Mexico Coastal Areas



Feb. 27, 2007, Jeff Klassen, Reel1in Sportfishing, Costalegre, Jalisco, Mexico:

Last January, not this past one, I had been poking around here along the Costalegre, asking some of the locals about the current fishing status. All had said there was nada around, so I bowed out of a boat charter and opted for some shore casting.

The tide was actually out and I had to wade out past a bunch of sand bars, to be able to cast into decent water.

On only the fifth cast or so, there was an enormous splash behind my Klassic Popper and out went the line. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, but the outbound fish leaping like a Dorado, was indeed a Dorado.

Several times the large bull pretty much spooled my reel of its 15-pound Ande, but never quite made it to the end. After an hour or so I had the fish in close and could see it surfing the waves as they rolled in.

Just like when they are out in open waters, this fish had 4 or 5 followers, at least the same size.

Anyway, I eventually landed the fish, surprised everyone on the beach, mostly Mexicans, and more-so when I released it. You can imagine my surprise when I bagged a 35-plus pound bull from the beach. I got the whole catch on video, assuring that I'll have a permanent record of one of the best surf-fishing catches I ever made.

It has been almost five years since we finished up in Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico. Cabo San Lucas just got too big, too fast, too expensive with too many security guards denying beach access for surf fishing and deteriorated fishing quality, no doubt due to the increase of hotels, boats, wave runners and subsequent pollution that comes along with such growth. Most importantly though, to me Cabo San Lucas had lost most of its Mexican charm, which had originally brought me there in 1988.

Since wrapping it up at Cabo San Lucas in 2002, I have found a new Mexican destination, one that has the old feel to it. It's taken some time, but I believe we've done it.

Costa Alegre, translation "Cheerful Coast," is a 95 mile special area, a designated ecological zone, situated on Mexico's coast in a section between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo. More often than not, the two words are spoken and written together to become a more relaxed and familiar "Costalegre," which is how I refer to the area.

To be more precise, Costalegre sits along highway 200 between Playa Quemaro 75 miles south of Puerto Vallarta and Barra de Navidad, north of Manzanillo. The area is made up of a combination of towns and villages, exclusive and not so exclusive. The section between Chamela and Barra de Navidad is considered by those who visit as the Mexican Riviera, as being the most beautiful area in all of Mexico.

I'm just starting to get a grip on the fishing here. I towed down my 22 foot Parker center console. I've been yapping with every boat and panga captain I can find. It appears that that we have a water temperature range of 75 to 85 degrees all year long, which would mean that there are fish here all the time. I have not been able to pin down a definite season for the specific fish species. I've caught Tuna, Dorado, Sailfish and marlin at all times of the year.

I was out the other day on the "Reel1in" and we had to get out about 10 miles before we found nice water. Other boats have been catching Tuna to 60 pounds, Dorado in closer for some reason, a few Blue Marlin to 250 pounds, and only a couple of Sailfish. Captain Jairo on the boat "Jairo" told me he nailed two nice 25 pound Roosterfish while trolling live caballitos near Tenacatita.

I was only able to get out surf fishing a couple of times this last week. I was able to bag a few nice jacks and a massive needlefish over by Blue Bay Resort.

We've been swamped trying to get our shop opened up. I'll have more info as we get rolling.

We've set up shop here in Melaque, 1.5 miles north of Barra de Navidad, or "Barra" as we call it.

This place is pretty much jungle, with the assorted animal life along with it. I've seen the coolest stuff here and have had to stop on the highway on many occasions for turtles, large iguanas, snakes, tarantulas, armadillos, crocodiles, twice for Gila monsters and even a jaguar once. Ahhhhh, it's good to be back!