This beach spot in Rocha is ideal for family holidays. Its beaches cater both for relaxation and recreation, as well as fishing or the most varied water sports. La Pedrera is located at km 227,200 of route 10, Juan Diaz de Solís, a little further east of the Cape of Santa Maria, on a narrow and small peninsula called Punta Rubia. It is a small place with excellent accommodation infrastructure. For its peculiarities it has a strong exclusive and cosmopolitan character.
Its main beach is usually known as the Desplayado and is a great center of attraction during the summer months. On the south beach, visitors can see the last vestiges of the fishing vessel Cathay, stranded in 1971. Further south the Barrancas de la Pedrera offer the walker an amazing combination of nature’s textures and colors.
The Social Club is located on the main street of La Pedrera, as well as its Church, the craft market, several boutiques, and a variety of small shops and restaurants that provide warmth and services for an unforgettable stay.
La Rambla is the perfect place to share a fascinating full moon landscape or to observe the incredible procession of the free whales in the winter months.
During the low season, one can practically surf alone. This is a beach well-frequented by Brazilians, especially during carnival season.
Pesqueros de Playa Grande
This is one of the most consistent beaches in the area and receives swells from the E and S, bringing in high-quality waves. Swells coming from the east break left off the rocks, opening up towards the middle of the beach resulting in long tube waves that stretch for over 100 meters. Sea conditions permitting, we recommend surfers stay away from the rocks since going around the sandbank can be quite difficult with waves reaching up to a meter and a half in height. This can produce some dangerous currents for casual beach goers considering this is the only beach in the area that does not have active lifeguards on duty. The southern swells break fiercely to the mid-right, and if the bank is good and with a little luck there can be some really good waves coming your way.
With large swells southbound and winds from SW, El Barco can have very good waves. This is a good option when the tide is high and other beaches are inaccessible. Waves coming from the east also create good conditions at this beach.
La Moza Beach
Some of the best waves in the country can be found here when the tide is high. This beach faces the S and SE. We can find long, right-banking waves that can break 300 meters from the rocks. The water pours in where when they connect with the La Mocita rocks and waves can stretch for more than 500 meters. Waves reach heights of 2.5 meters to absolute perfection. Getting in position can be an exercise that requires patience as swells constantly pump making it difficult for surfers to make it to the rocky points. The alternative is to wait between sets and not hesitate to make your move as a slip up at this point can be dangerous. Or lastly, you can enter the water near Achiras, which is a longer paddle, but a safer one.
Despite being hard to reach, this paradise of sand dunes and white beaches is home to some excellent waves. The Southern Beach produces some great waves when the tide is south bound and the wind in the opposite direction. Here in Cabo Polonio, there are waves for everyone and for every style, taste and skill level. From the stream to the lighthouse all you have to do is pick a spot and enjoy. There is a large colony of sea lions that live in Cabo Polonio that can become disconcerted when they see people but are happy when left alone. Most of the year, Cabo Polonio is empty and those who do come often find it very peaceful off season.
Further towards Valizas you can also enjoy incredible beaches with long dunes and high quality waves. From the stream to the lighthouse all you have to do is pick a spot and enjoy. There is a large colony of sea lions that live in Cabo Polonio that can become disconcerted when they see people but are happy when left alone. Most of the year, Cabo Polonio is empty and those who do come often find it very peaceful off season.
This beach faces ENE, and is the only beach with this orientation on the whole of the coast. Here there are even fewer people and is it rare to find anyone surfing at all. Further towards Valizas you can also enjoy incredible beaches with long dunes and high quality waves.
This is a small fishing town, home of the biannual national surfing champions. The Rivero beach, faces eastwards that gets swells from the east ranging up to 2-meter in height. Depending on the state of the sandbanks, the most favorable winds come from the S, SW, W, NW, and N. Punta del Diablo also gets swells from the S and SW, which come in after sweeping through the rocks, past the monument and come to an end at the beach, breaking both to left and right. With a strong SW wind, one can surf comfortably. This is an easy wave, perfect for all levels of surfing and with several points at which the waves start to break. The Viuda Beach faces S-SE and provides very strong waves with various beach breaks. These waves also tend to be bigger and take on more tube-like shapes due to the flatter sandbanks. The best winds here are E, NE, N, NW, and W.
The burriqueta is known in Montevideo as the “spring queen.” It is the only species found on the Uruguayan maritime shore that lacks an air bladder, so it is all meat after it is cut along the underside to remove the viscera. The burriqueta is a sought after species with high culinary value and combative attitude. During its high season, an average of 100 pieces can be caught by groups of two or three fishermen, without ever having to leave the fishing clubs in the capital, Montevideo.
Burriqueta can be found all across Uruguay's maritime coast. In Maldonado and Rocha, to a varying degree depending on the season, they are available all year long. It is in Montevideo, however, where the burriqueta boom during September through November. During this time, the so-called“Burriqueta mattress”, as it is known locally, appears in Montevideo, boasting large shoals.
There are three species of groupers in Uruguay, similar in anatomy but differentiated by their colors and their dorsal fin. The different groupers are: the schemia, which is brightly colored with yellow and orange, the garopa, with brown and horizontal stripes, and the common grouper (Mero), of a brownish color. The scale color of fish changes depending on the waters the fish inhabits, a phenomenon that occurs in every species, fresh and ocean water alike, but is especially common in groupers.
The Mero can be always be found in José Ignacio near Punta del Este during the fall and winter months. Especially large specimens need strong equipment and skill to be reeled in. The Mero family inhabits the oceanic coast of Uruguay (Maldonado and Rocha shores). Meros are exclusive to bedrock waters, so fishing for them is done by boat, ideally from José Ignacio, La Paloma, or Cabo Polonio.
The Mero usually tries to take refuge in rock cavities immediately after it takes the bait, which results in many broken fishing lines. In order to catch a Mero, therefore, stronger gear is needed.
Fishing for mero can be done in the same places as other species, such as sargos or white croaker are found. We advise 30 pound lines instead of 25 pound lines for white croaker fishing and hooks with monofilaments of up to 40 pounds.
Going after the Black Drum, the biggest trophy of the Uruguayan coast
Due of its size, fighting attitude, and the length of its high season, the black drum is the king of competitive coastal fishing in Uruguay.
The shoals of black drum are populated by specimens similar in size, allowing catches averaging 10 kilograms at the beginning of the season, and over 20 kilograms towards the middle or end of the season.
Season and Places
From September/October, with the arrival of the first shoals, to the beginning of fall (April), when southern winds start to cool the water down, decreasing salt-levels and increasing sedimentation. Depending on the season, the black drum can be found from the Rocha sand bank and San Ignacio Ponds (where they swim no more than 40 or 50 meters away from shore), to the Maldonado Stream bank (a place that demands casting lines longer than 100 meters). Younger specimens first appear in the shores of Canelones and Montevideo.
Fishind and Equipment
Patience is the name of the game, with the rod resting on a support until the fish strikes. This is distinguished by a violent dip. Once the animal is hooked, it is normal to spend between 20 and 30 minutes reeling it in completely, in an adrenaline-filled battle with nature.
This type of fishing is the most physically demanding due to the long casting distances required and the use of heavy cone- or pyramid-shaped weights (140 grams to 250 grams, depending on sea conditions). It is recommended to use ‘heavy’ equipment, with rods between 3.9 and 4.2 meters capable of casting weights of up to 200 or 300 grams, together with rotating reels with 25-pound lines.
Flounder fishing is surely the most sophisticated on a technical level, not only because of the methodology and style that the species requires, but also because of the size of the animal. This, added to the fact that the species resides practically on the shore, requires fishermen to casts distances of between 20 and 40 meters.
Season and Places
This species is present all year, however the season of highest activity is between November and February or March. The first fish start to bite in November on the coast of the Solís Grande River, with some in the surrounding rivers and ponds that flow into the coast of Canelones, Maldonado, and Rocha.
Later, in December, January, and February, the best flounder fishing is in the Ensenada del Potrero, an area that goes from the Potrero River’s sandbank to Punta Negra, where small, coastal fishing boats are used.
Once the season is almost over, heavier rains force open the sandbanks of the Rocha, Garzón, and José Ignacio lagoons and the El Potrero River, giving fishermen a last and important opportunity to catch large founders.
Fishing and Equipment
The flounder’s bite can be noticed by a soft tap in the reel, which indicates the fish has caught the bait. The fisherman must wait patiently for about 4 seconds while the fish swallows the bait, and then hold on tightly.
This is the only fish on the maritime coast that must be caught using the spinning technique with natural bait, which is why flounder fishing is appreciated from a sports/technical point of view. The flounder's flat shape presents a harsh battle on the shore, where water depth is only a few centimeters and the incoming waves make it difficult for the fisherman to keep the fish hooked.
Nature provided the flounder with a large mouth, so it must be caught with large, natural baits, such as pieces of silverside fish or several shrimp, averaging 15 centimeters in length. It is the only species that must not be caught using a “waiting” technique; on the contrary, the fisherman must look for the fish by casting and recasting their reel constantly, given that the flounder does not hunt by swimming after its pray, but by lurking and camouflaging itself in the sand. Hence, the bait must “swim” by the place where it is waiting.
Medium-action rods, of 2.8 to 3 meters, that hold up to 25 pounds, with rotating reels that can hold up to 100 meters of monofilament line of 0.40 mm are best. These are precautions to lighten the equipment, because flounder fishing forces the fisherman to always hold the rod in their hands.