Isla Del Sabalo Lodge Mexico

Isla del Sabalo “Island of Tarpon” is truly the new frontier in world-class fly fishing for baby tarpon. Ranging in size from 5 to 30+ pounds, these tarpon reside in environs of turtle grass flats and mangrove lined lagoons, creeks and channels. This habitat is also home to snook, snapper and barracuda. The hallmark of this fishery is the gin-clear flats and the amazing network of backcountry lagoons and channels. These characteristics make this fishery an incredible rearing ground for these resident baby tarpon. Whether you are sight casting to rolling tarpon on the flats or working the mangroves with your top-water pattern, fly fishing for tarpon at Isla del Sabalo is a pure adrenaline rush.

“Hands down. Best tarpon catching I’ve ever seen or heard of. You need to lie about how good this was because nobody will believe us!” R.R., Alaska

Isla del Sabalo is located off of the northwestern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Fishing Program:
Isla del Sabalo utilizes spacious 18-foot pangas with an extensive level casting deck. All fly fishing is conducted out of these stealthy, stable and comfortable fishing platforms. The nearest boundary of the fishery is very close to the lodge and therefore only requires a 15-minute boat ride to arrive at some of your fishing areas. The fishery is vast and therefore longer runs with the boat are sometimes required.

Most anglers prefer to fish 8 to 9 weight rods at Isla del Sabalo. When weather conditions and/or size of fish dictate, a 9 weight rod is the order of the day. One aspect that makes this fishery a pure joy is the ability to pursue these fish with a floating line only. Often shallow water pursuits of tarpon demand lightweight (slow sinking) tarpon flies or top-water offerings. Even in the deeper mangrove-lined channels, a floating line is all that is needed.

Your fishing program will be based on tides and weather conditions. Typically you will begin your day on the water while the sun is rising and fish through the afternoon until 2:00-3:00 PM. Your guide and host will determine the program based on the optimum timing of tides and weather.

The fertile mangrove-lined waters of Mexico’s northern Yucatan Peninsula represent the most prolific juvenile tarpon fishery in the world. Easy to get to, inexpensive and well-suited to light tackle, this region is ideal for short trips or for longer adventures that combine two or more destinations.

Accommodations and Meals:
The accommodations at Isla del Sabalo are simple and comfortable. The lodge is on the beach front facing the open ocean, allowing for refreshing cool ocean breezes while you relax at the lodge. Guests stay in ocean front cottages and each spacious guest room is equipped with air-conditioning, fans and a full private bath with shower (hot and cold water). There is a housekeeping service that cleans the room and replaces, towels, bottled drinking water, cups and bar soap each day. A unique feature of the property is the beach front “palapa”. This wonderful area is perfect for relaxing after a long day of chasing Tarpon.

Meals are prepared at the dining palapa and served in an open air setting. Breakfast is served at around 5:30 AM, so you should be awake, dressed and ready for breakfast by then. Staff usually arrives by 5:00 AM to make coffee, so earlier risers can wake up before breakfast. Breakfast includes items such as fresh fruit, eggs, toast, pancakes and coffee/juice. Lunches consist of sandwiches, fruit, snacks and sodas/water. Lunch is taken with you in a cooler on the boat to be eaten while you are on the water. 

Dinner meals are served at the palapa each evening. Entrees may include chicken, pork, or the catch-of -the-day, fish, shrimp or even lobster! Enjoy the tasty food and the charming atmosphere of Isla Arena while you dine!

Additionally, the lodge can accommodate most dietary restrictions. Let the staff know and they will prepare an appetizing alternative that is often looked over with envy by your fellow dinner guests.

All drinking water and ice is bottled/made from purified water. All non-alcoholic beverages (soda, juice, water) are included in your lodge package. Alcoholic beverages are available, but not included (charged to the guest tab.)

Sample Itinerary :
Day 1: Arrive Merida and overnight
Day 2: Transfer to lodge around mid-day
Days 3 – 7: Full days guided fishing
Day 8: Full day of fishing. Afterwards transfer to Merida and overnight
Day 9: Depart Merida.


Rates and Details

2019 Rate$3,965 per person for a 7 night/6 day package

Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, guided fishing, non-alcoholic beverages, guest taxes, fishing licenses, Internet access, ground transfers to/from the Merida airport.

Not Included: Airfare, meals in Merida, alcoholic beverages, staff & guide gratuities, phone service, laundry service, fly fishing gear and tackle.


Species: Juvenile tarpon

Season: May - November

Capacity: 6 anglers

Map: Isla Arena, Mexico

Time: One hour later than Pacific Standard Time (during U.S. winter months).

Isla Del Sabalo Lodge Mexico NEWS

Feb 21, 2019

Expert Q&A – Isla del Sabalo

Isla del Sabalo, Mexico Isla del Sabalo or “Island of Tarpon” is the most remote and exclusive tarpon destination on Mexico’s, Yucatan Peninsula. It is truly the world’s frontier fishery when it comes to fly fishing for juvenile tarpon. This small, off-the-beaten path operation focuses exclusively on the expansive flats, estuaries and creeks surrounding the […]
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Dec 10, 2018

Video – A Day in the Life at Isla Del Sabalo

Have a look at this quick video put together by Dylan Rose and Andy Archer of Fly Water Travel showing what a day at Isla Del Sabalo looks like. The hallmark of this fishery is the gin-clear flats and the amazing network of backcountry lagoons and channels. These characteristics make this fishery an incredible rearing ground […]
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Oct 24, 2018

Isla Del Sabalo – The Yucatan’s Final Tarpon Frontier

The pre-dawn light was dreary and gray. A humid fog stuck to our lungs and coated our skin. We sipped our coffee and eyeballed the interminable cloud layer that would certainly make seeing fish impossible. Our prospects were bleak. When Isla del Sabalo owner and lodge host, Marco Ruz, joined us on the beach, he had […]
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Aug 2, 2018

Hosted Trip: Isla Del Sabalo & Tarpon Cay Lodge, Mexico with Rob Ramsay

​You’re invited to join Rob Ramsay next summer at two of the very best locations in the world to chase juvenile tarpon ​on the fly. Rob will be spending the first week at Isla Del Sabalo approximately 60 miles north of Campeche and then transferring to Tarpon Cay Lodge for a second week in San […]
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Nov 1, 2017

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Symposium – Isla del Sabalo Auction

Isla del Sabalo, Mexico Later this month Dylan Rose from Fly Water Travel will be attending the 6th Bonefish & Tarpon Trust Symposium in Weston, Florida. This exciting event will work to raise funds for Bonefish & Tarpon Trust so that they can continue their amazing work protecting our favorite saltwater species. For more information […]
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Oct 5, 2017

Top 5 Flies for Baby Tarpon

There may be nothing more fun in the saltwater fly fishing world than tangling with a high flying juvenile tarpon on a 9wt and floating line. We are fortunate to have a lot of experience in the baby tarpon world. These fish are highly aggressive, attack flies on the surface and will test your angling skill […]
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May 3, 2017

Isla Del Sabalo Special Offer – Four for Three

Isla Del Sabalo, Mexico Isla Del Sabalo is located about 60 miles north of Campeche on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. If you have a group of 4 anglers interested in experiencing some of the best and most off-the-grid baby tarpon fishing found anywhere in the world, don’t miss this exciting opportunity. These are peak season dates. […]
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Feb 16, 2017

Isla Del Sabalo – Mexico’s Wild Baby Tarpon Frontier

Isla Del Sabalo, Mexico Isla Del Sabalo (or  “island of tarpon”) is a remote tarpon camp squarely positioned along an untapped and pristine stretch of mangrove coastline on the Yucatan peninsula.  The lodge is located in the small and rugged commercial fishing village of Isla Arena at the end of a long single lane road […]
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Sep 27, 2016

Prime Availability – Isla Del Sabalo

At Isla Del Sablao, anglers fish for 5 to 30+ pound tarpon at the most remote and exclusive tarpon destination on the Yucatan Peninsula. The lodge is only open during the prime season and only during the absolute best moon/tide phases. In studying the historical success of trips at Isla Del Sabalo, Fly Water Travel and Yucatan […]
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Sep 7, 2016

Destination Spotlight – Isla Del Sabalo

Isla del Sabalo – Yucatan Fly Fishing Adventures Isla del Sabalo or “Island of Tarpon” is the most remote and exclusive tarpon destination on the Yucatan Peninsula. It is truly the new frontier in world-class fly fishing for juvenile tarpon. This small, off-the-beaten path operation focuses exclusively on the expansive flats, estuaries and creeks surrounding […]
Read Full Post »
Oct 14, 2015

The Silent Assassin – Snook Opportunities of the Carribean

Snook are the silent assassin of the saltwater angling world and are far too often overlooked by fly anglers. Snook are often found among the endless mangrove lined shorelines, river edges, creeks and beaches of the Caribbean. As they lurk in the murky shadows and underneath darkened mangrove roots, they lie in wait or gently […]
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Jun 17, 2015

Baby Tarpon Destinations of the Yucatan

If a saltwater fly fisherman were to design the “perfect” fish they would make it prolific, super aggressive, hard fighting and insanely high-jumping so we could always get a good look at them. Perhaps they would give it a huge eye-ball and make it look like it was machined out of a block of aluminum. Because […]
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Jul 16, 2014

Trip Report – 2014 Expedition Yucatan – Part 2

2014 Expedition Yucatan – Part 2 by Dylan Rose Phase two of this year’s epic Yucatan adventure took me to the northern portion of the peninsula for my 3rd year in a row to target juvenile tarpon. The prolific waters surrounding San Felipe and Tarpon Cay Lodge was our first stop. Rob and I joined up with […]
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Dec 19, 2013

2013 Saltwater Year in Review

What an amazing year it has been at Fly Water Travel! 2013 has been a whirlwind of adventure and we are continually humbled by the passion and patronage of our amazing clientele. Our continuing goal is to visit every destination we promote and 2013 was no different. Members of the Fly Water crew traveled to […]
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Oct 1, 2013

Yucatan Tarpon Tour – 2014 Hosted Trips

2014 Yucatan Tarpon Tours – Hosted by Marco Ruz Come experience the ultimate in baby tarpon fishing at two of the world’s most prolific tarpon destinations. The northern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula harbors an astounding population of juvenile tarpon. Anglers target fish from specially designed panga boats designed to accommodate fly anglers. The action […]
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Aug 12, 2013

2013 Tarpon Tour – Trip Report

The 2013 Tarpon Tour was a great success! Please check out this e-zine trip report for a comprehensive look at what a tarpon trip to the northern Yucatan peninsula entails. Call Dylan at 800.552.2729 to get your tarpon trip on the books for 2014!
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Jul 12, 2013

Trip Report, Tarpon Tour 2013

Tarpon Tour 2013 by Dylan Rose Eight intrepid anglers and I set out at the end of May to visit two of my favorite destinations. Tarpon Cay Lodge and Isla Del Sabalo are both operations that focus solely on the pursuit of baby tarpon on the fly. Of the eight experienced anglers only three had […]
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Dec 28, 2012

2012 in the Rear View!

2012 saw the Fly Water sales crew visit destinations across the Rockies, Montana, Olympic Peninsula, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Christmas Island, Mexico, Belize, Alaska, British Columbia and the Bolivian jungle. We’re very proud of the fact that we strive to visit every one of the outstanding destinations we represent. This year my fishing travels included […]
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Dec 19, 2012

Fishing in Mexico. Is it safe?

By Lani Waller Two years ago, my wife and I bought a home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico as part of our retirement plans. San Miguel is a central colonial Mexican town of approximately 80,000 inhabitants. This includes an American population of approximately 6,000 year around residents, and a Canadian population of around two […]
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Dec 13, 2012

2013 Tarpon University with Marco Ruz

2013 Tarpon University hosted by Marco Ruz Opportunities abound for anglers traveling and fishing throughout the Caribbean for tarpon. Tarpon can often become an afterthought for many saltwater anglers. After all, with so many options for bonefish, permit, barracuda and jacks, it’s easy to understand how they could become overlooked. Often it seems that many […]
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Aug 1, 2012

2013 Yucatan Tarpon Tour

2013 Yucatan Tarpon Tour May 27 – June 4, 2013 / Hosted by Dylan Rose After an epic trip first trip to Tarpon Cay Lodge and Isla del Sabalo last May, I cannot wait to get back! Please join me next spring as I visit both lodges again to experience more of the best juvenile […]
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Jul 16, 2012

Isla Del Sabalo – Jumping Tarpon!

We spent an epic morning at Isla Del Sabalo jumping more than 30 juvenile tarpon in the 15lb to 40lb class! Here is a short video shot over several hours with an iPhone 4S. This is some of the most prolific tarpon water found anywhere on the planet, call us to get in on the […]
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Jun 27, 2012

Trip Report – Yucatan 2012 – Part 2 of 3

It’s amazing how a few days of focused fly fishing can dislodge you from your daily groove, relax your soul and sooth your spirit. As the Ascension Bay portion of my trip concluded and I pointed the Jeep northward, I let the interior peace that comes to an angler fulfilled by incredible fishing wash over […]
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