Angler: Lacey Savage
Date: January, 2022
Trip Taken: Mexico Sailfishing and Roosterfish Trip
Consultant: Patrick Kissel | Outdoors International
We booked our vacation to the fishing lodge almost a year ago so I had months of built up anticipation upon our arrival.
I had never been to Mexico and I was a little bit nervous I’m not going to lie. We flew from Chicago to Houston, Houston to Ixtapa. What I’ve heard and researched was to skip Mexico City. Some of the other guests that went with us flew to Mexico City and let’s just say I’m thankful we listened to the advice.
Ixtapa is such a tiny little airport.
Getting through customs was a piece of cake, everything went smooth and was so easy. As soon as the doors to the airport opened our taxi driver was standing there with a sign, so there’s no question of where to go. It’s a little over an hour drive through little villages with beautiful views of the ocean.
As soon as we got there two of the ladies from the lodge Laura and Maria greeted us with lemonade and took our bags to our room and our beers to the ice filled coolers.
They also had fresh homemade guacamole and chips waiting at the table for us and come to find out they do that every single day when you come back from fishing. It’s a perfect refreshing appetizer to get you by until dinner time. It’s a short little walk to the beach from the lodge so Patrick and I cruised down attempting to fish off the rocks in the cove. Saw some fish but nothing to hand.
Stuffed shrimp and rice was waiting for us when we got back, absolutely delicious! The rooms are comfy and the air conditioning is cold but it’s not 5 star lodging. There isn’t hot water coming out of the showers but in the Mexico heat that’s not what you’re really wanting anyway. It’s perfect for us because we aren’t fancy.
At 5:30 Laura knocks on your door for a wake up call. We threw our packs together and went out for coffee and breakfast.
The ladies pack a lunch for you and have your cooler waiting down at the shuttle. It is a short ride to the marina where your guide is waiting. Patrick always gets sea sick so we put some patches on behind our ears and downed a bonine seasick pill before we came aboard. Usually you have the same guide all week but since we came two days early we get Alejandro and Carlos for these days.
I highly recommend installing google translate or a similar app on your phone prior to coming down.
The folks at the lodge and the guides know little to no English and I am the same with Spanish so it makes it nice to be able to communicate. There was plenty of passing the phone back and forth and hand gestures throughout the day. I also recommend bringing sun shirts and pants along with you, it’s a long day out there and that sun is a scorcher.
The fishing was slow meaning we only boated one bonito but that’s because we are trying to fly fish and aren’t running bait so we are working with different odds.
The epic part of the day was the sailfish that came in after our teaser and whacked my fly twice but not sure what happened I blacked out with excitement. So cool to see that giant sail and bill coming out of the water practically right next to the boat. The guides tried really hard to find us fish but hey that’s all part of the game.
The usual guacamole and salsa appetizer and drinks filled our time until dinner was served.
We were with a group that had been there a few days so I enjoyed getting to know them and hearing all their fishing stories from their stay.
Since we knew the program it made the morning cruise along smoother.
I hogged down my breakfast jonesing to get out on the boat. We had another long day of not many fish but again the guides worked their buns off trying to get us into some fish. I think that they think we are crazy for not just throwing bait out which almost guarantees more action. But we’ve been dreaming of catching a sailfish on a fly rod for almost a year so we’re sticking to the plan.
About mid day it was so hot and nothing much was going on so we jumped in and swam for a while.
The ocean was so warm it wasn’t even a shock to the system when we hit the water. I highly recommend the midday swim! There were lots of dolphins and turtles showing their faces throughout the day. We are definitely not in Wisconsin anymore.
Today is the day our group arrives.
Patrick is hosting this trip and all of the guests are our friends. Natalie and Hal were the first to arrive. We went to the beach and played a little volleyball with the locals before dinner. The rest of the crew trickled in and I could feel their stoke level as I greeted each one of them. Oh the memories we are about to make together.
The vibe at the table during breakfast was high!
Once we were all on the dock, coolers were going into boats and our groups separated motoring off in different directions. Today we are with Chucho. We saw a marlin right off the bat and a few dorado jumping but we only ended up boating a bonito.
Patrick still was sticking strong to wanting to catch one on a fly rod but I was ready to switch to bait.
We swam, ate lunch and soaked in the beautiful sunshine watching a few dolphins, turtles and even whales in the distance. My phone was going off all day with messages from the group with pictures of sailfish, dorado and lots of giant grins. Verizon and at&t both work out there.
Once back at the dock the pool at the lodge was calling all of our names.
I swished through the outside shower to rinse the layers of sunscreen off and spent the evening giggling in the pool over everyone’s awesome stories from the day. Dinner was fresh dorado that someone in our group caught. Stoked that everyone had a good first day!
I was ready to fish bait and let my fly rod stay back in the cold air conditioned room.
So, Josh went with Patrick and Chucho and I hopped on the boat with Tash, Ronaldo and Joel. They had the tunes cranked and were dancing away it was adorable. We weren’t out long when the reel started clicking, Ronaldo grabbed the rod, set the hook and handed it to me. A dorado came flying out of the wave real mad like trying to shake me. What a rodeo! I’ve never caught one of those, it was so cool to see one up close.
Tash was up next and as soon as Ronaldo handed her the rod we saw the sailfish come soaring out of the water.
We both screamed “it’s a sail” as she started in on her fight. Her game of tug a war lasted a lot longer than my dorado did. Our giggles were priceless and the guides were just as stoked. Tash was worked by the time she landed that beautiful fish. She said “I’ve never felt like that before” as she showed me her hands shaking, how cool is that! Of course we cracked a victory beer and were so content with the day but it gets better.
I also got the experience of reeling in a sailfish in the very last minutes of the day!
They are so powerful and have such gorgeous color hues up close. Thank god for those fighting belts. Today I learned that when you are laughing hysterically you don’t have much for strength. So cool to make memories like this with my great friend of 20 years. Everyone was hyped when we got back to the lodge and gathered around the pool. So much chatter it was hard to keep straight who caught what. There were lots of smiles and sunburnt cheeks. We all were ready for a little shut eye around 9. Early mornings, long days in the heat, stuffed bellies and reeling in those big fish had us all exhausted. In the best way possible that is!
Today I joined my girlfriend Natalie on Daniels boat.
Her husband Hal boogied out on Chucho’s boat with Patrick, the team of beards. The beautiful pink sunrise mixed with dolphins all around the boat is an amazing way to start the day.
It’s crazy how you can go from such a relaxed state to pure adrenaline by the sound of a reel clicking!
We threw the belt on Natalie and she was in for a massive fight with her first sailfish. I don’t know, I may have been more stoked than she was but judging by the smile on her face I doubt it. We had a few more takes on the bait, one time even being a double but we weren’t fast enough to the draw. Maybe it was dolphins stealing our bait who knows but it was still exciting. I ended the day with two bonitos.
The other Happy news is Patrick finally got a fish on his fly and a beautiful bull dorado it was!
His will power is impressive with so many of us boating fish and him staying dedicated to the fly. Lots of dorado, sails and roosters landed today. Even a pompano that we enjoyed for dinner, so delicious!
Last day of fishing for us.
I jumped back on the boat with Patrick and Chucho.
We decided to change it up and do some inshore fishing.
Dane and Scott had been having epic days close to shore and I really wanted to hold a roosterfish. After casting my arms off I finally got to hold my rooster. That funky mohawk seems so out of place. I love ocean fish, so different from the fresh water fish I’m used to playing with. I also got to tango with a dorado for a bit but he was playing hard to get, literally. After a few jumps he came unbuttoned but that’s fishing.
One last cannonball off of the boat before heading in.
I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face reminiscing about the last few days spent with 10 of my friends. We all caught a few different species of fish and made memories that will be talked about for the rest of our lives. They all came into this as strangers to one another and I know they left as friends. The talk around the dinner table as we stuffed our bellies full of dorado was about the dates we should book for next year, the trip was that good!
I highly recommend this lodge to all my fishy and not so fishy friends out there. I can promise you, you will not be disappointed!
- How would you rate your trip overall? I highly recommend this lodge to all my fishy and not so fishy friends out there. I can promise you, you will not be disappointed!
- How were your guide(s)? Shout out to all the guides for working so hard day in and day out. I know the language barrier can’t be easy for them and the days with not much going on is tough but they all did a wonderful job and were so apologetic when it was slow. They kept their boats so tidy and organized. I was so impressed watching them filet our fish and have zero mess in minutes everything was spotless and back to normal.
- How was your lodging and food? The rooms are comfy and the air conditioning is cold but it’s not 5 star lodging. There isn’t hot water coming out of the showers but in the Mexico heat that’s not what you’re really wanting anyway. It’s perfect for us because we aren’t fancy. Also to the house staff for working so hard and for such long hours. They kept everything organized right down to who had what cooler with special food and drinks and for accommodating my food allergies, likes and dislikes. The dinner service and food was so wonderful.
- How was your outfitters communication? Although John the owner wasn’t at the lodge, he called and checked in with the guides through out the day as well as called Patrick every night to hear details about the day.
- How physically demanding was your trip? Easy
- How would you rate your consultant? Patrick was great answering all of my questions about the lodge, what rods to bring as well as what to expect.
- Would you book another trip with OUTDOORS INTERNATIONAL in the future? Yes
- Can we use your stories and/or photos on our website? Yes
- Can we use this in social media? Yes.