Fishing Report #8
March 17 – 24, 2024

Angler sitting in skiff holding a large permit at ESB Lodge

Welcome to the Caribbean!

Far from being universal, the concept of time and its division has varied from human community to human community. If in agricultural societies it was the seasons and harvest cycles that determined the annual organization of work, in industrial societies it was the shifts in the factories. This conceptual variability is also observed in the Maya civilization. The Maya conceived time both cyclically and linearly. They took into consideration the repetition of phenomena such as seasons and lunar cycles, which were combined with a profane concept of time that flows from the past to the future and in which the events that follow one another are, fundamentally, unrepeatable. That was our week at ESB, unrepeatable.

The main characters in the events experienced during our last seven “kines” (solar days for the Mayans) were Joe Checcio, Bill Ingram, Leonard Checcio, Chris Daly, Harry Singer, David Au, Mike Siber and James Stoller.

Following the Mayan concept of time, our first day of fishing was the thirteenth Bakun, or day number 1,872,000, for us, since the creation of everything. In short, that day started out somewhat cloudy, but with gentle breezes that anticipated a day with good fishing possibilities. So it was that Bill broke the ice by putting his first Permit catches on the scoreboard. Mike and the rest of the group added snook and bonefish to the tally of species caught on that first day. Virtually everyone managed to get a fighting chance at the Espiritu Santo Bay’s signature species.

Angler holding a snook at ESB Lodge

The beginning of Tuesday again brought light winds and some clouds that quickly dissipated as the morning progressed. It was a day when Chris followed the manual to get a super grand slam, until a tarpon, absolutely lacking in empathy, denied him the achievement after taking his fly and spitting it out as if it were an olive pit on his third jump. Mike and Harry ran into a large number of baby tarpons and a huge ball of Jacks and Blue runners, forming a large mixed school of fish that gave them great joy. David went toe to toe with a barracuda, which led him to put all of his fishing knowledge to use to win the title.

For the Mayan calendar, which, to put it extremely succinctly and rather imprecisely, is divided into 18 months of 20 days each, the arrival of Wednesday indicated that the equator of the fishing week had been passed. Light winds and scattered clouds remained the constant. Joe went after a super grand slam, but also came up one species short. Bill had a fun day catching tarpon, fat bonefish and good shot opportunities at the elusive “ojonas”.

Angler sitting in skiff and holding a bonefish at ESB Lodge

Thursday the light winds held off, but began to slowly change direction; the clouds were gone, but were replaced by high temperatures. Mike scored a Permit on the scoreboard. Chris caught snook, bones and had the opportunity to experience, in my opinion absolutely worthless, most challenging and adrenaline fishing. He dueled with a blacktip shark that, after a strong run and some jumps, ended up freeing itself a few feet from the finish line marked by our guide’s hands.

With the best of attitudes and with the firm conviction that there was still a lot to enjoy in the bay, the group faced Friday eager for more. Mike landed a Super Grand Slam, while Harry, his fishing partner, scored a Grand Slam and Bill did the same, all three with really beautiful Permit. Leonard enjoyed his last fishing trip of his seven decades.

Angler standing in the water holding a permit at ESB LodgeLeonard’s infectious spirit to discover what the first day of his first day of his new eight decades would bring led us to start the last day of fishing, despite the moderate to light winds coming from the north that rotated to the northwest at times during the day. Mike was truly shocked at the force with which a large barracuda attacked his poppers, only to be blown out of the bay at illegal speed as it felt the bent wire digging into its mouth. Fulfilling the maxim that “big fish don’t get to those sizes by being stupid”, this big barracuda managed to push his gear to the limit and it was his steel tippet that was responsible for denying him the winning photo. A little later and with his equipment again in optimal conditions of use, he tried to battle with a shark, invaded by the experience that Chris commented the day before, and after getting the shark to willingly take his new Popper, it turned sharply and with its sharp teeth cut directly his line. Leonard was ecstatic to close his day with the first snook, bonefish and other minor species of the new decade, which we will not express in the measure of Mayan time because for our current way of seeing, measuring and calculating time would result in an almost inconceivable number.

The week was characterized for starting with light and comfortable winds from the east and southeast that then increased their speed a little to end up between 18 and 22 mph and coming from the north and northwest.

These variations in direction affected to some extent the areas of the bay that offered the best fishing conditions.

Seas became somewhat unpredictable towards the end of the week due to the effects of the wind.

Angler and guide holding a permit at ESB LodgeFlies:
The appetite of the permits rewarded the good presentations and the good work of our fishermen with their flies, Flexo Crab, ESB Spawning Shrimp, Casa Blanca Crab, ESB Yellow Eye Raghead Crab, Tequila Twister, etc.

The bonefish had the same attitude rewarding good presentations and good work from the imitations in the usual sizes #6 to #8.

Although the tarpon and snook, those caught, did not hesitate to attack the EP Baitfish.

It is a real pleasure for me to work with a team of people who give life and soul to this small and far away corner of the Caribbean. There are few words that I could express in these lines to thank the dedication, professionalism and excellent attitude that the staff, guides and managers deliver every week.

I’ll wait for you next week with a new report and the adventures of our next six guests and their exciting adventures, that’s what the ESBL experience is all about, because, as my grandfather said, “fishing is not just catching fish”.

Do not hesitate to contact our friends at The Fly Shop so they can tell you first-hand what life is like in Espiritu Santo Bay, the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve (which means “Where the sky begins”, in the Mayan language).

Taak ulak k’iin and Ka xi’ik teech utsil!!!!
(See you later and good luck! in Mayan language)
Martin Ferreyra Gonzalez and the entire ESB Family

Angling group at ESB Lodge from March 17-24, 2024

800-669-3474530-222-3555 | | ESB Lodge