Fishing the Largest Coral Structure in the Gulf of Mexico
Alacarnes Reef, or Scorpion Atoll, is the largest coral structure in the Gulf of Mexico. Since 1997 the waters of the atoll have been designated as a marine park forbidding commercial fishing. The remoteness and seclusion of the atoll will remind anglers of destinations like the Seychelles or Christmas Island. Enjoy the atoll while wade fishing for big bonefish and permit. The fishery also holds large numbers of barracudas, triggerfish, sharks, amberjacks, mutton snappers, and other Caribbean flats species. Scorpion Atoll is one of the most pristine destinations on earth and is home to an ecosystem full of nesting birds and sea turtles. With only a handful of trips offered each year, this is truly an incredible opportunity for the adventuring angler!
+ Listen to this WAYPOINTS Podcast: SCORPION ATOLL -The Most Unique, Hard-To-Reach Destination in the Caribbean
Before departing for the atoll guests will overnight in downtown Merida nights at Casa del Balam Hotel (or similar hotel). Hotels in Merida are very nice with air conditioning and comfortable accommodations. Merida is an incredibly safe, beautiful, and interesting city. There are multiple options for dining and shopping within walking distance of the hotel. Early on the morning after arrival, guests will be transferred 40 minutes to Progresso to meet the live-aboard crew and guides.
The current yacht is a 42 ft Sea Ray and accommodates a group of 4 anglers and the crew comfortably.
Food and Beverages
Anglers will be thrilled by hearty meals. Breakfasts consist of cereal, fruit, coffee, toast, scrambled eggs, omelets, and pancakes. Lunch usually consists of fresh ceviche, ham and cheese sandwiches, and fruit. Dinner might be a fresh fish plate from the daily catch—grilled with garlic and butter or steak tacos and fajitas from the grill.
Typical Length of Stay
The package consists of six (6) nights with four and a half (4.5) fishing days. Two nights in Merida and four nights at the Atoll. Fishing days include a full day on arrival and a 1/2 day of fishing on the departure day.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
Due to the isolated nature of the atoll, non-angling activities are extremely limited and this is a fishing-focused destination. However, there are large numbers of birds as well as turtles that may be nesting dependent on the season.
Internet / Communications
There is no internet or cell phone coverage on the atoll. The guides and outfitter do carry satellite phones for emergencies.
How To Get There
All guests should book flights into Merida’s Manuel Crescencio Rejon International Airport (MID). The airport is serviced by a number of major U.S. airlines that offer direct service from Houston, Dallas, or Miami.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Late arrivals and early departures can be accommodated due to the close proximity of the Merida hotel to the airport.
All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within six (6) months of trip dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blank, unstamped pages remaining in the back, and that it is not torn, delaminated, or damaged in any way. No visas or inoculation are required for U.S. citizens. A Mexican departure tax is payable at the airport when leaving Mexico. Some airlines include this as a prepaid part of your ticket.
Minors Travelling To Mexico Without Both Parents
If you are planning on traveling with minors, remember that all children under 18 years of age entering Mexico accompanied by only one parent or legal guardian must have a notarized letter of consent from the other parent stating the child/children have his/her permission to enter the country. Single parents need a notarized documentation of divorce decree or death certificate of spouse. Minors unaccompanied by either parent require a notarized letter of consent signed by both parents.
Yellow Dog provides airline reservations ad ticketing assistance through etcTravel Group, and a full-service airline logistics agent that can help book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and more. You can click here to request a quote or contact Yellow Dog for more information at 406-585-8667. etcTravel Group offers dedicated support services for all Yellow Dog clients. Service fees may apply when booking or researching tickets, and etcTravel will discuss this with you before sending quotes.
The remote nature of the atoll’s location in the Gulf of Mexico offers you as an angler opportunity that you may not have at other destinations. Due to marine park designation of the atoll, commercial fishing is strictly limited providing better than average fish numbers and size potential. Generally, the bonefish and permit are larger than their counterparts in Ascension Bay, and other species can be targeted as well including barracudas, triggerfish, sharks, amberjacks, mutton snappers, and more.
The program has always been a ‘wade only’ opportunity, but new for the 2022 season, the outfitter will be bringing 1 or 2 pangas (depending on group size and weather) that the guides will be able to poll and anglers will be able to fish from. This will open up a massive amount of water that they have not been able to fish in the past and the guides will be able to access the far east end of the atoll. The boats will also be used for access to several islands and wadeable flats. This is certainly one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for the opportunity to take shots at permit on foot in shallow water and most of the flats are hard bottom and easy to negotiate.
Boats and Equipment Required
On each trip, there will be 1 or 2 pangas depending on group size and weather at the time of crossing that guides will be able to poll and fish. The boats will also be used for DIY fishing on several islands and flats. 9-weight rods/lines are recommended and will suit almost every situation on the flats. It’s also suggested to bring a 10-weight in case you find a large permit, barracuda, jack, or run into windy conditions!
Rates and Terms
2023 Package Rates
Always remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter! All prices below are per person and quoted in US dollars.
The Scorpion Atoll trip and the live-a-board can accommodate up to 4 anglers. They can accommodate a smaller group for the trip but the total price for the boat would be the same as a full boat. A group of 4 anglers certainly gives the best per person value for the trip!
6 Nights / 4 1/2 days of guided fishing = $6,950.00 per person (based on 4 anglers)
** Trip Insurance is required by the outfitter for this trip **
The outfitter also offers a Scorpion Atoll / Campeche combo trip with Tarpon Town for a little tarpon fishing on the front or back end of a trip to the atoll!! The Combo trip consists of 7 nights total with 3 days at the atoll and 3 days fishing for juvenile tarpon out of Campeche. The price for the combo trip would be $6,450.00 per person based on a full group of 5 anglers!
- Two (2) nights at Casa del Balam Hotel (or similar hotel) in Merida
- Five (5) nights on live-a-board
- Four and a half (4.5) days of guided fishing (2 anglers per guide)
- Three meals per day while on the live-aboard
- Sodas, beer, and wine while on the live-aboard
- Ground transfers to and from the airport
- Ground transfers and from the hotel and Progresso marina
- Fishing License
- Marine park usage fee
What’s Not Included:
- International airfare to and from Merida
- Taxis, tours, meals, and beverages while in Merida
- Liquor while on live-a-board (BYO)
- Gratuities for guides, boat crew, and shuttle drivers
Scorpion Atoll (Yucatan Peninsula)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages. A non-refundable deposit of 50% per person is due within 10 days of booking for all trip packages and reservations, and final payment if due 90 days prior to arrival. All trip cancellations must be received in writing, sent to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, LLC. For cancellations outside of 120 days from the start of trip, a refund or trip credit will be given minus a $100.00 per person Yellow Dog cancellation fee. For cancellations 119 to 60 days from start of trip date, refunds will not be issued, however the outfitter may issue a trip credit for a future date. This will be at the sole discretion of the Outfitter. For cancellations inside of 60 days from the start of the trip, deposits and final payments will be forfeited and no trip credits will be issued. Partial group cancellations cannot be accommodated due to the fixed costs of the package, so any decisions to change dates or cancel must be made as a group. If a cancelled package is resold by either the outfitter or by Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, then a full refund will be sent minus a $100.00 per person cancellation fee charged by Yellow Dog Flyfishing. If the trip does not fill with the required anglers per trip (5 minimum) within 60 days, the outfitter can opt to cancel the trip and all monies will be refunded subtracting the exchange rate differences and banking fees. If the trip does not fill with the required anglers per trip (5 minimum) within 60 days, the outfitter can opt to cancel the trip and all monies will be refunded subtracting the exchange rate differences and banking fees. It could be better to reschedule within the same year instead of canceling or claiming a refund, as Mexican peso parity versus USD can cause partial losses of the original amount deposited.
NOTE ON WEATHER: The schedule and departure date for each Scorpion Atoll trip can vary depending upon weather. Planning an extra day in Merida on the front end of the trip is not a bad idea in the event of being rescheduled should bad weather occur. For this reason, The Outfitter requires that all anglers and purchase travel insurance for this trip.
Yellow Dog Customer Reviews
“The outfitter went out of his way to ensure that had an opportunity to fish. Made many changes on the fly to accommodate.” – Gene J.
“A very intense boat ride out to the Atoll,(very rough seas) The Fishery and the sheer beauty of the Atoll is hard to put into words, Magnificent, Incredible, Outstanding. The entire crew of five guys did everything to ensure that we had the best experience possible. Raul has an outstanding staff he works with, they handled all the logistics of living on a “live aboard” like clockwork. They would brief us every morning based on the winds and tides what areas we would fish that day. They always asked if we wanted to fish for other species, Cuda’s , Jacks, Permit & Bones. This was definitely the most remote fishing destination I have ever been to. Thank you Yellow dog for making a potentially difficult trip into a Trip of a Lifetime.” – John M.