Follow Christopher Collins as he chronicles his week-long trip to the breath-taking waters of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Many Florida Sportsman members know Chris from his posts as NoSlack on the Florida Sportsman forums or may have seen his name pop up in the magazine. The journey starts on February 14 and lasts until February 20, when he flies home to Southeast Florida. During his trip to Mexico, he will experience its exceptional sailfishing. Chris hopes to highlight his trip by fishing the “baitballs,” a unique scenario when sailfish packs actively corral baitfish into a tight ball and take turns picking off the stragglers.

Day 1: February 14

Isla Mujeres: The Island of Women…and Sailfish

Ian Wichers, first mate on the Outlaw, captured this shot with the dredge GoPro.

Hey everyone, my name is Christopher Collins. Some of you may have read some of my articles in Florida Sportsman magazine or may know me even better by my old Florida Sportsman forum name “NoSlack.” I’m heading off on a Mexican fishing adventure, and I’d like to share it with you.

People ask me all the time, “What do you want to do in life”? My answer always remains the same, I want to travel. In the latter part of 2011, I ventured to the Southern Exumas and managed to release and swim with my first blue marlin. An amazing way to begin of my travel experiences. Now, I’m sitting in the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport with my dad, waiting for our 9:55 a.m. boarding time to Cancun, Mexico. From Cancun we will grab a taxi to the fairy docks, which will take us to the island of Isla Mujeres, otherwise known as the Island of Women.

Graciously enough, the same crew that invited me to Rum Cay in the Southern Exumas in 2011 have invited my dad and I to experience the incredible sailfishing off the shores of “Isla.” The rig, a 61-foot Jim Smith sportfish named the Outlaw, is a tested fishing machine. It’s run by one of the most entertaining groups of people I have ever met–and honestly some of the best people.

The game plan is pretty straight-forward, once we arrive in Isla, we will check into a hotel that has been reserved for us and wait for the boat to return from fishing for the day. (I’m still curious as to what is in store for the night.) Of course, tomorrow morning we should be up bright and early for a day of fishing offshore “bait balls” for sailfish. I’m pretty foreign to this type of fishing, nonetheless excited to learn a great deal about it.

More than anything, I am excited for my father, who works harder than any guy I know. I get to fish quite a bit (still not as much as I’d like), but I cannot wait to see the look on his face when we have a day with over 30 or 40 sailfish bites. It should be an amazing week in paradise.

So, stay tuned, I will be posting updates daily for the next week on my adventures and learning experiences in Isla Mujeres. One goal on this trip is to get some underwater footage of a bait ball. We shall see!

–Christopher Collins

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