The Catching Just Gets Better - Douglas Playa
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The Catching Just Gets Better

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September 24 jack Fishing just gets Better and Better

During July, and early August, there was little sign of baitfish in Zihuatanejo bay. Diving seabirds—a certain indicator of baitfish—had flown away to better pickings and the larger predatory fish, except for spawning snook, seemed to have sought better hunting grounds too.
Times like these, when storm runoff from the hillsides and from the town’s undersized waste-water facilities have stained the bay, it is easy to blame the lack of fish and fowl along the shores of Playa Municipal and Playa la Madera on poor water quality. Ironically though, despite the water having the appearance of chocolate for a few days last week, anglers enjoyed an explosion of good fishing along these same beaches.
Baitfish, in this case anchovy, began boiling to the surface in mid-August, chased from the ocean by juvenile jacks feeding on the bright little darts. The birds have not yet returned, but local anglers are everywhere. They line up neck deep in surf, throwing nets and casting hand lines baited with chunks of anchovy. And they catch lots of fish. Good news travels fast. On two evenings last week, I counted upward of seventy anglers where a few weeks before only a half dozen were present. I have seen five-gallon plastic buckets packed to the brim with one and two pound jural and yellowtail jack and occasionaly larger fish too.
Several local net-fishers have caught anchovies ripe with eggs. They say the little baitfish have come into the bay to spawn in the depths off Playa Municipal and Paseo del Pescador where deep rocky structure and the murky water protect the resultant fry from predators.
These are tough times for Mexico’s beach towns, and these anglers, many of them out of work restaurant and hotel employees, are happily catching as many fish as possible to see their family’s nutritional needs through until high season when they hope for a resurgence of tourism. To them these fish are a Godsend.
The fishing is elbow to elbow at the best locations, but on those occasions when I have found room to throw a fly, I have caught a few of these mighty scrappers using white and tan buck tail flies. 
Given these tough economic times, I do not even think to release fish. They go right into somebody’s bucket.


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