Captain: Roberto Vargas
Mate: Víctor And Rolos
The message finally arrived confirming our arrangement to meet at Faro Inclinada in Puerto Morelos at 7am. We have been looking forward to this for a long time! Our fishing trip this year would be 5-hours. Hopeful the wind would favor us this year. Last year we departed under a yellow flag and returned under red. A disappointing trip after barely reaching the fishing grounds and catching three fish. The Windfinder App was being monitored regularly and the excitement was building.
Our resort was pitch black at 6:10am as Tony and I walked towards the lobby. We navigated the twists and turns of various sidewalks and didn’t see anyone else until we got to the lobby. The desk clerk, surprised to see anyone walk in gave us a questioning look. After a short conversation he found us a bellhop who called for a taxi. A few minutes later a light appeared in the darkness then turned into two lights and event flooded our darkness with light as the cab pulled up. I showed him the photo on my phone and said “Puerto Morelos, Faro Inclinada, Pescadores”. He nodded in agreement and off we went.
Twilight was just starting to appear and the twisted dock, a casualty of one or more of the many hurricanes and tropical storms that beat up this area started to come into sight. The lighthouse was twisted in a hurricane over 50 years ago and has never been repaired. I wonder if they will fix the dock.
It doesn’t matter where in the world you are at, a city dock is always a busy place in the morning. Various fishermen were preparing for their day. A few boats were already moored to the pier. The rising sun generates activity in the woods, fields and sea alike.
A short man was getting off his bicycle. I recognized him from last year and said, “Hola, Charlie Brown!” He grinned and gave me a fist bump simply asking “Dreamcatcher?” It was definitely a one word question. “Si” was my simple response. He took off his shirt, dug into a bag on his bicycle handles and pulled out a new shirt. When he put it on, he was wearing a Sportfishing Dreamcatcher shirt. I wondered how many times he changes in a day.
Promptly at 7, Dany appeared just like she said she would. She was also wearing a Sportfishing Dreamcatcher shirt. She let us know the boat was on its way and took our payment. Dany had to make arrangements for us to cross another boat to board. We watched as their boat, the Comocean approached and tied up outboard the other boat.
Crossing over into the boat, Víctor and Rolos cast off while Captain Varga backed us away from the pier. The sun was just starting to breach the horizon.
The first task is to catch bait. “Big bait, big fish” Says Captain Varga with a grin. We slowly navigate on the shallows and around another small pier while Víctor peers into the water looking for schools of baitfish. He tosses out his net and pulls it back in. Sometimes it is full, sometimes empty. After a few minutes we have a pail full of baitfish which were transferred into a live well.
Heading away from shore, the first lines to go out have a string of flies attached about 5’ apart. One line from the flying bridge and one from an outrigger. More fishing for bait! As soon as we are deeper they are setting a couple of lines with baitfish and letting them go on the second rigger and one straight out the back. The next sets are more baitfish on downriggers.
It doesn’t take long for one of the baitfish to hit with a nice king mackerel. Shortly afterwards a fly line goes off with a couple of bonitos, big bait!
Next up is one of what will become many Barracuda encounters. When the Barracuda comes onboard, everyone is careful to stay out of its reach. The toothed predator is quickly pushed into the locker with the hook and rigging still in its jaw. The leader is detached from the main line and rigged for another catch. All the hooks can be retrieved later after the fish has settled down. It is too dangerous right away.
It doesn’t take us long to hit the prime fishing grounds and to start seeing a variety of species come aboard. The rigging is heavy tackle with a variety of live or thawed baitfish. Víctor and Rolos spent much of the transit out rigging the bonitos and thawed fish with large hooks and weights. The live baitfish are rigged as needed and jigged while we slowly trolled around.
We ended up making small circles in one spot and then figure eights as we fished a particular area. Another fishing boat was in the same spot as well and we oftentimes got much closer than would be acceptable in many areas I have fished. Both boats were catching fish so I guess it was all ok.
We were losing many fish to Barracuda who would chase them down while we were reeling them in. Numbers of times the line would go slack and all we would get was a fish head. Some of the Barracuda were following our lines all the way to the boat. There was always much excitement at that time to see if we could get our fish in before the Barracuda took it from us.
The winds were in our favor with an average of 3’ waves. A few times when we were going slowly we started to rock a bit but nothing too bad. The crew had a cooler full of water, soft drinks and beer for us. We packed sandwiches from the resort and ate them between the fishing.
After we got close to shore all the fish were brought out and washed down. Hooks were removed from Barracudas and they were laid out for pictures. Captain Varga suggested we fillet the King Mackerel and a Blue Bonito for ceviche and tacos and then clean the Yellow Snapper to grill whole. Víctor didn’t take long to accomplish the task and Rolos bagged them up for us.
Arriving back at Puerto Morelos, Charlie Brown grabbed our bag of fish and lead us to La Pepita Restaurante where the fish was prepared and downed with a couple of Cerveza.
It was a great fishing trip and we were well taken care of. Our catch consisted of many Barracuda, a couple of Blue Bonitos, a Big Eyed Jack, and king mackerel.
Thank you to Sportfishing Dreamcatcher for taking us out again this year and putting us on fish. We look forward to fishing with you again next year!
To book a trip, contact Dany on their Facebook page: