baby tarpon. Placed squarely amongst the most productive tarpon waters found anywhere in the world, Isla Holbox is world class destination for fly anglers interested in chasing both baby tarpon and larger migratory tarpon in excess of 100 lbs.
The charming and casual fishing village of Holbox is filled with authentic Mexican restaurants, bars, hotels and beach side cantinas. This classic Mexican beach town serves as your home base for a fantastic tarpon adventure. Isla Holbox is perfect for hard core anglers, couples and families alike. It’s hard not to fall in love with the island and the general vibe of casual, warm Mexican hospitality. The main transportation on the island are golf carts and the absence of cars & trucks lends even more to the appeal. In the evenings, as the heat of the day wanes, everyone emerges from their afternoon siestas and walks the beach-sand streets to peruse local eateries and bars for a tasty bite and cold adult beverage. Locals play pick-up basketball in the main square and families get together to watch the sun go down.
Long recognized as a brilliant vacation spot for Mexicans and tourists alike, fly anglers will find the unimaginably huge populations of juvenile tarpon severely addicting! Bring the family as well because if you’re after tarpon on the fly, this place has it all.
Isla Holbox is located approximately 40 miles northwest of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula.
The guides of Isla Holbox utilize spacious 23-foot pangas purposely designed for fly fishing. Most of the fishing is accomplished with floating lines, although when chasing the bigger fish, having a full sinking intermediate and a fast sinking sink-tip on hand is a good idea.
Runs from town can sometimes be lengthy depending on the wind and weather. Runs from 45 minutes to an hour are not uncommon to reach the fishing grounds. Calm winds are required to spot rolling fish off-shore where the larger migratory tarpon are reachable. On days when wind and waves are too rough to target migratory tarpon, there are generally plenty of opportunities for tarpon from 2 lbs–15 lbs.
While the larger migratory tarpon inhabit off-shore areas in deeper water there are plenty of opportunities for smaller fish in-shore inhabiting clear water. Baby tarpon are found while poling large flats in knee deep water, cruising along mangrove edges or buried amongst the mangrove roots waiting to pounce on passing prey. When hooked, these fish are high fliers and 9 times out of 10, they instantly go airborne after hooked. Floating lines are the standard for inshore areas targeting babies and the water remains crystal clear in most areas. We recommend fishing leader systems that are 7 – 10 feet long with no less than 50 lb shock tippet. In some cases, many of the guides will request leaders of even longer lengths when fish become spooky.
The inshore fisheries are much more of a numbers game. Anglers hooking 5 – 10 per day with 2 – 4 fish landed should consider this a good day. For the larger migratory fish, even just hooking one of these behemoth tarpon is an accomplishment.
Accommodations and Meals:
There are a number of lodging options in the town of Holbox. We have several recommendations for small boutique hotels, mid-size resorts or all-inclusive luxury operations. We will help design your Holbox experience to suit your needs and meet your budget.
There are a number of very good restaurants, sea-side grills and palapa bars resulting in a plethora of fresh seafood, classic Mexican and modern European cuisine to choose from. Simple boxed lunches are served on the boat and many hotels offer a continental breakfast for anglers in the morning.
2019 Rate: $450 per day for 1 or 2 anglers
Included: Guided fishing, lunch, daily pick-up and drop-off from your accommodations in Holbox.
Not Included: Airfare, accommodations, breakfast & dinners, fishing license, beer, flies & leaders, staff & guide gratuities.
Season: April – November
Capacity: 12 anglers
Map: Isla Holbox, Mexico
Time: One hour later than Pacific Standard Time (during U.S. winter months)