Fishing Report #9
March 26 – April 02, 2023

man with esb barracuda

Welcome to the Caribbean!

We have had a week that has tested the mettle and experience of our guests. As in previous weeks, the first days of the week were not very promising due to the uncomfortable easterly winds, which although not as intense as in previous weeks, made accurate casts difficult. As a positive point, which shows the beginning of the new season, the clouds were much less solid and consistent, giving way to mostly sunny days

This week we were visited by Robert Hewett and his inseparable companion Todd Darling, Louis Fehrenbacher, Steve Gotanda, Don Joost on his second trip this season to ESB but this time accompanied by his son Brian who visited for the first time, welcome to the ESB family Brian! And last but not least, Bill Hudspeth and Bill Holvey, who also visited ESB for the first time but I have had the good fortune to guide them in Patagonia and Amazonas, we are anxious to find out which will be the spot chosen by the fishing roads to meet again.

Our group of anglers arrived with only one goal this week “to catch as many permit in the bay as possible” although the first three days of the week were not ideal to meet that goal, the shots opportunities and quantity of fish they found in the bay for almost the entire week clearly impressed them.

Practically all our guests managed to catch one or more permit in their six days of fishing, some of them also decided to take advantage of the wide variety of species in the bay and added tripletails, snappers, jacks, tarpons, the indomitable big barracudas and bonefish to their counters, this was the case of Steve, for example, who started counting his catches by the dozen.

Again, I must emphasize the strength and fighting quality that the barracudas have shown this week, being an almost obligatory comment during dinner on many of the nights.

The most visited areas were tabasqueños, the sandy area, flamingos, cenotes which are the most protected from the east winds, but we also had those who ventured to the rivers and coves on the north side of the bay with very good results.

esb guide with permit

We had a fantastic week, with lots of laughs, anecdotes and funny moments, accompanied by good wines, logically we uncorked some good bottles of Argentinean Malbec (sorry but I can’t avoid highlighting the good products of my homeland).

The health of the bay is as pristine as ever and so is the permit population.

As Dane told you in his first fishing report this season, the original idea of publishing the catch numbers was to highlight the importance of the resource to be protected.

This is where I will give you my opinion and try to add some light to the questions some of you may have.

I have been participating professionally in fishing for more than 15 years and as time has gone by I have seen how the valuation of the fishing experiences of the people I have had the immense honor of guiding has been leaning more and more towards the results of the day and less towards the experience lived, that is not bad, not at all, every angler enjoys different aspects of the activity and that is more than healthy.

With the arrival of social networks and the immediate exposure that all of us can achieve with a simple click, I think it is making us lose a little bit of the original values that have led us to develop fishing today.

Now, you may think, “Martin thinks it is wrong to publish the photos of my catches” and it is not so, you deserve the recognition of family, friends or “cyber friends” for your catches.

For us who, as Dane rightly says, are in the entertainment industry and aim for our guests to enjoy their stay here and strive to provide them with the best experience possible, to indirectly and unintentionally encourage through the publication of the number of catches the idea that their experience will be good or bad based on the number of their catches is an attack against ourselves.

man with esb bonefish

Winds from the east varied between 8 and 16 miles for most of the week, with no pattern of intensity during the day.

We had no significant rain, just one or two light showers that were seen at the lodge but not in the bay.

At times the tides were more pronounced depending on the interaction of the water with the strength of the winds that did or did not let the water out of the bay.

Permit: although the big champions of the week continue to be the classic ESB Yellow Eyes Raghead and Casa Blanca with silver or yellow eyes, when looking for them in deeper water they were very receptive to the presentation of shrimp in sizes ranging from 4 to 6.

Bonefish: The crafty ways in which these fish have evolved has made them mainly dependent on crabs and shrimp for their livelihood, so I’m not here to invent the “warm water” with some magic recipe to fool this mythical spice of the flats, a well worked imitation in sizes ranging from #6 to #8 will do the job.

Tarpons and Snooks: The already undoubted preference of these species for baitfish is indisputable, the black and purple colors seem to be the ones that lead the way but they don’t reject other colors either. I wonder, will the universal freshwater predator fly like the woolly bugger fool these species as well? I guess I’ll have to tie a couple and go out and try them.

This week Pancho was a little busier with the normal work at the lodge, as Freddy had his well-deserved days off and was back just in time to receive the new guests. Emanuel thanks to his knowledge and skills continues to win the battle against an environment that tries to destroy everything.

Luis and Angel this week raised the bar with their dishes receiving a standing ovation from our guests.

See you next week with a new report and 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 González and the entire ESB family.

esb group shot


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