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dobiel

Mazatlan trip report

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dobiel

After some searching online I finally found a boat and captain to bring us out to do some bottom fishing. Our biggest concern was the quality of equipment, which is almost always an issue when dealing with light tackle fishing in Mexico. Last year I brought my own equipment down to Mazatlan and the airlines lost my rod tube both ways. It was found and delivered to me both times but it was apparent that I would either have to take another risk with my "nice" gear or find a captain that had some good gear. Last years charter boat was equipped with old and crusty Penn Senators and short fiberglass rods. I was lucky I had my gear with me because it made all the difference in the world.

I got ahold of Chappy Chapman from InsideOutide Charters. He's located right at the Nautica Costa Bonita on the northern end of the Zona Dorada. Previously affiliated with and part owner of Anglers Inn El Salto bass fishing mecca and son of Bill Chapman Jr, Chappy has moved into the saltwater charters and is running it exactly like a charter business should be run. I have nothing but props to give to this guy and his new charter fleet. He put us on fish, worked his a$$ off, and was a nice, sociable guy with some of the best equipment to be found for fishing inshore Mexican waters. All Calcutta TE, Curado 300, Stradic 6000, and a mixed bag of Loomis rods. The boat was a 26-27ish newer style Panga center console powered by twin 90hp E-tecs and equipped with outriggers(not on in pic) and Tuna tubes for the offshore species. I've spent a decent amount of time on charter boats throughout Mexico and recently Central America and was absolutely impressed by the service provided on our trip. Anyways, enough plugging the captain and on with the report.

We ran 4 miles out and stopped to fish a shrimp boat wreck hoping to get into some nice Red Snapper that had been showing up there in previous days. Almost immediately we hooked into a non-stop flurry of Perch, White Snapper, and the occassional ocean catfish(which are some nasty creatures btw, our deckhand was VERY careful when unhooking them due to their razer sharp, spiney fins). After about an hour of bottom fishing action I noticed a school of a dozen or so small Dorado circling the boat and Chappy immediately hooked up another setup with a small topwater and handed it to me. After a few short strikes and a couple "follows" he switched it up to a Rapala Subwalk and we nearly cleaned up the whole school one by one. Site fishing for these Dorado on light tackle casting is some serious fun and equally as visual as they dart and leap out of the water numerous times. They ain't bad on the plate, either. We had a restaurant cook up two large fillets for us later that night.

The day ended off with us trolling small crankbaits near the surf hoping for a Roosterfish. A species that I had originally requested to fish for in our initial email correspondence. Our Chile Verdes we had caught earlier had all died or were used up from live baiting Dorado so we didn't end up getting any action except a dolphin show from a school of 30+ monsterous Bottlenose Dolphins on our way back to the marina. At the end of the day we had boated a mixed bag of 60-70 white and yellow Snapper and Perch and 7 small Dorado. No Red Snapper but not a bad day overall. Water was nearly flat as a board all day long and the temp was around 80*F and mostly sunny. Back at the marina we hung out and drank some cervezas and [PoorWordUsage]'d with Chappy, some other captains, and some of the other fisherman coming in. There were a lot of fish caught from the InsideOutsideCharters fleet. Mazatlan was beautiful just as it was last year when we were there and we're looking forward to getting down there again in the near future.

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dorado1.jpg

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traveler

Hey Dobiel, sounds like you had a good trip. Did you want to fish inshore, or just doing what made the most sense, given that offshore is pretty slow this time of year?

I've still only done one inshore trip out of Maz., and we did similar to you...good amount of fish, but nothing of size and only a couple small red snapper. Ours would have been better had we run into the dorado like you did, I'm sure those were a blast being able to cast to them, and on lighter tackle. I always take my saltwater spinner on offshore charters, and have been able to toss bait/krocs to schooling dorado on a couple occasions. They're a different fish catching them that way...never been much of a thrill for me catching them on standard marlin trolling gear...

I checked out the website you mentioned; sounds like a good option, especially with your thumbs up. Good prices, and he comes with a good rep if he was at Anglers Inn. I've fished with the Aires fleet mostly, which has a good rep there, and it still was only decent.

So did you talk offshore fishing with Chappy? Much more my thing:) It would be a kick to go down there mid summer and chase sails off his bigger CC; the inlaws have a condo so I have a free place to stay May-Sept. Interested maybe...?)

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Ralph Wiggum

Thanks for the report! Sounds like fun. Always nice to have a good recommendation.

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dobiel

Ralph, check them out if you're down there. He's got some unbelievably well priced packages. I think it was 5 nights at the Sun Spree Holiday Inn, which is right in the heart of the Golden Zone, and 3 days of fishing for somewhere in the mid $500 range per person. That is cheap, and the route we're going next time we're down.

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dobiel

Hey Dobiel, sounds like you had a good trip. Did you want to fish inshore, or just doing what made the most sense, given that offshore is pretty slow this time of year?

I've still only done one inshore trip out of Maz., and we did similar to you...good amount of fish, but nothing of size and only a couple small red snapper. Ours would have been better had we run into the dorado like you did, I'm sure those were a blast being able to cast to them, and on lighter tackle. I always take my saltwater spinner on offshore charters, and have been able to toss bait/krocs to schooling dorado on a couple occasions. They're a different fish catching them that way...never been much of a thrill for me catching them on standard marlin trolling gear...

I checked out the website you mentioned; sounds like a good option, especially with your thumbs up. Good prices, and he comes with a good rep if he was at Anglers Inn. I've fished with the Aires fleet mostly, which has a good rep there, and it still was only decent.

So did you talk offshore fishing with Chappy? Much more my thing:) It would be a kick to go down there mid summer and chase sails off his bigger CC; the inlaws have a condo so I have a free place to stay May-Sept. Interested maybe...?)

Yeah, we went inshore because it's pretty spotty this time of year for offshore. We did see an Escualo boat come in to the newer marina a few days earlier with a 120# Marlin(yep, hanging out at marinas is an activity while I'm on vacation). We spoke to the fisherman on the charter and they said that that was all they got and it was on their way back in and about 18 miles offshore. One of the deckhands told me that the blue water was anywhere between 16-18 miles out. The day we were out Chappy said that there was some chatter over the radio about some Yellowfin Tuna caught quite a ways out but it was pretty quiet offshore from the sounds of it. Not a whole lot of boats heading out daily. Tourism is way down.

I was really hoping the Roosters would be around or we might get into a few of those nice Permit his guys have been getting into lately, but no luck. The trip was quite a bit more enjoyable with the Dorado but was treated as a lucky bonus for me as I know how "average" bottom fishing can be at times and we just enjoy going down to Maz because we really like the city. It isn't the first place I'd want to go if fishing was the main objective. I also prefer offshore.

I didn't talk much offshore with him except on email a little bit when I first contacted him. He told me he would be willing to take me offshore no problem but of course he didn't sound real positive about the outcome. We were just going down there to get some sun and warm weather so I just wanted to catch some fish. He said that the bottom fishing was doing real good as always with the occassional nice Snapper, Grouper, and Permit caught. Check out his catch em up videos on youtube. He has video of all his recent fishing reports.

He said his captains spend 90% of their time bottomfishing. I'm not exactly sure if that's mostly due to the subpar offshore this time of year or what. I heard a little bit of chatter here and there about too much overfishing and longliners decimating the offshore action but it's hard to get a solid answer. The weather has played a part in unpredictable fishing all along the whole Pacific coast. From the sounds of it Maz doesn't really turn on until later in the year anyways. Of course by then the weather is nice up here and I'm pretty involved in the Muskies. We might try Guatemala or southern Mex next winter. I don't think another trip this year is in the budget but we need to get together down south of the border one of these days and do some fishing. I'm really just getting into it and finally the budget will allow us to fish more often. It's not a poor man's hobby, this offshore thing. However I have spent enough time offshore now to know that I'll be a permanent fixture somewhere along the Pacific coastline or at very minimum a snowbird sometime in the unknown future. Keep me in mind when and if you do go down. The invite is much appreciated.

Marlin.jpg

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JimBuck

Nice report. I've always wanted to do some inshore stuff in Mexico. Glad to hear you got into em'.

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Duffman

Nice trip report! I saw that boat passing by every day in front of the resort last week, the Esqualo boats also passed by around noon.

The first time for me bottom fishing in a Esqualo boat the guides were still using landmarks and locators to find spots, the next time it was GPS's and further out, my last time we even had to boat further to find fish. Those spots get hit day after day, it seemed to be taking a toll.

I went the super cheap route this time....... wink

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dobiel

Nice Pompano Duffman! I tried casting with my own gear last year but couldn't find a spot that I could get far enough out to make a decent cast past the surf.

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    • Rick
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