Lure of Fishing Reeling in the Tourists

From raw novice to accomplished sports fisherman, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico is the place for you! Here, you’ll discover the venues and the experts to make your fishing experience one to remember! Known as the Sailfish Capital of the World, fishing in Manzanillo has long been a very popular activity. It has now become a surging business opportunity very much in demand in the expanding tourism industry.

Fishing First-Timers

If you’ve never fished in the ocean or in any body of water for that matter, you’re not as rare as you might think. Whereas fishing is an extremely popular recreation activity, just like hang gliding, it just isn’t for everyone. Until it hits the plate, I for one don’t know my way around fish. 

There are many reasons why I’ve never tried fishing that I’ll share with you. A few that come to mind are, fear of large bodies of water! Throwing Up! Well, two reasons then!

What is the impetus that takes a non-participant in the sport of fishing like me and puts a rod in my hands? Manzanillo’s magical Pacific Ocean view had a lot to do with it. Granted I could have suntanned, golfed and toured without giving fishing any serious thought. Thankfully, a friend’s suggestion put my prairie butt in a chartered fishing boat out in an immense body of water. That is an accomplishment in itself! No throwing up, a bonus! Catching fish is the icing on the cake!

I’d love to rail on about the Hemmingway-like fight between fish and man but I can’t. It was only a couple of tunas. But just look at how Captain Saul has to hang onto that baby. For me, getting on that boat, reeling them in and sharing one of them later with friends was an unbelievable experience that I’ll do again!

Fly Rod Fishing

I have several male friends who are avid fly fishermen in Alberta who can wonderfully fill an evening with tales of their exploits. Often it isn’t the size of the fish that stokes them. The location, conditions or equipment often take precedent. 

Some “Fly” fans I know will travel 5 hours by plane to Mexico for two days to stand in the surf trying to reel in whatever the ocean will provide. Like Churchill’s famous, “we will fight them on the beaches,” speech, that’s the true spirit of a fly fisherman for my money. Heck, some like Aljohn Bautista will go so far as to invite a friend, Cam Smith in this case, along with him to expertly record the moments for posterity.

Charter Fishing Booming

Manzanillo’s vastly growing tourist industry has propelled (boat humour) the charter fishing business into a 24/7 operation. The marina at Las Hadas and the marina in Manzanillo Centro have an abundance of reputable, skilled, well manned and well-appointed charter boats for hire. It’s a wise idea to get references from hotels, many restaurants and locals about names of the best charters to book depending on your needs.

With the very early hours deemed to be ideal for great fishing, you won’t want to wait until till day-of to wander over to one of the marinas and try to charter a boat. You could end up standing on the dock at 5 am watching the pelicans feed! Book a day ahead at least!

Captain & Crew Will Make the Day

While it’s ideal to find a charter team that speaks your native tongue, many Spanish-only speaking teams also do just fine with guests! Do some homework and have a clear idea what your objectives are in terms of the species of fish you are interested in catching. The charter companies know where to go for various types of fish and whether their boat is equipped for the task.

If you’re heading out for large fish such as sailfish, marlin, wahoo, tuna or dorado, the fighting chair, rods, reels, lures and bait are very important to you and the challenges that await. The expert fishing skill of the crew member(s) is also critical.

Many of the most popular charters have enjoyed a long history with sport-fishing in the Manzanillo area. There are several generational charters where children have followed in their parents’ footsteps in the local fishing business. Most are well known and highly respected.

You want to enjoy the day and the crew of the charter is going to be the key to that outcome. The references you’ll find locally will often speak about the people associated with the charter rather than the equipment. You will want some fishing success of course but also want to enjoy some laughs and excitement in the 3-4 hour fishing trip.

Does Your Friend own a Boat?

What a perk if you have a friend who owns a boat here. Double that treat if your friend happens to absolutely love fishing. And it’s a trifecta if the boat is outfitted with the gear necessary to give you a shot at reeling some of the best the Pacific has to offer! Such is the luck of my buddy Steve! (left)

Steve’s friend and neighbour Alvaro (centre) has been just amazing hosting trips on the Seahawk for some serious fish. And recent successful trips have further stoked Steve’s fishing bug. This four-man team and captain returned to a “Rock Star” welcome with a 250 lb Black Marlin to display.    

We all loved hearing the enthusiastic description of the challenge, teamwork, skill and support to bring this incredible fish in.

I’ve noticed that fishing is now one of the topics that Steve and I discuss fairly often. Before this marlin run, “fish” only entered our conversation when discussing what restaurant we would be going to for dinner. I’m tempted to chip with excerpts from my totally successful 15 lb tuna trip, but have stayed mute!

 Never Disappointed in Manzanillo

Through Alvaro’s generous spirit, Steve and buddy Greg (left in orange) from Saskatchewan hit the waves and the Seahawk served up a bounty! Under the clear, blue skies of Manzanillo this week, Greg and Steve proudly landed two monstrous Wahoos. (I’m an English major and I do not know if there is supposed to be an “e” after the double “o” and before the “s.”)

They shared the Wahoos didn’t result in Rock-star status. I wasn’t the least bit surprised to find out that Diego, (centre) the Manager at the Oasis Beach Club threw a huge Mexican Fiesta in honour of their success. I’ve been led to understand however that the Fiesta may have already been planned and advertised! Lana (second left) and Shirley (second right) were beaming when their fishermen arrived home with news of the fiesta and the catch of the day! Yes, in that order!

            Join us in Manzanillo and try some type of fishing! You’ll be hooked!             Orchestrate Your Best Life!!






           Not surprisingly, Shirley created a very tasty dish of Wahoo filets for next day’s lunch!!

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