Fishing Report
April 09 – 16, 2023

BIG ESB Tarpon

Welcome to the Caribbean!

A super week we have had, the atmosphere finally changed from the prevailing pattern of the previous weeks and gave way to gentle winds, strong tides and radiant sunshine.

Most of all the friendly atmosphere of our group of guests charged with loud laughter, waves of anecdotes and beaming glances made this week a success.

The excellent group assembled by Mike Thompson fulfilled his premise, “only people I would share a boat with on a fishing day”, a simple but extremely effective requirement to guarantee a week that will be remembered and talked about for a long time.

Man kissing ESB Permit

This select group of people included Scott Becker and his traveling guitar, Bob Griffith who was visiting us for the first time, Bill Schweri who has an extremely contagious sense of humor and laughter against which there is no vaccine and no need, Mike Marler and his personality formed by his more than interesting experiences in life, Ben Thompson, the youngest member of the group, excellent fisherman and Mike’s son, confirming that “the apple never falls far from the tree”, Steve Stracqualursi, the group’s fashion consultant and the one in charge of making sure we all look exceptionally good with the beautiful, comfortable and practical creations of his brand 12 Wt, last but not least, we welcomed for the first time John Erskine who with his impeccable sense of humor and good conversation was the missing ingredient for the recipe of the week’s success.

Now you may be thinking “It’s all very nice, but how was the fishing?” and that’s what we are going to do.

Man with ESB permit

The first day of fishing began in an unbeatable way, the sum of very light winds, clear skies and hungry fish resulted in many of our guests starting their cards by checking the Permit box, the joy of the group was reflected in several toasts during dinner, I think I don’t need to clarify that we toasted with a very good Malbec.

The second day the “M&M” were the protagonists, and I am not referring to the chocolates, but to Mike Marle with the first Grand Slam of his life and to Mike Thompson with a Permit of more than important dimensions, setting a new personal record in this bay at least.

And almost without realizing it, we arrived on Wednesday, where practically all our guests, with the complicity of our guides and their hyper-developed sense of sight, decided to take advantage of the continuing light easterly winds and go out to the mouth of the bay, the lighthouse area and the Cha Island channel in search of big tarpon. The gamble paid off and Bob had a fight for more than two hours with what at times seemed to be a mythological habitant of the depths that, a few feet away from the hands that would make him the loser of this battle, with a quick head movement managed to get away from Bob’s sharp hook and, according to witnesses, he slowly swam away sideways while showing an obscene sign with one of his fins. I have no proof of the latter, but there is no doubt that it is true either.

That same day Steve also had an epic battle with another big Tarpon where he put to test all his experience and battled with his 9-weight taking it to the limit for more than 7,200 eternal seconds and three 18 oz. Yeti water bottles loaded with adrenaline, stress, theories and speculations about what would be the next move of the rival to finally declare himself the winner with the usual photo with his opponent and a smile that would fit perfectly on two faces.

Man with ESB Permit

The sincere congratulations and celebrations, obviously accompanied by another great Malbec, lasted throughout the dinner and not only for Steve’s victory, but for Bob’s great battle that regardless of the result proved to be up to the highest demands of the Bay.

On Thursday with the arrival of more intense winds Bob had his revenge, but this time the battle was with the trophy species of the bay and he achieved the first Permit of his life, becoming a member of the club of the “Palometa fishermen” with the traditional shot of tequila accompanied by Mike Thompson who achieved the first Super Grand Slam of his life as well.

The last two days of fishing were marked by an uncomfortable wind from the east and the appearance of some clouds, but this far from intimidating the group served to face the days with renewed energy and to continue adding permit, snooks and bonefish to their personal cards.

As you can see, it was a great week and I’m not just saying that because of the good fishing, which I have the impression that it was just the excuse chosen by this group of great friends to get together and enjoy good chats with a beer in their hands sitting in the palapa with the rhythmic waves of the Caribbean accompanying the chords of Scott’s guitar.

Easterly winds with speeds ranging from 5 to 9 mph prevailed the first three days of the week, Thursday fluctuated between 10 and 13 mph, while Friday and Saturday were between 12 and 18 mph.

Some dense clouds threatened us with some rain during the last two days of fishing, but they finally changed their minds and kept us dry all week.

Because of the low winds the tides were more noticeable, always keeping in mind that in this area the difference between high tide and low tide is no more than a feet.

Guess what! The daring rebelliousness of the younger generation made Ben dare to go against the tide of the last few weeks and try some Permit with white and tam Flexos with good results (I hope Dane is busy with his house repairs and doesn’t read this).

Rebellious attitudes aside, the consistency of the ESB Yellow Eyes Raghead and Casa Blanca flies makes them the safest choice for this species.

The streamers with olive green, white and some black details were the ones that managed to fool the big tarpon at the entrance of the bay, but the black and purple is still the rival to beat with the tarpon that live in the river systems. Special mention should be made to the chartreuse streams, which have been adding points week after week.

I keep the challenge for whoever manages to fool a bonefish with a woolly bugger and not only with the classic shrimp or crabs on hooks #6 or #8. I’ll increase the reward of the challenge promising to write a special and exclusive report for such a feat.

Like the value of Bitcoins, in its best times, the quality of the dishes created by our Chef Luis and sous-chef Angel only went up night after night.

Men with ESB Permit

The work of our Staff to keep everything running so that our guests have all the comforts we can offer them in this remote spot in the Caribbean continues to be truly admirable.

I have to highlight the excellent work that Isabel and Elsa do both in the logistics and management of the lodge.

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.




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