This page will give you some basic information about the equipment and different tactics we are using when Light Tackle Fishing in Cancun.
The rods and reels we are using when fishing in Cancun are between 6 ½ to 7 feet long and Line wt 6-17 lb test. The power is Med Hvy and the action of the rod is Med to Fast.
The reels should be a 2500 to 4000 model with at least 120 to 150 yards of either 8 lb or 10 lb test. We normally use mono line instead of braided as it casts smoother and when you do get tangled up in the mangroves it’s a lot easier to break off. We also use a 25 to 30 lb leader which you will definitely need when targeting Tarpon and Snook.
Cancun Light Tackle Fishing is done with different kinds of lures and bait. Here’s a list of lures that work well down here, so if you’re thinking about bringing your own gear this will help you to choose the right lures.
Sometimes when the fish are not taking any of the above mentioned lures we can always try to get some live bait, we always have a bait casting net onboard so we can try to get some live sardines. Both our boats in Cancun have live wells, the boats in Isla Blanca do not.
When fishing for Baby Tarpon in Cancun we use either Top water baits, Jigs, Soft plastics and sometimes live bait. It is important no matter what you’re fishing with to set the hook pretty hard, Tarpon have a very bony mouth so you have to make sure that the hook penetrates into their mouth, once the fish is hooked it will start running and jumping a lot, this is usually when you lose it, so it very important that when they jump you will need to lower your rod towards the fish so you will create a slack in your line, as soon as the Tarpon lands back in the water you put the pressure back on the fish. They normally jump 5 to 6 times so every time it jumps, you do the same thing, this technique is also called Bowing to the King! Tarpon are also called Silver Kings so every time it jumps, make sure you bow to the king!
Snook fishing in Cancun is like anywhere else in the world, they love to hang out close to the mangroves and most often they lay motionless waiting for something to swim by, that’s how they feed. You don’t need to set the hook as hard as you do with a Tarpon as their mouths are not as hard. What you do need to keep in mind is that the first thing they normally do is to run for the mangroves so it’s very important to try to keep them out of there or your line will break. You can accomplish this by hand spooling your reel on the first run, try to pull the rod slowly in the opposite direction of where the fish is running to and once it’s out of the mangroves and starts running into open water just let him run till he’s tired and then it’s time to start reeling him in.
Bonefishing in Cancun is another species that gets many anglers hearts pumping, although they are small in size it’s one of those species that are a lot of fun to catch. Bonefish are bottom feeders and we usually catch them on jigs and grub type of lures. Sometimes they are feeding in what we call mud clouds and other times in the shallows. What you need to do is to let your lure sink down to the bottom and start moving it slowly while jigging it off the bottom. When they strike you set the hook, not too hard, just a short pull is enough to hook it. When they start pulling don’t reel but just let it run until it stops pulling, that’s when you start to reel it in. They normally make 3 or 4 long runs so every time they run just let him take the line until they tire out.
In Cancun we get some real monster Permit in the summer months, it is one of the most prized fish when Light Tackle fishing in Cancun. The best way to catch them is very similar as fishing for Bonefish in Cancun. They also feed on the bottom looking for crabs and shrimps. Slowly jigging your bait off the bottom is normally what gets their attention and the hook set is the same as Bonefish. Permit make long runs and most often we will have to start the boat and chase it to make sure that it will not spool you, so you better hold on to your rod, keep the pressure on end let him run without trying to reel it in. The only time you can start reeling is when the fish stops running.
These fish like to hang out close to the surface and are most often caught on Poppers. Their explosive runs make it a very fun fish to catch and while fishing the lagoons of Cancun they are often responsible for stealing the fish you’re fighting. Cancun Light Tackle fishing for Barracudas is done with a medium to fast retrieve and as soon as it strikes you set the hook pretty hard. When targeting Barracudas we use a wire 30lb leader to make sure it won’t break your line as they have a nice set of teeth on them.
We have a few different types of species in the Nichupte Lagoon in Cancun, Mangrove Snappers, Cubera Snappers and Mutton Snappers. All Snapper species are bottom feeders so you will have to make sure that your Jig or Soft plastic bait is on the bottom, give it 5 to 10 seconds to sink and start jigging it off the bottom. They strike hard and give a good fight too. You will need to put a good amount of pressure on your drag as they tend to dive to the bottom and hide in between obstacles, most often when that happens it will break your line and your dinner will be gone.
There are several different types of Jacks in the inshore waters of Cancun with the Jack Crevally being the biggest one. They can weigh up to 30 lbs in the lagoon and will give you a run for your money. They normally feed near to the surface and the trick is to keep your jig or popper moving fast. They are usually moving in schools and you will see the water boiling when they start feeding. Just cast inside this “nervous” water, move your lure fast and set the hook medium hard and don’t let go of your rod.
Cancun Light Tackle fishing is done only from our boats so you can leave your wading boots at home. Your guide will give you directions on where to cast by using the clock direction, eg 12 o’clock is straight ahead, 3 o’clock is 90 degrees to the right and 9 o’clock 90 degrees to your left. He will also give you the distance of how far the target is from the boat. If you still cannot see the fish, just point out your rod straight in front of you and your guide will tell to move the rod more to the right or left until you see the fish. If you still don’t see the fish, cast anyway where he tells you to, these guys have eagle eyes and a lot of times people hook their fish without even seeing it.
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