Surfcasting On Mexico’s Pacific Coast

Pictured above: Big crevalle jacks fight like the devil, especially in the last wave, where they refuse to give ground. Photo by JM Basile I could just barely make out my lure as I retrieved it across the surface. Before my next cast, I glanced over where the other three fishermen were casting. Against the sand, I could make out the silhouette of a fisherman leaning back against a bent rod. The morning bite had begun. The “comb” cut the surface in a sharp S-pattern before the fish swam wide right and then lunged violently at the plug, taking it down in an explosion of white water. Roosterfish are the primary target species, but jacks, cubera snapper, houndfish, and sierra mackerel could take down a plug or metal as well. Roosters run the beaches south of Puerta Vallarta in the late summer and early fall, while they can be found on Baja California’s beaches starting in the spring. Many of the fast-moving species in the Mexican surf respond best to lures being skipped across the surface. Pencil poppers, heavy bottle-neck poppers, and metal lures are the most popular.
Big crevalle jacks fight like the devil

Pictured above: Big crevalle jacks fight like the devil, especially in the last wave, where they refuse to give ground. Photo by JM Basile

I could just barely make out my lure as I retrieved it across the surface. On my second cast, I thought I saw a boil behind my plug just yards from the beach, but I wasn’t sure if it was just wishful thinking. Before my next cast, I glanced over where the other three fishermen were casting. Against the sand, I could make out the silhouette of a fisherman leaning back against a bent rod. The morning bite had begun. I began casting feverishly, “Speed up your retrieve!” shouted my friend Todd from down the beach.

dorsal “comb” of a roosterfish
The distinctive dorsal “comb” of a roosterfish slices through the surf as the fish heads back to deep water. -Photo by JM Basile

I ripped my lure across the surface, and as it skipped through the large swell, the feathered dorsal fin of a roosterfish (locally known as “Pez…

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