Oasis Playa Coco
There are many different species to be caught from the beach at Play Coco (as you can see from the pictures below). The beach just as you enter the water is old coral so some foot protection will make things very much more comfortable, whether fishing or just going swimming. I spent the entire fortnight wearing nothing other than Crocs, I know they can look sad, but they are comfortable and great for the water, the choice of colour is yours I went for Terry Wogan beige (yes I'm a TOG). The reason there are so many fish is a 20ft diameter coral out crop with a few tyres and building blocks about 50yards out. Even at high water you can wade to it and many of the hotel guests went there to feed the fish with bread and bananas. All this activity brings in the bigger fish, snapper and barracuda.
Light spinning gear is ideal and if you have a word with George on the Hobie cats you can take a pedalo for a few hours and fish from it between the outcrop and the edge of the eel grass. If you have something a bit heavier, and some strong floating lures, you may come to an arrangement (nudge nudge, wink wink) with the hobie cat guys and troll for barracuda and snapper.
Fancy fly fishing? There is a massive lagoon, entrance through the mangroves and hordes of voracious mossies, about 100yards up the beach past the hobie cats. There are a few large bonefish (10 lb +) and tarpon. I caught a new species to me there, no photos I'm afraid but here is the description. Tail and dorsal the same as a bonefish, bright silver long and slim with a large mouth and eyes. I was told they are good eating, they are not, the flesh was the texture of under cooked bread and every mouthful was 80% bone, still they put up a reasonable fight. You could walk the beach as there are odd bonefish and tarpon but expect many hours or days when you will see nothing. Better to do as John Dunnipace from Scotland did and hook up with a guide who will find you a more prolific area, his report is below.
As promised, attached are the photos of the fish we caught. You'll also see from the attached that I had some success with the bonefish - and tarpon
Turns out Doniesky (spelling's way off I expect) had a damaged leg and couldn't work, but I managed to get hold of another guide - a guy called Jordan. The letter 'a' in his name is emphased by the way. There's a pic of him holding one of the bonefish I caught. I was going to go to the Cayo Romano area on my second last day, but was put off with the weather report so opted for Cayo Guillermo at Club Cojimar beach instead. This is just 25 minutes from Playa Coco in a taxi and it's possible to travel on your own as there's no check points to cross. It turned out to be a wise choice too 'cause I (read the guide) found several small schools of bones cruising there with the tide that were actively feeding and willing to take a fly . I hooked 5 in all, with 3 being landed in a little under an hour and a half. The biggest bone I landed was around the 6lb mark, but unfortunately Jordan dropped it while I was getting the camera ready for the trophy shot!!!! Could've happened to anyone I suppose as they're lively buggers. I could have happily fished there all day but the clouds arrived making the bones impossible to spot. So on Jordan's advice I decided to try for the tarpon in the channels behind the Cojima hotel.
The wading here was a bit difficult in parts due to deep-ish
mud. Also while going through the bushes to get to the fishing those ravenous
little mossies were disturbed and made their presence known to me in the usual
way. Luckily the deet I was using seemed to fend most of them off. The reward
was water full of medium and large tarpon that could be easily spotted and
covered with a fly. I lost count of the number I hooked that immediately took
to the air and broke me off. I failed to take heavy shock material with me (I
didn't expect to be fishing for tarpon!) and the one I did manage to land needed
to be brought to hand sharpish to avoid the tarpon's abrasive jaw from working
through my 10lb leader material. Hope you enjoy the photos.
OH forgot to say, I managed to catch one of the pesky little barras on fly