When in Cozumel, do like the Cozumels do – or at least, there should be a saying that goes like that. When you are surrounded by waters like that, with fish galore, it’s not surprising that one of your favorite activities would be fishing.
Granted, when you are going to Cozumel Island as a tourist, you will need to hire a guide if you want to go fishing – that’s the law. However, there are a few perks to that as well. If you know exactly where to go for the fish, any fishing trip on Cozumel Island should be successful – including the flats fishing kind.
The Game of Flats Fishing
Flats fishing revolves around casting your line in the shallow water – no matter where you are in the world. Luck has it that Cozumel Island has these kinds of shallow waters – which why tourists from across the world are flocking here to go for fishing trips. Even most locals have picked up this habit, which is why Cozumel Island is packed with so many fisheries.
A “flat” is basically a level, long, shallow water area that is part of a larger water body. You may find these flats in freshwater – but you may find them in saltwater as well. You may also find mud, sand, grass or rocks in that area.
When an angler mentions “flats fishing,” they will likely refer to saltwater fishing such as Tarpon, bonefish, permit, and snook. Depending on the area that you are flats fishing in, you might want to use different techniques to catch your game.
On Cozumel Island, these shallow lagoons are perfect if you are an inshore angler. Bonefish are swimming around all year long – and during summer, they will be fighting for space with other fish such permit or snook. Depending on the place that you are fishing in, you may even find several tarpons hanging out in the shallow waters.
What to Expect from a Cozumel Inshore Trip?
The northern lagoons of Cozumel start spreading from just a couple miles distance of the city, and they back through the whole northern area of the island. If you are concerned that your fishing spree will be disrupted by noisy children and swimmers, you will be pleased to find out that there are countless isolated points that you can go to – and you may easily reach them on a half-day trip.
Many flats fishing guides on Cozumel Island will advise that you spend your entire day on the water. While it may sound like a sales technique for them, this advice is actually sound. It is unlikely that you will find another place with such great numbers of bonefish, tarpon, snook, and permit. This brings countless fly anglers to Cozumel Island in the hopes of catching the Grand Slam.
Moreover, the price difference between half a day and a full day is not that grand. If you have the occasion, why only get half the experience when you can get the full kind?
The Cost of Cozumel Flats Fishing
The advantage of flats fishing on Cozumel Island is that the flats are relatively basic – which is why they are not that expensive either. Half a day on the water, regardless of the lagoon that you are going to, will cost you around $250-300 – and a full day will cost about half as much again. Most boats can hold two or three anglers. However, considering these advantageous prices, you may always split the group into two boats. This way, you will not be competing for the same fish – and you will be much luckier with your catch.
What Should You Bring Along?
If you are asking this, the chances are high that you are going fly fishing. You will be pleased to know that most boats are already equipped with the tools necessary for fly fishing. In this case, if you are a tourist there and do not wish to carry your own equipment with you, you can ask that you rent the best equipment you need for a fishing spree.
That being said, you can also bring your own fishing gear with you if you want to use your own tools. Ideally, you should also bring clothes that cover your skin – regardless if it will seem hot to you. Go for breathable fabrics that will protect you from harmful UV rays. You should also bring sunblock with you, depending on the sensitivity of your skin.
Long story short, flats fishing in Cozumel can be quite exciting – particularly if you go into the right spot. You will need a license as a local or a guide as a tourist – but otherwise, it can prove to be a very enjoyable time. Plus, if you can get some big fish to the table, the price of the fishing day is completely worth it.