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Bass fishing in Mexico on your own.


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    Darth Baiter posted about going on a Road Trip for bass, and I suggested he should make the trip to Mexico.  I then started thinking of all the reasons people might think a road trip for bass in Mexico would be a bad idea and I thought I would try and inform readers how easy and safe fishing on your own in Mexico really is.  I have driven from the states to PV, and from the states to the East Cape of Baja many times.  The first time I didn't even know where to stop and get a tourist visa.  I ended up having to get one in order to cross the boarder from the southern state of Baja to the Northern State on my way back to the US.  4 months after I drove across the boarder.   They simply laughed gave me a form to fill out and said have a nice day.  Try that in the US and see what happens.  You do need a US Passport but you can get a new one at a US consulate if you loose yours while in Mexico.  It is an easy procedure, doesn't take long and you can still travel in Mexico while waiting for it to arrive.  Don't ask me how I know.

         The first worry an angler might have is not speaking the language.  Speaking Spanish while in Mexico is the polite thing to do, but far from being a necessity.  A person could easily travel the entire country for years and get by with only knowing cerveza, tequila, margarita, and gracias.  I didn't know a single word of Spanish when I first came here, and know very little now, but have no problem driving to and staying at places I have never been.

        Next.  What about all the drug violence, it must be dangerous.  I don't know if any one has noticed but there is drug violence in the US.  Does that stop any one from going fishing?  As long as you don't use, buy, or sell any drugs, the drug Cartel has no interest in you.  I know it is hard to imagine, but most criminals would look at your tackle collection and instead of thinking of it as the priceless valued treasure it is, they would merely think you have a box of worthless junk.  Similar to what my wife thought before she happened to see a Tackle Wearhouse receipt.  Traveling in Mexico is as safe as any state in the US.

        Next.   What about car insurance.  You can buy quality car insurance right at the border.  It will cost as much for a year as your US insurance costs for a month.

        Next.  What about health care.   The quality of health care can be far less than the quality in the states, but is adequate for most situations and the cost is only a fraction of what you would pay in the states.  Even without insurance, a major surgery will only cost around $4000.  If your insurance in the states does not cover you in Mexico, you can get travel health insurance that not only covers you, for visits to hospitals in Mexico, but will also cover the expense of being medevacked to the states.  I used to Hang glide in Mexico, and many of my pilot friends came  from all over the world to glide Mexico's great flying sites.  Some of them got injured and they all got quality care.  Some had special adventure travel insurance that paid for getting medevacked, by a helicopter and medical care all the way back to their home.   If Hang glider pilots are not worried about medical care in Mexico, a bass fisherman should definitely feel at ease.

         Next.  What if my car breaks down?  Simple, you get it fixed.  A few days ago, while coming home from fishing Presa Trigomil I did a stupid thing and crossed a ditch that was to deep for my junky 20 year old car. I hit the bottom of the car, but didn't take the time to look  and see if I did any damage.  I was in a hurry to get home, was tired and had a big list of honey dues built up from taking 3 days away from home to go bass fishing.  Two hours later my oil light came on.  I stopped at the closest village and found a small whole in my oil filter.  I was completely out of oil.  I can't believe the engine didn't freeze up but sometimes I get lucky.  I bought some oil at a gas station, and was able to make it to the next larger town.  I found a mechanic and they replaced the filter, and toped off the oil.  They charged me 350 pesos, which is about $20.  I gave the mechanic a 5$ tip and he offered to buy me a beer.  I did not speak one word of Spanish in order to get this repair done.  I simply pointed and used made up sign language.  I have in the past had more difficulties, but always managed by finding a cab driver.  The cab drivers usually know some English, or will no someone who does.  They are always glad to help with any trouble for very little money.  A cab driver will have no problem suggesting a mechanic, a parts store, or place to spend the night.  If I could afford to buy a nice pickup, my car problems would be over but the bait monkey likes to ride in my $500 wonder, so I have to depend on luck more than I should.

     Next.  What about the cost?  Must be expensive?   Gas is about $4 a gallon right now.  I am assuming it is more than that in every state.  The gas is not oxygenated, and is good to run in any outboard.  I have a friend that has zero problems using the regular gas station gas in his airplane.  As I experienced a couple days ago, mechanic work is very cheap.   You can get a fishing license for a year for the whole country on line for less than most states resident license.  If you go to a lodge they will get you a license.  Licenses are not sold in stores.  I have never heard of anyone ever being asked to show a law officer a fishing license. The times I have been stopped by law enforcement while fishing, driving, or camping they have only wanted to know if I have guns or drugs.  I have had my car searched but they were polite, and gave me a high five and have a good day when they were done.  I did get pulled over for speeding one time.  The cop wanted $40 I only wanted to give him $10.  After arguing for a few minuets he said it was close to Christmas and he needed the money for his kids.  I gave him $30 and said Merry Christmas.  He thanked me and wished me a Merry Christmas too.  Last time I got a speeding ticket in the states it was more than $30.  Food and drinks are very inexpensive.  Lodging is also much less than in the states.  Many of the best bass lakes do not have fishing lodges or guides, but you can easily find a local commercial fisherman to take you out for less than $50 a day.  If you fish at a lake that has guides you can hire a guide for between $100 and $200 for a day.  Many of the lodges give a highly discounted rate to people that just show up if they have room.  Most of them will charge far less for a one or two day stay, than the going rate per day is for the guests that they book for a week from the states.  If you have a boat or kayak, you can pay for one day of guiding, then be on your own for as long as you want or simply skip the guide all together.

      Next.  What about my dog?  Pets are welcome.  You have to get a vet certificate proving your pet has some shots before you can cross the boarder.  Most hotels allow pets, and you dog doesn't have to know any more Spanish than you do. 

      Next weather.   It can get hot in Mexico, but probably not as hot as it is in half of the States during the summer.  Where I fish the summertime temperature never gets above 85 degrees the humidity is high, but bearable.  Winter time low temp is 49 degrees. Surface temps. rarely get above 80 and never get below 60 degrees.  The rainy season is very humid, and runs July through September. there are thunder showers almost every night.  Fishing is still fantastic, but don't plan on fishing late in the afternoon.  Lake Chapala is actually  at its best August through October.  Winter weather is hot and dry and doesn't change much all winter.  Rain can wash out back roads, so make sure you have good tires, and a good spare.

       Next.  What about fishing gear.  Fresh water fishing gear can be extremely hard to find.  That is my only complaint about bass fishing in Mexico.  You will have to bring everything with you.  There is no limit on amount of tackle you can bring, but you will have to leave the Bait Monkey at home.  Saltwater gear is plentiful anywhere near the ocean.

       Next.  Is it a hassle to bring a boat?  No hassle at all.  You only have to get a temporary import permit at the boarder.  I drove a 75 foot sport fisher down, and the paper work only took 30 min.  Bringing a bass boat will not be a problem.  You do have to get your trailered boat insured but that is very inexpensive.  Nothing is required for a kayak or car top boat.  Good  Outboard mechanics are very common, and inexpensive.  Most parts are available locally.

      Next.  How is the fishing?  It can be awesome, just ask AJ.  It can also be slow.  Most lakes have Florida strain Large mouth and they can be very hard to catch anywhere they live.  The good thing is you are always one cast away from a fish of a lifetime.  I fish one lake that many days I only get 3 to 4 bites a day, but I almost always catch a bass over 7 pounds and landed 3 over 10 in one morning.  This Reservoir is only 1.5 miles long, and no body I know can even agree on the official name.  Some call it Presa Fernando, and most call it Presa Pocho.  I just call it big bass lake.  Lake Chapala is 50 miles long, and great for numbers.  I always catch over 30 bass a day when I go there. Their are two guides on the lake, and on a busy day there will be 3 to 4 boats fishing the whole lake.  Many days I am the only one.  The biggest bass I have landed there is 8 pounds, but there has been DD bass landed by others. There are dozens more unknown lakes as well as famous ones, all over the country. All have Double Digit bass, and even a chance at one over 15 pounds.  I currently fish five lakes a days drive from my home in Puerto Vallarta  I have discovered 3 more that have bass, I want to try if I ever get the time.  Most of the time the bass are not very educated.  A typical trophy bass in the states will have a doctorate degree in fishing tackle, and some know the name of a new color pattern within a week of it being available.  The typical Mexican bass most likely never made it out of the first grade.  Some have never seen a lure.  It's like you are fishing a private pond, with giant bass, only you are on public water.

    Next.  What about money?  This is not a third world country.  There are Banks, and ATM's everywhere.  You can exchange dollars to Pesos in any town, and most businesses take credit cards.

     Next.  Is it difficult to adjust to fishing back home after fishing South of the Boarder?  Yes.  The only way to adjust is to promise yourself you will go back again.  Fishing in Mexico is an addiction.  

      To summarize.  Bass fishing on you own in Mexico is easy, safe, fun, and has year around potential for almost anyone's PB.  I have to say almost because I don't think WRB has much of a chance of catching his PB south of the border.  For those of us with PB under 19 pounds, Mexico is the place.  The people are friendly, helpful, and very tolerant of foreigners, that don't speak their language.  For the few that have read this post all the way to the end.  I apologize for being so long winded.

 

PS.  If anyone ever does drive To PV please contact me.  I will give you the names and maps I have made of 5 lakes I fish, take you fishing with me if I have time, and will pay you to meet up with the Bait Monkey and bring some bass fishing gear to me.   

         

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Incredibly detailed post.

Thank you for taking the time.

All of my experiences in Mexico have been poitive, including the fishing.  OK, especially the fishing. 

My first several trips I flew commercial vice private air and while each was an adventure, there was really nothing going on that was concerning.  

:smiley:

A-Jay 

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Would you drive a nice truck pulling a 50 thousand dollar sparkly newer bass boat around to all the best lakes in Sinaloa? Especially with U.S. plates even if you aren’t looking to trouble or any illegal activities wouldn’t you have a target on your back. 

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5 hours ago, clh121787 said:

Would you drive a nice truck pulling a 50 thousand dollar sparkly newer bass boat around to all the best lakes in Sinaloa? Especially with U.S. plates even if you aren’t looking to trouble or any illegal activities wouldn’t you have a target on your back. 

      If I had a rig like that I would definitely fish every lake in Mexico.  The only target on your back would be from all the big bass.  I know many people with expensive vehicles, planes, and boats here, that have never had a problem.   I would make sure the Vehicle and boat are insured, the same as I would in the States and go explore. 

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The wife and I have visited several tropical resorts in Mexico, both sides and they were some of the finest in the world.

 

Have to admit, I don't watch the news or read a newspaper but the wife does and she indicates an significant increase in gun violence down there and even places we've stayed in and around Cancun.

 

I certainly wish the best for anyone traveling to Mexico in the pursuit of DD bass but think I'll stay in the states for a while.

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Well, I'm not taking anything away from Mexico, but both Texas and Florida produce 

10 lb+ bass occasionally and boat loads of 6-8 lb bass. You don't need a passport, another

language or additional security, although I would still carry.

 

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4 minutes ago, Bird said:

The wife and I have visited several tropical resorts in Mexico, both sides and they were some of the finest in the world.

 

Have to admit, I don't watch the news or read a newspaper but the wife does and she indicates an significant increase in gun violence down there and even places we've stayed in and around Cancun.

 

I certainly wish the best for anyone traveling to Mexico in the pursuit of DD bass but think I'll stay in the states for a while.

      Did your wife tell you about the gun violence in the Sates a couple weeks ago?  In Mexico, drug gangs shoot each other, not tourists or school children.  My wife reads the news, and thinks it is not safe to go to the states.  Just like in the states, mind you own business, stay away from drugs, and the late night parties, and you are good to go.  I haven't ever heard of a mass shooting of bass fisherman in the US and I also haven't ever heard of a fisherman getting shot in Mexico.  I have heard of a couple people on boats along the coast getting killed.  Come to find out they were either buying, and or selling drugs, sleeping with a cops wife, or ranchers under aged daughter, or in one case was actually a gang member of a gang in British Columbia and they sent someone down from Canada to shoot him.  The news headline said Canadian tourist shot in resort town in Mexico.  It didn't say Canadian drug lord hiding out in Mexico killed by British Columbia hit squad.  There is absolutely no instances of piracy.  I personally know many retired cruisers, who travel and live on their boats, all along the coast of Mexico, who have never been robbed, or hurt even while leaving their boats at anchor in remote bays along the coast while they travel inland.  It is bad for Mexican Cartel business to hurt US tourists.  Absolutely no need for a drug gang to shoot someone from the US driving down the road with a bass boat.  It would be the same as getting shot by a member of the Bloods gang in LA while you are launching your boat at a popular fishing lake in CA. Is their gang violence in Southern CA?  Yes.  Is your average bass fisherman in danger?  I don't think so. I know a guy who recently towed his $350,000 center console boat CA  to PV.  He had no problems, and He is an idiot who stopped at every bar and strip club on the way.  

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Just now, roadwarrior said:

Well, I'm not taking anything away from Mexico, but both Texas and Florida produce 

10 lb+ bass occasionally and boat loads of 6-8 lb bass. You don't need a passport, another

language or additional security, although I would still carry.

 

      I'm also not taking anything away from fishing in any state.  I hope to fish in many states, including Florida, and Texas some day.  I plan on retiring in WA State for the variety of fishing available there.  I only wanted to inform readers, that Mexico is an option they might not have considered when looking for a place to go bass fishing.

     I only wan readers to know, that Mexico is far easier, cheaper, and safer, than many may have thought. You don't have to save up your whole life for a week at a lodge in Mexico.  It is very easy to fish on your own.  Cross the boarder early on Friday morning, and you could be throwing a lure to a bass in famous Lake Baccarac on Sunday evening, Monday if you don't want to drive at night, or fish other lakes most people have never heard of.  I only wanted to point out the possibility, I'm not saying it is the best or only place to go to catch DD bass.

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  • 1 month later...
17 hours ago, MassBass said:

Do you fish any rivers in Mexico for bass? If so any vague suggestions?

I haven't fished any rivers in Mexico myself.  Most rivers are hard to access, making the logistics of a launching and picking up difficult.  I have heard rumors of the Rio Grande de Santiago River below the Aquamilpa dam has good numbers of bass, and I have a friend who has fished below the dam that creates the lake Cajon De Pena and caught bass, and snook.

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  • 10 months later...

I contacted a guide to fish Falcon Lake and he asked if I'd be interested in fishing Sugar Lake. I didn't believe that would be an option as I don't have a passport and he said that I'll I need is a driver's license. I've seen conflicting information online regarding if a passport is required to cross the border in a vehicle. The guide lives in TX and crosses the boarder multiple times each week, so I would think he would know, but I'd hate to have a problem...

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@Matt Bacola: I believe King Fisher is 100% correct. General rule of thumb. Never leave the US to visit another country without a passport. 
 

Call me anal but anytime I receive advice such as what you were told, I’d personally verify such a claim. 
 

My state is making mandatory that all residents get the enhanced drivers license and last I heard, they say you can enter Canada and I think Mexico with it and it’s sufficient. I will still bring my passport.  
 

@king fisher: not sure how I missed this post. Usually when I go to Mexico I go saltwater fishing. Being married to one for over 20 years, I have picked up the language and ding dang I pass even though I’m a brown Asian, lol. 
 

Case in point, I was fishing as the sun was just about to rise and there is this nervous looking Caucasian guy about 30 ft away from me and periodically when I glanced at him he got a little closer. He pulls out a little book and reads from it “buenos Dias. Co—-mo.  estas?” What he said was so broken that I knew instantly I was going to have a lot a lot of fun with this. I responded to him in Spanish. And my wife jokes that I sound like a gringo when speaking Spanish but he couldn’t tell, lol. 
 

He musters enough courage to roughly say something along the lines if I knew Jesus and boy he was really struggling. He definitely gets an A for effort. However, I couldn’t stand how much he was struggling so I said, “Do you want me to speak to you in English?”

 

He practically jumped back 10’ shocked as he could be. He then asked if I spoke English and I responded all my life. He looked so relieved. After some more chatting we learn that we’re from the same state … and vicinity  in King County. Go figure. Even the locals speak to me in Spanish and that’s cool for sure. Just don’t ask me to translate Puerto Ricans and Cubans for you. I have difficulty understanding them, and I shouldn’t. ?

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  • 1 month later...

Just as a follow up, I was a bit concerned however I decided to trust my guide and make the trip with only a DL. My friend who came with me did the same. I believe the place we crossed was Roma, TX? I had my birth certificate with me and I was ready to catch some attitude when we crossed back in to the US. The guy at the border asked if we were all US Citizens, looked at our DL's for all of a minute and sent us through. Easy Peasy. It was a fun trip and I'm already planning on going back next year (hopefully I'll have my passport by then).

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If I'm not mistaken, an Enhanced Driver's License is good at land crossings into Canada and Mexico from the US.  I used to drive into Canada to go fishing every few years and allowed my passport to expire.  I am permitted to enter with an EDL.  I have not tested this entering into Mexico, although I understand its the same.

 

A passport would be needed to enter another country by airplane.

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Thanks for the illuminating write-up. Mexico sounds great, but I sure would miss trees. They're my tribe.

 

I have long maintained that the world isn't as dangerous as many report. I've lived in two ghettos and taught in two urban schools with the most violent kids. I worked on a res where white folks told me to never go unless unescorted. The danger of my being on the res, where I was nearly everyday, was that the kids would knock me over when they raced to hug me. And I taught in coal country too. I never felt imperiled.

 

Same with solo paddling thousands of miles or living in the wilderness.

 

Now, as an old woman, I launch in bogs in full darkness. In this case, I'm grateful that many would be afraid to do the same because I'm a bog hog, wanting the bog to myself.

 

One morning, I launched and within the first minute, heard a heron's screech, a bullfrog's croak, a beaver's splash, and an owl's hoot. I laughed imagining a city person hearing those four sounds and thinking their end was near. 

 

#noonewillhearyouscreaminabog

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On 10/17/2023 at 9:12 AM, TnRiver46 said:

We have herons frogs beavers and owls in the middle of downtown along with lots of other wildlife, I make a living off of their resilience 

We got sea gulls eating rats around here

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On 10/17/2023 at 8:48 AM, ol'crickety said:

Mexico sounds great, but I sure would miss trees. They're my tribe.

 

Not an expert by any means however the areas of Mexico I've visited,

the western edge of the beautiful Sierra Madre Mountains, has quite a bit of forest land.

Either way, while the scenery is especially spectacular, so is the big bass fishing.

#likeapostcard 

large.565610796_Sceniclakepic.jpg.dd97aca603a3904a62bf1f6a1baaf6c9.jpglarge.2c76b37ac4685f2b1db1e52f6ae7ae86.jpg.321af6547232b7c68ffe8477231f7604.jpg

large.1579083276_LBL5.png.491d4b6b7c82c01956f29d4c6276372c.png

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

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The question is @A-Jay, hypothetically, would you hook up the Pro-V Bass to your Sierra and drive there?  Aint no way, no how, would I even consider something like that.  Even after @king fisher detailed post on the subject.

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32 minutes ago, gimruis said:

The question is @A-Jay, hypothetically, would you hook up the Pro-V Bass to your Sierra and drive there?  Aint no way, no how, would I even consider something like that.  Even after @king fisher detailed post on the subject.

No doubt it's a bit of a hike ~

But if it were going to be a One Way Trip,

I'd probably consider it. 

19413416_DrivetoBaccaracSM.png.0fc7c9b86157b492d5fc0d76a0eea1d8.png

5ae0876b5cf25_BaccaracgoodviewBR.jpg.5c4dd9259d73297624156fc3607a4e12.jpg795413267_LakeBaccaracSunsetBR.jpg.d0610212f872989b2861e533935a3e14.jpg

1192690385_AntzlBaccarac10-3BR.png.7000dbc4986d198e8bb6819c053cf4dd.png

 

logo.png.dafdc6686fc680fedfe751cf73e2ab38.png

A-Jay

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