Exploring the Tropical Jungles of Mexico for Tarpon
Fly Fishing Tabasco is a tarpon-focused program based in the southern Mexican state of Tabasco – located between the states of Veracruz and Campeche along the Gulf of Mexico, the state is known for its large rivers, deep lagoons, wetlands, and tropical greenery. The name of the game of the fishing here is numbers and anglers can expect to hook up to dozens of small tarpon when the conditions are right. The Tabasco Fly Fishing program is a far cry from some of the other polished and established lodges in the Yucatan and we are quick to state that this destination is not for everyone! However, for those who want to experience total immersion in “real” Mexico with an authentic, off-the-grid travel experience while at the same time gaining access to incredible baby tarpon fishing, this is certainly a solid option.
The package with Fly Fishing Tabasco is completely hosted and you will have a Tabasco Fly Fishing representative with you at all times with a van to accommodate travel to and from dinner each evening. Accommodations are at the Hotel Mar Mor in Frontera (or Centla). Frontera is a 1-hour drive from Villahermosa.
Frontera offers the full Mexican experience and the Hotel Mar Mor is perfectly located. The hotel is not the Hyatt and is a bit rough around the edges but you are only 10 minutes from the dock where you meet the guides and boats. It is a small town and the hotel sits on the main town square across from the city park with a large Catholic church next door. Every evening the park is alive with music and full of families and kids. Most nights soccer and basketball games are also underway. This is real Mexico and a true look into the family-oriented culture of Mexico and how community and family are central to life. It is small towns like this that keep the traditions of Mexico alive!
Food and Beverages
If staying in Villahermosa there is a continental breakfast at the hotel and a bar/restaurant for dinners in the hotel. There are also numerous restaurants nearby for excellent dining options.
In Frontera, the Café del Puerto is just across the square from the hotel and there are several other options close by. The café has several different options for breakfast and the dinners are some of the best in town – all food served in authentic Mexican style.
Typical Length of Stay
Most anglers stay four (4) or five (5) nights, but packages of any length can be arranged
Non-Angling Activities and Options:
The Route of Sacred Cacao
Small cacao farms settle deep in the jungle offer a unique experience for guests. Old ranches dating from colonial times are now home to cacao in its various stages of production. At the farm, Hacienda de la Luz, in Chontalpa, the cacao grain is homegrown and made into handmade chocolates. Boasting some 50 hectares, the farm has at its entrance a beautiful garden where a large variety of tropical plants and fruit trees grow freely. The farm’s guided tour brings you closer to the plantation, its harvest periods, its collection procedures and – the most intriguing part – the chocolate-making process. First, the still-green grains are fermented; these are then washed, toasted and their shell removed. In an old mill, grains are ground into a paste. Finally, the paste is mixed with sugar and cinnamon and set in special molds.
Comalcalco, Entrance of the Mayan World
Comalcalco, or House of Frying Pans in native Nahuatl, is one of the most important ancient cities in Tabasco, and the only Mayan city built with bricks of baked clay instead of stone. This amazing archaeological site is made up of three complexes: The North Square, the Great Acropolis, and the Acropolis of the East. Its impressive Site Museum houses around 300 pieces portraying the development of this ancient city. It is, thankfully, easily reached via Villahermosa, at just 50 kilometers from the city.
The westernmost Mayan ceremonial center discovered to date, Comalcalco is a fascinating yet under-visited site. Comalcalco thrived as an agricultural center specializing in cacao, still an important cash crop in the region.
The composition of the site’s scattered pyramids and temples is completely unique. Unlike Mayan sites in the Yucatan where limestone was plentiful, the builders of Comalcalco manufactured bricks from clay, sand, and oyster shells. Comacalco is believed to feature the earliest brick buildings in Mesoamerica. Elaborate stucco façades, masks, and multi-colored reliefs decorate the site’s gleaming white pyramids.
Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi is available at both of the hotels and many of the restaurants and there is decent cell phone service in the area.
How To Get There
All guests should book flights in and out of Villahermosa International airport (VSA). When flying to Villahermosa you do have to connect in Mexico City (MEX), clear customs there, recheck bags and then catch your flight to Villahermosa. There are not any direct flights currently available from the US.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
We recommend that guests book their arrival flights no later than 4:00 PM in and schedule your departure flights for AFTER 12:00 noon to ensure comfortable transportation to and from Villahermosa and Frontera. Upon arrival you will be met by a Fly Fishing Tabasco representative and the driver will transport you from the airport to the hotel. Keep in mind that Frontera is a 1-hour drive from Villahermosa. If you do need a hotel in Villahermosa before or after your fishing package we recommend the Hyatt Regency.
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 notarized documentation of the divorce decree or death certificate of the 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.
In Tabasco, the name of the game is numbers and anglers can expect to catch dozens of small tarpon in a day when the conditions are right. The baby tarpon are abundant and provides the perfect opportunity for both novice and expert anglers alike. This is an ideal destination for introducing anglers to tarpon fishing due to the sheer number of shots one can expect over the course of a trip. Most of the tarpon average 3 – 8 pounds but fish in the 10 – 40-pound range are certainly possible. There is an area fished that is only accessed by canoe, and when the tides and conditions are right does offer more consistent shots at 10 – 20-pound fish. The rivers do have good numbers of snook with the chance at a big one. At certain times of the year schools of jack crevalle also push into the rivers. The rivers and lagoons are encompassed by a mature mangrove forest providing the perfect habitat for tarpon and snook!
Boats and Equipment
The guide boats are Pangas and are well designed, comfortable, and roomy. They are 21 feet long and accommodate 2 anglers and a guide each. There is one fishing area where motors are not allowed and canoes are used.
Rates and Terms
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 listed below are per person and quoted in US dollars. Trips of any length can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.
Frontera Package at Hotel Mar Mor
Double Occupancy Packages (2 Per Boat / 2 Per Room)
4 Nights / 3 Days Fishing = $2,450
5 Nights / 4 Days Fishing = $2,700
6 Nights / 5 Days Fishing = $3,000
Single Occupancy Packages (1 Per Boat / 1 Per Room)
4 Nights / 3 Days Fishing = $3,675
5 Nights / 4 Days Fishing = $4,050
6 Nights / 5 Days Fishing = $4,500
- Fully guided fishing as specified in your package
- Accommodations at one of the two hotels listed above as specified
- Breakfast and dinner each day
- Boat beverages and box lunches
- Transportation to and from the hotel each day
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Fishing licenses
What’s Not Included:
- International flight to Villahermosa
- Alcohol, sodas, and bar tabs
- Gratuities for guides, hotel staff, and drives
- Taxis or special activities
Fly Fishing Tabasco (Villahermosa, Yucatan Peninsula)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
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 60 days from the start of a trip, a full refund will be issued, less a 10% per person outfitter cancellation fee and a $100.00 per person Yellow Dog cancellation fee. For cancellations made inside of 60 days from start of trip, deposits and final payments will be forfeited. 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. There will be no refunds made for unused portions of the land or fishing package. If your trip is cancelled due to a hurricane or some other catastrophic event, the lodge will make every effort to offer alternate dates, but there can be no guarantee that this will be possible. This is why the lodge and Yellow Dog Flyfishing strongly recommend that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance for your trip. 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.
Yellow Dog Client Reviews
“In 4 days I caught 32 tarpon (biggest 8 lbs.) and had double that number strike or jump off. Also caught 2 snook and several catfish. Got a good taste of typical life in small-town Mexico. Beautiful area – I have never seen such big mangroves. Got to cast to rolling fish and even some bona fide sighted fish. Plenty of opportunity for target practice when casting to the mangroves. Had some topwater action one morning. Trip equipment list was bang on – I found intermediate sinking line and clousers very useful.” – Dale M.
“Paco was a good guide. Very good English and he knows the fishing area well. He has a very positive attitude and really wants to get you on fish. I put him in the top third of guides I have fished with, based on technical ability, adapting to us and our skill levels (me and my 13-year-old son), overall attitude. Would not hesitate to fish with him again.” – Michael T.