Remote reefs. Tropical fish. Crashing in a hammock. Wild boat rides. Lucha libre masks. Eight- to twelve-pound bonefish.
Sound like something you want in on?
Welcome to Scorpion Reef.
In November 2012, a group of anglers embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to one of the most remote reef systems in the Gulf of Mexico. Five atolls, known collectively as Alacranes Reef, are located 120 km due north of Progreso. The reef complex is 27 km (17 miles) long and 20 km (13 miles) wide with a total area of some 245 square km (153 square miles).
Alacrán is an emergent platform-type reef that forms part of a group known as the Campeche Bank Reefs, so named because they are located along the outer shelf of the Campeche Bank. It is the largest reef in the entire southern gulf, as well as the most northerly in location. The reef has five vegetated islands associated with it, Isla Desterrada, Desertora, Pérez, Chica and Pájaros.
There are no ferries or any sort regularly scheduled transportation to this reef. It has been said that the trip is not for the weak of heart. There are no installations for receiving people, so visitors MUST take their own water, food, tents and any other supplies. Once there, interlopers have to be careful to avoid injury all costs, as there are no doctors, hospitals or support and it takes many long hours to reach the mainland.
The logistic issues and risks laid aside, bonefish are present. Boy, are they present. And hungry.
Six men – WorldCast Anglers President Mike Dawes, Orvis CEO Perk Perkins, and guides Ryan Buccola, Bear Holeman, Jose Briceno and Alejandro “Sandflea” Vega joined RA Beattie on the trip into the badlands of the gulf. The motely crew proved more than up to the task, though adventures were had that changed each man for a lifetime.