By Elliot Bullman
Marina Maroma in the Riviera Maya, Mexico seems to be on every angler’s wish list, whether for a first visit or a repeat adventure. I had read great reviews on TripAdvisor and had also been recommended by fellow anglers to try out Marina Maroma´s deep sea fishing package while I was staying at nearby El Dorado Maroma. Here, I´ll share my insights on how to make the most of a quick visit in three easy steps.
Step 1 – Get Ready To Board
The booking website for Maroma Adventures is easy to navigate and you receive an immediate confirmation. The call center staff speak excellent English and they explain clearly what is included in their deep sea fishing package. You will need to take biodegradable sun screen. You may also want to take an anti-sea sickness pill before you set off. At Marina Maroma, you can either opt for a shared tour or you can arrange a private charter for upto 8 people.
Either way, your deep sea fishing package includes bait, equipment use, taxes, local medical insurance, refreshments, beer on board and light snacks. Departures are at 8.30am and 1.30pm and prices start at $126USD per person.
Cancun hotel transfer time to the marina is 50 minutes. If you are staying in the Riviera Maya it will take you no longer than 20 minutes to arrive and check in. Therefore, I recommend that you are up and out of your hotel no later than 7:30 AM the morning you are fishing.
Check in upon arrival at the marina is super speedy because it is pre-booking only via maromaadventures.com. The nice thing is that the Maroma Adventures give you plenty of time to grab a hearty breakfast at their on-site restaurant, Cocotales. Whether you fancy a light fruit plate or a cooked breakfast, they have it all. By the way, you´ll be back here later to cook your catch of the day. I will come back to this at a later point.
Step 2 – Board the Boat
Once you step aboard, all you really need to do is fish. The captain and his mates will do the rest. The boats are typically 38 feet and come fully equipped with downriggers and outriggers. As we boarded, our captain “Mike” assured us, “You always, always go home with fish.”
We were out of the marina by 8.30 a.m. sharp and heading for Bahia Maroma which is only 5 to 10 miles offshore. What I really like about this outfit is that you are seriously fishing by 9.00a.m. That is a lot faster than most of the other marinas in the area. Captain Mike explained explained that this is because Marina Maroma is the closest fishing operation to the reef. We had “fish in the box” before 9.30a.m and fished hard through to 1pm. What I also like about Marina Maroma is that there is no dilly dallying around . By that, I mean no bait fishing which I find really irksome.
As for the type of fishing you’ll do in Bahia Maroma, Maroma Adventures is known as the “sport fishing capital of the Mexican Caribbean. The abundance of reef fish here can’t be beaten anywhere else in Cancun or the Riviera Maya. There are spectacular coral reefs in 10 to 50 feet of water which attract all manner of species. The other great thing about Marina Maroma is you can go blue-water trolling, deep bottom fishing and reef fishing, all in the same outing!
Deep sea fishing calendar at Maroma
The peak season for mahi-mahi – my favorite fish! – is May through July. Tuna, grouper, triggerfish and bonita are prolific here all year long, so you’re not going to deplete the species. White marlin season is March through July while blue marlin are there in June and July only. Sailfish are prevalent January through July however. Snappers are most abundant from available April through September. Shark, amberjack, barracuda and wahoo are in season from November through April. Basically whatever time of year you are staying in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, there are plenty of species to go at.
Mahi put up a heck of a fight, and they put on a real show for you too. They are beautiful yellow and blue-green, and usually leap completely out of the water on a run. And, very important to me, mahi are great eating, too!”
Step 3 – Get Ready To Eat Your Catch
I have to say that the service we experienced on the boat was second to none. The crew were really knowledgeable and highly well organized. The boat was spotless and well prepped too. The on board GPS kept us honed in to where the fish were at. Best of all, our catches were cleaned, filleted and bagged before we made it back to shore. We caught red snappers and a trigger fish totaling 10kg of fish. Not a bad morning´s work, although I would have loved to have fished a marlin. On that note, Maroma offers a taxidermy service and will help you with any necessary shipping arrangements.
On the boat, we posed for pictures with our catches, then had the captain´s mate clean and bag them. We asked the captain to pack enough fillets for that night’s dinner separately, then prepare the rest for our ice chest. Captain Miguel recommended bringing those designated few fillets to the “hook and cook” restaurant Cocotales,. There the staff will transform your right-off-the-boat catch into a delectable lunch, free of charge.
Hook and Cook at Cocotales
After a morning of deep sea fishing, nothing beats kicking back on a paradisiacal beach with an icy cold Corona. At Marina Maroma´s on site beach restaurant – Cocotales, a guitar duo play Mexican melodies while you wait for your catch to be served. I would like to point out the waiters bend over backwards to accommodate you. They brought my group complementary totopos, pico de gallo salsa, refried beans and fresh guacamole while we waited for our lunch. They offered to prepare the fish al mojo de ajo (in garlic sauce), a la plancha (grilled) or with chile guajillo (not overly spicy).
For me, the fishing challenge here is spectacular and you really get immersed between the banter with the crew and the thrill of waiting for a mahi or sailfish to hook on at any moment. Ours was only a half day excursion, but it’s a mind-wipe. You’ll feel like you’re a million miles away. The reef at Maroma is not just a destination, it is a state of mind.
If you want to “always, always come home with fish” plus gain a Maroma reef state of mind, click here to make a deep sea fishing reservation.