February 24 – March 03, 2019
Hello saltwater fly fishers,
We’ve had another week blow by us here at Espiritu Santo Bay Lodge (Esb). We’ve made some great new friends and were excited to have a group of anglers that were new to our fishing program. Everyone is well-seasoned saltwater anglers and they paid homage to fishing the holy waters of Bahia Espiritu Santo. We love to see new faces here with our operation. It encourages us to work hard to show them something they are not accustomed to. We also love that new clients also end up leaving with a new bit knowledge that’ll further their saltwater careers.
Fishing last week was again very windy and the guides worked hard to be creative and find spots that held better protection against a hard wind that has been with us for much of the 2019 season. This last group was hard core dedicated permit fishermen and they paid their dues to an easterly wind that carried through most of our fishing days. Finding fish was somewhat inconsistent and we had boats spot large numbers of fish in a particular area and return to the same flats the following day to find them void of fish. There was not a consistent flat that routinely held good numbers of permit. I hold the wind and water temps accountable for this mish mash of productivity. Guide Tony headed out of the gate Monday morning with guests Joe Pehanic and Anthony Mar to a flat deep in the western part of the bay that we have not seen many schools of fish. This flat usually holds fish and it seems to be behind the normal numbers. We still are checking these flats on a regular basis and Tony and his crew lucked out with Joe Pehanic able to connect with a beautiful permit over 15 lbs. on his first cast. John Varner also connected with a big fish but the permit had other ideas and resulted in a humbling break off. I feel that we saw good numbers of permit overall for the week and more permit than we’ve seen in in the last few weeks. Water temps are still cool and seem to be taking their time warming up. More numbers of permit were spotted in the afternoon on an outgoing tide. Curt O’Conner landed a beautiful fish mid-week and the last day guides Luis and Jorge each had a landed permit. Anthony Mar landed an incredible fish with Jorge close to the boca of the bay. It is a personal best for Anthony with the permit tipping the scales well over 20 lbs! Our total number of permit landed definitely doesn’t reflect the amount of fish saw, although the “permit gods” might say otherwise…
Total landed permit for the week hit 4 landed which brings the total season count to 30 permit with 28 guests.
This average still surpasses many other places and we are extremely proud of the permit hounds we have as guides and the fantastic fishery.
Our tides were not in favor of targeting tarpon but we still seemed to find good numbers of snook. I am constantly bragging on the amount of snook seen throughout our system. First day guide Fernando took couple John and Varner Redmond to a known snook haunt located on the southern part of the bay. They saw well over 50 snook and were able to connect and land 5. The rest of the gang landed snook and collectively the group boated close to 20 snook.
Bonefish were around on the tide change and we were able to land a few quality bonefish that exceed 4 lbs!
Our weather for the week was a mix of every weather pattern one might see while visiting this part of the Yucatan. We often started our mornings with cloud cover, wind, and had rain a few days. Later throughout the day everything blew through and the sun was out providing great visibility. Wind was a constant 12 MPH with gusts that hit 15 and 20 MPH out of the east. Tide was coming in strong in the morning resulting in a high midday and continued to fall for the remainder of the fishing day.
Guests threw all manner of permit flies and some of our tried and true staples. Two of our permit were landed on a particular spawning shrimp that I had tied up. Color combination for my shrimp consists of tan EP shrimp brush, orange legs, and of course the famous yellow eyes (size large). My preferred hook for this fly is a Gamakatsu L11S-3H #4. The stand by Tan squimp was responsible for the other permit. Snook were landed on smaller EP baitfish tied in natural colors and our single tarpon succumbed to a blk/purple toad. Bonefish were landed on all manner of smaller shrimp flies #6-#8.
Chef Felipe and the kitchen staff continue to deliver excellent cuisine and it’s a personal pleasure of mine to watch guests as they pile into our dining area every evening. Many comments are heard throughout the week of guests claiming we have some of the best cuisine they’ve had in any other saltwater establishment.
This up coming week we are excited to host some dear friends that have been fishing with us for a few years now. They are led by our close friend Justin Miller. Justin is one of the core travel specialists for The Fly Shop and decided to use his holiday time to come permit fishing with us. We love this group of friends with the loyalty and support they give us!
They also towed along additional luggage to help set up our boutique for the season. We have over 200 new hats and 300 shirts all logoed from SIMMS to carry us through the season. I would also like to say thanks so much for the individuals that have brought down dog collars made by Frontline and for those that have emailed me personally inquiring about this project that we are taking part of. We really appreciate it if you can find the time and space to stash a few collars to bring on your next trip down here.
Our friends that have Costa Maya beach rescue have a daunting task trying to help out the endless number of strays and neglected animals that are found in the southern Yucatan. Anything we can do help provides these animals better care, and quality of life.
Please do yourself a favor and drop a line to our friends at The Fly Shop to inquire about this special place we are fortunate to experience. They will set you straight on gear for an up coming trip and also give you the rundown about our operation or any other destination you might be considering.
Please enjoy the rest of your week and as always, stay tuned for next week’s report!
Thanks so much,
Saludos desde el Caribe Mexicana