My wife and I are headed back to Cozumel for a couple of weeks. It'll be our third trip in 5 years - we like to relax on back of the island and explore local restaurants during the evening (away from the tourist section). This time I'm planning to do some fly-fishing. I've fly-fished for about 50 years but always fresh water.

The research I've done indicates there are three flats or lagoons on the north side of the island and supposedly there are bonefish there year round, baby tarpon, snook, bonito, mangrove snapper, trigger fish, barracuda, and shark. My plan is to take a 4 pc 9 wt rod I'm building along with Clousers and various shrimp and crab imitations I am tying. I've read that wading shoes and polarizing sun glasses are a must and a long sleeve shirt and a hat are needed (sun screen can only do so much).

Here's the deal. I feel like a babe in the woods. We've got a B&B where we stay and the owner has never steered me wrong on anything in the past. He has set me up with a guide at a fair (but not inexpensive price) but he apparently doesn't communicate in English well. I asked a bunch of questions about specific patters and whether he provided equipment and the response was pretty much, you will do fine.

The B&B owner has also connected me with a "cheap fishing buddy" - a local he knows that will take me out for gas money and a tip. He suggested I go with the guide first, find out where to go, how to fish, and then go with the cheap fishing buddy. Given the communication issue here I'm thinking there may be less difference between the two than price would suggest.

Has anyone fished Cozumel? I'm new to saltwater fishing and figure that in general fishing the flats will be similar everywhere but Cozumel will have its unique elements worth learning. I have no idea what safety issues to be aware of besides the sun and not drowning. What about surf fishing on the back of the island? I saw another thread where folks were using woolly buggers in the surf successfully! When I've been swimming it seems there are fish everywhere.

I'd like to do as much fishing as I can in two weeks. At $220 for half a day or so, I'm not going out every day for sure. I may go 3 or 4 times max. At $50 for el cheapo fishing buddy, I could go daily. Ditto for the surf fishing but with the wind I have a hard time thinking that's going to be fun except on very calm days.

Bottom line - we'll arrive 3/31 and depart 4/13 and I'd like to go as prepared as I can be and I figure I'm starting from scratch. Thanks.


ps - the B&B owner has wireless service so you might find me asking questions or hopefully posting pictures from there.<g>