My travel plans to the Yucatan — especially Quintana Roo State, which includes the stretch from Cancun south to Belize — have never been clouded by personal concerns about the crime or violence so heavily reported about in Mexico. The extensive coverage by the American media fails to make it clear enough that these activities occur in towns far to the north bordering Texas and at times, far west.
In these days, the pursuit for unpressured wild fishing might seem to imply distant shores for traveling shallow water anglers. Yet Boca Paila Fishing Lodge demands we rethink that notion. All it takes is a quick flight to Cancun and then transferring to a spacious air-conditioned van for a two and a half hour scenic drive south and then, you're there —presto.
The bulk of the drive is over modern highways featuring flyovers that leapfrog the intersections of places like Playa del Carmen. The remainder of the trip is on a limestone road south of Tulum that features some of the hippest posadas hidden in the mangrove shadows or on coral bluffs perched near the sea.
Boca Paila's fishing program is also best evaluated and understood from an organic point of view. The lodge was founded by the Gonzalez family in 1964 and not only has the pedigree of a long history but the hands-on stability of native ownership. Their nine air-conditioned "cabanas" (rooms) hosts 18 rods, either spin or fly. Their angling format boasts 12 guides with the longest seniority of employment in the Yucatan.
The lodge is open year-round, but is generally far south enough to muffle the effects of wintertime cold fronts from the north. In the event of late summer tropical weather, the lodge's perfect geographic placement close to Tulum makes any needed relocation a snap. The lodge's 12-month seasonality creates the ability to time arrivals based on certain species "peaking."
My guide, Alfonso, told me that the snook are very plentiful in the surf at the nearby boca or inlet during the months of September and October. The shallow water species pursued at the lodge are bonefish, tarpon, permit and snook. In the spirit of fairness, I'd have to add, based on my personal experience, that there are plenty of jacks, ladyfish, snapper and mackerel as well.
My fishing experience there was astonishing. Before breakfast, I caught bonefish, cero mackerel, and blue runners in the surf fronting the lodge. In my five guided days of skiff fishing in the lagoons behind the lodge, I caught three glorious permit and loads of bonefish.
Boca Paila Fishing Lodge