Not far from the bustling madness of Cancun on the northern shore of the Yucatan Peninsula lies the quaint, commercial fishing village of San Felipe and Tarpon Cay Lodge. Tarpon Cay Lodge offers saltwater fly anglers unparalleled opportunities to target juvenile tarpon in the 6 to 25 pound class in shallow water with floating lines. This small operation caters to a maximum of only six anglers. This keeps angling pressure low and offers exclusive access to private groups of six. Two massive preserves protect these waters from commercial fishing and provide an expansive refuge for juvenile tarpon.
Here, roving schools of fish vary greatly in size from just a few tarpon all the way to several hundred fish. Similar to their larger brothers and sisters, these babies can be sensitive to environmental conditions and may challenge even the most skilled fly anglers. Properly setting the hook and making a well-presented cast is half the battle and the experience is always thrilling and utterly addictive. The Tarpon Cay guides are a highly experienced crew and are extremely skilled at scanning for rolling fish and spotting schools moving under the surface.
Guests stay at the Hotel San Felipe de Jesus at the water’s edge. The hotel provides air-conditioned rooms, fans, private bathrooms and hot/cold water. Meals are served in the hotel dining area and consist of a host of fresh seafood and traditional Mexican cuisine.
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Tarpon Cay Lodge is located on the north shore of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula
Tarpon Cay Lodge 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 - 25-minute boat ride to arrive at most of your Yucatan fly fishing areas.
The wonderful part of fly fishing at Tarpon Cay Lodge is that most of the fishing is done with floating lines. The Tarpon hold or cruise in areas as shallow as one foot deep! This shallow water pursuit demands lightweight (slow sinking) Tarpon flies or top-water offerings such as floating Puglisi, sliders or crease flies. When conditions are prime, this shallow water fly fishing makes for an exciting visual display - Tarpon waking behind your fly and a top-water "blow-up" finale ... it does not get any better than this!
Tarpon Cay Lodge is truly the standard in world-class fly fishing for "baby" tarpon. Ranging in size from 5 to 25 pounds, these fish reside in environs of open water turtle grass flats and mangrove lined lagoons, creeks and bays. This habitat is also home to Snook and Barracuda. Most significantly, this incredible fishery has been designated a marine preserve, thus protecting this Tarpon "nursery" from commercial netting and fishing. The hallmark of the fishery at Tarpon Cay Lodge is the sheer numbers of baby tarpon that inhabit the region. On a calm day, it is not uncommon to observe pods of Tarpon rolling and slashing bait on the flats - an awe-inspiring moment to say the least ... don't forget to cast. Another highlight is during the months of June thru August, migratory Tarpon (40 to 100+ pounds) inhabit the waters near Tarpon Cay Lodge. If weather conditions allow (low wind) anglers can pursue these “Silver Kings.” Whether you are sight-casting to rolling tarpon on the flats or working the mangroves with your top-water pattern, fly fishing for tarpon is a pure adrenaline rush.
Accommodations and Meals:
The accommodations at Tarpon Cay Lodge are comfortable, bright and enriched with traditional Mexican decor. With the ocean at its doorstep, the sea breeze and beautiful scenery refresh the spirit after a long day of fighting Tarpon. A spacious lounge provides dining areas, comfortable seating for relaxing and a nice workspace for fly tying or working on your tackle at the day's end. As you venture upstairs, you will find spacious guest rooms equipped with air-conditioning, fans and a full private bath with shower. Rooms are bright with a nice ocean view. There is a housekeeping service that cleans the room and replaces linens, towels, bottled drinking water, cups and bar soap each day. A unique feature of the lodge is a nice rooftop balcony. It provides a splendid 360-degree view of the charming area surrounding the lodge - perfect for after-dinner relaxation.
The meals are another highlight of your stay at Tarpon Cay Lodge. Hearty portions with a local flavor are an absolute culinary delight for the big appetite. Breakfast is ordered the night prior from a full menu (American and Mexican dishes). Your breakfast will be promptly served in the morning to assure you an on-time start of your daily fishing adventure. Lunches consist of made-to-order sandwiches, snacks and assorted beverages.
Upon your return from an exciting day of tarpon-mania, dinner is served. Entrees include a lot of fresh fish with some chicken, pork, shrimp or sometimes lobster in-season. The meals at Tarpon Cay Lodge are truly unique and delicious. 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.
Day 1: Arrive Cancun and transfer to lodge
Days 2-7: Full days of guided fishing
Day 8: Depart lodge
Typical Daily Schedule:
Your fishing program will be based on tides and weather conditions. On some weeks, you will fish from morning through the afternoon. Many weeks, the fishing program is based on a split shift consisting of early morning fishing through the AM hours, a 3-hour break mid-day (lunch, ”siesta”, rigging, fly tying, etc.), and then an evening session of fishing lasting through sunset. Your guides will determine the program based on the optimum timing of tides and weather.
Arrival Information: To get to Tarpon Cay Lodge you will need to make flight arrangements to Cancun International Airport (CUN), Mexico. Please schedule your flight to arrive Cancun prior to 3:00 PM. This will ensure a timely pick-up and ample time to drive approximately 3.5 hours to Tarpon Cay Lodge.
Getting to the Lodge: After clearing Customs and Immigration at Cancun International Airport, you will make your way outside of the airport where you will hail a taxi to the Marriott Courtyard Cancún Airport Hotel (approximately 15 minutes away). All taxis within the airport are safe, highly regulated and certified by the airport. In the hotel lobby you will be met by a representative of Tarpon Cay lodge who will then transfer you to the lodge.
Departure Information: On departure day, after an early breakfast you will be driven approximately 3.5 hours back to Cancun for your flight home. Please do not book your flight to depart before 1:00 PM.
2020 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 Cancun airport
Not Included: Airfare, meals in Cancun, alcoholic beverages, staff & guide gratuities, phone service, laundry service, fly fishing gear and tackle
Species: Juvenile tarpon
Season: April to November
Capacity: 6 anglers
Map: San Felipe, Mexico
Time: UTC/GMT -7 hours.