Just steps from Casa Roja is the “boca,” or mouth, of the Sierpe River, a fishing spot that offers a chance to return to a simpler time. Few locations can rival the diversity and productivity of aquatic life at bocas, the places where rivers meet the ocean. Here, the unrelenting forces of tides, ocean currents, and river flow create a dynamic environment where water level, current direction, salinity, clarity and temperature are constantly changing. A diverse assortment of fish species roams this area where their next meal could come from upriver or be swept in from the sea. Fish, large and small, are generally most active during the short periods of slack tide – the brief interval of time when the tidal flow changes direction.

At the Sierpe River boca, you can experience fishing in a way that has been practiced since time immemorial – with nothing but a hook, line, sinker, and a little bait. Once your hook is baited, the weight on the handline is thrown much like shooting a sling, and the line running off the spool is held in the other hand. The weight quickly sinks the hook to the bottom, the line is held between the fingers, and the wait begins. With the sand between your toes, waves lapping on the palm tree-lined beach, and tropical birds flying overhead, it is easy to become absorbed in the moment. It could be merely a gentle twitch in the line, or occasionally a forceful pulling, that brings you back from your drifting thoughts and indicates a fish has taken the bait. Take a step or two backwards along with a quick jerk to set the hook, and bring in your fish hand over hand. Pure and simple. No gear ratios, carbon module density, or any of the tackle industry’s latest gimmicks matter here. The experience is intimate, success profoundly rewarding. Most commonly, one of several species of snapper will be on the other end of the line, but many other species – from jacks and groupers to moray eels and rays – can be caught this way. The majority of fish species captured at the boca make excellent table fare, and a freshly prepared fish dinner is a great way to round out a “back to basics” fishing experience.