Cozumel Fishing Interview

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Cozumel Deep Sea Fishing
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An Interview with Carlos Vega

Carlos Vega is a fourth generation Cozumeleño who has been in the fishing business here for many years. Not only is he extremely well respected locally but he has been written up numerous times in international sports fishing publications and has a large cadre of return clientele for his fishing-related businesses both here on the island and on the mainland.

Carlos was good enough to spend some time with Cozumel My Cozumel helping us fill in our numerous gaps in knowledge about how things work here in the fishing biz. We learned a lot and hope you find it interesting and informative as well!

CozumelCarlos

CMC: The editors of Cozumel My Cozumel get a lot of emails from readers with questions about deep sea fishing, Carlos. We're hoping you can answer some these for us. First of all, with all the Cozumel charter boats offering their services over the internet, how do you pick the good ones?

CARLOS: In my opinion, always you start with the captain. A highly experienced 'Capi' makes all the difference in putting you on the fish.

Typically, such a man spends 10 years or more as a mate before taking command of his own boat.

Pictured Above : Carlos Vega (center) taken in the early 60's when the charter fishing business was just getting started on Cozumel. Carlos went on to become a well-known capitan in his own right. Now he manages and books a small fleet of hand-picked local charters.

 

Each capi has their own tricks they’ve learned over their many years at sea (and guard with jealousy).  For example, a capitan, will maybe look for big logs drifting as this is a good spot for mahi mahi and wahoo that like to eat the barnacles. Captains also know how to follow the frigate birds.

Also, the best captains, they are always watching, always checking the bait and changing it no less than every 35 minutes or so.

 

Yes, the great capi use his eyes every minute. But just as important, he has learned to listen. He can be talking to you, making conversation, but always he is on the alert for that little pop, the small click that tells him there's gonna be action coming up in maybe one second. So time to move fast!

 

The other thing all the great fishing capi's share -- a true love for their work. The capitans I admire don't think of fishing as just a job.To them it is their whole world. They love it. They live it and breath it!

"Where you're going on your vacation," I ask these guys every year.

. "Oh, I'm going fishing, Carlos!," is always going to be the answer.

Left: Capi Enrique Moguel of the Graan Cosa

CMC: We can see the importance of choosing the right capitan now, Carlos. Now what about the boat? What guidelines recommend for making the right choice here?

Carlos: First of all, you want a boat that is constantly being updated.  Good lines, fine reels such as 30 or 50 Penn Internationals or Shinanos. It should have good teasers and skirts and the bait should always be fresh.

Cozumel Sea Rose

All the boats I recommend have fighting chairs, an inside cabin and a head.  Some are faster than others getting you out to the grounds in less time to allow for more fishing.

The faster boats can make it to the grounds in 30-35 minutes.  Slower boats can take an hour each way.  That’s why we suggest paying the little bit extra and going for a 6 hour trip rather than only four hours if you have time.

Pictured above: 42' Hatteras Sea Rose manned by Capi Carlos Moreno

CMC: What price range are we looking at for folks who want to hire the best 'capis' and boats? We took a quick look at the going price in the US for a 6 hour trip in a 30-32 ft craft and those trips were going for $850 for 4 people into the Gulf out of Galvesten and $795 for comparable out of Venice, Florida. How do Cozumel prices compare?

Carlos: Oh, we can do much better than that down here!

Prices are usually quoted for 4.5 hours, 6 hours and 8 hours.But I think if you have the time you get much more bang for your buck with a 6 hour trip at the least. So for that length trip you're looking at a low of $475 for the Captain Leo 30-footer' craft and 4 people for 6 hours. To a high of $1000 for 6 people for 6 hours on a boat like Capi Carlos (Charlie Brown) Moreno's 42' Hatteras Sea Rose.

You may see Cozumel charters for a little less on the internet. But the best capitains? They know their worth. They keep their boats in top condition and know they deserve the price they're asking. Sure you can find something that costs less. But in this business, you get what you pay for has been my experience.

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Cozumel Fishing Representative