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Hooked up, finally! Derr Photo.

It blew close to 30 for my first five days

Capt. Andrew Derr guides out of Eastern Long Island and the striper flats season is underway. Pat Ford photo.

Capt. Andrew Derr

It was straight out of the east, the exact direction the gulf side flats in the Mexican Yucatan face. With its abundantly confident vibe, my previous post created a bit of a jinx. The fierce winds kept me off the flats for a while, but I could no longer sit and watch the wavelets on the turquoise tapestry that laid a half cast from our seaside abode. While DIYing to success is a great rush and accomplishment, daily skunking is not. While drinking beer on the beach is very enjoyable, I prefer to fish hard during the day and do my drinking at night.


So as I inched closer to success with a few shots at bones and a nice permit on my “home flats,” I decided to pony up some pesos for a guide. Luckily I found a great walk and wade guide to take me out on the pristine flats of Boca Paila, many of which were perfectly sheltered from the hard and relentless east wind that plagued my efforts thus far. Enter Creig Krier. In desperate attempts to remedy my lack of catching, I approached a fellow angler loading up rods into his Jeep in Tulum and admitted my struggles. John, from Tulum Fly Fishing, said he was a guide and might be able to take me or have his friend Creig take me. So that night, I firmed things up with Creig, prepared my gear, and tried to sleep despite my excitement.

Permit, ‘cudas, and bonefish

I met him at the famous Boca Paila bridge the following morning after a harrowing drive through the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in my crumby rental car. We hopped in his Old Town canoe and proceeded to spot bonefish after bonefish for five hours amidst some of the more stunningly beautiful flats I have ever fished. We had shots at permit, ‘cudas, and as many bonefish as you could want. We wade fished all morning, using the canoe to cross channels where we spotted crocs and had a shot or two at nice snook. The great snook fishing there this time of year takes place in the surf, which was unfortunately not fishable with the east wind. But one of the very appealing things about this area is the many options available to anglers.

A decent Boca Paila bonefish. Derr Photo.

Boca Paila

With its massive size and huge white flats, Boca Paila offers many areas to find lee from the wind. Having fished here for 20+ years, Craig knows the fishery really well, like every crevice. We got along great, discussing everything from fanatically chasing the tarpon migration to fanatically chasing the Grateful Dead. Small pink charlies and puffs worked like a charm as we landed bonefish after bonefish on an extremely rewarding day on the flats. After a few skunking, those fish felt so good to catch. Likewise, after an amazing day on the water, the beers we shared at Mateo’s on

This part of the world is so great

Phenomenal fishing, beautiful women, cheap and delicious eats, and direct flights from JFK are just a few elements that make this an alluring destination.

Bonefish illustration by Thom Glace.


Author Andrew

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