The exhilaration of fly fishing for baby tarpon lures many anglers to Campeche. However, Campeche offers so much more for the angler and non-angler. In early December 2019, we sent the photography team of Nick & Kami Swingle to Campeche to record their experience, which you can see here.
Located on the western shore of the Yucatan Peninsula, Campeche is a vibrant colonial city rich in Mayan and Spanish history. Its historic downtown is an excellent example of a 17th-century walled city, built to ward off continued pirate attacks. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1999 because of its many historical landmarks, many clients build an extra day into their itinerary to explore the city. You can visit the two hilltop forts situated on either side of the city, built to serve as sentinels. Besides offering gorgeous views and fantastic sunsets, one of the forts has been renovated into an archeological museum. There’s Old Town Campeche, the historic center of the city. Over 2,000 buildings have been protected and returned to their original condition. There are excellent restaurants, coffee houses, museums, churches, and the recently opened Dancing Water Show Fountains on the waterfront boardwalk. To add to the adventure, there’s an interesting Mayan ruin at Edzna, an easy drive away.
The 180,000 acres of the Petenes Biosphere Reserve, with an ecologically diverse mix of grass-covered flats, mangrove forests, and rivers, has quietly earned the reputation as a world-class baby tarpon fishery. Fishing is from traditional flat skiffs, sight fishing the numerous river mouths, mangrove-lined lagoons, and shallow water open bays, looking for silver kings up to 30 pounds gulping air on the surface. Baby tarpon, like the larger adults, put on a spectacular aerial show once hooked often making numerous acrobatic jumps in an effort to dislodge your fly.
The fishing days start early, so you are usually back by 2 p.m., leaving you plenty of time to visit the local sites, take a dip in the pool, or do what the locals do—take an afternoon siesta. The prime season for fishing Campeche is April through October. The other months can be very good but are more dependent on the weather. Click here to visit our website for Campeche Tarpon Bay.