March 24 – 31, 2019
Hello Esb Lodge Anglers & Fans,
We’ve enjoyed another great week here at Esb Lodge. Last week we had the pleasure of hosting return guests Joe Checchio and Bill Ingram. Both gentlemen fished with us last November and brought along some friends this last week of March and will also be returning for another week of fishing in November. We also had a great time hosting four wonderful gentlemen that have remained close friends from Cleveland. We enjoyed great weather, tasty meals, and of course good fishing!
We had a tide last week that resulted in us chasing primarily bonefish and permit. Due to a very high tide in the morning that slowly dropped and continued to drop after 5 pm we were limited on chasing tarpon and snook. The group saw good numbers of permit and we are enjoying the amount of permit in the bay right now. Our water temps are steadily climbing, and previous freshwater continues to purge itself out of our system. Wind direction plays a key role and is solely responsible for where we decide to fish each day. With minimal wind most of the bay was accessible and we were free to hit a number of flats closer to our morning launch and further down the southern shoreline. Permit were the targeted species for most anglers, and we had four out of the eight anglers land their largest permit to date (15 lb. or bigger). There were also a number of smaller permit caught and while most guests have their sights on the larger fish, it’s important to remember that seeing and catching smaller permit is a reflection of a very healthy fishery.
Our total for the week was 22 permit landed with 8 guests. This brings our season total to 99 permit with 58 guests thus far.
Leonard Checchio and Christopher had the high numbers of permit landed with five a piece! Bill Ingram also landed four. As I look back in my notes, I notice a year ago we were focusing more on schools of permit this time of year. This spring it seems that we are still seeing good numbers of schools but the number of “singles” and smaller schools seem to dominate. This is great for anglers because it means lots of fish are moving through our system and spreading out on every imaginable flat we have. This can provide very consistent action and make for some exciting time on the bow. Throughout the week a few boats saw more than 100 permit in a day.
We had guest George Klein who opted for more wade fishing and enjoyed a day on the northern part of the bay. Winds were down at that point and they went and waded oceanside for large bonefish. These bonefish seem to be different than our bay “residents” and generally run larger and have much more defined blue colored fins. They are beautiful fish that fight hard with tremendous strength and can top easily 5 pounds. I constantly stress to our guests that they need to take a moment and spend a few hours out of their week wading for bonefish. It can be fast action and often you are seeing tailing fish while you are reeling one in! Snook were scarce and tucked back in the safety of heavy mangroves but the last day we did locate a nice school of almost 40 snook. Unfortunately, the snook had other ideas besides eating our flies. It’s very exciting to see big numbers of snook together but more times than not I’ve noticed here they seem to be more difficult to catch in this situation.
Last week’s weather was pleasant with lots of sunshine and minimal wind that came from the northeast. We had higher tide in the morning that continued to drop throughout our fishing day.
Permit were landed on our #2 Tan Squimp, EP shrimp in white #4, white raghead crabs #2, and a couple of spawning shrimp variations that were tan in color with yellow dumbbell eyes. Bonefish were happy to eat all manner of smaller shrimp patterns #4 – #8.
Chef Felipe and the house staff were on que delivering excellent dishes and providing full service to our guests.
We’re excited for this up coming week. We have a great group of anglers that came along with our friends Eric and Angela Van Velzen last year. Unfortunately, the two couldn’t make this year and Angela is expected to deliver her first child hopefully this week! We had a great week last year with the group and it’ll be hard to top this year. We look forward to the wonderful comradery and friendship this group brings and it’s our absolute pleasure to have them back. We also have close friend and returning guest Don Morris. Don and I will be sharing a boat together this up-coming October and it can’t come soon enough! He also brought close friend Charlie O’Neill along to experience ESBL.
I hope you have a great week and don’t forget to check in with our friends at The Fly Shop for more information about this wonderful place!
Take care and stay tuned for next week’s report!
Saludos desde el Caribe Mexicana