Located near the town of Mahahual, Mexico between Espiritu Santo Bay and Chetumal Bay, Pesca Mahahual has the perfect location to take advantage of the many saltwater tarpon lakes spread throughout the region as well as the less known and spectacular fishery of Chetumal Bay. Ideally set up groups of 2 anglers, Pesca Mahahual's head guide David is well versed in the intricacies of all the fisheries. Each day anglers choose from fishing bonefish and permit on the flats of Chetumal Bay via Hells Bay flats boats or chasing tarpon and snook on the inland lakes using smaller skiffs. Anglers should anticipate rotating through the guide staff during their stay.
Theregion’sinlandlakesrepresentauniqueandsought after venue for tarpon and snook anglers. There are a dozen or so ancient lakes, connected to the Caribbean by limestone caverns called “cenotes”. These cenotes serve as an active connection to the sea and deliver fresh influx salt water to the lakes each day through tidal movement. Additionally, cenotes provide passage for a wide range of game fish. Cenotes vary in size from 5 feet in diameter to a hundred feet or larger and it is very common to see rolling tarpon where these cenotes enter the lakes.
These lakes are mostly known for holding juvenile tarpon in the 10 -25-pound range as well as trophy snook that can reach 30 pounds. Additionally, they are home to good populations of barracuda, jacks and snapper as well as decent numbers of tarpon in the 25-50 pound range. The lakes act as a sanctuary and nursery for these fish offering both cover and a rich source of food. The lakes range in size from 100 acres to close to 1000 acres. The lakes are located from a 15 minute to a one hour plus drive from the lodge. Fishing the lakes is normally done from a skiff that is poled along the mangrove perimeter. Fish are spotted hanging on the edges of the mangroves, rolling, or crashing baitfish. Most of the year the water in the lakes is quite clear and ranges from four to eight feet deep. The majority of the fishing entails sight casting to tarpon and snook. However during winter months or particular rainy weeks the run-off water draining the mangrove wetlands surrounding the lakes give the lakes a deep tannin stain that make it necessary to blind cast to ambush points and bays along the mangroves. A good day can offer a dozen or so tarpon being jumped with half being landed. Tarpon are famous for coming unbuttoned as they spend much of their time in the air during the fight. In an average week at the lodge, most anglers will spend at least two days on the lakes chasing tarpon and snook.
Chetumal Bay is a large diverse ecosystem with complex channels, back-bays, and huge ocean-side flats. Like the great bays north of it but less traveled, Chetumal offers opportunities for bones, permit, and tarpon. The vast but little known bay stretches all the way to the Belizean border. Costa Maya’s head guide and owner Carlos and his team of guides have taken a number of ‘grand slams’ from the bay. Bonefish are available in good numbers throughout the season with most running in the 2 -3-pound range. Larger specimens in the 4-6 pound range are also present but in lower numbers. Chetumal Bay offers plenty of protected mangrove back bays and creeks that come in handy when the wind kicks up. Most often these flats are fished from a poled boat with reasonable wading options available. Boat fishing versus wading in Chetumal is about 65% (fishing from a boat) to 35% (wading). Chetumal also offers access to some tidal water lagoon areas where you can find tarpon in the 5-20 pound range. This fishing can be tough because of the tight mangroves. It takes accurate casting with minimum back casting room, and the fight is often close-up and violent. Chetumal is accessed by driving from the lodge with boats in tow. Drive time is approximately one hour from the time you leave the lodge to when you are fishing. Boat rides are relatively short and comfortable in their Hells Bay skiffs.
Tarpon: Tarpon are found in the inland lakes year-round, yet they tend to be more aggressive in the summer and fall months due to the warmer temperatures. Tarpon opportunities on the flats of Espiritu Santo Bay build in February but typically peak in March, April, May and June. Tarpon are also found in the tidal lagoons of Chetumal Bay during the summer and fall months.
Bonefish: The bonefishing peaks between June and February due to the presence of large schools on the flats. Bonefish are also present between March and May but often in lower numbers.
Permit: Permit can be found in Espiritu Santo and Chetumal Bays. They typically show up in schools during March and April. The rest of the season offers ample opportunities to cast at singles and doubles.
Snook: Snook fishing is very productive in the inland lakes during the summer months. Espiritu Santo also produces excellent snook fishing during the warming trends, especially right after a cold front. Snook, like many saltwater species, prefer the stable weather conditions typically found in the summer and fall months.
Accommodations and Meals:
This beautiful 4 bedroom villa called Casa Casa Que Canta (The House that Sings) is located on a quiet stretch of beach just 5 miles north of Mahahual and consists of two complete two bedroom homes (separate kitchens, living room, dining room, and bathrooms) connected together by a central courtyard and garden on the ground level and a large balcony area on the second level. Excellent home cooked meals will be prepared by chef Sandra. Her brother Emanuel is an expert on the grill, mixing margaritas and taking care of the villa.
Arrival Information: To get to Pesca Mahahual you will need to make travel arrangements to Cancun, Mexico.
Getting to the Lodge: In Cancun you will be met by a lodge representative who will drive you five hours south to the lodge. Week-long trips run from Saturday to Saturday. On your arrival day the shuttle will depart Cancun between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM. If you are not able to schedule your arrival before 4:00 PM on Saturday, please plan on spending the night in Cancun on Friday night.
Departure Information: On your departure day the shuttle will depart the lodge at 7:00 AM and arrive in Cancun at 12:00 Noon, so please schedule your departing flight after 3:00 PM.
Note: Shorter trips, non-angling and custom trips are also available - please call us for details and rates.
Rate: Call for details
Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, guided fishing, beer and alcohol, permits, licenses, and round-trip transfer from Cancun to lodge (Saturday to Saturday week packages only).
Not Included: Airfare to and from Cancun, accommodations and meals in Cancun, staff and guide gratuities.
Species: Bonefish, tarpon permit, barracuda, snook, jacks.
Season: Year-round with the prime season being March - July and mid-October to mid-December.
Capacity: 2 anglers