Goin’ Fishing (Options for the Non-diver)

Goin’ Fishing, since we can’t spend all of our time underwater while on vacation.  We have to find other activities to fill our time when we can’t be diving.  Like many other four state divers, I grew up fishing, swimming, boating, and canoeing on the lakes, rivers, and creeks in our area.  As a diver, I’ve always tried to go by the take only pictures and leave only bubbles philosophy.  Though I have invited about every lobster I’ve seen while diving to dinner. But alas, none have taken me up on my offer. I get a bit of fishing fever when I see the fishing boats coming and going or the sport fishing tournaments.

Cozumel 2019

My parents went with me on the February 2019 Group Dive trip to Cozumel. My dad said that he would like to go deep sea fishing.  I already knew that Cozumel was a highly rated fishing destination.  While in Cozumel in May of 2017, we saw the Cozumel leg of the International Billfishing Tournament series.  There always seems to be a lot of fishing boats around when visiting Cozumel. Fishing Cozumel is one of the actives that always comes up when looking for things to do while on the island.  Needless to say, it didn’t take a lot of arm twisting to tell dad that fishing sounds like a great idea.

I will be the first to admit that at this point in my vacation planning I knew nothing about deep sea fishing. Things like how to charter a boat, how much it might cost, or what was included.  I went online to do a little research into the subject. Then I went to my ace in the hole for all things Cozumel, Deb Weston.  I knew that Deb would not know much about fishing in Cozumel, but she would know who to ask and could get me in touch with the right person.  Deb did not disappoint.

Less than a day after I asked her about it, she had me talking to Jorge Marin of Cozumel Marine World.  After a short conversation about what was I was looking for, Jorge recommended the fishing boat Kay Kib.  He knew the owners and spoke highly of them.  Shortly thereafter I contacted Laura Alcala one of the owners of the Kay Kib and had a deposit for a full eight hour day of deep sea fishing reserved.  I had the fishing trip set up for our first full day in Cozumel.

The Day Before We Left

Then on the day before we were to fly to Cozumel, I received a message from Laura, saying that the Kay Kib had suffered a major engine failure. It would be unable to go out on the date that I had reservations for.  Laura then told me that they had another boat and crew that they would recommend for the same price.  Laura even sent pictures of the recommended replacement boat.  Laura told me that if this was unacceptable that they would work to make things satisfactory, then apologized for any inconvenience.

At this point, I was really nervous about the situation.  Was this going to be some sort of bait and switch?  I really did not have any real other options other than to cancel.  After a quick consideration, I let Laura know that I would ok with the recommended replacement boat.  Laura quickly confirmed with me. She told me that one of the Kay Kib crew would be waiting at the pier to ensure that everything would ok when we boarded the boat in the morning.

I was still pretty nervous about this.  Morning came, dad and I went to breakfast.  We took our sea sickness medicine and only had a light breakfast as Laura had recommended.  After we ate, we headed to the hotel pier to be picked up.  Jimmy from the Kay Kib was waiting for us as promised at the pier.  I breathed a sigh of relief. So far so good, things were going as planned.

I saw our boat come around the freight ferry pier and breathed a big sigh of relief.  She looked like a very nice boat as promised.

Headed Out

We quickly boarded and headed out of the no-fishing zone that surrounds the island.  The captain quickly got us offshore and the crew started rigging baits and teasers.  Not long afterward we had our first fish on.  Alas, we lost that fish.  Soon we had a second fish on, and we got it in the boat and into the cooler.  It was mahi-mahi, a fish that is a very good table fare.

My dad got the first fish in the boat, so I was second up in the chair.  Soon we had a second mahi-mahi in the cooler.  We continued to catch a few fish as we trolled.  The crew told us that a front had come through the day before, which had changed the normal wind direction around. That had put the fish on a slow bite and made the seas higher than normal.

The captain and crew kept asking dad and I if we were alright. We were.  Neither of us got a touch of seasickness, even though we had a few waves that were almost a high as the flying bridge.  The captain was an expert at keeping the boat stable with the waves.

We continued trolling on an almost due west course till we were almost to Playa del Carmen.  We then headed east southeast back towards Cozumel.  We were well south of San Miguel, down around the Columbian reef area, when we headed back north towards.  We continued to stay out of the no-fishing zone and trolled till almost back to the pier for the freight ferry.  Then the crew said it was time to pull our lines in.

End of the Fishing Trip

We had a great day deep sea fishing.  We didn’t catch a lot of fish, but we had enough for us and the crew to take some home with us.  Would I go again?  You bet I would!

Now the story doesn’t end here.  The captain and crew fileted our fish.  Once we were back to the hotel, I asked if the hotel kitchen could fix the fish for us.  The front desk staff put me in touch with the head of the kitchen.  As it was slightly after four o’clock in the afternoon, and dinner would start at six thirty, I doubted that we would be having our fish that evening.  But they said that it would be ready for us by seven.

They did a fantastic job of fixing the mahi-mahi and there was plenty to share with all the folks from Extreme Sports SCUBA.

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